Finnair is to dismantle and recycle an Airbus A319 aircraft, following 21 years of service.
“This is the first time that a Finnair aircraft is dismantled and recycled in Finland. We made the decision to take the plane apart at our home hub to optimise sustainability and economics”, said Juha Ojala, Vice President of Finnair’s Technical Operations. “This project allows us to improve the cost efficiency of maintenance operations and employ our mechanics during the pandemic when their normal workload has decreased.”
This is the first time that a commercial aircraft will be dismantled in Finland.
The dismantling will begin at Helsinki Airport, where Finnair’s mechanics will remove parts that can be used elsewhere in Finnair’s fleet. These include the engine, seats, landing gear and avionics components.
“Many parts of the plane that will be dismantled – like landing gear, engines, the auxiliary power unit and avionics – can be utilised in Finnair’s maintenance operations, which supports both sustainability as well as cost efficiency,” Juha Ojala explained. “The parts that will be reused will be carefully inspected and overhauled. Smaller elements, like seat covers or cabin curtains, can also be reused.”
“It’s going to be done in three parts,” said Timo Rossi, Project Manager for Finnair Technical Operations. “Finnair is going to remove bigger components such as the wings, engines, landing gears, auxiliary power unit (APU). Then a couple of hundred other parts will be taken off for eventual use in our active flying fleet.”
Once the component removals have been done by Finnair staff at Helsinki Airport, the remaining parts of the aircraft will be transported to an external partner for further dismantling.
“We’ve calculated the component removals will take roughly eight weeks,” said Rossi. “At Helsinki Airport it will take around a day to cut off the wings and the tail to get the aircraft transported to the final recycling location. The current plan is to start in the middle of February, with the work of our partner finishing in late March or early April.”