Sunday, March 30
Our business mission to China began Sunday morning with a departure ceremony in the International Concourse at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Governor and Mrs. Perdue, Delta executives and employees, and our delegation of business, education and economic development leaders were on hand to launch Delta’s first non-stop flight to Shanghai, China’s largest city. The program included a ribbon cutting ceremony and a performance by Chinese lion dancers.
Once on the plane, we settled in for the 15 hour flight.
Soon after touchdown at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport we attended a welcome and ribbon cutting ceremony with airport and government officials. From Pudong Airport we took the Maglev (short for magnetically levitating) train to downtown Shanghai. We were informed that the Maglev travels at a top speed of 425 kilometers per hour, or about 264 miles per hour.
Later, we were joined by the Honorable Han Zheng, Mayor of Shanghai, at a celebration gala sponsored by Delta. We enjoyed an incredible 12 course traditional Chinese meal. During dinner I discovered that Mayor Zheng is a die-hard NBA fan, and I hope he can attend a Hawks game some day soon.
Shanghai is a beautiful surprise. Its skyline features countless futuristic buildings, some climbing over 80 to 100 stories into the sky. The Huangpu River runs through the center of the city and eventually feeds into the Yangtze, Asia’s longest river.
Tomorrow starts with an early breakfast and a full day of meetings and business visits as we continue to promote Georgia’s economy and our wonderful state. Then we’re off on a late afternoon flight for more meetings in Beijing!