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Finnair begins Countdown on Boeing MD-11 Fleet

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Finnair has begun the countdown on its Boeing MD-11 aircraft. The aircraft unit OH-LGC, more familiarly known as Golf Charlie, has been withdrawn from scheduled traffic and has ended its nearly 16-year-long Finnair career. It will continue flying as a cargo aircraft in the service of its new owner, Aeroflot Cargo. The aircraft is currently being prepared for its conversion to cargo work at Finnair Technical Services’ Aircraft Heavy Maintenance.

A total of seven Boeing MD-11 aircraft have been painted in the Finnair livery. It was with these aircraft that Finnair began its successful conquest of Asia at the turn of the millennium. Finnair was the world’s first airline to use the Boeing MD-11 when the manufacture of this type of aircraft began in 1990. Finnair also has the first MD-11 simulator, used for pilot training.

The departing Boeing MD-11s will be replaced by two-engine Airbus A330-300 aircraft, of which Finnair has ordered a total of eight. In addition, the company has options for two additional aircraft. Five of the Airbus A330 aircraft will be delivered to Finnair next year and the remainder at the beginning of 2010, at which time the last Boeing MD-11s will be withdrawn from use.

“We have sold two of the Boeing MD-11 aircraft we own to Aeroflot Cargo on an advance payment agreement. The remainder are leasing aircraft and they will be withdrawn from service when their agreements expire. The MD-11 was in many respects suitable for our use as the proportion of long-haul routes in our traffic continually grew. Its flying range was sufficient for flying non-stop to all our present destinations and, as well as passengers, it carried a respectable amount of cargo. Now we are modernising and streamlining our fleet, which will improve the cost structure of our long-haul traffic,” said EVP Scheduled Passenger Traffic Henrik Arle.

The A330 type of aircraft is significantly more eco-efficient than the Boeing MD-11. It consumes around 20% less fuel per passenger seat than its predecessor. Passenger comfort is also improved, as economy class passengers can use their own personal entertainment system. The Airbus A330 cabin is identical to that of the five Airbus A340s already in Finnair’s service. The types of aircraft differ from each other in terms of flying range and cargo capacity. The A330 will be used on shorter long-haul routes, such as the New York and Indian flights, and on routes where cargo demand is lower.

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