During Finnair’s Annual General Meeting 2016, the airline’s Chairman of the Board, Klaus Heinemann, and CEO, Pekka Vauramo, shared their views of progress at the airline, the benefits of collaboration with airport partner Finavia, and putting the customer at the centre of the brand.
They plotted a path forward for Finnair based on collaboration and a focus on improving the passenger journey, from start to Finnish.
What follows is a selection of quotes which reflect the airline’s strategy and brand definition.
On the Air Travel Experience
Vauramo: “We brought the customer into the core of our strategy.”
Heinemann: “In defining our strategy, we have reflected on what kind of airline Finnair wants to be. Our decision was to emphasise the customer experience. We want to offer the customer a unique Nordic experience, which is a competitive and distinctive one.”
Vauramo: “Customer experience and the digital transformation of the company are now at the core of our operations. Our objective is to offer our customers a unique Nordic experience, which differentiates us positively from the competition. The objective is to bring customer experience on a new level within two years. Therefore, in our new organisation, we will emphasise the development of both face-to-face services and smooth digital services. We want to make travelling easy and pleasant.”
Vauramo: “We are going to see the results of these efforts gradually. We have made the decision to differentiate through customer experience, which is impressive but also within reach for as many people as possible.”
Heinemann: “The customer forms an image of the service of an airline on the basis of the smoothness of the whole customer experience. Therefore our cooperation with our hub, Helsinki Airport, plays a key role.”
Heinemann: “The airport has previously functioned quite smoothly. However, now it is experiencing turbulence, as the airport is being expanded to prepare for growth.”
Heinemann: “Success requires development of Helsinki Airport in cooperation with Finavia.”
Heinemann: “We must be able to join forces with the airport in order to find a way to emerge from the transition as the winner. Helsinki Airport plays a crucial role in Finnair’s customer experience and therefore in the company’s success. We both must succeed, since without the other – there is no other – at least in the present extent. The expansion must be completed in a manner that preserves the reputation of Helsinki Airport as a smooth connecting airport.”
On Financial Success
Heinemann: “Year 2015 marked a turnaround for Finnair. After several loss-making years, we achieved a positive result. It goes to show that the savings measures taken have generated the desired results, and that our performance is moving in the right direction.”
Vauramo: “We achieved a profitable result in 2015 and rolled out the new A350 aircraft, which was an inspiring experience for our entire personnel.”
Vauramo: “At the end of the day, I think the biggest change last year was the change in atmosphere. We are now on a roll, which is reflected in everything we do. This is a good place to continue from.”
Vauramo: “Last year was a series of little victories, on the basis of which we now begin to build profitable growth. Although cost-effectiveness continues to be important, our focus has shifted to the customer.”
Vauramo: “I believe that our inspired personnel, development-oriented customer service and growth will also bear financial fruit. We are not yet making sufficient result to cover our fleet and service investments. However, I believe our customer-focused growth strategy will also help us improve our financial result.”
Vauramo: “Growth is a precondition for our competitiveness. Growth decreases our relative costs and improves our competitiveness. In addition, the development and sale of new ancillary products continue to play an important role in our strategy.”
Heinemann: “We are now laying the foundation for Finnair’s future.”
Vauramo: “I strongly believe that as we focus on customer experience, growth, business development and personnel experience in line with our strategy, we are able to transform faster than the competition and emerge as the winning team.”