Next summer Nordic carrier Finnair will resume services to Athens, Dublin and Malta with flight schedules designed to provide optimal onward connections to Finnair's network of Asian destinations. The flights will operate through the summer only but strong performance could result in them being extended to year-round services in the future.
The Helsinki - Dublin link will commence on March 30, 2015 with flights from the Finnish capital to Malta following from April 2, 2015 and Athens from April 5, 2015 and all will continue through until the end of October 2015. The Malta and Athens flights will be flown twice weekly with Greek capital served by A319s and A320s and the Mediterranean island of Malta with a larger A321, fitted with Sharklets.
A slightly different model will be offered on the Dublin route which is likely to generate a stronger business clientele with a greater frequency being offered through the use of regional aircraft equipment flown on its behalf by Flybe Finland. This will see a 100-seat Embraer E190 serve the route on a six times weekly basis with flights every day except Tuesdays.
"With these new destinations we are responding to growing demand, particularly from Asia, so timetables for each of these new routes are tailored for the best possible connection to Finnair's Asian flights," sad Petri Vuori, Finnair's vice president global sales. "At the same time of course our Finnish and Baltic Rim passengers will also be able to enjoy what these fascinating destinations have to offer."
Finnair will be the sole carrier on the Helsinki – Malta route but will compete directly with the summer seasonal offering of low-cost carrier Norwegian between Helsinki and both Athens and Dublin. All three markets have previously been served by Finnair with flights to Athens and Malta last operating in summer 2010 and services to Dublin last being flown in summer 2007.
“We are delighted to welcome Finnair back to Dublin Airport,” Vincent Harrison, managing director, Dublin Airport. “The new Helsinki service will provide greater choice and convenience for customers travelling between Ireland and Finland and will also offer enhanced connectivity between Dublin Airport and key destinations in Asia via Finnair’s hub in Helsinki.”
With Finnair targeting not just point-to-point demand but transfer traffic to its Asian route network from Helsinki, our analysis, below, looks at O&D demand from/to Athens, Dublin and Malta from/to destinations in Asia and Oceania over the past five years. The analysis shows their are sizeable traffic flows in the Athens and Dublin markets in particular. The Irish capital will particularly appeal to Finnair given the dramatic growth in demand in and out of Asia and Oceania since the start of the decade with year-on-year demand rises of 7.2 per cent in 2011, a massive 33.2 per cent in 2012 and 14.0 per cent last year.