The first direct connection between Xian in China and Europe by Finnair next summer is the airline’s latest step towards its goal of doubling Asian revenue by 2020.
Flights will operate from Helsinki with connections from Heathrow and Manchester from June 14 until October 26, 2013.
The airline will run three flights a week on the route using Airbus A330-300 aircraft on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Xian is a metropolis of about eight million people and a growing centre for the development of China’s aerospace and software industries. The world-famous Terracotta Army is located about 40 km to the east of the city centre.
Finnair earlier announced a new summer connection to Hanoi from June 15, also with three frequencies a week.
Finnair also flies to Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Hong Kong together with eight further destinations in Asia – Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.
Chief executive Mika Vehviläinen said: “I’m very excited and pleased to announce Xian as our fifth destination in China.
“The fast-growing Chinese economy continues to fuel rapid growth in demand for air travel to and from Europe, and to open up new opportunities for Finnair.
“We have a history of pioneering better connections between Europe and China going back to 1988, when we began flying to Beijing. We look forward to building on that history and offering the quickest and smoothest itineraries between dozens of European destinations and Xian.”