Flybe and Finnair have formed a new venture following the joint acquisition of Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA). In the deal the two airlines will develop a regional carrier for the Nordic and Baltics countries. Flybe would have a 60% share in the airline and will take over day-to-day operations of FCA from 1 August, while Finnair will own the other 40% stake. The venture will see Flybe adopt its low-cost product into the Nordic/Baltic markets with an initial emphasis on flights from Finland, with expansion into Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia in the pipeline. This will include connections to Europe and Asia. In addition, the new airline will operate direct regional flights in a similar way to Flybe’s UK network. This will open up new destinations in the region. More details will be announced in mid August with flights expected to operate from late October. “In establishing much-needed point-to-point routes, opening new bases in Finland, expanding into new markets – and in the process, becoming a recognised champion dedicated to the Nordic regions, the companies hope to create a brand new generation of flying Finns,” said Jim French, chairman and chief executive of Flybe.