Finnair to join Oneworld alliance partners in transatlantic joint business

Finnair, a Finland-based air carrier and member of the Oneworld alliance, is to join its alliance partners in their transatlantic joint business.

Three other members of the alliance, British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines, formed the transatlantic joint business in October 2010, and Finnair’s introduction to the agreement is expected to provide transatlantic passengers in Europe and North America with a greater selection of flights as well as an improved number of connections.

Between them, the four airlines will operate 102 round trips per day between 42 destinations in North America and EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland. This will be facilitated by Finnair adding its (AY*) code to certain transatlantic flights operated by its three partners, and they in turn will add their (AA*) (IB*) and (BA*) codes to the daily flights that Finnair operates between New York and Helsinki.

In addition to providing customers with more coordinated travel and connection options, frequent flyer points for all of the four companies’ programmes can still be earned on the codeshare flights, and online booking facilities including the printing of boarding passes will be available either from the airline operating the flight or the airline used to book the tickets.

Finnair’s senior vice president, commercial, Allister Paterson, said, ‘Our participation in this venture will significantly increase the portfolio of available destinations to Finnair’s existing customers, as well as open up Northern Europe to a whole new network of potential travellers. Fare combinability between the four carriers also brings more ticket flexibility to customers, as the fares and conditions are identical between the airlines. A business traveller soon will be able to combine American, British Airways, Iberian and Finnair routes flexibly when flying between Europe and North America.’

Finnair Announces Additional Flights for Easter

Finnair, a Finland-based airline, has announced additional flights to continental Europe for the Easter holidays.

The airline is offering extra flights from March 22 to April 2, 2013, to several European destinations. Around 30 extra flights are planned to meet the heavy demand for city breaks. Most of the additional flights are scheduled for destinations in Spain, with eight flights to Malaga, seven to Barcelona and four to Madrid.

The airline is also offering five additional flights to Amsterdam during the period, as well as extra connections to Nice, Krakow, Ljubljana and Dubrovnik. The airline is planning to operate its fleet of Airbus 319 and 321 aircraft for the service.

The airline had previously announced new destinations and frequencies for the summer season from March 31 to October 26, 2013. The new flight destinations include Antalya in Turkey, Tel Aviv in Israel, and Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The airline is also expanding its services to Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid, in Spain.

From June 5, 2013, flights to Palma de Mallorca will be offered twice a week, and will be connected to domestic, Baltic and flights to St Petersburg, in Russia.

The new summer connections to Asia include three flights per week to Hanoi, in Vietnam, from June 15, 2013, and three flights per week to Xi’an, in China, from June 14, 2013.

Other summer schedule additions include four weekly flights to Dubrovnik, Ljubljana and Krakow, more than the number offered last year.

Finnair Announces New Route to Chongqing from Helsinki

Finnair, a Finland-based airline, is offering direct connectivity between Europe and inland Chinese destinations.

The airline is to connect Helsinki, the Finnish capital, to Chongqing, one of the fastest-growing cities in China. The new route, the first from any European carrier, is claiming to be the fastest connection between Europe and China.

Chongqing is located in the Tibetan plateau, and has a total population of 32 million, although its population is expected to double in size over the next five years.

The airline chief executive officer, Mika Vehvilainen, said, ‘China is a key part of our Asia-Europe strategy. Western China is an important growth area, and the new route will strengthen our position in the growing Asian markets. I want to thank the Chongqing authorities and the local airport for the excellent cooperation and support for opening this new route. We believe Chongqing has the potential of developing into a hub for travel between Western China and Europe, both for business and leisure travellers.’

Chongqing is the hub of a number of major Chinese industries, as well as for Western companies dealing with electronics, automotive industries and chemicals. Chongqing Airport has recently opened 140 routes to around 80 cities in China and Asia, and continues to expand at a rapid pace.

The Finnish airline is flying Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft on the new route, covering the distance in eight and a half hours. Other Chinese destinations served by Finnair are daily flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from Helsinki.

Flybe Performing to Management Expectations

Flybe, a UK-based airline company, has announced that its results have remained on par with company expectations, ahead of the release of its financial results for fiscal 2011, which will be released in June 2012.

In a trading update the company announced that a number of its initiatives have been implemented recently to increase revenue earnings per seat, reduce costs, and match its seating capacities with the current demands. One such initiative was completed on March 8 this year when the company entered into a contract flying agreement with Brussels Airlines, offering two Bombardier Q400 aircraft on lease.

Flybe UK, the company’s main airline arm, is maintaining a leading position in UK regional and domestic markets, according to the company.

Flybe Finland, a company joint venture with Finnair, a Finland-based airline, has been expanded in fiscal 2012 to include new routes into Sweden and Denmark.

The maintenance and repair division of the company has been augmenting its revenue generation by accepting increased responsibilities for third party aircraft maintenance from Europe’s regional airlines. The company has also reported the commissioning of a new flight simulator in the 2012 fiscal year, its second flight simulator to be added to the company’s Training Academy.

In a statement the company said, ‘Although market conditions remain challenging, we have a robust and flexible business model combined with clear and achievable growth plans. We remain confident about Flybe’s long term future.’

The company stock is currently trading up at £0.715, following the recent trade update.