Finnair adds news flights and A330 to Helsinki-NY route

6 Apr 2009 by Mark Caswell

Finnair will up its Helsinki-New York route to ten flights per week from this May, and has introduced its new Airbus A330 aircraft into its fleet.

Three new flights have been added to the summer schedule, running from May 31 to September 13. Flight AY007 will depart from Helsinki on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1710, enabling passengers from the UK to connect from Heathrow on a morning Finnair flight departing 1020 (arriving in Helsinki at 1515) or from Manchester departing 1025 (also arriving in Helsinki at 1515).

The timings of the new flights also enable connections with flights from Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. The flights arrive in JFK at 1850 local time.

The return flight AY008 will depart from New York JFK airport at 2240 and will connect with the same Asian cities on arrival in Helsinki the following afternoon at 1350.

“The new flights will for the first time connect Finnair's Asian route network with the US, creating fast connections via Helsinki from Asian cities to New York and back,” said Finnair's VP Network Strategy and Traffic Planning, Petteri Kostermaa.

The new Airbus A330 will gradually replace the carrier’s fleet of  MD-11 aircraft and “will consume 20 per cent less fuel, improving profitability and environmental efficiency significantly,” says Finnair's UK sales director, Tomi Hanninen.

The A330 has the same business and economy seat product as the carrier’s current A340s, but the livery has been updated to paler shades of blue and grey.

The aircraft has 42 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, with five rows in the front cabin and a further two rows separated by a galley. The seats are lie-flat style with 158cm seat pitch and there is a touch screen AVOD screen with 26 films and 60 CDs among the entertainment options. There is also the ability to make and receive calls from the aircraft as well as between seats. Passengers will also be able to send emails and text messages.

Economy class is configured 3-4-3 and has the same AVOD systems as in business.

The airline has an additional four Airbus A330s coming into service from May this year, plying shorter long-haul routes such as Delhi, Nagoya and Osaka. The fifth plane will launch in November, although Kostermaa said: “We have not yet decided where it will go yet – possibly China.”

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Report by Felicity Cousins

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