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06 Aug 2015 17:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and its equity partner Alitalia are hosting the official “Chengdu Week” event from 6 to 12 August at the Expo Milano 2015 joint pavilion. 

As the Official Global Airline Carriers for Expo Milano 2015, Etihad Airways and Alitalia have launched an iconic joint pavilion. By incorporating destination partners into the pavilion, Etihad Airways and Alitalia are able to bring the world to the Expo, one week at a time. These events will give a better understanding of what the travel industry can offer, and “Chengdu Week” is just one of the premium destination showcases to be featured at the joint pavilion.

Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan Province in southwest China, and is famous around the world as the home of China’s Giant Pandas. Sponsored by the Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group, “Chengdu Week” will include a themed exhibit and activities to showcase the city as a premium tourist destination and a regional cultural centre in Southwest China.  The Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group, established in 2007 by the Chengdu municipal government, is crucial to the development of the tourist industry in Chengdu, and the main partner responsible for programming this event.

The full schedule of events will include a master chef class to teach guests how to make Sichuan cuisine at home, a traditional tea ceremony, a Chengdu heritage talent show called Face Changing Opera, and a “Kungfu Panda” welcome show. The cooking show includes five popular Sichuan family cuisines, including Chinese scrambled eggs, braised eggplant, Kungpao Chicken, Mapo (spicy) Tofu, and Chengdu Spicy Dumplings, which will be presented for sampling at the Etihad Airways and Alitalia Pavilion every day during the week.

Shane O’Hare, Senior Vice President, Marketing of Etihad Airways, said: “As one of our four destinations on Greater China, Chengdu is an important market for us. We are excited to use the Expo Milano Joint Pavilion to allow more people to know the beautiful city.”

“Etihad Airways launched its Chengdu route with four flights per work on 15 December 2011, with daily services beginning on 30 March, 2014, offering the first and only direct airline connection between the UAE and China’s Sichuan province, home to a population of over 80 million. Our guests traveling from Chengdu and nearby Southwest China are now connected to more than 110 destinations across the Gulf region, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America through Abu Dhabi.”

Ariodante Valeri, Chief Commercial Officer of Alitalia, said: "We are delighted to host at our Expo pavilion this week of events dedicated to Chengdu. China is a strategic market for the development of Alitalia. In March we launched the Milan - Shanghai service, operating for the whole duration of Expo Milan 2015. By the end of the year we will also launch a new Rome – Beijing non stop service. Alitalia serves Chengdu from Rome, Milan and Venice via Abu Dhabi thanks to code-share flights with Etihad Airways”.

Kevin Long, Vice General Manager, Marketing Branch of the Chengdu Culture and Tourism Development Group said “As a regional hub, Chengdu plays an important role to connecting 120 domestic cities in China and 71 destinations all over the world. Chengdu is a top destination for fine dining in Asia. Our marketing event “Journey to the City of Spicy Cuisine” will be introduced to the world during the EXPO Milano 2015, and has the full support and cooperation of our airline partners Etihad Airways and Alitalia. Etihad Airways has launched non-stop international flights to Chengdu, we are promoting tourism in Chengdu through innovative online and offline marketing together.”

Currently, Etihad Airways and Alitalia operate combined double-daily flights to Milan and Rome, and a daily service to Venice. Etihad also operates a daily non-stop service from Abu Dhabi to Rome Fiumicino Airport. The expansive network of Etihad Airways and Alitalia provides unprecedented access and convenience for travellers between China, the Middle East, and Italy.

Throughout the Expo, Etihad Airways and Alitalia will provide approximately 100 daily flights to and from Milan. These flights will include 125 cities with non-stop flights to Milan and an additional 741 destinations with just one stop. Of the 20 million visitors expected for Expo 2015, 7.6 million will reach Milan by plane; of these, 1.5 million will come from intercontinental destinations, and 3.3 million from international destinations.
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