Monday, August 27, 2012

Finnair - a bridge from Scandinavia to Asia

It was one of these Finnair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 that was ready for takeoff to Asia last time I was at Vantaa Airport. Photo: Antti Havukainen 
Icelandair has had great success on its transatlantic flights last years, and many of those traveling west are Scandinavians. Another Scandinavian air carrier, Finnair,  attracts more and more travelers to their non-stop flights to Asia. An increasing number is Norwegian. 
I remember last time I went to Vantaa International Airport, I was not prepared to find so many Asians there. Personally, I was traveling east, and then turning west. I took out mileage in a form of a trip to London and had to travel to Helsinki in order to get to Heathrow with one of Finnairs flights.
Runway 33 at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Photo: J-P Kärnä
It was then that it dawned on me that the Finnish national airline was big on Asia. A large MD 11 was ready for takeoff for a destination in China, and the giant was packed with Europeans and Asians. 
Many Norwegians use Finnair going east, as I use Icelandair going to the US. In July 150 000 traveled between Asia and Helsinki, and in 2012 the number is 891 000, according to the Norwegian website boarding.no
Norwegian travelers have very few direct flights from Oslo Airport. Thai Airways offers direct flights to Bangkok, and Qatar Airways fly non-stop Oslo-Doha. Norwegian Air Shuttle may start non-stop long distance flights to a number of new destinations in 2013, but until then, none of the Scandinavian capitals can beat Helsinki on flights to Asia. 
From Vantaa Finnair fly to: 
  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Thailand
  • Beijing-Capital, China
  • Chongqing, China
  • Hong Kong
  • Nagoya-Centrair, Japan
  • New Delhi, India
  • Osaka-Kansai, Japan
  • Shanghai-Pudong, China
  • Seoul-Incheon, South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo-Narita
Stories on non-stop flights from Norway to Asia

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