Finnair to be the first airline to connect Xi'an with Europe

(Warsaw 9.1.2013) Finnair will begin flying to Xi'an in summer 2013, further deepening the airline’s network of Asian destinations. Finnair will begin service to Xi'an 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 Xi'an 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 Xi'an 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 Xi'an.”

Located in central-northwest China, Xi'an 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 Xi'an 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 Xi'an 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.

Further information:

Wiktor Matuszewski, Client Manager, +48 601 370 178
Finnair Media Desk, +358 9818 4020,
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Finnair is specialised in fast connections between Europe and Asia via Helsinki. The airline carries more than eight million passengers annually and connects 13 cities in Asia with more than 60 destinations in Europe. The airline, a pioneer in sustainable flying, operates a young, modern fleet and has the highest score of any publically disclosing airline in the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project. The only Nordic carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking, Finnair also has won the World Airline Award for Best Airline Northern Europe for the past three years running. Finnair is a member of oneworld, the world’s leading quality alliance.