American Airlines is one of only two corporate sponsors of the 2011 ‘Meet in Beijing Arts Festival’. Held annually for the last 10 years, this year’s festival runs from this week until the end of May, and highlights China’s arts and culture scene.
“Bringing the people and cultures of the world together is what air travel is all about,” said Gerard Arpey, American’s Chairman & CEO. “Like air travel, the arts lift our spirits, broaden our horizon and give us a fresh perspective on the world around us. I would like to congratulate and thank the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for making Meet in Beijing the biggest such festival in Asia,” Arpey added. “We know this year’s festival will be another great success.”
“Meet in Beijing Arts Festival is an influential art event which promotes cultural exchange and is also a bridge of friendship linking the Chinese people with peoples all over the world,” said Ms. Shaohua Zhao, Deputy Minister of Culture. “This year, we are extremely pleased to welcome American Airlines as a partner and corporate sponsor of the festival, recognizing their ongoing commitment of promoting friendship and bridging world cultures.”
The opening on 27 April featured a gala concert at Beijing’s Poly Theater with the stars of the Peking Opera performing with Australia’s National Opera Company. A wide range of musical and dance performances is scheduled through May. The festival comes to a close 25-27 May, when it features the prestigious National Ballet of China. Thursday 26 May is dedicated as American Airlines Night and the festival will showcase the Chinese ballet.
American began its operations to and from China five years ago, with daily service between Chicago and Shanghai in 2006. It added Chicago to Beijing in 2010, and in April 2011 launched direct daily service between Los Angeles and Shanghai.