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Finnair Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1 November 1923 (as Aero O/Y)[1]
Frequent-flyer program Finnair Plus
Airport lounge
  • Finnair Lounge
  • Finnair Premium Lounge
Alliance oneworld
Fleet size 72 (incl. Nordic Regional Airlines)[2]
Destinations 108
Company slogan Designed for you
Parent company Finnair Group[3]
Headquarters Helsinki Airport
Vantaa, Finland[4]
Key people Pekka Vauramo, President & CEO[5]
Revenue Increase EUR 2.3 billion (2015)[6]
Operating income Increase EUR 23.7 million (2015)[7]
Employees 4,817 (January 2016)[8]

Finnair (Finnish: Finnair Oyj, Swedish: Finnair Abp)[9] is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters in Vantaa and its main hub at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both domestic and international air travel in Finland. Its major shareholder is the government of Finland, with 55.8%[10] of the shares. Finnair is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance. In 2015, it transported over 10 million passengers to over 60 European, 13 Asian and 4 North-American destinations. As of January 2016, the airline employed 4,817 people.[8]

Finnair is the fifth oldest airline in the world with uninterrupted existence. With no fatal or hull-loss accidents since 1963, Finnair is consistently on the list of safest airlines in the world (#3 in 2014).[11]



Finnish Airlines Douglas DC-3 from the late 1940s, restored to original livery at Oulu, (2014)
Finnair Convair 440 in 1963
Finnair McDonnell Douglas MD-87 in 1991
Finnair Airbus A300 in 1995

In 1923, consul Bruno Lucander founded Finnair as Aero O/Y (Aero Ltd). The company code, "AY", originates from this; AY stands for Aero Yhtiö ("yhtiö" means "company" in Finnish). Lucander had previously run the Finnish operations of the Estonian airline Aeronaut. In mid-1923 he concluded an agreement with Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG to provide aircraft and technical support in exchange for a 50% ownership in the new airline. The charter establishing the company was signed in Helsinki on 12 September 1923, and the company was entered into the trade register on 11 December 1923. The first flight was on 20 March 1924 from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia on a Junkers F.13 aircraft equipped with floats. The seaplane service ended in December 1936 following the construction of the first aerodromes in Finland.

World War II[edit]

Air raids on Helsinki and other Finnish cities made World War II a difficult period for the airline. Half the fleet was requisitioned by the Finnish Air Force and it is estimated that, during the Winter War of 1939 and 1940, half of the airline's other Finnish cities made passengers were children being evacuated to Sweden.

Immediate postwar period[edit]

The Finnish government wanted longer routes so it acquired a majority stake in the company in 1946 and re-established services to Europe in November 1947, initially using the Douglas DC-3. In 1953, the airline began branding itself as Finnair. The Convair 440 twin-engined pressurised airliner was acquired from January 1953 and these faster aircraft were operated on the company's longer routes as far as London.

Jet Age (1970s)[edit]

In 1961, Finnair joined the jet age by adding Rolls-Royce Avon-engined Caravelles to its fleet. These were later exchanged with the manufacturer for Pratt & Whitney JT8D-engined Super Caravelles. In 1962, Finnair acquired a 27% controlling interest in a private Finnish airline, Kar-Air. Finnair Oy became the company's official name on 25 June 1968. In 1969, it took possession of its first U.S. made jet, a Douglas DC-8. The first transatlantic service to New York was inaugurated on 15 May 1969.[citation needed] In the 1960s Finnair's head office was in Helsinki.[12]

Finnair received its first widebody aircraft in 1975, two DC-10-30 planes. The first of these arrived on 4 February 1975 and entered service on 14 February 1975, flying between Helsinki and Las Palmas.

In 1979, Finnair established a subsidiary company Finnaviation for domestic operations, with a 60% stake.[13]

Expansion (1980s)[edit]

In 1983, Finnair became the first operator to fly non-stop from Western Europe to Japan operating Helsinki-Tokyo flights with one McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER. Until then, flights had to go via Moscow (Aeroflot, SAS, BA) or Anchorage (most carriers)[14] due to Soviet airspace restrictions, but Finnair circumvented these by flying directly north from Helsinki, over the North Pole and back south through the Bering Strait, avoiding the Soviet airspace.[15] The aircraft was fitted with extra fuel tanks, taking 13 hours for the trip.[16] The routes through Soviet airspace and with a stopover in Moscow also took 13 hours, but flights with a stopover at Anchorage took up to 16 hours, giving Finnair a competitive edge. In the spring of 1986, Soviet regulators finally cleared the way for Air France and Japan Airlines to fly nonstop Paris-Tokyo services over Soviet airspace, putting Finnair at a disadvantage.[17]

