Good News from Mon, 11 April, 2011:

Norwegian opens new base at Helsinki airport

Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian, has opened its new base at Helsinki airport which will serve two domestic and 11 international routes. Four daily flights to Oulu and a daily flight to Rovaniemi are already operating.

During the spring, the airline will add nine international routes to its weekly schedule. Norwegian launched direct flights from Helsinki to Oslo and Stockholm in spring 2010. 

Two domestic and 11 international routes mean a significant improvement for the airport's connections and more choices for Finnish business and leisure travelers, said Helsinki airport Director Juha-Pekka Pystynen.

Norwegian - Scandinavia’s second largest airline and the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe - flies to 98 destinations in Europe and North Africa from bases in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Helsinki airport is Norwegian’s seventh hub.

A record number of new flight connections from Finland to different parts of Europe will kick off in the summer. The Hungarian low cost airline Wizzair will start flying twice a week to Tampere from Gdansk in Poland from June 12. Tampere is the airline’s second destination to Finland after Turku. Meanwhile, Ireland's Ryanair has announced new routes from Lappeenranta and Tampere.

In a separate development, a new all-cargo airline based in Helsinki is being established by US-based private equity firm Neff Capital Management. Nordic Global Airlines is scheduled to begin operations later this year and is expected to fly routes to Asia and North America.  

– We believe that Helsinki is a natural base for a wide-body freighter operation, given its proximity to Asia and location among the growing economies of Europe, said Brian Neff, the President of Neff Capital Management.