Finnair and Qatar Airways have entered into an agreement to offer daily services from Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen to Doha, Qatar.
The airlines expect to launch these services between November and December 2022, according to a press statement released by Finnair on August 29, 2022.
The news of the new connections to the Middle East comes as Finnair continues to be hurt by the closure of Russian airspace, with the Finnish carrier also separately providing an update on its planned winter flying. Avoiding Russian airspace has affected Finnair more than other European carriers, due to its geographic location and the fact that much of its business came from connecting Europe and Asia via overflying Russia.
Along with the connections from the Nordic capital cities to Doha, Finnair said it and Qatar Airways were “exploring opening services also between another European destination and Doha.”
Finnair’s Airbus A330 aircraft will operate the services to Doha on three weekly schedules, which include:
- 7 weekly flights to and from Helsinki
- 7 weekly flights to and from Stockholm
- 7 weekly flights to and from Copenhagen
The agreement, which includes establishing a “long-term strategic cooperation” between the two airlines, will be supported by a comprehensive codeshare agreement with shared passenger and cargo capacity between the airlines, the statement explains.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, commented on the partnership with Finnair and the Gulf carrier’s ambition to develop Doha as a “oneworld hub.”
“As a fellow oneworld member, we enjoy a close relationship with Finnair and these new services to Hamad International Airport are an example of Qatar Airways working with partners for the benefit of our joint customers,” said Al Baker.
Al Baker added: “Soon, Doha will be the oneworld hub bringing more airline partners together than ever before. With this codeshare agreement, travellers from the Nordics will continue to have excellent connectivity to Doha with Finnair and onwards with Qatar Airways to attractive leisure and key business destinations across Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East.”
“We are delighted to expand our collaboration with our oneworld partner Qatar Airways, offering new connections between Doha and the three Nordic capitals”, says Finnair CEO Topi Manner. “The role of Doha as an international hub is growing, and Qatar Airways has extensive connections from Doha onwards to for example Australasia, the Middle East and Africa.”
Member airlines of the oneworld alliance consists of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, Fiji Airways and Oman Air.
Finnair adjusts its winter 2022/2023 schedule
Finnair also announced a number of flight cancellations and schedule changes to its traffic plan for winter 2022–2023.
The airline attributed the change its operating environment, which has affected by the war in Ukraine and the subsequent closure of Russian airspace. The rerouting required has added almost five hours to some journeys between Finland and Asia. “Our aim is to operate a traffic plan that is as economically viable as possible,” Finnair said in travel update statement on August 29, 2022.
Finnair canceled all of its flights to Krabi, Thailand and Chicago, the US, for the upcoming winter season and will discontinue direct flights from Stockholm Arlanda to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Bangkok and Phuket.
The airline has also reduced its weekly frequencies on some routes. Finnair now flies daily to Tokyo Haneda, instead of Tokyo Narita.