Finnair and Qantas have entered into a long-term agreement, in which Finnair first leases two A330 aircraft with crew (wet lease) to Qantas for a period of two years, and after the wet lease period, dry leases (aircraft lease with no crew) two of its A330s to Qantas for a period of 2.5 years, starting in 2025. The wet lease of the first aircraft will start in October 2023, and the wet lease of the second aircraft will start in early 2024.
The agreement with Qantas is a part of Finnair’s determined efforts to ensure the optimal use of its A330 fleet, which is range-limited in its deployment in Finnair’s own long-haul operations due to the closure of Russian airspace. The agreement with Qantas concludes the optimisation of Finnair’s fleet following the Russian airspace closure.
During the wet lease period, the aircraft will be deployed in Qantas’ network on routes from Sydney and Singapore as well as Sydney and Bangkok. Finnair pilots will fly scheduled Finnair flights from Helsinki to Singapore and from Helsinki to Bangkok; then, they will continue flying scheduled Qantas flights between Singapore, Bangkok and Sydney before returning to their home base in Helsinki. The cabin crew are provided by Finnair partners based in Singapore and Bangkok, and the aircraft maintenance is performed by Finnair partners at the Qantas destinations. Finnair has secured sufficient pilot resources to match its fleet size, including the aircraft leased to Qantas. The Qantas agreement does not impact the number of cabin crew at Finnair, as they are fully deployed in other operations.
The collaboration supports the efficient and profitable deployment of Finnair’s A330 fleet. Since the closure of the Russian airspace, Finnair has built a geographically more balanced network, as avoiding the Russian airspace lengthened the flight times between Finnair’s Helsinki hub and its Asian destinations. The Qantas agreement is yet another example of Finnair strengthening ties with its oneworld partners as a part of its new strategy.