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IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1 November 1923 (as Aero O/Y)[1]
Hubs Helsinki Airport
Frequent-flyer program Finnair Plus
Airport lounge Finnair Lounge
Alliance oneworld
Fleet size 72 (incl. Nordic Regional Airlines) [2]
Destinations 88
Company slogan Designed for you
Parent company Finnair Group[3]
Headquarters Vantaa, Finland[4]
Key people Pekka Vauramo, President & CEO[5]
Employees 5,473 (March 2014)[6]

Finnair (Finnish: Finnair Oyj, Swedish: Finnair Abp)[7] is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters in Vantaa and its main hub at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both domestic and international air travel in Finland. Its major shareholder is the government of Finland, with 55.8%[8] of the shares. Finnair is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance. In 2013, it transported 9.2 million passengers to over 60 European and 13 Asian destinations.[9] As of March 2014, the airline employed 5,473 people.[10]

Finnair is the fifth oldest airline in the world with uninterrupted existence. With no fatal or hull-loss accidents since 1963, Finnair is consistently on the list of safest airlines in the world (#3 in 2014).[11]


  • History 1
    • Founding 1.1
    • World War II 1.2
    • Immediate postwar period 1.3
    • Jet Age (1970s) 1.4
    • Expansion (1980s) 1.5
    • Operations on subsidiary airlines (1990s–2000s) 1.6
    • Labour disputes and restructuring (2006–present) 1.7
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Head office 2.1
    • Ownership 2.2
    • Subsidiaries and associates 2.3
    • Business trends 2.4
    • Corporate design 2.5
      • Livery 2.5.1
      • Uniform of Finnair flight attendants 2.5.2
  • Destinations 3
    • Codeshare agreements 3.1
  • Fleet 4
    • Current fleet 4.1
    • Special Liveries 4.2
    • Previously operated 4.3
  • Services 5
    • Finnair Plus 5.1
    • Finnair lounges 5.2
    • Economy Comfort 5.3
    • Meals and drinks 5.4
    • In-flight entertainment 5.5
    • In-flight magazine 5.6
  • Incidents and accidents 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8



Finnish Airlines Douglas DC-3 from the late 1940s, restored to original livery at Oulu, (2014)
Finnair Convair 440 in 1963
Finnair McDonnell Douglas MD-87 in 1991
Finnair Airbus A300 in 1995

In 1923, consul Bruno Lucander founded Finnair as Aero O/Y (Aero Ltd). The company code, "AY", originates from this; AY stands for Aero Yhtiö which means "company" in Finnish. Lucander had previously run the Finnish operations of the Estonian airline Aeronaut. In mid-1923 he concluded an agreement with Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG to provide aircraft and technical support in exchange for a 50% ownership in the new airline. The charter establishing the company was signed in Helsinki on 12 September 1923, and the company was entered into the trade register on 11 December 1923. The first flight was on 20 March 1924 from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia on a Junkers F.13 aircraft equipped with floats. The seaplane service ended in December 1936 following the construction of the first aerodromes in Finland.

World War II

Air raids on Helsinki and other Finnish cities made World War II a difficult period for the airline. Half the fleet was requisitioned by the Finnish Air Force and it is estimated that, during the Winter War of 1939 and 1940, half of the airline's passengers were children being evacuated to Sweden.

Immediate postwar period

The Finnish government acquired a majority stake in the company in 1946 and re-established services to Europe in November 1947, initially using the Douglas DC-3. In 1953, the airline began branding itself as Finnair. The Convair 440 twin-engined pressurised airliner was acquired from January 1953 and these faster aircraft were operated on the company's longer routes as far as London.

Jet Age (1970s)

In 1961, Finnair joined the jet age by adding Rolls-Royce Avon-engined Caravelles to its fleet. These were later exchanged with the manufacturer for Pratt & Whitney JT8D-engined Super Caravelles. In 1962, Finnair acquired a 27% controlling interest in a private Finnish airline, Kar-Air. Finnair Oy became the company's official name on 25 June 1968. In 1969, it took possession of its first U.S. made jet, a Douglas DC-8. The first transatlantic service to New York was inaugurated on 15 May 1969. In the 1960s Finnair's head office was in Helsinki.[12]

Finnair received its first widebody aircraft in 1975, two DC-10-30 planes. The first of these arrived on 4 February 1975 and entered service on 14 February 1975, flying between Helsinki and Las Palmas.

