Ryanair axes Finland flights by half

Budget airline Ryanair has announced that it is significantly reducing flights to Finland.

The Dublin-based carrier said on Tuesday that it was to back out of services to Turku completely during the upcoming winter months and would also reduce its number of weekly flights to Tampere by more than half. Similarly, the airline said that its route between Germany and Lappeenranta will now only operate in the summer as capacity on the flights peaked in July.

Ryanair officials said the move is part of the company’s strategy to improve profitability through the winter amid rising fuel costs. The strategy involves grounding 80 jets from the fleet over the season.

Kari Koriakoski, Lappeenranta’s deputy city director, said that he was perplexed by the news. He added, “This is difficult to understand because flights on this route have been almost full,” the YLE reports.

Turku city officials said the move would be costly for Finland because the carrier’s connections to the UK, Spain and Belgium have been a vital link for the local economy.

Meanwhile, Finnair said that there will be no immediate impact on its services. A spokeswoman told YLE on behalf of the carrier, “Competition on some air traffic routes has decreased and in others it has increased – depending on competition in the sector.”