It will only be the little-known carrier’s third international route, opening up a new part of Asia to travel to and from Europe.
China’s Finnish craze continues as Tibet Airlines announces direct flights from Jinan to Helsinki starting as early as April 8.
Helsinki Airport’s location as a hub between Europe and Asia is already popular with the increasing flows of Chinese tourists, and the new route will also give Scandinavians better access to a lesser-known part of Asia.
The news means that this summer 44 flights a week to China will be departing from Helsinki Airport, to Jinan, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hong Kong, many of these with Finnair. In 2018, 835,000 passengers flew between Finland and China.
“The new Tibet Airlines route between Jinan and Finland reinforces Helsinki Airport’s position as a significant hub for travel to Asia,” underlines Joni Sundelin, director of Finavia and responsible for flight route planning at HEL.
“It directly connects Shandong Province and Finland, and we warmly welcome Tibet Airlines here at Helsinki Airport.”
Flights will be operated with Airbus A330 wide-bodied aircraft twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, with seats available in both business and economy.
Not in Tibet
With around seven million residents, Jinan is the capital of Shandong Province, located on the Yellow River and not in Tibet.
Tibet Airlines will be the first Chinese carrier to start flights to Finland. Later, Helsinki will get another route from a Chinese company when Juneyao Airlines opens flights from Shanghai on a daily basis.
In addition, China Southern has been authorised by the Chinese authorities to start daily flights from Guangzhou to Helsinki from July 1, but this route has not yet been confirmed.
Based in Lhasa, Tibet Airlines is one of the country’s smaller carriers and primarily operates a number of domestic routes in China. It currently has only two foreign routes, to Kathmandu and Koh Samui.
To get the new Jinan route off the ground, the Finnish airport operator Finavia collaborated with Visit Finland and the City of Vantaa’s trade and business services.