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Finnair becomes the first European airline to receive the Airbus A350-900

Finnair (Helsinki) today took delivery of its first new Airbus A350-941 OH-LWA (msn 018) as planned, becoming the first European airline to take delivery of the new type. The airline issued this statement:

Finnair logo

The first of Finnair’s next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft has been unveiled today at a special delivery ceremony at the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse, France.

Finnair is the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350 XWB.

“This moment heralds a new and exciting chapter in Finnair’s 92 year history. The A350 is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” said Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.

“This is also a proud moment for all Finnair employees who have worked relentlessly on the Finnair A350 programme. From route planning to pilots and cabin crew, from technical services to marketing, this is the moment we have worked for. With the A350, we get the fleet that our strategy requires, and we can start building our growth,” Vauramo continued.

“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.‎”

 

Finnair A350-900 Cabin 1 (Finnair)(LR)

Finnair A350-900 Cabin 2 (Finnair)(LR)

Above Photos: Finnair and Airbus.

Finnair intends to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and the A350 fleet investment is the backbone of this strategy. The company has ordered a total of 19 A350’s, making it the biggest investment in Finnair’s history. The first four aircraft are expected to arrive in the fleet in 2015, with another seven being delivered in 2016 and 2017. The complete order will be fulfilled by 2023.

The new A350 aircraft also plays a key role in Finnair’s cargo strategy, providing up to 50% more cargo capacity by 2020.

The A350’s first scheduled commercial flight, from Helsinki to Amsterdam and Oslo will be on October 9, 2015 as part of its crew familiarisation tour. The first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on November 21, 2015 on Finnair’s Helsinki-Shanghai route.

In other news, Finnair continues to expand its Asian traffic, opening two Asian destinations, Fukuoka in Japan and Guangzhou in China for the summer season 2016.

Finnair will open a direct route to Fukuoka in southern Japan in spring 2016, with three weekly frequencies. The service to Fukuoka makes Finnair the only European airline to operate to four different cities in Japan – Finnair currently offers daily connections to Tokyo Narita, Nagoya and Osaka.

Finnair will also open a direct route to China, and will fly direct from its Helsinki hub to Guangzhou in China with four weekly frequencies between May 6 and October 29, 2016.

Guangzhou is Finnair’s sixth destination in Greater China. Finnair has year-round services to Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and a summer service to Xi’an.

Both destinations will be served with Finnair’s Airbus A330 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Finnair expects to gain €70 million with the replacement of the Airbus A340-300s with new A350-900s

Finnair (Helsinki) has issued this financial fleet guidance as it prepares to accept its first Airbus A350-900:

Finnair logo

Finnair, which is the European launch customer for the Airbus A350-900 XWB, is preparing to receive its first A350 delivery from Airbus in early October.

As Finnair announced in December 2013, it has made sale and leaseback agreements for its two first A350 aircraft with GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services). These agreements will be concluded in connection with the delivery of the respective aircraft, and the value of the transaction is approximately EUR 260 million.

It has also been stated previously that non-recurring items associated with the long haul fleet renewal in 2015 will have a substantial positive impact on Finnair’s operating result due to the strengthened US Dollar. This separate guidance covered the sale and leaseback agreements for Finnair’s first two A350s, constituting a significant positive impact, as well as the phase out of all Finnair’s remaining A340-300s, which will involve non-recurring costs primarily materialising in 2015. The remainder of these costs, presently estimated at below EUR 10 million, will be booked in 2016.

Calculated at present exchange rates, the positive net impact of these arrangements on Finnair’s operating profit in H2/2015 is expected to amount to approximately EUR 70 million.

Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new A350-900 XWB aircraft, and under the target delivery schedule it will receive four aircraft in the second half of 2015, seven in 2016–2017 and eight in 2018–2023.

Finnair will dispose of the seven A340-300 aircraft it currently operates by the end of 2017, replacing them as the A350s are delivered and enter into service on Finnair’s scheduled traffic routes.

Airbus has agreed to acquire four A340-300 aircraft currently owned by Finnair in 2016 and 2017.

Since the arrangements relating to both sale and leaseback of the A350s and the sale of A340-300s are denominated in US Dollars, the final financial impact depends on the EUR/USD exchange rate prevailing at the time of delivery of the respective aircraft.

