Finnair to launch first European link to Xian

Finnair84Finland’s flag carrier has announced plans to launch the first-ever nonstop flight between Europe and the Chinese city of Xian.

Officials from the Helsinki-based airline said last week that the firm will begin operating three daily flights from its hub to Xi’an Xianyang International Airport beginning on 14 June 2013. The seasonal flights will then terminate on 26 October.

The carrier’s chief executive Mika Vehvilainen said in a press release, “I’m very excited and pleased to announce Xian as our fifth destination in China. 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 Xian.”

The news comes amid the carrier’s ambitious efforts to double revenues from Asia by 2020. Earlier in the year, the airline launched Europe’s first direct link to the Chinese city of Chongqing. Finnair officials also recently announced a thrice-weekly service to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, slated to commence on 15 June 2013.