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A Finnair A350-900XWB arriving in London. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Finnair Changing Course To Survive COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines are figuring out different ways to stay afloat and continue reduced but steady operations, through grounding aircraft, changing schedules frequently, and limiting onboard services. However, one carrier  — Finnair — is looking to completely change the way it operates to allow it to thrive down the road.

Jouko Karvinen, Chairman of the Board, Finnair said, “Finnair is facing an extremely difficult situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company must make painful decisions to emerge from the ongoing crisis which is reshaping our industry. Getting through this phase requires renewal so that Finnair can be competitive in the years to come,” 

Finland’s flag carrier recently launched its comprehensive cost-saving and restructuring program. This program will hopefully allow the carrier to rebuild and recover from the effects of COVID-19, which include decreased travel demand and route reduction, while still rewarding its partners and personnel who align with its business plan.

“Finnair has launched an incentive program for personnel and management, aiming at in due course rewarding the Finnair team for their contributions to Finnair’s future,” Karvinen added. “The targets and key performance indicators we have set for the program are ambitious and in line with the company’s best interests. They are also aligned with the interests of the company’s shareholders.”

The key groups and personnel who partner with Finnair and contribute to the airline’s rebuilding plan over the next three years will be rewarded through the carrier’s three-year incentive plan if they meet several set goals and targets. 

Finnair Expands Summer Schedule

In the meantime, while the Helsinki, Finland-based carrier has decided to reduce its winter flight schedule due to extensive international travel restrictions, the airline has plans to increase flight frequencies for next summer. Currently, the airline plans to fly to 51 destinations and operate 75 flights daily to across Europe and Asia in its winter flight schedule.

Despite the flight reductions, Finnair plans to expand its network and increase weekly frequencies, according to passenger travel demand, a move that could play a pivotal role in the airline’s aircraft, catering and crew allocation. The summer flight schedule includes new flight operations to Busan, South Korea and Toyko’s Haneda Airport.

Finnair believes its new international service in its route network, along with the airline’s new long-term incentive plan and business strategy seems promising for overcoming the obstacles created by COVID-19. The expanded summer schedule is also designed to allow the airline to use its 16 Airbus A350-900 XWBs efficiently. 

However, Finnair has decided to set itself on a different course to stay afloat and keep its employees in the airline industry, where now only time will tell whether or not its future is secured as a competitive carrier in the region.

Benjamin Pham
Benjamin Pham
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