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Airlines

Name: FLYBE NORDIC
7JetSet7 Code: FCA
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: SEINAJOKI
Country: FINLAND
Employees 145
Web: www.flybe.fi
Email: customerco@flybe.com
Telephone: +358 942432000
Fax: +358 942432200
Sita: SJYKKAY
Background
(definitions)

Formed and started operations in 1993. Formerly Finncomm Airlines and West Bird Aviation. Later was named Flybe Nordic. Domestic, regional and international, scheduled and charter, passenger and cargo jet airplane services.

Address:
P O Box 800
Seinajoki Airport
Seinajoki, FIN-60101, Finland

FINLAND (REPUBLIC OF FINLAND) COVERS AN AREA OF 338,145 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 5.1 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS HELSINKI, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS FINNISH.

April 1998: Cooperation between Finncomm Airlines (FCA) and Finnair (FIN) began when (FCA) started to provide Swedish carrier Golden Air with staff, flight planning, operations control, and marketing functions in Finland by adding (FIN)'s flight codes to its domestic routes from Helsinki to eight destinations and to Tallinn in Estonia.

(IATA) Code: FC. (ICAO) Code: WBA.

Main Base: Seinajoki Airport (SJY).

Hub: Helsinki Airport (HEL).

July 2011: Flybe (BEE) and Finnair (FIN) announced they will jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), the Finnish regional carrier owned by privately held Finncomm Oy, for €25 million/$36.2 million in cash. The acquisition will be made through a new joint venture (JV), to be called Flybe Nordic (FCA), in which Flybe (BEE) will hold 60% and Finnair (FIN) 40%.

(BEE) will pay €12 million for the majority stake while Finnair (FIN) will pay €13 million for the smaller holding, “but Flybe (BEE) has committed to carry several investments relating to the operational side of the business,” a (FIN) spokesperson noted. (BEE) plans to take over the day-to-day operation and management of the airline from August 1. The acquisition is subject to the approval of relevant competition authorities.

“Finnair (FIN) and Flybe (BEE) have complementing competencies and we believe that (BEE)'s experience in regional flying, combined with (FIN)'s local knowledge and international operations, will be a winning combination. We look forward to working together and building a new strong player in the Nordic and Baltic markets,” Finnair (FIN) (CEO), Mika Vehvilainen commented.

“Finnish and Nordic passengers will see something very different from what has been available to them in the past,” promised (BEE) Chairman & (CEO), Jim French, adding that “much-needed” point-to-point routes will be established.

(FCA) will continue operating existing domestic routes, feeding into Finnair (FIN)’s hub at Helsinki, and gradually expand its network into Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, and Latvia using (BEE)’s low-fare concept/product. The plan is to announce details in mid-August of an “extensive new route network” that will operate from the start of the (IATA) winter season on October 30, (BEE) noted.

Finncomm (CEO), Juhani Pakari said that “negotiations have been long and thorough, and we are very happy with the result. This is a good solution for customers as well as for our staff. This is an excellent opportunity to develop the company to be the best regional airline in Northern Europe.”

Relations between (FCA), which has provided feeder services for (FIN) since 1998, and (FIN) have been tense at times. In September, both parties reached a preliminary agreement calling for (FIN) to buy a 20% stake in (FCA) and to acquire 100% of the companies that own Finncomm Group's ATR 42/ATR 72 airplanes.

Finnair (FIN) confirmed it still intends to purchase the (FCA) fleet and lease it “on market terms.” It will buy (FCA)’s current nine ATR 72-500s, plus three on order to be delivered this autumn and in 2012, and lease them to (FCA). The remaining four ATR 42s owned by Finncomm Oy will be leased to (FCA) for certain predefined periods. In addition, (FCA) will continue leasing two (FIN)-owned Embraer E170 airplanes. Finnair (FIN)'s investment in the nine ATR 72s will be approximately €104 million, including €70 million in debt liabilities.

“There's a huge demand and under supply in the industry for the ATR airplanes. Due to the fuel efficiency, they are optimal for regional flying. For (FIN) this is a great opportunity to strengthen our fleet and as such it is a smart investment and ensures that our new (JV) will have the required capacity from day one,” Vehvilainen stated.

Flybe (BEE), which is a Bombardier Q400 and Embraer E-jet operator, committed to continue using the ATR for its Nordic operations, the (FIN) spokesperson said. Flybe (BEE) has also agreed to buy 46% of Finnish Aircraft Maintenance.

(FCA) carries some 900,000 passengers annually. Finnair (FIN) transported 7.1 million passengers in its last financial year, down -4%, while Flybe (BEE) flew 7.2 million passengers, flat year-over-year. The Finnair Group posted a -€22.8 million net loss in 2010, narrowed from a -€95.2 million deficit in 2009.

