Finnair will launch a new service to Xian in the summer next year, consolidating its reach in Asia.
From June 14, 2013 onwards, the airline will fly to the ancient Chinese capital from its hub in Helsinki using an A330-300 three times a week, until October 26 when the summer schedule ends.
The flights will be on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing the Finnish capital at 1740 to arrive in Xian at 0630 after a seven hours and 50 minutes journey. Return flights will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, leaving at 1035 for the 1415 scheduled arrival time, with the journey lasting eight hours and 40 minutes.
The airline hopes to attract passengers looking to use Helsinki as their transit hub to other parts of Europe.
Xian will be the fifth Chinese destination the airline serves. Finnair first flew to China in 1988 with flights to Beijing.
The northwestern Chinese metropolis of some eight million people has been developing fast, particularly in high-tech industries. In September, Samsung kicked off construction of a US$7 billion factory in Xi’an Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, with completion date set for the end of 2013.
But the city is also a popular tourist destination for its history (and most notably the Terracotta Army), having been the imperial capital in four ancient Chinese dynasties, including the two most representative: Han and Tang.
For more about Xian, read our “Inside China” report in the December issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. Click here.