Helsinki airport and Finnair were honored to have the opportunity to take a peek at the world’s newest passenger jet, Airbus A350XWB, on 12–13 August. The Helsinki visit was part of the aircraft’s world tour, the mission of which was to undertake final tests to make sure the aircraft gets certified, while allowing future customers to see what is in store for them. The extra-wide-bodied aircraft takes passenger comfort to a whole new level. It should be a treat.
Finnair will be the first European airline to add the new A350 aircraft to its fleet. There are a total of eleven aircraft on firm order and an additional eight as future options. The first three aircraft will arrive between October and December 2015. The initial routes will be Shanghai, Bangkok and Beijing.
With these additions, we will gain considerable savings in operational costs along with the aircraft’s reduced impact on the environment. When it comes to cargo, Finnair will be able to offer an additional 16–20 percent cargo capacity per route – this means a 50 percent capacity increase by 2020. All this translates to considerable growth for our airline while proving Finnair's commitment to the cargo business.
Finnair Cargo already accounts for 22 percent of Finnair's route revenues in China. With our new fleet members, we will grow further not only in China, but also elsewhere in Northeast Asia and North America.
I dare call these our new mini-freighters; with a cargo load up to 18–19 tons, the new aircraft can carry a sizable tonnage without payload restrictions to destinations throughout Asia and North America. This gives us a considerable advantage with a lower cost production platform, thereby making it possible for our customers to enjoy a competitive, value-for-money product.
With only thirteen months to go, we are looking forward to welcoming the new A350XWB to our Finnair family!
Managing Director, Finland