HELSINKI For superstitious travelers, boarding flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th might have been tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki — which has the 3 letter designation HEL — didn’t seem too bothered.
Friday’s flight was almost full.
“It has been quite a joke among the pilots” said veteran Finnair pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto, who will fly the Airbus A320 from Copenhagen to Helsinki.
“I’m not a superstitious man. It’s only a coincidence for me.”
The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice in 2013.
Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in many countries and the number 666 also has strong negative biblical associations.
Some airlines, like Scandinavian Airlines, take these fears seriously and don’t have a row 13 on board.
However, the negative connotations are a relatively new phenomenon for northern Europeans, and Finnair and other regional carriers like Norwegian and Estonian Air keep row 13.
“Less than 100 years ago, the number 13 did not have this sinister meaning; it’s quite recent in the north,” said Ulo Valk, professor of comparative folklore at the University of Tartu in Estonia.
“There are 12 hours, 12 months and in Christianity 12 apostles and this is a divine number. Add one more and it brings in a certain element of chaos,” he said. …
The 2013 flights AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki were uneventful and in October 2017 the flight number was reported to be changed.
Fearless flyers laughed in the face of superstition when they boarded the last ever Flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th.
Travelling on the “unluckiest day of the year” could save you some pounds, but a journey straight to HEL on the 13th hour of the superstitious date is one flight most would probably like to avoid. Nordic airline Finnair has flown brave passengers from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Helsinki, Finland, on Friday the 13th since 2006.
However, it is the last time Flight 666 will fly to Hel, as the airline has decided to retire the flight number.
“Today will actually be the final time that our AY666 flight flies to HEL,” a spokesperson for the airline said.
“As of October 29, some of our flight numbers in our network will change and our AY666 flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki will change to AY954.
“In 11 years, we’ve flown 21 times the AY666 flight to HEL on Friday the 13th.”
Thankfully, veteran pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto says he is not superstitious or scared about flying on Friday the 13th.
“It has been quite a joke among the pilots,” he said previously.
“I’m not a superstitious man. It’s only a coincidence for me.
“If there’s some passenger who is anxious about this 666, our cabin crew is always happy to help them.”
Flight 666 departed from the Danish capital at 1:20pm and arrived safely in Helsinki shortly before 4pm.
Are you very superstitious?