(BEE) last month reported net income of +£3.8 million/+$6.1 million for its fiscal year ended March 31, down from +£22.2 million earned in the prior year. Net income benefited from a +£8.1 million tax credit. Revenue rose +4.4% to £595.5 million and operating costs increased +5% to £587.9 million. Operating loss came in at -£0.9 million, reversed from a positive (EBIT) of +£27.6 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 - 2010.

August 2011: Flybe Nordic (FCA), the new joint venture (JV) of Flybe (BEE) and Finnair (FIN), will operate 416 weekly flights on 24 regional routes in the 2011 - 2012 winter schedule, including all former Finnish Commuter Airline (Finncomm) routes plus nine new routes, the carriers announced.

(FCA), 60% controlled and also managed by Flybe (BEE), completed its acquisition of Finncomm on August 18. All Finncomm routes will come under the Flybe (BEE) brand. New routes are: Helsinki to Mariehamn in Aland, the autonomous territory under Finnish sovereignty (2x-daily), Tartu in Estonia (6x-weekly), Trondheim in Norway (4x-times weekly) and Umea in Sweden (4x-weekly); Tampere to Tallinn (TLL) in Estonia (3x-daily); and (TLL) to Stockholm Bromma (3x-daily), to Vaasa (6x-weekly) and Oulu (6x-weekly). The latter three routes will be operated by Flybe (BEE) franchise partner, Loganair. Most of the routes will start October 30, but flights from Oulu, Turku and Vaasa to/from to (TLL) will launch on November 14. (bee)’s new routes will be included in Finnair (FIN)’s flight schedules and flown as code share flights.

Managing Director, Flybe Europe Mike Rutter said there were plans to developing existing routes and expand to Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark.

Flybe (BEE) just reported an increase in passenger numbers, yield and revenues. Total first-quarter revenue ended June 30, rose +8.3% year-on-year to £160.4 million/$260.6 million and passenger revenue was up +12.2% to £150.6 million. Seats flown increased +7% to 3.1 million and boardings increased by +7.7% to 2 million, resulting in a 0.4 point improvement in load factor to 63.1% LF. Ticket yield rose +3.4% to £62.27 and ancillary yield rose +8% to £13.89. Passenger revenue per seat grew +4.9% to £48.09.

January 2012: Flybe Nordic (FCA) launched its first route to Denmark on January 23rd. From the Swedish capital’s city airport, Stockholm Bromma (BMA), (FCA) now flies 18 times weekly with its ATR 72 airplanes to the Danish capital Copenhagen (CPH). The two airports haven’t been connected since (SAS) operated the route in 2003 - 2004; however, indirect competition at Stockholm’s main airport Arlanda comes from (SAS)’ 72x-weekly and Norwegian (NWG)’s 24x-weekly.

May 2012: Connecting the Swedish capital’s city airport with the Norwegian capital, Flybe Nordic (FCA) launched 11x-weekly flights between Stockholm Bromma (BMA) and Oslo (OSL) on 2 May. Flights operate 2x-daily on weekdays and once on Sundays using ATR 72 airplanes. While there is no direct competition at the city airport Bromma, indirect competition at Stockholm’s main airport Arlanda comes from (SAS)’ 79x-weekly and Norwegian (NWG)’s 43x-weekly flights.

Flybe Nordic (FCA) will take on about one-third of Finnair (FIN)'s European services to cut costs and improve its financial position.

August 2012: Flybe Nordic (FCA) plans to expand its services in Denmark.

Flybe Europe (CEO), Mike Rutter said Flybe (BEE)’s income has tripled over the past year since it acquired Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA). It plans to increase its route network, particularly to and from Denmark, he said.

From the end of October, Flybe (BEE) will operate (FIN)’s 12 Embraer E190 regional jets on a range of (FIN)’s short-haul sectors, taking advantage of the (JV)’s lower cost base.

September 2014: Finnair (FIN) is to add three seasonal services next summer. A 6x-weekly Embraer E190 Dublin service begins March 30, operated by Flybe Finland (FCA). Twice-weekly Airbus A321 service to Valletta, Malta begins April 2, while Athens will have a 2x-weekly service from April 5, using either Airbus A319s or A320s.

November 2014: Finnair (FIN), the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, commenced operations to its second destination in Thailand on November 14th, launching 2x-weekly flights (Fridays and Saturdays) from its Helsinki (HEL) base to Phuket (HKT). The 8,312 km sector was converted from a charter service, and will be served until March 28th utilizing the Oneworld (ONW) member’s A340-300s. Interestingly, the new service will see a frequency increase to thrice-weekly from December 14th. TUIfly Nordic is already operating this airport pair with 2x-weekly services, while (FIN) is also flying to Thailand with 10x-weekly flights to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.

