Earlier in the spring AY announced a new summer connection to Murmansk. Since then, that leg has disappeared from the AY online bookings.
The Helsinki-Vantaa airport online schedule still lists:
HEL-MMK 357 2350 *0245 AY189 EMJ NONSTOP
MMK-HEL 146 0600 0650 AY 190 EMJ NONSTOP
starting on 1 July.
What happened? MMK is not well connected, it has a growing business community and it has potential to become even a more frequent destination (with daily flights and better schedule)... After all, AY started IEV with one flight a week, but operates that route today on a daily basis (some flights as codeshares).
Perhaps they are waiting for the final decision on the development of Shtokman gas field? If it goes forward, there will be a lot of demand for flights. The decision has been postponed MANY times, it should come in Q3/11. Well, that's the plan anyway
I do believe there is quite a lot of salmon fishing going on around the Kola Peninsula.
I just checked, out of curiosity, that return flights from major European hubs to MMK start from 500€ in Y and 1.500€ in J. Since these involve travelling via LED or SVO, which are not exactly among the most excellent transfer hubs, there would certainly be a market for AY via HEL.
A classical case of a good business opportunity lost because of bad or insufficient marketing?