Despite not flying to Australia, Qantas' Oneworld alliance partner Finnair offers a comprehensive network of flights between Asia and its Helsinki hub, with a host of onward connections across Europe – not only to the bigger destinations, but many less-popular places too which are traditionally harder to reach by air.
Flights to Helsinki can also be combined with other tickets from Australia, such as with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and then with Finnair onward to Helsinki, giving you even more ways to reach Finland and broader Europe using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: key routes
Finnair's solid network across Asia includes many ports popular with Australian travellers such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, which can all be reached by flying other Oneworld airlines from our shores.
Seasonally, Finnair also runs flights to places like Dubai, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, Guangzhou and Xi'an – again, accessible from Australia – and to Fukuoka in Japan and Astana in Kazakhstan:
That makes Finnair a solid option for flying to Europe on points, because there are so many routes to choose from. You could take these as part of a combined trip with points bookings on another airline, or break your business trip in Asia or the Middle East with some annual leave, taking advantage of your location to jump across to Europe.
Speaking of Europe, Finnair links its Helsinki hub with a huge range of cities across the continent – going far beyond the major destinations of London, Paris and Rome to places like Iceland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Poland and more:
Because Finland is part of the Schengen Area, if you're travelling onward to another Schengen country, you'll clear passport control on arrival in Helsinki and touch down at your final destination as a 'domestic' passenger, meaning you can pick up your bags, walk straight out of the airport and head to your hotel without any fuss.
Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: how many points you'll need
We won't show you the number of points required for every route, but here's what you'd need for a one-way flight on some of Finnair's key flights from Asia and the Middle East – double these figures for a return trip:
|To/from Helsinki (one-way)||Business class||Economy|
|78,000 Qantas Points||42,000 Qantas Points|
|65,000 Qantas Points||35,000 Qantas Points|
||53,000 Qantas Points||28,000 Qantas Points|
Here's how that looks if you were flying to London from those same cities via Helsinki – either when connecting straight through, or spending less than 24 hours on the ground in between:
|To/from London (one-way)||Business class||Economy|
|92,000 Qantas Points||50,000 Qantas Points|
|78,000 Qantas Points||42,000 Qantas Points|
||65,000 Qantas Points||35,000 Qantas Points|
As Finnair flights are calculated using Qantas' Partner Classic Flight Reward table – separate to the table for flight bookings on Qantas' own aircraft – you can mix and match these awards with flights on other partner airlines too, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines from Australia to Asia, and then Finnair from Asia to Europe.
For example, you could fly from Sydney to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific (a 4,581-mile flight) and then from Hong Kong to Helsinki with Finnair (a 4,859-mile journey) on the one reward booking.
As the total distance of your journey would be 9,440 miles, provided you don't spend more than 24 hours in Hong Kong, this would be priced as a single 'Zone 9' ticket – costing you a grand total of 121,000 Qantas Points in business class or 65,000 Qantas Points in economy:
If you chose to enjoy a longer Hong Kong stopover instead and were flying business class, you'd otherwise be up for 65,000 Qantas Points from Sydney to Hong Kong, plus 78,000 Qantas Points onward from Hong Kong to Helsinki (143,000 points overall), as the flights would be calculated individually.
Booking Finnair flights with Qantas Points: making that booking
As now with all Oneworld partner airlines, Finnair reward flights can be booked online using Qantas Points – so it's as simple as whacking in the details of your planned journey on the Qantas website, making sure "Use points - Classic Flight Rewards only" is selected, and if prompted, logging into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
If your travel dates are flexible, click into the date field and check the "flexible with dates" box to see more results over a one-month period, which could make the difference between finding a suitable flight and missing out entirely.
You'll see what's available on the next screen... but even with that flexibility calendar, I had trouble finding reward seats out of Hong Kong as it's a very popular route, so tried out of Seoul instead, and voila!
Just click the flight and travel type you'd like to book, and the system will confirm the number of points you needed. Provided you have enough, you'll also be informed of the amount of taxes, fees and carrier charges you'll need to pay on on the side as well, and will have another chance to check your travel details before proceeding with your booking.
Flights from Australia right through to Helsinki can be a little tricker – namely, because you need to find flights with reward availability between both Australia and Asia, and then between Asia and Finland – but it's done in much the same way, such as by searching "Sydney to Helsinki" for a connecting journey, or using Qantas' multi-city tool to engineer a stopover or a more complex itinerary.