Qatar Airways has started direct flights between Helsinki and Doha on Monday, 10 October. The new daily route strengthens the role of Helsinki Airport as the best airport in Northern Europe and increases the range of international flight connections from Finland.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and the Finnish Ambassador to Qatar, Her Excellency Mrs. Riitta Swan travelled on board the inaugural flight and were greeted by a VIP delegation including Finland’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Mrs. Anne Berner; the President and Chief Executive Officer of Finavia, Mr. Kari Savolainen; the Chief Executive Officer of Visit Helsinki, Mrs. Tuulikki Becker; and Finpro Executive Vice President, Head of Visit Finland, Mr. Paavo Virkkunen.
To celebrate this special occasion the airline flew one of its new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft to Helsinki, and will operate the daily Helsinki service with an Airbus A320 going forward. Qatar Airways’ Airbus A320 has a two-class configuration with 12 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
The launch of the new route to Helsinki completes Qatar Airways’ network strategy of serving Nordic capitals, which currently includes Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, and reinforces its commitment to serving the people of Northern Europe.
To support the new destination launch, the airline also announced a new code-share partnership with Finnair, which is effective from today, expanding Qatar Airways’ presence in the Baltic States and Nordic countries while strengthening Finnair’s network in the Middle East and beyond.
“This is an important step to us as the leading transfer airport in the Nordic connects with a modern hub in the Middle East. We are happy to accept this new route and wish Qatar Airways warmly welcome to Finland,” says Joni Sundelin, senior vice president at Finavia.
While Qatar Airways is starting flights to Finland, Finavia is running a major development programme to expand Helsinki Airport and increase its transit capacity.
This year, the number of passengers at Helsinki Airport is expected to reach a new record high. Last year, the airport reached a record of 16.4 million passengers. When the expansion of Helsinki Airport is completed in 2020, the airport is expected to have 20 million passengers per year.
Finavia's development programme was launched in 2013. Its objective is to strengthen the position of Helsinki Airport as a significant hub between Europe and Asia. Helsinki Airport's strengths include short transit times, friendly staff and innovative world-class services.