Finland should cut Finnair stake, minister says

Airline needs to make partnerships to fight competition

Finland’s minister responsible for state ownership of companies, Heidi Hautala, says she wants the country’s complicated six-party coalition government to agree in the coming months to cut its 55.8% stake in Finnair to below 50%. This would, she explained, give the airline freedom to create the partnerships it needs to battle competition from low-cost carriers.
“State-owned airlines have, one after another, ended up in very difficult situations,” she said. “Finnair must find new partnerships that could enable it operate in a more efficient way.”
Finnair has been cutting costs, focusing on profitable long-haul flights to Asia and recently gave operation of a third of its European routes to the low-cost airline Flybe. As a consequence, it says, it will probably become profitable again this year for the first time in four years.
[photo courtesy Finnair]