HELSINKI (AP) — Finnish carrier Finnair, which has focused heavily on routes to Asia, says it will deepen its cooperation with China’s Juneyao Air and aims to set up a joint venture with the airline to operate the Helsinki-Shanghai route.
Finnair said in a statement Tuesday that the joint venture would enable the two carriers to offer an increased number of destinations, schedules and fare options via their main hubs, Helsinki Airport and Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.
Like many other airlines, Finnair has been hit very hard by the COVID-19 crisis. The company has, among other things, reduced its capacity by 90%, including scaling down its Asian flights and temporarily laying off most of its staff in the past few weeks.
“Despite these immensely challenging times for our industry, we at Finnair remain steadfast in our belief and commitment to China as a key market,” said Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orver.
The privately-held Juneyao Air, which launched its Shanghai-Helsinki route last year, was established in 2006. It has a fleet of 74 planes and carried over 20 million passengers in 2019.
Finnair gave no schedule for the joint venture, saying only that its creation depends on obtaining regulatory approvals.