Finnair and Qantas have entered into an agreement by which the Finnish airline will wet-lease two of its Airbus A330 aircraft to the Australian carrier for a period of two years. After the wet-lease period is over, Qantas will dry-lease the aircraft, without the crew, for an additional period of 2.5 years.
While under wet-lease, these A330s will continue to operate the regular Finnair routes between Helsinki and both Singapore (SIN) and Bangkok (BKK). Once in Asia, they will then continue on to Sydney (SYD), before doing the itinerary in reverse.
The aircraft will still be flown by Finnair pilots throughout the whole itinerary, while the cabin crew will be based locally in Singapore and Bangkok. The aircraft will also be serviced locally at airports in which Qantas operates.
The first of these A330s will start operating for Qantas at the start of the southern hemisphere summer season, in October 2023, to be joined by the second in early 2024.
This deal matches the current needs of both carriers.
Finnair has been struggling to find efficient and profitable assignments for its long-haul fleet after the closure of Russian aerospace last year created major hurdles with access to key markets in Asia. Meanwhile, Qantas is in the midst of a growth program that will see it increase capacity on international routes.
In this regard, on May 29, 2023, Qantas announced that from October 2023, it was planning to add one million seats of additional capacity across its network over a period of twelve months.
In order to ramp up capacity quickly, the Australian airline has been bringing back aircraft from storage, including the large Airbus A380 aircraft.