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Why Still No US Carriers In HEL?  
User currently offlineDLBOIFIN From Finland, joined Jun 2006, 164 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4816 times:

There has been a lot of speculation regarding new routes by US flag carriers (mainly CO and DL, sometimes also AA) from USA to HEL but so far nothing has been materialized so far. I wonder why is that? HEL market size should be large enough to support some additional capacity over the Atlantic besides the daily HEL-JFK by AY. Also, the Finnish economy is really booming at the moment, being one of the fastest growing (5% per year) in Europe. Finnair has added a seasonal service HEL-BOS but that is still for a limited time only with a charter configured 757. The passenger traffic between HEL and USA has been very stable but recently the market has shown some negative figures due to AY flight reductions. The last time there has been any US carrier was in 1995 by Delta on LED-HEL-JFK. That route was suspended when DL entered into a partnership with AY which lasted until 1999. Appaently, those years were very profitable for DL as they did not had any operational costs and they could still sell 45 seats on the AY daily flight.

Since AY is a member of Oneworld, the most logical US carrier would be AA with HEL-ORD service. They actually planned that flight (long time ago, in the early 90's), but they never started. It seems that AA is not expanding as aggressively in Europe as the other US carriers so I strongly doubt this route ever to be opened. Still, it might make sense as they could feed passengers into AY's Russia/Baltic/Eastern Europe routes and AY would get a decent gateway with plenty of connections from ORD.

Then there are the "twins" CO and DL, who are constantly eyeing each others moves in Europe. I believe that either one of these two would be the most probable one to start HEL service. CO already operates fom EWR to all other Nordic capitals (ARN, OSL, CPH) and they were expected to announce HEL service for 2007 but that never came out. The problem might be the equipment issues, flying with 757 to HEL is really pushing it to the limits with 4117 miles.

DL on the other hand is having a lot of 767's converted from domestic service to international plus it is getting the 757's to Europe so they probably have more availbale aircraft than CO. They have also been extremely satisfied with the CPH-ATL service so they might to explore the opportunities in other Nordic cities as well. There has been rumours about ARN, but the problem there is that the market is already pretty full with SK, CO, US and MH all operating non-stops to US.

I really belive that there is a market for one US carrier from HEL as at the moment about 3/4 of all traffic between HEL and USA is through European gateway cities. It will be really interesting to see if/when this will happen, will it be:

HEL-EWR CO 757
HEL-JFK DL 757
HEL-ATL DL 767
HEL-ORD AA 767

Or if there happens something really exiting and NW will tap the market...? Comments and thoughts are more than welcome!!

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCXA330300 From South Africa, joined May 2004, 1560 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4797 times:

Capacity for Finland is there, but I'm pretty sure that it is generally covered by larger cities such as FRA, LHR, or CPH. Finland's geographical position makes transit very logical.


The sky is the limit as long as you can stay there
User currently offlineDLBOIFIN From Finland, joined Jun 2006, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4786 times:

Quoting CXA330300 (Reply 1):
Finland's geographical position makes transit very logical.

Agree, but think about other countries/cities with similar position: ARN, OSL, KBP, OTP, IST, ATH...all are quite on the edge of Europe and still having US carriers serving them.


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4716 times:

You would think there are markets for an extra HEL-US non stop route or two, but at least so far the American carriers have seen it differently. In Finland you only hear speculations about AY and Asia, or possible new LCCs, but very little is said about US connections. Some miss back the AY routes to US West Coast, to SEA, SFO and LAX though. The HEL-ORD route sounds like a not that good idea first, but who knows?

AY is totally focused on Europe-Asia connections. Perhaps they will take an another look at the US markets after they have got their new widebodies - and after HEL has got more space for long haul traffic.
The HEL-JFK route isn't any money machine for AY, perhaps they could fresh it up with proper JFK-HEL-DEL (BOM) connections, looks good on the map at least.

[Edited 2007-06-17 02:45:51]

User currently offlineLGAtoIND From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 490 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4690 times:

I would think that if the 757 could economically serve HEL-EWR, CO would be flying it.

User currently offlineBimmerkid19 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4675 times:

Quoting DLBOIFIN (Thread starter):
Why Still No US Carriers In HEL?

..pause. deep breath--- maybe because its HEL in HEL? lol.. nah just kidding. It has more to do with Codeshare agreements I think AY flies to several places in North America which are Gateways for their Partner Airlines in North America. It doesnt need extra service. HEL has mainly O and D passengers because its too far east to be a good connection hub for western european cities, although HEL is better suited for a connection candidate for all points west of HEL from all points East of HEL.. being namely Asia and India...


User currently offlineJr From United States of America, joined May 1999, 968 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Would be nice to see DL add this with a 767 from JFK. I am sure they have considered it. I wonder if there is anything with the yields on this route, if not DL would have jumped on this route with all the trans-atlantic expansion they have been up to lately.


