It’s Friday the 13th. Would you board Flight 666 on the way to HEL? This Finnair flight has been in service for over 11 years. But what is the story behind this flight?
For 11 years, Finnair’s Flight 666 flew every Friday the 13th to HEL (Helinski). Since 2007 the airline has retired its ominous journey and renamed it Flight AY954. But this was not changed for superstitious beliefs.
Flight 666 Bound for HEL
On October 13, 2017, flight 666 of the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, Finnair, took off. It took off at 13:00 or 1 pm, and its destination was HEL, short for Helsinki. The 13-year-old Airbus took its last flight from Copenhagen, Denmark this day. (Source: WFAA)
This flight was a bizarre coincidence. The flight number bore the mark of the beast as popularly associated with the devil in Christianity. The flight was scheduled on Friday the thirteenth, another popular superstition that unlucky events turn up on Friday the thirteenth. The flight took off at thirteen o’clock, and the Airbus was thirteen years old, another coincidence that has to do with thirteen being an unlucky number.
Nothing unfortunate happened. The flight reached its destination earlier than expected. All passengers were reported safe. No technical issues arose. It was just a typical flight, with no incidents at all. (Source: WFAA)
Today, flight 666 to HEL no longer exists. The airline had to change the number to accommodate additional flights in the system, nothing superstitious at all. (Source: Independent)
History of the Friday-the-13th Superstition
Friday the thirteenth is often associated with misfortune. The origin of this superstition is unknown. What is known is that both Friday and the number 13 have historically been considered unlucky in certain cultures. (Source: Wio News)
One theory of this superstitious origin arose from triskaidekaphobia or fear of the number 13. Millions of people worldwide, including prolific horror author Stephen King, who has the number-based phobia. The theory is that triskaidekaphobia and fear of Friday combined in the late 1800s, creating apprehension about the uncommon day. (Source: WUSA)
Many Christians associate the number 13 with Jesus and his twelve disciples, particularly with the last supper, during which Judas, the thirteenth guest, eventually betrayed Jesus of Nazareth. On Good Friday, he will be crucified by Roman soldiers.
Another Catholic theory was connected with the Knights Templar. By 1307, the crusades were not as effective as they were in the previous years. Reform of the Templars was becoming more widespread. The popularity of the order was dwindling. And they had a cunning political foe in the person of King Philip IV of France, who intended to dismantle the Templars. On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV ordered the capture and murder of the Knights Templar. (Source: History)
The superstition is also seen in Norse mythology. Loki, the God of Mischief, was not invited to a meal with the other 12 Norse gods. He nevertheless turned up, and a fight occurred, killing one of the most popular gods, Baldur, Thor’s brother. (Source: WUSA)