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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Finnair plans new Los Angeles and New York routes as demand picks up

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Two new long-haul routes from Stockholm Arlanda are among the most recent network additions as Finland’s flag carrier responds to ‘increasing travel demand’ in important markets.

During the upcoming winter season, Finnair is expanding its network to Europe, Asia, and North America, including the inauguration of two new US flights from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN).

In July, the Oneworld alliance member announced intentions to start long-haul flights from Sweden’s capital in October, with service to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Phuket (HKT) in Thailand, as well as Miami (MIA) in the United States.

Now, the airline is launching two new routes to the United States, linking ARN with Los Angeles (LAX) and New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) (JFK).

Flights to Los Angeles will begin on November 3, with three flights each week, according to Finnair’s booking system. Service to JFK will commence on December 7 and will run four times each week. Both flights will be served by Airbus A350-900s.

Flights from ARN to LAX will depart at 2.15 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 5.15 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, the return trip departs at 8.05 p.m. and arrives in Sweden at 3.40 p.m. the following day.

Flights from Stockholm to New York depart at 7.35 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and arrive in New York at 10 p.m. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the return flight departs JFK at 8.35 p.m. and arrives in ARN at 9.50 a.m. the following day.

According to the most recent schedules submitted with OAG, Finland’s flag carrier will compete with SAS Scandinavian Airlines in the Stockholm-New York market.

SAS restored its three-times-weekly Arlanda-Newark (EWR) service on September 2 after a nearly 18-month break due to the pandemic. The resumption of United Airlines’ stopped EWR-ARN service is likewise scheduled for May 2022.

Finnair, on the other hand, will become the sole operator of nonstop flights between Stockholm and Los Angeles.

SAS and Norwegian had both provided direct services in recent years, but Norwegian last served the market in October 2019 and has since ceased transatlantic operations, while SAS shifted its LAX service from ARN to Copenhagen (CPH) in January 2020.

In other news, Finnair has confirmed plans to reintroduce Helsinki (HEL)-Osaka Kansai (KIX) service beginning Oct. 1, initially operating 3X weekly, while Nagoya (NGO) service will return to the airline’s network on Feb. 1, 2022.

The Japanese routes will supplement the carrier’s existing daily flights to Tokyo Narita (NRT).

Finnair also plans to extend its summer service from Helsinki to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) over the winter season. According to OAG data, frequencies will be reduced from 1X-daily to 2X-weekly, however, the sector will continue to be served by A350-900s.

In addition, the airline will only utilize widebody A350-900s on flights from HEL to Dubai (DXB), which will resume on Oct. 18 after being on hold since March 2020. Prior to the epidemic, Finnair flew the route with a mix of narrowbody A321s and A350-900s.

In Europe, the carrier stated that its network would “rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter,” with double-daily services from HEL to key cities such as Amsterdam (AMS), Berlin (BER), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), and Munich (MUC), as well as 3X-daily frequencies to London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

Finnair also plans to increase frequency between Helsinki and St. Petersburg (LED) in order to boost traffic flows to its North American destinations.

Other winter additions include new routes from HEL to Gdansk (GDN) and Krakow (KRK) in Poland, as well as increased frequencies to popular vacation spots such as Malaga (AGP).

“We are excited to be able to expand the breadth and depth of our network, enabling better connections for customers as travel continues to pick up,” CCO Ole Orvér said.

“We are also re-introducing services to support a smooth and convenient travel experience. We opened our Schengen lounge already in August, and Finnair’s non-Schengen lounge at Helsinki airport will open in early October.”

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