Expert: Finnair will have to reconsider its Asian strategy

Antti Viljakainen, chief analyst at investment firm Inderes, said Finnair will have to rethink its strategy for the Asian market if the overflight ban on Russia becomes prolonged.

“The overflight ban threatens Finnair’s entire Asian strategy. From this point of view, the company will have to rethink its business strategy in the near future, says Viljakainen.

At the end of February, Russia restricted (siirryt toiseen palveluun) flights over its territory for European air carriers as a response. Prior to this, many European countries closed their airspace to aircraft from the Russian Federation due to the war in Ukraine.

The airline recently completed negotiations with staff, which are caused by the inability to maintain Asian flights in full. From April, it is planned to send 75-155 pilots and 110-360 flight attendants on unpaid leave. The ultimate need for cuts will depend on how long the current situation lasts and how profitable flights around Russia are.

Viljakainen recalls that over the past two years, the cost of cargo transportation has tripled, which could make it cost-effective to bypass Russian airspace. In the long term, however, transportation prices cannot be expected to remain at a high level, the expert says.