Finnish flag carrier Finnair intends to fly daily flights between Helsinki and Tokyo Haneda airports for the summer of 2020. The flights will be in addition to the carrier’s current daily visits to Narita.
Finnair announced today (07/10/19) that it would augment the service it current provides to Tokyo Narita airport with daily flights to Haneda. The schedule is expected to be enacted next March, in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The carrier will, according to God Save The Points, use its Airbus A350-900s for the new route. The type is known for its more natural cabin pressure and abated noise.
The return route will depart from Haneda in the evening, which may be more popular than the current early morning take-off from Narita. Details of the additional service will be determined by slot availability.
Of the announcement which was delivered in today’s press release Finnair boss, Ole Orvér was upbeat in its press release, saying,
“Finnair has operated over 35 years between Japan and Finland. With the new flights, we are happy to offer even better connections between Tokyo and over 100 destinations in Europe. We also have a strong commitment to Narita Airport and will continue flying from there as well.”
We have contacted Finnair for further comment and are waiting for a reply.
At the moment Finnair flies to Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. In January of this year, Finnair announced it will also begin a winter route to Sapporo. The Helsinki-Sapporo traverse will take place twice a week from the middle of December 2019 until March 2020.
This comes as good news for Finnish passengers headed for Sapporo who currently must change to a domestic carrier at either Tokyo or Osaka.
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Finnair’s Asian portfolio appears to be blossoming. In 2019 alone, the airline expects a 10% capacity surge, due in part to the airline’s monopolizing on the geographical nearness of Finland and Japan. In terms of the northern great circle, the distance between the two nations is just 4,673 miles.
With this latest move, the airline looks to be gearing up for the Summer Olympics. The games will see an estimated 40 million visitors to Japan throughout the competition, according to Inside the Games.
Currently, Finnair flies between Helsinki and Narita. Narita is considerably further from the center of Tokyo than Haneda, the latter of which is currently the preferred destination of business travelers who seek quick entry and exit during their stay in Tokyo.
As a result of its proximity to Tokyo, Haneda has also been the preferred choice of domestic airlines over the years. But industry analysts pip Haneda to soon overtake Narita as Japan’s number one both for domestic and international custom.
In 2017 the airport saw a 7.4% increase in passenger growth: 3.1 million domestic passengers and 1.7 million international. With the advent of the Olympic Games, the potential of the poor relation cannot be denied.
The government’s expansion of Haneda to accommodate an increasing number of international flights is certain to be met with disapproval by residents impacted by the higher volume of traffic. In the run-up to the Olympics, Haneda will see an estimated 53 new international slots per day, according to CAPA.
But done under the banner of the Olympic Games, which are undoubtedly set to benefit the country as a whole, Haneda could be expanded feasibly with little fuss.