Flights with Finnair:

An overview of Finnair

image of FinnairFinnair is headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, and is the flag carrier and national airline of Finland. Bruno Lucander founded the airline in 1923 as Aero O/Y or Aero Ltd. Prior to this, Bruno Lucander ran the Finnish operations for Aeronaut, the Estonian airline. Finnair made its inaugural flight on the 20th of March 1924. This flight took off from Helsinki airport and flew to Tallinn in Estonia. The aircraft used was a Junkers F-13 equipped with floats. Finnair used these seaplanes up until December 1936. The operation of these planes was stopped as soon as the aerodrome was constructed in Finland.

During the Second World War, most of the airline’s fleet was used by the Finnish Air Force to evacuate children to Sweden.

After the end of the 2nd World War – in 1946 – Aero Ltd adopted Finnair as its name. In 1961, the airline joined its contemporaries by entering the jet age. The airline added Caravelle aeroplanes to its fleet. In June 1968, the name Finnair was made official. Finnair soon went global and in 1969, the company acquired its first Douglas DC-8. The airline’s maiden transatlantic route to New York was made with this aircraft.

In the years that followed, the airline expanded and in 1975, the first of its wide-bodied aircrafts were introduced into its fleet. This was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30. Finnair grew rapidly and in 1983, became the first airline to fly from Western Europe to Tokyo, non-stop. Following this, in 1988, Finnair opened up its new route to Beijing, once again making it the first airline to open up a non-stop route from Europe to China. Finnair was also the first customer for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, which was delivered to the airline on the 7th of December 1990.

As Finnair grew, the need to offer its passengers a greater variety of destinations also grew and, to make this possible, the airline joined the OneWorld alliance in 1999. It also established another airline based in Estonia called Aero Airlines. Finnair then bought over Flynordic, which is a low cost regional airline operating in and around Scandinavia.

Today, Finnair transports over 8.8 million passengers across the globe giving them a choice of 55 international destinations. They also offer seasonal charter flights to about 50 destinations.

Like all other airlines, Finnair too has its set of customer loyalty programmes and rewards. One such programme is Finnair Plus, which is a programme for the frequent flyer. Finnair offers an interesting in-flight magazine called ‘Blue Wings’. There are 10 editions of this magazine printed every year both in English and in Finnish.

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Globe Trotting with Finnair :
South African tourists do not have as many airlines connecting them to the rest of the world like most other destinations. More often than not they fly with alliances of the given airline. Finnair is a part of one such alliance, the OneWorld alliance and its passengers can now opt for to travel with American Airlines, LAN, Cathay Pacific, Royal Jordanian, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Iberia, MALEV, or Qantas.

Although Finnair does not fly to and from South Africa, you can reach Finland via one of their alliance partners. Three of the OneWorld Alliance partners that offer flights to and from our country are British Airways, Iberia or Cathay Pacific. Passengers from South Africa can easily connect to Finland from most of the European destinations served by these three airlines.

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