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HomeBusinessFinnair Taps Taxpayer, Other Shareholders for €600m Cash

Finnair Taps Taxpayer, Other Shareholders for €600m Cash

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Finnair has called an extraordinary general meeting to decide on a new 600-million-euro share issue. The majority state-owned airline says it aims to use the cash to strengthen its finances, support long-term growth and reduce debt incurred during the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Finnair’s largest owners, including the state treasury, are supporting the share issue.

Finland’s government owns some 55.8 percent of the company. The office of the prime minister said that it is preparing to participate in the share issue at a level that would maintain its current stake.

The Minister for State Ownership Steering, Anders Adlercreutz (SPP), said that the arrangement supports the company’s long-term growth and strengthens its ability to complete the necessary investments.

“As a responsible and long-term owner the state will do its part to ensure that Finnair’s conditions of operation continue to be preserved into the future,” said Adlercreutz.

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy and a meeting of the full government have agreed and approved the arrangement.

Finnair’s CEO, Topi Manner, said in July that the company had survived the ban on flying in Russian airspace, and difficulties prompted by the Covid pandemic. Passenger numbers had improved, although costs have risen some 25 percent compared to the pre-Covid period.

In 2022 Finland and other countries slapped Russia with economic sanctions over its war of aggression in Ukraine, and Russia’s retaliation included a ban on Finnish planes flying in Russian airspace.

This meant that Finnair’s major strategy of offering a “shortcut to Asia” had to be abandoned.

Source: Yle

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