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Business class in an Air Italy A330 (photo: Air Italy)

Finnair leases A330 after Chicago accident

The airline is wet leasing an aircraft from Air Italy for its Chicago and Miami routes in an emergency short-term deal.

Finnair says it will wet lease an Airbus A330 aircraft and crew from Air Italy for its Chicago and Miami routes for the period from tomorrow until October 31.

One of its long-haul aircraft was damaged at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on September 25 when a high loader accidentally hit it.

With the wet lease from Air Italy, Finnair is ensuring that its flights between Helsinki and both Chicago and Miami can be operated normally while the damaged aircraft is being repaired.

“The aircraft damage in Chicago was very unfortunate,” says Jaakko Schildt, Finnair’s chief operating officer.

“With high-quality wet lease from Air Italy, we can continue operating our Chicago and Miami flights and offer our customers a smooth travel experience regardless of the aircraft change.”

The Air Italy aircraft and crew will be operating all flights between Helsinki and Chicago from October 12 to 29. Finnair has four weekly return flights between the two cities, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Air Italy plane will also fly five return flights between Helsinki and Miami on October 14, 16, 21, 23 and 30, Finnair says.

Air Italy seating
The Air Italy aircraft has 24 full-flat seats in business class and 232 seats in economy, all with a seat-back inflight entertainment system.

With the wet lease, the cockpit and cabin crew come from Air Italy, but the flights will also have two Finnair cabin crew members on board “to support the delivery of Finnair’s customer service concept”.

The airline says it is contacting its customers who have bookings on the flights concerned to inform them of the change in carrier.

Finnair revealed earlier this year that it would be extending the duration of its seasonal service to Chicago beyond the originally planned end date of October 27 to include two flights a week from October 28 through to December 3. Since launching flights to Chicago in summer 2015, the city has been its only gateway in the Midwest.

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