Finnair to make Helsinki-Delhi operations a daily service

November 7th, 2010 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Helsinki, Nov 7 (IANS) Nordic carrier Finnair Sunday said it will launch a daily service from Helsinki to the Indian capital from January.

“The addition of new flights to our most important Asian destinations reflects the continuing growth in our connecting traffic to Asia,” said Kaarina Peltonen, responsible for Finnair’s traffic planning.

Finnair also announced free use of Apple iPads for passengers at its well-appointed Via lounge at the Vantaa airport here.

Airline officials said the iPads have been loaded with entertaining content, such as newspapers and magazines, films, TV series and games. In addition, the devices offer dozens of useful applications, including Finnair’s own application, which helps to gather customer feedback and product development ideas.

“We are constantly seeking new, innovative means for product development. Finnair is the first European airline to build its own iPad research application,” said Jarkko Konttinen, Finnair’s vice president, global marketing.

The airline said the third quarter of this year was the first profitable one after seven successive loss-making three-month periods on less cost and increased revenue from Europe and Asia operations.

Europe and Asia traffic account for 65 percent of Finnair’s scheduled passenger and cargo revenues. Domestic operation account for just three percent of its total revenue.

“The market situation has been clearly better than at the beginning of the year, which is evident in increasing demand and a sharp strengthening of unit revenues,” Finnair Chief Executive Mika Vehvil√§inen said in a statement.

“Our market share in traffic between Asia and Europe is continually strengthening. We are committed to continuing our strong growth in Asia-Europe traffic and will take advantage of strengthening demand in the market.”

In the first nine months of the year, Finnair carried a total of 5.5 million passengers on scheduled and leisure flights. The amount of cargo carried rose 38 percent due to higher cargo demand in Asia and to cargo aircraft traffic initiated in May.

“The perceived profit trend is encouraging, but long-term success requires constant work to improve cost-competitiveness. In addition to cost discipline, improving profitability also requires the correct management of capacity and pricing,” said Vehvil√§inen.

As part of its cost cutting measures the company employed 15 percent less personnel this year. The company is likely to remain profitable in the fourth quarter. However, the profit is expected to be less than that of third quarter.

Finnair posted 42 million euros operational profit in the third quarter of 2010 as against 33 million euros loss in the corresponding quarter of previous year.

From January 2011, Finnair plans to increase its operations to some other Asian countries also. The airline plans to increase the number of flights to Seoul from three to six in a week and to Nagoya in Japan from three to five.

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