LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government has approved a 344 million pounds ($451 million) expansion to London City Airport, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.

London City is located a few miles east of the Canary Wharf financial district and mostly handles short-haul flights to business destinations within Europe.

"Making it easier to visit and do business in the City of London will help drive forward our economy and further strengthen the city's status as the world's leading financial center," Hammond said in a statement.

Hammond is keen to boost investment and preserve the status of the City of London in the wake of Britain's June 23 vote to leave the EU.

(Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Sarah Young)