Finnair (AY, Helsinki Vantaa) and Juneyao Air (HO, Shanghai Hongqiao) have entered into a joint business agreement covering services between Helsinki Vantaa and Shanghai Pudong, as well as to points beyond the two respective hubs, with effect on July 1, 2021.

The airlines said the partnership would permit more flexibility for their customers, an improved network, and expanded frequent flyer benefits.

The two airlines have had a code-share agreement and a reciprocal frequent flyer recognition deal since 2019 when Juneyao Air began flying to Helsinki as its first European destination. Following the execution of the JBA agreement, the partnership will extend to cover 57 domestic destinations in China served by Juneyao Air from Shanghai and 65 European destinations served by Finnair via Helsinki.

"Finnair is all about offering the best connections between Europe and Asia. This is a true win-win partnership, which will enable Finnair and Juneyao customers to enjoy vastly improved access to our joint network. It is also testament to Finnair’s steadfast commitment to China as a strategic market," Finnair's CEO Topi Manner said.

The JBA follows a letter of intent signed in April 2020.

Currently, each of the airlines operates the Helsinki-Shanghai route weekly. Finnair deploys an A350-900 on the passenger service, while Juneyao Air operates it with a B787-9. The Finnish carrier also operates 2x weekly scheduled cargo-only flights to Shanghai with A330-300 widebodies. The airlines will seek to increase the frequencies as travel restrictions are eased. Prior to the pandemic, both operated daily.