In 1979, Finnair established a subsidiary company Finnaviation for domestic operations, with a 60% stake.[13]

Expansion (1980s)

In 1983, Finnair became the first operator to fly non-stop from Western Europe to Japan operating Helsinki-Tokyo flights with one McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ER. Until then, flights had to go via Moscow (Aeroflot, SAS, BA) or Anchorage (most carriers)[14] due to Soviet airspace restrictions, but Finnair circumvented these by flying directly north from Helsinki, over the North Pole and back south through the Bering Strait, avoiding the Soviet airspace.[15] The aircraft was fitted with extra fuel tanks, taking 13 hours for the trip.[16] The routes through Soviet airspace and with a stopover in Moscow also took 13 hours, but flights with a stopover at Anchorage took up to 16 hours, giving Finnair a competitive edge. In the spring of 1986, Soviet regulators finally cleared the way for Air France and Japan Airlines to fly nonstop Paris-Tokyo services over Soviet airspace, putting Finnair at a disadvantage.[17]

Finnair launched a Helsinki-Beijing route in 1988, making Finnair the first Western European carrier to fly non-stop between Europe and China. In 1989, Finnair became the launch customer for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, the first of which was delivered on 7 December 1990. The first revenue service with the MD-11 took place on 20 December 1990, with OH-LGA operating a flight from Helsinki to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Operations on subsidiary airlines (1990s–2000s)

In 1997, the subsidiaries Kar-Air and Finnaviation became wholly owned by Finnair, and were integrated into the mainline operations. On 25 September 1997, the company's official name was changed to Finnair Oyj.

In 1999, Finnair joined the Oneworld airline alliance. In 2001, Finnair reused the name "Aero" when establishing Aero Airlines, a subsidiary airline based in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2003, Finnair acquired ownership of the Swedish low-cost airline, FlyNordic, which operated mainly within Scandinavia. In 2007, Finnair sold all its shares in FlyNordic to Norwegian Air Shuttle. As part of the transaction, Finnair acquired 4.8% of the latter company, becoming its third largest shareholder. Finnair later sold their shares in 2013.[18]

On 8 March 2007, Finnair became the first airline to order the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, placing an order for 11 Airbus A350 XWB (plus 8 options), with delivery to start in 2015.[19]

Labour disputes and restructuring (2006–present)

Finnair has suffered from many labour disputes in this period, resulting from cost-cutting measures prompted by competition from budget airlines.[20][21][22][23][24]

On 1 December 2011, Finnair transferred its baggage and apron services to Swissport International as per a five-year agreement signed on 7 November 2011. Mr Mika Vehviläinen, then CEO of Finnair, said: “Our aim is to further improve the quality, speed and cost effectiveness of our baggage handling and apron services. Swissport is a global player with extensive experience in ground services in international airports, and their competencies and processes are world-class.” [25]

On 13 August 2014, Finnair announced plans to initially deploy its A350-900 aircraft on services to Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai from 2015, with A350 services to Hong Kong and Singapore to be added in 2016. New York will be added to the Finnair's A350 network as well.[26] On 3 December 2014, it was announced that Finnair had firmed up the contract for 8 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft deliveries starting in 2018.[19] Finnair will be the first European operator of the Airbus A350.

Corporate affairs

Head office

Finnair head office, House of Travel and Transportation

In 2013, Finnair opened its new head office, known as House of Travel and Transportation (or "HOTT"), on what used to be a car park right next to its previous head office located in Tietotie 11, in the grounds of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The construction of HOTT began in July 2011 and finished on time in June 2013. The previous head office had been in use since 1994, then replacing a head office located in Helsinki city centre.[27][28]

The new mixed-use head office has a total floor space of 70,000 square metres (750,000 sq ft) and 22,400 square metres (241,000 sq ft) of office space.[29]


The State of Finland is the controlling shareholder (55.8%).[8][30] Finnair's stock is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. As of early 2012, the Finnish government was considering decreasing its share of Finnair ownership below 50%.[31]

Subsidiaries and associates

Finnair Cargo building

Two subsidiary companies, Finnair Cargo Oy and Finnair Cargo Terminal Operations Oy, form Finnair's cargo business.[32] The offices of both companies are at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.[33][34]

Business trends

The key trends for Finnair over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Turnover (€ m) 1,558 1,683 1,871 1,990 2,181 2,256 1,838 2,023 2,257 2,449 2,400 2,284
Profits (EBT) (€ m) −22 31 88 −15 139 −62 −125 −33 −111.5 16.5 11.9 −36.5
Number of employees (average) 9,981 9,522 9,447 9,598 9,480 9,595 8,797 7,578 7,467 6,784 5,859 4,981
Number of passengers (m) 6.8 8.1 8.5 8.8 8.7 8.3 7.4 7.1 8.0 8.8 9.2 9.6
Passenger load factor (%) 69.6 71.2 72.6 75.2 75.5 75.2 75.9 76.5 73.3 77.6 79.5 80.2
Number of aircraft (at year end) 59 69 69 72 62 65 68 63 65 60 70 67
Notes/sources [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]