Finnair launched a Helsinki-Beijing route in 1988, making Finnair the first Western European carrier to fly non-stop between Europe and China.[citation needed] In 1989, Finnair became the launch customer for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the first of which was delivered on 7 December 1990. The first revenue service with the MD-11 took place on 20 December 1990, with OH-LGA operating a flight from Helsinki to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Subsidiary airlines (1990s–2000s)[edit]

In 1997, the subsidiaries Kar-Air and Finnaviation became wholly owned by Finnair, and were integrated into the mainline operations. On 25 September 1997, the company's official name was changed to Finnair Oyj.

In 1999, Finnair joined the Oneworld airline alliance. In 2001, Finnair reused the name "Aero" when establishing Aero Airlines, a subsidiary airline based in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2003, Finnair acquired ownership of the Swedish low-cost airline, FlyNordic, which operated mainly within Scandinavia. In 2007, Finnair sold all its shares in FlyNordic to Norwegian Air Shuttle. As part of the transaction, Finnair acquired 4.8% of the latter company, becoming its third largest shareholder. Finnair later sold their shares in 2013.[18]

On 8 March 2007, Finnair became the first airline to order the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, placing an order for 11 Airbus A350 XWB (plus 8 options), with delivery to start in 2015.[19]

Labour disputes and restructuring (2006–present)[edit]

Finnair has suffered from many labour disputes in this period, resulting from cost-cutting measures prompted by competition from budget airlines.[20][21][22][23][24]

On 1 December 2011, Finnair transferred its baggage and apron services to Swissport International as per a five-year agreement signed on 7 November 2011. Mr Mika Vehviläinen, then CEO of Finnair, said: “Our aim is to further improve the quality, speed and cost effectiveness of our baggage handling and apron services. Swissport is a global player with extensive experience in ground services in international airports, and their competencies and processes are world-class.” [25]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Head office[edit]

Finnair head office, House of Travel and Transportation

In 2013, Finnair opened its new head office, known as House of Travel and Transportation (or "HOTT"), on what used to be a car park right next to its previous head office located in Tietotie 11, on the grounds of Helsinki Airport. The construction of HOTT began in July 2011 and finished on time in June 2013. The previous head office had been in use since 1994, then replacing a head office located in Helsinki city centre.[26][27]

The new mixed-use head office has a total floor space of 70,000 square metres (750,000 sq ft) and 22,400 square metres (241,000 sq ft) of office space.[28]


The State of Finland is the controlling shareholder (55.8%).[10][29] Finnair's stock is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. As of early 2012, the Finnish government was considering decreasing its share of Finnair ownership below 50%.[30]

Subsidiaries and associates[edit]

Finnair Cargo building

Finnair Cargo[edit]

Two subsidiary companies, Finnair Cargo Oy and Finnair Cargo Terminal Operations Oy, form Finnair's cargo business.[31] The offices of both companies are at Helsinki Airport.[32][33] Finnair Cargo uses currently Finnair's fleet on its cargo operations.

Nordic Regional Airlines[edit]

A Nordic Regional Airlines ATR 72-500 aircraft in new livery at Helsinki Airport

Nordic Regional Airlines is a subsidiary airline of Finnair. The airlines uses ATR 72-500 that are leased from Finnair and Embraer E190 aircraft. All Embraer aircraft are painted in Finnair-livery. The airline began operations on 20 October 2011 as a joint venture between Flybe and Finnair. The airline has operated under Finnair's flight code since 1 May 2015.

