Finnish business travellers now have even more options to reach the metropolitan areas in Asia from Helsinki. Finnair launched a service to the brand-new Beijing Daxing Airport in early November, and Haneda in Tokyo will follow in March. Enjoy the range of options available – but make sure to land at the correct airport.
Sari Fairchild (pictured), Finnair's Head of Sales and Global Strategic Accounts, explains that the new airports are a part of the company's growth strategy in Asia. – Our focus is on the large cities in Asia, so whenever a new airport is opened on our key market in China, we want to be involved.
The two airports in Beijing are far from mutually exclusive. The familiar Beijing Capital Airport, which Finnair continues to serve daily, is closer to the city centre. The massive Daxing Airport which opened in late September 2019 is situated 46 kilometres south of the city, covering destinations south of Beijing. On the other hand, the high-speed train and metro combination will easily get you to the centre of Beijing.
Daxing Airport is becoming an important hub for flights inside China, as China Southern and China Eastern Airlines, among others, have made Daxing their centre for domestic flights. As a result, many Finnish travellers will also use the airport to transfer to flights inside China. When booking a transfer flight in China, remember to check the airport of departure.
– Flights to Daxing have great transfer connections in China and Finland alike, Sari emphasises. – The flight from Helsinki to Daxing departs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 17:10, after the working day, and arrives at 7:10 in the morning, making it easy for the traveller to catch a morning flight to their destination. Similarly, the return flight leaves on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:10 and lands in Helsinki at 14:05, allowing you to be home the same evening, regardless of where you live in Finland.
Daxing Airport is said to be efficient and easy to use. In terms of surface area, it is the world's largest single-terminal airport, with gate areas extending like the arms of a starfish from a round centre section. Despite the large size, no jogging should be required – the maximum distance between the security check and the gate is eight minutes or approx. 600 metres.
The state-of-the-art technology being introduced at the airport will improve the flow of travellers. Security gates, boarding and even shopping work by facial recognition, saving you the trouble of digging out your passport and boarding pass time and time again. The luggage conveyor belts operate at high speed and you can track your bag using a mobile application.
Aircraft should also benefit from the good traffic flow. When the airport, designed for 100 million annual travellers, reaches full capacity, it will feature seven runways. This would allow for 620,000 flights per year, easing the congestion at Beijing's main airport.
Finnair uses A330s for its service to Daxing. – The full selection of international flights is available for travellers on board, Sari Fairchild explains. You can add a little extra to your trip and relax on the fully reclining Business class seats. Or you can work hard and make use of the on-board Wi-Fi connection. At Daxing Airport, Business class travellers and Finnair Plus card holders can make use of Priority services and the lounge.
In addition to Beijing Capital and Daxing, Finnair's destinations in China include Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Hong Kong.