Finnair to increase frequency of flights to Mumbai by March 2008

Mumbai: Helsinki, Finland-based Finnair has said that it is planning to increase the frequency of its flights to Mumbai from the current five-times-a-week to six-times-a-week by March 2008.

According to Taina Tornstrom, director, India subcontinent, the airline, is keen on adding more Indian destinations on its network, but is currently bound by a bilateral agreement. The airline has daily services to New Delhi.

Under the existing agreement, the airline can only fly to two destinations in India. A new agreement between Finland and India, very likely in 2009, will see the airline considering the star of operations to cities such as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai, Tornstrom said.

The first airline to order Airbus A350XWB aircraft, of which it has ordered 11, Finnair is planning to deploy these for expanding its route network in Asia. The A350 XWB aircraft are medium capacity, long range, and extra wide-body planes that will be available in three models. All the three models - A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000 - will be able to fly at a speed of Mach 0.85.

A freighter version, A350-900F, will also be introduced.

According to Tornstrom, the airline has decided to retire all the MD-11 aircraft from its fleet and replace them with Airbus A330s by 2010.