Corporate design


Finnair in retro livery

The company revealed a new livery in December 2010. Major changes include a restyled and larger lettering on the body, repainting of the engines in white, and a reversal of the color scheme for the tail fin favoring a white background with a blue stylized logo. The outline of the globe was also removed from the tail fin.[47]

Uniform of Finnair flight attendants

Finnair's previous cabin crew uniform was ranked as the fifth most stylish uniform by the French Bon Voyage magazine.[48] The current uniform was designed by Ritva-Liisa Pohjalainen and launched in December 2011. Finnair has codes to indicate the rank of crew member: one stripe in the sleeve for normal cabin attendant, two stripes for senior cabin crew (only for outsourced crew) acting as a purser in Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain flight, three stripes a purser. Additionally, female pursers have a white vertical stripe on their dresses or blouses. Finnair requires its cabin crew to wear gloves during take off and landing for safety reasons


From its Helsinki-Vantaa base Finnair flies to Asia, North America and an extensive regional network in Europe. The domestic and intra-European flights are partly carried out in cooperation with Nordic Regional Airlines, operating an ATR/Embraer fleet.

Codeshare agreements

Finnair has codeshare agreements with Oneworld members: (as of July 2015):[49]

In addition to Oneworld members, Finnair also has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:


Current fleet

Finnair Airbus A320-200
Finnair Airbus A330-300
A Finnair Airbus A350-900, Finnair was the third airline to operate the aircraft.

As of October 2015, the Finnair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[53][54][55]

Finnair Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
Airbus A319-100 9 0 0 138 138
Airbus A320-200 10 0 0 168 168
Airbus A321-200 6 0 0 196 196
5 0 0 209 209
Airbus A330-300 5 45 40 178 263[56]
3 32 40 213 285[57]
Airbus A340-300 1 42 36 185 263 To be replaced with Airbus A350-900s by 2017.[58][59][60][61]
4 45 40 170 255
2 42 39 192 273
Airbus A350-900 1 18 46 43 208 297 First European operator of the A350,[62] [63]
replacing Airbus A340-300s[64][65]
ATR 72-500 12 0 0 68-72 68-72 All leased to Nordic Regional Airlines[66]
Embraer E-170 2 0 0 76 76 Operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
Embraer E-190 12 0 0 100 100 Operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
Total 72 18

Special Liveries

Registration Livery Aircraft Source
OH-LVD Oneworld livery Airbus A319-100 [67]
OH-LTO Marimekko 50th Anniversary "Unikko" Livery Airbus A330-300 [68]
OH-LQD Marimekko "Unikko" livery Airbus A340-300 [69]
OH-LQE Oneworld livery [70]
OH-LWB Oneworld livery Airbus A350-900 [71]
OH-LKN Oneworld livery Embraer 190 [72]

Finnair's current special liveries are Marimekko "Unikko", Marimekko-50th Anniversary "Unikko" and Oneworld-liveries. Finnair has also used special liveries, including the "Moomins", "Santa Claus", 1950s retro livery and Angry Birds.

Previously operated

Finnair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 decorated with Moomin characters

Finnair has previously operated the following equipment:[73]

Aircraft Year introduced Year retired Notes
Airbus A300B4-200FF 1986 2004 with a 2-crew cockpit
Boeing 757-200 1997 2014
Convair CV-440 Metropolitan 1953 1980
de Havilland Dragon Rapide 1937 1947
Douglas DC-2 1941 1948
Douglas DC-3 1947 1969
Douglas DC-8-62CF 1969 1981
Douglas DC-8-62 1975 1985
Douglas DC-9-14 / -15F / -15MC / -15RC / -41 / -51 1971 2003
Embraer E-170 2005 2012
Fokker F27 1980 1987
Junkers F.13 1924 1935
Junkers G.24 1926 1935
Junkers Ju 52/3m 1932 1949
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 / -30ER 1975 1996
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1990 2009 Launch Customer,
Cargo version operated 2010–2011
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 / -83 / -87 1983 2006
Sud Aviation Caravelle 1A 1960 1961
Sud Aviation Caravelle III 1961 1964
Sud Aviation Caravelle 10B (Super Caravelle) 1964 1983


Economy Class abord a Finnair Airbus A350

Finnair Plus

Finnair Plus is Finnair's frequent-flyer programme. Passengers are awarded points based on the type and class of flight flown. Once enough miles are banked into the passenger's account, a membership tier (Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum) is awarded. There is a Junior tier exclusively for minors. Silver, Gold, and Platinum members have privileges such as premium check-in desks and priority boarding.

