Local French daily Nice Matin is speculating that Nice will soon have a direct flight to China. A French delegation is currently visiting Shanghai, and President of the Regional Council, Christian Estrosi, on Monday met the CEO of China Eastern, a member airline of the Sky Team alliance of which Air France is a member.
Also present was Marc Bayard, Air France’s Director General. Meanwhile, the official responsible for tourism in the Nice metropolitan area, Rudy Salles, said that work has been going on for some time to establish a link between Nice and Shanghai.
“What was unthinkable ten years ago is today very likely,” he said. For his part, Mr Estrosi is doing his best to convince the Chinese – unnerved by the July 14 atrocity in Nice – that security is not an insurmountable problem.
However, if the Chinese side favours a direct link to the Riviera, it would be some time before such a flight could be inaugurated, and under the French system, the national aviation authorities would have to give approval, which given the favourable treatment for Paris airports, would not be a foregone conclusion.