“There are exceptionally good flight connections to Finland from all around the world. Both holidaymakers and business life benefit from the most versatile route selection in the Nordic countries. Of all airports in Northern Europe, we have by far the most connections to Asia, which attracts especially Chinese and Japanese to Finland,” notes Joni Sundelin, Finavia’s new Director of Helsinki Airport.
Finavia actively develops routes to attract new airlines to Finland and to increase the country’s flight connections even further. In the airport business, the company’s competitive advantages include, among other things, well-functioning and cost-efficient services, such as snow-how and short turnaround times, as well as competitive airport charges.
“The number of transfer connections has increased by more than 75% within the last decade in Helsinki Airport, and about 50 airlines operate regularly at the airport. We are negotiating with several airlines on new launches, additional routes and the deployment of larger aircraft,” says Sundelin.
Currently, Helsinki Airport is undergoing a EUR 900 million development programme getting ready to serve 30 million passengers. There were nearly 19 million passengers at the airport in 2017. It is expected that the milestone of 20 million passengers per year will be reached this year.
All new routes and additional flights by Blue Air, BRA, Croatia Airlines, EasyJet, Finnair, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, SAS, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and Widerøe that have been announced for Helsinki Airport for 2018 are listed below.
Helsinki Airport’s new routes and additional flights in 2018
Finnair’s new long-haul destination Nanjing can be reached with three flights a week during the summer season and two flights a week during the winter season. The route will be launched in May. At the same time, the number of Finnair’s flights from Helsinki to China will increase to a total of 38 weekly flights.
In addition, Finnair will increase the number of flights to the already popular long-haul destinations: In the winter season 2018–2019, it will fly from Helsinki to Osaka and Delhi every day. The two new weekly flights to Hong Kong will increase the number of Finnair’s flights on this route to 12 per week. In addition, Finnair will add a fourth weekly flight to Phuket as of 10 December.
Finnair will extend the flight schedule on its Helsinki–Chicago route until 3 December and on its Helsinki–San Francisco route until 5 December. There will be two weekly flights to both destinations. Originally, the flights were scheduled for the period 19 April–27 October 2018 for Chicago and 3 May–27 September 2018 for San Francisco.
Finnair will also increase the number of flights on its popular European routes. It will introduce a new destination, Lisbon, with daily flights in the summer. After the summer, the route will continue around the year with four flights a week.
Málaga, Funchal and Tenerife will all have one additional flight per week and Gran Canaria two. During the summer, Finnair will have 18 weekly flights to Barcelona and, starting from next winter, 10 weekly flights to Madrid.
For Rome, Finnair will add two flights a week. In addition, Finnair will extend the flight schedule on its Malta and Antalya routes until 9 December and start operating the Alanya-Gazipasa route around the year.
As of 11 December, Finnair will fly to Lyon twice a week. The Stuttgart route, launched by Finnair in spring 2018, will continue as a year-round route after summer 2018, with daily flights in the winter season. The Edinburgh route will also be operated around the year. Since late March, Finnair has flown from Helsinki to Berlin four times a day, instead of the former three daily flights.
During the summer season, Finnair will fly to Budapest three times a day. Moreover, two weekly flights will be added for Kraków and one for Geneva.
Finnair will launch a direct, year-round flight connection to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on 9 June. There will be two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In July and August, Finnair will also fly to Astana in Kazakhstan. Furthermore, Finnair will increase its capacity on the Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Riga and Vilnius routes for the winter season 2018–2019. There will be three daily flights to both Moscow and Saint Petersburg and 19 weekly flights to Riga and Vilnius.
Finnair will also add new connections to Bromma in Stockholm, with up to seven flights a day. In addition, Finnair will expand its cooperation with the Swedish airline BRA. In March, BRA started operating to Malmö Sturup (MMX) in Southern Sweden. There are flights on six days per week. In the summer, BRA will also fly to Visby.
In May, Finnair will start flying directly to Bergen and Tromsø in Norway. The flights will be operated in cooperation with the Norwegian airline Widerøe. There will be a daily flight to Bergen and a weekly flight to Tromsø. Finnair will also increase the number of flights to Reykjavik next winter. Two additional flights a week will increase the total number of weekly flights to five during the winter season.
In Finland, Finnair’s programme for next summer will be supplemented with three more weekly flights (in addition to the normal six) from Helsinki to Kuusamo. The new flights will be operated from Midsummer to the end of September. Next winter, Finnair will also add one more flight from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. In addition, direct Finnair flights to Kittilä and Ivalo will be introduced in the winter season 2018–2019, replacing the former daily triangle route with two direct routes.
On 26 March, Norwegian started flying to Kraków in Poland. The new route will be operated twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Moreover, starting from April Norwegian will fly to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria around the year, whereas before it operated the route only in the winter season. For the period from 26 March to 7 April, Norwegian increased the number of flights from Helsinki to Málaga, Alicante, Budapest, Kittilä, Nice and Mallorca.
Recently, Norwegian also added numerous flights to Greece, Italy, Croatia, Kosovo and Bulgaria to its Helsinki flight offering. All in all, the capacity increased by nearly 300,000 seats. The Pristina, Athens, Crete and Varna routes are operated twice a week. Venice, Burgas and Pula can be reached three times a week in the summer. Norwegian’s plan for the Helsinki–Dubrovnik route is to have four weekly flights.
For the summer season, Lufthansa will add fourth daily flight to Munich. In addition, the company will continue flying from Munich to Kittilä and from Frankfurt to Ivalo and Kuusamo in the winter season.
EasyJet launched direct scheduled flights from Helsinki Airport to Berlin on 1 March. The daily flights are operated with Airbus A320 aircraft around the year. In August, the airline will add another daily flight to this destination.
Blue Air will continue its round-year flights from Helsinki to Bucharest in Romania three times a week. Croatia Airlines’ last-summer route to Zagreb will again be operated with three weekly flights. Another familiar route from last summer, Vueling’s flights to Barcelona, will also continue to be operated.
SAS continues operating its Málaga route with additional weekly flights. In early June, SAS will fly to Málaga twice a week and from the week after Midsummer to the second week of August, there will be four weekly flights.
On 25 March, Turkish Airlines started regular wide-body aircraft traffic from Finland to Istanbul. Of its 14 weekly flights, it now flies one flight per day with an A330 wide-body aircraft.
Qatar Airways will continue operating its second daily flight to Doha, added to the programme in late 2017, during the summer season, too. One of the daily flights will be operated with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner wide-body aircraft.
13 APR 2018: Updated that after the summer Finnair will have four flights per week to Lisbon.