New Delhi: Finnair, which offers connections between New Delhi and New York via Helsinki, is planning flights to the US out of Mumbai from April this year.
The Finnish flag carrier said in a statement that its Mumbai-New York flight via Helsinki would clock 17 hours and 10 minutes, the fastest after non-stop flights that take 16 hours and 15 minutes to cover the 12,563 km journey.
While stop-over flights usually take 20-22 hours, including stops of over two hours at intermediate airports depending on the airline, Finnair plans to cut the transit time to 35 minutes at Helsinki Vantaa airport.
“Passengers can use the time to stretch themselves” before they board the connecting flight, Finnair Director (Indian subcontinent) Taina Tornstrom told PTI.
The airline currently operates daily services between New Delhi and Helsinki, already the shortest connection to northern Europe, and five flights between Mumbai and Helsinki. It plans to add one more flight to Mumbai soon.
Noting that weekend flights made greater business sense, Tornstrom said once the sixth flight is added, the airline would also shift the Tuesday service to Sunday.
She said the load factor from India was just about the Finnair global average load factor of almost 75%. On long-haul flights, it was about 80%.
In a separate statement, Finnair said scheduled traffic increased last year by 22.6%, while the Asian traffic was up by 32.6%. Finnair’s Asian flights carried more than 1.1 million passengers. Nine per cent of all Finnair long-haul passengers traveled in business class.