Helsinki-based Finnair has announced it will be the first airline to launch a direct flight from Europe to Chongqing.
Located in south-west China, Chongqing is reputed to be the fastest growing city in China. It currently has a population of 32 million, which is expected to double in the next five years.
Oneworld member Finnair will start four times weekly flights to Chongqing from its Helsinki hub in May 2012. The timetable is yet to be announced.
The new route is in line with Finnair’s strategy to open new routes into growing Asian markets, said Mika Vehviläinen, the airline’s CEO.
“China is a key part of our Europe-Asia strategy,” he said.
“Western China is an important growth area, and the new route will strengthen our market share in the growing Asian markets.”
The Helsinki-Chongqing route will be marketed mainly at business travellers, Vehviläinen added.
Finnair already serves three Chinese destinations – Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong – with a total of 26 weekly flights.