Finnair to be the first airline to connect Xian with Europe

Finnair will begin flying to Xian in summer 2013, further deepening the airline’s network of Asian destinations. Finnair will begin service to Xian from its hub in Helsinki with three frequencies per week on A330-300 aircraft starting June 14 until the close of the summer season on October 26. The first direct connection between Xian and Europe is Finnair’s latest step toward its goal of doubling Asian revenue by 2020.

Finnair earlier announced a new summer connection to Hanoi from June 15, also with three frequencies per week.

“I’m very excited and pleased to announce Xian as our fifth destination in China,” says CEO Mika Vehviläinen. “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 Xian.”

“We at Finnair are delighted with the news that Xian as our fifth destination in China,” says Geoff Stone, Finnair Country Sales Manager Australia & New Zealand.  “It offers passengers more and more options and we look forward to enhancing air connectivity with key markets.”

Located in central-northwest China, Xian is a metropolis of about 8 million people and a growing centre in the development of China’s aerospace and software industries. The city is also an ancient imperial capital and an historic cradle of Chinese civilisation. The world-famous Terracotta Army, the vast collection of burial sculptures found around the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, is located about 40 km to the east of the city centre.

The flights will depart Helsinki three times per week (Tuesday, Friday and Sunday) at 17:40 local time (14:40 UTC) and arrive in Xian at 06:30 local time (22:30 UTC) for a flight time of seven hours and 50 minutes. The return flight (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday), lasts eight hours and 40 minutes, and departs Xian at 10:35 local time (02:35 UTC) for arrival in Helsinki at 14:15 local time (11:15 UTC). The arrival in Helsinki is timed for optimal transfers to Finnair’s onward European connections.

Earlier this year, Finnair became the first airline to directly connect Europe with Chongqing, another fast-growing inland megacity. Elsewhere in China, Finnair also flies to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. A further eight destinations round out Finnair’s Asian network: Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.
Source = Finnair
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