The Finnish carrier, Finnair announced it is to establish a strategic partnership with Qatar Airways.

Finnair partnership
A Finnair Airbus A321. © Ramon Kok

The partnership came about as a result of the closure of Russian airspace due to the war in Ukraine cutting off its previously lucrative Asian connections via a northern route.

The partnership is set to follow with Finnair operating several daily flights from Nordic capitals to Doha. Specifically, as of November and December of 2022, Finnair will operate the following routes daily:

  • Copenhagen (CPH) to Doha (DOH)
  • Helsinki (HEL) to Doha (DOH)
  • Stockholm (ARN) to Doha (DOH)

The Finnair partnership with Qatar Airways will have the two airlines coordinate and codeshare on these routes, and the airlines will share passenger and cargo capacity between the services. In Doha, passengers will have access to around 100 destinations across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, and more international routes.

“These services will be supported by a comprehensive codeshare agreement with shared passenger and cargo capacity between both airlines,” Finnair said.

Finnair said in a statement it would establish “a long-term strategic cooperation” on flights between Doha and Helsinki in Finland, Stockholm in Sweden, and Copenhagen in Denmark starting between November and December 2022, while exploring the possibility of expanding the agreement to another unnamed European destination.

The network expansion is a great foundation for the Nordic region as it will allow more passengers to have direct access to the Middle East and vice versa.

Finnair to drop its transatlantic flights to Stockholm

Rather than exclusively operating long-haul flights out of Helsinki, the airline also added flights out of Stockholm, with service to:

  • Los Angeles, Miami, and New York
  • Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand

All of these routes will now be “suspended” as of the start of the winter schedule, which kicks in late October 2022. With the current staff shortages in airports across the world, clearly, Finnair sees more potential as being a feeder airline to Qatar Airways than it does operating point-to-point long-haul leisure routes.

What are your thoughts on the new service to Doha? Let us know in the comments.

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