Finnair to relaunch Scotland services?

22 Dec 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Finnair is closely evaluating the idea of relaunching flights from Edinburgh to Helsinki, Business Traveller's sister website ABTN can reveal.

If the route is launched, traffic between Helsinki and Edinburgh is unlikely to be be the first priority, as Finnair has made increasing use of Helsinki as a hub airport for onward connections to Asian destinations.

Edinburgh is the financial capital of Scotland, which means any link between Asian financial hubs such as Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing would be a good thing.

Jarko Konttinen, Finnair’s VP global brand and marketing communications, said the airline used to serve Edinburgh from Helsinki, and is currently looking at expansion in the UK.

“We are serving London with four daily flights and Manchester with two flights – so far so good,” said Konttinen.

“But, if there is a business opportunity to add, for example, a destination in the UK, of course we are looking into that as well.”

When asked if Edinburgh could be a possibility, he said there “might be an opportunity”.

ABTN spoke exclusively to the Finnish carrier, after it launched a new look for its planes and staff.

The Finnair logo is now in a new font, and looks cleaner and bolder than its predecessor – on the aircraft, a larger size makes it even more visible. Konttinen said this “reflects the challenger attitude that we are facing in the competition”.

All the airline’s wide-body aircraft (A340s and A330s, of which it has a total of 12) will be given the new livery next year, although the rest of the fleet upgrade will not be complete until 2013. New staff uniforms will also be rolled out in 2011.

With its new look complete, the airline is now evaluating its onboard service offering, and plans to launch a “service identity renewal” in January.

While details are yet to be confirmed, Kontinnen said Finnair hopes to take advantage of its size: “We consider ourselves a very small airline capable of doing things in a more individual way... Our aim is to provide quality-oriented individual services.”

Helsinki airport’s relatively small size as a hub airport also represents an opportunity, said Kontinnen: “There are more and more people travelling. All the key transit airports are providing many services and they are getting overcrowded.

“We see for Finnair that it’s an opportunity to provide individual services. We are small enough to do it. This means in service style that it’s the small things that exceed the customer expectations – we can really make customers feel they are something special when they are flying with Finnair.”

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Report by Sara Turner

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