Finnair McDonnell Douglas MD-11
Finnair is Finland's biggest airline and the national flag carrier. It operates from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and dominates both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. Finnair is a member of the oneworld airline alliance. The Finnish state owns a 60% share, and 20% is foreign-owned. Finnair's stock is listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Finnair is one of Europe's leading airlines, transporting 8.1 million passengers in 2004. Finnair's route network covers 16 domestic and about 50 international destinations.
- IATA Code: AY
- ICAO Code: FIN
- Callsign: Finnair
Finnair started as Aero O/Y - from an Estonian company Aeronaut. The charter establishing the company was signed in Helsinki on 1923-09-12 and the company was entered into the trade register in 1923-12-11 . The first flight was flown on 1924-03-20 from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia with Junkers F13 aircraft.
World War II was difficult for the airline because Helsinki and other Finnish cities became air raid targets. The company saw half of its fleet taken over by the Finnish Air Force during that time, and it is estimated that during the Winter War of 1939 and 1940, half of the airline's passengers were children being evacuated to Sweden.
On 1940-06-14 , Aero Junkers Ju52-3/mge aircraft "Kaleva" (reg. OH-ALL) flying from Tallinn to Helsinki was shot down by two Soviet bombers over the Gulf of Finland. At the time, Finland was not at war with Soviet Union nor any other country.
In 1953, the name Finnair was adopted in company's marketing strategy. Finnair Oy became company's official name in 1968.
In 1961, Finnair joined the jet age by adding a Caravelle to its fleet. In 1969, it took possession of its first American jet, a Douglas DC-8.
In the beginning of 1960s, Finnair experienced the company's only fatal accidents after World War II:
- On 1961-01-03 , drunken pilots crashed a DC-3 (OH-LCC) in Koivulahti, Finland
- On 1963-11-08 , a malfunctioning altimeter caused another DC-3 (OH-LCA) to crash near Mariehamn, Åland Islands, during low visibility conditions.
In 1975, Finnair received its first wide-bodied aircraft as McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 entered into service.
In 1983, Finnair became the first airline in the world to fly non-stop from Western Europe to Japan as it started its Helsinki-Tokyo flights with DC-10-30ER aircraft.
In 1988, Finnair launched its Helsinki-Beijing route, making Finnair the first Western European carrier to fly non-stop between Europe and China.
On 1997-09-25 Finnair Oyj (Finnair Plc) became company's official name.
In 1999, Finnair joined the oneworld alliance. The battle lines were now drawn as Finnair's Scandinavian arch rival, Scandinavian Airlines System, had been a founding member of the rival Star Alliance in 1997.
In 2001, Finnair recycled the Aero name again by founding Aero Airlines, a start-up airline located in Tallinn, Estonia.
On 2004-06-30 Finnair announced an order of 12 Embraer 170 aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered between September 2005 and May 2007 and they will eventually replace the MD-82/83 fleet and ATR 72 aircraft.
See Finnair destinations.
The Finnair fleet consists of the following aircraft (at April 2005):
See also: List of Finnish companies