Jackie Chan lands at YVR on inaugural Hong Kong flight
The Hollywood kung fu icon will appear at the Canada 150 festivities
Kung fu doyen Jackie Chan is in Vancouver for the weekend as the newly minted ambassador for Hong Kong Airlines.
Chan appeared Friday at Vancouver International Airport after travelling aboard the airline's first non-stop daily flight between Hong Kong and Vancouver.
YVR CEO Craig Richmond, who also the rode the 12-hour-40-minute flight, presented Chan with a traditional First Nations gift.
The Hollywood star will attend the Canada 150 festivities at Canada Place on Saturday. Fans can see him on the main stage at 4:15 p.m.
He'll be back at the airport Sunday to greet guests on an outbound flight to Hong Kong.
YVR CEO Craig Richmond and Jackie Chan finally faced off today at the Hong Kong Airlines inaugural! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/whereHKbegins?src=hash">#whereHKbegins</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/EyeOfJackieChan">@EyeOfJackieChan</a> <a href="https://t.co/3p8WQf3UuF">pic.twitter.com/3p8WQf3UuF</a>—@yvrairport
The actor has faced criticism over his past remarks about Hong Kong, his birthplace.
"With too much freedom, we become like Hong Kong and Taiwain — such huge messes," he said at a 2009 film event.
In a 2012 interview with a Chinese newspaper, he labeled Hong Kong a "city of protest" and called for greater police control.
Still, Hong Kong Airlines, which launched in 2006, is banking on Chan's brand to raise its profile overseas.
Vancouver is the airline's first destination in North America.
"This speaks volumes to YVR's capabilities as an airport and to Vancouver's attractiveness as a destination," Richmond said at a media event.
The route will initially operate on an Airbus 330-200 with 264 seats.
Business-class passengers will feast on items such as baked mince pork pie and a hand-shredded smoked chicken, curated by the executive chef of Vancouver's Dynasty Seafood Restaurant.
Economy class passengers will get to munch on gourmet popcorn and watch movies on pre-loaded iPad minis.
Air Canada and Cathay Pacific already both operate non-stop routes between Hong Kong and Vancouver.
Hong Kong Airlines' daily service is expected to generate about 445 jobs in B.C. and $15.5 million in wages.
YVR staff produced this video, which features CEO Craig Richmond preparing for a showdown with Jackie Chan.