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Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance so if you’re a fan of the American Airlines AAdvantage program or the British Airways executive club it’s an airline that should be firmly on your radar.
Not too long ago Finnair used to frequently offer attractive Business Class fares for travel between Europe and Asia and, despite the fact that those fares haven’t been seen for a while, the airline remains an attractive one to fly (the crews are usually very friendly and the Finnair A350 offers a great Business Class experience).
Finnair has long made Asia a key focus of its business and now the airline has announced that it will be increasing the number of flights it offers to Asia for the summer 2019 season as well as increasing the size of the aircraft offered on certain routes.
Here are the Finnair plans in brief:
Finnair will increase its capacity to Japan by 15% for the summer 2019 season.
The Helsinki – Osaka route will see 3 weekly flights added from 31 March 2019 bringing the total number of weekly flights on the route up to 10
AY67 HEL 00:24 – 16:15 KIX (Wed, Fri & Sun)
AY77 HEL 17:25 – 08:55+1 day KIX (Daily)
AY68 KIX 01:30 – 05:40 HEL (Mon, Thu & Sat)
AY78 KIX 10:45 – 14:45 HEL (Daily)
Flights AY77/78 are operated by Finnair’s excellent A350 aircraft while AY67/68 are operated but the less impressive A330.
In summer 2019 the Helsinki – Tokyo route will mirror the schedule from this year by offering a double daily service from 29 March 2019.
AY71 HEL 16:25 – 08:05+1 day NRT (Daily)
AY73 HEL 17:35 – 08:55+1 day NRT (Daily)
AY72 NRT 09:50 – 14:10 HEL (Daily)
AY74 NRT 11:00 – 15:00 HEL (Daily)
Just as with the Osaka route it’s worth keeping in mind that flights AY73/74 are the ones operated by the Finnair A350 so, if possible, those are definitely the flights to book.
From 5 May 2019 the Helsinki – Nagoya route will see the Finnair A330-300 aircraft replaced by the larger Airbus A350 which, as well as providing a more pleasant flying environment and a superior Business Class cabin, offers one extra Business Class seat and three extra Economy Comfort seats.
China (Including Hong Kong)
Finnair says that it will grow its presence in “the Greater China area” by 12% during the summer 2019 season by offering 42 weekly flights in total between Helsinki and Greater China.
The Helsinki – Hong Kong route will be operated twice daily with Airbus A350 aircraft which is an increase of 4 flights/week compared to summer 2018 and an increase of 2 flights/week compared to winter 2018/19.
From 28 March 2019 this is what the route schedule will look like:
AY101 HEL 16:40 – 07:25+1 day HKG (Daily)
AY99 HEL 23:45 – 14:30+1 day HKG (Daily)
AY100 HKG 00:25 – 06:00 HEL (Daily)
AY102 HKG 09:10 – 14:45 HEL (Daily)
Finnair also plans to increase capacity on its Helsinki – Guangzhou route by swapping in an Airbus A350 in place of the A330-300 which has been operating on the route throughout the summer 2018 season.
The Guangzhou route doesn’t operate during the winter season but, when it resumes for summer 2019, it will operate 4x/week on the following schedule:
AY97 HEL 17:00 – 07:30+1 day CAN (Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat)
AY98 CAN 09:50 – 14:50 HEL (Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun)
As I mentioned at the beginning, Finnair once offered deeply discounted Business Class fares on some of its routes to Asia so, with a little bit of luck, there’s an outside chance that this increased capacity to Japan and Greater China will see some downward pressure of fares in summer 2019.