Finnair offers frequent-flyer partnerships with Nordic Regional Airlines (not for the domestic flight and only for the 2000 flight number series) in addition to those in the Oneworld alliance:

In addition to earning points on flights with Finnair and its partner airlines, Finnair Plus members can earn points through various hotel and car rental partners in Finland and around the world along with other service partners.

Finnair lounges

Finnair operates two own lounges at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The remaining international destinations are served with contract lounges.

Economy Comfort

Economy Comfort is Finnair's new premium economy product debuting on long haul aircraft December 2014. It will not be a separate class but more of an upgraded economy product, much like Delta's Economy Comfort class. Economy Comfort seats will be located in the first 5 rows of economy providing 34-36" of pitch(3-5" more pitch than standard economy seats) and a comfier headrest, plus noise canceling headphones and a comfort kit. Seats will be free to Finnair Plus and oneworld elites and passengers with a full fare coach ticket, and available to all other customers for a fee.

Meals and drinks

On most European flights, a cold salad or sandwich is served, together with non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages and additional food items are available for purchase. Domestic flights as well as shorter European flights have snacks for sale and free non-alcoholic beverages. Business class offers warm meals and free beverages, including alcohol. On most Intercontinental flights there is a choice of meals in economy class. In inter-continental business class on most Airbus aircraft (excluding those with fully lie-flat seats), there is a dedicated snack bar.[74] As of November 2014 the complementary salad or sandwich is discontinued and beverages have been limited to coffee, tea, water, milk and blueberry juice on European flights.[75]

In-flight entertainment

All Finnair aircraft have LCD video monitors or personal entertainment systems except the Embraer 170s and 190s. Airbus A320 series aircraft have monitors showing exterior shots, moving-map systems and mute television programs. Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 aircraft have an AVOD personal entertainment system on all seats with about 72 movies, 150 TV shows, 200 music albums, 24 radio channels and 15 games.[76] In Airbus A321 Sharklet leisure flights, the cabin crew lends out Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets for €10.[74][77]

In-flight magazine

Finnair's English-language in-flight magazine, Blue Wings, is published 10 times per year by the Finnish media group Sanoma. The first edition of Blue Wings magazine was published in 1980. There are domestic and international newspapers on all flights and magazines on long-haul flights in business class.

Incidents and accidents

The company's only fatal accidents to date are the two DC-3 accidents in 1961 and 1963.


  1. ^ oup_14_1.html Finnair. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Finnair
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Articles of Association." Finnair. Retrieved on 18 February 2011. "Section 1 The name of the Company is Finnair Oyj, and its domicile is Helsinki. The name of the Company in Swedish is Finnair Abp and in English Finnair PIc."
  8. ^ a b Major Shareholders Retrieved on 21 August 2013.
  9. ^ Annual report 2013 Retrieved on 4 July 2014.
  10. ^ Finnair in Brief Retrieved on 4 July 2014.
  11. ^ JACDEC SAFETY RANKING 2014 retrieved 1 April 2015
  12. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 2 April 1964. 511.
  13. ^ Finnair. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  14. ^ Flying over not so friendly Countries [Archive] - PPRuNe Forums. (1967-11-04). Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  15. ^ 1986 | 2900 | Flight Archive. (1986-10-25). Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  16. ^ boeing | caravelle | 1983 | 0592 | Flight Archive. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  17. ^ 1986 | 0806 | Flight Archive. (1986-04-05). Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
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  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ url=
  27. ^ "1994." Finnair Group. Retrieved on 14 February 2010. "Finnair's head office moved from the centre of Helsinki to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The official 'house-warming' at Tietotie 11 was held on 11th January."
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Finnish pension fund to develop Finnair headquarters." Property Investor Europe. 6 July 2011. Retrieved on 13 September 2011.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Company Info." Finnair Cargo. Retrieved on 13 September 2011.
  33. ^ "Contact Info." Finnair Cargo. Retrieved on 13 September 2011. "ADDRESS Finnair Cargo Oy Rahtitie 1, 01530 Vantaa"
  34. ^ "Head Office." Finnair Cargo. Retrieved on 13 September 2011. "HEAD OFFICE CONTACTS Finnair Cargo / Finnair Cargo Terminal Operations head office: Finnair Cargo Oy / Finnair Cargo Terminal Operations Oy Rahtitie 1 FIN-01530 Vantaa FINLAND"
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  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
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  47. ^ [1] Archived April 3, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^ (Finnish) Miehistö. Finnair. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  49. ^
  50. ^
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  52. ^
  53. ^ Finnair official fleet page
  54. ^
  55. ^ Finnair fleet at
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
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  74. ^ a b Finnair : Travel
  75. ^ []
  76. ^
  77. ^

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
  • Finnair Group official website
  • Route Map
  • Finnair Facebook page
  • Finnair YouTube Channel
  • History of Oy Aero Ab
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