Finnair Simplifies Fleet Structure

Finnair is to continue the streamlining of its fleet by decommissioning its ten long-serving Boeing MD-80 series aircraft at an accelerated rate by autumn 2006. The European and domestic fleet of the Finnair Group will consist in future only of Airbus A320 series aircraft, of which there are 29, and Embraer E170 aircraft, which will be acquired over the next two years. A total of 12 Brazilian Embraer aircraft will be acquired, with the first being delivered in autumn this year. In addition, Finnair has options for a further eight aircraft.“The plan will simplify Finnair’s fleet and generate savings, as the number of types of aircraft we have will be reduced,” said Finnair’s Chief Financial Officer Lasse Heinonen on Monday, at an analysts’ seminar arranged by the company in Kuusamo.

The lease agreements for four Boeing B757 aircraft used in leisure traffic have just been renewed. Finnair Leisure Flights operates a total of seven Boeing B757 aircraft.

“The agreements which have recently expired were concluded just before the resale values of aircraft fell in autumn 2001. We have now managed to negotiate agreements on new, clearly more reasonable terms. This will reduce the unit costs of leisure traffic and reinforce our competitiveness in the leisure flight market,” explained Heinonen.

As part of its strategy of expanding Asian traffic, Finnair is negotiating the acquisition of a seventh long-haul Boeing MD-11 aircraft. In winter 2005-06 the new aircraft will replace other aircraft withdrawn for maintenance connected with the refurbishment of the long-haul fleet’s business class cabins. The additional capacity will be available for use from spring 2006.

“We intend to increase flight frequencies to our present route destinations in Asia. At the same time we are investigating opportunities to open new destinations in Asia,” said VP, Communications Christer Haglund.

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“The travel market is expanding in an eastward direction. Our passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe is growing in double digit figures. Furthermore, cooperation projects in neighbouring areas, particularly in Russia, will offer us opportunities for new openings in the next few years.”
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