Finnair is set to branch out of Finland as it looks to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Finnish flag carrier is set to launch a handful of long-haul flights from Stockholm, the capital city of neighboring Sweden.
Airlines have been creative in finding ways to maximize revenue while the pre-existing norms of the aviation industry have been thrown out of the door. For some airlines, this meant flights to nowhere. For others, it meant adding fifth freedom flights. In the case of Finnair, the answer appears to be an international base expansion.
A new resident for Stockholm
From October 22nd, Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport will welcome a new resident, at least for the time being. Finnish flag carrier Finnair is set to launch three long-haul routes from its neighbor’s capital city for the duration of the winter 2021/22 travel season. The airline also operates all of these routes from its home in Helsinki.
From October 22nd, a Finnair Airbus A350 will fly from Arlanda to Bangkok five times weekly, departing every day except Wednesday and Saturday. The frequency of the route will be upgraded to daily from November 28th until the route is set to end on April 22nd, 2022.
From October 23rd, the airline will send its A350 to Miami on Wednesdays and Saturdays. From November 29th, this route will also operate on Monday and Friday, again ending on April 22nd, 2022.
Finally, the airline will add a second Thailand flight on October 24th. This will see the Airbus A350 flying to the recently reopened destination of Phuket. This route will have the lowest initial frequency, operating once a week on Sundays. The airline will add a Thursday flight from November 4th and a Tuesday flight from November 30th. These flights will end one day earlier than the others on April 21st.
Commenting on the Stockholm expansion, Ole Orvér, Finnair’s CCO, said,
“We are excited to meet the travel needs of our Swedish customers with a non-stop service from Arlanda to Thailand and Miami, which are among the top winter holiday destinations for Swedes. The new flights will strengthen our offering in the Swedish market.”
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The Finnair Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 is the pride of the Finnair fleet when it comes to long-haul flying. The airline currently has 16 of the aircraft in its fleet, out of a total fleet of 83 aircraft. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the A350s have a combined capacity of 5,025 seats. With the airline’s total capacity sitting at 13,782, the A350 accounts for 36% of the airline’s total seats.
The airline’s oldest A350s were built in 2015, with two different seating configurations to be found. Currently, all of the aircraft have a two-cabin layout. Nine aircraft have 46 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, accompanied by 251 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout. The remaining seven aircraft have eight rows of 1-2-1 business class (32 seats), accompanied by 304 economy class seats. The airline is hoping to begin rolling out premium economy to the fleet later this year.
What do you make of Finnair’s Swedish expansion? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!