Sichuan Airlines Restarts Helsinki-Chengdu Flights

Starting from July 29th, 2022, Chinese carrier Sichuan Airlines resumed its operations between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) and Helsinki International Airport (HEL). The route is operated by Airbus A330 aircraft once a week on Fridays.

Before August 14th, the arrival time at Helsinki International Airport will be 4 am local time, and the flight to Chengdu will leave at 6 am

The schedule will change on August 19th, 2022, after which the flight will arrive at Helsinki International Airport at 9:50 pm local time and leave for Chengdu at 11:20 pm

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The current flight schedule is as follows:

Flight numbers From To Departure Time Arrival time Aircraft Type Travel time
3U3935 CTU HEL 11:55 pm, Thursday 4:00 am (+1) Airbus A330 9:05
3U3936 HEL CTU 6:00 am, Friday 7:15 pm Airbus A330 8:15

A resumption after over two years of hiatus

This operation was initially launched during the summer of 2019 and stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020. The reopening of the route is an essential step towards the recovery of Chinese scheduled flights.

Sichuan Airlines’ A330 received a water salute when it arrived at Helsinki Airport for the first time on September 16th, 2019. Photo: Sichuan Airlines

Petri Vuori, Senior Vice President of Finavia (Finnish airport management company) responsible for route development, said:

“We are very happy that Sichuan Airlines is returning to Helsinki Airport. The reopening of the route is an important step towards the recovery of Chinese air travel from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The route previously ran from Chengdu to Copenhagen via Helsinki Airport. Now the route runs directly between Helsinki Airport and Chengdu.

The route before the pandemic ran from Chengdu to Copenhagen via Helsinki Airport. Now the route runs directly between Helsinki Airport and Chengdu. Photo: Sichuan Airlines

After the operation resumption of Sichuan Airlines, there are three direct flights from Helsinki to a Chinese destination, which are:

Sichuan airlines’ intensive international routes resumption

According to Sichuan Airlines’ announcements, it recently resumed intensively or planned to resume its international operations due to the boost of the traveling demand and the ease of the Chinese quarantine policy toward international travelers.

From To Date of Resumption Frequency of operation Operation Day
Chengdu (CTU) Hong Kong July 12th Three return flights weekly Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday
Chengdu (CTU) Dubai, United Arab Emirates July 25th One return flight weekly Sunday
Chengdu (CTU) St. Petersburg, Russia July 27th One return flight weekly Wednesday
Chengdu (CTU) Helsinki, Finland July 28th One return flight weekly Thursday
Chengdu (CTU) Tokyo, Japan August 20th (Planned) TBDMore TBDMore

The all-Airbus fleet Sichuan Airlines

Sichuan Airlines currently has an all-Airbus fleet of 176 Airbus aircraft, which includes almost all Airbus products like the A320 family, A320 NEO family, A330 family, A350, and A330 freighter.

With this all-Airbus fleet, Sichuan Airlines ranked No.6 among Chinese domestic airlines in terms of the number of aircraft, after China Southern, Air China, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines (an all-Boeing carrier).

Two weeks ago, on July 15th, Airbus published a congratulatory video to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the launching of Sichuan Airlines.

Have you ever flown with Sichuan Airlines? What do you think of the international travel trend in China for the next few months? Let us know your experiences and thoughts in the comments.

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