Finnair to cut costs, reduce fleet to return profitable

·1-min read

(Corrects to read Wednesday (not Monday), paragraph 1)

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnair will reduce its fleet, cut costs and seek to build a geographically more balanced network, the Finnish national carrier said on Wednesday in a new strategy to solve its profitability problems.

Finnair has been working on a new strategy and seeking new commercially feasible routes since the closure of Russian airspace due to the war in Ukraine cut off its previously lucrative Asian connections via a northern route.

The company, headed for a third straight annual loss, had said it needed a new strategy to address high fuel prices, the pandemic and the impact of war in Ukraine.

Finnair said it would seek to reduce its unit costs by approximately 15% from 2019 levels, while also reducing its fleet.

Finnair said it aims to build a more balanced network connecting Europe to Asia, India and the Middle East, and North America via its home hub Helsinki, partially by leveraging its partnerships via the oneworld airline alliance.

"The changes in our operating environment require a new strategy and significant renewal of Finnair, especially related to costs," CEO Topi Manner said in a statement.

At the end of August, Finnair said it would establish "a long-term strategic cooperation" with Qatar Airways to open new routes from Nordic capitals to the Qatari capital Doha. [L1N3050KN]

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, editing by Terje Solsvik and Jason Neely)