Finnair and Juneyao Air have signed a letter of intent to “deepen their cooperation” between China and Europe.
Finland’s flag carrier said the aim of the cooperation is to establish a joint venture on the Helsinki – Shanghai route. This will allow both carriers to offer their customers more destinations, schedule and fare options via their main hubs, Helsinki Airport and Pudong International Airport.
Commenting on the cooperation, Finnair’s chief commercial officer Ole Orver said the airline remains committed to China as it sees the country as a key market despite these “challenging times” for the industry, referring to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and its impact on the aviation industry.
“Taking the important step to evolve this into a deeper cooperation focused on our Shanghai and Helsinki hubs will allow us to not only serve our current customers even better, but also to lay a platform for further growth in the future, once the aviation market starts to normalise”, said Orver.
Commenting on the partnernship, Yu Chengji, executive vice president of Juneyao Air said: “The aviation industry has encountered tough situations. Nevertheless, we consistently and optimistically trust in our emphasized China-Europe market and partnership with Finnair.”
Juneyao Air launched its route from Shanghai to Helsinki in July 2019. Both Finnair and Juneyao Air have since been code sharing on each other’s Helsinki-Shanghai routes and on “selected routes” from Helsinki to Europe and from Shanghai to other destinations in China.
A reciprocal agreement for the airlines’ frequent flyer programs Finnair Plus and Juneyao Air Club was also implemented in August 2019, allowing customers to earn and redeem miles and points throughout each partner’s network.
Finnair said the joint venture cooperation will enable “significant further expansion” of codesharing across the networks of both partners, particularly to key points behind Shanghai Pudong and Helsinki, as well as the introduction of enhanced benefits for frequent travelers.
The letter of intent is currently subject to regulatory approvals.