The origins of Nordic Regional Airlines can be traced back to 2011.
Nordic Regional Airlines, commonly referred to as Norra, is a Finnish regional airline owned by Finnair and Danish Air Transport. Over the years, the regional airline has grown to become one of the few leading regional carriers across Scandinavia and the Baltic Region. Today, we look into Finland’s regional carrier, examining how it has changed over time.
The origins of Nordic Regional Airlines can be traced back to 2011 when Finnair and British Flybe acquired Finncomm Airlines and rebranded it as Flybe Nordic. The new regional airline commenced operations in October of that year. However, due to diverging financial strategies and poor financial performance, the partnership between the two airlines was eventually dissolved.
Fast forward to 2014, Flybe and Finnair began restructuring their jointly owned Flybe Nordic venture. As part of this process, Flybe agreed to sell its 60% stake in the joint venture to a new majority shareholder or Finnair for one euro.
This restructuring set the stage for the emergence of Nordic Regional Airlines as a regional airline with a new strategic direction and focus on delivering service to passengers throughout Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
Finnair and Danish Air Transport joint venture
In 2015, Flybe sold its majority share in Nordic Regional Airlines to StaffPoint Holding and G.W. Sohlberg. Following the ownership change, the regional airline began operating under Finnair’s flight code and was rebranded as Nordic Regional Airlines or Norra.
However, Finnair’s involvement in the airline was more comprehensive than just that. In 2017, the Finnish flag carrier purchased a 60% stake in Norra after the previous stakeholders decided to exit the business. Although Finnair’s investment was always intended to be a temporary solution, the airline made it clear that it was committed to supporting Nordic Regional Airlines during the transition to new ownership.
In 2018, Danish Air Transport (DAT) stepped in as the new majority shareholder, acquiring a controlling stake in the airline. Finnair retained a 40% share in Nordic Regional Airlines, and the airline continued to expand its network and enhance its services in the region.
Photo: Karolis Kavolelis/Shutterstock
It is worth noting that DAT is a Danish airline based in Vamdrup. The airline mainly operates charter passenger and cargo flights from various airports in Denmark.
Commenting on the purchase, Jaakko Schildt, Finnair’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“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.”
Based at Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL), Norra operates a total of 12 ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft with an average age of 13.9 years, according to Planespotters.net data. The ATR turboprops mainly service many domestic airports within Finland as well as destinations across the Nordics and the Baltics. All flights with ATR aircraft are operated by Norra and have Finnair flight numbers.
Reducing costs will play a key role in helping Finnair return to profitability. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Helsinki Airport
- Year Founded:
- Topi Manner