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New Finnish airline to spread its wings

A new Finnish airline flying by the name “Snowbird” will take to the skies this summer. The carrier will provide charter services for tour operators taking passengers from regional airstrips to the Mediterranean.

Matkailijoita satamassa.
Image: Yle

Snowbird Airlines will launch services with a single 170-seater Airbus commercial aircraft next summer.

“We will start with the help of a cooperation partner so that we can begin with a rather light programme and won’t need to have our own plane to fill a certain number of flights from the very beginning,” explained chief executive Marja Aalto.

The company does not intend to compete for customers on routes that are already oversubscribed. For example Alanya in Turkey was to be one of Snowbird’s key destinations, but plans have since changed.

“Alanya’s Gazipasa will have overcapacity this summer, so we aren’t so interested anymore,” Aalto noted.

Snowbird plans to gain a foothold in Finland by competing for passengers flying out on vacation from provincial airports, which are now serviced primarily by foreign charters.

“Many airlines come from far in the south and tour operators find it cheaper to use an airline that is based in Finland,” Aalto said.

Direct flights from central Europe to Lapland

Lapland travel operators say that poor connections to northern Finnish airports limit inbound travel to the north. During the next winter season, Snowbird plans to bring vacationers directly from central Europe.

Snowbirds will announce its first destinations later this spring and the company hopes that its first aircraft flying the company colours will take to the skies during the autumn.

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