Finnair has partnered with Slush, Europe’s leading startup event, to speed up innovation within and advance digitalisation inside the airline. In November, Slush will gather close to 2,000 startups, 800 venture capitalists, and 700 journalists from over 100 countries together in Helsinki to create and explore business opportunities.
Together with Slush, Finnair will seek and identify potential startup partners for strategic collaboration projects. The target is to find between new innovative partners, with whom Finnair will conduct long-term cooperation projects to enhance its products and services, improve its processes and create new business opportunities.
“We want to explore the various opportunities digitalisation can bring to the different parts of our organization, especially to the customer journey and our own processes,” says Katri Harra-Salonen, Chief Digital Officer at Finnair. “Slush is a natural partner for us, with its excellent network and strong focus on Asia. Digitalisation is moving at a quick and strong pace in the travel industry, and we look forward to an increased and deeper dialogue with Slush to advance innovation within Finnair.”
As part of the collaboration, Slush is organizing two exclusive direct flights for the routes HEL–SFO–HEL and SFO–HEL–SFO. Finnair will fly Slush participants with its new Airbus A350 aircraft from San Francisco to Helsinki and back with exclusive direct flights between November 28 and December 2.
“The flight from San Francisco will bring around 300 founders, investors and speakers for the first time ever to visit Finland and experience the Nordic startup scene at Slush. Offering direct flights has had a surprisingly large impact on how people feel about traveling to Helsinki,” says Marianne Vikkula, CEO at Slush.
The cooperation also entails a Finnair training program to boost innovation and digital competencies within Finnair, as well as a marketing cooperation. Finnair will also take part in Slush events in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo to network with startups in those key markets for the airline.