As you probably recall, Singapore was the launch long-haul launch route for Finnair’s latest AirLounge Business Class seat product back in April 2022, with the unique non-reclining padded ‘seat shell’ design debuting on the carrier’s Helsinki flights four times a week.
Thankfully, now that restriction-free travel is the norm, 43 of these seats are winging their way on a daily basis between the two cities, using Airbus A350s.
One issue with these flights has always been limited award availability in the Business Class cabin, but now that’s changed as Finnair adopts a more generous policy, ahead of its integration into the Avios ecosystem early next year.
Award space is now wide open in 2024
As highlighted by Head for Points, Finnair is now guaranteeing at least eight award seats on its long-haul services to and from Helsinki from February 2024, and the Singapore route is no exception.
That means it’s possible to score one of over 700 Business Class awards now loaded on the Singapore – Helsinki route in the nine months between February 2024 and October 2024.
Almost all of these were freshly added yesterday, and many dates boast as many as three award seats in the Business Class cabin, which you can redeem using programmes like Alaska Miles, Avios, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Asia Miles.
Going forward, this also means Finnair will load at least two Business Class award seats for redemption on its Singapore flights when they are first loaded into the system, 355 days before departure, in the same way Avios partner British Airways loads four guaranteed Business Class seats on its flights at this timing window.
That could be a great opportunity to jump on a pair or Business Class award tickets to or from Europe, if you’re able to make advance travel plans or find it handy as a backup in case you can’t find a better option closer to the time.
Here’s a reminder of the airline’s schedule for daily Singapore – Helsinki flights.
Singapore ⇄ Helsinki
29th October 2023 – 30th March 2024
* Next day
Timings change slightly for the summer season next year.
Singapore ⇄ Helsinki
31st March 2024 – 26th October 2024
* Next day
Award space by date
Here’s how the award space looks as of 2nd November 2023.
Finnair Business Class award space
Singapore ⇄ Helsinki
February 2024 – October 2024
In June 2023 alone, a peak school holiday period in Singapore, there are 47 Business Class award seats up for grabs in the SIN-HEL direction and 49 in the HEL-SIN direction.
August next year is particularly wide open, with 154 awards loaded in total – 3 seats per day in each direction on most dates.
Do note that award space is correct at the time of writing and will fluctuate, so do be sure to perform your own searches.
How to redeem
Finnair imposes a very small EUR15 (~S$22) fuel surcharge (YQ) on award tickets between Helsinki and Asia, among the lowest in the industry.
The low fee makes it a great redemption option to and from Europe with minimal cash to pay on top of your miles outlay, though unfortunately a recent Asia Miles devaluation has removed one of the cheaper options from Singapore – seeing a painful increase from 70,000 miles to 89,000 miles one-way in Business Class.
Here’s a summary of your redemption options to or from Singapore.
|Finnair Business Class redemption
Singapore ⇄ Helsinki
Note how Alaska Mileage Plan does not pass on Finnair’s (small) fuel surcharge, but does impose a partner award fee, so the taxes payable are roughly the same as for other programmes.
While the Avios rate is the highest on this route, don’t forget you can currently transfer from Citi with a 30% bonus into Qatar Airways Avios, then redeem via that programme, or after a 1:1 transfer to British Airways Avios for a fully online booking (Qatar’s partner booking process for Finnair is still offline).
That brings the rate down to a much more palatable 71,350 miles.
If you’re lucky enough to have a decent balance in American AAdvantage, the Finnair Business Class award rate from Singapore to Helsinki is just 75,000 miles + S$65.20, with no fuel surcharge imposed. Sadly there are no easy ways to credit to that programme if you’re based in Singapore.
Don’t forget, a Business Class award seat on Finnair also gets you pre-flight access to some excellent Oneworld lounges at Changi Airport, including the fantastic Qatar Airways Singapore Premium Lounge.
Redeem to and from other European cities
With all the frequent flyer programmes listed above, you can also include these Finnair Business Class awards in a longer redemption to or from other European cities by connecting through Finnair’s Helsinki hub.
This is often possible for no additional miles outlay.
For example, this Alaska redemption from Singapore to London still prices at 60,000 miles, as it would to other European cities, with only marginally higher taxes than a SIN-HEL award.
The award shown above from Singapore to London actually uses the A350 with AirLounge Business Class for both flights, so you’re not even ‘downgrading’ on the second sector.
Finnair was the launch customer for the Collins AirLounge product, which doesn’t have a traditional reclining seat like most Business Class cabins, but instead is effectively a contoured padded shell, designed to allow you to position yourself at a wide variety of different angles.
In this new seating concept, you can rest your feet on the ottoman or use extendable infill panels to create a large flat surface. Pillows are provided to offer support in various seating positions.
The fully flat surface also has a mattress, duvet and pillows provided for a flat-bed experience.
Modern features also include wireless charging, Wi-Fi connectivity and a new 18-inch touchscreen in-flight entertainment system.
Universal AC, USB-A and USB-C power sockets are also fitted at each seat.
It’s certainly a unique product, and we look forward to trying it out ourselves to find out how comfortable it is on a long-haul flight.
Here’s our summary of the new seat, from its launch announcement earlier this year.
You can also refer to some recent A350 AirLounge Business Class flight reviews, for more information:
Other Asia – Helsinki AirLounge routes
Finnair is also operating its A350 AirLounge Business Class to and from several other cities in the region:
- Bangkok (2x daily)
- Hong Kong
- Phuket (Dec ’23 – Mar ’24)
- Tokyo (Haneda)
- Tokyo (Narita)
That means you can also pick up freshly loaded Business Class awards on these routes, even if there’s no space to or from Singapore on your preferred dates.
Some of these cities also fall into cheaper redemption zones.
For example, Bangkok to Helsinki is 77,250 Avios, compared to 92,750 from Singapore. It also comes in cheaper using Cathay, at 63,000 Asia Miles, compared to 89,000 Asia Miles from Singapore.
Do be aware though, one exception to Finnair’s low fuel surcharge is the Osaka and Tokyo routes.
Finnair operates these flights under a joint venture business with British Airways and Japan Airlines, and because of the streamlined fare structure due to the ability for travellers to seamlessly mix-and-match flights between carriers, an identical fuel surcharge is applied to services by all three airlines on this route.
This additional surcharge (coded YR) adds around S$270 to your award cost in the Helsinki to Japan direction and a whopping S$480 in the Japan to Helsinki direction, so it’s one to avoid if you can!
Finnair Plus is joining the Avios ecosystem in early 2024, alongside British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus.
The good news is that this will also see the carrier improve award space on its flights, with a swathe of guaranteed seats available for redemption as soon as they are loaded into the system, nearly one year in advance.
Those guaranteed award seats have started already for next year, with the carrier loading 1, 2 or 3 immediately confirmable Business Class awards on its non-stop Singapore – Helsinki flights on many dates from 1st February 2024, right through to the end of the published schedule in late October 2024.
This could be a great way to jump on award space to Europe for the peak holiday season, from as little as 60,000 Alaska Miles or 89,000 Asia Miles, with minimal taxes and fees to pay, and in many cases you can extend the awards to and from other cities in Europe for little or no additional outlay.
Do also take a look at Finnair award space from other cities in the region, like Bangkok, some of which take advantage of cheaper award pricing than the Singapore route.
(Cover Photo: Finnair)