Chinese Airlines Vying For Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Chinese Airlines Vying For Iceland

Published October 25, 2019

Sam O'Donnell
Main photo by
Wikimedia Commons

Chinese airline Juneyao Air has plans to begin flights to Iceland in the spring, Fréttablaðið reports. The company is scheduled to fly from the city of Shanghai to Iceland with a visit to Helsinki up to three times a week.

The airline was founded in 2006 and currently has 72 passenger aircraft consisting of Airbus A320 engines and Boeing 787 Dreamliner engines. The airline flies 160 routes connecting the largest cities in China and their neighbouring countries to the rest of the world. In 2018, they had over 18 million passengers.

They began flying directly to Helsinki from Shanghai Pudong at the end of June this year, remaining in cooperation with Finnair’s route systems. If all goes according to plan, and Juneyao begins flights to Keflavík, Juneyao Air flights would be considered outside Schengen upon arrival in Keflavík.

Air travel agreements between states stipulate that airlines be nominated by the relevant authorities. It is not clear whether Juneyao Air has such nominations from the Chinese government.

More Chinese airlines interested in Iceland

Tinajin Airlines had applied for three weekly slots at Keflavík Airport for the coming winter, from Wuhan to Helsinki to Iceland. However, those plans have been delayed until next year. The company has also examined the possibility of flights from Wuhan to Iceland through Brussels, Belgium.

Two other Chinese airlines have also been exploring flights to Iceland. China’s largest airline, Air China, carried over 100 million passengers in 2017 and flies to over 200 destinations worldwide. They are one of the airlines exploring the possibility of flying to Iceland. The other is Beijing Capital Airlines, a much smaller airline.

Whatever happens in the future, it looks like our little island is going to get a lot more visitors from China. On the flip-side, flights to China will hopefully be less expensive. The tourism industry is saved!

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