28 MAY 2012
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Loss-making Finnish flag carrier Finnair plans to hand over the operation of a third of its European routes to the UK airline Flybe in order to cut costs and help restore profitability. Finnair plans to transfer 12 Embraer aircraft, along with around 200 cabin crew, to Flybe. The British airline will take over the operations in October, although it is not yet decided which routes will be affected. The two carriers are already in a partnership launched last year called Flybe Nordic.
Finnair has been looking for ways to overhaul its business in Europe, where it faces fierce competition from discount airlines. The company wants to focus instead on profitable routes to Asian destinations such as China, Japan and Singapore.
"This move is a part of our strategy to restore Finnair's profitability", said Mika Vehvilainen, Chief Executive.
He also said that the company would aim to boost the profitability of the remaining two-thirds of its European flights through more airline trading deals and cost cutting. Finnair is 55.8% owned by the Finnish government and is listed on the Helsinki Stock Market. www.finnair.com
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