Finnair CEO Mika Vehvilainen said the carrier is seeking to find an airline to partner with on less profitable European sectors, as reported by Talouselama. "There are more sellers than buyers. However, I believe that it is totally realistic to find partners," he said. "We have to solve the cost problem anyway. The aim is to move to partners either a part of the European traffic or all of the European traffic – that is what we are focusing on," he said, adding new partners could come from outside Europe. Mr Vehvilainen said Finnair does not want to entirely exit the intra-European market as it needs these operations to feed traffic onto Asian routes.
Finnair looks to find airline partner to operate more European routes: report
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Finnair is now reinvigorating and accelerating its long haul growth plans, based on its niche in Europe-Asia connecting traffic. A target to double its 2010 Asia ASKs by 2020 has been brought forward to 2018, and this can be achieved with minimal additional investment. Through a refocused commercial strategy, Finnair hopes to stay ahead of market RASK performance in a weak unit revenue environment. Through growth, fleet upgrades and improved labour productivity, Finnair aims to make significant CASK reductions. Finnair management certainly appears to be more confident about the future than at any other time in the past three years and more.
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Although market expansion was slow in the first part of 2016, so too was capacity. Yet this changed in Jul-2016 as capacity increased more quickly, perhaps as airlines expected a stronger summer. Despite slow passenger growth, dynamics are highly varied – except for yield declines. The combined RPK growth of IAG (7.2%) Cathay Pacific (3.7%) and Finnair (8.7%) was not enough to offset the contraction of the largest airline in the market, AF-KLM (7.9%).
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