First of all, since I'm new here, let me introduce myself briefly: I am Mikael, I am a 21 years old guy from Italy. I moved to Finland one year and a half ago. I am studying Aviation Management and aviation has been my passion ever since I was a little kid!
Since I have visited very few places in Finland in the past year and a half, I have finally decided to go around the country a bit to check out new cities and areas, and planes simply needed to be part of the trips planned! It is common to think that aviation in Finland simply relates to Finnair and Helsinki Airport. However, from spring 2021, Finnish Government has granted the operation of some PSO routes to airlines outside Finland, making some flights really "exotic" and interesting! The goal, now, is to try out all those airlines, of course :) There's just one little thing: I have never flown with Finnair! And this is the story of how my first flight with Finnair went, on a short hop from middle-eastern Finland to Helsinki.
DISCLAIMER: I beg your pardon for the quality of the pictures in the first part of this report; my initial plan was to make a video, so some of the pics of Kuopio Airport are taken from a video I recored. I included them anyway in order to provide you guys with a complete report!
09AUG, HEL-(…), (…)Coming soon
10AUG KUO-HEL, AYYou are here
This is the return flight of a trip around Finland. I want to keep the Helsinki outbound flight as a surprise, it will published ASAP! :)
I have booked this flight 6 days before departure and I paid 66€ for an Economy Light ticket. It's a pretty reasonable amount of money for Finnish domestic flights, which usually are quite expensive.
At the moment Finnair flies between Helsinki and Kuopio once a day, either with a morning or an evening flight. Flights are usually operated by ATR72 but on my case it's been upgraded to E190!
After spending my day around the beautiful Kuopio (I will share some pics at the end of this report!) , it's time to head to the airport. Kuopio Airport is located 14km north of the city centre and it is easy to reach with the bus #40 from Kuopio Matkakeskus (the central bus station). This doesn't come very handy if your flight is in the evening, like mine: the last bus leaves from Kuopio at 1807, arriving at the airport at 1825, some three hours before the flight. Since in Kuopio Airport there is a military base of the Finnish Air Force, the surroundings of the airport are mostly military areas.
This is the terminal building, with a small cute parking lot in front…
…and here's a view from inside. The stairs you see in the picture take to a bar, which at the moment is closed. In "regular" times, the bar opens according to the flight schedule. Actually, also the terminal opens according to the flight schedule: the opening hours of this day were 1730-2130, for a flight arriving from HEL at 2040 and leaving at 2110. Just behind the stairs, you'll find the arrival area, with a small baggage belt and a few chairs.
And here is the Departures area (again sorry for such blurry pictures, I promise it'll get better). There is five desks, of which at the moment just one is used. I have checked-in online but I got my boarding pass printed anyway. The lady working at the counter was extremely nice and kind, and she was welcoming every passenger coming into the airport.
And here is the FIDS. AY372 is the only flight for today, while on the day after (11AUG) there's a very interesting flight to Nur-Sultan (here still displayed as Astana). I assume it had something to see with Finnish Defence Forces.
If you're curious about this Kuopio-Nur-Sultan flight:
I went through security checks, passed in around 30 seconds, and headed to the small airside area. The area has a very nice view on this empty apron, waiting for its only flight of the day. It also started raining pretty heavily, along with some thunderstorms.
And here she is! OH-LKL, an Embraer E190LR operated by Norra, the regional branch of Finnair. Fun fact: when the plane landed, me and a little kid literally ran to the windows to take pictures, with all the other passengers (around 20) minding their own business and giving weird looks at us :) Most of the travellers on this route are business-oriented, and, pre-pandemic, there was also a lot of connecting passengers.
It looks like our plane also brought the sun here, after some hours of storm! Taxiing from the runway to the gate probably took 10 seconds, and here is OH-LKL getting to tonight's parking spot. I must say I love Finnair's livery, I find it very simple and classy.
Passengers from Helsinki disembark quickly (I counted around 40-50 passengers), and soon is our time to board. This picture below covers pretty much half of the airside area! I was the only non-Finnish speaking customer on the flight!
A closer view to this little boy taking us to HEL…
Finally boarding my first Finnair flight!
And here we are into the cabin. It feels a bit old, maybe it's the colors, who knows… If I remember correctly, the curtains dividing Business and Economy pax go up to row 8, however no Business class is sold on domestic flights.
