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Finnair Still Sees Asia As A Core Market For Future Growth

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Although it’s been previously reported on the unsatisfactory revenue of Finnair in the Asian market, as Finnair suffered losses in the first quarter of 2019, and some Asian routes did not turn into profit.

It is expected the operation between Helsinki and Chongqing will be cancelled this October. However, these seem to be unable to stop Finnair’s enthusiasm and long-term interests for the Asian market, and still regard this region as the core of future growth.

Topi Manner, Finnair's Newly Appointed CEO
Topi Manner, Finnair’s Newly Appointed CEO

According to media reports recently, Topi Manner, the newly appointed Finnair CEO, said that thanks to Finland’s favorable geographical position, Finnair can provide very efficient and convenient flights from Europe to China and other destinations in Asia; and these routes also contributed a large portion of passenger revenue to Finnair. Although there are some trade tensions and some unfavorable factors for the slowdown of growth in some economies this year, Finnair has seen some signs of a rebound in demand in the near future, and the Japanese market has performed well, which is in line with some recent macro indicators. A positive recovery signal is consistent.

In addition, Robert Öhrnberg, General Manager of Finnair Greater China, also revealed in an interview with the Civil Aviation Resource Network reporter in Beijing late last month that China has always been one of the most important global markets for Finnair and will be rooted and invested in it for a long time. We are willing to work with all parties to explore and dig deep into this market with an open attitude.

In fact, a series of recent actions by Finnair in the Asian market are enough to confirm the “Asia-centrism” of the above executives.

Earlier, Finnair publicly announced that in order to increase the capacity of the Beijing route, starting from November 3 this year, it will open a flight to and from Beijing Daxing International Airport (IATA code: PKX), which Finnair will operates three flights a week on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, operated by the Airbus A330 widebody aircraft. In addition to the current daily flights operated to and from Beijing Capital International Airport, the number of flights from Finnair to Beijing will increase to 10 flights per week. Finnair has thus become the first foreign airline to announce the opening of the flight service of Beijing Daxing International Airport.

At the same time, Finnair also announced that it will open flights to Busan, South Korea in the summer of 2020, and will become the first and only airline to connect between Busan and Europe. According to plan, starting on March 30 next year, Finnair will use the new Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft to operate round-trip flights between Helsinki and Busan on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In this regard, Finnish Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orvér commented: “We are very happy to be the first European airline operating in Busan, which is a good complement to our vital Asian network. Korea is also our largest market in the world. One of which we have been operating for 11 years. Finnair is pleased to offer a new destination for our travellers and continue to grow in Asia.”

It is understood that Busan will be the 20th destination of Finnair’s network in Asia.

Of course, in addition to striving to build and consolidate the route network in Asia, Finnair has fully relied on the advantages of other partners to jointly develop the market and is an indispensable part of its strategic development in Asia. In fact, Finnair has also worked hard in this area recently and has reached a lot of cooperation.

According to the public information collected by the Civil Aviation Resource Network, in June this year, Finnair opened code-sharing cooperation with China Southern Airlines (China Southern Airlines) and Juneyao Airlines. In the same month, Finnair also cooperated with Juneyao Airlines to start the frequent flyer program cooperation.

The code-sharing cooperation between Finnair and China Southern Airlines started on June 1 this year includes the Finnair Guangzhou-Helsinki route and some of China Southern’s destination routes in China. Through the docking of the two-way network, Finnair will add five new destinations in Greater China. Finnair passengers can fly on China Southern Airlines, fly to Changsha, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Sanya, Wenzhou, Xiamen and Xi’an via Guangzhou.

Starting from June 24 this year, Finnair and Juneyao Air officially unveiled the frequent flyer program cooperation which provides mutual benefits and free award booking services for both members. Finnair has thus become the first European Airline Division of Juneyao Airways to carry out FFP cooperation.

Since June 28 this year, Finnair has added the AY code to the round-trip flight HO1607/1608 of Juneyao Air’s route between Shanghai-Helsinki. At the same time, Juneyao Airlines also added the HO code to the same route of Finnair flight AY087/088. In addition, Finnair also carries AY codes on some flights from Shanghai to Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Xi’an, Chongqing, Qingdao, Xiamen, Kunming, Fuzhou, Nanjing, Xi’an, Chongqing and Zhangjiajie.

