China Daily (Hong Kong) - - Q&A WITH CEO -

Age: 60 Ca­reer: 2013 on­wards: Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Fin­nair Oyj

2007-13: Chief Oper­at­ing Of­fi­cer and Deputy to Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Car­gotec Corp

1985-2007: Var­i­ous po­si­tions at Sand­vik Group

Ed­u­ca­tion: Mas­ter of Sci­ence in min­ing

Fam­ily: Mar­ried with three chil­dren

we are a very small air­line glob­ally.

Do you see more pas­sen­gers fly­ing from China to Helsinki in the sum­mer com­pared to the win­ter?

That re­ally de­pends. We do have higher num­bers fly­ing with us in the sum­mer, but the growth fig­ures are big­ger in the win­ter. We also see more in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies trav­el­ing with Fin­nair in­stead of groups.

From June, pas­sen­gers were able to use Ali­pay and Wi-Fi on all Chi­nese routes. It makes pur­chas­ing and shop­ping eas­ier on air­craft. As well as that, Chi­nese pas­sen­gers can now use Ali­pay at Helsinki air­port through their smart phones.

Are flights with Ali­pay pop­u­lar?

Yes, the num­bers back that up. Sales are higher on those flights, in­creas­ing by 100 per­cent to 200 per­cent.

Four years ago, I was asked whether I would join Fin­nair. I trav­eled a lot with the air­line in my pre­vi­ous job. But Fin­nair rep­re­sented some­thing close to me . . . it used to take me home.

That alone made it an easy de­ci­sion to join the com­pany.

Many peo­ple get in­spired and are pas­sion­ate about the avi­a­tion in­dus­try. And, of course, I have found the jour­ney ex­cit­ing dur­ing the past four years.

I am pleased with the way things have de­vel­oped. We have moved on, and we are grow­ing rapidly. Fin­nair is do­ing this right now.

What are the high­lights of your ca­reer at the air­line?

When I started, we spent a long time re­struc­tur­ing, cut­ting costs, out­sourc­ing and lay­ing off peo­ple. But I knew we had to do some­thing else.

Like any busi­ness to­day, there is tremen­dous com­pe­ti­tion. Cus­tomers can eas­ily com­pare prices as they have more op­tions on the in­ter­net. This brings chal­lenges to the fi­nan­cial side of our com­pany.

But we have gone through a round of cost cut­ting, and the air­line is leaner. Still, we are not the only car­rier fly­ing to China, al­though we do have a very good re­la­tion­ship with our cus­tomers.

Hope­fully, we will main­tain and ex­pand our mar­ket share.

Do you life­style? have a

Tough ques­tion. I do drive a hy­brid car that I can charge by plug­ging it into the mains. I also pre­fer or­ganic food.

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