Last August I wrote about how Finnair was planning on launching seasonal flights between Helsinki, Finland, and Longyearbyen, Norway. The route was scheduled to operate 3x weekly between June 1 and August 28, 2016, using an Embraer E-190 aircraft.
For those of you not familiar, Longyearbyen is one of the northernmost cities in the world. Helsinki is already very far north, though Longyearbyen is significantly further up there. As a matter of fact, the Radisson Blu there is the northernmost full service hotel in the world.
In summer there’s 24 hours a day of sunlight, while in winter there’s 24 hours a day of darkness. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, and the Finnair flight seemed like a great opportunity to get there using miles, either through American AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club.
Well, unfortunately it looks like Finnair has changed their mind, as they’ve just canceled their seasonal flight to Longyearbyen before it even launched. The flight was announced almost a year in advance, and they ended up canceling it just a few weeks before the anticipated launch date.
Apparently the reason for this cancellation is that the bi-lateral aviation agreement between Finland and Norway didn’t cover flights from Finland to Longyearbyen, so Finnair isn’t allowed to operate the route. How they only figured that out now is a bit puzzling. While they’re canceling this year’s service, it’s unclear if they’ll try to negotiate for the rights to operate the route in the future.
Now that Finnair has canceled flights to Longyearbyen, your options are to fly there on either SAS or Norwegian from Oslo or Tromso. I guess maybe I can plan a trip there in conjunction with a longhaul award ticket in SAS business class, which is one of the products I most want to review.
Had anyone booked the new Finnair flight between Helsinki and Longyearbyen?