Finnair to Expand its Asia Fleet

Finnair will acquire two 270-seat Airbus A340 wide-bodied aircraft to meet its growing long-haul traffic needs. The aircraft will be acquired on lease agreements of around four years from the leasing company ILFC.

The aircraft will join the Finnair fleet in late 2010 and early 2011.

“We have recently announced an increase in Asian traffic and we need additional capacity. This decision will enable us to satisfy growth needs until we take delivery of the new generation Airbus A350 aircraft,” says Finnair President & CEO Mika Vehviläinen. Finnair currently has 12 Airbus long-haul aircraft, which fly to nine destinations in Asia as well as to New York in North America.
At the end of this year, one further new Airbus A330 aircraft, ordered earlier, will join the fleet. With the coming additions, Finnair’s long-haul fleet will grow to a total 15 Airbus aircraft by the beginning of next year.

“All of our Airbus long-haul aircraft have an excellent business class with lie-flat or full-flat seats. Moreover, we can use the long-haul aircraft flexibly on long scheduled traffic and leisure flights, depending on the season. This ensures the most efficient possible use of the aircraft at different times of the year.”

Next May, Finnair will open a daily direct route to Singapore. The Finnair flight, which will be the only direct connection between Northern Europe and Singapore, will provide excellent service to business passengers. For Asian passengers, the Singapore route will offer excellent onward connections via Finnair’s route network to 50 European destinations.
“Finnair’s Asian strategy has worked extremely well. Demand has continually strengthened and now is the right time to increase capacity and boost our market share in Asia’s growing market.”

Finnair will also increase direct flights to Hong Kong. Instead of the earlier seven flights, Finnair will fly to Hong Kong with a frequency of 12 flights per week from June next year. During spring 2011, more frequencies will be added to the other current Asian destinations. “Our Asian routes are also important in terms of cargo.

The A340 aircraft, moreover, will bring additional capacity to meet the needs of Asia’s rapidly strengthening cargo demand,” says Vehviläinen. Out of Finnair’s 61 aircraft 34 are owned and 27 leased, ten from ILFC.

“ILFC is pleased to be able to support Finnair’s growth as it implements its Asia strategy and other strategic initiatives and we look forward to delivering these A340 aircraft in the months ahead and continuing the expansion of our relationship with Finnair,” said Philip G. Scruggs, ILFC’s Chief Marketing Officer.

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