Members of a French aerobatics team load their lightplane at Shangjie airport in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, May 3, 2017. A Zhengzhou-Hamburg freight train carrying eight lightplanes which were displayed at Zhengzhou Airshow departed in Zhengzhou on Saturday. (Xinhua/Feng Dapeng)
Aircraft from Europe left China via a China-European train on Saturday, after attending an airshow in central China.
Eight light airplanes from Britain, France and Italy were disassembled and put in containers before being carried away by the train at 5:10 p.m. from Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. The train is bound for Hamburg, Germany.
The planes attended the Zhengzhou Airshow 2017 from April 27 to May 1. Most of them will continue to perform in late May in Europe.
The train journey will take about 17 days, at least one month less than by sea, giving them sufficient time for more shows, said Jiang Siyu, an official in charge of acrobatic performances at the Zhengzhou airshow.
Adam Shaw, a pilot of France's acrobatic team The Captens, said that the journey by train was safer and faster. He said that the planes arrived in Zhengzhou safe and sound by a China-Europe train last month.
"We are going back by train to attend airshows in France, Switzerland and Italy," Shaw said.
Pilot Tom Cassells from Britain said the planes would be flown home after arriving in Hamburg.
Cassells attended the airshows in China's Zhuhai and Hong Kong in 2014, when there were no train services to deliver aircraft.
Another five planes from Lithuania and Australia will embark on the train journey in the next few days.
There are currently 51 routes for China-Europe trains, reaching 28 cities in 11 countries.