18 APAC / Issue Q2 2019 , China Eastern Airlines Kicks Off the New A350-900 Service for its Shanghai-Roman Route China Eastern Airlines recently announced that its round-trip route between Shanghai and Rome (MU787/788) uses the latest Airbus A350-900 aircraft from March 31, 2019, providing an elegant and comfortable trip to and from Italy at the 8th anniversary of launching this route. Flight MU787 is estimated to depart from Pudong Airport, Shanghai at 12:35, and arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 19:10 local time. Meanwhile flight MU788 would depart from Rome at 21:10 local time, and arrive at Shanghai Pudong Airport at 14:35 the next day. China Eastern Airlines addressed that since the opening of the route in March 2011, the Shanghai- Rome flight has increased from the initial three shifts per week to seven shifts per week. Over the past eight years, more than one million passengers have chosen China Eastern Airlines to travel between China and Italy, which formed The “Silk Road” in the air for the exchange between the two countries. In order to better serve passengers and increase travel comfort, China Eastern Airlines Service integrated with Chinese and Italian cultural characteristics. replaced the aircraft for Shanghai- Rome route with the latest A350 aircraft, providing high-quality travel services to passengers with new on-board hardware, software and entertainment facilities. The Airbus A350-900 has a total of 288 seats, including 4 Luxury Business Class seats equipped with two movable sliding doors that can form an independent private compartment when closed, and it could become a “social area” that accommodates four people when necessary. There are 36 Business Class seats with a length of 196cm when fully lied down, equipped with mini bar and 18-inch display with Bluetooth headset module. Besides, there are 32 Premium Economy Class seats and 216 Economy Class seats, all equipped with 4D headrests, power supply and the largest 13-inch display in the industry. The aboard entertainment system provides travellers with personalized entertainment resources such as latest movies, popular TV shows, games, etc., making the journey full of fun. In the meantime, the Air-Ground Internet connection on China Eastern Airlines’ A350 aircraft is faster with maximum access speed at 200 m/s, which supplies better Internet surfing experience to passengers. China and Italy are among the countries with the most cultural heritages in the world, witnessing rapid development of bilateral cultural and economic exchanges. Teachers and students of an Italian boarding school, Rome Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele II, wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of his state visit to Italy and received the president’s reply. The school is a prestigious school and its students are keen to learn Chinese and Chinese culture. China Eastern Airlines launched cooperation with the school for six consecutive years since 2013, providing service such as direct flights to China for almost 1000 teachers and students to assist them in Chinese language training since then. In November 2015, China Eastern Airlines recruited Italian flight attendants in Italy. 12 beautiful and talented women became attendants of China Eastern Airlines at last. Among them, an Italian girl named Giada who participated in the “49th World Tourism Ambassador” competition and crowned “Miss Italy”, has turned to become a part of the beautiful landscape in China Eastern Airlines together with her other 11 Italian colleagues and over 10 Italian ground staff, with their efforts and enthusiasm to be part of Sino-Italian cultural promotion activities in the Airlines such as “Foreign Staff celebrating China Year” and “Italian Food Year”. At the end of 2018, Rome Airport, local tourism department and the leaders of China Eastern Airlines jointly held a celebration to congratulate a Chinese female tourist to become the 15 millionth arrival passenger at the airport in 2018. In 2018, Italy attracted more than 2 million Chinese tourists. It has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for Chinese tourists in Europe. The per capita consumption of Chinese tourists in Italy is also ranked among the top foreign tourists. 2019 is the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China- Italy comprehensive strategic partnership, which brings new development opportunities for economic and cultural exchanges between two countries, which also offers chances of development in Italy for airlines including China Eastern Airlines.