Finnair unphased by growing EX-YU competition


Finland’s national carrier Finnair has said it is not concerned by increased competition from former Yugoslav markets, with Slovenia and Croatia remaining attractive destinations due to a high level of Asian transfer passengers on its seasonal flights to the two countries. It noted that the continued development of its limited network in the region will highly depend on travel demand from Asia. As a result, the majority of its operations continue to centre around Slovenia and Croatia, where it sees a mix of both point to point, as well as transfer traffic from the Far East. The airline currently maintains seasonal services from Helsinki to Ljubljana, Dubrovnik and Split.

In a statement, the airline said, "Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan". It added, “The Croatian market serves as a great destination for Finnair customers both from Northern Europe and Asia. We have also seen increasing numbers of passengers from Croatia using Finnair on their trips. Demand for Croatian destinations has been growing year by year”. Finnair’s Ljubljana service has also proven popular with travellers from Asia, with the Finnish carrier handling an average of over 30.000 passengers on the seasonal route each year. “Ljubljana is developing well and we hope that someday it will be feasible to operate there year round. We actively follow many markets where we could either increase frequencies or make them year round operations”, the airline said.

Demand for flights between the former Yugoslavia to Finland has grown in recent years, with Croatia Airlines initially introducing seasonal flights from Zagreb to Helsinki in 2017, while Norwegian Air Shuttle launched services from the Finnish capital to Pristina. Earlier this month, Air Serbia inaugurated three weekly year-round operations between Belgrade and Helsinki. This will be followed up by the introduction of Wizz Air services from Skopje to Turku, located in the south of the country. Furthermore, Montenegro Airlines maintains charters to the Finnish capital. Finnair said it currently has no news regarding its future plans for Serbia, Macedonia or Montenegro. The Oneworld alliance member, which has carved out a niche with direct flights to Asia, says future expansion in these markets will highly depend on demand from the Far East. “For the time being, the demand from our Asian units has been to Croatian coastal areas. However, when Asian tour operators create more products for the former Yugoslav area we want to be their first choice of airline”.




Comments

  1. It's interesting that there are suddenly so many flights to HEL/Finland in ex-Yu region.

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  2. I'm still baffled by Skopje-Turku.

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    1. Albanians in Finland which are not in small number...

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    2. SKP is a win-win for everybody, the joint utilization by Macedonians and Albanians makes it possible to have year-round destination to a large portion of Europe for cheap. The highway PRN SKP and a better connectivity to Bulgaria will facilitate even more growth.

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  3. Will we see Finnair in Zagreb anytime soon?

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    1. Croatia Airlines flies ZAG-HEL seasonally and even that is mostly filled up with transfers to the coast. Finnish people don't really care about the Balkans. They only fly to Croatian coast to sunbathe and swim.

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    2. Hmm, don't think so. You have OU and demand is mostly to the coast.

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    3. You would be surprised how much Finns like balkans.Problem is just too little marketing other than Croatian coast.

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    4. From what I know Greece is very popular in Finland.

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  4. So demand from Japan is growing, tick tock ;)

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  5. JU has tremendous success in HEL, most CRJ flight are overbooked while flights operated with A319 have over 100 passengers. Seems like they knew what they were doing when they scheduled it as three weekly from the start. Hopefully we see a 4th weekly next year.

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    1. Surprising. Who are they flying? Finns to Montenegro, Croatia?

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    2. Mostly transfers to Greece and the Croatian coast but there is to pretty much anywhere including BEY, LCA... but the other two dominate.

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    3. JU should definitely consider some market in Asia to cater for Croatian coast and regional transfers.

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    4. Shanghai! More and more Chinese are coming so launching China flights makes a lot of sense.

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    5. If Air Serbia doesn't start China, looks like Finnair would like to work with tour operators to bring tourists to Belgrade. However that means Finnair would have to start BEG service.

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    6. I think SU is keeping AY from BEG. It's not easy competing with their triple daily flights.

