Imagine booking a Finnair flight to head off to sunny Miami, only to find yourself boarding an Air Italy refurbished Qatar jet.
This is because Finnair will be ‘wet-leasing’ an Air Italy Airbus A330 for the rest of October.
Wet leasing is different from normal leasing, as not only does the client get an aircraft to fly their route, but the leaser provides crew, fuel, airline certificate, and in some cases service.
Finnair will wet lease an Airbus A330 aircraft and crew from Air Italy for its Chicago and Miami routes for the period of October 12-31, 2019.
Because it’s a wet-lease, sometimes passengers get to experience totally new things not offered on the normal airline, such as full first-class suites!
Passengers might be lucky and get to experience the new Air Italy service that offers some pretty great authentic Italian food and wine on board (For a flight between Finland and America you might need to stretch your imagination). Although it is been reported that each Air Italy plane has two Finnair team members on board to ‘ensure the Finnair service model’. Eek!
Why is Finnair leasing a plane?
Recently in September, one of Finnair’s long-haul aircraft was damage at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The aircraft was hit by a high loader. The damaged aircraft is currently grounded and being repaired on site. You better hope that Chicago airport has good auto insurance!
“The aircraft damage in Chicago was very unfortunate. With high-quality wet lease from Air Italy, we can continue operating our Chicago and Miami flights and offer our customers a smooth travel experience regardless of the aircraft change,” says Jaakko Schildt, Chief Operating Officer, Finnair.
What routes are being covered by Air Italy?
For the rest of the month, these are the following routes that are being covered:
- All flights between Helsinki and Chicago (AY09/AY10) from Oct 12 to Oct 29. Finnair has four weekly return flights between Helsinki and Chicago, the flight days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
- Five return flights between Helsinki and Miami (AY07/AY08) on the following dates: Oct 14, Oct 16, Oct 21, Oct 23 and Oct 30.
Fortunately, the replacement aircraft comes with 24 full-flat seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class, all with seat-back in-flight entertainment systems.
If passengers don’t like their flights on these replacement planes, they can cancel for free or move their booking to a different date.
Finnair contacts customers with bookings on the flights to be operated with the wet-leased aircraft directly to inform them of the change in carrier. Customers can cancel their flight or change the departure date due to the change in carrier. Cancellations or changes can be made by contacting Finnair customer service.
No word has been announced from Air Italy at this stage if any of their services will be affected by the rental.