Business travel

Finnair will fly to Shanghai and Seoul avoiding Russian airspace

Finnair has announced plans to continue flights from Helsinki to Shanghai and Seoul despite the closure of Russian airspace to EU-based airlines.

Russia banned carriers from 36 countries, including all 27 EU countries, from using its airspace last month in response to the EU’s decision to ban Russian airlines following the invasion of Ukraine.

Finnair said a strong cargo market would allow it to continue rerouted flights to Shanghai and Seoul. Although services to Osaka and Hong Kong have been canceled until the end of April, Finnair said it “remains committed” to those destinations.

Flights to Shanghai will operate once a week on Thursdays from March 10, and three times a week to Seoul on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from March 12.

Diverted services will have longer flight times between 12 and 14 hours. Finnair said the two outbound flights would avoid Russian airspace from the south, while the Seoul-Helsinki return leg could also take the “northern route”.

Ole Orver, Chief Commercial Officer of Finnair, said: “We are working to offer our customers routes between Europe and Asia wherever possible in this difficult situation.

“We understand how frustrating the situation is for our customers and we are sorry for the inconvenience and trouble the flight changes are causing them.”

Finnair had already announced its intention to continue flying to Tokyo from Wednesday March 9, with four weekly flights avoiding Russian airspace, as well as flights to Bangkok, Delhi, Phuket and Singapore.