The ban on flights imposed by Russia at the end of February on airlines in 36 countries, including Finland, will remain in force until the end of May, but Finnair is preparing for a long extension.
The effects of the ban have been taken into account in both the company’s summer and winter schedules, he says Days in Tallqvist, Finnair’s Senior Vice President, Communications.
According to the nationwide airport operator Finavia, more than 3.8 million passengers traveled through Finnish airports in January-April.
It is about 480 percent higher than at the same time last year, but well below pre-coronary virus levels. In 2019, the total number of passengers at Finnish airports was 26 million.
Recovery from the effects of the pandemic has begun to show in Finnair’s flight and passenger numbers, and according to Tallqvist, the summer is expected to be busy.
"Passenger numbers are growing every month. In May, we already had about 30,000 passengers a day," he told Yle.
Plans to change the Russian ban
Nevertheless, the ban on flights over Russia is reflected in the company’s summer offerings, especially as a decrease in flights to Asian destinations. This summer, Finnair had planned 40 weekly flights to Japan to five different destinations. Now the number has dropped to seven Tokyo flights a week. In addition to Japan, the company has reduced its flights to China and South Korea.
"If you fly from Helsinki to Tokyo, the flight time is currently more than 13 hours because it circulates Russian airspace," Tallqvist points out.
This means an increase of three hours in travel time after the Russian ban.
The decline in Asian traffic has also affected flight schedules to other European destinations.
"We have slightly reduced the number of flights to Europe precisely because there are fewer flights from Japan and Korea," Tallqvist explains. At the same time, however, Finnair is seeking to expand its western destinations.
"There is now more capacity in Europe, the United States and South Asia," Tallqvist sums up.
Source: The Nordic Page