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Finnair’s H1 Figures Reveal the Airline’s Resilience

A Deep Dive Into Finnair’s Half-year Report 2023

Jump to Just the Facts

Finnairs H1 figures have touched down. Let’s fasten our seat belts and take a closer look at the numbers, shall we? 

This dissection of Finnair’s performance aims to inform aviation enthusiasts, industry analysts, or those simply curious about the nuts and bolts of the airline industry. 

From revenue and profit margins to customer numbers and fleet optimizations, you’ll find everything you need to know here. 

Successful strategy leads to a strong quarter. Finnair increases profitability target.

Navigating through turbulent skies, the carrier has managed to hold its line. A blend of strategic foresight and robust execution has been its co-pilot.

— FlightChic

The Big Picture: Revenue and Profit Margins 

First off, let’s talk numbers. Finnair’s half-year results show a tale of resilience and strategic maneuvering. The financial figures, albeit impacted by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russian aerospace closure, are beginning to show signs of recovery. 

Finnair table H1 2023 Operating Results.

Capturing Customer Loyalty: Passenger Numbers 

Despite the headwinds, Finnair has managed to keep its customer base afloat. The passenger numbers are recovering, and the airline has been innovative in its approach to managing its strong customer-centric brand. 

Finnair H1 Table Passenger revenue and traffic data by area.

Navigating the Storm: Fleet Optimization 

Finnair’s fleet has had to adapt to the challenges facing the industry. By streamlining operations and optimizing the use of its aircraft, the airline has shown exceptional agility in responding to forces outside of its control. 

Finnair's Fleet as of H2 2023

Management Commentary on Finnair’s Half-Year Results

Statement from CE­O Topi Manner

Emphasis FlightChic

Finnair CEO Topi Manner
Finnair CEO Topi Manner. Source: Finnair

“The second quarter was a strong one. We carried 2.8 million customers and had a passenger load factor of 76 percent. Our comparable operating profit was 66.2 million euros. Looking back, I’m proud of how the entire Finnair team has brought the company out of the pandemic and adapted to Russian airspace closure by defining a new strategy and implementing it successfully.

“The strong quarter was driven by continued strong travel demand and successful implementation of Finnair’s strategy. We captured demand with our balanced network and were successful in our pricing and sales efforts. Also, our cost control measures are bearing fruit. The net result for the period increased to 138.6 million euros, supported by the re-recognition of previously written down deferred tax assets due to clearly improved profitability and improved longer-term outlook of our business.

We introduced the new Superlight ticket type and changes to baggage allowances and enhanced control of carry-on baggage. The changes support on-time performance and upselling, as well as add choices available for our customers. The new ticket type is part of Finnair’s strategy to offer a comprehensive range of products and price points to meet the needs of different customers. In addition, we completed our strategic fleet optimization with a long-term lease agreement for A330s with our oneworld partner Qantas. The agreement enables us to profitably deploy our A330 aircraft, whose range limits their use in Finnair’s own long-haul flights in the current situation.

Customer satisfaction measured by Net Promoter Score was 35 in the second quarter, a good level in international comparison. Our on-time performance, which is a key factor in customer satisfaction, remained good at 85%, and our renewed long-haul cabins continued to receive excellent feedback from customers. In addition, our home hub, Helsinki Airport, was chosen as the best airport in Europe in its size category. Finnair was named the best airline in Northern Europe for the 13th time in a row in a Skytrax evaluation based on customer insights.

“The long tail of the pandemic was visible as capacity bottlenecks in global aviation; there is a global shortage of aircraft, spare parts as well as pilots and other staff. The global capacity challenges impacted Finnair in two ways, offering opportunities to lease aircraft and crew on one hand, and prolonging the maintenance schedules of aircraft on the other hand, resulting in less than planned capacity on some routes and the cancellation of some flights from the end of the summer season.

