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Juneyao Airlines to operate direct flights between Shanghai and Athens


The city's first direct flight from Shanghai to Athens, Greece, will be opened and operated by local Juneyao Airlines from April of next year.

Juneyao Airlines recently announced it would launch a direct flight from Shanghai to Athens, using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from April 2, 2024, increasing the number of its long-distance routes to four.

This is the first direct flight between the two cities and Juneyao Airlines' third intercontinental route destination after Helsinki in Finland and Italy's Milan. The airline will provide another air route for economic, trade, and cultural tourism exchanges between China and Europe, especially southern Europe.

The Shanghai-Athens route would operate three return flights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The outbound flight HO1657 is scheduled to take off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 1:55 am and arrive at Athens Venizeros International Airport at 8:55 am, while the return flight HO1658 is scheduled to take off at 1:45pm and return to Pudong at 5:05am.

Yu Chengji, president of Juneyao Airlines, said the Athens route was announced as early as November 2019 but was suspended due to the COVID pandemic.

"We always remember our original agreement on the Aegean Sea trip," he told Shanghai-based digital media outlet Shanghai Observer. "Now we can finally announce the resumption of the Shanghai to Athens route."

Ioanna Papadopoulou, marketing communications director of Hellenic International Airport, said the Chinese market has great strategic significance to them and Shanghai has become the preferred departure site for transfer passengers visiting Athens.

"Therefore, Juneyao Airlines' opening of flights from Athens to Shanghai will bring significant development opportunities to Athens Airport, Athens and Greece," she added.

Athens has a history of more than 5,000 years and is known as the cradle of Western civilization.

Departing from Athens, passengers can take domestic flights on Greek airlines and fly to more than 30 cities, the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Islands in about an hour.

In addition to the new Athens route, Juneyao Airlines has already launched its Shanghai-Helsinki, Zhengzhou-Helsinki routes since June 2019, and a new Zhengzhou-Milan intercontinental route on October 30 this year.