Icelandair parent FL Group’s investment subsidiary has purchased additional shares in Finnish flag-carrier Finnair, two months after taking control of Danish low fares carrier Sterling.

FL Investment has raised its share from 2.4% of Finnair shares to 6.1% in a move seen by some to strengthen its Reykjavik hub. FL acquired Sterling in November and halted the Copenhagen-based airline's s North American plans, preferring to concentrate on routes to the USA via Iceland.

FL Investment's previous 2.4% were not registered in the name of FL Group, the Icelandic company nevertheless held the voting rights.

Through the transaction, comprising 3.2 million shares, FL Group becomes one of the largest shareholders in Finnair. Icelandic investment banks Straumur-Burdaras and Kaupthing also have strong interests in the flag-carrier.

In October FL Group acquired a further small stake in UK budget carrier EasyJet, taking its share in the low-fare airline to just under 16.2%.

Source: Flight International