Finnair wants partnerships with big players

That including possibility of ownership changes

In order to avoid becoming side-lined in the market, Finnair will need closer partnerships with bigger airlines, the airline’s chairman Klaus Heinemann said – including the possibility of ownership changes.

Speaking at a shareholder meeting at the end of last week, Heinemann said that the state-controlled airline must become more profitable. He called for “open dialogue” on possible options for financing.

“Finnair will in the coming years need closer partnerships with the industry’s largest players,” he said. “Our profitability must […] be so good that it gives us a say in any potential partnership arrangements.”

Chief executive Pekka Vauramo elaborated that the company would not stand idle if its competitors in the Nordics merged.

“If there was a wave of consolidation in the Nordic countries, staying alone would be the worst possible option,” he said, adding that Finnair’s strategy of owning half its aircraft and leasing the rest was the correct path. “It has proved to be a good balance, also in risk-management perspective,” he said.

Reuters

[pictured: Airbus A330; courtesy Finnair]

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