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Finnair in Talks With Air Berlin, Norwegian Air to Reduce Costs

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Finnair Oyj, Finland’s biggest airline, said it is talking to Norwegian Air Shuttle AS and Air Berlin PLC about cooperating on feeder traffic to lower costs.

“We have ongoing negotiations with them and have the objective to get some kind of commercial agreement,” spokesman Taneli Hassinen said about Norwegian in a phone interview.

“We would also be happy to expand our cooperation with Air Berlin. We are very firm that we will create or be part of production platforms that have lower costs,” he said.

Finnair already has a feeder traffic agreement with Air Berlin on routes between Helsinki and Berlin and Dusseldorf. That arrangement is working well and is providing competition to other European airlines such as Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Hassinen said.

Finnair Chief Executive Officer Mika Vehvilaeinen said yesterday the carrier would consider structural changes and increased partnerships to cut costs as most of its flights were cancelled after the Finnish Cabin Crew Union started a strike in a work-rules dispute.

Finnair and the union have not agreed on when to resume negotiations, Hassinen said. Some flight attendants have left the union to return to work, he said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Kinnander in Stockholm at okinnander@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Toby Alder at talder@bloomberg.net

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