I've flown on 9V-SPK.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

Quoting Bimmerkid19 (Reply 5):

It has more to do with Codeshare agreements I think AY flies to several places in North America

"Codeshares" yes, but "several places"... there are just JFK and seasonal charter-like service to Boston and Toronto.
Codesharing means flights through LHR or JFK, on BA and AA.

[Edited 2007-06-17 03:10:56]

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24817 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4561 times:

Quoting DLBOIFIN (Reply 2):
Quoting CXA330300 (Reply 1):
Finland's geographical position makes transit very logical.

Agree, but think about other countries/cities with similar position: ARN, OSL, KBP, OTP, IST, ATH...all are quite on the edge of Europe and still having US carriers serving them.

But except for OSL, the other cities mentioned are all much larger than HEL. Unless AY is full every day on their nonstops, which I highly doubt especially during the off-season winter months, it's probably doubtful that there would be enough traffic to make a second USA-HEL nonstop profitable. And AA generally prefers to limit their Europe services to routes that have strong year-round origin/destination demand and rely on codeshare services to serve secondary markets.


User currently offlineBOSSAN From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 255 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4529 times:

I would say that HEL is a victim of location and population. HEL serves a metro area of about 1.3 million and a country of 5.3 million, limiting the total O&D potential and thus the number of connecting passengers they can profitably fly without factoring in excellent geography. Being near the northeast corner of Europe, it's not going to serve European connecting passengers efficiently, and it's not the most convenient location to serve transfer passengers between the US and Europe. (Those same factors make it a geographically great hub for Europe-North Asia routes.) It's also just barely too far for 757s to travel between HEL and the United States, as noted; the coach-only HEL-ARN-BOS flights Finnair's charter division runs twice weekly during the summer demonstrate that.

Transatlantic, they can probably only support the JFK route even after their A350XWBs arrive. HEL-ORD is only about 300 miles further than HEL-JFK, but I'm guessing the premium traffic will be scanty and that most Finns don't have business in the center of the country. That leaves major European hubs and JFK for connections for trips between HEL and North America, and double-connects for smaller cities; KEF is precisely on the Great Circle Route between me and HEL, but LHR, AMS, CDG and FRA have more US/Canadian destinations in total.


User currently offlineKlwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2015 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4446 times:

Interesting thread...

I think it is a good comparison to note CO to Oslo. There is only the market for one flight a day to the USA. That is all the market can support. It is a micromarket.


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

Quoting BOSSAN (Reply 9):
Being near the northeast corner of Europe, it's not going to serve European connecting passengers efficiently, and it's not the most convenient location to serve transfer passengers between the US and Europe.

Like Finnair's HEL-JFK route does at the moment, the new connection could serve transfer passengers between US and Russia & the Baltic states, but true, hardly much further in Europe.

We hardly will see American carriers at HEL in the near future, I think it's more realistic to see Finnair fixing the JFK-HEL-DEL route.


User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

Quoting DLBOIFIN (Thread starter):
HEL-JFK DL 757

As recently as 1993 DL flew JFK to Oslo continuing to HEL. When they pulled out? I don't know, but it used to be a route with daily service if I'm not mistaken.



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4270 times:

I could see CO or US doing the route with 757. Others, less likely.

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

The replies in this thread seem to be missing a key issue here. In practical operation, CO has found that EWR-TXL appears at the edge of their max weight, max range 757's range and EWR-HEL is more than 100nm longer.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
The replies in this thread seem to be missing a key issue here. In practical operation, CO has found that EWR-TXL appears at the edge of their max weight, max range 757's range and EWR-HEL is more than 100nm longer.

That's not the issue at all, and you know it. The issue is that a.net is serves HEL from HVN.... duck 


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4203 times:

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 15):
That's not the issue at all, and you know it. The issue is that a.net is serves HEL from HVN....

 rotfl  rotfl 

Of course. How Could I forget?  Silly



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineDLBOIFIN From Finland, joined Jun 2006, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4148 times:

Thanks for all replies so far, interesting indeed! i still have difficulties to digest some arguments on this thread. For example the market size. If we compare the HEL market to ARN, you can see the difference:

ARN(STO): 1,6 million inhabitants / Sweden 8,8 million inhabitants

Service to USA:

SK ARN-EWR 330 Daily
SK ARN-ORD 330 Daily
CO ARN-EWR 757 Daily
US ARN-PHL 767 Daily (seasonal)
MH ARN-EWR 777 4 x weekly
AY ARN-BOS 757 3 x weekly (seasonal)

HEL: 1,1 million inhabitants / Finland 5,3 million inhabitants

Service to USA:

AY HEL-JFK M11 Daily
AY HEL-ARN-BOS 757 3 x weekly (seasonal)

In addition to that, due to geographical reasons, most of the Swedes who live south of Stockholm, use CPH as a gateway city, so either ARN is very much overserved or HEL is underserved...! The difference in market size definitely do not justify this difference. And I also have hard time believing that ARN would be so much bigger transit station for the US flights than HEL..??


