Born in Multia,[when?] Niilo and Valto Karhumäki moved to Jyväskylä,[when?] where they founded a company called Veljekset Karhumäki in late 1924, which dealt with pilot training, public displays, aircraft maintenance and aerial photography during the 1930s. In order to start a co-operation with the Finnish Air Force, the headquarters of Veljekset Karhumäki was moved to Kuorevesi. During World War II the company was merged into the Valtion lentokonetehdas company, manufacturer of a number of military aircraft. The Karhumäki brothers designed the Karhumäki Karhu 48B light airplane, of which a small number was produced during the 1950s.
In 1950, Karhumäki Airways was founded by Veljekset Karhumäki, an airline initially offering scheduled passenger flights on mostly domestic routes. In 1963, Aero O/Y (today's Finnair) acquired the majority of its stake, and in 1996 Karair (as it was known by then) was fully absorbed into Finnair.
The brothers have been honoured with a monument called Lentäjäveljestenaukio (which translates as "Pilot Brothers Square") in Halli.
- Ismo Tervonen: VELJEKSET KARHUMÄKI - Suomen ilmailun pioneereina 1924-1956 (Apali 2002) ISBN 952-5026-25-6
- Ismo Tervonen: KAR-AIR - tilauslentoliikenteen edelläkävijänä 1957-1980 (Apali 2004) ISBN 952-5026-40-X
- Ismo Tervonen: KARAIR - matkustajalentoliikenteen perinteiden vaalijana 1980-1996 (Apali 2007) ISBN 978-952-5026-64-1
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