En route to China

Call it a sign of the times: Air France is now offering regular, three-times-weekly flights to Wuhan, China.

Behold a press release from the company, courtesy of Travel Daily News:

“Air France was the first European carrier to start services between Europe and China when it inaugurated its Paris-Shanghai service in 1966. The Air France-KLM Group, together with its SkyTeam alliance partners, China Southern and China Eastern, now offer 135 weekly flights to nine destinations in Greater China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan and Taipei) including onward services to Chinese provinces. The Air France-KLM Group is the leading airline group to China, meeting burgeoning demand for travel to the region. Last year the group carried almost two million passengers on the routes.”

Big deal, right? Chances are, most people outside of China couldn’t locate Wuhan on a map. But Terminal U provided some much-needed insight about what the move means for trade and tourism between France and China:

“As Central China’s biggest city, with a population of 10 million, Wuhan has a diverse and booming economy … While not a natural drawcard for tourists, Wuhan is home to some scenic and historic attractions, such as the East Lake (the largest in a Chinese city), Yellow Crane Tower, Donghu national park and Hubei Provincial Museum. It’s also the gateway to the famous Three Gorges Project – the hydroelectric dam project in the Yangtze River.

For Air France, the new route to Wuhan – home to China’s third largest cluster of universities and a number of international companies – will bring economic benefits to France by boosting trade and tourism links between the two countries.”

It also means that London’s Heathrow airport is falling behind, according to Terminal U.

Will you be on the next flight to Wuhan?

Read more about China, France, America and the world beyond in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!

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