Hi all again. Having had a great few days in HK
, it was unfortunately time to return to the UK.
A few other non aviation shots that I took in Hong Kong in the previous couple of days
Hong Kong Island/Central from Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon at night
Another shot of Hong Kong Island
Flight time: 10hrs30mins
To connect with AY635 from HEL
and then BA777 to LHR
Finnair’s return flight to Helsinki from Hong Kong leaves late at night, at 1225am, arriving into Helsinki just after 6am local time.
Arriving at HKG
a number of hours before departure, I found my way to the observation deck via the Aviation Discovery Centre. Thankfully arrivals were from the north so planes were floating past us. What a great afternoon it was being surrounded by avia and the odd whiff of jetfuel. The weather was clear too and sunny. Although I was wearing a cap, I still managed to get quite sunburnt which was a real pain.
South African A346
Hong Kong Express 738
Dragonair A330 special colours
China Eastern B737-700
The view from the terrace at the end of the day
Finnair’s check-in counters opened 3 hours before departure, which was a bit frustrating, as I really wanted to go much earlier through security and immigration to go and use the lounge (as a Priority Pass member), particularly to take a shower. A number of passengers had started to congregate around the 4 check in desks well before the check in staff turned up, hedging their bets as to which counters would be for J and which ones would be for Y. When they turned up and when it became apparent that some of the desks were for J class passengers only, there was a somewhat stampede and chaotic “stumble fest“, as the Y class passengers who were in front of the J class counter simply pushed their way across into the other groups of Y class passengers to avoid having to go to the back of the Y class queue.
A particularly aggressive Swedish girl and her friend (saw their passports) practically ran me over in their attempt to push in. I glared at one of them who simply responded to me “we’re travelling together”, to which I was minded to say “that doesn’t mean you can just push in” but I bit my lip and continued glaring at her. I finally made it to the front of the queue and was checked in for my three flights - to HEL
, to ARN
and then to LHR
No pics of the terminal at HK
, as there are many pictures which have been taken here by other A.netters.
Getting through security was a breeze - polite and organised, which is the way it should be. HK
is a dream to fly into and out of. I soon found my way to a lounge and managed to use the facilities for a shower and snack. Feeling much better, I later headed for the gate to see our A340.
Here she is, OH
-LQD at the gate, getting ready to operate the flight to Helsinki, basking under the yellow glow of the airport lights.
Close up of the Finnair logo and titles
Boarding was called close to midnight, and feeling quite tired, I flopped down into my seat and prepared for the 10+ hour flight ahead. A couple of pics from the cabin just after boarding.
An older gentleman was scheduled to be seated next to me, but he decided he had his eye on another aisle seat a couple of rows back, and when the doors finally closed at approx 1225, he moved, leaving the seat next to me free again. I was quite lucky (again).
We pushed back a few minutes late, and began our taxi to the runway. I could not take any pictures because we were moving too quickly. I remember as we got close to the threshold, there were some locals (staff at the airport) with cameras and I saw one of them take a pic of us as we held short of the runway, to await a Cathay aircraft to depart in front. The flash went off so not sure how well the pic turned out, but good to see our gorgeous A340 receiving some attention !
Ready to go - good bye Hong Kong
After a long take off roll (again, not surprising on the 343), we lifted off gently into the humid night air and set course for HEL
A meal was served about 1 hour into the flight, and by now, I was almost asleep, so I have no idea what was served. I had a couple of drinks and fell into a light slumber. The crew on this flight were again very professional and polished. From a friendly greeting at the door, to serving the main meal, this crew were excellent. Announcements were made in Finnish/Swedish/English and then in Cantonese by one of the Cantonese speaking crew.
By the time breakfast was being served, which was similar to the omelette we had on the way to HKG
, it was daylight outside.
Peeking outside after lifting the shade, this was my view
Lots of cloud, and new views of the ground unfortunately. The captain made an announcement about our flight and expected arrival information. The weather in HEL
was expected to be cloudy with some rain, and a temperature of 12 degrees! Much cooler than the scorcher of a day it had been in HK
the previous day.
Some pics on descent into HEL
About 20 mins beforehand
Followed by a smooth touchdown into HEL
. The captain was right - the weather was horrible in HEL
Whilst taxiing to the terminal, passing some of the AY
maintenance, including two MD11(F)s at the far end which were previously operated by AY
in passenger service. Nice !
Getting close to the gate
Another EM190 awaiting its next tour of duty
After disembarking, I managed a quick snap of OH
-LQD at the gate, having safely brought me the 7,800km from Hong Kong. Thank you!
Helsinki - Stockholm Arlanda
Flight time: 50mins
My next flight was in 2 hours time, and would be on an EM190 to Stockholm. Whilst I could have taken the non-stop AY
flight to LHR
, I really wanted to sample another EM190 flight.
After using the VIA
lounge again to freshen up, I went wandering to see if I could find my aircraft.
-LKF having just been towed to the gate to get ready for the short flight to ARN
This flight was less than half full - perhaps not surprising given it was a Sun morning flight at 9am. Some views from my seat both inside and out. The aggressive Swedish girl from HK
was also on this flight, and luckily was sitting about 8 rows in front of me. She seemed to be a rush to board this flight, as she was to check in at HKG
Yep, no doubt where we are - Helsinki Vantaa
Seat pitch was perfectly adequate and the EM190 was lovely inside. Definitely one of my favourite aircraft at the moment.
Seat pocket contents, including “Blue Wings”.
The airport was fairly quiet at this time of the day, although there were a few aircraft on the ground getting ready for their next flights. We were all onboard and ready to 5 mins early before our STD. Cabin crew were polite and friendly, and I guess were pleased that they had a fairly light load to ARN
View from my seat at the gate
Some pics as we taxied out to the runway
Passing smaller brother EM170
Good bye HEL
- thanks for 2 great transit stops. I hope to be back one day soon. Sexy winglet with AY
Spooling up and ready to go
Heading to ARN
A rapid climb out followed and before long, we were above the clouds and the cabin was flooded with bright light.
Winglet through the other window
Unsure what to expect on this short flight, it was nice to receive a small snack and drink. Not bad for a 45 min flight!
The weather in ARN
was not much better than in HEL
, and this was clear as we began our descent. My first glances at the Swedish landscape down below.
Getting closer with flaps down
Touchdown. Welcome to Stockholm!
The flight was over very quickly, and we taxied past a few SAS flights before getting to our gate.
Pulling in next door to LN
Here is the little E-jet at the gate, getting turned around for the flight back to HEL
A couple of views at ARN
. Nothing particularly exciting moved during my short time there, apart from SAS of course.
That ends my first Finnair experience. From ARN
, I flew a BA
319 back to LHR
and as it was a fairly standard flight, I have not completed a report on this sector. From London to Hong Kong and back again, Finnair were impressive. I’d also choose to fly through HEL
again anytime soon. A great transit airport and the authorities there have done great work to encourage transit passengers.
I would certainly fly with them again and am considering flying J class to Australia (in combination with QF
/CX). Thanks for reading, and again, any comments or observations (and corrections) are welcome !