The Finnish flag carrier, Finnair, has announced their re-launch and return to the Japanese city of Osaka, after a one-year long hiatus of the service.
Flights are set to start this coming Sunday March 26, on a thrice-weekly schedule with an afternoon departure from Helsinki Vantaa, arriving at Kansai Int’l Airport in the early hours of the afternoon.
The flights are scheduled with Finnair’s two-class configured Airbus A350 aircraft.
Following a one-year long absence, Finnair, Finland’s flag carrier, have announced the re-opening of their Japanese route to Osaka. The route becomes Finnair’s third Japanese destination after Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda.
The flights from Helsinki to Osaka’s Kansai airport, will take place three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving back in Helsinki on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. All flights are set to be operated by their Airbus A350.
The timetable shows the outbound flights departing at 17:45hrs in the afternoon from Helsinki Vantaa, arriving at the Osaka Kansai airport at 12:35hrs the following afternoon.
As for the return flights, the timetable shows a departure from Osaka at 22:25hrs in the evening, arriving back in Helsinki at 05:30hrs in the morning.
The flights are set to start as early as next weekend, on Sunday 26 March, and the services have been timed specifically in order to allow easy connections from Finnair’s destination across the UK and Ireland.
The modified A350s – Could they be used?
Earlier this year saw Finnair announce a modification to ten of the carrier’s Airbus A350 aircraft, increasing cargo and passenger capacity with a higher maximum takeoff weight.
Finnair, together with Airbus, adjusted the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) for specially selected aircraft. The modifications also involves minor changes to the airframe’s software, placards and operating manuals.
The changes and modifications have been applied to the airframes that regularly serve the routes to Seoul and Tokyo, which are the two longer intercontinental routes operated by Finnair at this time.
Following the closure of Russian airspace as a result of the Ukraine war, each route to the Asian regions has been made significantly longer as the aircraft either follow a far north or southern routing.
This causes flight planning involving more fuel as increased fuel usage becomes a relative factor to the operations. Though, the normally lighter maximum take-off weight restricted passenger and cargo allowed it to be carried.
The modifications make for increased take-off weights and greater capacity for the flights and operations are a part of Finnair’s movement towards profitability in spite of increased flight times and airspace closures.
The modifications were completed the first two weeks of January, and the first flight with the new upgrades took flight on January 18.
Leena Niemi, Finnair Compliance Manager for Technical Operation, commented on the upgrades:
“Usually we do everything we can to make our aircraft lighter, but for our flights to Tokyo and Seoul we’ve increased their maximum take-off weight to fly around Russia and meet the demand for increased customers, cargo and kerosene.”
“While making the modifications, the safety and security of our aircraft and customers remained our number one priority.”
“In addition, the weight and balance data for the modified aircraft have been updated, the noise certificates of the aircraft have been renewed, and the aircraft maintenance program and life limits of the main landing gear parts have been updated,” she concluded.