Finnair is one of the oldest commercial airlines in Europe. The company is located in Finland with headquarters based in the city of Vantaa near Helsinki International Airport, only twenty minutes from the capital city Helsinki. The Finnair Flight Academy can also be found in the region and is actually situated a mere few hundred metres from the edge of the airport runway.

Finnair has a long successful history in real fire training and was one of the pioneers to participate in developing the modern Real Fire Fighting Training for Cockpit and Cabin Crew.  In early 1995 Finnair and Lufthansa started to search possibilities to improve air crew fire training to a higher level than it had achieved previously. The companies initially investigated their new ideas individually but by a happy accident they finally came together, in a certain sense, when they were introduced to Interfire.

In 1996 the Interfire team did a lot of work with both airline clients in order to be able to find the best possible solution to organise and initiate better fire training. At the time, twenty years ago, we collectively looked at certain issues that included safety for users, comfort, low costs and environmental issues. It was a positive and productive co-operation between all three parties. Lufthansa’s Project Manager Mr. Frank Ciupka finally named the new modern fire trainer the RFFT, a title which is now well known name for this kind of aviation training device. At that time the Head of Finnair Flight Academy Captain Erkki Ahtee and his team decided to equip the fire trainer interior with some aircraft equipment like seats, overhead pins, etc. In 1996 both companies purchased the first ever modern Real Fire Fighting Trainers from Interfire; and the RFFTs were delivered to Finnair and Lufthansa soon after the contracts were agreed.

Some twenty years later and these two airline companies have again recently combined to send out a ‘Request For Proposals’ to respected fire trainer manufacturers in the industry. From the jointly produced RFP it was evident that the two organisations have had vast experience in this subject, which was extremely helpful for those manufacturers participating in the tender. Real fire training has become quite popular in the field of aviation and although not heavily regulated yet, there is a good starting base for future development in this extremely important part of aviation safety and air crew training. If any new trainer customers are not aware of what type of trainer equipment that they require then it is so beneficial that they can speak with those airliners who do have a lot of experience. This a great way to approach this important training topic and it will help to avoid problems in the trainer purchase process, as well as later in the training itself.

After an explicit evaluation process Finnair Flight Academy’s purchase team, led by Managing Director Mr. Ari Kuutschin, decided to purchase their new fire trainer from AMTS Group AG – Interfire Trainers. For Interfire Trainers the decision was a great achievement and a fantastic opportunity to work once again in collaboration with Finnair. We look forward to providing state of the art RFFT design, not only for Finnair, and for all airline fire training clients worldwide.

“Safety is our business.”