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28 October 2011

Flybe starts operating Mariehamn – Helsinki route and announces intention to name plane in honour of Åland Islands

Finland’s newest airline starts operating its first ever Winter Schedule on Sunday 30th October with a new Mariehamn - Helsinki route offering choice of up to 22 flights a week as part of extensive new regional schedule.

There is an air of excited anticipation across the Nordic and Baltic region this weekend as Flybe, Finland’s newest and Europe’s largest regional airline, starts operating its first winter schedule that includes the lifeline route between Mariehamn and Helsinki. Flybe will now offer a choice of 2 flights a day and 22  flights a week on the route with one way fares from 25 Euros including taxes and charges. Flybe’s Director Commercial, Fred Kochak, will be welcoming the first passengers on board on Sunday.

To recognise the start of its new route and highlight its commitment to the Åland Islands, Flybe is today also announcing its intention to name an aircraft in honour of the region. The airline will be giving people the opportunity to suggest a suitable name, and details of the plane-naming competition will be announced shortly. 

Flybe’s extensive regional winter schedule features a total of 25 routes, including 10 that are brand new, giving passengers a choice of up to 500 flights a week.  Flybe’s growing network from Helsinki also offers convenient links for businesspeople and tourists between Åland and important destinations like Karleby-Jakobstad, Kemi-Torneå and Skellefteå. 

The 9 other new routes in Flybe’s network are as follows:

Helsinki – Jyväskylä (up to 3 daily) 
Helsinki – Tartu, Estonia (6 per week)
Helsinki – Trondheim, Norway (4 per week)
Helsinki – Umea, Sweden (4 per week)
Tampere – Tallinn, Estonia (up to 2 daily)
Turku – Tallinn (up to 2 daily)
Vaasa – Tallinn (6 per week)
Oulu – Tallinn (6 per week)
Tallinn – Stockholm Bromma, Sweden (up to 3 daily)


Mike Rutter, Managing Director Flybe Europe comments: “We are establishing our commitment to the Åland Islands today with the start of our new flights to Helsinki and also with our intention to name an aircraft in honour of the region. We look forward to announcing the competition details that will give as many people as possible with connections to the region a chance to suggest a suitable name that embodies their pride in this special place and that reflects its unique culture and tradition. 

The start of Flybe’s winter schedule is a new beginning for the former Finnish Commuter Airlines (Finncomm) whose joint acquisition was announced by Flybe and Finnair in July. Finncomm is now absorbed into Flybe, The new branding and colours are already visible on three ATR aircraft, while the rest of the fleet is anticipated to be complete by spring next year.
Concludes Mr Rutter: “We are delighted to welcome those travelling to and from Åland on board at the start of the 2011/12 IATA Winter season. We hope they will enjoy their first ever Flybe experience. It is one that offers quality, friendly service at affordable prices.  We hope also that their first flight, whether it be on Sunday or some time later, will become the first of many as they realise the benefits that Flybe’s convenient, reliable and growing business model brings to Åland .  Welcome on board!”