|Founded||1 November 1923 (as Aero O/Y)|
|Frequent-flyer program||Finnair Plus|
|Airport lounge||Finnair Lounge|
|Fleet size||72 (incl. Nordic Regional Airlines) |
|Company slogan||Designed for you|
|Parent company||Finnair Group|
|Key people||Pekka Vauramo, President & CEO|
|Revenue||EUR 2.3 billion (2015)|
|Operating income||EUR 23.7 million (2015)|
|Employees||5,473 (March 2014)|
Finnair (Finnish: Finnair Oyj, Swedish: Finnair Abp) 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% 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 March 2014, the airline employed 5,473 people.
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).
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 Services
- 6 Incidents and accidents
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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 which 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
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 passengers were children being evacuated to Sweden.
Immediate postwar period
The Finnish government 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)
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. In the 1960s Finnair's head office was in Helsinki.
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 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) 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. The aircraft was fitted with extra fuel tanks, taking 13 hours for the trip. 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.
Finnair launched a Helsinki-Beijing route in 1988, making Finnair the first Western European carrier to fly non-stop between Europe and China. 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.
Operations on subsidiary airlines (1990s–2000s)
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 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.
Labour disputes and restructuring (2006–present)
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.” 
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, in the grounds of Helsinki-Vantaa 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.
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.
The State of Finland is the controlling shareholder (55.8%). 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%.
Subsidiaries and associates
The key trends for Finnair over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):
|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|
|Profits (EBT) (€ m)||−22||31||88||−15||139||−62||−125||−33||−111.5||16.5||11.9||−36.5|
|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||4,981|
|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|
|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|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||59||69||69||72||62||65||68||63||65||60||70||67|
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.
Uniform of Finnair flight attendants
Finnair's previous cabin crew uniform was ranked as the fifth most stylish uniform by the French Bon Voyage magazine. The current uniform was designed by Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen and launched in December 2011. Finnair has codes to indicate the rank of crew member: 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 flight, three stripes 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
From its Helsinki-Vantaa base Finnair flies to Asia, North America and an extensive regional network in Europe. The domestic and intra-European flights are partly carried out in cooperation with Nordic Regional Airlines, operating an ATR/Embraer fleet.
In addition to Oneworld members, Finnair also has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
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, Embraer E-170 and Embraer E-190 aircraft are operated by Nordic Regional Airlines. Finnair uses its narrow-body aircraft on continental flights, however some of the Finnair's intercontinental routes are operated by narrow-body aircraft such as the route between Helsinki and Dubai. Finnair uses its wide-body aircraft on intercontinental flights. Currently the longest route of Finnair is from Helsinki to Singapore (9,332km) operated by Airbus A340.
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. New York will be added to the Finnair's A350 network as well, and thus Finnair will be the first European airline to operate the A350 to the United States. 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. Currently Finnair operates the Airbus A350 to Bangkok, Beijing, New York and Shanghai.
Finnair took delivery of its first A350-900 XWB aircraft on 7 October 2015, and 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. Some of the new A350 aircraft will increase the number of aircraft operated by Finnair, while some will replace wide-body aircraft with a lower passenger capacity.
|Airbus A319-100||10||—||—||0||0||138||138||One aircraft leased from Niki|
|Airbus A321-200||6||6||—||0||0||196||196||Two will be wet-leased from 2016 to 2017.
Remaining four will be leased from 2017.
|Airbus A330-300||5||—||—||45||40||178||263||Two A330-300 to be retired in 2017.|
|Airbus A340-300||1||—||—||42||36||185||263||To be replaced with Airbus A350-900s by 2017.|
|Airbus A350-900||3||16||—||46||43||208||297||Replacing Airbus A340-300s.|
|ATR 72-500||12||—||—||0||0||68-72||68-72||All leased to Nordic Regional Airlines
One aircraft will be phased out
|Embraer E-170||2||—||—||0||0||76||76||Operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
All aircraft will be phased out
|Embraer E-190||12||—||—||0||0||100||100||Operated by Nordic Regional Airlines|
|OH-LVD||Oneworld livery||Airbus A319-100|||
|OH-LTO||Marimekko 50th Anniversary "Unikko" Livery||Airbus A330-300|||
|OH-LQD||Marimekko "Unikko" livery||Airbus A340-300|||
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.
Finnair has previously operated the following equipment:
|Aircraft||Year introduced||Year retired||Notes|
|Airbus A300B4-200FF||1986||2004||with a 2-crew cockpit|
|Convair CV-440 Metropolitan||1953||1980|
|de Havilland Dragon Rapide||1937||1947|
|Douglas DC-9-14 / -15F / -15MC / -15RC / -41 / -51||1971||2003|
|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
|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|
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.
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 operates two own lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The remaining international destinations are served with contract lounges.
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
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. 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.
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. In Airbus A321 Sharklet leisure flights, the cabin crew lends out Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets for €10.
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.
Incidents and accidents
The company's only fatal accidents to date are the two DC-3 accidents in 1961 and 1963.
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Media related to Finnair at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Finnair Group official website
- Route Map
- Finnair Facebook page
- Finnair YouTube Channel
- History of Oy Aero Ab