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Travel & Leisure

Finnair turns Asia focus to megacities due to Ukraine war

Russian airspace closure clips airline as it pins hopes on hubs like Shanghai

Finnair Vice President Jenni Suomela tells Nikkei Asia that the airline's South Korean business is recovering faster than its Japan operations. (Photo by Rhyannon Bartlett-Imadegawa)

HELSINKI -- Airlines have battled through a terrible time over the past few years as the COVID pandemic upended travel and lockdowns grounded fleets. But few have endured as much as Finnair, which continues to face a closure of airspace over Russia after its neighbor invaded Ukraine, cutting off a main route for the airline and choking business from its key Asian markets.

While major airlines recover from the pandemic slump, Finland's flagship carrier is changing course to cope with its Russian airspace challenge, focusing on Asian megacities like Shanghai and exploring expansions in other regions.

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