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Finnair Outlines Expansion of Operations and Connectivity for 2017
Over the past two weeks, Finnair released several pieces of information outlining their operations for 2017, particularly in the Winter season.The carrier’s first announcement was made on Jan. 12 when they decided to extend their route to Reykjavik as a year-round operation due to increased demand which is to start on April 11, 2017. Finnair will be adding five weekly frequencies onto the route between May 31,
The carrier’s first announcement was made on Jan. 12 when they decided to extend their route to Reykjavik as a year-round operation due to increased demand which is to start on April 11, 2017. Finnair will be adding five weekly frequencies onto the route between May 31, 2017 and Aug. 11, 2017. During the winter season, they will operate three times per week as the services are joined alongside codesharing agreements with Icelandair. On top of that, the airline announced a third daily frequency to Vilnius, one extra daily frequency to Warsaw in the Summer season, as well as extra flights to Dublin and Alanya-Gazipasa until the middle of December 2017.
A few days after that route expansion announcement, Finnair also announced an expansion of connectivity within the UK market through extra codesharing agreements with Exeter-based Flybe. Both airlines currently partner on routes between Manchester and eight regional airports in Britain: Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter, Isle of Man, Jersey, Newquay, and Southampton. This additional agreement with Flybe will see Finnair’s codes on flights between Paris, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cardiff, Doncaster-Sheffield, Birmingham, and Southampton.
A day after the codesharing announcements came another route expansion for Finnair’s Winter 2017/2018 season with additional flights to Lapland from London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Zurich. The carrier is to fly two weekly flights between Gatwick and Ivalo on Thursdays and Sundays, one weekly flight between Zurich and Kittilä on Saturdays, one weekly flight between Frankfurt and Kittilä on Tuesdays and one flight between Paris and Kittilä using A320 and A321 aircraft.
In addition, the carrier is also adding three extra frequencies to Rovaniemi from Helsinki, totaling at 30 weekly flights between the two airports. Additional flights to Ivalo on a four times per week basis, Kittilä at four times per week, and Kuusamo at once per week will also be added to their portfolio, meaning that the carrier will be operating up to 52 weekly flights from Helsinki to Lapland Airports alone, which is an 18% increase compared to the current winter season.
The final announcement, which came on Jan. 18, 2017, was an addition of frequencies as well as new routes for the Winter 2017 season on a greater international front. Between Nov. 19, 2017 and March 18, 2018, Finnair will fly a new scheduled weekly flight between Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Helsinki using their Airbus A350-900XWB aircraft on Sundays.
From Dec. 1, 2017 to March 23, 2018, Finnair will operate two weekly flights to Havana. The flights will be operated on Mondays and Fridays with an A350XWB.
Within the same time frame, the airline will also be adding flights to Puerto Plata using A330-300s as well as Goa, India also using the Airbus A330s. On top of these network additions, Finnair will also add two additional weekly frequencies to their Bangkok route, bringing the weekly frequency count to 16. Finally, Finnair will add two new frequencies to operations in Singapore, bringing the total frequency count to a daily basis all year round as well as three additional flights to Hong Kong, making it a 10 per week operation year-round.
Juha Järvinen, the Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair, commented on these developments adding, “With the expected arrival of four new Airbus A350 aircraft in 2017, we are pressing ahead with our growth strategy. These newest additions will offer even more travel options and flexibility for our customers travelling between Asia and Europe through our efficient Helsinki airport hub which guarantees a short and smooth connection.”
Overall, the carrier appears to have started 2017 with a huge portfolio increase, meaning that substantial growth is to be seen over the next 12 months, especially with the additional Airbus A350XWBs that are due to be delivered over the course of this year.
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