Last Chinese evacuees from Libya flown in by Hellenic Imperial Airways (11/3/2011)
The last batch of Chinese nationals evacuated from riot-torn Libya returned to China last Saturday 5 March 2011, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The Chinese government these days had continued sending military and chartered planes, of which two Hellenic Imperial Airways B747 Jumbo aircraft, to bring back those evacuees temporarily staying at other nations.
Over 3500 Chinese had been evacuated to Heraklion, Crete from which they were further flown back to China on Hellenic Imperial Airways aircraft.
When the last flight to Beijing Capital International Airport arrived on Saturday morning, carrying the last 435 repatriated Chinese workers who had fled Libya, accompanied by 13 Chinese government officials, a red carpet ceremony was conducted at the tarmac with the participation of a music-band.
The 13 Chinese government officials were part of a total 19-member working group, who had left for Libya on Feb. 23 and successfully helped over 30,000 Chinese nationals to evacuate from the country.
The local authorities headed by the Chinese Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Song Tao expressed gratitude to Greece and its people on behalf of his country for the excellent work and support to his people; furthermore he extended his gratitude and regards to Hellenic imperial Airways, Captain Koukopoulos and the aircrew in person.
"We really appreciate the convenience and support offered by the government and the people of Greece and other nations in our evacuation operation," Song said.
Hellenic Imperial Airways was impressed by the perfectly organised evacuation and the cooperation it received of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Athens, which also expressed its gratitude via the Letter of Appreciation below, and continues to display its social sensitivity towards people in need and is also preparing their scheduled network servicing several long-, medium- and short-haul destinations beginning June 2011 with flights to the US and Canada.
Letter from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Athens- Greece: