It’s a grey and rainy dawn at Pudong International Airport on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015. I have beat my morning fatigue with plenty of black coffee, but my excitement for the upcoming festivities also helps – our first-ever scheduled Finnair flight on the Airbus A350 XWB from Helsinki, Finland, to Shanghai, China, is just about to arrive.
The A350 is the latest generation aircraft on the market. Everyone from Team Finnair China is proud that it is, indeed, our A350 that first enters the important China market. The A350 will not just bring more cargo capacity for us with a higher payload and volume, but it also offers more seats for our passengers who will now enjoy a new travel experience in an environmentally friendly aircraft.
The maiden flight to Shanghai is honored with our top senior management from Helsinki, including Mr. Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair. Preparations at Pudong Airport are complete. The airport check-in area is decorated accordingly, as well as the boarding gate on the airside. A large Finnair A350-themed backdrop is in place in the central check-in area of Terminal 2 where speeches, ribbon cutting, and traditional festivities such as a lion dance will fill the space. Decorations are creating a lot of interest among travelers at the airport. I dare say it’s the busiest spot for selfies on this early Sunday morning.
Flight AY057 from Helsinki to Shanghai emerges from the midst of a grey, rainy sky on its final approach to Pudong. And just a few minutes later – Touchdown! – as the first scheduled A350 flight to China lands.
Shanghai is officially open for the Finnair A350 service – let the festivities begin!
Sales Director, Northeast Asia