Chinese Airline Juneyao Air will embark upon its maiden voyage to Iceland in March of next year, Fréttablaðið reports. In light of growing interest among Chinese travellers, air travel to Iceland could present many opportunities, a spokesperson for the airline has stated.
Juneyao Airlines (“auspicious airlines”) was founded in 2006 and operates a fleet of 72 planes. The airline took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in October 2018. It had previously been an all-Airbus operator.
In an interview with Fréttablaðið this morning, Xu Xiang – Country Manager of Juneyao’s Finnish branch – stated that the airline intends to embark upon its maiden voyage from Shanghai, China to Keflavík Airport, Iceland, with a stopover in Helsinki, on March 31, 2020.
Thereafter, the airline plans on flying to Iceland twice a week. It expects to carry ca. 20,000 passengers to Iceland next year. Roundtrip tickets in economy class will cost from ISK 68,000 ($550.00/€430.00) and from ISK 204,000 ($1,660.00/€1,290.00) in business class.
According to Xiang, Juneyao has sensed a great deal of interest in Iceland among Chinese travellers and feels that there are many opportunities in Iceland: “Today, there are approximately 100,000 Chinese tourists arriving in Iceland annually. We estimate that approximately 20,000 passengers will fly with us to Iceland next year. We expect a yearly increase of 10% after that. We want to be the first airline to offer direct flights between the two countries,” Xu said.
Juneyao is not a budget airline: “We are a four-star airline that offers full service. There are about 160 routes in our flight network, which links China’s biggest cities to neighbouring countries. Last year, we transported over 18 million passengers,” Xu said.
Xeng Dewei, who will manage Juneyao in Iceland, hopes that Icelanders will fly to China, as well: “It’s important to us. Flights from Iceland to China are long and we will offer full service.”