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  6. Oh come on Finnair. You have been flying to Ljubljana for 10 years now and you still haven't gone year round!

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    1. They had some 5.000 less passengers in 2018 compared to 2017, I don't see them going year-round anytime soon.

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    2. Flew ARN-HEL-LJU a couple of summers ago. If things have worsened since then, there are 0% they go tear-round.

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    3. 0% chances*, year-round*

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    4. Why? What happened?

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    5. My guess is that TK and SU are taking passengers away from AY but I wouldn't rule out EK from ZAG.

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    6. The market is too small. Slovenia is a very small country.

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  7. It would be nice o see more of them around ex-Yu. There are hardly any One world airlines around.

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    1. With exception to QR I think there are none in BEG and SJJ.

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  8. Are Norwegian's flights from HEL to PRN seasonal or year round?

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    1. The route was supposed to go year round but then they cancelled those plans and kept it only seasonal.

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    2. @9.45 you are wrong. Norwegian's route is year round. You can book tickets for winter 2019/2020, although just 1 flight per week.

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  9. Finnair served OHD for two summer seasons. Would be nice to see them back.

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  10. "Slovenia and Croatia are very popular leisure destinations from Finland. A lot of the travel is point to point but we do see an increase in transfer traffic as well, those destinations are becoming increasingly popular among our Asian customers, particularly from Japan"

    I really do hope ANA launches flights to either LJU or ZAG. There is obviously demand and other airlines a benefiting from it at the moment.

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    1. Not year-round.

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    2. If ZAG gets Japan, it will be JAL, not ANA.

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  11. JU are doing a very smart strategy. They added a lot of Croatian coast services and maintain a good connection with Greece. Over a longer term this can become a base for more long haul services, especially knowing OU and JP are in trouble. So they will drag Asians and North Americans to the Balkans once they stabilize their route network and further improve loads. JU is going to make a model similar to LO with tens of short haul services combined with a network of long haul ones - China, Japan, US, Canada, Korea, India.

    However what JU should do is to join Skyteam ASAP.

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    1. How is your post related to Finland?

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    2. Because JU serves the Finnish market as part of its larger strategy.

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  12. Finnair flying to Ljubljana makes Brnik Airport in summer lit bit more special.

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  13. Maybe Finnair could eventually start flights to Montenegro for tourists.

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    Replies
    1. Brac would be a good choice for them..

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    2. Only if the fly HEL-BWK via RJK.

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  14. Zagreb is full of Asian tourists year-round and Finnair states what, their network depends on the demand from Asia. Ok Finnair, keep looking :D

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  15. Has anyone flown with Finnair? What is their service and fares like?

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    1. Ozbiljna kompanija, sjajna usluga, ok cene i odlicna i sve mladja flota.

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    2. Not bad, but nothing spectacular. Just like any other legacy carrier on inter European flights. Haven't tried them long haul.

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  16. Good luck if you only depend on Asian demand. look further

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  17. They are unphased now but eventually they will start losing those point to point passengers if other airlines in the region offer cheaper fares to more places.

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  18. Transited through Helsinki last year. Great looking airport. Nice experience.

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  19. Finnair can be lucky that airports in FIN are so expensive. there is almost no FR or Wizz flights

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    1. They have DY though.

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    2. DY is hardly considered cheap, at least not as cheap as W6 or FR.

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  20. I suspect they might start flights to ZAD.

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  21. I think Finnair made a mistake because Serbia can actually benefit from Asian and mostly Chinese travellers to both BEG and INI.

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    1. If they had launched the route 2 years ago they also could have made a codeshare with JU and shuttled passengers to Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia... too late now.

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  22. Well if they were smart enough they could be a transfer airline from ex-Yu to North America.

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    1. They could but ex-Yu and the Balkans in general is not a priority for them.

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  23. They don't take enough risks. They should have launched Zagreb but now it's too late with Croatia Airlines flying the route.

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    Replies
    1. OU is no threat to them, after one season they would suspend the route. I mean OU, not AY.

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