“Over the past year, Finnair has succeeded well in actively addressing the opportunities in the market. Among other things, we have made successful network choices and allocated our capacity profitably, improved sales efficiency by significantly increasing the share of direct distribution, and improved cost efficiency while maintaining our operational excellence. Due to this, also our longer-term outlook has improved, and the specific risks related to the business environment have normalized as the impacts of the pandemic have faded, and both Finnair and the market have adapted to the closed Russian airspace. In June, we announced that we would reach our previous strategic profitability target, i.e., a comparable operating profit margin of at least 5%, 12–18 months earlier than previously estimated. We are now able to raise our strategic profitability target to 6% by the end of 2025. In addition, we intend to call our 200-million-euro hybrid bond in early September. We have also made some updates to our strategy. We are aware that our work is not done, and we continue to implement our strategy in a determined manner.

“The busiest travel weeks of the summer mean full planes and busy days at airports. I want to thank our customers for allowing us to be part of their journey also this summer. At the same time, I would like to thank our entire personnel for their excellent work and commitment to ensure smooth journeys and safe operations every day, on every flight.”

The Airline Business Environment in Q2 

Finnair Airbus A330
Finnair Airbus A330. Source: Finnair

Helsinki to Finnair’s European destinations saw a 3.6% increase in scheduled market capacity, measured in ASKs [available seat kilometers, a standard measure of airline capacity]. Direct market capacity between Finnair’s Asian and European destinations rose by 132.4%, and North Atlantic to European destinations grew by 15.8% year-on-year. 

Strong demand for package holidays in Q2 led to increased prices. High bookings for the summer season resulted in increased capacity to popular destinations like the Greek islands and Turkey. Demand remained high despite higher prices, with city holidays also seeing growth. Early bookings post-pandemic indicate good levels of demand for the upcoming winter season. 

Global air freight market capacity exceeded pre-pandemic levels. However, Finnair’s cargo revenue was lower due to growing supply, weakened demand, and declining market prices. Finnair expects cargo demand to soften and prices to decline as market capacity increases.

The US dollar, Finnair’s main non-Euro expense, fell by 2.2% against the Euro. Jet fuel prices also decreased significantly, but these changes aren’t directly reflected in Finnair’s results due to its hedging policy. 

By Q2 2023, the effects of COVID-19 on Finnair were minimal. Travel to China increased slowly, and the Russian airspace closure had a significant impact on Finnair’s Asian traffic. Despite longer routes, Finnair continued operating to most Asian destinations with a reduced capacity. This led to increased unit costs, but strong demand kept the Asian market yields stable. Demand in intra-European and North Atlantic markets was also strong, leading to a noticeable increase in passenger revenue compared to capacity.

Finnair Financial performance in Q2 

Finnair Revenue Q2 

Finnair table Q2 2023 operating results.

Finnair’s total revenue grew year-on-year due to the COVID-19 impact on the previous year and high passenger demand with limited capacity.

Unit revenue by available seat kilometers (RASK) saw a 15.9% rise, reaching 8.13 cents from 7.02. This surge was due to increased passenger yields and a greater passenger load factor. Despite more cargo-only flights, which don’t produce any ASKs, the RASK effect remained positive.

COVID-19’s slight negative effect on Asian travel persisted as China’s borders slowly reopened in Q2. Despite growing demand improving numbers, the closure of Russian airspace notably impacted Asian travel figures.

Passenger revenue rose by 55.5% and traffic capacity (ASK) by 17.5%. The passenger count surged by 19.4% to 2,826,000. Traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) and passenger load factor (PLF) increased by 33.3% and 9.0 percentage points to 76.3%, respectively.

The reported traffic numbers are calculated based on the shortest distance, not considering the longer Asian routes due to the closure of Russian airspace. Thus, these numbers may not match the data before the airspace closure. If we adjust for the longer distances, the ASKs would be about 15% higher than reported.

In Asian traffic, the count of scheduled passenger flights was at 53% of Q2 2019 levels due to ongoing pandemic effects and the closure of Russian airspace. Despite these challenges, the number of flights was higher than the comparison period, as travel to Asia resumed. As a result, ASKs increased by 67.6%, RPKs by 102.6%, and PLF by 12.8 percentage points to 73.8%.

In Q2 2023, North Atlantic ASKs dropped 38.9% year-on-year due to the closure of Stockholm operations in October 2022. RPKs also fell by 25.3% year-on-year. Meanwhile, PLF rose by 13.1 percentage points to 72.3%.

European ASKs increased by 3.9% from the previous year. RPKs and PLF also rose by 14.1% and 7.3% to reach 81.3%, respectively. From 2023, Finnair started reporting the Middle East as a separate traffic area, unlike in 2022. The figures have been updated to reflect this change.