Disclosures on financing arrangements for the A350 aircraft other than the first two to be delivered will be made as those agreements are finalized. Finnair’s fleet consists of both owned and leased aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Finnair Airbus A350-941 is the pictured F-WZFM (msn 018) on a test flight at Toulouse. It will become OH-LWA when it is handed over on October 7, 2015.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. The last aging Airbus A340-300 will be retired at the end of 2017. Airbus A340-313 OH-LQB (msn 835) taxies at Brussels.

Airline Aircraft Type “Endangered Species List” (aircraft types soon to be retired) (click on the photo below for the full list):

Endangered Species List Mosaic 9.22.15

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Finnair to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 on October 7, will fly to Shanghai starting on November 21

Finnair A350-900 F-WZFM (OH-LWA)(10)(Ldg) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Finnair (Helsinki) will welcome its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft from Airbus in a delivery ceremony to be arranged on October 7, 2015. Finnair has 19 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft on order, to be received in 2015-2023.

Finnair’s first Airbus A350-900 enters into long-haul service on November 21, 2015 when the aircraft flies from Helsinki to Shanghai. The next A350 long haul destinations include Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore as previously announced. Finnair will also take the aircraft to New York later this year, becoming the first airline in the world to fly to the US with this new aircraft type.

For the first few weeks, the new aircraft will serve crew familiarization flights in Europe, with the first commercial flights taking place on October 9 to Amsterdam and Oslo.

The company continued;

Finnair logo

Finnair has slightly adjusted its Airbus A350 long-haul launch schedule, due to changes in the expected delivery schedules of the company’s first A350 aircraft, the needs of the crew familiarization program, and other operational factors. The company wants to offer the best possible customer experience for its customers, and has therefore adopted a slightly more conservative launch schedule than previously indicated.

”Introducing 19 new aircraft into our fleet over a period of eight years is a major program for Finnair. We have built the necessary flexibility into our preparedness plans and our A340 exit plan to adjust to any changes that may arise over the course of this massive program, ensuring a smooth introduction of the new aircraft into our fleet,” says Ville Iho.

Photo: F. Lancelot/Airbus. Airbus A350-941 F-WZFM (msn 018) arrives back at Toulouse on September 16 after its first flight. The new type will become OH-LWA on the handover.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Finnair prepares for its first Airbus A350-900 delivery

Finnair (Helsinki) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900. Yesterday (September 16) Airbus took the pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WZFM (msn 018) for its first flight from and back to Toulouse, France. Finnair has 19 copies on order which will replace the aging A340-300s and allow for expansion. Finnair expects to receive the first four copies by the end of this year. Another seven will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, with the remaining eight to be delivered between 2018 and 2023. Finnair plans to phase out its A340 aircraft by the end of 2017, leaving the entire widebody fleet comprised of only Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft.

Finnair made this short statement and issued this Airbus photo (below) on social media:

Finnair logo

Airbus took our ‪#‎A350Finnair‬ for her very first flight yesterday in France! She took off shortly after 1 PM (CET) and landed in Toulouse after a 6 hour flight.

Photo Below. Airbus. F-WZFM departs from Toulouse on the first flight.

Finnair A350-900 F-WZFM (OH-LWA)(10)(Tko) TLS (Airbus)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. The first A350 arrives back at TLS after the successful first flight.

Finnair plans to introduce the new type on October 5 on a domestic flights from Helsinki to Rovaniemi and Oulu.

As we previously reported, Finnair is operating a series introductory flights in Europe during October.

CLICK HERE for the full list of Airbus A350 flights.

Below images: Finnair. Business class and economy class on the new A350-900.

Finnair A350-900 business class (Finnair)(LR)

Finnair A350-900 business class-1 (Finnair)(LR)

Finnair A350-900 economy class (Finnair)(LR)

In other news, Finnair also gave an update on the possible cancellations for tomorrow:

Due to the nationwide demonstration by Finnish labor unions on Friday September 18, Finnair will have to cancel 1 domestic flight on Thursday and 15 domestic flights on Friday. We intend to fly all our other flights on Friday, but considerable delays can be expected due to the limited operational capability of the airport.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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