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- Helsinki-Malmi Airport
- 3440m x 60m
3060m x 60m
2901m x 60m
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- Aegean Airlines
Arkia Israeli Airlines
CSA Czech Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
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All Nippon Airways
BRA - Braathens Regional Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
LOT Polish Airlines
South African Airways
Operated by Finavia, Helsinki Airport is located in Vantaa and is the major international gateway to Helsinki and the largest airport in Finland. Hosting regional and international passenger and cargo services for over 20 airlines, Helsinki Airport is a hub for airlines including SAS, Flybe Nordic, Norwegian Air Shuttle, TUIfly Nordic and Finnair. About 90% of Finland’s international air traffic passes through Helsinki Airport and is a popular transfer point for services to and from Europe.
Location of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland
Ground Handlers and Cargo Handlers servicing Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
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Fuel & Oil Suppliers servicing Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
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Finnair's 2016 Capital Markets Day on 25-May-2016 was an opportunity to mark the progress made in CEO Pekka Vauramo's first three years at the airline. Since his arrival on 1-Jun-2013 Finnair has completed its entry into the oneworld trans-Atlantic JV and the JAL-BA JV; implemented cost reduction initiatives, including the renegotiation of labour agreements; and taken delivery of its first Airbus A350 aircraft. After falling into loss in 2014, it returned to profit in 2015 and its 1Q2016 results show further progress, although it remains short of Mr Vauramo's medium-term margin targets.
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.
Finnair’s A350 delivery brings more growth to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Now to attract other airlines
Finnair on 07-Oct-2015 took delivery of its first A350 XWB, becoming the third operator overall – after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines – and the first in Europe. The aircraft brings needed benefits to the airline: lower operating costs and an improved passenger product. The A350s also mark the start of more growth for Finnair’s home base, Helsinki Airport, which is expanding its terminal to support Finnair.
After replacing A340s, the A350s will permit growth, with Helsinki Airport telling CAPA it expects each aircraft to open one or two new destinations a year. Finnair’s strategy is to link Europe with Asia, focusing on Northeast Asia. Helsinki Airport has many of the main Asian markets covered, leaving open the opportunity for increased frequency – slots permitting – or exploring secondary cities. Finnair has announced Fukuoka and Guangzhou for new destinations in 2016.
Helsinki would like more North American routes, which Norwegian could consider. The LCC is testing longer flights from Helsinki with a Dubai service. Gulf carriers are absent from Helsinki – as are other long-haul operators excluding Japan Airlines. Helsinki Airport's challenge now will be to benefit from Finnair and attract new airlines.
China started 2015 with five of its airlines flying long haul. By the end of the year, the number will be seven – the same number of airlines across all of North America that fly long haul. Following Xiamen Airlines' 787 services to Amsterdam and Sydney, HNA's Beijing Capital Airlines plans to open services to Europe in Sep-2015. Limited Copenhagen service is planned to be served from Hangzhou and Beijing while Helsinki will be served from Beijing only. Capital Airlines' 54 Airbus narrowbody aircraft will reportedly be joined by three A330s by the end of the year. More international flying – and domestic services – can be expected to make efficient use of the new widebody fleet.
Capital Airlines has a mixture of scheduled and charter services. Under HNA's complex ownership structure, Capital Airlines is part of HNA Tourism, which could generate group benefits from Capital Airlines' expected quasi-charter flights. Most other HNA-affiliated carriers – from Hainan Airlines to West Air to Aigle Azur – are under HNA Aviation. While flagship group carrier Hainan Airlines focuses on North American flying with 787s, Capital Airlines could be used to explore other markets and ultimately be a test case for long-haul service from other mainland HNA carriers, of which there are many.
Finnair is raising the competitive stakes in using its Helsinki hub to offer the quickest connections between Europe and Asia and in 2015 will have about 10 flights a day to North and Southeast Asia. Before Finnair arrived in Asia in 1976, there was SAS, which commenced Asian flights in 1949 and held the title for all sorts of records and unique operations. But Finnair started to catch up, and it – not SAS – was the first to fly non-stop from Europe to China. A decade ago, Finnair had only a slight edge over SAS in Asia but now Finnair has three times the number of flights and four times as many seats as SAS in Asia.
Strong and active unions and an unwieldy ownership structure, together with an inefficient fleet, have hobbled SAS, but it is hoping to make some inroads in Asia, although opportunities will be limited. A new Stockholm-Hong Kong service opens in Sep-2015 while a nascent partnership with Etihad lays the groundwork for closer cooperation in the future and when Etihad commences services to Scandinavia. Emirates and Qatar already serve the region. SAS' Asian network is largely out of Copenhagen, and the airline probably would hope the Stockholm departure for Hong Kong will limit Finnair's poaching of Swedish traffic.
A recent profit warning by Finnair highlights the challenge in converting an operationally successful niche strategy, based on capturing Europe-Asia connecting flows via its Helsinki hub, into sustainable profit. In spite of the advantages of its geographic location for this strategy, its strong performance on punctuality and reliability and a well regarded brand, Finnair has perhaps lacked scale to compete profitably in the global market. In addition, its short haul feeder operations have felt the sting of LCC competition. Against a weak revenue backdrop, it is rightly prioritising cost savings in 2014.
The long haul operation should benefit from the newly commenced joint venture with JAL and BA on routes to Japan and there is at least some aspirational legitimacy in Finnair's confidence that it can tap into China's vast potential. Moreover, from 2016, Finnair will become the first European operator of the A350, providing it with a considerable unit cost advantage over its existing A340 fleet. Meanwhile, it has crucial negotiations to conclude over labour cost savings and must also make a decision about short haul fleet renewal.
Finnair's pending entry to the British Airways-Japan Airlines Europe-Japan joint venture will give a much needed boost to the oneworld-led JV, whose share of the Europe-Japan market will increase from 16% to 23.5%. The JV encompassed European connections from British Airways, but the large point-to-point nature of the London-Tokyo market as well as the backtracking involved at Heathrow provided the JV its strongest hold between Japan and the UK.
A similar Star Alliance-led Europe-Japan JV was anchored by All Nippon Airways and Lufthansa, accounting for a quarter of the market. The addition in 2012 of fellow Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian and SWISS has boosted the JV's share 32.5%. Beyond market share, the Star JV was more effective at offering connections around continental Europe.
Finnair's addition is also a tidy conclusion to the flirtation between Finnair and JAL, which in Jul-2013 launched its own Tokyo-Helsinki service and wanted to tap into Finnair's geographically convenient hub. The closer ties between Finnair and BA follow Finnair's addition into the trans-Atlantic JV and BA's increasing admiration for Finnair's Asian strategy. There may be more to come from this relationship.