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Finnair Reports 6% Growth, Expands A350 Service to Asia

Finnair reports 6% growth in passenger numbers year-on-year for September, 6.5% Year-on-Year. Finnair also announced an expansion of its A350 routes to Tokyo and Hong Kong as part of the airline’s focus on growth in Asia.

  • Finnair’s overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) grew by 8.5%
  • Traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) grew by 7.2% year‐on‐year.
  • Passenger load factor declined by 0.9 percentage points year-on-year to 80.7 per cent.
  • Asia is the largest market for Finnair in traffic. The airline grew capacity by 12.4 per cent during the month of September, boosted by the Fukuoka and Guangzhou routes launched for the summer season and by the additional capacity of A350 aircraft. Traffic grew by 9.4 per cent.
  • Capacity to America increased by 24.3%, mainly due to increased flight frequencies to Chicago. Traffic measured in RPK increased by 9.1%.
  • Capacity in Europe grew by 2.3%, and traffic measured in RPK increased by 4.4% year‐on‐year. Domestic capacity was reduced by 1.3%, and traffic increased by 5.7% year‐on‐year.
  • Finnair reports preliminary figures for unit revenue, or RASK (total Group revenue divided by ASK), declined in July–September by 5.1% year‐on‐year to 7.04 euro cents.
  • In September, 90.9% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule.
  • Finnair’s overall load factor is 67.3% for September and 66.1% Year-to-Date
  • Finnair’s domestic load factor is 66.4% for September and 69.1% Year-to-Date
  • Finnair’s load factor in Europe is 79.5% for September and 79.2% Year-to-Date
  • Finnair’s load factor on North Atlantic routes is 73.2% for September and 80.2% Year-to-Date
  • Finnair’s load factor on Asia routes is 84.4% and 82.2% Year-to-Date

“In our European and domestic traffic, load factor increased and unit revenue improved slightly year-on-year. The strong capacity growth continued in Finnair’s long-haul traffic in the third quarter, while passenger volume growth was more moderate. Average load factor and unit revenue declined year-on-year. Particularly in traffic between China and Europe, there was marked growth in market capacity. In Cargo traffic, unit revenues declined, but strong volume growth balanced this partially,” says Finnair CFO Pekka Vähähyyppä.

Asia Expansion

Finnair continues to focus its growth plans on routes to Asia. Today, the airline announced that it will add capacity and frequencies to the Tokyo and Hong Kong routes served by A350 aircraft for the summer 2017 season.

Finnair currently operates daily flights to Narita on the A330. Finnair will add four weekly flights to Narita airport to its Helsinki-Tokyo service, served by the new Airbus A350 aircraft, which will run between June 5 and October 27.

“It’s been a year since we received our very first Airbus A350, and with seven aircraft operating in our network, we look forward to having even more customers flying on this great aircraft,” Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.

The additional Tokyo frequencies will be operated as part of Finnair’s joint business operation with Japan Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. It will increase the connections Finnair and partner Japan Airlines offer from Helsinki to Tokyo’s Narita Airport to 18 a week. Finnair also flies non-stop to Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka during the summer 2017 season, bringing the total weekly flights to Japan to 35.

Finnair will also add three weekly A350 flights to its Hong Kong route between June 6 and October 28. The Helsinki-Hong Kong route is already fully operated on A350 aircraft. The new frequencies bring the total number of flights Finnair operates on the route to 10 a week, and introduces an afternoon flight from Helsinki and a morning flight from Hong Kong. Currently, Finnair flights to Hong Kong depart Helsinki around midnight.

Finnair will also maintain and continue its seasonal route to the nearby Chinese city of Guangzhou, with four weekly frequencies on A330 aircraft. Finnair’s route to Guangzhou opened in 2016 and was Finnair’s fifth destination in mainland China.

“With increased frequencies for Tokyo and Hong Kong on the A350, we are now tapping into the growth of Asia-Europe traffic and increasing our presence in cities that have been popular with our customers in recent years,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “It’s been a year since we received our very first Airbus A350, and with seven aircraft operating in our network, we look forward to having even more customers flying on this great aircraft.”

Finnair was the first European airline to receive the A350 aircraft on October 7 of last year.

The airline just took delivery of its 7th A350 on September 29.

Finnair expects to receive four A350 deliveries next year and will have 19 A350 aircraft in its fleet by the end of 2023.

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