New Delhi: Nordic carrier Finnair will reschedule operations to India from the coming winter season, providing services that will result in better connectivity and convenient flight timings to at least 12 European destinations, the airline said.
''From this winter, that is from October-end, passengers travelling from Delhi to Helsinki and at least 12 other destinations in Europe will get the advantage of morning flights,'' said Kari Stolbow, Finnair's director for the Indian sub-continent. Stolbow, took charge of Finnair operations in the subcontinent just last week, also said that services from Mumbai had been pushed forward a bit to provide passengers a similar advantage.
The change in schedule would result in a temporary reduction of the frequency of Finnair's daily services to New Delhi by a day and to four days, from the current six, for Mumbai. The Mumbai-New York sector will be dropped by the carrier in the winter season.
According to Stolbow, some of the European destinations that will now be much better connected would include Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan and Munich. He also said that the airline would also continue to be the fastest to ferry passengers to as many as 16 out of 38 destinations in Europe.
Finnair's flights will now depart New Delhi at 11.30 am and reach Helsinki at 3 pm, while the flights out of Mumbai will leave at 9.15 am and reach Helsinki at 2.05 pm.
On return trips, flights will depart the Finnish capital at 8 pm and reach New Delhi at 6 am, while flights to Mumbai will depart Helsinki at 5.25 pm and reach Mumbai at 4.30 am.
Stolbow also said that the carrier continued to remain bullish on the Indian market and looked forward to the review of the bilateral civil aviation pact between Finland and India, particularly as it was interested in two important destinations in the country - Chennai and Bangalore. These destinations were important keeping in mind the growing demand from some 100-odd Finnish companies in India, including Nokia, Kone, Wartsila and Elcoteq.
Under current provisions of the bilateral pact, Finnish carriers may fly seven days a week each to New Delhi and Mumbai. Finnair has utilised its allotment fully within two years of commencing operations.
The carrier commenced operations in October 2006 with three flights to New Delhi, which were subsequently upgraded to a daily service by May 2007. Similarly, operations to Mumbai began with just five flights last year, but have now been upgraded to six.
The carrier has been operating charter services to Goa, an attractive winter destination for Finns, for more than 20 years.