Seamless in Seattle: Finnair celebrates one year of flight services

A Finnair Airbus is given a water cannon salute in Seattle.
Photo Credit: Port of Seattle

Finnair is today celebrating one year of flying to Seattle, marking a significant milestone for the Nordic carrier and its transatlantic services. 

Inaugural flight 1 June 2022

The inaugural flight touched down in Seattle at 5:24pm on 1 June 2022, following its nine-hour journey from Helsinki, and was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the gate and a customary water-cannon salute.

The anniversary comes just weeks after Finnair announced flights to Seattle would feature the airline’s eye-catching new non-recline Business Class seats, brand-new Premium Economy cabin, and refreshed Economy Class. 

From June 1 2023, customers travelling between Helsinki and Seattle can now experience the airline’s award-winning long-haul experience and relax in style on its three times a week Airbus A330 flights to the city.

Photo Credit: Port of Seattle

Finnair’s €200 million investment has seen its long-haul experience named ‘Cabin Concept of the Year’ winner by Onboard Hospitality, ‘Best Cabin Innovation’ winner by APEX, and ‘Best Cabin (First & Business Class)’ at the Yacht and Aviation Awards. 

Customers looking to travel to Europe can enjoy direct flights each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with AY34 leaving Seattle–Tacoma at 6:50pm, arriving back at Finnair’s home hub at 2:20pm the following day.

On the return, AY33 departs Helsinki at 5:25pm, arriving into Seattle–Tacoma International Airport at 5:10pm local time. 


Those looking to hop between the cities of Seattle and Helsinki, can enjoy return fares from US $705 in Economy Class, including all taxes and charges.

US network

Finnair’s recent strategy has seen the airline move towards a more geographically balanced network, connecting Europe to Asia, India, the Middle East and North America.

Currently, Finnair offers six direct routes from the US to Helsinki, with year-round services to New York JFK, Los Angeles and Dallas, and seasonal services to Chicago, Miami and Seattle.

Services have been specifically timed to allow for easy connections onto Finnair’s worldwide network – including top Nordic and Baltic destinations such as Lapland, Stockholm and Tallinn.

Finnair offers smooth and easy transfers between flights from as little as 35 minutes, thanks to all flights operating from the same terminal.

Flying the polar route

Finnair flies a direct route from Helsinki to Seattle. The flight takes approximately 9 hours and 45 minutes. The aircraft used on this route is the Airbus A330. The flight departs from Helsinki Vantaa Airport (HEL) and arrives at Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

The flight path takes Finnair over the Arctic Circle, which allows the airline to offer a shorter and more sustainable route between Europe and North America. This route also allows Finnair to offer passengers stunning views of the Arctic landscape.

Finnair was the first airline to fly non-stop via the polar route without a technical stop. This service began in 1983 and was flown with a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER wide body jetliner between Tokyo and Helsinki.

The polar route is a shorter and more direct route between Europe and Asia that passes over the Arctic Ocean. This route is becoming increasingly popular as airlines seek to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Finnair has been a pioneer in the use of the polar route and has played a key role in developing this important route. The airline continues to operate flights over the Arctic Ocean and is committed to using this route to provide its passengers with a safe, efficient, and sustainable way to travel.

Some of the benefits of flying over the polar route are:

Shorter flight times: The polar route is a shorter route between Europe and Asia, which can save passengers time and money.

Reduced fuel consumption: Flying over the polar route can help airlines reduce fuel consumption and emissions, which is good for the environment.

More direct flights: The polar route allows airlines to offer more direct flights between Europe and Asia, which can be more convenient for passengers.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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