Business trends[edit]

The key trends for Finnair over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (€ m) 1,558 1,683 1,871 1,990 2,181 2,256 1,838 2,023 2,257 2,449 2,400 2,284 2,324
Profit (EBT) (€ m) −22 31 88 −15 139 −62 −125 −33 −111.5 16.5 11.9 −36.5 23.7
Number of employees (average) 9,981 9,522 9,447 9,598 9,480 9,595 8,797 7,578 7,467 6,784 5,859 5,172 4,906
Number of passengers (m) 6.8 8.1 8.5 8.8 8.7 8.3 7.4 7.1 8.0 8.8 9.2 9.6 10.3
Passenger load factor (%) 69.6 71.2 72.6 75.2 75.5 75.2 75.9 76.5 73.3 77.6 79.5 80.2 80.4
Number of aircraft (at year end) 59 69 69 72 62 65 68 63 65 60 70 67 72
Notes/sources [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]

Corporate design[edit]


Finnair A319 in retro livery

The company revealed a new livery in December 2010. Major changes include a restyled and larger lettering on the body, repainting of the engines in white, and a reversal of the color scheme for the tail fin favoring a white background with a blue stylized logo. The outline of the globe was also removed from the tail fin.[47]

Flight attendant uniforms[edit]

Finnair's previous cabin crew uniform was named the fifth most stylish uniform by the French magazine Bon Voyage.[48] The current uniform was designed by Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen and launched in December 2011. Finnair has codes to indicate the rank of crew members: one stripe in the sleeve for normal cabin attendant, two stripes for senior cabin crew (only for outsourced crew) acting as a purser in Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain flights, and three stripes for a purser/chief purser. Additionally, female pursers have a white vertical stripe on their dresses or blouses. Finnair requires its cabin crew to wear gloves during take off and landing for safety reasons.


Main article: Finnair destinations
Finnair destinations, Ireland and Vietnam not included.
  Year-round flights
  Seasonal flights only

From its Helsinki hub Finnair flies to over 110 destinations in 37 countries around the world in Asia, Europe and North America. The domestic and intra-European flights are partly carried out in cooperation with Nordic Regional Airlines, operating an ATR/Embraer fleet.

On 25 September 2015, Finnair announced that the airline would make Miami route a year-round and add more frequencies to Chicago due to increase of demand.[49] While Finnair made Miami a year-round route, the airline discontinued its Toronto service. Now Finnair has three scheduled routes to North-America: Miami with three weekly frequencies and New York with daily service and Chicago summer seasonal route with five weekly frequencies.

In summer season of 2016, Finnair introduced 4 new scheduled routes in Europe, while 8 charter/leisure routes converted to scheduled service. Those routes are from Helsinki to Billund, Edinburgh, Mytilene, Preveza, Pula, Rimini, Santorini, Skiathos, Varna, Verona and Zakinthos.[50] On May 2016, Finnair also introduced new seasonal routes to Fukuoka in Japan and Guangzhou in China.

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Finnair has codeshare agreements with several carriers: (as of May 2016):


Nordic Regional Airlines Embraer E-190. All Embraer E-190 aircraft are painted in Finnair-livery.
Finnair is the third airline in the world to operate Airbus A350. Finnair is also the first European airline to operate the aircraft.

Current fleet[edit]

The fleet of Finnair consists of narrow-bodied and wide-bodied aircraft, including the Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A321, Airbus A330, Airbus A340 and Airbus A350. ATR-72 and Embraer E-190 aircraft are operated by Nordic Regional Airlines.

The airline utilizes Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft on domestic and European flights. Airbus A321 is also used on long-haul flights from Helsinki to Dubai and from Dubai to Goa. Finnair uses its wide-body aircraft on intercontinental flights. Finnair utilizes Airbus A330 on flights from Helsinki to Chicago, Chongqing, Delhi, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Miami, Nagoya, New York, Osaka, Seoul, Tokyo and Xi'an. Along with scheduled flights Airbus A330s are used on long-haul charter flights as well. Finnair utilizes Airbus A340 currently on flights from Helsinki to Nagoya, Singapore and Tokyo.

Airbus A350[edit]

On 8 March 2007, Finnair firmed up its orders for 11 Airbus A350-900 aircraft with 8 options. On 3 December 2014, it was announced that Finnair had firmed up the contract for 8 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft deliveries starting in 2018.[19] On 13 August 2014, Finnair announced plans to initially deploy its A350-900 aircraft on services to Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai from 2015, with A350 services to Hong Kong and Singapore to be added in 2016. Currently Finnair operates the Airbus A350 to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai. Finnair also operated A350 aircraft on several flights to New York in January 2016, and thus Finnair is the first European airline to operate the A350 to the United States.[58] Finnair uses the A350 on some scheduled flights from Helsinki to Brussels and London to carry extra freight as well. Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore will be added to Finnair's A350 network in late 2016.