February 2015: Finland has given the green light for StaffPoint Holding and G W Sohlberg (GWS) to acquire Flybe (BEE)’s 60% stake in Flybe Nordic (FCA).

Flybe Nordic (FCA), which is parent to Finnair (FIN) regional carrier Flybe Finland, was set up as a joint venture (JV) between Finnair (FIN) (40%) and Flybe (BEE) (60%) in 2011. However, Flybe (BEE) is pulling out of the venture because of its poor performance.

Finnish firms StaffPoint Holding and (GWS) have now been cleared to acquire the Flybe (BEE) shares for the token sum of €1/$1.20. “The transaction is expected to be closed in early February 2015,” Finnair (FIN) said.

Once the deal has gone through, StaffPoint will own 45% of the (JV), Finnair (FIN) will hold 40%, and (GWS) will take the remaining 15%. The partners are working on a new business plan, which is likely to include a name change.

March 2015: Finnair (FIN) finalized a sale and leaseback deal with German Operating Aircraft Leasing GmbH & Company KG (GOAL) for three Embraer E190s in a deal valued at approximately €60 million/$63.5 million at current market value. The airplane lease agreements expire on average after eight years. The airplanes included in the arrangement are currently operated by Finnair (FIN)’s associated company Flybe Finland (FCA), to whom Finnair (FIN) subleases the airplanes. The proceeds from the transaction will be used to finance Finnair (FIN) fleet investments of 19 Airbus A350 airplanes.

April 2015: News Item A-1: Finnair (FIN) has acquired Flybe (BEE)’s 60% stake in Flybe Nordic (FCA) for €1/$1.08, temporarily giving it full ownership of the former joint venture (JV), while it finalizes a deal with Finnish investors Staffpoint and G W Sohlberg (GWS).

The two airlines set up Flybe Nordic (FCA) in 2011 through the acquisition of Finnish Commuter Airlines, with (BEE) acquiring a 60% stake and Finnair (FIN) taking the remaining 40%. However, last November, (FIN) said the partners were going their separate ways after failing to “arrive at a common understanding to resolve profitability issues.” (FIN) announced plans to either buy (BEE) out of Flybe Nordic (FCA), or find a buyer for (BEE)’s stake.

In January two Finnish firms, recruitment firm StaffPoint Holding and family-owned investment broker (GWS), signed a letter of intent (LOI) to buy (BEE)’s 60% Flybe Nordic (FCA) stake for the token sum of €1. Competition clearance has been granted, but this deal is yet to be finalized. If it is firmed, StaffPoint will own 45% of the (JV), Finnair (FIN) will hold 40% and (GWS) will take the remaining 15%.

(FIN) has now closed the acquisition of Flybe (BEE)’s stake, but it stressed this is an interim solution. “While the discussions with Staffpoint and (GWS) still continue, (FIN) will now acquire Flybe UK (BEE)’s share of Flybe Nordic (FCA). We hope to sign a new share purchase agreement in the coming months,” (FIN) (CEO), Pekka Vauramo said.

Flybe Nordic (FCA) is parent to operating carrier Flybe Finland, which operates a fleet of 26 airplanes, comprising 12 ATR 72s, two Embraer E170s and 12 E190s. (FIN) said the subsidiary, which will most likely be renamed, operates “a substantial part” of its domestic and European routes. Flights operated by Flybe Finland (FCA) will continue normally as the sale talks continue.

After parting ways with (BEE), Finnair (FIN) hopes to find a “financially sustainable” solution for its regional flying. “We will take an important step to this direction at the beginning of May, when all routes operated by Flybe Finland (FCA) at their own commercial risk will become a part of (FIN)’s contract flying arrangements, as we have communicated earlier. (FCA) has also implemented several internal measures to improve the company’s financial position,” Vauramo said.

(FIN) will report on the financial impact of the deal during at the release of its interim results on May 7. (FIN) has already written down the value of its Flybe Nordic (FCA) shares, but it has previously acknowledged that the business requires “further restructuring.”

Commenting on the sale, (BEE) said: “The Flybe Group is pleased to announce the completion of the disposal of Flybe UK (BEE)’s 60% interest in Flybe Nordic (FCA) to Finnair (FIN). The agreement, which was first announced on November 12, 2014, is a significant step forward in (BEE)’s turnaround program.”

News Item A-2: Flybe Finland (FCA) will re-brand as Nordic Regional Airlines in May to reflect the change in ownership of parent company Flybe Nordic (FCA).

Flybe Nordic (FCA) was set up as a joint venture (JV) between Flybe UK (BEE) and Finnair (FIN) in 2011, but failed to live up to Flybe (BEE)’s performance expectations, resulting in the UK carrier withdrawing from the (JV) earlier this year. At the end of March, Finnair (FIN) acquired Flybe UK (BEE)’s 60% stake in the (JV) on a temporary basis, while ownership discussions continue with two Finnish firms, Staffpoint and (GWS).

