Finnair, Finland's national airline, is set to reintroduce direct flights between Helsinki and Mumbai in March 2024. The General Manager of Finnair, Sakari Romu, cited the disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and restrictions on Russian airspace as the reason for the previous suspension of flights to Mumbai. However, Finnair plans to re-establish the route, this time by flying over Europe to connect the two cities directly.
Sakari Romu mentioned that Finnair had initially launched direct flights between Mumbai and Helsinki as part of its summer schedule in August 2022. Unfortunately, due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the airline had to suspend these operations starting in February. However, the plan is to resume these direct flights in March 2024 by altering the flight path to avoid Russian airspace.
"Due to the closure of the Russian airspace, our flying time to Asian destinations like Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong rose from around 9 hours to close to 13.5 hours," Romu said, adding that due to the increased flying time a higher capacity needed to be deployed on these routes leaving behind fewer planes to be used for Indian operations.