Digital Finnair is like a startup of 60 people

Digital Finnair is like a startup of 60 people

At Slush 2016, Finnair announced that the airline will go in-house with its Digital Solutions Development, DSD. The big news was inspiring. I’ve always been a start-up guy, a dreamer seeking the movement of change and innovation. Yet, all of a sudden, I was considering joining a corporation. 

My instinct in choosing opportunities previously lead me to work in social media (ICR-Galleria), online video (Kyte), crowd-sourced photography (Scoopshot), human-to-human translation (Transfluent) and smart waste management (Enevo). Finnair and aviation was a tempting fresh direction. I worked for companies with a head count ranging from 8 to 80. No name yet, no legacy, no history. Suddenly, it was about 5k employees and over 90 years of operation. Digital Finnair, however, is like a start-up of 60 people. It’s a division inside Finnair that has all necessary resources at hand. 

Mid-March, I took off for the 6th floor at Finnair’s HQ, the House of Travel and Transportation (HOTT). The recruitment process was slow back then but trust me, it has improved a lot since. I became part of the IBE team, standing for Internet Booking Engine (IBE) where I act as Sr. Software Developer (Front-end). Look up beta.finnair.com to play with our work, and check here  if you want to learn about open positions or working at Finnair. 

“There’s an incredible range of cool products on the plate.” 

The DSD division has grown a lot since I started. New great people have joined, enriching the teams that are building digital solutions for CX and Finnair staff. There’s an incredible range of cool products on the plate, reaching from Inflight Entertainment (IFE) to mobile apps and digital tools facilitating the work of Crew, ground staff and mechanics. Finnair has ambitious growth plans and the fact that recent numbers are in line with the targets makes this an incredible time to join the company. 

There’s also lots of opportunities to develop internally. I managed to sneak into the Finnair Transformers program, intended to boost growth mind-set and develop new competencies for acting as an influencer on transformation. The program is exactly what my mind is passionate about: growth and transformation. The company encourages people to get involved. You’ll face a lot of innovation plus you’ll also be offered ways to express your own ideas. Further, the people transformation initiative allows improving your own ways of working.  

Slush 2017 will be the stage for Finnair to prove its digital mission. The Transformers program also enables me to act as a representative of Finnair at the venue. Innovation plays an increasing role in the disruption of traditional airlines. I’m looking forward to catching up on trends, meeting people and spreading the word that Digital Finnair is looking for minds interested in shaping the future of aviation. If you have creative ideas to share with us, check out our innovation challenges 

“Finnair has a great mix of aviation experts and digital minds.” 

I’ve now worked a good half a year at Finnair and I’ve enjoyed talks with people with incredibly different backgrounds. Network planning, direct business, cargo, Aurinkomatkat and more. It’s a spectrum hardly any company can compete with. Finnair has a great mix of aviation experts and digital minds, backing up the airline to take a lead role in the disruption of aviation and travel. 

I’ve always looked up to Finnair being a rock-solid brand. My reasons to join the carrier were the growth and digitalisation objectives of the company, the demand for innovation in the industry, my wife working as flight attendant (also Finnair) and the office location. Further, I’ve learned that the company has an unexpected low hierarchy. Forget the grey image of a corporation, you’ll get to chat with CxO’s and run into interesting co-workers. Fancy something special? Grab a coffee on a sunny afternoon and head to the rooftop terrace at HOTT. Enjoy a scent of kerosene while watching the A350 landing and lining up at the gates during rush hour. 

See you at Slush, and welcome on board Digital Finnair!