Finnair to boost Asia strategy with new A350 fleet

Carrier to be first in Europe to deploy A350, in October
As Finnair takes delivery of the Airbus A350, the world’s newest widebody, it is planning to add routes to Chinese cities not currently connected to Europe.
Finnair will be the first carrier in Europe to deploy the A350, in October. It is “not that concerned” about the new economic uncertainty in China, its chief executive officer, Pekka Vauramo, said in an interview.
“We really feel being a first mover has benefits. There are some megacities there where we could add frequencies. We could also look into cities in China or South Korea that don’t have many connections, or don’t have any.”
Of the airline’s first five A350 destinations, three are in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong), the other two being Bangkok and Singapore. Finnair will take delivery of 19 of the A350s up to 2023, boosting capacity while replacing seven A340s.
Vauramo stresses that northeast Asia remains Finnair’s “sweet-spot”, its strategy focussed on making Helsinki a bridge there from Europe, providing the shortest routes between the regions.
Finnair’s A350-900s will have 297 seats, 40 more than its existing long-haul planes, and will burn up to 40% less fuel. Among other features, they will have wireless internet – part of a €30 million project to fit the airline’s entire Airbus fleet with Wi-Fi.