The airline’s proposed name change is subject to approval by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office, which is anticipated at the beginning of May.

Flybe Finland (FCA) (CEO) Maunu Visuri said: “We reviewed tens of options for the new name. We wanted to have an international name that describes our core business which is regional flying. We felt that Nordic Regional Airlines communicates especially Nordic quality and know-how. Also the name is clear and easy to understand.”

The company will also introduce a new brand identity at the beginning of the summer with a phased implementation over the rest of the year. A new website for Nordic Regional Airlines will also be launched in conjunction with the new brand.

Starting May 1, Finnair (FIN) will be responsible for sales and marketing of Flybe Finland flights.

News Item A-3: Flybe Finland (FCA) begins daily, Gdansk ATR72 service on May 11.

November 2015: ""Finnair Finalizes Flybe Nordic Sale" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, November 4, 2015.

November 2015: "Finnair Finalizes Flybe Nordic Sale" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, November 4, 2015.

Finnair (FIN) has finalized a deal to sell 60% of Nordic Regional Airlines (Norra), formerly known as Flybe Nordic (FCA), to Finnish investors StaffPoint Holding and Kilco Oy for €1/$1.09.

In January, (FIN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to sell the 60% stake to human resources (HR) specialist, StaffPoint and G W Sohlberg (GWS). But, in a November 4 stock exchange disclosure, (FIN) said Kilco Oy had stepped in to replace (GWS).

Kilco Oy is an investment company which is owned by StaffPoint (CEO), Mika Kiljunen’s family. It is also a shareholder in StaffPoint.

“Finnair (FIN), StaffPoint Holding and Kilco Oy have now agreed on transactions whereby 60% of the shares in Nordic Regional Airlines (FCA) would be transferred to the ownership of StaffPoint and Kilco. The latter enters the arrangement in lieu of (GWS), which was previously part of the negotiations,” (FIN) said in the disclosure.

Following the acquisition, which will require Finnish competition clearance, StaffPoint will hold 45% of Nordic Regional Airlines (FCA), Kilco will own 15%, and (FIN) will hold 40%.

“We are satisfied that the negotiations reached a conclusion and that Norra (FCA) and its board of directors are now free to keep developing the company and improving the profitability of regional flying,” Finnair (FIN) (CEO), Pekka Vauramo said.

Flybe Nordic (FCA) was a joint venture (JV) between (FIN) and Flybe (BEE). (FIN) assumed full control of the (JV) in March, in preparation for the onward sale. Norra (FCA) operates a fleet of 26 ATR 72 and Embraer (EMB) aircraft on domestic and European routes.

Fleet:
(definitions)

April 2016:

2 ATR 42-500 (PW127) (0651, /04 OH-ATC; 0655, /06 OH-ATD), LSD. 48Y.

4 ATR 72-500 (PW127) (0741, /07 OH-ATE; 0744, /07 OH-ATF; 0757, /07 OH-ATG; 0769, /07 OH-ATH), LSD. 64Y.

8 ATR 72-500 (PW127) (0783, /08 OH-ATI; 0792, /08 OH-ATJ; 0848, /09 OH-ATK; 0851, /09 OH-ATL; 0916, /10 AH-ATM; 0959, /11 OH-ATM; 977, /11 OH-ATO; 1050, /12 OH-ATP), LSD. 68Y.

2 EMBRAER E170-ST (CF34-8E5) (0120, /06 OH-LEI; 0127, /06 OH-LEK), LSD. 76Y.

12 EMBRAER E190-LR (CF34-10E5) (059, /06 OH-LKE; 066, /07 OH-LKF; 079, /07 OH-LKG; 086, /07 OH-LKH; 117, /07 OH-LKI; 127, /07 OH-LKK; 153, /08 OH-LKL; 160, /08 OH-LKM; 252, /09 OH-LKN; 267, /09 OH-LKO; 416, /11 OH-LKP; 436, /011, OH-LKR), 2012-10. 28CY, 72Y.

3 EMBRAER E190-LR (CF34-10E5), GERMAN OPERATING AIRCRAFT LEASING (GOAL) LSD. 28CY, 72Y.

Management:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
FCA-9-CAPTAIN JUSSI LAAKSONEN - 2013-09

JAAKKO KESKINEN, CHAIRMAN.

MAUNU VISURI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) FLYBE NORDIC.

MIKKO SUNDSTROM, FLYBE FINLAND (FCA) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

MIKE RUTTER, FLYBE EUROPE (BEE) (CEO).

PIRJO SAVIJOKI, FINANCE MANAGER.

CAPTAIN JUSSI LAAKSONEN, HEAD SAFETY & COMPLIANCE, FLYBE FINLAND.

 
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