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DLHAM
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Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:25 pm

I always wondered why no single US Airline is flying to HEL? There are a few flights to the US, but all are operated by Finnair.
I know that Helsinki is not the center of the world, but still its a big city, a capital and a OneWorld hub. I am sure that AA and DL could at least fill a 767 to ORD/ATL.

I know that PanAm used to fly JFK to HEL with an A310. Did Delta took over the Route in 1991? How long was ist around afterwards?
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commavia
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:31 pm

The market just isn't that big, and the geography is suboptimal for connectivity since, obviously, flying from the U.S. to Finland overflies virtually all of Europe. That said, AA is effectively in the market via its metal-neutral, revenue-sharing, antitrust-immunized JV with Finnair - which does fly nonstop to HEL from up to four U.S. destinations, depending on season. (And, additionally, AA did fly ORD-HEL for several summers before the route shifted to Finnair.)
 
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deltacto
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:59 pm

DLHAM wrote:
Did Delta took over the Route in 1991? How long was ist around afterwards?


Delta took over Pan Am's Helsinki route in 1991 .... Timetables from September 1993 and June 1994 show the flight still operating ..
By 1996 DL had pulled out of Helsinki but did code-share with Finnair - at least through the fall of 1998
 
N292UX
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:39 pm

I know for a while AA served Helsinki on a seasonal basis from ORD (primarily with the 763). Started in 2011. Don't know when exactly it ended but I would have to guess maybe 2014 or 15.
 
vfw614
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:07 pm

The larger metropolitan area of Helsinki has roughly the size of European metropolitan areas like Nuremberg, Porto, Sofia or Liverpool. None of these airports have flights to the US, if I am not mistaken. It is also useful to keep in mind that the whole of FInland has less than 6m inhabitants.In short, it is a smallish market and connections from the US make little sense to destinations other than in Finland itself or the Baltics and Russia.
 
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lesfalls
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:20 pm

vfw614 wrote:
The larger metropolitan area of Helsinki has roughly the size of European metropolitan areas like Nuremberg, Porto, Sofia or Liverpool. None of these airports have flights to the US, if I am not mistaken. It is also useful to keep in mind that the whole of FInland has less than 6m inhabitants.In short, it is a smallish market and connections from the US make little sense to destinations other than in Finland itself or the Baltics and Russia.

Porto has flights to EWR while SOF and LPL had flights in the past. Norway is even smaller then Finland but has even more flights to the U.S. Same story with CPH. If we just went off O&D FRA would barely have as many flights as it does today.
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mercure1
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:26 pm

As mentioned American Airlines with Finnair codeshare attempted ORD-HEL for during summer recently but it was pulled.

Maybe important to remember that Helsinki on its own has the smallest market size of the 4 Nordic capital markets and already has way too much capacity for its own needs thanks to the AY hub operations. Finnair is only the size it is because of connecting flow, not because the local market needs or can support so much flights.
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AYVN
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:47 pm

Helsinki seems to be perfectly located for Europe-Asia bound traffic but it also seems to be located under USA-ME3 bound traffic. Wonder why HEL and AY/One World has not tried to benefit this location for USA-INDIA/ASIA via HEL. I think that LAX-DBX-DEL would meet nice competition with LAX-HEL-DEL. Speaking of size of market HEL has 4 daily flights to Japan, much more than 6 million Finns themselves need.
 
usflyer123
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:36 pm

AYVN wrote:
Helsinki seems to be perfectly located for Europe-Asia bound traffic but it also seems to be located under USA-ME3 bound traffic. Wonder why HEL and AY/One World has not tried to benefit this location for USA-INDIA/ASIA via HEL. I think that LAX-DBX-DEL would meet nice competition with LAX-HEL-DEL. Speaking of size of market HEL has 4 daily flights to Japan, much more than 6 million Finns themselves need.


I dont think they can compete with the ME3 on those Indian markets. The ME3 serve almost all of the major indian cities, have alot more frequencies than AY and have low fares on those markets, why would AY want to compete with them?
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rutankrd
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:40 pm

Just a reference AY and AA codeshare over of all places Manchester and have for many years
 
OslPhlWasChi
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:58 pm

US airlines have struggled to compete against other European airlines (SK and now DY) in other Nordic markets with larger O&D and better geography.
For example, OSL and CPH are no longer served by UA and ARN is down to summer seasonal with service provided instead by SK and DY.

If a US carrier where to serve HEL, what would you expect - DL summer seasonal out of JFK? Can the market support this on top of AY's year round service? Probably not.
 
Clydenairways
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:08 pm

PanAm also flew the 707 to HEL back before the A310 days
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:03 pm

I would guess on USA-Finland, most of the point of sale comes from Finland, which would favor the local airline. Maybe AA could make another go of a seasonal flight from ORD or DL from JFK, but I wouldn't count on it.

With that said, HEL is a highly underrated city. I had a great time there, though then again, I've only ever been in the summer months.
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HELyes
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:27 am

AYVN wrote:
Helsinki seems to be perfectly located for Europe-Asia bound traffic but it also seems to be located under USA-ME3 bound traffic. Wonder why HEL and AY/One World has not tried to benefit this location for USA-INDIA/ASIA via HEL. I think that LAX-DBX-DEL would meet nice competition with LAX-HEL-DEL.


A couple of years back Finnair said they are interested in USA-Asia markets, especially USA-India via HEL looks good on the Great Circle map. Nothing much has happened there, one thing is the Indian market hasn't developed as hoped. Now they say they are very pleased with the Atlantic JV, after joining the JV they announced SFO and MIA got year-round service. They now serve JFK MIA and seasonally ORD SFO. The HEL-USA passenger numbers grew 23% in 2016 but still there were a lot more people flying to Thailand than to USA from Helsinki. North-America is a hard market for Finnair, it's much easier to succeed in Asia, thats their bread and butter. But yes it would great if they found a way to grow in North-America, together with AA perhaps.

