Finnair names new chief for India operations


New Delhi : Nordic carrier Finnair has named Kari Stolbow as the new chief for its operations in India – a market that has been the prime driver of its global operations in the past two years.

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A Finnair veteran, Stolbow will be the director for the Indian subcontinent, based out of Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital, the airline said in a statement.

The new director, who has been on the airline’s rolls for more than 27 years, has spent 20 of them outside of Finland – in markets including the Russia, countries of the former Soviet Union, China and the Baltics.

He started the Finnair operations in Beijing and Latvia and has worked for a short while as well in New York’s JFK and London’s Heathrow airports.

Finnair launched its direct scheduled flights between Delhi and Helsinki on Oct 30, 2006, and to Mumbai on June 27, 2007. The airline – which has been operating charters to Goa for over 20 years now – has 12 flights a week to India.

The airline’s Asian scheduled traffic saw the capacity increase by 11.9 percent in July, while the passenger traffic was up by 12 percent. The passenger load factor also logged an an impressive 79.9 percent.

In contrast, the European scheduled traffic decreased by 0.8 percent while the North Atlantic scheduled traffic capacity increased by a much lower rate of 3.3 percent, the airline statement said.