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- Finnair Plc
Tietotie 11 A (Helsinki Vantaa Airport)
- Main hub
- Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Domestic | International
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
CSA Czech Airlines
The national carrier of Finland, Finnair is based in Helsinki and is majority-owned by the Finnish government. The airline and its subsidiaries dominate the domestic and international air travel in Finland. Finnair’s network includes regional services within Finland and Scandinavia as well as flights to Europe, Asia, United States and Canada. Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance.
Location of Finnair main hub (Helsinki-Vantaa Airport)
Finnair share price
1,159 total articles
96 total articles
An impending three day strike by Lufthansa pilots – described by the carrier as "one of the biggest walkouts" in its history – highlights what continues to be a challenging labour relations environment for Europe's legacy carriers. In spite of years of competition from LCCs and cost efficient long-haul players, and after significant progress with restructuring programmes, such disputes remain common.
Labour-related issues are affecting a number of other airlines, including Austrian Airlines, Air France, Aer Lingus, SAS and Finnair. Even LCC Norwegian Air Shuttle faces key strategic questions in connection with the use of low-cost labour to grow its nascent long-haul business. In general, however, LCCs enjoy a less unionised environment and greater labour flexibility.
It is not uncommon for labour unions to become more militant as the profit cycle picks up, but airlines cannot always hide behind this excuse. As IAG CEO Willie Walsh has said*, "it is not about unions, but management. Management needs determination and can do it if it wants to…Cost creep is requested by unions, but made by management”.
Finnair’s 2013 results saw an unwelcome return to losses at the operational level, although the net result remained positive (just) due to non-operating items. In spite of achieving its Phase 1 cost savings target six months early and establishing a creditable track record of lowering its ex fuel CASK in recent years, unit revenue weakness remains a less predictable wildcard.
Most of the group’s organisational restructuring, including the outsourcing of maintenance and catering, the reorganisation of its travel services business and the switch to an all Airbus fleet, is now complete. Further cost savings will depend on the outcome of employee negotiations, a process that led to a strike warning in 4Q2013. Although it did not materialise, the strike threat then contributed to a particularly weak quarterly result, with both RASK falling and CASK rising in the quarter.
In 2014, it will be crucial to demonstrate that management can return both of these indicators to a healthy path and restore the group to profit.
All Nippon Airways and Lufthansa have allocated the four lucrative slots they collectively received for service to Tokyo's Haneda airport. All four slots will be used to shift existing services at Narita to Haneda, although ANA will add a Narita-Dusseldorf service independent of the Haneda slot allocation. This will further grow ANA and Lufthansa's share of the Germany-Japan market to 89%, with the balance held by Japan Airlines.
Of the 11 Haneda slots awarded to ANA, only five will be used for new services while five replace Narita services and one slot (to China) remains unallocated. This is a better result than European carriers, which received six slots but will use only one for new growth.
Overall the Japan-Europe market will grow 4% in northern summer 2014. ANA is driving growth, but this is hard to pin on its success in receiving Haneda slots; theoretically the growth could have occurred without the slots. Whether or not limited Haneda slots offer a serious constraint, the next two fastest growing carriers in the Japan-Europe market are Turkish Airlines and KLM, which received no Haneda slots and are not part of a joint venture.
After three years of widening full year losses, Flybe has reported a return to pre-tax profits in 1HFY2014. The Group’s new CEO Saad Hammad joined in Aug-2013, when long-serving CEO and Chairman Jim French became non-executive Chairman. The break with the past was completed on 5-Nov-2013, when Mr French was replaced as Chairman by Simon Laffin, whose experience includes real estate, retail, media and financial services.
Mr Hammad, a former CCO at easyJet and non-executive director at Air Berlin plc, has immediately increased the targeted benefits under the Group’s restructuring plan, recognising that its previous goals would not be enough. In terms of market presence, Flybe has a strong niche in UK regional markets and a small, but growing, foothold in contract flying in mainland Europe.
However, its cost base remains uncompetitive and Mr Hammad may need to drive out even more cost if he is to realise his aim to make Flybe “the best local airline in Europe”.
Finnair celebrates its 90th birthday on 1-Nov-2013, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines. It also has one of the newest CEOs, Pekka Vauramo, who joined on 1-Jun-2013.
Finnair’s strategic niche is based on using its Helsinki hub to connect Europe with Asia. While it saw traffic growth and market share gains in both regions in 3Q2013, the weakness of the yen led to a collapse in Asia revenues. The approval on 16-Oct-2013 of Finnair’s application to join the BA/JAL revenue-sharing joint venture on routes between Europe and Japan could not have come at a more opportune moment. The resulting coordination of pricing and schedules should help to counter revenue weakness.
Nevertheless, the fall in Finnair’s 3Q2013 profits and its consequent profit warning for the full year highlight the scale of the challenge facing Mr Vauramo. Although Finnair achieved a further reduction in unit costs, he will need to push through more cost cuts, while simultaneously seeking to shore up unit revenues.
Etihad has launched services to Ho Chi Minh, becoming only the tenth non-Asian airline serving Vietnam. Abu Dhabi is now one of only seven destinations outside Asia-Pacific that are served non-stop from Vietnam.
Vietnam remains an under-served long-haul market with huge potential. But Gulf carriers have been quick to recognise the opportunities in Vietnam and are now among Vietnam’s largest international carriers.
Etihad follows rival Emirates, which launched services to Ho Chi Minh in Jun-2012. Qatar began serving Ho Chi Minh in 2009 and added Hanoi in late 2010. It is now Vietnam’s third largest foreign carrier.