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I’m based in Miami, so I am always interested in checking out the new flights into and out of Miami International Airport (MIA), and lately, several non-stops have been cropping up from there to destinations across the world. Major Oneworld carriers including American, Finnair and Qatar are leading the pack, with a couple of additional flights on WestJet and XL Airways France making this Southeast airport even more of a major hub.
Finnair has just announced that starting December 16, 2014, they’ll launch a new Miami-Helsinki route (MIA-HEL) using an Airbus A340. Beginning in December with two weekly flights, by January 3, 2015 there will be three weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). This seasonal service, with each non-stop flight lasting approximately 11 hours, will continue until March 21, 2015 for now.
Finnair’s A340 has just economy and business classes, with 42 angled lie-flat seats in a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration that include personal entertainment centers and 110V AC ports. Two complimentary meals will be served in-flight, in addition to snacks, sweets and wine pairings.
This MIA-HEL route will be included in the joint business on transatlantic traffic with the Oneworld alliance partners American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. This gives customers the possibility to mix and match flights on the different carriers for the best pricing and scheduling. I did a quick search for award availability, and it looks like there is some in both economy and business right when the flight starts in December, like this one:
While Finnair’s business class product is clearly a bit outdated, I’ve heard good things about the airline. Personally, I would prefer to fly British Airways or American’s new 777-300 via London since they’re much newer, nicer products, but this could be a good way to get to Europe on Oneworld without paying exorbitant fuel surcharges and taxes for transiting through London, Paris or Madrid. The taxes and fees on tickets I found were about $100 in business class:
American Airlines has the most new MIA non-stops on its roster, including a daily round-trip to/from Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP) that began service last November. Flown on Boeing 767-300s, the MIA-MXP route has business class rather than first class, with complimentary meal service and 30 angled lie-flat seats in a 2 x 2 x 2 that feature personal seat-back entertainment systems.
This isn’t the newest business class American has to offer, but there is decent low-level award availability in economy for just 20,000 miles and about $20 each way, and then there seems to be a lot more saver business class availability on the return flight rather than the outbound this spring, but it opens up in the fall.
Other new American Airlines routes from MIA include San Diego (one daily round-trip); the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique (Saturday round-trips only); Cozumel, Mexico (six round-trips per week); and in Brazil, Curitiba and Porto Alegre (each with one daily round-trip). If booked before February 28, the Cozumel, Curitiba and Porto Alegre flights can earn double miles.
Qatar announced last October that starting on June 10, 2014, they will operate non-stop service between MIA and Doha International Airport (DOH) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This route will be flown on a Boeing 777-200LR, which has 42 lie-flat seats in business class. All seats in both classes on these flights include personal entertainment centers, AC power ports and complimentary meal service. Award availability is tight over the summer and fall, but business class each way is just 67,500 miles, while economy is 45,000 miles each way.
Other new non-stop routes at MIA include West Jet‘s service to/from Calgary, launched last October and now flying six times a week, Monday through Saturday; and XL Airways France‘s flights to Paris’ Charles De Gaulle (CDG), flown three times a week on an Airbus A330-200, on Monday, Thursday and Friday.
I love living in Miami because of the weather and the fun local culture, but one drawback has been the relative scarcity of major international routes compared to other hubs like JFK or LAX. That seems to be changing, though, as more airlines, including my main carrier American Airlines (and its partners), add more and more international routes out of here. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.