Finnair sells four A350s, here’s how much the buyers paid

In a bid to strengthen its financial position, Finnair has sold four of its Airbus A350s.

The flag carrier has entered into a sale and leaseback arrangement with GE Aviation Capital Services (GECAS) and Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), which will see the duo acquire the quartet of jets and lease them back to the airline for its own operation.

Finnair operates a fleet of 16 A350s after accepting its first example in October 2015. Aviation Image Network/Bailey

The four widebodies were originally delivered to Finnair between June 2017 and February 2019. Based on these dates, it is thought the aircraft in question are OH-LWK (c/n 113), OH-LWL (c/n 134), OH-LWM (c/n 264) and OH-LWN (c/n 273).

In return, Finnair stands to received more than US$400m (£293m), making it the company’s largest ever single aircraft financing transaction.

Airbus A350
The A350 forms the backbone of Finnair's long haul fleet. Aviation Image Network/Baoluo

Mika Stirkkinen, Finnair’s CFO, commented: “It is a significant part of our refinancing plan, which we have executed diligently during the pandemic, and it helps us to further improve our capital structure.”

The Helsinki-based firm says it will use the cash to refinance existing debt and retire its undrawn revolving credit facility of €175m (£150m).

Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new A350-900 aircraft from Airbus, of which 16 have been delivered. The remaining three examples are expected to be handed over in the second quarter of 2022, the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.