Finnair is going to start flying non-stop to Nanjing in China’s Jiangsu province next year, making the city its seventh destination in Greater China during the 2018 summer season.
Set to take off on May 13 next year, the new route will be operated by Finnair’s A330-300, which it configures in two formats of either 289 or 263 seats. The lower-capacity variant has 45 business class seats compared to the 32 in the higher-capacity layout. However it’s worth noting both configure these in alternating rows of either five-across or four-across seating, the downside here being that window seats on the rows with five seats don’t get direct aisle access.
The Nanjing route is planned to operate year-round, though frequencies will vary between the summer and winter seasons. The thrice-weekly service will drop to a twice-weekly operation during the northern winter.
“Finnair is fast becoming one of the biggest and most preferred European carriers operating between Europe and China,” said Juha Jarvinen, the airline’s chief commercial officer. “Next year will also mark a very important milestone in our history as we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Finnair’s inaugural flight to Beijing and China.”
During the 2018 summer season, the Finnish carrier will fly daily to Beijing and Shanghai, four times weekly to Chongqing and Guangzhou, 10 times weekly to Hong Kong, and three times weekly to Nanjing and Xian.
China, however, is not the only country in Asia-Pacific set to see additional flights in the 2018 summer season. Tokyo Narita will get three additional weekly frequencies, bringing it up to a double-daily offering. Bangkok will also be getting three additional weekly flights, turning it into a 10-times-weekly service during summer and a 16-times-weekly offering in the winter. Finally Delhi is set to get one extra weekly flight, resulting in four flights a week in summer and six in winter.
“Traffic between Europe and Asia continues to grow, and Finnair’s expanding network now offers more choice than ever before for our customers,” Jarvinen added. “We are also adding frequencies and capacity to popular European destinations to serve the needs of our growing customer base both in Asia and Europe.”
Speculation around the possible expansion of Finnair’s Asia-Pacific operations reared its head back in May, when it was reported that the Russian government had granted the carrier additional flyover rights. This enables the airline to operate up to 80 flights a week via the Trans-Siberian route to Asia compared to the 65 it was operating at the time.