June 8, 2015 / 1:24 PM / 2 years ago

Finnair CEO to grow widebody fleet from next summer

MIAMI (Reuters) - Finnair (FIA1S.HE) will start to increase the size of its widebody fleet from next summer, once it has replaced older A340 jets with the new A350 from Airbus (AIR.PA), its chief executive said on Monday.

Finnair is taking delivery of its first A350s from this autumn and plans to start flying the jet on routes from Helsinki to Shanghai and Beijing in October and November.

The first seven A350s will replace A340s by this time next year and then Finnair will start to increase the number of widebody planes it has.

"We will grow our widebody fleet by one aircraft per year and that starts in 2016," Pekka Vauramo told journalists at an event during the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

He said the new jets offered much greater revenue potential thanks to their higher number of seats and greater amount of cargo they can carry in the belly of the planes.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan

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