Yes, AY-MD11, please do (but not TOO hard). This is from an internal (but not secret) Finnair newsletter, "Finnlink":
"Finnair Not for Sale!"
Unfounded gossip of the week concerns comments made by the incoming head of SAS, Jörgen Lindegaard, in the Norwegian business paper Dagens Naeringsliv about the Nordic aviation industry following the announced intended takeover by SAS of Norwegian airline Braathens SAFE. According to Lindegaard in the interview, SAS is interested in buying in to other airlines in the region, including Polish airline LOT, the smaller Baltic airlines – and Finnair.
Finnair, we can confirm, is not for sale. "It seems like it was a matter of a new manager raising his profile," says Finnair’s Director of Corporate Communications Christer Haglund in response to the comments.
Finnair’s firm intention to remain an independent airline had already been underlined in an interview with CEO and President Keijo Suila published by Reuters on May 22, in which he also stressed that membership of the oneworld alliance gives Finnair the international reach it needs.
"It's clear that at the moment there's nothing on the cards now or in the foreseeable future (concerning an airline merger)," CEO Keijo Suila told Reuters.
"We are one of best performing airlines in Europe from a financial point of view and our balance sheet is strong."
He said Finnair was strong enough to stay single despite the consolidating forces in Europe and stressed the advantages of its membership of oneworld, along with American Airlines and British Airways.
"The more we get schedules, timetables and programmes coordinated, as well as code-sharing agreements, the more we will see revenues growing," he said.
In the same interview, Suila refers to the setting up of Estonian airline Aero Airlines AS, which is proceeding according to plan and will begin operations at the end of this year at the earliest.
Suila said he was monitoring competition in the Nordic countries, following SAS's bid for Norway's Braathens and increased competition from airlines like Ireland's Ryanair.
"We try to hit back hard (against competition) and so far we have been successful at that," he said. "We are not looking at the last single decimal of market share if the question is about loss making and margin businesses. But when it comes to our core segments we will defend and defend hard."