Finnair: 40 Years of Flights from Finland to Japan

Finnair: 40 Years of Flights from Finland to Japan
Finnair: 40 Years of Flights from Finland to Japan
Written by Harry Johnson

Nordic carrier was the only airline in the early 1980s to offer direct flights between Western Europe and Japan

This weekend, Finnair will celebrate 40 years of flying to Japan in a major milestone for the Nordic carrier.

Finnair’s first flight to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ took off on 22 April 1983, with a new nonstop service to Tokyo-Narita, becoming the only airline at the time to offer direct flights between Western Europe and Japan.

Technological advancements with extra fuel tanks on its DC-10 aircraft allowed the Nordic carrier to increase the speed of service and forgoing transfers.

It carved out a unique customer proposition by flying via the North Pole and the shortest routes between Europe and Asia.

Over the next four decades, Finnair established a formidable reputation for flying to the Far East and before the pandemic flew to more destinations in Japan, than any other European carrier.

In response to increasing customer demand, Finnair became the popular gateway to Japan.

With the start of direct services to Fukuoka in 2016 Finnair was the first – and only – European airline to operate to five different cities in Japan, including Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo and Tokyo.

Finnair flights to Tokyo Narita, via the North Pole, resumed on 9 March 2022 as Japan reopened and demand returned following the pandemic enabling the airline to build back its network.

Pasi Kuusisto, Finnair General Manager North America, said: “Finnair made aviation history 40 years ago this week, and has remained one of the key airlines connecting the world with Japan.

“We are proud of our links to Japan and Asia, and achieving so many remarkable firsts in a highly competitive aviation sector in what is now our centenary year.

“Thanks to our geographic position, we have established Finnair as a firm bridge between the West and Asia and will look to rebuild our network while also looking to the US to expand our customer offering.

“Even during difficult times, Finnair’s fantastic people have come together as one team to take on the challenges of recent years head on and put the airline on course to navigate the next 100 years.”

Finnair is continuing to build back its Asian network with the restart of flights to Osaka in Japan on March 26, complementing existing services to Tokyo-Haneda and Tokyo-Narita.

These services have been specifically timed to allow easy connections from Finnair’s extensive European and North American network.

While Finnair remains firmly committed to the Far East and Asia, its new strategy – following the war in Ukraine and the closure of Russian Airspace – has seen the airline move towards a more geographically balanced network, connecting Europe to Asia, India, the Middle East and North America.

WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

(eTN): Finnair: 40 Years of Flights from Finland to Japan | re-post license post content


About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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