Budget airlines Wizz Air, Ryanair and Norwegian are significantly increasing their routes from Finland during the spring and summer 2011. Wizz Air, the largest budget airline in Central and Eastern Europe, is launching a new route between Tampere in Finland and Gdansk in Poland. The new flights will start on 12 June and will initially operate twice a week. Tampere is the airline’s second destination to Finland after Turku.
Norwegian is starting flights from Helsinki Vantaa to 11 destinations. According to Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian, the expansion of routes from Finland is part of the boom in budget flights affecting the whole of Europe. For example, in mainland Spain the market share of budget airlines on European destinations is about 50%, whereas in Finland their share is still below 15%.
Ryanair is opening six new routes from Lappeenranta and Tampere. Elina Hakkarainen, Ryanair’s sales and marketing director, says that the airline’s routes will increase especially to the Mediterranean region. Budget airlines are also starting to fly routes that they were not interested in previously due to their long flight times.
In other airline developments, Finland’s national carrier Finnair is starting flights to Singapore in the summer and Blue 1 is increasing its joint flights to North America.