I find easily my seat for tonight, 23F. Most of the passengers seat in the front, with the last 6-7 rows left just for me and another lady! The view from my seat:
And here's a view of Kuopio Airport, from seat 23A:
During boarding, Flight Attendants (just two working on this flight) handed out this cleaning kit, which includes a desinfecting wipe for hands and one for the tray table.
After a couple minutes, the captain introduces himself and gives some information about the flight: it's going to take 35 minutes to reach Helsinki. Also, he tells us that the unloading of the aircraft is taking a longer time because of some special luggage (bikes). Interestingly, he also adds that this flight is the first one operated by an E190 to Kuopio after a long time! It's usually operated by the smaller ATR72.
Boarding and loading are completed very quickly and we can finally leave Kuopio. No need of pushback here! We leave the terminal behind our backs and we head to the runway.
Thank you for having me, Kuopio! See you soon!
We quickly climb to our cruise altitude (36000ft) with a gorgeous view on the surroundings of Kuopio. I think there is no words to describe this landscape, if not beautiful and breathtaking.
Suddenly, the gorgeous landscape disappears behind the clouds… with this gray background, the blue F really stands out!
One last view of the sunset.
During our climb to the cruise altitude, the two flight attendants quickly start working on the flight service, which has to be done very quickly and efficiently. Tonight we can choose between water and the famous Finnair mustikkamehu (blueberry juice). The choice is pretty obvious for me.
I have had this same juice so many times on the ground, while waiting for my first Finnair flight. Ever since last Autumn, Finnair has been selling their juice (along with some pre-packed meals!) in a supermarket chain here in Finland. Enjoying the juice up in the air is a whole different vibe, though! :)
Cheers, or as we say here, kippis!
After a short visit to the toilet, it's time to have a look at the aisle (as I always tell my friends, the only aisle you'll see me walking down). As you can see, the flight is quite empty, with around 20 pax onboard, and the back was literally reserved for myself!
Gotta love this natural mood lighting given by the last sun rays!
Time goes by very quickly, especially when you are enjoying it at the fullest; and after a very short time here we are approaching Helsinki from the north. Here we are flying above Järvenpää, some 20km north of Helsinki Airport.
And here we are! Good evening, HEL! We landed at 2153, 17 minutes earlier than expected, after 36 minutes in the air!
After a quick taxi (in which I have tried to take some decent pictures but, believe me, you don't want to see the final result), we get to our gate, just under the control tower.
We parked next to OH-LKG, who has just landed from Ivalo, further north in Finland.
And here we are! Thank you OH-LKL for the ride!
On my way out through the airport. We arrived a few minutes before the rush hour of Finnair arrivals from Europe (between 22 and 23.30), so a very empty terminal. Tonight, the Vueling flight from Barcelona has landed almost three hours late. And for tonight, just many Finnair planes flying back home, plus three late arrivals by KLM, AirBaltic and Lufthansa.
And this is it from my flight! After getting landside, I went straight to the train station and went back home, as my workday was starting early the day after. You can get to the city centre by train in around half an hour, trains leave every ten minutes during the day and they generally run between 4-5AM and 1AM. I live in one of the intermediate stations, so in around 20 minutes I was in my bed already.
Bonus : Click here display hide
Kuopio is the capital of the North Savo region. It counts around 90.000 inhabitants, making it the 8th most populous city in Finland.
This is the market of Kuopio central square. Every big city in Finland has a Kauppahalli in the city centre, where you can find the most Finnish delicacies. Kuopio's traditional dish is Kalakukko (lit. Fish Cake), and it's a loaf of rye bread pie filled with small fish, pork and bacon. Let's say I'm not a fan of this :)
One of the landmarks of Kuopio is the Puijo tower. It's located around 2 km far from the city, immersed into the forest, on the top of a hill dominating the surroundings. You can easily get there by car or hiking up the hill in the middle of the forest, which I recommend! The tower is 75 meters high and you can get the best view on the region of Kuopio!
The cost for going up to the terrace is 7€ (5€ if you have a student card). Just below the terrace, you can find a bar and a restaurant.
This is the view from the top of the tower - I love Finnish landscapes.
Kuopio - KUO
Helsinki - HEL
A very short domestic hop, with some of the best landscapes I've ever seen from a plane!
Thank you for following this short trip, and stay tuned for the first part (and for the next adventures) !
I'd be more than happy to hear your opinions and comments!
Always happy landings! Mikael
6 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".