Finnair has become the first airline to offer a European connection to Xi’an, China. Holiday goers previously wanting to travel to the capital of Shaanxi province in central China would have had to take a connecting flight once already in China.The service to Xi’an will start 14th June 2013 and will be operate three times a week. Flights will take off from Helsinki, which passengers from the UK can reach via either London Heathrow or Manchester. At current the service is set to only run until the end of the summer season on 26th October and will be served on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Xi’an has become Finnair’s fifth destination in China with the existing destinations being Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The new destination has been introduced as part of the airline's plan to increase its revenue from Asian operations by 2020. The airline also announced that it is expanding its presence in south-east Asia with the introduction of three weekly flights to Hanoi, Vietnam, starting 15th June.
CEO of Finnair, Mika Vehvilainen, said that he was “very excited and pleased to announce Xi´an as our fifth destination in China...The fast-growing Chinese economy continues to fuel rapid growth in demand for air travel to and from Europe and to open up new opportunities for Finnair.”
“We have a history of pioneering better connections between Europe and China going back to 1988, when we began flying to Beijing. We look forward to building on that history and offering the quickest and smoothest itineraries between dozens of European destinations and Xi´an.”