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We have to be cost conscious in India: Finnair

September 23, 2010 11:05 IST

Finnair aircraftNordic carrier Finnair has said that Indian market is very competitive and the biggest challenge for the air Carrier is to be cost conscious in this country.

"India is a price contrasting market. Cost is very competitive, so we have to be cost conscious," Finnair chief executive officer Mika Vehvilainen told PTI. Finnair has also said that it would start daily service between New Delhi and Helsinki from January next year, up from the six flights a week it operates now.

Besides, flying from Helsinki to Bangalore and Chennai, where Finnish companies have a large business presence, it would leverage from its alliance with Kingfisher Airlines in India.

Kingfisher Airlines was inducted into the global airline OneWorld earlier this year and this would allow partner airlines to sell routes operated by the Indian carrier.

Vehvilainen, however, said the company had no immediate plans to start operations to Bangalore or Chennai.

Also, there were no plans in the near-term to resume services to Mumbai. The air carrier reduced its service to New Delhi from seven to six days earlier this month.

Two years ago, it suspended the service to Mumbai because of poor demand.

Under the present bilateral air services agreement between India and Finland, Finnair can operate daily services to three Indian cities.

Asian routes continue to drive growth for the airline, which now plans to increase service to Hong Kong from 7 to 12 flights a week.

It will also start a daily flight to Singapore from next year.

Asia accounts for nearly half of the airline's revenue. Over 100 Finnish companies have operations in India and several Indian firms have set up shop in Finland.

Besides, the carrier hopes to carry traffic between India and the rest of Europe and to the US.

Bijay Shankar Patel in Helsinki
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