Finnair will cut its domestic flights to the cities of Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kemi and Kokkola at the end of March.
According to a statement issued by the flag carrier, weekly flights will still be operated to these provincial airports during the winter season 2020-2021, which will run from 25 October to 27 March. But after that date, the company will stop the commercial flights to these destinations.
In April, Finnair stopped flying to these cities when it had to adjust the number of flights to the drop in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"After March 2021, Finnair will no longer offer commercial flights to these five domestic airports," says Mikko Turtiainen, Finnair's sales director.
A working group of the Ministry of Transport and Communications has proposed that the state buy the air traffic to Kokkola, Joensuu, Kajaani, Jyväskylä and Kemi airports until the end of 2021.
“We understand the importance of air connections to the provincial economy, and we aim to meet the demand for flights from the tourism industry and export companies. These flights will enable some connections during the coming winter season, while the working group considering the future of regional flights is looking for alternatives to the accessibility of the regions,” he adds.
A temporary solution
According to the Ministry, buying the air traffic for these cities would be a temporary solution that would provide time for a longer-term solution.
"It is important that air traffic is secured throughout the country, including in exceptional circumstances. However, air traffic must be developed in a long-term and sustainable manner from the perspective of operational efficiency and the environment and climate", said Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka in a press release.
Finnair has had to cut its traffic sharply due to the decline in demand caused by the health emergency.
In October, the company will fly about 70-80 flights a day instead of last year’s more than 350 daily flights.