MIAMI – Finnair (AY) has announced major cuts to daily flights, citing decreased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finland’s flag carrier plans to reduce the previous schedule of 200 daily flights to between 70 and 80, as stated in a press release early Wednesday. AY will continue to serve the routes which provide critical connections for Finland.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in sharply decreased travel demand, which we know has especially affected the airline industry. While case counts remain low in Finland, travelers are concerned with the current climate in Europe and Asia, namely, that a second spike in cases is looming.

Finnair Airbus A330. PHOTO: Kochan Kleps/Airways (instagram: @dose.of.aviation)

Route Continuations, Changes and Postponements

Finnair will serve 42 destinations in October but will reduce route frequency. The OneWorld alliance member has postponed the reintroduction of the following routes:

  • Bergen
  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • St. Petersburg
  • Stuttgart
  • Turku
  • Tampere

The airline has focused on the Asian markets for its long-haul route continuations, citing cargo as an important factor. These destinations are:

  • Tokyo
  • Seoul
  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai

The carrier also announced the continuation of cargo-only routes to New York and Singapore.

Finnair A350 XWB arriving in Finland. PHOTO: Finnair

Passenger Impact

Finnair recognized the importance of maintaining vital routes, as “travel is vital for the Finnish business community,” said CCO Ole Orvér. The press release cited travel restrictions and overall decreased demand as the reason for the route reductions.

As such, many passengers will be affected by the route reductions. AY has vowed to make arrangements for those affected, offering alternate tickets and even full-refunds in some cases.

Finnair safety and hygiene. PHOTO: Finnair

Changes in Uncertain Times

Route changes and flight reductions are inevitable, as travel restrictions and decreased demand are often out of a carrier’s control. With daily flights down from 350 in October of last year, Finland’s largest carrier is doing everything possible to generate revenue.

Despite the challenges, AY recognizes the importance of best serving the needs of customers and establishing clear communication.

Featured Image: Finnair aircraft departing PHOTO: Kochan Kleps/Airways (instagram: @dose.of.aviation)