Finnair has been in Europe during the past few years, working with Finavia to redesign its Helsinki hub, being the launch European operator of the Airbus A350, and introducing an award-winning Business Class product. However, the airline is poised to embark on one of its biggest schedule expansions yet, increasing capacity by 14% next summer (over this year’s figures).
The airline will be adding Nanjing, China; Lisbon, Portugal; and Stuttgart, Germany to its network. Finnair will be the third European airline to fly to Nanjing, the other two being Lufthansa and KLM; the airline will fly thrice-weekly to Nanjing during the summer and twice-weekly during the winter. Finnair will use its Airbus A330-300 aircraft to fly to Nanjing — freed up due to the ongoing deliveries of Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
In addition to adding Nanjing, the airline will be increasing frequencies to different Asian and American destinations. Flights to Tokyo Narita will now operate twice-daily instead of 11x weekly, while flights to Chicago will now operate daily during the summer. Bangkok and Delhi are both getting year-round boosts, with flights to Bangkok to be operated 10x weekly during the summer and 16x weekly during the winter, while flights to Delhi will operate four-times weekly during the summer and six-times weekly during the winter. Finally, Finnair will extend its seasonal San Francisco flights to operate from May 3rd to September 27th, extending the season a full month.
On the European side, the airline will be resuming flights to Lisbon, Portugal next summer for the first time in seven years. Flights will operate four-times weekly using Airbus A320 aircraft and will compete with TAP Portugal’s six-times weekly service. Flights to Stuttgart, Germany will start next year as well, using Embraer E190 aircraft on a daily basis.
The airline’s expansion this year shows that it is further investing in its long-haul business model of using Helsinki as a connection point between Europe and Asia, branding itself as the fastest way to travel between the two continents. The airline has around 20 destinations in East Asia, and times incoming European flights to meet outbound Asian flights in Helsinki’s 3pm-6pm rush period, minimizing connection times while increasing the attractiveness of the airline’s flights.
The airline has worked with Finavia, the managing authority of Helsinki Airport, on a new expansion project in the non-Schengen Zone of the airport to accommodate the airline’s growth, as well as new amenities for passengers, all of which have begun to make Helsinki a new transfer hub in the Europe-Asia market.
In addition to these routes above, Finnair will be increasing frequencies on 20 routes due to seasonal and operational demand, including flights to sun destinations in Croatia, Greece, and Spain, as well as to destinations in Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Scotland.
Featured image by Airbus via Finnair.