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Sino-European Routes Awaits Market Relaunch, Juneyao Airlines Confirms Finnair Joint Venture

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Juneyao Airlines B787 Livery

At present, European airlines have basically suspended operations between China and Europe. They have been intensively using passenger aircrafts to carry cargo goods out from China. While the Chinese airlines continue to operate part of the Sino-Europe routes in accordance with the latest “Five One” rules of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, they also continue to deliver cargo goods by passenger planes.


Juneyao Airlines Landing In Shanghai Illustration
Juneyao Airlines Landing In Shanghai Illustration

Finnair and Shanghai-based Juneyao Air have signed a Letter of Intent to deepen their cooperation between China and Europe subject to required regulatory approvals.  

The aim is to establish a joint venture on the Helsinki – Shanghai route enabling Finnair and Juneyao Air to offer their corporate and leisure customers a seamless travel experience through a wider choice of destination, schedule and fare options via their main hubs, Helsinki Airport (HEL) and Pudong International Airport (PVG). 


Joint Venture Preparation

Juneyao Airlines opened its first European destination between Shanghai and Helsinki in June 2019, thus officially extending the route network from domestic and neighbouring countries to transcontinental scope, and there are plans to open more new fifth freedom routes in Europe via Helsinki. Juneyao Air became the first Star Alliance Connecting Partner in May 2017 and has been in FFP cooperation with several Star Alliance members. In 2019, Juneyao Airlines started FFP cooperation with Finnair.

Juneyao Air Helsinki Route Promo Advert
Juneyao Air Helsinki Route Promo Advert

Finnair has entered the Chinese market for more than 30 years. It opened the first direct intercontinental route between Helsinki and Beijing as early as 1988. Currently, there are a total of 7 direct services in China including Beijing Capital,Beijing Daxing, Shanghai Pudong, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hong Kong direct to Helsinki.

Finnair Airbus A330
Finnair Airbus A330

Although the global aviation industry is currently suffering huge losses under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and has suspended most of the intercontinental flight services, it is well understood both within and beyond the industry that the current market demand is only suppressed rather than disappeared, it would be wise to use this adjustment period to prepare for the restart of the market.

“The aviation industry has encountered tough situations. Nevertheless, we consistently and optimistically trust in our emphasized China-Europe market and partnership with Finnair. We have been in comprehensive cooperation with Finnair and have obtained a mutually trustworthy and beneficial partnership with shared visions and values. Expanding the partnership enables us to accelerate further development and to serve passengers better with diversified choices and broadened network coverage.”, says Mr Yu Chengji, Executive Vice President of Juneyao Air. 

B787 Liveries Juneyao Airlines
B787 Liveries Juneyao Airlines

In fact, airline alliance is a closer way of cooperation between airlines. The two sides further bind the market and revenue links on the basis of code sharing, which can fully maximise the interests of both parties under the conditions of resource constraints.

“Despite these immensely challenging times for our industry, we at Finnair remain steadfast in our belief and commitment to China as a key market and to Juneyao Air as a key partner. Over the last year we have built up a close and mutually beneficial partnership with Juneyao Air. Taking the important step to evolve this into a deeper cooperation focused on our Shanghai and Helsinki hubs will allow us to not only serve our current customers even better, but also to lay a platform for further growth in the future, once the aviation market starts to normalise”, says Ole Orver, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. 


Air rights and foothold

Shanghai has always been Finnair’s most profitable destination in China. Since Finnair began to shift its strategic focus to Asia, in addition to opening new destinations in China, it has also been seeking more opportunities at the Shanghai hub, but it has been limited to do due to the issue of air rights.

Juneyao Airlines Economy Cabin
Juneyao Airlines Economy Cabin

For Juneyao Airlines, as a fledgling intercontinental airline operator, it also needs a partner to help it set up in Europe, and on this basis to further expand the airline network, so the two sides hit it off and signed a code sharing cooperation agreement in Shanghai last year. , On both flights between Shanghai and Helsinki, as well as the preferred routes from Helsinki to other destinations in Europe and Shanghai to other destinations in China, to carry out code sharing cooperation. Since August 2019, the two parties have also implemented a reciprocal agreement between Juneyao Airlines’ Ruyi Club and Finnair’s Finnair Plus Frequent Flyer Program, allowing customers to earn and redeem miles and points in all airline networks of both parties.

