Finnair has sold 60% of Nordic Regional Airlines (Norra) to Danish Air Transport (DAT), marking the latest in a series of ownership changes at the Finnish regional carrier since 2015.
Norra operates Finnair’s domestic and European routes using a fleet of 12 ATR 72-500s and 12 Embraer E190s. The airline originally flew as Flybe Nordic, but UK-based regional operator Flybe exited its 60% stake in the joint venture in 2015 in the face of mounting losses.
Finnair renamed the airline Norra and took full ownership in 2015, while finalizing the transfer of the 60% stake to human resources specialist StaffPoint Holding (45%) and investment company Kilco (15%). However, the two companies ultimately exited the JV because of an ownership change at StaffPoint, forcing Finnair to again take full control in November 2017. Since then, Finnair has been seeking a new JV partner for Norra.
On Aug. 30, Finnair named DAT as Norra’s new majority shareholder. DAT is a privately owned company which operates scheduled, charter and cargo flights.
“Finnair’s and Norra’s partnership model in domestic and regional purchase traffic has served us well, and Danish Air Transport will strengthen the partnership even more. They have solid experience in operating regional traffic with an ATR fleet,” Finnair COO Jaakko Schildt said.
DAT president Jesper Rungholm said the two companies are similar sizes, so the deal will give both airlines economies of scale in terms of operations and purchasing.
“With our knowledge on scheduled and charter flights, together with Norra’s knowhow, we can develop the business together. And with new options on the Embraer 190 aircraft, that fits into our niche charter production,” Rungholm said.
Finnair said the agreement, which remains subject to Finnish competition clearances, will not have any impact on Norra’s operations, personnel, or purchase agreement between Finnair and Norra.