Finnair resumes Helsinki-Tokyo flights, but they’ll take almost four hours longer

Mar 3, 2022

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Finnair is set to resume its flights from Helsinki to Tokyo with a new route that avoids Russian airspace.

The Finnish flag carrier cancelled some of its most popular routes to China, Japan and Korea on Monday until at least 6 March. The move came just hours after Russia banned airlines from 36 European countries from using its airspace.

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At the time, the airline said that it had made the drastic move after admitting its current “fast” routes to the Far East were no longer “economically sustainable” if it can’t fly over the warmongering nation.

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The new route will resume services on 9 March four times a week, departing from Helsinki before arriving in Tokyo Narita. The flight is expected to take approximately 13 hours, adding almost four hours to the previous flight time when the carrier flew through Russian airspace.

The four weekly flights will operate from Helsinki on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with Tokyo flights departing to Helsinki on Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The new route will fly either south or north of Russia – dependent on wind – in order to avoid Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian airspace.

Related: How Russia banning UK airlines from flying in its airspace will affect travel

It remains to be seen when the Finnish airline will be able to restart flights to its other lucrative Asian destinations which include Seoul, Osaka, Shanghai and Guangshou, though The Points Guy has reached out to Finnair for further clarity on the routes.

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.”

In addition to the reopened Tokyo route, Finnair is also still operating flights to Bangkok and Phuket from both Helsinki and Stockholm Arlanda, and additional flights to Delhi and Singapore from Helsinki.

All flights to Moscow and St. Petersberg in Russia remain cancelled for the foreseeable. 

Related: More cruise lines drop Russia, Ukraine calls in wake of invasion

Flights from Helsinki to Tokyo are available to book now via finnair.com and at travel agents throughout the UK and Ireland. Current prices for one-way tickets in April start at around €1,875 for Economy and €2,400 for Premium Economy.

Finnair is a Oneworld partner of British Airways, meaning you can also earn and redeem Avios on Finnair flights.

Access to Russian airspace was a key selling point for Finnair, which previously boasted the fastest flights between Europe and Asia thanks to a bilateral agreement that allows the airline to fly over Siberia. Just one week ago the airline was operating some 80 flights through Russian airspace per week.

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Featured image courtesy of Finnair

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