Finnair On Track To Meet Online Sales Target

June 12, 2009

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Finnair said it was on track to sell a third of its tickets via the Internet by next year thanks to strong growth in certain European markets and Japan.

"We have achieved steady growth in online sales in central Europe, which was our aim. In Germany, the UK and Spain we have doubled sales at the start of the year compared (to a year ago)," online sales head Mikko Tuomainen said in the firm's weekly newsletter.

"In April our web sales in Japan were the best after Finland... (with) sharp growth of 256 percent," he said.

Tuomainen said one reason for the boost in sales was the availability of Finnair's sales pages in local languages. The company has sales sites in 11 languages, and Tuomainen said there are plans to add several more.

Finnair has said it wants to make a third of total sales through the Internet by 2010, shared equally between Finland, Europe and Asia. The firm said in December it sells around a fifth of its tickets online.

Like other companies in the struggling airline industry, loss-making Finnair has tried to cut costs to keep up with the recession-hit drop in demand. The firm this week said passenger numbers in May fell 11 percent year-on-year.

(Reuters)