Finnair trims winter flights as COVID razes

07 Oct 2020, 01:12

  DF Report

File Photo: Finnair.

The national flag carrier Finnair has trimmed its flight schedule for the winter season in line with customer demand in the wake of travel restrictions imposed to cope with coronavirus outbreak.

The airline, however, is planning to boost flight frequencies in spring 2021, said a Finnair press release on Tuesday.

From 25 October, 2020 to 31 March 2021, Finnair will serve 45 domestic and European destinations with reduced weekly frequencies on almost all the routes. 

Finnair’s long-haul flights will focus on Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Bangkok, which are important cargo destinations, too. On the Bangkok route, Finnair flies passengers only on the BKK-HEL leg. Finnair will also continue with cargo-only flights to Singapore and New York. 

“We continue to maintain critical air connections for our Europe-Asia transfer passengers and for Finland,” said Finnair Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orvér.

“The pandemic situation and the related travel restrictions continue to have a heavy impact on the demand for air travel, and thus it is not feasible to operate all the flights we planned in May for this winter,” added Orvér.

Due to the lower customer numbers, Finnair will temporarily close its lounge at the Schengen area of Helsinki Airport. Finnair’s lounges at the Non-Schengen side have remained closed since March.

From November 2020 to March 2021, Finnair is now scheduled to operate approximately 75 flights per day, and it will continue to review its traffic programme based on estimated demand, as the changing travel restrictions continue to impact demand for air travel.

In 2019, Finnair flew about 350 flights a day and had more than 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.

Finnair has also updated its preliminary flight programme for the summer season of 2021 which starts on 1 April 2021. 

Delayed from this year, Finnair plans to open its new Busan route to South Korea in summer 2021. Finnair also intends to start services to Tokyo Haneda Airport in the summer. However, flights to San Francisco in the United States, Xi’an and Beijing Daxing in China, and Sapporo in Japan will remain suspended.