Flights between China and Iceland this Spring?

Vala Hafstað

The Chinese airline Juneyao plans to offer service between Shanghai, China, and Iceland in the spring, with a stopover in Helsinki, Finland, mbl.is reports.

According to Fréttablaðið, the airline expects to offer this flight up to three times a week.

Juneyao Air, operating since 2006, owns 72 passenger aircraft, including Airbus A320 series jets and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline offers domestic and international service from Shanghai and Nanjing, China, a total of 160 different routes. Last year, the airline carried more than 18 million passengers.

At the end of June this year, Juneyao Air began offering daily direct service between Helsinki and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Fréttablaðið reports. It cooperates with Finnair regarding its route schedule. Passengers arriving by Juneyao in Iceland would be regarded as non-Schengen, thus, subjected to traditional customs control.

Air transport agreements between countries require airlines to obtain nomination from their country’s authorities. It is not clear whether Juneyao has obtained such a nomination.

Other Chinese airlines have expressed interest in flying to Iceland. Tianjin Airlines applied for three service slots a week at Keflavík International Airport for this winter. That application assumed service from Wuhan to Iceland through Helsinki. The plans have been postponed until next year. Besides, the airline has considered the possibility of flying from Wuhan to Iceland through Brussels, Belgium.

Finally, China’s largest airline, the state-run Air China, and a much smaller airline, Capital Airlines, owned by Hainan Airlines, have been looking into offering service to Iceland. Air China offers service to 232 destinations and carried more than 100 million passengers in 2017.

According to Fréttablaðið, Air China is considering the possibility of flying from Beijing to Iceland through Copenhagen, Denmark.

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