Finnair partnered with Qatar Airways in late 2022. They launched flights from Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki to Doha in November and December, respectively. The data for these routes will be included in the newly established Middle East traffic area from 2023, which also covers Dubai and Israel flights. There was a massive increase in ASKs and RPKs in the Middle Eastern traffic compared to the previous year. However, the PLF dropped by 5.0 percentage points to 66.6 percent.

Domestic traffic capacity fell 0.2%, while RPKs rose 4.6%. PLF also increased to 75.9% year-on-year, up by 3.5 points.

Ancillary revenue rose to 33.1 million euros (27.7), primarily from seat reservations, extra luggage, and ticket-related fees.

Finnair’s Q2 cargo volumes were lower than pre-pandemic Q2 2019 levels due to reduced passenger flights to Asia, largely because of the Russian airspace closure. Despite this, available scheduled cargo tonne kilometers grew 31.9% year-on-year, and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometers rose 13.7%. Total cargo tonnes increased by 15.7%, but cargo revenue fell by 47.4% year-on-year due to lower cargo yields. Finnair reports cargo figures from its Qatar Airways partnership as the operating carrier, with associated revenue, included in full in passenger revenue.

The financial growth of travel services has been boosted due to high demand post-COVID-19. In Q2, only international package holidays were offered, while domestic ones were discontinued. There was a 21.2% annual increase in travel services passengers, and 96.4% of allotment-based capacity was occupied. Revenue rose by 45.2% to 56.8 million euros.

Other operating income dropped 27.2% to 27.7 million euros (38.0), due to the conclusion of the wet lease agreement with Eurowings Discover in Q1 2023.

FINNAIR’S OPERATING EXPENSES ROSE IN Q2 AS CAPACITY INCREASED

Finnair table Q2 2023 Operating Costs

Finnair’s operating costs rose by 5.7% due to increased capacity, despite a fall in jet fuel price. The company continued to adjust costs in Q2.  

The unit cost (CASK) dropped by 8.4% to 7.41 cents (8.09). Excluding fuel, CASK fell by 2.8%. The decrease in CASK year-on-year was due to increased capacity, more cargo-only flights, lower jet fuel prices, and achieved cost savings.

Comparable operating expenses, excluding fuel, rose by 10.6 percent.  

Fuel costs fell even with increased capacity and longer Asian routes due to a drop in fuel market price1. Fuel efficiency weakened by 6.4 percent due to reasons like longer Asian routes. Yet, fuel consumption per RTK decreased by 1.3 percent annually due to improved passenger load factor.

Staff and other crew-related costs increased due to the added capacity and longer Asian routings.

Increased volumes, particularly in passenger traffic, raised passenger and handling costs, including tour operation expenses like hotels. Sales, marketing, and distribution costs rose due to heightened marketing activities and better sales intake. 

The growth in aircraft materials and overhaul costs was due to increased capacity and longer Asian routes. Traffic charges also grew due to these longer routes and expanded capacity. 

Capacity rents, which cover purchased traffic from Norra, possible cargo rents, and any wet leases, rose in comparison to the previous period due to increased capacity. Conversely, property, IT, and other expenses decreased, largely due to exchange gains.

FINNAIR REPORTS POSITIVE RESULTS IN Q2 

Travel was freely allowed within Europe, the US, and most Asian countries in Q2, so COVID-19 impacts were low. However, the closure of Russian airspace in February 2022 led to longer rerouted flights, raising costs such as staff, fuel, and navigation. 

Finnair’s revenue grew more than its operating expenses, resulting in improved EBITDA and operating results.  

Unrealized changes in foreign currencies related to fleet overhaul provisions amounted to -0.2 million euros (-11.6). Other items included fair value changes of derivatives, sales gains or losses, and restructuring costs, totaling -0.2 million euros (2.9) during the quarter. No restructuring costs were recorded during the comparison period.

In Q2, net financial expenses were negative due to higher interest expenses than interest income and exchange gains. Finnair’s improved financial outlook led to the re-recognition of 99 million euros of deferred tax assets for 2020 and 2021 tax losses, previously written down in Q2 2022. Other income taxes recognized were from utilized tax losses and temporary differences. 

