Skip to main content

6 January 2022

WorldSkills takes to the skies featuring the talent of Champions

The maiden flight of a China Southern Airlines aircraft painted with WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 motifs signalled the 300-day countdown to the 46th WorldSkills Competition.

A China Southern Airlines aircraft, painted with WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 motifs, made its maiden flight from Guangzhou, southern Guangdong Province, to Shanghai marking the 300-day countdown to the 46th WorldSkills Competition.

Passengers boarding the CZ3537 flight at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport were surprised to see the plane featuring the WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 brand.

The Competition, which began in 1950 in Spain, is the highest-level competition for skills around the world. It will take place on the Chinese mainland for the first time, with Shanghai as the host city.

The 46th WorldSkills Competition will run from 12 to 17 October 2022, alongside other events, such as the WorldSkills Conference, to promote skills and boost collaboration among officials, industry insiders, educators, and skilled people from all over the world.

President Xi Jinping has said that China is focused on organizing a “creative and influential” WorldSkills Competition.

Zheng Jinglin, a silver medal winner in Aircraft Maintenance at WorldSkills China’s first National Vocational Skills Competition that took place in Guangzhou in December 2020, was one of the lucky ones to witness the launch of the WorldSkills-themed plane.

Following his outstanding performance he received an offer from China Southern Airlines to join its Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co Ltd after graduating from the Guangzhou Communications Technician Institute this year. Zheng is being trained with nine other engineers from the company to vie for a spot on the team to represent China at the 46th WorldSkills Competition.

“I wish to improve my vocational skills on the WorldSkills Competition platform and show the world the image of skilled young Chinese,” he said. “I also wish to make constant breakthroughs in my career and make contributions to the development of China’s civil aviation industry.”

Air transport is key to ensuring the global event takes place smoothly. As a strategic partner of the Chinese delegation to the WorldSkills Competition, China Southern Airlines, together with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 Executive Bureau, launched the special plane to promote the event.

The Boeing 777–300ER wide-body aircraft was painted by the airline’s craftsmen alongside Chinese gold-medal winners at previous WorldSkills Competitions. Overall the spray painting took 16 days to complete 3,300 square meters, the equivalent of almost eight basketball courts.

The plane’s surface and cabin walls were painted with elements of the 46th WorldSkills Competition: mascots Neng Neng and Qiao Qiao; the slogan – “Master Skills, Change the World”; the venue of the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai; and landmarks in Shanghai, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. Images of Lu Ban locks, mortise and tenon joint structures invented by ancient Chinese carpenter Lu Ban, highlight the spirit of craftsmanship.

According to the airline, the paintings express the message that China welcomes skilled people from all over the world to show off their talent and shine with their artisan dreams at the WorldSkills Competition in Shanghai.

Inside the cabin, the rack and wallboard carry patterns of the mascots as well as information about the Competition in Chinese and English. Passengers received gifts specially designed for the maiden flight.

The plane was welcomed with a water gate ceremony at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to celebrate the successful flight from the Chinese city that hosted the first national vocational skills competition last year to the first city on the Chinese mainland to host the WorldSkills Competition next year.