Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Is Hurting Airlines’ Bottom Lines

“Japan is also an important cargo market, and air connections are needed to keep cargo moving."

Image Credit: Travel Daily

Finnair is relaunching flights to Tokyo from Helsinki. The flights will go the long way around, due to difficulties flying over Russian airspace.

Finnair paused the flights last week, when Russia invaded Ukraine. The flights are now set to resume on March the 9th, but will take a few hours longer than they used to.

“Bypassing the Russian airspace lengthens flight times to Asia considerably and, thus, the operation of most of our passenger and cargo flights to Asia is not economically sustainable or competitive,” Finnair CEO, Topi Manner, said.

The new route will re-launch on the 9th of March, running four times a week, departing from Helsinki and arriving in Tokyo Narita. The new flight time will be 13 hours.

Flights will leave Helsinki on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Flights will leave Tokyo on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The new route will either go north or south of Russia, depending on the wind. Finnair is still working on rebooting its paused services to South Korea and China, but hasn’t announced when they will resume.

Image Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters

Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ole Orvér said of the new routes: “Japan is one of our most important markets, and we want to continue offering safe and reliable connections between Helsinki and Tokyo.”

“Japan is also an important cargo market, and air connections are needed to keep cargo moving.”

“We continue to evaluate possible alternative routings for our flights to China and Korea and will communicate on these as soon as the plans are finalised.”

Ole Orvér

Finnair continues to fly to Bangkok, Delhi, Phuket, and Singapore (with longer flight times).

It also remains unknown as to when Finnair will restart flights to Seoul, Osaka, Shanghai and Guangshou.

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On top of the new Tokyo route resuming on March 9th, Finnair is also still flying to Bangkok and Phuket from both Helsinki and Stockholm, and offering additional flights to Delhi and Singapore from Helsinki.

All Finnair flights to Moscow and St. Petersberg in Russia remain cancelled for now. 

Business Insider reports that the conflict is impacting the flight routes of Aeroflot, Qantas and British Airways too.

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