London Stansted Airport welcomes first touchdown of China Southern Airlines

STANSTED Airport welcomed its first ever passenger flight from China yesterday with the touchdown of a specially chartered China Southern Airlines A330.

Over 200 Chinese VIPs, performers and artists arrived on the flight from Beijing for a special cultural event, part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games celebrations.

Southern China Airlines is Asia’s largest airline by fleet size and passengers carried, and sixth largest airline in the world.

Vice president of China International Culture Association, Dong Junxin, led the China Olympic Culture Delegation, which included China’s most famous soprano Song Zuying, music producer Zhang Yadong and international magician Lousi Liu, all visiting London to perform at The Creative Cities Collection being held at The Barbican Arts Centre (Aug 1-8).

Greeting the special guests at Stansted, the airport’s managing director, Nick Barton said: “We are delighted to welcome China Southern Airlines and their distinguished guests to Stansted Airport. This is a fantastic opportunity for Stansted to showcase its fantastic facilities, superb infrastructure and proximity to London.

“We are playing our part to welcome the world to London during the Games. We have the capacity and expertise to accept any aircraft of any size from anywhere in the world, even at very short notice.

“This special flight proves the London 2012 Games are much more than just about sport, it’s about nations coming together and sharing the best that their cultures have to offer.

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“On behalf of the airport I’d like to say ‘Stansted huanying ni’ (welcome to Stansted) to our distinguished guests from China and wish them an enjoyable stay in London.”