Flybe and Finnair have announced plans to launch a joint venture airline serving Nordic and Baltic countries, with Flybe carrying out day-today operations of the carrier.
Flybe announced plans to partner with Finnair last summer (see online news August 5, 2010), but it has taken till now for full details of the agreement to emerge.
The two carriers intend to buy regional carrier Finnish Commuter Airlines, with Flybe taking a 60 per cent stake and Finnair 40 per cent.
Under the joint venture the carriers plan to expand into Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia, using a mixture of Flybe’s low-cost concept and Finnair’s “local expertise”, and its connections to Europe and Asia.
Day-today operations will be run by Flybe, with route details to be announced in mid-August, and flights to commence on October 30, subject to the acquisition of Finnish Commuter Airlines receiving competition clearance.
The Finnish regional carrier currently serves domestic routes from its base at Helsinki Vantaa airport, as well as destinations in Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Its fleet includes ATR and Embraer aircraft.
Flybe had not officially announced a name for the joint venture, although according to a report by Reuters the airline will be known as Flybe Nordic.
Report by Mark Caswell