The new direct route to Shanghai from Stockholm Arlanda will fuel expanding trade between Sweden and China.
China Eastern is launching the first direct route between Stockholm and Shanghai on June 16, fulfilling what airport operator Swedavia says is increasing demand for flights to China, both among business and leisure travellers.
The route will also make it easier to continue on to other destinations in Asia from China Eastern’s Shanghai Pudong hub.
China’s second largest carrier will fly the route four times a week with a new A330-200 seating 262 passengers. It has one of the world’s youngest fleets, with an average age of 5.3 years.
Air traffic between China and Sweden has almost doubled over the last 10 years, Business Traveller reports, and now around 200,000 travellers fly between the two countries each year.
Several airlines are targeting new routes between China and Scandinavia, with Beijing Capital Airlines set to connect Beijing to both Copenhagen in March and Helsinki in May. From Copenhagen, both Air China and Cathay Pacific plan route launches in May, to Beijing and Hong Kong, respectively. Meanwhile, Finnair keeps expanding its own Asia flights, with Nanjing in China’s Jiangsu province to be added in May.
In 2017, Swedish exports to China grew 27% compared to 2016, to SEK 58.51 billion (€5.76 billion) while imports grew 7% to SEK 59.63. Additional access and transport options between the two counties are bound to fuel these figures.
About one third of Swedish operations in China are in the Shanghai region. High-speed rail provides further access to much of the surrounding region and from the airport.
Since 2013, 20 new long-haul routes have been established at Stockholm Arlanda.
Sweden’s minister for enterprise and innovation, Mikael Damberg, commented that “it is very gratifying that there will now be a direct route between Stockholm and Shanghai. China is an important and growing trading partner, while Chinese tourists are a driver in the strong growth in the Swedish tourism industry. So China Eastern’s launch of service is important for both economic growth and job creation.”