FinnAir Outperforms SAS On Asian Flights

SAS’s Finnish arch-rival has during 2006 presented a 27 percent growth on their al their routes to Asia, while SAS is at status quo – and to put salt in the wound Finnair has increased their amount of Danish and Swedish passengers, who are SAS’s main customers. Compared to last summer Finnair has seen a 60 percent increase in Danes and Swedes travelling to Asia.
It is mainly on their routes to Thailand, Hong Hong and Japan Finnair has found their increase.
“Compared with SAS we are very competitive, and even through is it difficult to sum it up in precise numbers, a lot of our growth is coming from former SAS passengers,” Finnair’s Investor Relations Manager, Taneli Hassinen, explains to Berlingske Business.
“We have intensified the marketing of our Asian routes especially in Sweden, and it seems to have paid of.”
“Passengers chose Finnair due to shorter flight times. The shortest way to Asia from Scandinavia is through Helsinki, not Copenhagen,” Taneli Hassinen adds.
It is especially the Swedish passengers, who now select Finanair and Helsinki over SAS and Copenhagen when flying to Asia. By doing this, Swedish travellers can cut flight times with two to three hours.
The positive development for Finnair started to show already last year, when the Finnish airline tripled their profits on their Asian routes.
All in all Finnair’s Asian routes produce ¼ of the company’s turnover.

SAS closing down
As Finnair is opening two new destinations in Asia a year – Latest a route to Nahoya, Japan, was opened, and routes to New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur are already announced – SAS has the taken the exact opposite route and has been closing down routes to Hong Kong, Osaka and New Delhi.
“SAS is basically flying with full planes, but that is all they can do, until they set straight some fundamental agreements with their employees. In the meantime Finnair has shown prefect timing in their expansions. That is why SAS has not had a share in the growth Finnair has experienced in Asia,” analyst from the investment bank ABG, Sundal Collier, says to Berlingske.

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