VIP guests at the press conference in Helsinki included Qatar’s ambassador to Finland Saoud Abdulla Z al-Mahmoud (second from right) and Finland’s ambassador to Qatar Riitta Swan (second from left). They were welcomed by Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker (centre), Qatar Airways’ senior vice-president (Europe) Jonathan Harding (right) and Finavia president and CEO Kari Savolainen.

Qatar Airways has celebrated the launch of its new service to Helsinki. Akbar al-Baker, Group chief executive of Qatar Airways, hosted a press conference in the Finnish capital yesterday and updated the regional and international media on the airline’s plans for the Nordics and beyond.
Helsinki welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha on Monday. In a statement yesterday, the Doha-based carrier stressed that it is the “first Middle Eastern carrier to serve all four Nordic capitals and is committed to bringing more visitors to Helsinki, boosting tourism to Finland and its neighbouring countries”.
The new route will also give the people of Finland the opportunity to connect to more than 150 destinations on the airline’s global network via its hub, Hamad International Airport, in Doha.
Qatar Airways flies daily to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and now Helsinki. “This will give Finnish passengers the opportunity to travel seamlessly to destinations such as Krabi and Seychelles, which will launch in December, and Auckland, which will launch on February 5, 2017, with many more new destinations to come,” the statement noted.
On the occasion, al-Baker said: “Helsinki has long been on our list of destinations to add to our route map and I am proud that we are here to celebrate this important milestone in the history of our airline. We are here to serve the people of Finland with a world-class service connecting them to business and leisure destinations on our global network. It is also our pleasure to promote Finland and the whole Nordic region to our passengers around the world.”
Finavia president and CEO Kari Savolainen said: “We want to express our warmest welcome to Qatar Airways and its new route between Helsinki and Doha. We welcome tourists from Doha to enjoy Helsinki, a city full of amazing Nordic experiences. At the same time, Helsinki Airport is also an excellent gateway to Lapland.”

Airline in code-share agreement with Finnair
Qatar Airways and Finnair have entered into a code-share agreement, enabling new smooth connections between the two airlines’ networks and bringing new travel opportunities to Finnair and Qatar Airways customers.??
Finnair’s AY code will be added to Qatar Airways’ flights between Helsinki and Doha, as well as to flights between Doha and Muscat, Bahrain, the Seychelles and the Maldives, according to a press statement from Finnair. At the same time, Qatar’s QR code will be added to Finnair flights between Helsinki and Stockholm Bromma, Billund, Gothenburg, Riga, Tallinn and Tartu. Finnair and Qatar Airways both belong to the oneworld alliance.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said: “Following the launch of our new route to Helsinki, this partnership could not have come at a better time for Qatar Airways.”
“Finnair is looking forward to develop the partnership with Qatar Airways and further strengthen oneworld alliance’s strong position in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region,” added Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer, Finnair.