Finnair outlines gradual return of flights for July

Finnair will start flying again from Heathrow and Manchester in July, gradually adding frequencies and routes back to its global network, as the Nordic airline returns to service. The Finnish flag-carrier will review its schedule on a monthly basis and update it as travel restrictions are eased and demand starts to recover. From July, the carrier will resume services with a double-daily flight from Heathrow, rising up to three times a day in August and September then to four times a day in October.

Finnair Airbus A350-900 registered OH-LWL. Photo by Benjamin Liew │ AeroNewsX

Meanwhile, services from Manchester will resume with four flights a week in July, ramping up to a daily service for customers to Helsinki in September. Ole Orvér, Finnair, Chief Commercial Officer said: “We expect the industry to recover gradually, starting in July. Our intention is to operate approximately thirty percent of our normal flights in July, and we will also start long-haul flights to our key Asian destinations. We will then add routes and frequencies month by month as demand recovers. Our recent customer survey shows that customers are already planning both business and leisure trips. We want to meet this demand with our network offering.” The move will see the airline significantly ramp up its passenger operations, following an extended period of focusing on the demand for cargo flights, transporting critical supplies around the world as part of the COVID-19 relief effort. Finnair will flexibly add flights as demand develops and keep all fleet movements constantly under review. The flight schedule will also consider the changes in travel restrictions in different countries. Finnair’s long-haul operations will commence in phases from July, with a strong focus on Asia, which is strategically important for Finnair. The airline will fly to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai in Greater China (subject to government approval); to Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo Narita in Japan; and to Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok. Long-haul operations are supported by cargo demand. In August, Finnair will restart flights to Delhi and New York, and in November to Tokyo Haneda airport. Finnair also has flights to Miami, Krabi and Phuket planned during the winter holiday season. On European routes, Finnair will first focus on key centres, and in July will resume flying to Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Geneva, Hamburg, London, Malaga, Manchester, Moscow, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vilnius, Vienna and Zürich.

As for its cargo operations, Finnair has announced today that it has removed economy class seats on two Airbus A330s to make space for more cargo. Finnair says the extra capacity will be used to ship supplies 'needed in the coronavirus pandemic'. The challenge of building a post pandemic network has had some optimistic effects. The new routes will be optimized for sustainability, an increasingly important part of Finnair’s business.

“We’re parking our older aircraft and trying to apply our newer, more fuel-efficient planes,” says Aaron McGarvey, manager of traffic analysis in Finnair’s traffic planning team.

This reorganization of fleet usage means using the newer Airbus A320 family aircraft wherever possible as Finnair will be using planes with a lower carbon footprint than older aircraft. The fact that smaller planes are being used also means that passengers can fly knowing that their environmental impact is smaller too. Finnair’s commitment to sustainability and response to the ongoing climate crisis does not stop during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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