In a press release issued Monday, Finnish flag-carrier Finnair announced its gradual resumption of regular commercial services. The airline said it would be back to operating 30% of flights starting from July.
Gradually adding routes from July
In a statement shared with Simple Flying on Monday, oneworld alliance member Finnair announced it would start flying to several destinations again in July, gradually adding frequencies and routes to its global network. This comes not a minute too soon, as the airline is losing cash at an alarming rate. But is the plan hitting the right spot for demand?
Finnair has been operating at a mere 5% of its capacity from April, and will do so until June. However, July will see the airline significantly ramping up its passenger operations, following a prolonged period of focusing on the demand for cargo flights, transporting critical supplies.
“We expect aviation 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.” Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, said.
19 European destinations
July’s flight resumption will include 19 European destinations called “key centers” by the airline. These are 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.
Come August, Finnair will expand its post-COVID European network to Barcelona, Milan, Madrid, Rome, and Warsaw. It also maintains the possibility of operating individual flights to holiday destinations to the south of Europe throughout the summer.
Specifically for the UK, the plan is, to begin with, twice-daily service to Heathrow from Helsinki in July. In August, flights will increase to three a day, with one more to be added for a total of four in October. Meanwhile, services to Manchester will start at four flights per week and be ramped up to once-daily by September.
Long-haul to Asia and the US
Long-haul flights to Asia will also be commencing in phases from July, with a strong focus on Asia. 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.
As long-haul operations can be supported by cargo demand, come August, Finnair also intends to resume services to New York and Delhi, and in November to Tokyo Haneda. Meanwhile, for more leisure-focused destinations, the carrier has planned to fly to Miami in the US, and to Krabi and Phuket in Thailand over the winter season.
“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.” Ole Orvér stated.
How do you feel, is Finnair’s assessment of demand recovery and lifting of travel bans accurate? Will people be willing to fly long-haul from Europe come July? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.