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Air Silk Road becomes a two-way bridge for Sino-French cooperation

Updated: May 14, 2024 Print
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Airport New City in Xixian New Area, a national development zone that was co-built by Xi'an and Xianyang in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, is actively constructing a new starting point for the Air Silk Road, adding luster to the Sino-French friendship through practical cooperation and exchanges.

China and France are important economic entities at both ends of this newly-emerged Silk Road.

Celebrations take place at the "China Eastern Airlines-Safran" aircraft landing gear deep maintenance base, as crew repair its 100th landing gear. [Photo/]

The "China Eastern Airlines-Safran" aircraft landing gear deep maintenance base, a joint venture between Safran Group, the first French company to enter China after the establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations, and China Eastern Airlines, was completed and put into operation in Airport New City in 2019. The base has an investment of $70 million.

This project is not only the first international cooperation project for major aircraft component maintenance in Shaanxi, but also the first project in China invested in by the original manufacturer of landing gear. By December 2023, the project had repaired over 100 sets of landing gear.

In April 2024, Airport New City and DPD France, a postal group, signed a strategic cooperation agreement to open a full-freight air route from Xi'an to Budapest, Hungary. Both parties are also set to jointly establish an air transition (distribution) center in western China.

The new route is set to operate 104 flights per year, with two round trips per week, bringing approximately 6,000 metric tons of international cargo to Xi'an annually.

Airport New City, the new starting point of the Air Silk Road, bears a special mission for the opening-up of Shaanxi. It has successively been approved as eight national-level open pilot zones encompassing air, free trade, bonded zones, cross-border trade, ports, air rights, hubs, and cold-chain logistics.

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