Flybe’s Nordic arm is to fly 12 Embraer E190 regional jets on behalf of joint venture partner Finnair under a contract flying arrangement.
The aircraft will fly for the Finnish carrier on a number of European short-haul routes from October 29, taking advantage of Flybe Nordic’s competitive cost base.
The deal means the number of aircraft flown by Flybe Nordic will double to 28, including 20 flying under contract for Finnair.
Flybe chief executive Jim French said: “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.”
Flybe Europe managing director Mike Rutter said: “In the ten months since its foundation, Flybe Nordic has expanded its operations from Finland to Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Sweden – in the latter country establishing a growing presence at Stockholm’s city airport Bromma.
“We have been flying eight aircraft on a contract basis for Finnair since August 2011 and we are delighted that the quality and efficiency of our operations have persuaded Finnair to add another 12 aircraft to our partnership.”
Finnair chief executive Mika Vehvilainen said the agreement covers around a third of the airline’s flights.
“Flybe offers us a cost-efficient platform for operating this traffic and enables us to continue to offer the wide network and frequencies to both our regional customers as well as our customers flying between Europe and Finnair’s Asian destinations,” he said.
“We believe that, from the customer point view, the change will be virtually unnoticed as they will maintain the benefits of our extensive network in Europe and opportunity to exploit our fast Asian routes.”