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Faʻatalanoaga: Totonu o le mafaufau o Finnair CEO

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Jonathan:

Okay. Moving on then, do you have any concerns that the effect of the pandemic on the hub model and the connecting model is going to be a negative one, in that people don’t necessarily want to take more than one flight, they want reduced amount of contact, they want reduced time in airports, all of that kind of thing. Is that a problem for you?

Topi:

We certainly believe in our hub model, and that is the very core of our strategy of connecting Europe and Asia. And our airport operator Finavia is currently doing a major in investment, more than 1-billion-euro investment to extend and renew the Helsinki Airport. It will be a brand-new airport and with great customer experience, connecting times as low as 40 minutes. So we think that this will be greatly supportive of our strategy. And also Helsinki is not the most congested hubs in Europe, and I think that that will be playing to the favor of the likes of Helsinki, because customers most likely also want to avoid the most crowded hops in terms of connecting going forward.

Jonathan:

That was certainly part of what I was getting at. And then again moving on, because we are running out of time, but the importance of partnerships and alliances, whether it’s oneworld or whether it’s bilateral alliances you have with individual airlines, are they becoming more important or less so, do you think?

Topi:

For us, they will be become more important. So we are a happy oneworld member, and as part of oneworld we are participating in two important joint businesses, Siberian joint business together with Japan airlines and BA and Iberia in the traffic between Europe and Japan, and there we are big. We were actually the biggest European airline in that traffic category before the pandemic. We’re also participating in the Atlantic joint business, but there we are smaller. As of now, we are in talks with Juneyao Airlines of a joint business. We have a letter of intent, and we hope to be moving forward with those talks and thereby improving our presence in China. Juneyao is a Shanghai based airline roughly the size of Finnair.

Jonathan:

You do look to be well positioned with joint business arrangements once the markets open up again. Okay, we’re coming to the close. I’m just going to finish off with one last question, which is what new opportunities has the crisis presented to Finnair?

Topi:

One is the one that I already covered, so we are restructuring the company, we are resetting our cost base. And that is certainly very important. Another is that we want to position ourselves as a modern premium airline, also very much focusing on the premium leisure segment. And then again, I mean, in the midst of the pandemic, in the midst of this radical uncertainty, the environment has basically forced us to be very agile and collaborating seamlessly across units, across teams in the organization. And therefore we are becoming more agile, we are becoming more nimble, and I would say that culturally, after the pandemic, we are stronger, and we are stronger in spirit.

Jonathan:

Okay. Thank you very much. I wish we had more time. There’s so many things to talk about, and Finnair is certainly an airline that projects a global footprint that’s much bigger than the population of the country in which it’s based, and that speaks to a successful management in the past and ongoing in the future, I hope. Thank you very much, Topi, for joining us, and thank you everybody for watching. Bye-bye.

Topi:

Faafetai, Jonathan.

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Linda Hohnholz, eTN faatonu

O Linda Hohnholz na tusia ma toe faʻaleleia tusitusiga talu mai le amataga o lona galue galue. Na ia faʻaaogaina lenei lagona loloto i nofoaga pei o Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, le Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, ma ua taʻua nei TravelNewsGroup.