Finnair to link Helsinki and Ivalo with Kirkenes

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - April 9, 2024
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Finnair will operate a the cross-border flight up north with a 68-seater ATR aircraft. Photo: ATR

The Finnish flag carrier starts flying to the Norwegian Barents Sea destination in next year’s summer program.

Kirkenes will be Finnair’s northernmost destination as the first flight from Helsinki via Ivalo will take off in early April 2025, the company informs in a press release. The route will be year-around with three weekly flights; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will be operated with Finnair’s 68-seater ATR propeller aircraft that today fly interregional routes domestically in Finland and to destinations in the Nordics and the Baltics.

Kirkenes will be Finnair’s third destination in northern Norway. From before, both Tromsø and Bodø are connected with Rovaniemi and Helsinki.

“We are delighted to introduce a destination that further strengthens our already extensive network in the Arctic region. The new route enables a smooth connection for customers travelling up to northern Norway, making it fast and easy to reach the destination from Helsinki,” says Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair.

In recent years, Finnish Lapland has experienced a boom in international tourism, especially during the winter season. From the ski resort in Saariselkä, busloads of especially Asia travellers have this winter flocked to Kirkenes to experience the Barents Sea coast and get a taste of the King Crab.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Finnair had a route from Helsinki via Ivalo to Kirkenes.

Kirkenes airport in Norway’s northeast. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

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.