Finnair is extending its codeshare cooperation with American Airlines to codeshare on American Airlines' new service between Chicago and Helsinki, which begins in April...

Finnair is extending its codeshare cooperation with American Airlines to codeshare on American Airlines’ new service between Chicago and Helsinki, which begins in April 2011.

American Airlines will fly the route in the 2011 summer season with Boeing 767-300ERs. Both American and Finnair are members of the oneworld alliance. American says the new route is a direct example of the route benefits accruing from the U.S. and European antitrust immunity it has won for its new tranatlantic business with British Airways and Iberia, which the three airlines launched on October 6. Along with American, BA and Iberia. Finnair and Royal Jordanian also won U.S. antitrust approval to coordinate schedules, capacity and fares on the five airlines’ transatlantic routes.

“We are glad that, through this cooperation, we will be able to offer our customers a new destination and an ever-expanding route network in the United States,” says Paavo Virkkunen, Finnair’s Vice President responsible for oneworld relations.  The new route will also allow access to 43 new further destinations in North America.”

Finnair has introduced new fully lie-flat business class seats in all its Airbus A330-300s. The first passengers to experience the new seats were those flying in the airline's fifth A330-300, delivered in December 2009 with the new seats already installed. Finnair has retrofitted the four previously delivered A330s with the new business class seats and the remaining five A330s from its order for 10 aircraft were to be delivered with the new seating

When American begins operating the new Chicago-Helsinki service in April, the flight will depart Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) at 3:40 p.m. and arrive at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) at 8:30 a.m. the next day. The flight from HEL back to Chicago will depart at 2:00 p.m., arriving at ORD at 3:20 p.m.

In the summer season, Finnair operates its own flights to New York daily and to Toronto five times per week.

American Airlines’ codeshare cooperation with Finnair extends to American’s domestic routes to Boston, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, as well as other U.S. destinations. In Europe, American Airlines codeshares on Finnair’s flights between Helsinki and London, Paris and Frankfurt.

In addition to Finnair and American Airlines, oneworld alliance members include British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian as well as around 20 subsidiaries. Russian S7 Airlines will join the alliance in November and the Indian airline Kingfisher Airways will join in 2011. Mexicana is also still listed as a member of oneworld but the Mexican carrier and its two subsidiary airlines ceased operations in August and it is not known yet if Mexicana and subsidiaries MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink will ever be able to resume flying.

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