I have been following recent developments at Norwegian and it looks highly likely,
that it is going to pick up the traffic that SAS has long been neglecting out of both ARN and OSL to Asia. Of course Finnair has benefited greatly from SAS's lack of getting their act together which got me thinking, Finnair has a lot to lose by Norwegian having any serious asian presence ex ARN.
So that got me thinking, what is the next step for Finnair? They have a good hub, how do they defend it? And the best Answer I could come up with was become part of the IAG group, and strengthen their operations deeper inside europe and make HEL the primary gateway for Asian traffic outside the huge london market. They could quickly reconfigure and transfer some BA 744s on key routes, or get upgage to the 77W if they had greater feed to get their CASM and with some product improvements, that would give IAG group a very good way to combat the middle east factor. IE - one stop avoiding the congested LHR from everywhere from Scottland to italy to spain to just about anywhere in Asia with a quick layover in HEL. HEL of course has heaps of room to expand and unlike MAD is perfectly located for Asia flights. They would probably need to see soft product upgrade in J to appeal to a greater European market (one that expects more luxuries etc than Scandinavians generally do), and at the same time this would enable them, by operating larger aircraft to get their CASM right down. Or Increase A330 frequencies. Or both. It would boost its competitiveness with Lufthansa and KLM on these kinds of flights and probably increase the percentage of business travellers on Finnair which should help increase yields. What's does everybody think?