Luft­han­sa’s first flight lan­ded in Oulu

Last July, Ger­man air­li­ne Luft­han­sa announced that it will start direct sche­du­led flights between Munich an Oulu in Decem­ber 2023. The first flight lan­ded at Oulu Air­port on Decem­ber 16th, and pas­sen­gers arri­ving from Ger­ma­ny were gree­ted with a cere­mo­nial welco­me.

Mir­ja Veh­ka­pe­rä, Chair of the City Board of Oulu, who spo­ke at the ope­ning cere­mo­ny of the inau­gu­ral flight, said that the direct flight con­nec­tion opens a new chap­ter in the deve­lop­ment of the region. Veh­ka­pe­rä emp­ha­si­sed that the con­nec­tion sup­ports the deter­mi­ned growth of tou­rism in Oulu and inc­rea­ses the acces­si­bi­li­ty of our region. In her speech, Veh­ka­pe­rä than­ked Luft­han­sa for their con­fi­dence in Oulu.

– It is great to have an ope­ra­tor like Luft­han­sa in Oulu. The City of Oulu is very com­mit­ted to impro­ving acces­si­bi­li­ty and deve­lo­ping air traf­fic. Well-func­tio­ning con­nec­tions pro­mo­te the vita­li­ty, busi­ness life, and tou­rism of the area. I would also like to thank Fina­via for their clo­se, good coo­pe­ra­tion, Veh­ka­pe­rä says.

Main pho­to: The inau­gu­ral rib­bon was cut by (from left) Pet­ri Vuo­ri, Senior Vice Pre­si­dent, Sales and Rou­te Deve­lop­ment at Fina­via, Mir­ja Veh­ka­pe­rä, Chair ot the City Board of Oulu, Pat­rick Borg Hed­ley, Luft­han­sa Group’s Gene­ral Mana­ger in Fin­land and the Bal­tic sta­tes, and Yrjö­ta­pio Kivi­saa­ri, CEO of Visit Oulu.

Juha Ala-Mur­su­la, Direc­tor of Business­Oulu, says that the ope­ning of the con­nec­tion is based on per­sis­tent, long-term work.

– The sta­ke­hol­ders in the area have wor­ked toget­her deter­mi­ned­ly to crea­te new rou­te ope­nings, and now we are wit­nes­sing the first one. More con­nec­tions are still nee­ded, and work is being done on them. Yrjö­ta­pio Kivi­saa­ri, CEO of Visit Oulu, and Juuso Rönn­holm, Business­Oulu Public Affairs Mana­ger, have put a lot of effort into establis­hing con­tacts with air­li­nes and con­duc­ting nego­tia­tions late­ly. This work has been and will be sup­por­ted by the exten­si­ve network of sta­ke­hol­ders in the region. It is won­der­ful to be able to col­la­bo­ra­te with Luft­han­sa, Ala-Mur­su­la says.

Kivi­saa­ri, who also spo­ke at the ope­ning cere­mo­ny, says that the new flight con­nec­tion is an excel­lent ope­ning, as Ger­ma­ny is an impor­tant count­ry for tou­rism in the Oulu region.

– A sig­ni­ficant pro­por­tion of foreign tou­rists in the region alrea­dy come from Ger­ma­ny. The new rou­te sup­ports this deve­lop­ment bril­liant­ly, and we have wor­ked hard to inc­rea­se inter­na­tio­nal tou­rism, says Kivi­saa­ri.

Sche­du­led return flights between Munich and Oulu are ope­ra­ted on Wed­nes­days and Satur­days. For the time being, sche­du­led win­ter flights will be ope­ra­ted until the end of March, but deci­sions on the con­ti­nua­tion of flights are eager­ly awai­ted.

– Our goal is for the Oulu–Munich rou­te to beco­me a year-round, per­ma­nent con­nec­tion. Luft­han­sa has not yet taken any deci­sions on this, and we will, of cour­se, try to do our sha­re. The demand for flights is essen­tial for furt­her deci­sions. Now it is impor­tant that the rou­te is acti­ve­ly used, so that we can con­ti­nue to bene­fit from direct con­nec­tions from Euro­pe and get the com­pe­ti­tion we need at Oulu Air­port, Kivi­saa­ri con­ti­nues.

Much-nee­ded direct link to Cent­ral Euro­pe

Munich, one of Ger­ma­ny’s lar­gest cities, is a major trans­port hub. Munich Air­port, the Franz Josef Strauß Air­port, is the second lar­gest air­port in Ger­ma­ny and the seventh lar­gest in Euro­pe, with good con­nec­ting flights around the world for busi­ness and lei­su­re tra­vel­lers ali­ke. The city also has excel­lent rail con­nec­tions to other major Ger­man cities and the rest of Cent­ral Euro­pe.

From the pers­pec­ti­ve of lei­su­re tou­rists from Oulu, the Bava­rian region is diver­se: the­re are alpi­ne landsca­pes, cast­les, and atmosp­he­ric vil­la­ges. As a tra­vel des­ti­na­tion, Munich is known for its Christ­mas mar­kets and events, such as the annual Okto­ber­fest beer fes­ti­val, as well as the Bayern Münc­hen foot­ball club. Even the Alps are only a couple of hours away by train.

Munich is also a major inter­na­tio­nal cent­re of busi­ness. The Munich region is home to nume­rous lar­ge inter­na­tio­nal com­pa­nies, inclu­ding the headquar­ters of BMW, Sie­mens, and Allianz, as well as the Euro­pean headquar­ters of Mic­ro­soft. The rou­te offers new oppor­tu­ni­ties to boost the com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness of com­pa­nies ope­ra­ting in our region also when it comes to air freight.