The new flights add capacity to the popular route between France and Finland. Air France codeshare flights with Finnair will continue to operate on the same route. The last time Air France operated regular, direct flights to Helsinki was over 20 years ago.
The additional flights will operate four times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However, from July 19e From there, Air France will operate daily flights.
The flight will depart Paris at 1:00 p.m. local time and arrive in Helsinki at 5:00 p.m. The return flight leaves Helsinki at 5:45 pm and lands in Paris at 7:50 pm Air France is deploying its A319 configured with 143 seats to cover this route. However, with the airline slated to receive its first A220 in September, the A319 will likely be replaced by one of these new jets.
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The Air France network is growing
The new Helsinki route can last all year, but its introduction coincides with other additions to the Air France network. The airline will operate 81 seasonal routes this summer, including 23 new routes across Europe and North Africa.
The increase in the Air France network signals an acceleration of regional and national operations. Like many other European airlines, Air France appears to be focusing on the region until travel restrictions are relaxed for routes to the United States and Asia. However, with so many restrictions still in place across Europe, Air France allows passengers to cancel flights, change their reservations and get a full refund as the situation evolves.
Withdrawal of A319s
An Airbus A319 will initially provide Air France’s new route. The airline’s A319 fleet has an average age of 19.8 years, according to Planespotters.net. It is highly likely that over the next few years, as the airline phased out its aging A319s and A318s, the route will be taken over by new A220s. Air France has 60 A220-600s on order.
Delivery of the new A220s is expected later this year, provided there are no delays. With lower carbon emissions, newer technology and quieter engines, the new A220 will be worth the wait. However, the airline has not confirmed the deadline for replacing all A319s.
While the airline also plans to reduce its domestic short-haul network by allowing trains to operate national routes, the new A220s will be deployed on international routes across Europe and North Africa. The routes that will receive the first A220s will no doubt be determined by demand and passenger numbers as markets recover.
What do you think of the new route to Helsinki? Will it be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.