“We get 4 aircraft next year, 4 in 2016 and 3 in 2017” said Pekka Vauramo Finnair CEO. The aircraft will initially be deployed on existing routes to Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing.
“This is very important in our strategy. We have a strategy to double our Asian revenues (from 2010 levels) by 2020. We are tracking that very well, but we need this aircraft to fulfill our targets. For us it is one of the main drivers to improve our profitability in the next 3 years” he said.
This stems from lower operating costs for the type, compared with the Airbus A340s it will replace. “The A350 gives us more passenger capacity and more belly cargo capacity”, added Vauramo. “Between 15-20% of our revenue comes from belly cargo. This will give us 50% more cargo capacity”.
The airline has positioned itself as a transfer hub between Europe and Asia, and while it has not added long-haul capacity this year because it had aircraft out of the fleet for cabin upgrades, it is planning further expansion in Asia. “To grow Asian revenues we need to add one more long-haul destination every year, then we need to build more feeder traffic. We seem to have outgrown the market (in Finland), so we will need more passengers from Europe and Asia”, he said.
Based on the article “Costs key to Finnish lines” published in Airline Business.