Finnair And Juneyao Partner On Helsinki – Shanghai Flights

Finnish national flag carrier and China’s Juneyao Air have announced that they will partner on flights between Helsinki and Shanghai. Finnair announced today that the airline will enter into a joint business partnership with Juneyao Air starting July 1.

Finnair Airbus A350
Before COVID-19, Finnair had a daily flight from Helsinki to Shanghai. Photo: Finnair

The plan is for the two airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between Helsinki and Shanghai and other destinations beyond China and Europe. Finnair and Juneyao Air already have a nearly two-year history of working together, with their codeshare on the Helsinki-Shanghai route launching in July 2019. The catalyst for the agreement was Juneyao Air’s decision to fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Shanghai and the Finnish capital.

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The agreement will benefit customers

The statement says that the new joint venture will provide customers with more attractive fares and routing options. By doing this, it will also benefit both airline’s frequent flyers.
Juneyao Air and Finnair say that the new agreement will provide the following benefits for their customers:

  • More consistent company policies
  • Equal baggage allowances
  • Integrated customer care
  • Frequent flyer points on both airlines

Finnair customers will now be able to take advantage of Juneyao Air’s hub at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), from where they can connect to 57 destinations in China. Likewise, Juneyao Air customers can enjoy access to 65 European destinations from Finnair’s hub at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL).

Finnair and Juneyao Air frequencies

Both Finnair and Juneyao Air operate two flights per week between the Finnish capital and the world’s most populous city and look forward to increasing frequencies. When the two airlines signed the codeshare agreement in 2019, both airlines operated a daily flight between Helsinki and Shanghai.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of flights was scaled back but could easily be increased as people receive their coronavirus vaccinations and start flying again.

When speaking about the new agreement in the company statement, Chief Executive Officer at Finnair Topi Manner said:

“Finnair is all about offering the best connections between Europe and Asia; This is a true win-win partnership, which will enable Finnair and Juneyao customers to enjoy vastly improved access to our joint network. It is also a testament to Finnair’s steadfast commitment to China as a strategic market. We look forward to working closely with our friends at Juneyao to build an even stronger bridge between China and Europe through our Shanghai and Helsinki hubs.”

Finnair wants to take advantage of Juneyao Airs’ Chinese network. Image: GCmaps

For its part, when speaking about the new agreement Juneyao Air Chief Executive Officer Zhao Hongliang said:

“We are honored to formalize this strategic partnership with Finnair to offer our customers a wider range of products and quality services, provide more flexible flight choices, and seamless travel experiences. The joint business with Finnair will allow Juneyao Air to further strengthen its market in Europe, which is an important strategy in our global expansion as it significantly increases Juneyao Air’s presence in an aviation market set to become the high-value carrier.”

Looking at the agreement in a little more depth, it is easy to see why Finnair and Juneyao Air want to work closer. Finnair has, for some time, had its eye on China and sees Asia as a springboard from which it can grow. Likewise, Juneyao Air is not as well known as other mainland Chinese carriers but has ambitious plans to expand in China and add more flights to Europe.

Finnair sees growth in China

As we mentioned earlier, Shanghai is the most populated city globally, with  27 million people living in its urban area. It is also home to the world’s largest container port and is the economic engine that powers Chinese growth.

Juneyao Air Boeing 787-9
The new agreement is a win-win for both airlines. Photo: Juneyao Air

Finnair is betting that other than leisure travel, business travel between Europe and China will be the first to recover, and when it does, they will be well placed to take advantage. As for Juneyao Air, they have a relatively young fleet of 74 Airbus A320 family jets and six Boeing 787-9s with a further four on order according to aviation statistics and data website ch-aviation.

Ideally, they would like Finnair passengers to connect in Shanghai with them to other destinations in China while also allowing its customers to take advantage of Finnair’s extensive European network. It is a win-win for both, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more airlines sign agreements with mainland Chinese carriers in the coming months.

What do you think about Finnair and Juneyao Air working closer together? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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