With the recently-added flight connecting Mumbai to Helsinki, the NTO is now looking to promote summers in Finland to offer Indian travellers more ways to experience the destination.
Finnair, along with Finland Tourism, recently hosted a grand event in Mumbai for its key travel partners on the occasion of Christmas and had invited Santa Claus all the way from Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland. Speaking at the event, Sara Sodhi Juneja, Country Head – India & UAE, Visit Finland, says, “This is the first time Santa Claus has come to India and Mumbai. This has been on our agenda for the last five years, so we are very happy we were finally able to do that this year. The travel agents have been supporting us. There have been a few concerns with visas but it’s getting resolved. Year 2022 was just the beginning of reviving tourism for us, though the main positive for us was Finnair starting flights from Mumbai in August. It collectively totals to about 10 weekly flights from India. Mumbai is one of our main market and it was very important that we have this direct connectivity.”
Sharing plans for 2023, she adds, “We are receiving tremendous support from partners to push Finland specially for the winters. We want to build Finland for summer as well and showcase destinations beyond Helsinki. We hope our partners help us.”
Co-hosting the event was Sakari Romu, General Manager (India), Finnair. Sharing how his airlines survived 2022, he says, “Of course, COVID hit all the airlines very hard. This was in a way a start for the better. We are closing our capacity at 80 per cent compared to pre-COVID times. Also, the number of passengers are fast reaching the number we had pre-COVID. We should do our best to return to the kind of business we had before. It’s not just bringing it back but also looking positively to the future to find growth wherever possible.” He adds, “We are actively looking for new possibilities. India is a big country full of opportunities and if we were to look at other destinations beside Delhi and Mumbai, it would probably be Chennai and Bengaluru that would follow.”