Finnair and Flybe Reveal Joint Vision for Nordic Passengers

Finnair passengers from Singapore can look forward to faster and more direct regional flights to countries in the Nordic and Baltic regions via Helsinki

Singapore travellers looking to explore new and less travelled destinations in Europe now have added reasons to fly Finnair. The airline and Flybe UK, Europe’s largest regional airline, recently announced the joint acquisition of Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy, to create a leading regional airline for the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Finnair is the only airline that offers a daily connection from Singapore to Helsinki. From there, travellers can get good onward connections via Finnair’s extensive route network to more than 50 European destinations. The Singapore-Helsinki route is also the fastest linking one for travellers here to go to Northern Europe.

There are plans for the new airline to expand into Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia, and will also differ substantially from the regional airlines operating in these places. Firstly, it plans to introduce Flybe’s already successful quality low fare concept/product to the Finnish, Nordic and Baltic regions, allowing millions of business and leisure passengers the opportunity to travel at affordable prices.

The other piece of good news is that the new airline will fly non-stop and directly between regional airports, enabling customers to save time. This system of “point-to-point” flying will open new destinations and complement Finnair’s international network operations, including the Singapore-Helsinki route which was launched on 31 May 2011.

Finnair Sales Director for Singapore and South East Asia Petteri Kostermaa said Singaporeans are avid travellers, and are increasingly more adventurous as well. Many are willing to travel further than Asia to experience destinations which are not on the usual tourist map.

“With the creation of the new airline, Finnair will be able to offer customers more exciting travel options in the Nordic and Baltic regions,” he said.

“We also hope to entice the large European expatriate community here to include countries in the Nordic and Baltic regions as part of their travel plan when they travel to Europe on holiday and on business,” he added.

The new airline is designed to support and stimulate regional Nordic economies in the way that Flybe has already so successfully done in the United Kingdom and Europe. By introducing new regional routes, new flights and new timetables, the airline aims to invigorate markets that have not been serviced until now by other carriers.
The plan is to announce details in mid-August of extensive new route network that will operate from the start of the IATA Winter Season (Sunday 30 October 2011). This will supplement the key lifeline routes from the Finnish regions currently operated by FCA.

Emphasising the benefits of the new company, Finnair Chief Executive Mika Vehvilainen said Finnair has joined forces with Flybe to establish a strong, complementary and cost-efficient operator in the Nordic market.

“In addition to point-to-point connections, the airline will form an effective feeder platform for our international operations. We also felt that Flybe’s long experience in regional point-to-point flying makes them the best possible partner for a network operator like Finnair. Together we will be able to take the customer experience to a new level,” he said in a press release.

He also said they are establishing a strong player in the Northern European local aviation market. The vision of the new company is in line with Finnair’s partnership strategy and is an example of how to build powerful networks with other leading industry parties, such as Flybe.

“We expect that our partnership will create a competitive and sustainable player in the Nordic markets. This will also benefit travellers who use Helsinki as their transfer hub on their way to and from Asia and Europe,” he said.

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