Tuesday, 1 November 2016
FINLAND: Finnair Will Suspend Or Cancel Two Asian Routes
Finnair will suspend or cancel services on two Asian routes as it seeks to accommodate pilot training for its new Airbus A350s.
The Finnish flag carrier plans to halt flights between Helsinki and Chongqing, China, from Jan. 11 to May 2, 2017 as it ramps up its A350 fleet, which will become the carrier’s main long-haul aircraft. This requires A350 training for Finnair’s existing pool of A330 pilots.
Training takes the flight deck crew away from normal duties, which puts a temporary strain on Finnair’s pilot resources.
Finnair said it will contact all passengers affected by this temporary measure to offer a suitable rerouting, change of travel date or, alternatively, a refund.
“We apologize for the disruption this is causing to our customers’ travel plans, and will do our very best to find a suitable solution for each passenger during this temporary period when we do not operate to Chongqing,” Finnair COO Jaakko Schildt said.
Some flights from Helsinki to Nagoya, Japan, will also be canceled in spring 2017.
Finnair was the European launch customer for the A350 and will have six in service by the end of 2016.
Other measures to adjust the traffic program to allow for the A350 trainings include a two-month wet lease on Finnair’s Helsinki-New York JFK route.
In addition, Finnair said it will hire an Airbus A340 and crew from Portuguese wet-lease and ACMI specialist carrier Hi Fly from Nov. 3 to Jan. 8, 2017.