Finnair has landed in Fukuoka! Finnair, one of the oldest airlines in the world (operating since 1923) is now flying three times a week between Fukuoka and Helsinki, making it the only direct, non-stop flight to Europe from Fukuoka. On May 8 (Sun.), Fukuoka Now was invited onto the tarmac to witness the arrival of the first flight from Helsinki.
The Helsinki ~ Fukuoka flight takes just nine hours and thirty minutes. And since Fukuoka is one of Western Japan’s most important commercial cities with excellent transport links to Kyushu’s other prefectures, Finnair expects 14,000 travellers to use this new route within the first five months.
Fukuoka departures are on Wed., Fri. and Sun. at 9:30, arriving in Helsinki at 13:55, and return flights leave Finland on Tue., Thu. and Sat. at 16:30, arriving in Fukuoka at 8:00 the next day. The model used is the Airbus A330-300, with 218 seats in economy and 45 in business class.
At least one third of the cabin crew is Japanese, and all the signage has Japanese translations, so Japanese passengers will not be inconvenienced. Furthermore, thanks to very close relationships with Japan Airlines and British Airways, it is possible to book flights utilising these carriers to make very convenient and inexpensive itineraries.
For the past six years, Finnair has been voted the best airline in Northern Europe, has a 4-star rating by Startrax, and, despite the harsh winters, boasts a 99% successful connection rate at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Finnair already have flights between Helsinki and Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, and they offer some of the fastest services to Europe from Japan. And once you’ve arrived in Helsinki, Finnair offers sixty connections to other destinations, making it an ideal hub airport. The airport was designed to facilitate quick and easy transfers, and is actually walkable – unlike some other huge hub airports. And even if you do have a layover at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, there are Finnish saunas to relax in!
Initially the route will be a summer-only service, ending in October, but, provided sales are good, Finnair hopes to operate the route year-round.
Finnair’s Website (Japan): http://www.finnair.com/jp/gb/destinations/asia-pacific/japan