Russia’s S7 Airlines will launch daily service between Moscow Domodedovo Airport and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport on April 26.
It will use Airbus A319 jets to operate the route. S7 Airlines is a member of the oneworld airline alliance, which offers Russian passengers an extensive route network all over the world via Helsinki.
“The arrival of a new airline in the Finnish market will reinforce the status of Helsinki Airport as an international transit airport. We welcome the new company,” says Ville Haapasaari, director of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport for Finavia, which operates the airport.
Previously, the bilateral air service agreement between Finland and Russia enabled only one carrier from each country to operate on the Moscow route. The renewal of the agreement at the end of October allowed one additional airline from each of the two countries to serve the market. S7 Airlines is the second Russian carrier on the route.
Now, two airlines from each country can operate on the route, to the Moscow international airport they choose (Moscow has three including Vnukovo).
S7 Airlines’ schedule for the Moscow Domodedovo-Helsinki route calls for its aircraft to arrive at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (IATA code HEL) daily at 12.05 p.m. and depart again for Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME) at 12.45 p.m.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport already offers direct routes to four different cities in Russia. Finnair and Aeroflot operate daily to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. In addition, Finnair flies to Saint Petersburg twice a day and to Yekaterinburg four times a week.
In July, Russian airline Severstal Air Company opened a new route from Cherepovets to Helsinki. It is the only direct air connection from Cherepovets to Europe. In total, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport offers non-stop flights to approximately 130 destinations all over the world.
Helsinki-Vantaa Airport ‒ which is Finnair’s main hub ‒ offers daily non-stop flights to 12 different Asian cities, as well as to New York and (in summer) Chicago and Toronto.
It also offers daily non-stop service to several destinations in Finnish Lapland. The flight time to each is approximately one hour to one-and-a-half hours.
According to Finavia, Russians are currently already the second-largest international passenger group at the airport.
Finavia has increased the number of Russian signs and developed the product selections of the airport’s shops and restaurants in order to serve Russian customers’ requirements better. This spring, several new shops will open at the airport, according to Haapasaari.
The airport operator plans to launch an extensive development program at Helsinki-Vantaa, with the aim of maintaining Finland’s extensive international air network and to improve its position as a leading transit airport amid tightening international competition.
The development program mainly consists of increasing check-in capacity and transit traveling capacity and improving traffic arrangements. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport expects to be serving 20 million passengers a year by the early 2020s.