The new route is a logical step in the implementation of Finnair’s Asian strategy. The airline’s goal is to benefit from the market growth in Asia and open new routes to markets where growth is strongest. Finnair is the first airline to open a direct flight route from Europe to Chongqing.
Situated on the edge of the Tibetan plateau, Greater Chongqing has a population of 32 million. In addition, Chongqing’s urban population is expected to double over the next five years.
“China is a key part of our Europe-Asia strategy. Western China is an important growth area, and the new route will strengthen our market share in the growing Asian markets. In addition to Chongqing, Finnair flies to Beijing, Shanghai and to Hong Kong with a total of 26 weekly flights,” Mika Vehviläinen, President and CEO of Finnair told TravelPlus In addition to Chinese companies many Western companies, especially in the electronics, automotive and chemical industries, are currently expanding their operations in the city, so business travel is booming.
Chongqing Airport’s growth potential is huge. The airport has already opened 140 routes to more than 80 cities in China and Asia, and the airport is undergoing expansion. When the expansion is complete in 2015, the airport will be capable of receiving 45 million passengers a year.
Although in the early stages of marketing the focus will be in particular on business travellers, Chongqing also offers much to see for tourists interested in China’s history and nature. Visitors can enjoy the historical buildings, temples and natural beauty, as well as the Dazu Rock Carvings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and hot springs. Chongqing also provides convenient access to river cruises on the Jialing and Yangtze rivers, and the city is well connected to Lhasa, Xian and Kunming.
Flights to Chongqing begin on 9th May 2012 and operate 4 times a week with Finnair’s Airbus A340 aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. The flight time from Helsinki to Chongqing will be eight and a half hours.