Chinese nationals arrive at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 1, 2017. Sheltered in Antigua and Barbuda after Hurricane Maria had devastated the Caribbean island of Dominica, 377 Chinese boarded two chartered planes of China Eastern Airlines on Sept. 30 and arrived in Shanghai on Sunday. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)
Two chartered flights carrying nearly 400 Chinese nationals stranded by Hurricane Maria returned to Shanghai on Sunday.
The China Eastern Airlines' A330 wide-body aircraft touched down at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport past 9 p.m., about 22 hours after they left the V.C. Bird International Airport in St. John's, capital of Antigua and Barbuda.
"I can't believe that we are home so soon. The strength of the motherland touches me deeply," said Yin Chenggang.
Yin and other Chinese nationals were transferred from the Caribbean island of Dominica devastated by Hurricane Maria in late September. After they were brought to temporary shelters in Antigua and Barbuda, the Chinese government decided to send chartered planes to bring them home.
It marked the first time that a Chinese airline has landed in St. John's.
"Even if our flights have not been able to reach every corner of the globe, we will be on our way if our compatriots overseas are in danger," said Guo Wanqing, one of the captains.