Finnair and Flybe confirmed (22-May-2012) the signing of a MoU which will see joint venture Flybe Nordic operate 12 Embraer E190 aircraft on behalf of Finnair in order for Finnair to take advantage of Flybe Nordic's competitive cost base. The agreement will increase the regional carrier's fleet to 28, 20 of which will be operated under contract for Finnair. Flybe Nordic will commence the long-term E190 contract operations from 28-Oct-2012 on short-haul services within Europe. [more - original PR]
Flybe Europe: "Flybe took the decision in 2011 to expand its successful regional airline business model into the Nordic and Baltic regions with the objective of becoming the largest and most successful regional airline in those areas. In the ten months since its foundation, Flybe Nordic has expanded its operations from Finland to Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Sweden – in the latter country establishing a growing presence at Stockholm's city airport Bromma. We have been flying eight aircraft on a contract basis for Finnair since August 2011 and we are delighted that the quality and efficiency of our operations have persuaded Finnair to add another 12 aircraft to our partnership," Mike Rutter, managing director. Source: Company statement, 22-May-2012.
Finnair: "This move is a logical extension of our co-operation with Flybe. The MoU covers approximately one third of Finnair's European flights. Flybe offers us a cost efficient platform for operating this traffic and enables us to continue to offer the wide network and frequencies to both our regional customers as well as our customers flying between Europe and Finnair's Asian destinations. We believe that, from the customer point view, the change will be virtually unnoticed as they will maintain the benefits of our extensive network in Europe and opportunity to exploit our fast Asian routes. We look forward to this expansion of our co-operation with Flybe, which has proven its capabilities to run regional traffic efficiently," Mika Vehviläinen, CEO. Source: Company statement, 22-May-2012.