Finnair starts cross-border winter flights between destinations above Arctic Circle

Northernmost Europe has not had cross border passenger flights since Nextjet went bankrupt in 2018. Now, Finnair launches twice weekly flights between Rovaniemi and Tromsø.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - August 25, 2023
Tromsø seen from the sky. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

“With this new connection, visitors to the Arctic region can conveniently combine both Lapland and Northern Norway in one trip,” says Antti Tolvanen, SVP Network & Revenue Management at Finnair.

For Finnair, the target group for ticket sales is among the fast-growing winter tourism seen in both northern Finland and Tromsø. “The Arctic nature and high-quality travel experiences appeal to travellers from various parts of the world, such as Asia and Central Europe,” Tolvanen says.

The route starts operations from December 2 and will at first continue until end of March 2024, with departures on Thursdays and Saturdays.

With a flying time of an hour and a half, Finnair’s 68-seater ATR propellers offers return tickets from about €200 depending on class and luggage needs.

The two cities, Rovaniemi and Tromsø, are in number of tourists to two main destinations for international tourists heading north for winter adventures with snow and Northern Lights. While Rovaniemi has Santa Claus and reindeer, Tromsø offers fjords and whale watching.

Last time an airliner flew cross-border flights between the northern regions of Finland and Norway was between 2015 and 2018. Swedish based Nextjet, however, went bankrupt in May 2018 and the route from Oulu via Luleå to Tromsø was grounded.

Finnair says in a press release it will continue to operate direct flights between Helsinki and Tromsø. Finnair also flies to Bergen, Bodø, Oslo and Trondheim in Norway.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

As a non-profit stock company that is fully owned by its reporters, its editorial decisions are free of regional, national or private-sector influence. It has been a partner to ABJ and its predecessors since 2016.

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