The distance between Shanghai and Keflavík will become much shorter by the end of March 2020. Juneyao Airlines, a Chinese company, will start flying directly between Shanghai and Keflavík next spring. Juneyao is not a low-cost company and the flights will be priced accordingly to their 4-star service.
The plan for the new route was advanced back in October and is now confirmed by Juneyao airlines’ director in the Nordic Countries, Xu Xiang.
“Today there are about 100,000 Chinese passengers coming to Iceland,” Xu told Visír. “We want to be the first to offer direct flights between the countries. After that, we expect a 10% annual increase [in passenger numbers]”. The director expects their flights to bring around 20,000 passengers from China and hopes the new route will bring more Icelanders to the China.
The flights will include a short stopover in Helsinki, running twice a week. The two-way economy ticket will be priced at 68,000 ISK—around 500 euros. While the business tickets will go up to 204,000 ISK, or 1,500 euros. The same company operates 9 other airlines that offer low-cost services but Juneyao is a full-service airline.
The airline is looking forward to possible new projects and cooperations in Iceland. They see Kelfavík as a possible connecting station to the United States and Icelandair as a possible business partner.
“We will share flight numbers with Finnair to Shanghai,” said Xu Xiang. “We’ve been in contact with Icelandair about a possible similar cooperation. But that may not be the case.” At the same time, they do not ignore the possibility of working with other Icelandic companies. “If Icelandic [tourism] companies are interested in collaborating, they should contact us.”
For the welcoming of the new Chinese visitors, the director of Juneyao Airlines suggested more information in their language. “For example, it is possible to offer more information in Chinese, such as [information in] Chinese at Keflavík airport and possibly in more places,”. The company will open an office in Iceland at the beginning of the year.
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