Finnair has cut back on its flight schedule for the winter season in line with customer demand, but plans to increase frequencies during spring 2021. The update comes as the airline responds to a temporary softening of demand due to widespread travel restrictions.
From 25 October, Finnair will serve 45 domestic and European destinations with reduced weekly frequencies on almost all routes. The schedule will remain in place until 31 March.
Long-haul flights will focus on Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing and Bangkok, which are also important cargo destinations. On the Bangkok route, Finnair will only fly passengers on the inbound Bangkok-Helsinki sector. Finnair will also continue cargo-only flights to Singapore and New York.
Ole Orvér, Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We continue to maintain critical air connections for our Europe-Asia transfer passengers and for Finland. The pandemic situation and the related travel restrictions continue to have a heavy impact on demand for air travel, and thus it is not feasible to operate all the flights we planned in May for this winter.”
Due to the lower customer numbers, Finnair will temporarily close its lounge at the Schengen area of Helsinki Airport. Lounges at the Non-Schengen side have been shut since March.
From November to March, 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 on demand for air travel.
Finnair has also updated its preliminary flight programme for the summer season 2021, which starts on 1 April next year.
Ole added: “Our network will expand and we will increase weekly frequencies during the spring. We continue to follow the demand outlook and will be updating the summer 2021 traffic programme accordingly in early 2021. We of course hope that travel restrictions and the pandemic situation will alleviate by then, so that we can increase our flight offering.”
Delayed from this year, Finnair plans to open its new Busan route to South Korea in the summer season and intends to start services to Tokyo Haneda Airport during the summer. However, flights to San Francisco in the USA, Xi’an and Beijing Daxing in China, and Sapporo in Japan will remain suspended.