Finnair took delivery of its first A350-900 XWB aircraft on 7 October 2015, becoming the third airline to operate the aircraft, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines.[59] According to the currently anticipated delivery schedule, it will have five A350 XWB aircraft at the beginning of the second quarter of 2016, seven by the end of 2016, 11 by the end of 2017, and 19 by the end of 2023.

Finnair fleet[edit]

As of 22 July 2016, the Finnair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[60][61][62]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A319-100 9 138 138
Airbus A320-200 10 168 168
Airbus A321-200 6 6 196 196 Two aircraft wet-leased from Air Berlin.[63]
Remaining six will be leased from 2017.[64][65]
7 aircraft equipped with sharklets.
7 209 209
Airbus A330-300 5 45 40 178 263[66]
3 32 40 213 285[67]
Airbus A340-300 1 45 40 170 255 To be retired in 2017.[68]
To be replaced by Airbus A350-900.
Airbus A350-900 7 12 46 43 208 297 Expected deliveries: 2016 (2), 2017 (4).[69]
All 19 aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2023.
Replacing Airbus A340-300s.[70][71]
ATR 72-500 11 68 68 All leased to Nordic Regional Airlines[72]
72 72
Embraer E-190 12 100 100 Operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
Total 71 18

Fleet notes:

  • All A319, A320 and A321 aircraft (excluding A321 aircraft with 209 seat configuration) will receive new seat configuration.[73]
  • All aircraft will be equipped with wireless Wi-Fi. As of 2017, Finnair will add Wi-Fi to its wide-body fleet.[74]

Fleet gallery[edit]

Future fleet plans[edit]

Finnair has planned to retire older Airbus A340 aircraft by the end of 2017 and replace them with Airbus A350 aircraft. The airlines also planned to retire two Airbus A330 aircraft but Finnair canceled the plan and will retire those aircraft in the 2020s at the earliest. Some of the new A350 aircraft will increase the number of aircraft operated by Finnair.

On 18 December 2015, Finnair decided to improve the space efficiency of its current Airbus narrow-body fleet due to a growing need for feeder traffic capacity. The value of the investment is approximately EUR 40 million, and it includes 22 narrow-body Airbus aircraft in Finnair’s fleet. The cabin layout change excludes five A321ER aircraft, which are already configured according to the plan, having 209 seats. The cabin reconfiguration is estimated to take two weeks per aircraft during 2017. The reconfiguration adds 6 to 13 seats depending on the aircraft type, increasing the passenger capacity of Finnair’s Airbus narrow-body fleet as measured by available seat kilometers by close to 4 percent.[75] Finnair also has planned to increase the number of its narrow-body fleet. As a first step, Finnair will lease six Airbus A321 narrowbody aircraft.

Special Liveries[edit]

Registration Livery Aircraft Source
OH-LVD Oneworld livery Airbus A319-100 [76]
OH-LTO Marimekko 50th Anniversary "Unikko" Livery Airbus A330-300 [77]
OH-LQD Marimekko "Unikko" livery Airbus A340-300 [78]
OH-LQE Oneworld livery [79]
OH-LWB Airbus A350-900 [80]
OH-LKN Embraer 190 [81]

Finnair's current special liveries are Marimekko "Unikko", Marimekko-50th Anniversary "Unikko" and Oneworld-liveries. Finnair has also used special liveries, including the "Moomins", "Santa Claus", 1950s retro livery and Angry Birds.

Historical fleet[edit]

Finnair has previously operated the following equipment:[82]

Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
ATR 72-500 ? 2016 1 aircraft has been retired, 11 aircraft are still in service (leased to Nordic Regional Airlines).
Airbus A300B4-200FF 1986 2004 with a 2-crew cockpit
Airbus A340-300 2007 2017 Three aircraft have been retired, four aircraft still in service.
Two aircraft acquired from Air France and one other from Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A350-900.
Boeing 757-200 1997 2014 Replaced by Airbus A321-231 aircraft
Convair CV-440 Metropolitan 1953 1980
de Havilland Dragon Rapide 1937 1947
Douglas DC-2 1941 1948
Douglas DC-3 1947 1969
Douglas DC-8-62CF 1969 1981
Douglas DC-8-62 1975 1985
Douglas DC-9-14 / -15F / -15MC / -15RC / -41 / -51 1971 2003
Embraer E-170 2005 2016
Fokker F27 1980 1987
Junkers F.13 1924 1935
Junkers G.24 1926 1935
Junkers Ju 52/3m 1932 1949
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 / -30ER 1975 1996
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1990 2009 Launch Customer,
Cargo version operated 2010–2011
Replaced by Airbus A340-300 aircraft
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 / -83 / -87 1983 2006
Sud Aviation Caravelle 1A 1960 1961
Sud Aviation Caravelle III 1961 1964
Sud Aviation Caravelle 10B (Super Caravelle) 1964 1983


