Finnair Strengthens Its Presence in Asia and Europe

Air transport, Finnair

Finnair can be considered a niche carrier in European air transport compared to giants such as Air France-KLM, British Airways or Lufthansa. However, the carrier remains a major element in making Europe and Asia closer. According to Javier Roig, Finnair General Manager Southern Europe and Southern Hemisphere, Finnair Asian network is the mantra of the airline’s success. “2017 was a record year for us as we welcomed 11.91 million passengers, up by 9.6% but passengers’ traffic to and from Asia skyrocketed. We welcomed 2.1 million passengers, a jump of 18.1% over 2016”, he comments.

Asia market share in Finnair total passengers reaches now over 17.6% and is the second largest source of traffic for the Finnish carrier after Europe. The airline flies to 19 destinations in Asia, including Bangkok, Hanoi, Singapore, Krabi and Phuket (on a seasonal basis) in Southeast Asia.

In Helsinki, Asian passengers can connect with a network of over 100 destinations in Europe and half a dozen destinations in the Americas. “We capitalize on shorter flying times from Asia to Helsinki thanks to our geographical location as well as short connecting times in Helsinki. Our Helsinki hub is a very customer-friendly airport where Asian passengers feel safe and comfortable”, adds Javier Roig.

Over the last three years, Finnair has been adding a fleet of brand-new Airbus A350 for its Asian operations, a flagship product offering a superb comfortable product in all classes of travel. “We still operate some of our Asian flights with our Airbus A330 but this is mostly to leisure destinations such as Goa in India or Phuket”, says Roig.

2018 will see the reception of Finnair 12th Airbus A350. This will help to boost further connectivity. According to the preliminary 2018 schedule, many destinations will see an increase in frequency such as Bangkok, Delhi, Hong Kong and Osaka. To Phuket, the winter season 2018/19 will see the addition of a fourth weekly frequency from December.

More possibilities of connections to European cities will be made available this year. Starting in June 2018, Finnair will add frequencies to Barcelona, Budapest, Geneva, Krakow and Lisbon. During the winter, additional weekly frequencies will also be added to Southern Europe –especially to Malaga, Funchal and Tenerife, Rome and Gran Canaria. As of December 11, Finnair will also launch two weekly flights to Lyon from its Helsinki hub with an E90 aircraft. Operating on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the flights will offer smooth connections to Finnair’s Asian network. Flights to Lapland (the country of Santa Claus!) will also be boosted during the winter time.

Finnair also signed an agreement with the German railways. The new Rail & Fly cooperation with Deutsche Bahn allows customers buying a Finnair ticket to or from Germany to include a rail trip to their booking.

“Finnair is currently in the largest expansion phase of its history and we are pressing forward by growing our capacity to popular destinations in Asia and Europe,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “These added frequencies will offer our customers with more choice and flexibility for their winter plans.”

Finnair Traffic Performance In Asia in 2017

Year 2017     Change%
Passengers 1000 2 105,0 18,1
Available seat kilometres mill 18 355,0 11,7
Revenue passenger kilometres mill 15 911,3 18,3
Passenger load factor % 86,7 4,9