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A Finnair A350-900XWB arriving in London. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Finnair Resumes Flying to Nanjing

Finnair is resuming another service to China on Sept. 11. The Oneworld Alliance carrier will resume flying to Nanjing, China, from its Helsinki hub, using an Airbus A350-900XWB. The carrier previously served Nanjing’s Lukou International Airport with an Airbus A330-300 before it suspended all flights to China in light of COVID-19 in the country earlier this year.

Meeting requirements set by Chinese authorities, Finnair has received approval to operate once-weekly flights to Nanjing from Sept. 11 through Oct. 18 to transport both passengers and cargo. In addition to meeting in-flight safety requirements set by Chinese authorities, Finnair will also require its passengers arriving in China to follow quarantine rules and other precautionary measures imposed by authorities in China to combat COVID-19.

Prior to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Finnair operated scheduled services to a total of six destinations in China, not including Hong Kong. Those services included some to Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai and Xi’an.

With its resumption of service to Nanjing, the Finnish carrier will have restarted flight operations to all but two of its previous Chinese destinations, Guangzhou and Xi’an. Since July, more than 10 European carriers have gradually resumed their China operations, increasing the number of services between Europe and China since the pandemic halted passenger flights.

“We are happy to be able to serve another destination in China, which continues to be a key market for us,” Ole Orver, Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer said in a press release. “In September, we are flying to [Shanghai and Nanjing] two times per week and look forward to further increasing our service to the Chinese market [as soon as possible].”

The resumed service makes its debut on Sept. 11 with flight AY105 departing Helsinki for Nanjing at 6:55 p.m. The flight arrives at 8:55 a.m. the next day. The return flight, AY106, doesn’t return to Helsinki until the following day — Sunday — at 9:35 a.m. and arrives back at 2:20 p.m. the same day.

As of late August, Finnair is operating flights to around 40 destinations across Europe and Asia, totaling 80-90 flights per day. The airline is continuing to review its network and has intentions to resume services as the situations permit.

Currently, long-haul flights to Asia are also supported by cargo demand. Although flights to Europe from China are resuming amidst the pandemic, China is still strictly limiting international flights. Airlines are restricted to only operating a few flights per week, depending on Chinese authorities’ individual decisions.

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