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Helsinki all set for new routes in 2018

In recent years, Helsinki Airport has been working hard to strengthen its position as a significant air traffic hub, with a particular focus on connecting with the Chinese market.

Originally built for the 1952 summer Olympics in Helsinki, the airport is now the fourth busiest airport in the Nordic countries in terms of passenger numbers. As well as being the main international gateway to Finland and operating as the hub for Finnair, the airport is also well served by low-fare and regional carriers.

It is a base for Nordic Regional Airlines – a subsidiary of Finnair, and is served by various other airlines including CityJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Blue Air, Vueling Airlines and Primera Air.

The airport is planning to launch a series of new routes in 2018 including a new connection between Helsinki and Marrakesh in Morocco, courtesy of Norwegian Air Shuttle.

“Finnish passengers are very interested in travelling to warmer latitudes,” said Thomas Ramdahl, CCO at Norwegian Air Shuttle.

“We’re delighted to be able to increase our range of direct flights from Helsinki by offering this new destination. We welcome our passengers to fly with us to Marrakesh on our modern, comfortable and even more environmentally friendly aircraft.”

Vueling, which has until now been operating a link between Barcelona and Helsinki only in the summer season, will operate the route year round. The increased service is in response to growth in passenger traffic from Spain. Between January and June 2017, overnight stays recorded for Spanish visitors increased by 23.6% compared to the previous year, according to Statistics Finland.

Meanwhile, the Romanian low-fare carrier Blue Air started its direct service between Helsinki and Bucharest in June. Flights on this route will be operated year round three times a week, facilitating further connections from Bucharest towards Tel Aviv, Larnaca and several Italian destinations.

Finnair will also be launching direct flights to Lisbon in Portugal and Stuttgart in Germany in the summer season 2018 as well as additional capacity on routes to popular leisure destinations in Europe, as well as Tokyo, Chicago, San Francisco, Bangkok and Delhi. The airline will also operate direct flights to Nanjing in China in May next year, increasing their service to 38 weekly flights from the Finnish capital to China.

Of all the northern European airports, Helsinki offers the highest number of direct flight connections to Asia.

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