Flybe this morning issued the following announcement to the London Stock Exchange:
Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, is pleased to announce that Flybe Nordic, its joint venture with Finnair, has now formally signed a contract with Finnair to fly 12 Embraer E190 regional jets on its behalf, further to the Memorandum of Understanding announced on 22 May 2012.
Under the terms of the long term contract flying agreement, which will commence on 28 October 2012, the aircraft will fly for Finnair on a number of popular European short haul routes.
The aircraft will carry the livery of Finnair, but will operate under the Flybe Finland airline operating certificate (“AOC”) and will be crewed by Flybe Finland staff. The operations will benefit from Flybe Finland’s highly competitive cost base and growing reputation as a leading regional airline in the Nordic and Baltic regions. This agreement will take the number of aircraft flown by Flybe Finland up to 28, double the number flown when the business commenced operations in August 2011, with 21 of those flying under contract for Finnair.
Commenting on the E190 contract, Mike Rutter, Managing Director of Flybe Europe, said:
“When Flybe expanded into the Baltic and Nordic regions in 2011 we did so because we identified exciting opportunities for growth in a marketplace which suited our proven business model well. Today’s announcement marks another significant step in that journey, increasing our presence in the region and taking the number of aircraft we have on contract flying arrangements with Finnair to 21.”
“The scale of this new venture demonstrates Flybe Nordic’s ability to deliver complex outsourcing projects which deliver substantial value to both parties, in this case Finnair and Flybe Nordic. This capability positions the joint venture well to offer similar services to other airlines in the Nordic and Baltic regions.”
Mika Vehviläinen, Finnair CEO added:
“Flybe offers a cost efficient platform for operating this traffic. This agreement enables us to continue to offer a wide network and multiple frequencies to both our Finnish customers and our customers flying between Europe and Finnair’s Asian destinations.”
Jim French, Chairman and CEO of Flybe Group plc, concluded:
“Today's announcement marks another major step in the successful development of the Flybe Nordic business. This extension of our existing contract flying operations for Finnair is a key part of Flybe Nordic's strategy, adding substantial scale while balancing Flybe Group's overall risk.”
"With this deal, 25% of the fleet under Flybe Group's management will be deployed under contract flying arrangements. We believe there are many more similar opportunities to develop this side of the business."