Finnair, Finland’s flagship carrier, saw a slight increase in passenger numbers last month, with a total of 819,800 passengers carried. This figure marks a rise of 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The airline also reported an overall increase in capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASK), which was up 5.6 per cent year-on-year. When factoring in wet rents, capacity saw a 4.0 per cent increase.
According to Finnair data, Finnair’s traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), grew by 1.3 per cent. However, despite the increase in capacity and traffic, the Passenger Load Factor (PLF) witnessed a decline of 3.0 percentage points, settling at 69.2 per cent.
The same source further indicated that Asian traffic stood out, with ASK growing by 13.1 per cent year-on-year. This growth is attributed to expanded capacity in destinations such as Japan and South Korea.
On the other hand, North Atlantic capacity fell by 5.8 per cent. In European traffic, ASKs increased by 5.9 per cent, while Middle East capacity fell by 7.3 per cent, mainly due to flight cancellations to Israel. Domestically, ASKs increased by a marginal 0.4 per cent.
RPKs increased in Asian traffic by 3.0 per cent year-on-year but decreased in North Atlantic traffic by 3.7 per cent. They increased by 2.2 per cent in EU traffic but decreased by 0.9 per cent in Middle Eastern traffic and by 2.4 per cent in domestic traffic.
Moreover, in different regions, the PLF varied significantly. Thus, in Asian traffic, it remained at 68.5 per cent, while in North Atlantic traffic, it decreased to 67.3 per cent. EU traffic recorded a PLF of 68.9 per cent, while in Middle East traffic, the PLF increased to 79.4 per cent. Domestically, PLF was at 63.9 per cent.
Regarding passenger numbers, Finnair reported a 0.6 per cent rise in Asian traffic year-on-year. However, North Atlantic traffic fell by 4.0 per cent. On a positive note, EU traffic saw a 3.4 per cent increase, but Middle East traffic witnessed a 2.7 per cent decline. At the same time, domestic traffic faced the most significant decrease, down 5.2 per cent compared to a year ago.
As Finnair statistics show, cargo operations showed strong growth, with total cargo tonnages up 17.5 per cent year-on-year in January, driven by increased capacity in the Asian and EU markets. This growth was further reflected in cargo ton-kilometer revenue, which grew by 16.3 per cent.
A political strike announced last month by several trade unions against the Finnish government was expected to disrupt operations at Helsinki Airport.
Finnair predicted the cancellation of around 550 flights scheduled for February 1 and 2, which coincides with the strike dates. In response, the airline intends to maintain a reduced operational capacity, with around 280 daily flights scheduled to operate within regular traffic hours.