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Finnair Takes Off With IBM

Finnair and IBM Join Forces To Develop Innovative e-Business Solutions

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HELSINK - 27 Jun 2002: Finland's flag carrier airline Finnair Oyj and IBM have signed an agreement to run Finnair's IT systems and develop new e-business applications that will help Finnair become an industry leader in e-business. Among the focus areas will be wireless check-in, e-ticketing and Internet and wireless ticket sales. The agreement is valued at $400 million over a 10 year period.

Finnair is leading the development of wireless Web commerce technology for the oneworld alliance, which includes eight of the world's leading airlines. Finnair and IBM will create an innovation centre to serve as an incubator for new e-business solutions. The centre will draw on IBM's research, technology, and industry expertise as well as Finnair's deep airline industry know-how and experience. The innovation centre will become an important vehicle for Finnair as the airline transforms its infrastructure and provides new e-business services to its customers.

"This relationship represents a significant departure from traditional IT outsourcing," said Joseph Benaroya, general manager, travel and transportation sector, IBM Europe. "It builds on Finnair's in-house capabilities, provides leading edge industry solutions and strengthens Finnair's competitive advantage in the global marketplace as well as IBM's airline industry expertise."

"This will further improve our competitiveness and speed up the development of new e-business solutions. The resources IBM is bringing to Finnair through the new innovation centre will be invaluable to us as we work toward our goal of generating more than half our ticket sales via the Internet by 2006," said Eero Ahola, senior vice president, corporate business development and strategy, Finnair. "As a result of this relationship, Finnair will also be able to reduce IT-related expenses and release capital for our core airline business."

The arrangements require the approval of the Finnish Competition Authority.

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