Finnair Flying the Fastest Route to the Far East
7th July 2018 - 9:30am
Travelbiz reports on a week of culture, fine cuisine and experiences like no other in the depths of real Japan. The itinerary followed the destinations of Ireland's Rugby World Cup fixtures scheduled for 2019. As such, rather than the typical destination of Toyko, the week began in the southern city of Fukuoka, with flights operated by Finnair.
Flight from Dublin to Fukuoka took 13 hours, excluding a 45-minute stopover at Finnair's hub in Helsinki (although getting to the gate took 3 minutes!). As you would expect, Scandinavian efficiency ensured a smooth connection, aided by an easy to navigate airport which caters for significant flights to the Asian market.
Finnair offers economy, economy comfort and business class; all of which are to a very high standard given the investment in new aircraft by Finnair. Courtesy of my host, Finnair, I was able to enjoy business class which had all the trimmings including flat-bed seats, Bose noise-cancelling headphones and Marimekko designed amenity kit with L'Octainne products. The signature menu has been created by top Swedish chef, Tommy Myllymaki and is reflective of both Nordic and Japanese cuisine - smoked rainbow trout, cheese platter with rhubarb jam and Finnish Jymy organic ice cream as a sample of the offering. Accompanying the food is an extensive drinks menu with award-winning wines and an assortment of cocktails which I particularly enjoyed. Regarding Entertainment, movie selection included 3 Billboards..., Lady in the Water, Ladybird and a host of Marvel/DC movies to keep comic book fans satisfied.
It is clear to see why Finnair was selected as "The Best Airline in Northern Europe" in the Skytrax awards last year and, in fact, for the seven years preceding 2017. Travelbiz caught up with Andrew Fish of Finnair to hear what's on the horizon for this award-winning airline. Finnair has been expanding considerably in the last five years. As Europe's launch customer for the A350, and was the first European airline to receive this next-gen aircraft. It boasts 19 A350s on order, 11 in fleet and seven coming by 2023. Finnair has increased to 10 flights weekly this summer from Dublin to Finnair's hub in Helsinki, with a fantastic load fare. Andrew thanked the Irish travel trade for making this possible.
Long haul, Finnair flies the short Northern route from Europe to Asia operating 19 routes to Far East Asia and are particularly strong in Japan and China. Japan is serviced by four destinations: Narita-Toyko, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya.
Closer to home, while Helsinki is a great short haul destination, there are terrific trips to Rovaniemi (Santa's homeland), Ivalo and Kittila, all in Lapland. If Santa doesn't interest you (or if you had to be told the Rugby World Cup was on next year, let alone it being in Japan) perhaps opt for a stay in a glass igloo and a chance to witness the Northern Lights.
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