Happy 90th birthday, Finnair!

Finnair, the trusty airline of my home country, is celebrating a big birthday this year. Only 10 years to go until the BIG 100! Woohoo! 🙂 In January Finnair was named the world’s safest airline in 2012.

While just five years ago I didn’t have any particular ties to Finnair,  nowadays I have quite a lot: in 2011, I was selected as one of the seven Quality Hunters bloggers traveling on Finnair for seven weeks. That gig saw me zoom from New York to Europe, Japan and India in my own personal record speed. I also now have a couple of friends who work at Finnair as flight attendants.

In addition, I’m a frequent contributor to Blue Wings, Finnair’s in-flight magazine, where I’m currently in charge of compiling the monthly calendar of events. So if you are flying with blue and white wings anytime soon, check out my event recommendations under the “This Month Around the World” pages. My favorite event for this month is the breakfast buffet festival for monkeys in Lopburi, Thailand. Would love to check it out one day. 🙂

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With all these Finnair connections I’ve got going on, it was only suitable that Blue Wings asked me to write an article about Finnair’s 90th birthday – but to do it from the perspective of the passengers. Without the passengers, there would be no Finnair. So back in July I spent a day at the Helsinki Airport interviewing families and individuals for the story (and visiting the Book Swap that I helped create!). The point of the article was to show who flies with Finland’s national airline, and what they think about it.

Though I had to get up super early to get to the airport by the time the 6 a.m. rush starts, it was a really fun day of reporting. I was roaming around the airport together with photographer Tuomas Kolehmainen and our Finnair liason Markku Remes. Markku and I worked together during the Quality Hunters project too, so it was nice to catch up again. We met tons of interesting people, from international business men to Croatia’s official athletic team and Finland-loving Japanese tourists.

And here’s the result! The article is a pretty cool-looking three-page spread in the November issue of Blue Wings that is just now hitting the seat-back pockets of every Finnair flight from Hong Kong to New York. So if you are flying with the airline this month, keep an eye out for my story and my calendar. You can also read the latest issue online here (scroll to pages 24-25 for the birthday story that is pasted below, and to pages 64-65 for the start of my events listings. Just so you know – “sivu” means page in Finnish.). Hope you like reading the story as much as I liked reporting it!

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Have you flown with Finnair? What was your experience like?


  1. I see that times flies soon. I started in Finnair in 1966 and in 2004 I had to leave the company. Sigh. Anyway Finnair is yet in my mind:

    Here is my post:

    About me,

    which gives more info about this senior citizen (me)?

    Happy landings!


    1. Thanks for stopping by Matti! Wow, that’s a long career at Finnair – quite an accomplishment! I just checked out your photos on your blog. Beautiful!!! Looks like you have been keeping yourself pretty busy even after retiring from Finnair. 🙂


      1. Hello Mirva

        Thank commenting my comment. I and wife, we are living full life. I started my blog in English, Spanish and French four years ago and now I have 330376 visitors from 173 countries around the world. Most of my visitors are from South and Central America. This means that I am “selling” Finland to them. Doing post in three languages cause it, that visitors are really coming around the world. For example last night there were 3 visitors from French Polynesia.

        When I was working in Finnair, I had not time to travel in Finland. Now I have been driving around Finland 15000 kilometers since 2006 and this number is valid only for my photographic tours. The amount of photos is 80000. There are few companies who have been interested about my photos. Thank to them! One of them has been Nokia. To show exotic Finland is selling abroad.

        Our monthly amount of walking varies monthly from 135 kilometers to 150 kilometers. This means that we are in excellent conditions. The number of age is just number; it is not revealing anything about the person! For example last autumn we hiked on Pallastunturi area one week. My photo reports (13 posts and 545 photos) will be published since the beginning of next year. Next Spring we’ll again make three week’s road trip to Germany. I want test my new BMW on German highways. I love fast driving! So living “full life” is real.

        I do not know, if You checked any of my posts, but exotic is keyword in my posts. I give here only one link that You understand. This post is my first one in our new home town:

        Walking on frozen lake.

        So happy flying with Finnair. Matti.

      2. Nice, that’s very impressive that you are keeping active on a variety of life’s areas! I like your attitude. I personally never understood people who complain that they are “too old” to travel or to do anything else – no such thing in my mind, as long as you are physically healthy. Good on you for selling photos to Nokia and other companies, I’m not surprised they would like them. Todella kauniita kuvia! 🙂

  2. I agree with You concerning “old”. In addition to walking and hiking we bicycle and ski. To end this chain, I give here my post, which the most popular among my posts. My wife’s hobby is beading:

    How to make a beaded bracelet?.

    What comes to me, it might be difficult to understand that a “senior citizen” loves fast driving. My previous car was Opel Vectra OPC having 280 hp. Now my new BMW has 313 hp. These two very short videos show that I really love driving, driving fast and it is possible to drive as fast one’s car can go in Germany where are no speed limits on its “autobahnen”.

    My car accelerating to 242 km/h:

    Racing a quarter mile. Look at how fast reflections I (my blue car) have compared with the young driver.

    So, I wish all the good to Your life and I continue blogging once a week, on Fridays. Matti.


      1. This link works, thanks! That is some impressive beading, very pretty. 🙂 And that is also some very fast driving. I got to feel sick on the German autobahn because we were going so fast. Clearly that is not a problem for you. 🙂

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