The company reported positive results for the third quarter running.

Finnair’s H1 Story: A Tale of Endurance Despite COVID-19 and Russian Airspace Closure

Finnair Crew on the runway with a Finnair A350
Finnair Crew on the runway with a Finnair A350. Source: Finnair

Finnair’s total revenue rose during H1 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 and high passenger yields resulting from strong demand and limited capacity. 

Unit revenue (RASK) grew by 26.3% to 8.13 cents (from 6.44). This was due to increased passenger yields and a higher passenger load factor, even with more cargo-only flights, which don’t generate any ASKs and therefore positively impact RASK.

Finnair’s H1 PAX, ASKs, RPKs by region.

Finnair A350 cabin economy class.
Finnair A350 cabin Economy class. Source: Finnair

COVID-19 negatively affected Asian traffic, even as travel to China started to pick up in H1. The Omicron variant and the closure of Russian airspace in February 2022 also affected demand and traffic figures, especially in Asia. However, strong demand led to an 87.6% increase in passenger revenue and a 20.4% rise in traffic capacity or ASK. Passenger numbers also grew by 39.8% to 5,418,700. Traffic or RPK expanded by 57.4%, while the passenger load factor or PLF jumped by 17.8 points to 75.7%. 

Finnair H1 2023 Passenger revenue and traffic data by area.

Reported traffic data, based on the great circle distance, does not account for longer Asian routes due to the Russian airspace closure. So, these figures are not fully comparable with pre-closure data. Adjusted ASKs for the period, considering the longer routes, would be around 15% more than the reported ASKs.

Asian traffic saw a 55% increase in scheduled passenger flights in H1 2019 due to the pandemic and Russian airspace closure. However, as travel to Asia resumed, there was a notable increase in ASKs (56.3%) and RPKs (143.4%). The PLF also rose by 26.9 percentage points, reaching 75.2%.  

Finnair H1 2023 graph Passenger Revenue, capacity (ASKs) and traffic (RPKs)

Following the Russian airspace closure, Finnair boosted its North Atlantic capacity, leading to a 12% rise in ASKs in H1 2023 compared to H1 2019. Nonetheless, compared to H1 2022, there was a 41.0% drop in ASKs due to the discontinuation of operations in Stockholm in October 2022. RPKs decreased by 12.6% year-on-year. Consequently, the PLF increased by 22.5 percentage points to 68.9%.

European traffic saw a 11.0% year-on-year increase in ASKs and a 27.6% growth in RPKs, with a PLF rise of 10.4 percentage points to 79.6%. Since 2023, Finnair has separated Middle East traffic from European traffic, adjusting previous year’s figures to match this change. 

Finnair’s partnership with Qatar Airways began in late 2022, initiating flights between Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Doha in November and Helsinki and Doha in December. The data for these routes is now included in the new Middle East traffic area from 2023, along with flights to Dubai and Israel. Middle Eastern traffic saw an 847.4% increase in ASKs and an 834.0% increase in RPKs year-on-year, although the PLF dropped by 1.0 percentage points to 71.3%.

Domestic traffic capacity grew by 20.3%, RPKs by 27.8%, and the PLF improved by 4.3 points to 73.3% year-on-year. 

Ancillary income rose to 66.2 million euros from 54.4 million. The biggest contributors were seat reservations, excess baggage, and ticket-related fees.

Finnair Cargo Declines in H1 with fewer flights to Asia

Finnair’s H1 cargo volumes were lower than those of H1 2019 due to fewer flights to Asia and the closure of Russian airspace. Yet, available scheduled cargo tonne kilometers increased by 20.3%, and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometers by 7.9%. These increases can be attributed to Finnair’s partnership with Qatar Airways. Although total cargo tonnes increased by 0.9%, cargo revenue dropped by 52.1% due to lower yields and the allocation of Qatar Airways-related revenue.

The financial growth of travel services has been boosted by strong demand post-COVID-19. In H1, only international package holidays were offered, with domestic packages having been previously discontinued. Travel services saw a 33.5% increase in passengers year-on-year and 97.0% capacity utilization. Revenue rose 74.3% to 111.7 million euros.  

