24 March, 2021

China Means Home, Now and Forever: Italian Captain of China Eastern Airlines

“Wuhan is the home of all my family members. To us, China means home, the present, and future,” said Diego Benedetto, an Italian captain of China Eastern Airlines (China Eastern), expressing good wishes to Wuhan, once the hardest-hit Chinese city by the COVID-19.

Since he came to Wuhan three years ago, Benedetto has soon found the city featuring both convenient modern facilities and traditional culture fascinating. While searching the streets and alleys for delicious snacks and strolling along bustling pedestrian streets, he developed a deep affinity for the new home.

When the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted sufferings on the city, Benedetto was as anxious as all the Wuhan citizens, and at the same time felt strongly that he must do something to help bring the city back to normal.

And he did.

Although he was far beyond the sea when China decided to lock down the whole city to curb the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, Benedetto requested that he return to work as soon as possible so as to be prepared for conducting anti-epidemic flights at any time.

Since Jan. 21, 2020, the man has undertaken intensive flights between Chinese cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu, and was transferred to Wuhan at 3 a.m. on Jan. 28.

Joining the fight against the COVID-19 as a member of China Eastern was a rewarding experience for Benedetto, who has been inspired by the strong sense of mission of his company.

He was proud that China Eastern performed the first civil aviation chartered flight for a medical team dispatched to Wuhan on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival.

What made him more proud of his company was that on March 12, 2020, China Eastern undertook China’s first flight carrying a medical expert assistance team and the most urgently needed anti-epidemic supplies to his home country.

“During that difficult period, I felt we were in a big family every day. There were many fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, and everyone in the family was engaged in the fight (against the COVID-19),” Benedetto wrote.

During this year’s Spring Festival travel rush, the first flight Benedetto performed was bound for Wuhan, the home with which he has close ties.

In a few weeks, it will be one year since the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, the capital city of central China’s Hubei province. Thanks to the efficient and effective measures taken by the Chinese government and the nationwide efforts and solidarity shown by the Chinese people, China has brought the COVID-19 under control.

As many other places in the world are still faced with grim situation of the COVID-19, all countries should understand that on the planet threatened by ravaging pandemic, everyone is supposed to stand by each other as family.

More top stories you might be interested in.....