Helsinki-based Finnair’s Australian boss Geoff Stone says Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore are the most popular Asian gateways for local passengers heading to Europe.
Although Finnair does not serve this market with its own aircraft, the airline has codeshare arrangements with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, as well as interline agreements with Japan Airlines, to take passengers from Australia to Asia, where they transfer onto Finnair’s services to Helsinki and beyond.
And the range of destinations beyond Helsinki are many and varied, with Finnair serving some 100 cities in Europe as part of an expanding route network.
“Finnair is undergoing the fastest growth phase in our 94-year history with new aircraft, new routes and a strong focus on Asia,” Stone told reporters in Sydney in early December.
“This Northern Hemisphere winter we will have four new long-haul routes including Havana, Goa, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and Puerto Plata in the Domincan Republic.”
Stone, who finished up his six and a half year stint as Finnair’s Australian boss at the end of 2017 to take up a new role as chief operating officer of Australian Cruise Group, noted Finnair was the largest European carrier in Japan with 31 weekly frequencies to four cities.
Moreover, Finnair was also growing strongly in the China market, with nonstop flights between Helsinki and Nanjing due to start in 2018 meaning the airline would soon serve seven destinations in the country.
“This year sees us with 87 weekly flights to Asia and by next year we will have 97 weekly flights to Asia,” he said.
Finnair, a member of the oneworld airline marketing alliance, has been recognised as the best offline carrier at the Australian Federation of Travel Agents National Travel Industry Awards for the past five years.
“I would like to pay special tribute to a wonderful group of professionals and terrific people with whom I have been privileged to work with at Finnair in Australia over these last few years,” Stone said.
“They are absolutely dedicated to delivering the best possible service and outcomes for our clients and industry partners.
“Thank you also to so many of you in the Australian travel industry who have supported me over the years and continue to help us in maintaining Finnair’s strong reputation and bookings in the Australian marketplace.”