Finnair, the national airline of Finland, has released some new information about their future growth plans and soon to be launched, Premium Economy cabin. The CEO revealed that the airline will be investing up to €4 billion in new aircraft. Additionally, in terms of future growth, the carrier will be limiting its network expansion within Asia.
To begin with, the CEO, Topi Manner, revealed that Finnair will focus on adding frequencies to mega-cities in Asia they already serve rather than adding new destinations. This was said during an interview with Aviation Analyst.
Secondly, the airline is looking to invest up to €4 billion to acquire brand new aircraft. Currently, Finnair’s fleet is made up of 83 aircraft, consisting of 22 wide-body aircraft and 61 narrow-body aircraft. In total, the airline hopes to have 100 aircraft by the end of 2025. The fleet would consist 70% of narrow-body and 30% of wide-body aircraft.
The CCO of Finnair Ole Orvér revealed: “The first batch of investment will go to the narrowbody side in order to renew some of the narrowbody fleet”.
Additionally, Orvér stated that Finnair will evaluate a wide-body order after an agreement for narrow-body aircraft has been made, to further strengthen their fleet for long haul operations.
Moreover, the airline is set to begin offering its own Premium Economy in 2020. The Premium Economy class will see an upgraded dining experience, new seats and more space compared to economy class. The airline is targeting both leisure and business travellers. The carrier says the new cabin class will provide “better sales margins and yields" for the carrier.
In response to a question from Aviation Analyst, Finnair’s Piia Karhu, SVP of Customer Experience, explained that the first aircraft to debut the airlines’ new Premium Economy Cabin will be ready in November 2020. Finnair expects to have equipped all of their widebody fleet with the new cabin by mid-2022.
The Finnish carrier is also going to focus on sustainable and profitable growth, with annual capacity growth capped between 3-5%. The airline is going to use the geographical location of Helsinki to its advantage, namely for connections to Asian mega-cities.