Finnair to offer Indians the fastest air link to US

Mumbai: Finnish airliner Finnair plans to offer the fastest link from India to the US, using the Helsinki route.

Finnair, which operates services to Helsinki from New Delhi and Mumbai, plans to extend the service to New York from the Finnish capital.

In addition to shortening the route, splitting over 14 hours flight to the US into two halves also lessens environmental burdens of a non-stop flight, the airlines said.

"Demand between the two continents is expected to grow significantly. Changing aircraft in Helsinki divides the trip into pleasant sections and offers Helsinki-Vantaa Airport''s vast services," the European carrier said, in a vision 2017'' document.

"Finnair''s Indian traffic, which has got off to a good start, makes it possible to open the fastest connections between North America and India, because Finland is situated along the shortest route," airline''s president and CEO Jukka Hienonen said.

He said Finnair plans to invest euro 2 million and recruit over 200 persons per year to meet the demand of growing traffic until the middle of the next decade. The group may also restructure operations to meet the future needs.

"We want to be a reliable and safe alternative in an uncertain world. We will take advantage of Helsinki''s geographical location even more extensively," said Hienonen.

Finnair, which has been flying charters to Goa for over 20 years, started its scheduled flights from Delhi October 31 last year and has been flying daily from Helsinki to New Delhi since May 19.

Mumbai was added to its schedule on June 27 with five flights a week.