Finnair Adds new Seasonal Routes To Japan & The Caribbean

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Finnair has announced that it will be adding two new routes to its winter schedule for 2019/20 and, although the frequencies on the routes aren’t exactly impressive, the fact that this is an airline known for the occasional great deal means that they should prove popular with oneworld flyers.

Finnair’s New Route To Sapporo

Sapporo is a very popular winter destination (it hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics) so it’s not surprising to see Finnair add service to Hokkaido’s capital for its 2019/20 winter season.

Between 15 December 2019 and 27 March 2020 Finnair will offer a twice weekly service between Helsinki and Sapporo on the following schedule:

AY065 HEL 17:05 – 09:00+1 day CTS (Thu & Sun)
AY066 CTS 11:35 – 14:10 HEL (Mon & Fri)

The airline will operate the route using its Airbus A330 aircraft which offer a layout (and seat) very similar to what you’ll find on the Malaysia Airlines A330.

Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class
Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class

What this means is that certain Business Class seats are preferable to others so be careful when making your choices.

Here’s the Finnair A330 Business Class seat map per ExpertFlyer:

a diagram of a seating chart

The best seats on offer are the “throne” seats that occupy 2A, 4A, 6A, 8A & 10A. These are private and offer the most storage space.

The seats on the starboard side of the aircraft (the “L” seats) and the pairs of seats on the port side (odd rows) can feel a little cramped and claustrophobic so, even if flying solo, I’d select one of the seats in the center of the aircraft for my trip.

Finnair’s New Route To Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)

While Finnair’s first new winter route will be a welcome addition for winter sports enthusiasts this route is clearly one for anyone looking to escape the Northern European winter and wanting to bask in the sunshine.

Between 13 December 2019 and 27 March 2020 Finnair will operate a weekly service between Helsinki and Punta Cana on the following schedule:

AY023 HEL 16:10 – 21:15 PUJ (Fri)
AY024 PUJ 23:05 – 14:40+1 day HEL (Fri)

This may only be a weekly service but Finnair will be operating this route with the best aircraft it has – the Airbus A350.

I’m a big fan of the Finnair A350 because it was the very first A350 I flew in, the Business Class cabin is excellent and I always have great crews onboard whenever I fly.

a seat in an airplane
Finnair A350 Business Class

All Economy Class seas on the Finnair A350 offer 18″ of width (an inch more than you’ll get on most transatlantic seats) and the front few rows of the Economy Class cabin offer seats with 34″ – 36″ of legroom (Economy Comfort) which top-tier oneworld elites can reserve free of charge and others can reserve for a fee.

a row of seats in an airplane
Finnair’s A350 Economy Class has just 8 seats across the cabin

This could be one of the better ways to fly between Europe and the Caribbean….especially if you’re booking into Business Class.

Bottom Line

I always seem to have pleasant flights when I fly with Finnair so I’m always happy when the airline adds new routes.

The limited frequencies on these two new winter routes is a little disappointing but both destinations are ones that I’d be interested in visiting (for very different reasons!) so I’ll be on the lookout for any good deals that the airline posts – I fully expect some decent Business Class deals to appear in the next few months.