LIVESTREAM: Why Fly the Empty Skies?
How International Airlines are Responding to COVID-19

Dr. Zhihang Chi

VP & General Manager for North America, Air China

Stephen Cheung (moderator)

President, World Trade Center Los Angeles

April 1, 2020 11:00 AM    Webinar

Add to Calendar 04/01/2020 11:00 AM 04/01/2020 1:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Webinar: LIVESTREAM: Why Fly the Empty Skies? see details at: : , , Los Angeles World Affairs Council false MM/DD/YYYY


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The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has disrupted air travel at an unprecedented rate. Airlines are seeing bookings plummet while cancellations skyrocket. Much of this stems from people’s fear of traveling and contracting the virus, but the U.S. has also barred travel from most of Europe, China, and Iran. What are airlines doing in the wake of this?


To break down how international airlines are responding to COVID-19, The Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall, in partnership with the World Trade Center Los Angeles, will host Dr. Zhihang Chi, Vice President & General Manager of Air China. Dr. Chi will address the disruptions within the airline industry generally, and more specifically, the current state of flights between the US and China. Air China is the only airline with nonstop services between New York, Houston, Montreal, and Beijing. It also offers the only nonstop service between Los Angeles and Shenzhen. Moderated by the WTCLA’s President, Stephen Cheung, the conversation will address the uncertainty in the industry, and also what we can learn from some airlines’ international coordination as a response to this humanitarian crisis. 


Dr. Zhihang Chi is the Vice President & General Manager for North America, of Air China where he manages every aspect of Air China’s business in the region from the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. Dr. Chi manages the 350-plus US-based Air China personnel and oversees the marketing and operations for the rapidly expanding services between North America and China. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Chi’s crisis leadership is responsible for maintaining the vitally important air links between the USA and China’s capital, Beijing. Dr. Chi joined Air China in 2004 and was promoted to Vice President for North America in 2006. Before joining Air China, Dr. Chi worked in a number of management positions for

Northwest Airlines from 1994-2003, where he developed and managed a number of strategic alliances with other international airlines, especially with Chinese carriers.


Stephen Cheung (moderator) is the Executive Vice President of LAEDC and the President of World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA). Cheung leads investment attraction to the LA County region on behalf of both LAEDC and WTCLA, and facilitates the successful location of new businesses, projects, and deals from both international and U.S. investors into the region. He also supports international trade and international connections for organizations based in LA County. Prior to his current role, Stephen Cheung was the Secretary-General of International Trade and Foreign Affairs for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Concurrently, Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles.


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