Finnair reveals A321 retirement plans

This spring, Finnair is retiring four of its oldest jets. All of those leaving the fleet will be Airbus A321 examples, three of which are officially the oldest aircraft in the Finnish flag carrier’s current roster.

The Helsinki-based firm says they have all reached the end of their economic life cycle after shuttling customers across Europe for a total of almost nine decades. While newer aircraft typically have lower maintenance costs, the move will also bolster the Nordic carrier’s wider sustainability efforts as it flies newer, more efficient equipment.  

Finnair A321

The jets in question are:

  • OH-LZA (c/n 941), which entered service with Finnair in January 1999
  • OH-LZB (c/n 961), which joined the fleet in March 1999
  • OH-LZC (c/n 1185), which first flew with the carrier in March 2000
  • OH-LZD (c/n 1241), which made its Finnair debut in June 2000

It might be the end of their time flying Finns to France, but it isn’t the end of the journey completely for this mature quartet. According to the airline, each of the CFM International CFM 56 engines on the jets have been snapped up by aviation industry resellers where they be stripped for spares. But what about the rest of the aircraft?

Finnair has confirmed to Key Aero that the fuselage and structure of the Airbus narrowbodies will be converted from a passenger aircraft into a freighter (P2F) by their new owners. This taps into the surge in global demand for new cargo aircraft and ensures that the airframes will be flying high for years to come.

During the pandemic, Finnair recycled two Airbus A319s – one in the UK and one, for the first time ever, in Finland. Read more about this pioneering project here.