Nordic carrier Finnair is marking a significant milestone as it celebrates 35 years of bridging Asia and Europe through its flights to China.
Finnair became the first Western European airline to offer non-stop flights between Europe and China with its service to Beijing taking off on 2 June 1988. This was followed five years later with the launch of its service to Japan.
Furthermore, when Finnair started services to Shanghai in 2003, it was the only Northern European and oneworld airline to offer direct flights to Shanghai at the time.
Finnair was also the first carrier to offer a non-stop route between Europe and Chongqing in 2012, and a year later became the only European carrier operating a direct connection between Europe and Xi’An.
Before the advent of the pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace following the invasion of Ukraine, Finnair flew to more destinations in China than any other European carrier.
However, Finnair restored flights to Shanghai in July 2020 (which now operates twice a week) and now flies daily between Helsinki and Hong Kong.
Anssi Partanen, Finnair market manager UK and Ireland, said: “Despite the turbulence of recent years, especially following the closure of Russian airspace, we have continued to serve China and enable Finnair customers to fly easily and seamlessly from Europe to key destinations in Asia.
“While our strategy may have evolved to adapt to recent political developments with increased services to North America, we are committed to connecting our customers with China and look forward to flying more Finnair flights to Asia in the future.”