Air Transport World

Finnair eyes bigger role in Orient.

Helsinki--If continuity of top management pays off then Finnair is obviously a benefiicary. With Gunnar Korhonen serving as CEO since 1960, this airline, operating from its difficult position on the northern rim of Europe, has come far and performed strongly, especially in the last few stormy years. Korhonen will remain at the tiller until at least 1985, his term having been extended after he reached the normal retirement age of 65 in 1983.

Withstanding the battering of recent domestic and international gales, Finnair has been able to steer a profitable course while other European airlines, even the more successful ones, have seen profits swing wildly. Last year, aided by a recovery of Finland's domestic economy, Finnair posted a record far superior to the average of the 20 airline members of the Association of European Airlines, Korhonen reports. He expects to be able to repeat this performance this year, what with Finland's gross national product now growing at about 5%, double the European average, and the wage escalation written into Finnair's contracts coming to only 3.5% this year and 4.2% next year. Recent restructuring of some routes should also prove helpful, he says. Looking at the international scene as it affects the airline, Korhonen says, "The worst is behind us." With progress being made in rate policies and the incorporation of technical and performance improvements, the industry as a whole will have a good year in 1984, Korhonen predicts. Improvements seen

During Korhonen's tenure of nearly a quarter-century, he has shepherded his flock into the turbine age--from the Aerospatiale Caravelle to the McDonnell Douglas DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, MD-80 and Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR 42--extended the airline's scheduled services not only throughout Finland but into every major European capital, across the Atlantic all the way to the U. …

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