Finnair is also dedicated to satisfy the passengers needs in this important market. For example, Robert Öhrnberg once told reporters that Finnair has always noticed that Asian guests, including Chinese tourists, are very advancing with the various digital technologies, so they have been striving to be as local as possible in this respect. For example, Finnair has long cooperated with China UnionPay to open the UnionPay card payment on the official website. In 2017, Finnair became the first airline in the world to use Alipay as a means of payment on board. In the future, Finnair will spare no effort to continue to do digital products and services for Asia.

Albert K. Field Albert is my name, and travel the world is my game. I began my passion for travel at a very young age, I started this website as a strong means to further explore the world of frequent flyers programs (FFP). The relationship between customers and service providers in the aviation and hospitality industry always seems to be in opposition, however, since the introduction of United Airlines’ Frequent Flyers Programm since 1972*. This has significantly eased the middle spectrum between 2 parties. While the aim of airlines is still to generate more revenue; but for us,as consumers, are also given the opportunity to participate in the bargaining and exploiting from service providers. Living in a world of globalization where big data becomes vital for simulating successful economical activities, most of us will have to travel to other locations whether willingly or unwillingly, while you hearing all this fascinating stories about others, In fact, you too, can blend into the trend. It may not sound like how media illustrates, but indeed there are possibilities for us to have more spontaneous travel without getting held back by financial situation. My website consists of reviews of airline premium cabin products,airport lounges and stay reports of 5-star hotels and their executive lounges across the globe. In addition to all of that, I care the most about their frequent flyers program and loyalty program, which also includes banking partners. Plus, I spontaneously put up reviews and news update regarding premium water brands and restaurants. The purpose of this website is to share all of this information with my audience as well as inviting you to be part of my journey.

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Fleet Management

Air France Continues Fleet Renewal Plan With 60 A220-300s & 38 A350-900s On Order

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A220-300 Air France

The Air France–KLM Group yesterday(17 December) has firmed up an order for 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft as its continuous plan to modernise its single-aisle fleet. The aircraft are intended to be operated by Air France and the airline is scheduled to take delivery of its first A220 in September 2021. On December 11 Air France-KLM also approved an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900s, summing Air France’s order to 38. As part of a long-haul fleet simplification strategy to replace the early retired A380s, these airplanes’ arrival will also allow the company to accelerate the departure of its Airbus A340s during the first quarter of 2021.


“We are glad to see that Air France is endorsing the A220 as a great step towards fleet optimisation for large network carriers. The largest Airbus A220 order from a European carrier to date speaks volumes on Air France’s ambitious sustainability drive. The modern and fuel efficient Airbus A220 will contribute to lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions significantly compared to older generation aircraft, We thank Air France for the confidence placed in Airbus and for its investment in our latest technology aircraft.” 

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer

Air France’s Current Long-haul Fleet Consists Of 107 Aircraft:

  • 15 Airbus A330s,
  • 4 Airbus A340s,
  • 2 Airbus A350s,
  • 9 Airbus A380s,
  • 68 Boeing 777s, 
  • 9 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Air France’s Future Long-haul Fleet Plans Only 4 Families:

  • Airbus A330s,
  • Airbus A350s,
  • Boeing 787s,
  • Boeing 777s.

Air Canada A220-300 Takes Off
Air Canada A220-300 Takes Off

The A220, formerly Bombardier CS300, is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers significant fuel efficiency and wide body passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer 20% less fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. The A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. The A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100-to-150-seat aircraft market, is an ideal aircraft model to be part of Air France-KLM fleet renewal and consolidation plan initiated by the recently appointed CEO Benjamin Smith.

Air France is planning to use the 60 Airbus A220-300s to replace its fleet of single-aisle A318s and A319s.


“Rationalising and modernising the fleet is central to our effort to regain our leading position in Europe, It will strengthen our performance from both an economic and operational standpoint, and will help us deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda. Offering a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous-generation aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 is a jewel of European expertise and a passenger favorite. We are excited to see it become a core asset of the Air France fleet.”

