Athens International Airport - Successful inaugural flight of the new intercontinental non-stop service between Shanghai and Athens on Juneyao Air
02 APRIL 2024
Successful inaugural flight of the new intercontinental non-stop service between Shanghai and Athens on Juneyao Air

Nearly 300 passengers arrived in Athens on the inaugural flight and were welcomed with a water salute

2 April 2024, Athens, Greece - The inaugural flight from Shanghai to Athens arrived at Athens International Airport on April 2, marking the successful inauguration of the first new intercontinental route to Shanghai in 2024, which is the fourth intercontinental route operated by Juneyao Air, demonstrating another best practice of the company’s continuous promotion of HVC high-value air carrier construction, full implementation of its internationalization development strategy, and active practice of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

“Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to the governmental departments of China and Greece, our partners, and customers for their support!” Wang Junjin, Chairman of Juneyao Air, said, “With the strong cooperation and support of all parties, the Shanghai-Athens route of Juneyao Air, which has taken four years to prepare, has been successfully launched; this is thanks to the combined efforts of the leaders of the two countries, China and Greece have continued to push forward the strong development of bilateral relations, the enhancement of the results of economic cooperation, and the advocacy of mutual learning and understanding, and the construction of the ‘Belt and Road’, which provides a solid foundation of confidence for us to operate the Shanghai-Athens route in the long term.”

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated flight HO1657 from Shanghai Pudong to Athens with the "Colorful Petals" special livery, a favorite among passengers. The flight took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) at 01:55 am on April 2, carrying about 300 passengers, and arrived at Athens International Airport (ATH) at 08:30 am local time after a 12-hour flight and was greeted by the Greek side with the highest courtesy of aviation, the “water salute”.

On behalf of Athens International Airport, Ioanna Papadopoulou, Director of Communications & Marketing, said: “We are excited to welcome our partners and friends of Juneyao Air to Athens for the first time! In such a strategically important market as China, Shanghai has until now recorded the highest rates of indirect passenger traffic to Athens, so the launch of the direct connection for the first time is one of the most important developments for the airport, our city, and country. On behalf of the Athens International Airport, I would like to express our sincere thanks to Juneyao Air for their ‘vote of trust’ in the Athens market and confirm our firm commitment to continue working closely with the airline, aiming at significantly contributing to the success of the route. We wholeheartedly wish our airline partner full and safe flights and continuous.”

Starting April 2, 2024, the Shanghai-Athens route of Juneyao Air will provide passengers with non-stop service using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with three flights per week every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the beginning of the operation; this route is also the first direct flight connecting Shanghai and Athens. The flight HO1657 is scheduled to take off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 01:55 am and arrive at Athens International Airport at 08:55 am local time; the return flight HO1658 will take off at 13:45 pm local time and return to Shanghai Pudong at 05:05 am the next day.

Since receiving the airline's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in October 2018 and launching the first intercontinental route Shanghai-Helsinki in June 2019, Juneyao Air has always practiced the "Belt and Road" initiative, adhered to the three principal directions of the internationalization development strategy of the route network, operational capacity, and service enhancement, and taken the responsibility of serving as the communication link between China and the world.

Currently, including the Shanghai-Athens route, Juneyao Air operates a total of four intercontinental routes, connecting Shanghai, China's most dynamic economic development center, and Henan, the central region with the most significant potential for development, with Helsinki, the gateway to Europe, Milan, the world's fashion capital, and Athens, the pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. As of March 2024, Juneyao Air has operated more than 1,200 intercontinental flights and carried more than 220,000 passengers.

In addition, the “Juneyao Journey” strategy formally proposed by Juneyao Group, the parent group of Juneyao Air, is also expected to take the opportunity to enter the European market with the newly opened Shanghai-Athens intercontinental route.

The strategy is centered on developing “air-land integration”, helping the integrated development of civil aviation, tourism, and cultural industries, extending the service chain to the upstream and downstream, and creating China's first enterprise that owns an airline and an automobile manufacturing company. The “Juneyao Journey” series of service products, including the electric vehicle “Juneyao Auto”, will bring "door-to-door" comfortable travel and service to users in many European countries, including Greece, in the future and provide more practical examples for the construction of the "Belt and Road" between China and Europe at a high level.

About Juneyao Air

Founded in 2006, Juneyao Air is one of the leading private-owned carriers in China and the first Connecting Partner of Star Alliance. Currently, the airline reaches nearly 200 destinations in Asia and Europe, with a modern fleet of 95 aircraft, comprising narrow-bodied Airbus A320s and wide-bodied Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Juneyao Air made history by being the first Chinese private-owned carrier to operate intercontinental flights in June 2019, linking Shanghai and Helsinki daily. The airline is currently operating seven aircraft of this type from its largest hub in Shanghai, and two further aircraft are expected to be delivered before the end of 2024.

Juneyao Air’s flagship - the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, features two cabins of service offering comfortable ergonomic seating, an enhanced personal entertainment system with touchscreens, and high-speed wireless internet access. 29 seats in Business Class have direct access to the aisle and can be fully reclined into a bed position, giving passengers a superior sleep experience, which significantly enhances the level of travel comfort. 295 seats in the Economy Class are designed to provide comfortable personal space and a state-of-the-art individual on-demand entertainment system.



Photo gallery ›