Finnair to Speed Up Fleet Renewal

Travel News Asia Friday, 9 March 2007

Finnair is to replace its current Boeing MD-11 fleet with Airbus A340 and A330 wide-bodied aircraft by the year 2010. In addition to the A340s already on order, Finnair will acquire and take delivery of seven Airbus wide-bodied aircraft between now and 2010. In addition, the company can use the four options acquired in 2005. According to the new agreement, both the orders and the options can flexibly be confirmed for either A340 or A330 models based on the need. The programme will be used to increase Finnairs long-haul fleet to 15 aircraft by the end of 2010.

The acquisition programme is flexible from Finnairs point of view both in terms of the type and number of aircraft. We can optimise our fleet on the basis of demand growth. We can ensure our Asian growth with competitive aircraft, said President and CEO Jukka Hienonen.

Both four-engine A340s and twin-engine A330s have approximately 270 seats, but with full cargo load the A340 has a longer range.

The acquisition price and operating costs of the A330 aircraft are more affordable than that of its big brother. We can use it economically for instance on our Indian routes or our longer Asian routes which do not have cargo demand that require the use of an A340, Hienonen explained.

From 2014 onwards Finnair will also take delivery of the new technology A350XWBs. In December 2005 Finnair ordered nine new Airbus wide-bodied aircraft with options for four more. Now a further two A350s have been ordered, bringing the maximum total number of these aircraft to 15. All the A350s will be fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

After Finnairs original order, Airbus further optimized the design of the A350 into the new A350XWB.

The initial four A340 aircraft Finnair ordered will be delivered in 2007-08. The shift in the production timetable of the A350 has been taken into consideration in the terms of Finnairs wide-body aircraft acquisitions programme. The total value of the confirmed aircraft orders is approximately two billion euros.

The current orders speed up Finnairs fleet renewal. The Boeing MD-11s in operation will be retired from Finnairs fleet in 2008-10. After this, the airlines long-haul fleet will consist only of A340 and A330 aircraft which unifies the long-haul fleet with the European fleet of A320 family aircraft.

The renewal significantly improves our profitability and eco-efficiency. Operating modern aircraft is the best environmental work an airline can do, Hienonen added.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Boeing, Airbus, Finnair

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