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4057 times:

Quoting DLBOIFIN (Reply 17):
so either ARN is very much overserved or HEL is underserved...!

N1120A made a good point about EWR-HEL being just at the hedge of practical 757 use. However, NW flies DTW-DUS which is just about the same distance. Can PHL-HEL be served, it would require blocking 10-15 seats but maybe then it could. Then PHL could serve both HVN and HEL  Smile  Smile

One interesting possibility for US is to serve PHL-ARN on 757 (4,009 mi) and take that aircraft to serve PHL-HEL on 767 (4,204 mi). I am fairly certain their aircraft could handle that.

I agree that HEL is underserved to the USA.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3888 times:

There were strong rumors suggesting that CO was planning to add a EWR-HEL service to its route system for the Summer 2007 schedule.....it did not happen. CO's 2007 European expansion was limited; after opening lots of new routes out of EWR for 2005 and 2006, only EWR-ATH (with the 762) was added to the European schedule for 2007. There were plans to add more cities (we were all waiting for the annoucments) such as HEL but CO the plans were shelved due to lack of aircraft (CO is already streching its fleet and some 752s are needed for domestic/latin america operations) and for operational reasons (utiliizing 752s on routes of about 4000 miles is not that simple, it is an operational challenge especially on transatlantic flights where winds are a big issue and particularly in/out of an airport like EWR which can be an ATC nightmare during the busy summer months). I do think that we will see CO at HEL in the nearterm future and probably with a 752, it just has not happened yet.

HEL is limited market: flying anything bigger than a 752 would be risky for a US carrier. The route needs to be daily for most of the year and operate at least 5 times per week during the low season......routes with lower frequency across the Atlantic are problematic for premium passengers.

DL once flew JFK-ARN-HEL and dropped the service; CO took a look at extending its ARN and/or OSL routes on to HEL and passed on the idea. Tag-ons simply dont work in today's market; pax (especially premium pax that the airlines can make some money with) are not interested in these types of flights, especially because they are often flying to/from cities beyond the hub. A business pax will not fly Chicago-Newark-(Oslo)-Helsinki......they will opt for Chicago-Frankfurt-Oslo or Chicago-London-Oslo, etc. Thus, its gotta be a nonstop.

With CO receiving 739ERs and 787s in the near-term future, look for a CO flight to HEL in the future.


User currently offlineAnetter123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3781 times:

Thoughts from anyone if HEL-MIA would ever come back again? Do they lack aircraft to do this route? I know they flew nonstop with MD11's then the following year switched to a 757 flying HEL-YHZ-MIA , then the service stopped all together.

User currently offlineEFHK From Finland, joined Nov 2006, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3722 times:

Quoting Anetter123 (Reply 20):
Thoughts from anyone if HEL-MIA would ever come back again? Do they lack aircraft to do this route? I know they flew nonstop with MD11's then the following year switched to a 757 flying HEL-YHZ-MIA , then the service stopped all together.

Only way HEL-MIA would be served is exactly the 757 HEL-YHZ-MIA routing because the demand for MIA is mostly economy class only, so it wouldn't make sense to use a MD-11 for that. AY tried it and decided to stop it (and even then they were already all-economy flights on an aircraft which had business class). Charter like 757-operation could work, I don't know why they decided to stop it.



One of the best places in the world: McDonald's in T2 at FRA.
User currently offlineAnetter123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

Quoting EFHK (Reply 21):
Only way HEL-MIA would be served is exactly the 757 HEL-YHZ-MIA routing because the demand for MIA is mostly economy class only, so it wouldn't make sense to use a MD-11 for that. AY tried it and decided to stop it (and even then they were already all-economy flights on an aircraft which had business class). Charter like 757-operation could work, I don't know why they decided to stop it.

They need to get the 787 then  Big grin

Shame though, considering they codeshare with AA and MIA being an AA hub.


User currently offlineLEO777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3506 times:

I am sure SAS has two flights to ORD one going to Copenhagen and the other to Stockholm, correct me if I am wrong but there are usually two SAS widebodies at ORD.


You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32603 posts, RR: 72
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3494 times:

Finnair's MIA flight did well financially, even though they were sold all-econcomy. However, with Finnair needing their long-haul planes for Asia, it isn't feasable to dedicate aircraft to Miami right now. When Finnair slows down with Asian expansion and gets more planes, MIA will probably be back, albeit still seasonal.


a.
User currently offlineDL772LR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

Quoting LEO777 (Reply 23):
I am sure SAS has two flights to ORD one going to Copenhagen and the other to Stockholm, correct me if I am wrong but there are usually two SAS widebodies at ORD.

Yes, it is SK is already currently flying 1 dailies from ORD-CPH & ORD-ARN, too. It is right timing from SK is currently flies non-stop from ORD. Hope you will understandable from SK.  Smile


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