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Finnair appoints new CEO to replace Mika Vehvilainen who helped turn airline to profit

HELSINKI – Finnair says it has found a new chief executive to replace Mika Vehvilainen, who left at the end of February to head Finnish cargo and load handling company Cargotec.

The Finnish airline said Thursday that Pekka Vauramo, who currently heads the MacGregor division of Cargotec in Hong Kong, will take over in June.

During Vehvilainen’s three-year tenure, Finnair battled falling demand and fierce competition but swung into profit in the second half of 2012 after years of losses. It plans to cut costs by 140 million euros ($180 million) a year by 2014.

Vehvilainen’s predecessor resigned in 2010 in what he called “crisis conditions” as pilots and personnel staged strikes amid cutbacks and layoffs.

Last year, Finnair PLC and FlyBe formed a joint venture after buying Finnish Commuter Airlines.