Eurowings Discover Leasing Finnair A350s This Summer

Eurowings Discover Leasing Finnair A350s This Summer

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In mid-April we learned about Eurowings Discover’s plan to lease some Finnair planes this summer. This change has now been loaded into the schedule, and has some interesting implications.

Finnair taking over five Eurowings Discover routes

Eurowings Discover is planning to wet lease some Finnair Airbus A350-900s this summer. Specifically, Finnair will operate the following five Eurowings Discover routes:

  • Frankfurt (FRA) to Calgary (YYC) as of August 1, 2022 (4x weekly)
  • Frankfurt (FRA) to Halifax (YHZ) as of August 3, 2022 (3x weekly)
  • Frankfurt (FRA) to Las Vegas (LAS) as of May 19, 2022 (4x weekly)
  • Frankfurt (FRA) to Tampa (TPA) as of May 31, 2022 (5x weekly)
  • Munich (MUC) to Las Vegas (LAS) as of May 20, 2022 (2x weekly)

With a wet lease agreement, not only will the planes be from Finnair, but the crews will be as well. You can expect that the food, drinks, and amenities, will be the standard Eurowings Discover offerings, though.

For context, Eurowings Discover is Lufthansa’s fairly new long haul leisure airline (I recently reviewed the airline between Tampa and Frankfurt). The airline is growing at a fast pace, and currently operates a fleet of roughly a dozen Airbus A330s, with several more planes to be delivered in the coming years. The airline is trying to increase capacity ahead of an anticipated busy summer travel season.

Eurowings Discover is growing at a fast pace

Why would Finnair lease planes to Eurowings Discover?

Ordinarily you wouldn’t think that Finnair and Eurowings Discover would cooperate. Finnair is part of oneworld and has a transatlantic joint venture with American and British Airways, while Eurowings Discover is part of Lufthansa Group.

In this case it isn’t one airline helping the other out, but rather this is just a mutually beneficial arrangement:

  • Finnair currently has a surplus of aircraft; the airline used to primarily operate long haul flights to Asia, but between China and Japan still largely being closed, plus Russian airspace being closed, Finnair is in a rough spot
  • Eurowings Discover wants to grow at a fast pace, but can’t get planes fast enough to keep up with demand, so the airline is looking elsewhere for planes in the short term
Finnair has been struggling due to Russian airspace closures

Finnair has gotten creative during the pandemic, by expanding its destinations in the United States (including adding Dallas and Seattle flights), plus the airline has launched long haul flights out of Stockholm. However, even with these initiatives, the airline still has a surplus of aircraft.

What does this mean for the passenger experience?

Eurowings Discover is leasing Finnair Airbus A350-900s, which are configured with a total of 297 seats, including:

  • 46 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration (reverse herringbone)
  • 251 economy class seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration (43 of those seats feature extra legroom)

While Finnair is introducing a new business class product, the A350s being used for these routes won’t feature the new cabins. In business class I’d say that Finnair’s business class

Finnair’s A350 business class

…is much better than Eurowings Discover’s business class.

Eurowings Discover’s A330 business class

There’s another interesting angle here. Eurowings Discover has premium economy, while Finnair doesn’t. So what’s going to happen there?

  • The rear mini business class cabin with 14 seats will instead be used for premium economy passengers, meaning there will only be 32 business class seats for sale
  • I would imagine that service will be scaled back a bit for those passengers, but booking premium economy and getting a flat bed with direct aisle access is absolutely awesome

Bottom line

Eurowings Discover is leasing Finnair Airbus A350s for five routes this summer, including flights to Las Vegas, Tampa, Calgary, and Halifax. This is being done because it’s mutually beneficial, even though the airlines otherwise have nothing in common. Finnair has a surplus of aircraft due to China and Japan largely remaining closed, along with Russian airspace closures. Meanwhile Eurowings Discover is trying to grow its transatlantic presence this summer, and can’t get planes fast enough.

There are also quite some implications for the passenger experience. Those in business class will now get reverse herringbone seats, while premium economy passengers will be assigned business class seats, presumably with scaled back service.

As an avgeek, it sure will be funny to see a Finnair A350 at Tampa Airport this summer — that’s not something I ever expected to see.

What do you make of Eurowings Discover wet leasing planes from Finnair?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Mister Duck Guest

    My wife just flew in the premium on the 1-2-1 config and she loved it. There's no need to pay extra for Business on these flights if you just want the lay-down bed and not all the other business class bells and whistles. I'm flying the same route/seat and hope they keep these planes in rotation on these routes, since we travel them frequently!

  2. 02nz Guest

    It really says something about Lufthansa's hard product that the best business class seats in the fleet - by far - are found on planes that it bought second-hand from Philippine Airlines and those operated for its low-cost division by Finnair.

  3. Fabs Guest

    Lucky me! I booked the TPA-FRA route some months ago in Premium Economy and now I was allocated a business class seat in the mini cabin.

  4. Greg Guest

    I also see Eurowings loaded flights with the wet leased Finnair a350 between Calgary and Frankfurt? Is this a mistake or is in addition to the 3 routes you mention.

    Would be an awesome deal to purchase premium economy and get a Finnair a350 J seat!

  5. Mike Guest

    BA has entered into a wet lease agreement with AY for A321s. AY metal and crews with BA service standards and onboard branding.

    I have a trip from LHR-LJU in late may on BA320 and the return in early June on a AY321. Same flight times. Seems the only difference is the seat guru reported 31” pitch on AY and 30” pitch on BA.The AY seats are supposed to be wider too.

  6. TravelCat2 Member

    Why doesn't Finnair's oneworld partner, AA, wet lease some of their widebodies? AA is short of widebodies due to B787 delivery delays.

    1. Stan P Guest

      Likely because AA are cheap !

  7. Max Guest

    Which irony that the cheapest discount ULCC flying the least premium holiday routes will have the best business class seat in Lufthansa group.

  8. JustInHou Guest

    Any idea if the planes will still have the Finnair livery? Not sure how long the wet lease is for, but it doesn't seem practical to repaint the plane. That said, it will be weird to be boarding a Eurowings Discover flight and the plane says Finnair on the side!

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      No repaint. These planes will be rotated to and from HEL every once in a while. It seems that there is one weekly HEL-FRA-HEL on A350 in the summer schedule.

  9. Oliver Guest

    And I switched recently my award flight from LAS-MUC to LH LAX-FRA, as it was not clear if Eurowings Discover even offers lounge acces in LAS. And I expected better service on LH and a quieter cabin in the 747-8 upper deck. Now the flight was changed to a A340-300 and LAS-MUC gets an A350 with a much better product in Business than LH offers. Bummer…

  10. Jill Guest

    Now you can fly on Eurowings Discover again

  11. Ian McDonald Guest

    BA is also doing this https://simpleflying.com/british-airways-finnair-airbus-a321-lease-routes/

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mister Duck Guest

My wife just flew in the premium on the 1-2-1 config and she loved it. There's no need to pay extra for Business on these flights if you just want the lay-down bed and not all the other business class bells and whistles. I'm flying the same route/seat and hope they keep these planes in rotation on these routes, since we travel them frequently!

0
02nz Guest

It really says something about Lufthansa's hard product that the best business class seats in the fleet - by far - are found on planes that it bought second-hand from Philippine Airlines and those operated for its low-cost division by Finnair.

0
Fabs Guest

Lucky me! I booked the TPA-FRA route some months ago in Premium Economy and now I was allocated a business class seat in the mini cabin.

0
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