After pausing service last year due to the pandemic, Finnair is returning to Visby Airport and will launch a direct route between Visby and Helsinki during the summer season. The service will launch in late June, with three weekly departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
The route is not just attractive for Swedish holidaymakers going abroad, but also Finnish visitors, and is crucial to Gotland’s tourism industry. As the world opens up again, there is a longing to travel and meet, and the air link will be a welcome addition in particular for leisure travellers flying to visit relatives and friends.
There are a large number of residents in Gotland who have connections with Finland, and in the years before the pandemic, there was great interest in travel between the two destinations.
– We are pleased that Finnair is resuming summer service between Visby Airport and Helsinki. There is great interest in Gotland among people in Finland as well as many Gotland residents who have relatives in Finland. A direct route creates opportunities to visit friends and family in a convenient way and is an excellent opportunity for people in Gotland to get to Finland and vice versa, says Gunnar Jonasson, airport director at Swedavia Visby Airport.
– We are cautiously optimistic since the vaccine rollout, the pandemic and travel restrictions are critical to the recovery both in Sweden elsewhere in the world. We hope the situation will allow this and that our passengers are ready to travel again this summer, concludes Gunnar Jonasson.
The range of routes available from Gotland has expanded for the summer and winter, which indicates the start of a recovery following the reduction in the number of routes during the pandemic. Access will be important in the restart after the pandemic, and direct air links are important for regional growth and the tourism industry all across Sweden.
– It is good news that Finnair will serve Gotland again. We know from the past that direct routes open up travel in a brand-new way. As for the tourism industry, we are looking at how we can market Gotland so that we are an attractive destination this summer. We have good experiences from last year how we can receive visitors in a safe and secure manner and feel comfortable and well prepared for the summer, says Frida Ganshed, executive director at the regional tourism business association Gotlands Förenade Besöksnäring.
The Visby Airport (VBY)–Helsinki Vanta Airport (HEL) route will be served by an ATR72 with three weekly departures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from June 24 to August 1.
– We still see Sweden as an important expanded home market, and it feels absolutely right to open traffic from Visby this summer. For inhabitants on Gotland, the route also provides access to Finnair’s global network to Europe, Asia and the USA. This summer, Finnair will start flights to Chicago and Los Angeles for example, and increase the frequency of flights to New York, says Robert Lönnblad, General Manager Scandinavia at Finnair.
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