Finnair has continued with plans to expand its long-haul fleet, by firming up an order with Airbus for eight new A350 aircraft.
The aircraft were previously options as part of the airline’s initial A350 order, which was placed in 2006. The eight additional twin-aisle jets, which are worth EUR1.9 billion (US$2.4bn) at current list prices, will be delivered to Finnair starting in 2018. Finnair now has outstanding orders for a total of A350s. These will replace the airline’s existing fleet of A340s.
Overall, Finnair’s long-haul fleet is expected to see net growth of one new aircraft per year between 2016 and 2020. The first four A350s will be delivered in the second half of 2015, followed by a further seven in 2016 and 2017, and eight between 2018 and 2023. Finnair plans to completely phase out its A340 aircraft by the end of 2017.
“Our strategy centres on growth, taking advantage of the unique geographical location of our Helsinki Hub, which offers the fastest connections between Europe and Asia,” said Pekka Vauramo, Finnair’s CEO.
“Firming up the order for additional eight Airbus A350 XWB aircraft demonstrates our commitment to growth and to operating a world class Airbus fleet. Together with Airbus and our other partners we are preparing to make the A350 entry into service a success.”
Finnair’s A350s are expected to be configured with a total of 297 seats in three cabins – 46 in business class, 43 in premium economy and 208 in economy.