Flybe and Finnair are entering a joint venture to buy Finland’s largest domestic carrier Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA).
Finnair will contribute €13 million to the deal and hold a 40% stake in the joint venture, with Flybe making up the remaining €12 and holding a 60% stake.
The deal, which remains subject to competition clearance, is expected to be completed by August 1.
Flybe will take over the day to day operation of FCA from the beginning of August, when its name will be changed to Finnair Nordic.
FCA currently flies some 900,000 passengers each year to destinations within Finland and the Nordic and Baltic regions.
The Exeter-based regional carrier hopes to take its point-to-point model that has found success in the UK and apply it to the Nordic market, said Flybe’s CEO Jim French.
He said Finnair Nordic aims to create “much-needed” point-to-point routes, open new bases in Finland, expand into new markets and become “a recognised champion dedicated to the Nordic regions”.
Details of the new routes will be announced in mid August.
Flybe Nordic will also connect with Finnair’s flights from Helsinki to international destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong, providing a codeshare network for the Finnish national carrier.
Mika Vehvilainen, Finnair’s CEO, said: "We have joined the forces with Flybe to establish a strong, complementary and cost-efficient operator in the Nordic market.
“In addition to point to point connections, the airline will form an effective feeder platform for our international operations.”