PANAJI: The magical Northern Lights are now just a nine-hour flight from the sunny shores of Goa and for Rs 69,000 you could also pay Santa Claus a visit in Rovaniemi in the Lapland region of Finland.
Finland’s national airline Finnair has commenced direct flights between Helsinki and Goa, the second destination in India after Delhi to be directly connected by the Finnish carrier, reports The Times of India.
The first flight landed at Goa International Airport, Dabolim, on Thursday morning.
Announcing the arrival of the first flight, general manager for India operations, Desmond Chacko said that with 6,000 Finnish citizens visiting Goa and given the demand seen in charter operations, Finnair decided to operate scheduled flights to the state.
The airline expects the dominant business to come from residents of Finland along with air passengers from Scandinavian countries and Russia.
“We were operating charters but this year we cancelled charters and converted to scheduled flights because of the demand we saw,” said Chacko.
Between 2013-2015, arrivals at Finland stood between 21,000 to 25,000 but the numbers have shown a slight decline over the last few years. Goa Tourism foreign arrival statistics indicate that against the 23,787 Finnish tourists who arrived in 2012, the numbers were a measly 6,011 in 2016.