Finnair to open intercontinental markets from Sweden

Airline steps in to restore direct routes to Thailand and the US from Arlanda.

Finnair is expanding its intercontinental footprint at Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), launching services to Miami (MIA), Bangkok (BKK) and Phuket (HKT) for the first time. 

Sweden’s largest airport currently has no direct routes to Thailand or the US following a reduction in service during the pandemic. The new routes will start in October, aiming to capitalize on the outbound winter sun leisure market.

ARN to MIA was last served by SAS Scandinavian Airlines in March 2021. Both Norwegian and Thai Airways International offered service from ARN to BKK until March 2020, while Tuifly has offered capacity from Stockholm to HKT throughout recent winters.

In the IATA winter 19/20 season there were 150,874 total departure seats available from Sweden to Thailand, with Krabi International (KBV) alongside the other destinations, and 18,654 from Sweden to Florida.

There were 121,652 passengers between Sweden and Thailand during that season, representing a load factor in excess of 80%, with an average base fare of $276, according to Sabre market intelligence.

As a oneworld member, Finnair is aiming to bring service into MIA for onward domestic and international connections with alliance partner American Airlines, which is currently scheduled to offer 139 destinations from its Miami hub this winter. 

Finnair will base three Airbus A350 aircraft at ARN. The BKK service will launch on Oct. 22 as 5X-weekly, before moving to daily on Nov. 28.

HKT will commence on Oct. 24 with a weekly service and move to 2X-weekly on Dec. 30, while the MIA service starts 2X-weekly on Oct. 23 and will become 3X-weekly from Nov. 29.

Swedavia’s director aviation business Elizabeth Axtelius said Finnair’s expansion is “a sign of an aviation market undergoing change.”

“The fact that airlines dare to invest after these difficult times is clear evidence of Stockholm’s strong position and an investment in the biggest market in Scandinavia,” she added. 

Sweden to Thailand (total departure seats)

2011

141,985

2012

143,146

2013

172,456

2014

195,816

2015

195,486

2016

200,843

2017

225,878

2018

244,482

2019

240,151

2020

98,684

All data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser

Photo credit:  Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week