Finnair has reduced its network year-over-year and will serve just 42 destinations this October, down from more than 100 in October 2019.
In addition, frequencies will be reduced on almost all 42 routes, Finnair said in a statement, adding: "Route starts planned for October to destinations like Bergen (BGO), Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD), St. Petersburg (LED) and Stuttgart (STR) will be postponed, as well as domestic destinations Turku (TKU) and Tampere (TMP)."
Finnair CCO Ole Orvér said the airline will continue to operate “critical connections” to Europe and Asia. “However, as travel restrictions have a direct impact on demand, operating the traffic program we published earlier is unfortunately not feasible,” Orvér said.
Long-haul flights to Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul Incheon (ICN), Shanghai (PVG) and Tokyo (NRT)—which are important cargo destinations—will continue to operate. Nanjing (NKG), China will also be served during September and October and Finnair will also continue cargo-only flights to New York (JFK) and Singapore (SIN).
Finnair more than halved its capacity plans for October, cutting its daily schedule from around 200 flights to just 70-80, citing a slower-than-expected traffic recovery in light of weak demand and ongoing travel restrictions.
“The previously published traffic program cannot be implemented in full due to low demand. Finnair reduces flights from its traffic program and flies approximately 70–80 daily flights, instead of the previously planned approximately 200 flights,” Finnair said in a Sept. 9 update.
This marks a sharp decline on the 350 daily flights that Finnair flew in October 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis struck.Other European airlines have already shrunk their capacity plans, with easyJet now expecting to operate “slightly less” than its original 40% capacity target over the period July to September. Ryanair also announced a 20% reduction in planned capacity for September and October.
Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week