DALLAS – Finnair (AY) is to reduce its February schedule by 20% and delay its route network expansions due to the spread of the omicron variant.

Schedule disruptions have become common as the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly worldwide. Airlines globally have struggled to keep up with highly elevated levels of infected staff members, with US airlines canceling thousands of flights in recent weeks.

In order to avoid last-minute schedule changes, AY has opted to cancel around 20% of their schedule, giving passengers time to change travel plans.

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

20% of Flights Cancelled

Most of the disrupted routes have multiple daily flights, including Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, and Rome, among others.  

Speaking on the cancellations, Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer of Finnair, said “Staff sick leave is now significantly impacting Finnair and airports in Finland as well as throughout the world.”

He continued, “We aim to meet these resourcing challenges through the cancellation of flights, to avoid last-minute changes and better manage our customers’ expectations. This will give customers more time to prepare for flight schedule changes and adjust their travel plans if needed.” 

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Dallas, Nagoya-Haneda on Hold

The schedule changes have resulted in the delay of AY’s inaugural service to Dallas, which will be moved from February to March 27, 2022.

Additionally, the planned Nagoya flights, as well as added frequencies to Osaka, will be delayed to the summer of 2022. Flights to Singapore will be reduced to twice weekly, while Hong Kong flights will be operated three times weekly.

Dallas will be a crucial new route for AY, as it expands on its connection with Oneworld alliance airlines. With the new Dallas route, passengers will be able to connect through American Airlines’ main hub. 

Finnair plans to re-expand in Japan, the airline’s second-largest market, with flights to Nagoya and added frequencies to Osaka. 

The airline maintains a strong connection with Japan Airlines (JL), another member of the Oneworld alliance, to connect passengers throughout Japan.

Featured Image: Alberto Cucini/Airways