Finnair to invest 1 bn euro for Asian fleet expansion

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Mumbai, Feb 13 (UNI) Finnish aviation major Finnair today said it will invest over one billion euro for increasing its flight services access between Asia and Europe by the end of 2010.

The European flight service, which entered the Indian sky in October 2006 with three weekly flight from Delhi to Europe and North America and recently introduced the fastest air service between Mumbai and New York, will increase its weekly flights between India and Europe to eleven by the end of April 2008, company spokesperson Christer Hanglund told reporters here today.

Finnair is also looking for more destinations in India and other parts of Asian continent. Currently, in India, it has flights from New Delhi and Mumbai, from where it has three and five weekly flights respectively for the European and North American destinations.

''Finnair will fly from Mumbai to Helsinki six times a week, connecting Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to 60 destinations in Europe,'' Mr Hanglund said. By April 2008, the airways will also introduce the second fastest connection from Mumbai to New York, with a total travel time of 17 hours and 10 minutes.

Further, as the demand in the Asian region is growing tremendously and traffic flow between Indian subcontinent and Europe as well as US is growing, ''we will open more destinations in North America as well to avail air services between India and North America,'' Mr Hanlund asserted.

Earlier, he told UNI that Finnair will open its new Asian destination in South Korea by June 2008. It has plans to add at least 15 modern airbuses (A-330 and A-340) to its Asian fleet by the end of 2010.

The company, under a long term plan, will invest about 2 billion dollar in a phase manner till 2015. The company has also identified its new destination in India for which it was holding talks with the concerned authorities.

UNI PP MAZ BJR RN1918

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