Other operating income saw a 9.7% increase to 58.8 million euros, mostly from a wet lease agreement with British Airways.

Finnair’s Operating Expenses rise in H1 as the airline adds capacity and copes with Extended Asian routes. 

Finnair table H1 2023 operating costs.

Finnair’s comparable operating expenses grew by 17.6% due to greater capacity and extended Asian routes. The company continued cost adjustment efforts in H1. 

Finnair H1 operating expenses.

Unit cost by available seat kilometers (CASK) dropped by 2.0% to 7.75 cents (from 7.91). CASK, excluding fuel, fell by 2.8%. The reduction was due to increased capacity, wet lease operations, more cargo-only flights in the comparison period, and cost savings.

Comparable operating expenses rose by 16.5 percent, excluding fuel. 

Fuel costs increased mainly due to higher capacity and longer Asian routes. Fuel efficiency dropped by 6.1 percent due to factors like extended Asian routes. However, fuel consumption per revenue tonne kilometer (RTK) decreased by 4.6 percent year-on-year due to improved passenger load factor.

Staff and crew costs rose due to additional capacity and extended Asian routes.  

Higher volumes, particularly in passenger traffic, led to increased passenger, handling, and tour operation costs. Sales, marketing, and distribution costs grew due to marketing efforts and improved sales.  

Aircraft materials and overhaul costs increased with added capacity and extended Asian routes. Traffic charges also rose due to longer Europe-Asia routes and increased capacity, despite no accrual of Russian overflight royalties.  

Capacity rents increased from the previous period due to increased capacity, while property, IT, and other expenses decreased mainly because of exchange gains.

Finnair’s comparable H1 EBITDA: Revenue Surpasses Expenses

Travel within Europe, the US, and most of Asia was unrestricted during H1, making COVID-19 impacts mild. However, the closing of Russian airspace in February 2022 increased costs due to longer rerouted flights. 

With revenue surpassing operating expenses, Finnair’s comparable EBITDA and operating results both improved and turned positive year-on-year.

The fleet overhaul provisions caused a 3.0 million euro unrealized change due to the weakened US dollar. Other items causing comparability changes, including non-hedge accounted derivatives, sales gains/losses, and restructuring costs, totaled 4.1 million euros, with sales gains being 3.0 million euros. There were no restructuring costs or aircraft impairments during this period, unlike in H1 2022, where the A330 aircraft impairment was the most significant comparability factor (-32.7).

H1 saw negative net financial expenses due to interest costs exceeding interest income and exchange profits. The company didn’t record any deferred tax assets from Q1 2023 losses because of uncertainty about their use in taxation. The recognized income taxes mainly pertained to changes in deferred tax assets based on some unacknowledged temporary differences from 2022. These items were acknowledged in Q1 as they have no expiration, and the company’s outlook improved. In Q2, Finnair re-acknowledged 99 million euros of deferred tax assets from 2020 and 2021 losses, written off in Q2 2022, due to its improved financial outlook. Other recognized taxes in Q2 included utilized tax losses and other temporary differences.

The result for the period was positive, mainly due to the abovementioned recognized deferred tax assets based on the company’s improved financial outlook.

The State of the Finnair Fleet

Finnair aircraft at the airport.
Finnair Aircraft. Source: Finnair

Finnair’s fleet is managed by Finnair Aircraft Finance Oy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finnair Plc. At the end of June, Finnair itself operated 55 aircraft, of which 25 were wide-body and 30 narrow-body aircraft. The average age of the fleet operated by Finnair was 12.0 years.

FLEET RENEWAL

At the end of June, Finnair had seventeen A350 aircraft delivered between 2015–2021 and two A350 aircraft on order from Airbus. The first aircraft will be delivered to Finnair in Q4 2024 and the second in Q2 2026.

Finnair’s investment commitments for property, plant, and equipment, totaling 337.0 million euros, include the upcoming investments in the wide-body fleet.

FLEET OPERATED BY NORRA (PURCHASED TRAFFIC)

Finnair table Finnair fleet operated by Norra.

Nordic Regional Airlines (Norra) operates a fleet of 24 aircraft for Finnair on a contract flying basis. All the aircraft operated by Norra are leased from Finnair Aircraft Finance Oy.

