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Breaking: Finnair Defers 3 Airbus A350 Orders

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As suggested in Finnair’s third-quarter earnings call, the airline has moved to defer the arrival of three new Airbus A350-900s. The airline’s CEO had said that negotiations were ongoing with Airbus during the results presentation last month, and today it has confirmed that agreement has been reached. The A350s will now arrive some 24 months later than originally planned.

Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWE
No more new widebodies for Finnair for some time. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | JFKJets.com
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A350 deferrals confirmed

Today, Finnair has confirmed plans to defer three of its A350 aircraft as it works to rebuild its business out of the COVID crisis. The airline has postponed the deliveries for 24 months and will now not take any more widebody aircraft until 2023.

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The three remaining A350s were set to join the carrier’s existing fleet of 16 of the type in the second quarter of 2021 and the same quarter of 2022. The new delivery dates for the aircraft will now be two years on.

Christine Rovelli, Senior Vice President, Finance and Fleet Management at Finnair, commented on the move in a statement, saying,

Finnair has been in intensive negotiations with all of its suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking to reduce expenditures in order to support our ramp-up plans when traffic recovers. This agreement will give us more flexibility to deploy the existing fleet more efficiently and improve cash flow.”

Speaking at the airline’s third-quarter earnings call last month, CEO Topi Manner had indicated plans were in place to make these deferrals and that he hoped to be able to confirm an agreement with Airbus soon. Today, with the agreement reached, Finnair says it will claw back an estimated €200 million ($238 million) from its investing activities in 2021.

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