Juneyao Airlines Economy Seat
Juneyao Airlines Economy Seat

Now the cooperation is one step closer, obviously because of the gains from previous cooperation. According to data released by Juneyao Airlines, as of December 31, 2019, nearly 65,000 passengers took Juneyao Airlines flights to and from Central Europe.

Finland Airlines operates flights to Europe, Asia and North America, providing convenient services using Helsinki Airport as a transit point, with an annual passenger capacity of over 14.7 million. Finnair connects 19 destinations in Asia and 8 North American cities, and the number of destinations in Europe exceeds 100. Juneyao Airlines has the most valuable aviation hub in China, Shanghai, and can provide domestic connections to Finnair, which has no alliance partners in mainland China.

Currently Finnair has opened the second route from Beijing Daxing International Airport to Helsinki. At the same time, Juneyao Airlines also has three daily flights between Beijing Daxing and Shanghai, which expands the area of possible cooperation.


The June 2019 financial report released by Juneyao Airlines showed that the company achieved revenue of 16.749 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 16.59%. Among them, air passenger revenue was 16.277 billion yuan, accounting for 97.18% of operating income; air cargo revenue was 299 million yuan, accounting for 1.79% of operating income. The net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies was 994 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 19.34%. The total transportation turnover for the whole year was 3.29 billion tons kilometres, an increase of 17.42% year-on-year; the passenger transportation volume for the year was 22.0173 million, an increase of 16.66% year-on-year; the average passenger load factor was 85.23%; and the daily utilisation rate of the aircraft was 10.67 hours.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. YAAY

    April 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    It was a bad time for them to start the Helsinki route

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Route Network

SAS Resume Once Weekly Flight To Shanghai With A350

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SAS A350 Livery Rear View

From 29 September, Scandinavian Airlines will once again be possible to fly direct to China. Direct flights between Scandinavia and China with SAS has been stopped since 31 January. The airline has obtained approval from the Chinese authorities and is reopening the route from its hub from Copenhagen to Shanghai with a weekly frequency.


SAS will resume flights from Copenhagen Airport to Shanghai Pudong International Airport on September 29, 2020. The flight runs once a week from Copenhagen to Shanghai every Tuesday and from Shanghai to Copenhagen every Thursday. This route will use our brand new Airbus 350 to fly. The Airbus 350 has advanced engines and cabins, which can reduce emissions by 30% compared to the models it replaces. The specific flight schedule is as follows:

  • SK997 takes off from Copenhagen at 18:40 and arrives in Shanghai at 10:55+1 (the next day)
  • SK998 Departs from Shanghai at 13:10 and arrives at Copenhagen at 18:30

The reopening of this route is vital for trade. 

With the reopening of the route, SAS is aiming to meet demand for business travel and air freight services between Scandinavia and China.

At the end of October, SAS is also planning to resume flights to Beijing provided that SAS obtains the necessary approval from the authorities.


SAS is currently flying to 75 destinations and operates up to 380 flights a day. 

SAS is monitoring market developments on a weekly basis and is ready to step up its services when travel restrictions are eased and demand for travel increases again. 

SAS has introduced a range of measures aimed at meeting new demands in the work to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please find more information here.


SAS Business Class Cabin Bar
SAS Business Class Cabin Bar

Regarding Onboard Service:

SAS Gold airport lounge at Copenhagen Airport is now open and has been adjusted according to the current situation, providing some packaged food and some buffet meals. SAS have also stepped up cleaning efforts and focused on maintaining a safe distance and reducing contact.

During the flight, meals and beverages are being provided no matter which class you are in, passengers can enjoy two meals during the flight, however, the bar in business class was temporarily closed during this period. The catering services will be different from the past due to pandemic restrictions.



SAS, Scandinavia’s leading airline, flies 30 million passengers to, from and within Scandinavia each year. The airline has three main hubs – Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm – with more than 125 destinations in Europe, USA and Asia. Spurred by a Scandinavian heritage and sustainable values, SAS will reduce total carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025 and use sustainable aviation fuel equivalent to the total fuel used to operate all SAS domestic flights, by 2030.

In addition to flight operations, SAS offers ground handling services, technical maintenance and air cargo services. SAS is a founder member of the Star AllianceTM, and together with its partner airlines offers around 19,000 daily flights to over 1,300 destinations worldwide.

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