Unveiling Finnair’s Refreshed Strategy for 2025

Finnair ground crew gives a little boy flying on his own a Moomin.
Finnair ground crew gives a boy flying on his own a Moomin. Source: Finnair

Finnair updated its 2025 strategy during the period, having met many initial objectives. The strategy, announced in September 2022, aimed to restore profitability and build competitiveness despite the closed Russian airspace. A goal was set for a minimum of 5% operating profit from mid-2024. 

Finnair’s strategy update also set a new financial goal: a 6% operating profit margin by 2025’s end.

The strategy’s themes are:

  • Customer-centric excellence
  • Optimized fleet for balanced growth
  • Competitive through continuous cost efficiency
  • Industry sustainability leadership
  • Sustainable balance sheet
  • Adaptable Finnair culture, driven by engaged people

CUSTOMER-CENTRIC EXCELLENCE 

Finnair is working towards becoming a modern Nordic airline. It focuses on direct distribution, enhancing digital sales, revenue optimization, and partner utilization. The company is also shifting its focus towards customer-centric sales, data-driven sales, and strengthening customer relationships. Finnair prioritizes safety and punctuality and uses analytics and data to offer personalized travel experiences.  

Digital services play a significant role in Finnair’s operations and will continue to do so. Monthly visitors to the Finnair website have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, despite a small decline due to changes in the cookie consent policy. Active users of the Finnair mobile app have increased by 18.1% to 868,000 year-on-year. 67.8 percent of passengers use Finnair’s modern channels, up from 66.5 percent.

The revised strategy continues to promote partnerships with airlines such as American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and Juneyao Air. These partnerships increase Finnair’s distribution capacity and provide customers with an extensive global network. 

For Finnair, product, and service quality are key distinguishing factors. Long-haul flights focus on a high-quality travel experience, while efficiency and simplicity are prioritized for intra-European traffic. Recent changes like the introduction of the Superlight ticket and modifications to baggage allowances aim to streamline operations, improve performance, and expand ancillary services.

Finnair’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) is at a satisfactory 35 (42). Positive responses from customers regarding the revamped wide-body aircraft cabin and on-time performance of 84.9 percent (80.1) despite capacity issues have contributed to this. Finnair was chosen as the top airline in Northern Europe for the 13th time consecutively by the Skytrax customer survey, demonstrating strong customer satisfaction.

OPTIMISED FLEET FOR BALANCED GROWTH

Finnair lost its unique geographic advantage with the closure of Russian airspace. This extended the routes between Finnair’s hub and major cities in Japan, South Korea, and China by 15–40 percent. As a result, Finnair has focused on balancing its network towards the West and the Middle East and optimized its European network to improve efficiency. 

Finnair has entered a lease agreement with Qantas, leasing two A330 aircraft for two years, then to Qantas without the crew for another 2.5 years starting in 2025. The first leased aircraft will start Qantas service in October 2023 and the second in early 2024. These aircraft are for Qantas flights between Sydney-Singapore and Sydney-Bangkok. This, along with the Qatar Airways cooperation, helps Finnair effectively use its A330 fleet despite Russian airspace closure, maintaining Asia-Europe connectivity.  

Finnair has optimized its fleet with these steps. Better airport turnarounds, increased aircraft use, and aircraft returning from lease enable Finnair to grow competitively despite aircraft market constraints.

COMPETITIVE THROUGH CONTINUOUS COST EFFICIENCY

Finnair constantly monitors its costs for profitable and competitive functioning. The company is now shifting from program-based cost reductions to continual cost efficiency improvement for future competitiveness and customer experience investments. 

Finnair has made progress in current savings projects during this period and has also initiated new projects that leverage artificial intelligence opportunities.

INDUSTRY SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP 

Finnair strives for excellence in sustainability, aiming to be a global leader. This involves active contributions to social and environmental sustainability, collaboration with partners and suppliers, and a firm incorporation of sustainability in all operations, with a special focus on Purpose and Environment in its Sustainability Strategy.

Finnair maintains its long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045. It has discarded its previous target of halving carbon emissions by 2025 due to the need for significant offsetting. As part of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in April 2022, Finnair aims to align its emissions targets with the Paris Agreement. This involves reducing direct emissions from its aircraft through modernisation, enhancing operational efficiency, and using more sustainable aviation fuels. The detailed plan and scope of these measures will be outlined in 2023, with short-term CO2 reduction targets to be submitted to SBTi for approval in the first quarter of 2024.

