Finnair flies state-subsidised routes to Kajaani, Kokkola, Kemi, Jyväskylä and Joensuu from October to July
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) recently launched a public tender procedure for state-subsidised traffic for routes to Kajaani, Kokkola/Kemi, Jyväskylä and Joensuu. Finnair participated in the tendering and won the contracts for all five routes.
Flights are set to begin on 31 October. The contract period of the public service obligation runs from 31 October 2022 to 30 July 2023. Finnair and the Transport and Communications Agency now begin contract negotiations for the purchased air services.
“It’s good to remember that we are not returning to these airports as a commercial operator, but rather as a purchase traffic operator,” says Mikko Turtiainen, the Vice President of Market Management at Finnair. “We’ve already stated that the prerequisites for commercially operating these routes are not met due to historically low demand. Because of this, our position on this matter has not changed.”
Finnair has seen 1-billion-euro losses during the coronavirus pandemic, and the closure of Russian airspace earlier this year has impacted Finnair’s profitability. The aim of Finnair is to restore profitability, and an economically sustainable traffic plan is an important part of this.
“It is clear that all our flights have to be economically sensible, and this was also the starting point of our tender,” Turtiainen adds.
Routes will be operated by Norra and flown with ATR 72 aircraft that have a seating capacity of 68/70. Triangular flights will be flown to Kemi and Kokkola.
“This aircraft type is rather large for many of these routes in respect to their historical demand. However, we of course hope that there will be enough customers so that these flights will be justifiable from a sustainability standpoint as well,” states Turtiainen.
“We understand the significance of functioning transport connections to these cities. It would be important to develop connections by combining different modes of transport. This would also be sensible from an environmental perspective.”
The planned flight schedules to the five regional airports integrate seamlessly into Finnair’s network from Helsinki.