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM Group

Air France A350-900 Wing
Air France A350-900 Wing

The A350-900 marks a new phase in Air France’s fleet modernisation strategy. Within 5 years, more than half of the company’s fleet will be made up of new-generation aircraft, Air France took delivery of their first Airbus A350 named Toulouse in September this year with a brand new business class product, the airline will be replacing their older Airbus A340s with the A350-900s and potentially Boeing 777-200ERs and Airbus A330s in the coming years.

A350-900 Air France
A350-900 Air France

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Airline Operation

British Airways & China Southern To Codeshare On 14 Routes

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British Airways A350 Wingtip

From the 2rd January 2020, British Airways(BA) and China Southern Airlines(CZ) will expanded their 10 codeshared routes since 2017 to 14; the new joint venture agreement was signed at Beijing Daxing International Airport today(17th December); the two airlines will start joint venture cooperation on 6 routes between China and the United Kingdom, and reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits will be updated to these routes as well.

Joint Venture Ceremony Beijing Daxing Airport
Joint Venture Ceremony Beijing Daxing Airport

British Airways was one of the very first foreign airlines to switch their entire operation in Beijing to the new Daxing International Airport, the airline is hoping to benefit from the new dual-hub model emphasised earlier by the former SkyTeam member – China Southern Airlines. China Southern Airlines will attach greater focus on their new hub at Beijing Daxing International Airport; the Guangzhou – Beijing dual-hub strategy was first initiated in 2018, with the airline’s aim to operate two extensive long-haul networks in both the north and south of China, with estimated 250+ aircrafts to be stationed at Beijing Daxing, 900+ flights daily to be operated by 2025.

China Southern will be steadily increase expand new routes from Daxing to Europe and the United States, and substantially increase the domestic network’s support for international routes and partners. Currently China Southern Airlines has attained approval from the CAAC on 6 international routes from Daxing, including one daily flight to London.


14 Codeshare Routes Between China and the UK:

As part of the joint venture cooperation, the two airlines will implement code-sharing cooperation on mutually operated routes, including the following:

  • Sino-British long-haul routes:
    • Guangzhou-London Heathrow, (CZ)
    • Wuhan-London Heathrow, (CZ)
    • Sanya-London Heathrow, (CZ)
    • Zhengzhou-London Heathrow,(CZ)
    • Beijing Daxing-London Heathrow(CZ) (2020)
    • London Heathrow-Shanghai Pudong, (BA)
    • London Heathrow- Beijing Daxing; (BA)
  • BA domestic codeshare routes:
    • London Heathrow-Edinburgh,
    • London Heathrow-Glasgow,
    • London Heathrow-Manchester,
    • London Heathrow-Newcastle,
    • London Heathrow-Belfast;
  • CZ domestic codeshare routes:
    • Shanghai Pudong-Shenyang,
    • Shanghai Pudong-Harbin,
    • Shanghai Pudong-Changchun;

*More route frequencies and the Chinese and British domestic routes connecting them will be expanded in the codesharing agreement.


“We are delighted to announce this joint business which will bring the UK and China closer together by providing British Airways and China Southern Airlines customers with a wide range of benefits. The agreement reinforces our commitment to boost tourism and business travel between the two countries and we look forward to strengthening the relationship further.”

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO

China-Southern-Airlines-Tail-B-1205
China Southern Airlines Tail B-1205

In the past two years, the business and tourism markets between China and the UK have to continued to enjoy rapid growth, 2,4 million passengers travelled between the two countries during the period from September 2018 to August 2019, a year-on-year growth of 18.2%. China Southern quickly opened new destinations to London Heathrow from Wuhan, Sanya and Zhengzhou during this period, so a joint venture with UK’s biggest airline has become extremely important. China Southern had started codeshare agreements with Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Finnair and Emirates earlier after its decision on leaving the SkyTeam alliance.

OneWorld is not the biggest airline alliance out there, and its representation in mainland China is close to non-existent, with China Southern establishes partnerships with so many OneWorld member airlines this quickly, one may start to think of their intention of becoming a OneWorld member, however, It is worth noting that while the cooperation between China Southern Airlines and OneWorld Airlines is getting much closer, Cathay Pacific and Star Alliance founding member – Lufthansa quietly started codesharing in several European and Australian routes, and China Eastern has also reached out to OneWorld’s Qantas. We can only expect that more and more cooperations between large airlines will break through the restrictions of the alliance in the future.

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