Finnair has started handing out Apple iPads for passengers to use on flights to Hong Kong, after a bumper third quarter.
The Finnish airline made an operational profit of €42 million between July and September this year.
During the same quarter in 2009, Finnair made a loss of €33 million.
Mika Vehviläinen, Finnair's CEO, said: “The third quarter was the first profitable quarter after seven successive loss-making quarters.”
He said the market situation is better than at the beginning of the year, evident in increasing demand and a “sharp” strengthening of unit revenues.
An increase in business travel between Europe and Asia was also a key factor.
Vehviläinen said: “We are committed to continuing our strong growth in Asia-Europe traffic and will take advantage of strengthening demand in the market.’’
Asian traffic capacity will grow by more than 20% during next year.
In a bid to encourage more passengers to transit via Helsinki airport to Asia, Finnair is introducing free iPads for them to use at its Via Lounge.
Passengers flying business class with Finnair, and senior members of the airline’s frequent flyer programme can access the lounge.
The iPads, which will also be on a number of flights to Hong Kong in November, have been loaded with content from newspapers and magazines, as well as films, television series and games.