The company prioritizes social responsibility in its sustainability efforts. This includes employee wellbeing, human rights, equality, diversity, and non-discrimination. It also entails providing accessible services and ensuring customer and personnel safety.

SUSTAINABLE BALANCE SHEET 

Maintaining business profitability is crucial for building a sustainable balance sheet. This improves equity and cash flows, which helps in debt repayment. This principle is incorporated in other strategy themes.  

Deferred tax assets of 99 million euros were recognized, improving balance sheet. Finnair plans to further enhance its balance sheet by calling its 200-million-euro hybrid bond in early September due to increased profitability.

ADAPTABLE FINNAIR CULTURE DRIVEN BY ENGAGED PEOPLE

Finnair, throughout its 100-year history, has shown a strong ability to adapt and seize new opportunities, especially during recent crises such as the pandemic and the Russian airspace closure. Moving ahead, enhancing this cultural strength and investing in employee development will be prioritized to better the employee and customer experience and business outcomes.  

In Q2 2023, Finnair had an average of 5,211 employees, 3.6% less than the comparable period. The employee count increased by 2.2% during Q2, reaching 5,261 by the end of June. A total of 279 new hires were made in Q2, mostly in Finnair Kitchen, flight operations, and airport gate services. The attrition rate was 4.7%, and illness-related absences were at 3.9%.

Just the Facts

Finnair Financials Q2 April – June 2023

  • Earnings per share were 0.09 euros (-0.20)*. The result for the period included a positive, one-off income tax item of 99 million euros.
  • Revenue increased by 36.2% to 749.2 million euros (550.3).
  • The comparable operating result was 66.2 million euros (-84.2). The operating result was 65.8 million euros (-92.9).
  • Cash funds were 1,530.6 million euros (31 Dec 2022: 1 524.4), and the equity ratio was 13.1 percent (31 Dec 2022: 9.9).
  • Net cash flow from operating activities was 175.8 million euros (182.0), and net cash flow from investing activities was -187.7 million euros (2.8).** Gross capital expenditure totaled 62.5 million euros (34.1).
  • The number of passengers increased by 19.4% to 2.8 million (2.4).
  • Available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by 17.5% to 9,212.8 million kilometers (7,841.2).
  • Passenger load factor (PLF) was 76.3% (67.3).

Finnair Financials H1 January – June 2023

  • Earnings per share were 0.09 euros (-0.36).
  • Revenue increased by 52.0% to 1,443.9 million euros (950.1).
  • The comparable operating result was 67.1 million euros (-217.1). The operating result was 74.1 million euros (-257.8).
  • Net cash flow from operating activities was 382.6 million euros (217.3), and net cash flow from investing activities was -331.4 million euros (-20.8).** Gross capital expenditure totaled 136.2 million euros (100.3).
  • The number of passengers increased by 39.8% to 5.4 million (3.9).
  • Available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by 20.4% to 17,763.0 million kilometers (14,756.4).
  • Passenger load factor (PLF) was 75.7% (57.9).

* Unless otherwise stated, comparisons and figures in parentheses refer to the comparison period, i.e., the same period last year.

** In Q2, net cash flow from investing activities included 128.1 million euros of investments (4.8 million euros of redemptions) in money market funds or other financial assets (maturity over three months). In H1, these investments totaled to 191.9 million euros (2.9 million euros). They are part of the Group’s liquidity management.

NEW GUIDANCE issued ON 21 July 2023:

  • Finnair estimates its 2023 capacity to operate at 80-85% of 2019. 
  • Despite a significant increase in revenue in 2023, Finnair does not expect it to match the 2019 figure of 3,097.7 million euros. 
  • Following a positive profit warning, Finnair estimates its 2023 comparable operating result to be within the 150–210 million euros range. 
  • Despite normalization post-pandemic and adaptation to the closure of Russian airspace, Finnair faces risks from inflation and interest rates affecting demand and costs. The operating result estimate is based on the current fuel price and exchange rates. 
  • Finnair will provide an updated outlook and guidance with the Q3 2023 interim report.

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