Business class flights to Europe can be expensive, but there are some substantial savings to be had if you look around! Many savvy Australian flyers are now using Finnair, a Qantas partner and oneworld airline, to get to Europe.
Finnair operates flights between Europe and a number of cities in Asia via its Helsinki hub. Passengers travelling all the way from Australia to Europe can connect in Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong. The flights between Australia and Asia are operated by Qantas.
A number of members have shared their recent experiences with Finnair. The reviews have been positive. The service and meals are said to be good, and Helsinki is a convenient transfer point.
No complaints about the service last October, Bangkok to Heathrow, return from Barcelona via Helsinki, flight over had angled flat beds and I had someone next to me, it was a day flight so sleep wasn’t that important. On the way back it was the newer layout, fully flat bed. Helsinki was a nice and easy airport to transit through, including using my ‘chip’ passport, however on both transits the lounge (and everywhere else) was packed. In June we are on the 350, Bangkok to Milan return, really looking forward to that!
Finnair is currently in the process of upgrading their fleet. Increasingly, brand new A350s are being used on flights between Europe and Asia. One member compares the Business class seats on these aircraft to the likes of Cathay Pacific.
AY feels very similar to CX, just perhaps each suite being a fraction smaller. The food on our flights was great, the beds were lay flat and we slept well. IMO anyone considering paid J should be looking at AY.
While Finnair has some cheap fares for travel originating in Australia, there are even bigger savings to be had by booking a ticket from somewhere like Bangkok or Singapore. For example, return Business class tickets from Bangkok to Europe can be had for well under $3,000.
For anyone interested … I just booked AY Business Class BKK-HEL-CDG-BKK for just under $2,400 AUD. Using new A350 metal out of BKK. There are a couple of other very cheap destinations including CPH. HEL itself is a little more.
Passengers transiting through Helsinki on the way to Europe can also take advantage of Finnair’s free stopovers! Stopping over in Helsinki is possible for no extra cost, and sometimes works out even cheaper than ending the journey in Finland. Stopovers can last anywhere from a few hours to many months.
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