Exclusive SACC-LA Interview with Joonas Nurmi from Helsinki Citycopter!

Joonas Nurmi, Helsinki Citycopter. Photo courtesy: Helsinki Citycopter

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your previous career!

To put it short I was basically an unemployed flight attendant who founded his own airline with a budget of 1000 USD in order to get a new job. 

When Covid-19 hit I lost my job since all the flights were cancelled. I had nothing to do so, we rented a helicopter with my friend to sell private flights on Facebook as we figured people still needed to travel around the Nordics. The flights were sold out immediately as none of the traditional airlines were flying. After a month we bought the helicopter we had rented and in 6 months we already had 5 of them. It was just one of these crazy ideas which became bigger than we ever thought.

Today Citycopter is an official airline and also the leading helicopter charter flight service in the Nordics with the most modern Airbus Corporate Helicopter -fleet in Northern Europe.
We are also the only service offering flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

How did you and Ari get to know each other? What motivated you to start a company together?

We actually met the first time in Bangkok 13 years ago in a bar. If someone would have told us back then we would be running an airline in the future together, I bet neither us would have believed it. I guess we were both ambitious and crazy enough to get into this business. We never planned running an airline as we were planning to do it just for a month or two when we started selling the flights. As the business started to grow and the flights got very popular we found our selves building an airline. What can I say, life is full of surprises!

What do you love most about Helsinki Citycopter?

Our guests and the fact the possibilities to build this business are endless.

What is your favorite memory so far of running Helsinki Citycopter? (memorable flight, destination, passenger, etc.)

Taking a Hollywood star  with his staff  in the middle of wilderness to spend a night surrounded by wild wolves and bears.

This summer you were offering flights in Sweden and in Norway as well! What flight route or experience would you recommend?

We offer long weekend tours which take you to all the major cities and attractions in Sweden, Norway and Finland at once. It’s a good option for a luxury cruise, as you get to see the same attractions and get to spend more time in the actual destinations. Flying above Swedish archipelago or the Lofoten with your loved one is one of the most romantic experiences you can ever do in the Nordics! 

Have you always been interested in aviation? What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Originally I am actually a professional actor. I used to act in soap operas and theaters in Finland in the beginning of my career but aviation got me as I wanted to travel, see the world and love flying.

Fast Five!

  1. Helsinki or Los Angeles
  2. Book or Podcast?
  3. Dayflight or Nightflight?
  4. City or Countryside?
  5. Appetizer or Dessert?