Last year Finnair and Flybe formed Flybe Nordic AB, of which Flybe owns 60% and Finnair 40%. The companies have now made arrangements according to which Finnair will transfer twelve 100 seat Embraer aircraft to Flybe. Starting October 2012 Flybe will operate these aircraft on Finnair routes for Finnair. The transfer also includes 100 cabin personnel and 120 pilots.
According to Finnair, a savings agreement completed with the Finnish Airline Pilots' Association, pilots transferring to operate Flybe flights would return to Finnair in stages to be trained as Airbus pilots for Finnair’s growing Asian traffic.
The new arrangements are part of Finnair’s efforts to improve the profitability of its European network, and intended as a platform for growth for Flybe Nordic. Finnair currently has a programme in place that targets 140 million euro annual savings to restore profitability and improve competitiveness.