MIAMI – Finnair (AY) has announced 1,000 job reductions to face the economic impact of COVID-19. Additionally, it has sold an Airbus A350 to gain liquidity.

Finnair CEO Topi Manner stated regarding the job cuts that improvement of the pandemic situation is “not in sight.” Currently, AY has 6,700 employees.

The job cuts, which represent 15% of AY’s workforce, will not apply to Cabin and flight deck Crew. Instead, flying staff will remain on furlough until further notice, the airline said.

Finnair cabin crew. Photo: Finnair.

Adapting to the Circumstances

According to Manner, the airline’s revenue has decreased considerably. As such, the job cuts are a way for the airline to adjust costs.

In April, the company slashed 90% of its schedule. Then, it issued a profit warning as countries implemented COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Finnair also mentioned that it would make other business changes. The airline did not specify what these would be. However, today it updated its savings figure from US$94.6m to US$118.3m.

Finnair A330-200 | Photo: Airways Magazine File.

About the Airbus A350 Sale

Under the same scheme to gain liquidity, AY sold one of its Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a sale and leaseback deal. The agreement involves Nomura Babcock & Brown Co., Ltd. (NBB), and BBAM Aircraft Management LP as the other interested parties.

The arranged initial operating period is set at 12 years, though AY said the deal would improve its cash by at least US$118m. The carrier received the jet this past February. Since then, it operated Asian destinations.

Regarding these routes, they are key to AY’s growth strategy. The bad news is that they have been negatively affected by the plunge in long-haul travel demand.

Finnair Airbus A350. | Photo: © Airbus.