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1 JULY 2013

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Article from BTNews 1 JULY 2013

SAS and Finnair

Finnair’s new Chief Executive Pekka Vauramo says that he sees the advantages and disadvantages in a possible merger with Scandinavian airline SAS.  He was speaking during an inaugural flight from Helsinki to Xi’an and reported in the Finnish national media.  "Our largest shareholder (the Government of Finland) is currently thinking along those lines" of a possible merger.  Vauramo was appointed earlier this year to complete a turnaround started by predecessor Mika Vehvilainen.

A Finnair spokeswoman said:  "The comments have been taken out of context and misinterpreted.  It was a very speculative question, and Finnair gave pros and cons.  The story clearly leaves out the cons that were stated”.

Asked whether a Finnair merger with SAS was a possibility, she declined to comment.  SAS was not available for comment.

While Finnair became profitable for the first time in four years last year after cutting costs, it faces tough competition from discount carriers and analysts expect further consolidation.  The idea of the amalgamation of Finnair and SAS has been mooted before, but has come to nothing. Business Travel News will be reporting on the new route in a future edition. www.finnair.com

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