Finnair cuts more than half of planned flights in October

HELSINKI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Finnair will cut back its October flight program and fly around 70 to 80 flights daily instead of the approximately 200 flights it had planned due to weak demand, the Finnish national carrier said on Wednesday.

“The demand for air travel in Finnair’s network has recovered slowly due to the development of the corona pandemic and related travel restrictions,” Finnair said in a statement.

Finnair’s announcement followed a similar move by Irish airline Ryanair in August, which said it would reduce its flight capacity by a further 20% during September and October due to weak bookings.

In July and August, Finnair had reopened routes to some of its destinations in Europe and in Asia.

Finnair said it would continue to serve 42 destinations in October but the frequency would be reduced on almost all routes, whereas in October a year earlier it flew around 350 flights a day to more than 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.

“We want to maintain critical connections for Finland to European centres and to our most important Asian destinations, as travel is vital for the Finnish business community,” Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orvér said. (Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Louise Heavens)