The coronavirus epidemic has had a severe impact on demand for air travel, and several countries have set restrictions on air travel. Finnair has today commented on the financial implications of the situation in a stock exchange release. Finnair is now making substantial adjustments to its traffic and will reduce approximately 90 per cent of its normal capacity, compared to 2019, starting from the beginning of April 2020.
These adjustments will be in effect until the situation improves. As of 1 April, Finnair will temporarily operate only approximately 20 routes, ensuring certain critical air and cargo supply connections for Finland during this exceptional situation. Finnair will start transitioning to the limited network immediately and will cancel between 1,500 to 2,000 flights from 16 March to 31 March.
“The coronavirus epidemic has decreased air travel dramatically, but we want to maintain the most critical air connections for Finland also in this exceptional situation,” says Topi Manner, Finnair’s CEO. “We continue to follow the situation closely, adding routes and frequencies to the traffic program as demand returns. We hope to be able to return to normal operations as soon as the coronavirus situation alleviates. We are extremely sorry about the disruption and uncertainty the situation is causing to our customers and their travel plans. In this situation, the capacity cuts are unavoidable – we cannot fly customers in a situation where we may not be able to fly them back home.”
As of 1 April, Finnair operates the routes listed below, with a limited number of weekly frequencies, provided that there are no additional travel restrictions set by the authorities. All flights on other routes are cancelled.
During the Easter travel season (early to mid April) Finnair will also operate the following routes: Ivalo, Kittilä, Kuusamo
Finnair will also fly to Copenhagen, Moscow, Oslo, St Petersburg, Riga and Tallinn once the travel restrictions to these destinations are lifted.
The cancellations will be updated in Finnair systems in phases, and at this stage Finnair cancels flights from its systems until end of June 2020.
Decisions regarding tour operator flights are made with the tour operator partners, and tour operators, including Finnair’s own tour operator Aurinkomatkat, will communicate any changes to their customers.
Congested customer service centers
In this situation, Finnair customer service centers are unfortunately congested, due to the high number of impacted customers. To manage waiting times, Finnair is adding personnel to its call centers and will implement the flight cancellations and related customer requests in phases.
- Customers can postpone their travel dates themselves in Manage booking on Finnair website until the flight is cancelled from Finnair systems and customers have received a message about the cancellation.
- When a flight is cancelled, customers receive a text message or email from Finnair, with instructions on how to seek a refund for the unused ticket or to change the travel dates through Finnair Customer Service. Customers are encouraged to check through Manage booking that their reservations include up-to-date contact information.
- If a customer has made their booking via a travel agent, they should contact the travel agent directly.
Instructions for customers are available on Finnair’s webpages.
Finnair continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation and its impact on demand for air travel and is ready to ramp up operations fast as the situation improves.