European-bound Qantas travellers will enjoy new options from today, with the added allure of bypassing the congestion of Heathrow for easier access to northern and eastern Europe.
Finland’s flag-carrier Finnair begins daily flights between Helsinki and Singapore this evening, and will codeshare with Qantas so that you can seamlessly fly Qantas to Singapore and then Finnair to Helsinki and beyond.
The Finnair flights will depart Singapore at 11.30pm, so they mesh neatly with Qantas’ afternoon A380 and 747 flights to The Red Dot – you’ll have ample time to hit the Qantas lounges, freshen up with a shower and grab a light snack before you head to Helsinki.
It’s a similar setup to the current daily Finnair services to Bangkok, which commenced in February and are also codeshared with Qantas.
Finnair is also adding five extra flights per week between Hong Kong and Helsinki as of this week.
Based on previous promotions conducted for its codeshare flights out of Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, Finnair is likely to promote a ‘split class’ deal to Australian travellers.
This would see passengers booking Qantas economy or premium economy for the evening flight to Singapore, but choosing business class on Finnair so you can sleep through the overnight cross-Europe leg from Singapore to Helsinki, with an arrival around 7am.
Finnair uses a mix of Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft on flights to Asia. Hopefully Singapore will get one of the four newest A330s, which feature the Contour Vantage business class seats (below).
These are highly private horizontal lie-flat seats with a clean European style and an oddly staggered layout which provides for ten seats by themselves and 22 in pairs. The seats have 60 inch pitch and are 21 inches wide.
If you don’t score one of the new A330s then all’s not lost: business class seats in the older A330s and all A340s have the same width and legroom, but are angled lie-flat rather than fully horizontal in bed mode.