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).
Programs: AY+ Plat, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Plat, Priority Club Plat Amb, Miles and Smiles Elite
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?