New year-round Finnair Nanjing route opens 13th May 2018


On the 13th of May 2018 Finnair will begin a new year-round non-stop route to Nanjing, in China’s Jiangsu province with three weekly frequencies. Nanjing is one of seven destinations in Greater China that Finnair will fly to this summer.

At various times, Nanjing was capital to ten dynasties. While it may no longer be the capital of China, having last relinquished the role in 1949, it remains one of the most important cities in the country.

Strategically located in the Yangtze River Delta region, and around 300 kilometers from Shanghai, the provincial capital of Jiangsu offers an alternative gateway to one of the most prosperous regions in China.

“Nanjing is a natural addition to Finnair's expansion plans in China, which is the biggest market in our network. Via our home hub in Helsinki, we are able to provide short connections to our China customers,” says Tomi Asikainen, Area Director Asia, Finnair Cargo.  

Until recently Nanjing was mainly contained by the still largely intact Ming Dynasty city wall. Today the urban area is home to 8.3 million people and the population of the metropolitan area exceeds 30 million. According to Chinese state statistics, China’s second-largest provincial economy had a GDP slightly higher than Mexico. The 2016 figure is estimated at 1.15 trillion US dollars (1 trillion euros). 

Brain power

The province is also home to the hi-tech city of Suzhou and the heavy industry manufacturing base of Xuzhou. 

Traditionally the four pillar industries of Nanjing’s economy were electronics, petrochemicals, automotive manufacturing and steel. But partly thanks to a highly educated workforce, the economy has recently shifted toward hi-tech industries. The ratio of college students to population is the highest in China and Nanjing ranks as one of the country’s top three scientific research centers.

“Nanjing and the surrounding catchment area is a big R&D location, but also many multinational industries are located there,” notes Asikainen, who intends to target such industries for potential Finnair Cargo customers. 

Information technology, new energy and the smart grid, biotechnology, and environmental protection are all now new pillar industries. Along with many Chinese companies headquartered in the city, many multinationals, particularly European ones, have either manufacturing or R&D facilities here. 

Smooth service hub

Starting May 13, Finnair launches its Helsinki-Nanjing route with three weekly flights; one of many new Finnair routes opening in 2018. Asikainen sees this as an opportunity to improve service to China’s ever-growing cargo market. Nanjing Lukou International Airport is also less busy than the Shanghai or Beijing airports, making this hub a smoother experience for both Finnair passengers and cargo. 

Transportation in Nanjing is well established. Upon its opening in 2011, Nanjing South Station, the dedicated high-speed railway hub, was the largest station in Asia based on gross floor area. The network serves the main Beijing to Shanghai arterial route along with other major routes into the country’s interior. Nanjing is also a key point on China’s freeway network. The city itself has one of the most extensive metro systems in China with nine lines currently operating and more in the construction and planning stages.  

New meets old in the city

Traditional-style areas such as Fuzi Miao and Laomendong offer places to try local food. There is also a thriving nightlife in the 1912 district and along Shanghai Road. Xinjiekou, the heart of the city, plays host to international brand shopping and there is no shortage of well-known hotel chains.  

Photo iStock

Published February 14, 2018

Category: Local features, Finnair Cargo, Economy