Finnair has announced that it will cut capacity by 90%, starting from 1 April. The airline will keep critical air connections for Finland and limited connections to Europe as well as one remaining intercontinental route to Japan.
The airline cites the “severe impact on demand for air travel” resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, with several countries setting restrictions.
As of 1 April, Finnair will temporarily operate only approximately 20 routes, ensuring certain critical air and cargo supply connections for Finland. Finnair will start transitioning to the limited network immediately and will cancel between 1,500 to 2,000 flights from 16 March to 31 March. “These adjustments will be in effect until the situation improves,” the airline states.
“The coronavirus epidemic has decreased air travel dramatically, but we want to maintain the most critical air connections for Finland also in this exceptional situation,” says Topi Manner, Finnair’s CEO. “We continue to follow the situation closely, adding routes and frequencies to the traffic program as demand returns. We hope to be able to return to normal operations as soon as the coronavirus situation alleviates. We are extremely sorry about the disruption and uncertainty the situation is causing to our customers and their travel plans. In this situation, the capacity cuts are unavoidable – we cannot fly customers in a situation where we may not be able to fly them back home.”
As of 1 April, Finnair operates the routes listed below, with a limited number of weekly frequencies, provided that there are no additional travel restrictions set by the authorities. All flights on other routes are cancelled.
During the Easter travel season (early to mid April) Finnair will also operate the following routes: Ivalo, Kittilä, Kuusamo
Finnair will also fly to Copenhagen, Moscow, Oslo, St Petersburg, Riga and Tallinn once the travel restrictions to these destinations are lifted.
The cancellations will be updated in Finnair systems in phases, and at this stage Finnair cancels flights from its systems until end of June 2020.
Decisions regarding tour operator flights are made with the tour operator partners, and tour operators, including Finnair’s own tour operator Aurinkomatkat, will communicate any changes to their customers.
Like other carriers, Finnair is also reporting that its customer service centres are congested. The airline is adding staff to help manage requests and is also offering tips on how customers can resolve their travel questions without having to wait for the call centres.
- Customers can postpone their travel dates themselves in Manage booking on the Finnair website until the flight is cancelled in the Finnair systems. Customers will then receive a message confirming the cancellation.
- When a flight is cancelled, customers receive a text message or email from Finnair, with instructions on how to seek a refund for the unused ticket or to change the travel dates through Finnair Customer Service. Customers are encouraged to check through Manage booking that their reservations include up-to-date contact information.
- If a customer has made their booking via a travel agent, they should contact the travel agent directly.
Other instructions for customers are available on Finnair’s website.
“Finnair continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and its impact on demand for air travel and is ready to ramp up operations fast as the situation improves,” the airline states.