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Despite difficult winter Finnair passenger volume keeps climbing

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Passenger volume in December reached a new high for Finnair, with the number of passengers per year increased by more than one million to close to 12 million.

In December, Finnair’s overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres increased by 15.1 percent year‐on‐year, and traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres grew by 17.4 percent. The number of passengers carried in December increased by 13.0 percent year-on-year to 951,400 passengers, breaking Finnair’s December record. The passenger load-factor increased by 1.6 percentage points to 80.4 percent.

The capacity in Finnair’s largest traffic area – Asia, also increased by 20.8 percent in December. Finnair’s route network in Asia was otherwise the same as in the comparison period, but flights were operated also to the new seasonal destination Goa. Also the number of frequent trips to Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Delhi and Tokyo increased year-on-year. Traffic measured in RPK grew by 23.6 percent, and the passenger load-factor increased by 1.9 percentage points to 83.2 percent.


In North Atlantic traffic capacity increased by 15.9 percent. Flights to new leisure destination Havana started and operations to New York, Miami and the new seasonal destination Puerto Vallarta, launched in November, continued. Traffic increased by 15.6 percent and the passenger load-factor decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 78.2 percent.

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Finnair’s capacity in European traffic increased by 7.2 percent reflecting added capacity especially to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin and Moscow. Traffic measured in RPK grew by 9.7 percent year-on-year. The passenger load-factor increased by 1.8 percentage points to 78.5 percent. Domestic capacity increased by 14.1 percent and traffic by 10.2 percent; the passenger load-factor decreased by 2.5 percentage points to 69.8 percent.

Finnair has ordered 19 A350s


“The traffic measured in RPK and capacity both continued to grow in December. Exceptionally difficult winter and wind conditions and their multiplier effects, and the overtime working ban by Finnish aviation union, hampered the traffic especially in Finland and Europe. Difficult conditions were reflected especially in flight punctuality and regularity,” says Finnair CFO Pekka Vähähyyppä (main picture).

“In terms of traffic performance, the fourth quarter was nonetheless good. Our Q4 capacity increased by 17.2 percent and traffic measured in RPK grew by 20.2 percent year-on-year. We carried nearly three million passengers in the last quarter of the year and close to 12 million in 2017,” Vähähyyppä continued.

According to preliminary data, Finnair’s unit revenue, or RASK (total Group revenue divided by ASK), decreased in October–December by 3.4 percent year-on-year and totalled 6.72 euro cents. Full year unit revenue increased by 1.8 percent to 6.96 euro cents according to preliminary data.

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