AYVN wrote:
Speaking of size of market HEL has 4 daily flights to Japan, much more than 6 million Finns themselves need.


Japan has been their second largest market after Finland, this summer season Finnair and JAL together have 35 weekly departures to NRT KIX NGO FUK. Finnair's route map shows where their focus is.

Image
 
johns624
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:39 am

lesfalls wrote:
[Norway is even smaller then Finland but has even more flights to the U.S. Same story with CPH. If we just went off O&D FRA would barely have as many flights as it does today.
Norway is barely smaller than Finland. Denmark is bigger and CPH is a big NCL cruise terminal. I've taken two cruises out of there. As others have said, HEL is lousy for European connections since it is so far east. Also, you have to remember that until the USSR fell, Finland was strictly neutral and didn't have as much trade and contact with the west as it does now. It even bought MIG fighters from the USSR. That said, my wife and I walked several miles around HEL and really enjoyed it.
 
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lesfalls
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:45 am

johns624 wrote:
lesfalls wrote:
[Norway is even smaller then Finland but has even more flights to the U.S. Same story with CPH. If we just went off O&D FRA would barely have as many flights as it does today.
Norway is barely smaller than Finland. Denmark is bigger and CPH is a big NCL cruise terminal. I've taken two cruises out of there. As others have said, HEL is lousy for European connections since it is so far east. Also, you have to remember that until the USSR fell, Finland was strictly neutral and didn't have as much trade and contact with the west as it does now. It even bought MIG fighters from the USSR. That said, my wife and I walked several miles around HEL and really enjoyed it.

Sorry for my mistake.
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Viscount724
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:55 am

Clydenairways wrote:
PanAm also flew the 707 to HEL back before the A310 days


I don't think Pan Am operated the 707 nonstop to HEL. In an April 1970 timetable PA operated twice-weekly JFK-CPH-HEL with 707.
 
sagechan
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:34 am

HEL is just a bit to far for reliable 757 or (probably) A321neoLR from any of AA's likely hubs (ORD, JFK, or PHL) I don't the market is strong enough for a US carrier to have a widebody capacity on top of Finnair's flights. Nordic flights seem well made for summer NBA flying if the range can get there.
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Pengaea
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:44 am

HELyes wrote:
A couple of years back Finnair said they are interested in USA-Asia markets, especially USA-India via HEL looks good on the Great Circle map ... But yes it would great if they found a way to grow in North-America, together with AA perhaps.


Long time lurker, first time poster. HEL has always fascinated me as a connecting hub. If, for example, AA were to start a scissor hub at HEL with the routes ORD-HEL-DEL and DFW-HEL-BOM, how many planes would each route need? Perhaps that's another reason USA-India via HEL hasn't really been entertained by the airlines.
 
IADCA
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:13 am

lesfalls wrote:
vfw614 wrote:
The larger metropolitan area of Helsinki has roughly the size of European metropolitan areas like Nuremberg, Porto, Sofia or Liverpool. None of these airports have flights to the US, if I am not mistaken. It is also useful to keep in mind that the whole of FInland has less than 6m inhabitants.In short, it is a smallish market and connections from the US make little sense to destinations other than in Finland itself or the Baltics and Russia.

Porto has flights to EWR while SOF and LPL had flights in the past. Norway is even smaller then Finland but has even more flights to the U.S. Same story with CPH. If we just went off O&D FRA would barely have as many flights as it does today.


CPH and Norway have more flights to the U.S. for fairly simple reasons: Norway has a huge oil economy that has fairly extensive business links to the U.S. and is just much richer than Finland. CPH is the main longhaul hub of SK, which is a much larger airline than AY. (Actually, both countries have main hubs of airlines that are much larger than AY - DY plus all its divisions is a big operation and does have several U.S. destinations from OSL). In addition, they are both significantly closer to the U.S. and both get more ex-U.S. tourist traffic than Finland.
 
x1234
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:28 am

The India question is hugely overblown. Yields to India are very low especially on routes with low O&D...
 
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HELyes
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:29 am

DLHAM wrote:
Did Delta took over the Route in 1991? How long was ist around afterwards?


This is what I found: Delta flew JFK-HEL in 1991-1995 with A310 and L1011, in late 1995 they left the route to Finnair and started code sharing. Finnair moved to their terminal in JFK. Both Pan Am and Delta tried different routings here, like JFK-ARN-HEL and HEL-LED-JFK.
 
ahj2000
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Re: Why no US Airline to Helsinki?

Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:27 am

Pengaea wrote:
HELyes wrote:
A couple of years back Finnair said they are interested in USA-Asia markets, especially USA-India via HEL looks good on the Great Circle map ... But yes it would great if they found a way to grow in North-America, together with AA perhaps.


Long time lurker, first time poster. HEL has always fascinated me as a connecting hub. If, for example, AA were to start a scissor hub at HEL with the routes ORD-HEL-DEL and DFW-HEL-BOM, how many planes would each route need? Perhaps that's another reason USA-India via HEL hasn't really been entertained by the airlines.

More than one, making it highly improbable. That is a fascinating idea, though. Assuming 5th freedoms went their way, they could also offer Euro routes like LON/PAR/FRA/MXP/CPH/OSL/ARN to India via HEL and AY in addition to US routes. ÄŸ would also have to be open to AA taking business from their own DEL route if they wanted a sustainable partnership.
The biggest problem, though, is that most would probably rather take EK or QR for a ORD/DFW-XXX-DEL/BOM routing. They are, most often, much cheaper than a US or EU carrier. A nonstop would change that, however.
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