Finnair will be starting a three-times-weekly, direct service to Hanoi in Vietnam on June 14.
Initially, the plan is to only operate the flight until October 27, "But our target is to increase frequencies and expand the season in the future," Manti Väätäinen-Pereira of Finnair Communications says.
"We think it's going to be [popular for] both business and leisure... it is a growing economic center, which fuels business travel," said Väätäinen-Pereira. Hanoi has a population of 6.5 million, and is a hot spot of higher education and research and development in the region. The Vietnamese capital is forecasted by PricewaterhouseCoopers to have the world’s fastest growing economy between the years 2008-2025.
The move is part of the airline's strategic focus on Asia, initiated in 2010 (see story here) – which aims for Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to become a transit hub for flights between Asia and Europe, citing a geographic advantage since flying over the top of the earth's curvature allows for shorter services between the two continents. From Helsinki, Finnair offers connections to more than 60 European destinations.
Chief executive Mika Vehviläinen says: “this is yet another important step for Finnair toward our long-term goal of doubling our Asian revenue by 2020." Other Asian routes Finnair serve from the hub include Chongqing (see here), Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.
For more information visit www.finnair.com