With its Airbus A340 aircraft, Finnair will fly to Chongqing for four times a week. The flight time from Helsinki to Chongqing will be eight and a half hours.
The new route is opened due to increase in business travel as many western firms like electronics, automotive and chemical industries operations in the city. Cargo growth prospects have also increased in the city due to industrial growth.
Chongqing Airport has already opened 140 routes to more than 80 cities in China and Asia, and is undergoing expansion, which is expected to be completed in 2015. After the expansion, the airport will be capable of receiving 45 million passengers a year.
The main focus is on the business travellers as it is the early stage. Chongqing offers tourists to see Chinaâ€™s history and nature. The visitors can enjoy the historical buildings, temples and natural beauty, as well as the Dazu Rock Carvings, and hot springs.
Chongqing also provides convenient access to river cruises on the Jialing and Yangtze rivers, and the city is well connected to Lhasa, Xian and Kunming.
The Greater Chongqing is situated on the edge of the Tibetan plateau and has a population of 32 million, and its urban population is expected to double over the next five years.
In addition to Chongqing, Finnair flies to 10 other Asian destinations.
Mika Vehvilainen, president and CEO of Finnair, said: â€œChina is a key part of our Europe-Asia strategy. Western China is an important growth area, and the new route will strengthen our market share in the growing Asian markets. In addition to Chongqing, Finnair flies to Beijing, Shanghai and to Hong Kong with a total of 26 weekly flights.
â€œOur co-operation with the Chongqing authorities and the local airport has been very good when planning this new route, and we are very grateful for the assistance that we have received during our preparations. The smooth co-operation has accelerated the route planning process, which is very important in this rapidly changing business.â€
In December 2010, Finnair has expanded in Asia by adding flights to Osaka, Japan. As of January 2011, Osaka will be served by one additional flight per week, bringing the number of flights in the winter season to six per week.
Established in November 1923, Finnair operations focus on transporting passengers between Europe and Asia, via Helsinki. Its operations cover scheduled passenger traffic and leisure traffic, technical and ground handling operations, catering, travel agencies as well as travel information and reservation services.
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