Finnair is dropping two of its shortest domestic routes “due to economic and environmental considerations”.
The airline is replacing routes between its Helsinki hub and the Finnish cities of Turku and Tampere with bus services from May 1.
The routes, operated by ATR 72-500 aircraft, have a flying time of approximately 25 minutes. Bus services, meanwhile, will take just over two hours.
Finnair will operate four bus services per day between Helsinki airport and both Turku and Tampere airports to begin with. The services will then run to the central bus stations of Turku and Tampere instead from May 8.
The bus connections can be purchased together with the connecting flight, and included in the booking (see a screenshot from the website below). The benefit here is that Finnair will guarantee connections in case bus or flight schedules are delayed.
Customers arriving by bus to Helsinki airport will also benefit from priority check-in, bag drop, and security lanes.
The buses run on biodiesel and are equipped with internet connectivity and USB charging possibilities.
Customers with reservations for Turku and Tampere flights will be contacted by Finnair from the beginning of May, and offered either a bus connection or the option to apply for a ticket refund.
Perttu Jolma, VP Network at Finnair, commented on the news:
“The flights to Tampere and Turku are very short, and the relatively low passenger numbers – around 35 percent load factors – on these routes cause them to have a higher CO2 emission per passenger than many other short routes in our network…
“We understand that this decision disappoints customers who have used the flights, and we regret the inconvenience this causes them. We must, however, take both economic and environmental considerations into account.”
Finnair says 70 per cent of Finnair Plus members living in Tampere start their flights from Helsinki airport rather than from Tampere, despite the several daily flights available.
The airline recently increased ramped up its sustainability efforts with a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions both in the sky and on the ground.