On Monday, Russia announced the closure of its airspace to air carriers of 36 states, including Finland.

Finnair airplane rising from Helsinki Airport. Photograph: SEPPO SIRKKA/EASTPRESS

Finnair has found an alternative route to fly to Tokyo by avoiding the Russian airspace. The airspace was closed from European airplanes on Monday as a countermeasure against the sanctions placed by the EU on Russia for starting military attacks in Ukraine.

Starting next Wednesday, March 9, Finnair begins flights to Tokyo Narita airport four times a week out of Helsinki. The flight time is approximately 13 hours, and the flights connect smoothly to Finnair’s European network via its home hub Helsinki Airport.


“Japan is one of our most important markets, and we want to continue offering safe and reliable connections between Helsinki and Tokyo also in this situation,” Ole Orvér, chief commercial officer at Finnair, said in a statement. “Japan is also an important cargo market, and air connections are needed to keep cargo moving.”

Earlier this week Finnair canceled its flights to China, Japan and South Korea until March 6, 2022. Finnair continues to fly to Bangkok, Delhi, Phuket and Singapore, also with a longer routing that avoids Russian airspace. Finnair flies to Bangkok and Phuket also from Stockholm Arlanda in addition to Helsinki.

According to Orvér, Finnair continues to evaluate alternative routes for flights to China and South Korea.