Finnair plans staged return to business

By Steve Hartridge, published 20/05/20

Finnair will start flying again from Heathrow and Manchester in July and will add frequencies and routes back to its global network in stages as it returns to normal service.

Between April and June, Finnair will have been operating at five per cent of its normal capacity, but the Finnish flag carrier says it will review its schedule on a monthly basis and update it as travel restrictions are eased and demand starts to recover.

From July, Finnair will resume services with a double-daily service from Heathrow, rising up to three times a day in August and September and then to four times a day in October. Services from Manchester will resume with four flights a week in July, ramping up to a daily service to Helsinki in September.

Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We expect aviation to recover gradually, starting in July. Our intention is to operate approximately 30% 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.

He added: “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.”

Finnair’s flight schedule will also take into account the changes in travel restrictions in different countries.

The airline’s long-haul operations will commence in phases from July, with a strong focus on Asia: it 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.

On European routes, Finnair will first focus on key centres, and in July will resume flying to London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Geneva, Hamburg, Malaga, Moscow, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm, St Petersburg, Vilnius, Vienna and Zürich.

In August Finnair will resume flights to Barcelona, Milan, Madrid, Rome and Warsaw. During the summer holiday season Finnair will also operate individual flights to some key holiday destinations in southern Europe.

The airline has also announced that customers’ flexibility to change their travel dates will continue until the end of June. Those holding bookings can change their travel dates for all flights bought from Finnair’s own channels, including finnair.com, made between April 1 2020 and June 30, with flexibility for 12 months.

The airline is offering refunds for any cancelled flights