easyJet finishes with Finland; three Helsinki routes to end in June/July; Blue1 and Norwegian adding UK routes

Moomintroll oversees easyJet’s departure and Norwegian’s arrival at Helsinki Airport.

Moomintroll oversees easyJet’s departure and Norwegian’s arrival at Helsinki Airport.

easyJet’s foray into the Finnish market looks set to finish this summer as the carrier’s three routes to Helsinki from London Gatwick, Manchester and Paris CDG no longer are on sale. The London Gatwick service, which began in November 2008, appears to end on 22 June, while the Manchester route, which started in February 2010, looks set to cease on 13 June. Finally, the daily service from Paris CDG, which also began in February 2010, operates for the last time on 7 July.

Reportedly, the reason for easyJet’s withdrawal is weak demand at the Helsinki end of the routes, while the routes’ performance has been satisfactory from easyJet’s bases.

In 2010, the UK – Helsinki market grew by 5.5% from 737,984 to 778,790, having grown by 7.6% in 2009 thanks to the start of easyJet’s Gatwick service.

Route 2008 2009 2010
London Heathrow – Helsinki 561,748 560,235 578,543
London Gatwick – Helsinki 14,012 99,688 81,637
Manchester – Helsinki 100,488 77,730 118,389
Total UK – Helsinki 686,095 737,984 777,790
Source: UK CAA

Fortunately, the departure of easyJet from the market does not mean the disappearance of low-cost carriers from the London – Helsinki route, as from 12 May, Norwegian will begin serving London Gatwick from its new Helsinki base with six weekly flights. Manchester will also continue to be served by Finnair, who were serving the market before easyJet.

This summer also sees the start of Blue1 services from Helsinki to Edinburgh (twice-weekly from 29 April). It already serves London Heathrow twice-daily in competition with British Airways and Finnair.

The French market also continues to be served as both Finnair and Blue1 operate between Helsinki and Paris CDG 35 and 12 times a week respectively; however, French carriers, including Air France, are curiously missing in Finland.


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