An Airbus A340 from Scandinavian Airlines arrived in Shanghai at 7:35 a.m. Monday, opening a directflight linking this eastern metropolis with Copenhagen of Denmark.
Danish and Chinese celebrities such as Princess Alexandra, Danish Transportation Minister Flemming Hansen, Scandinavian Airlines President Jorgen Lindegaard and Zhen Jianguo, Chinese ambassador to Denmark, were on board the plane to honor the virgin flight of the route.
Officials from the Shanghai Municipal Government and Ole Lonsmann Poulsen, Danish ambassador to China, also attended Monday's virgin flight ceremony.
The plane leaves at 10:30 a.m. Beijing time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Shanghai Pudong International Airport and arrives in Copenhagen Airport the next day at 3:40 p.m. local time. The return trip starts at 3:15 p.m. local time from Copenhagen Airport on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and arrived in Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 7:35 a.m. the next day.
On the occasion of the flight's launch, Scandinavian Airlines is offering a special one-month discount reducing the round-trip airfare to 5,998 yuan (US$725). A thirty-percent discount will be put forth in May, said the airline.
The European air company also vows to localize its service by providing a Chinese menu and programs on the plane and posting Chinese instructions in Copenhagen Airport.
Scandinavian Airlines President Jorgen Lindegaard said the newly launched air route is part of his company's Asian strategy and the company will further tap the Chinese market, cooperate with Chinese air companies and brew another direct flight linking China with northern European countries.
Scandinavian Airlines, founded in 1946 by Denmark, Sweden and Norway, is now the fourth largest airline in Europe.
(Shanghai Daily March 30, 2004)