Economy Class aboard a Finnair Airbus A350

Finnair Plus[edit]

Finnair Plus is Finnair's frequent-flyer programme. Passengers are awarded points based on the type and class of flight flown. Once enough miles are banked into the passenger's account, a membership tier (Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum) is awarded. There is a Junior tier exclusively for minors. Silver, Gold, and Platinum members have privileges such as premium check-in desks and priority boarding.

Finnair offers frequent-flyer partnerships with Nordic Regional Airlines (only for the 2000 flight number series, not for domestic flights) in addition to those in the Oneworld alliance:

In addition to earning points on flights with Finnair and its partner airlines, Finnair Plus members can earn points through various hotel and car rental partners in Finland and around the world along with other service partners.

Finnair lounges[edit]

Finnair lounge at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Finnair operates three own lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. One is accessible in the Schengen Area by travelers in Finnair's Business Class, Gold and Platinum of the Finnair Plus program members as well as Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members. The two other are located in the non-Schengen area and the Finnair Business Lounge has the same access criteria as the one in the Schengen area except Japan Airlines Business Class passengers also have access. Finnair also operates a Premium Lounge next to the Business lounge in the non-Schengen area that Gold and Platinum of the Finnair Plus program members have access to as well as oneworld Emerald members have access to. The non-Schengen lounges have a Finnish sauna. The remaining international destinations are served with contract lounges.

Economy Comfort[edit]

Economy Comfort is Finnair's new premium economy product debuting on long haul aircraft December 2014. It will not be a separate class but more of an upgraded economy product, much like Delta's Economy Comfort class. Economy Comfort seats will be located in the first 5 rows of economy providing 34-36" of pitch(3-5" more pitch than standard economy seats) and a comfier headrest, plus noise canceling headphones and a comfort kit. Seats will be free to Finnair Plus and oneworld elites and passengers with a full fare coach ticket, and available to all other customers for a fee.

Meals and drinks[edit]

On most European flights, a cold salad or sandwich is served, together with non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages and additional food items are available for purchase. Domestic flights as well as shorter European flights have snacks for sale and free non-alcoholic beverages. Business class offers warm meals and free beverages, including alcohol. On most Intercontinental flights there is a choice of meals in economy class. In inter-continental business class on most Airbus aircraft (excluding those with fully lie-flat seats), there is a dedicated snack bar.[83] As of November 2014 the complementary salad or sandwich is discontinued and beverages have been limited to coffee, tea, water, milk and blueberry juice on European flights.[84]

In-flight entertainment[edit]

All Finnair aircraft have LCD video monitors or personal entertainment systems except the Embraer 170s and 190s. Airbus A320 series aircraft have monitors showing exterior shots, moving-map systems and mute television programs. Airbus A330, Airbus A340 and Airbus A350 aircraft have an AVOD personal entertainment system on all seats with about 72 movies, 150 TV shows, 200 music albums, 24 radio channels and 15 games.[85] In Airbus A321 Sharklet leisure flights, the cabin crew lends out Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets for €10.[83][86]

In-flight magazine[edit]

Finnair's English-language in-flight magazine, Blue Wings, is published 10 times per year by the Finnish media group Sanoma. The first edition of Blue Wings magazine was published in 1980. There are domestic and international newspapers on all flights and magazines on long-haul flights in business class.


Year Award By Notes
2009 4-Star Airline Skytrax World Airline Awards [87]
2010 Best Airline In Northern Europe [88][89]
Best European Airline TTG Annual Travel Awards [90]
2014 Best Airline In Northern Europe Skytrax World Airline Awards [91]
Best European Airline TTG Annual Travel Awards [92]
2015 Best Airline In Northern Europe Skytrax World Airline Awards [93]
2016 Best European Airline TTG Annual Travel Awards [94]
Best Airline In Northern Europe Skytrax World Airline Awards [95]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

The company's only fatal accidents to date are the two DC-3 accidents in 1961 and 1963.


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  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Finnair at Wikimedia Commons