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Finland to cut Finnair stake in 2019 for pilots' incentive plan

[Helsinki] The Finnish government has committed to sell a 2.3 per cent stake in airline Finnair in March 2019 to help finance a new incentive programme for the company's 700 pilots, it said on Monday.

Loss-making Finnair, currently 55.8 per cent owned by the state, recently struck a deal with pilots on cost savings of 17 million euros (US$22 million).

The government said in a statement it would sell three million shares in the company to the market for at least four euros each in March 2019. The deal requires that the stock at that time trades above four euros, and the agreed cost-cutting plan is realised in full.

Finnair shares were up 2.5 per cent at 2.45 euros on Monday at 1408 GMT. They last traded above four euros in early 2011.

Any profit made from selling the shares at between four and eight euros will go to the pilots' incentive scheme, the government said, describing the agreement as "market-based." REUTERS