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Home » Finnair Reports 3.5% More Passengers in September 2023

Finnair Reports 3.5% More Passengers in September 2023

    Finnair’s passenger traffic figures increased year-on-year, with a solid passenger load factor.

    In September, Finnair carried 921,800 passengers. This was 3.5% more than in September 2022 but 5.0% less than in August 2023 due to normal seasonality. Also, month-on-month figures are not comparable since there was one day less in September.

    Finnair's passenger traffic figures increased year-on-year, with a solid passenger load factor.

    COVID-19 Impact Fades, Russian Airspace Closure Impact Persists on Finnair Flights to Asia

    September passenger traffic figures improved year-on-year. Finnair reports the COVID-19 pandemic impacts have mostly faded. The Russian airspace was already closed during the same period last year. The negative impact of the Russian airspace closure was still notable, particularly impacting Asian passenger traffic figures. This affects September 2023 traffic compared to the pre-pandemic levels. The distance-based reported traffic figures do not consider longer routings caused by the airspace closure as they are based on Great-Circle distance. 

    Finnair Passenger Traffic KPIs

    • The overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), increased in September by 9.8% year-on-year. It decreased by 5.5% month-on-month.
    • Finnair’s traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 13.0% year-on-year. It decreased by 7.9% month-on-month.
    • The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 2.2% points year-on-year but declined by 2.0% points month-on-month to 77.9%. 

    Finnair Capacity and Revenue (ASK/RPK)

    The ASK increase in Asian traffic was 31.8% year-on-year, attributed to the additional capacity on flights to Japan and South Korea. Finnair‘s North Atlantic capacity decreased by 43.5% as the operations between Stockholm and the North American destinations were discontinued at the end of October 2022. In European traffic, Finnair’s ASKs were up by 4.3%.

    Finnair’s Middle Eastern capacity surged by 1,958.6% due to the airline’s cooperation with Qatar Airways, which began in November 2022. Low traffic during the 2022 summer season also contributed. 

    The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 6.3%, attributed to Finnair’s decision to operate smaller gauge of aircraft. 

    RPKs increased in Asian traffic by 39.4% year-on-year but decreased in North Atlantic traffic by 34.9%. In European traffic, RPKs increased by 1.9% and in Middle Eastern traffic by 1,679.4% but decreased in domestic traffic by 8.6%. 

    Finnair Passenger Numbers

    In September, Finnair’s passenger load factor (PLF) was:

    • 80.5% in Asian traffic,
    • 75.4% in North Atlantic traffic, 
    • 78.0% in European traffic,
    • 70.7% in Middle Eastern traffic and
    • 76.1% in domestic traffic. 

    Passenger numbers increased in Asian traffic by 37.7% year-on-year but decreased in North Atlantic traffic by 35.1%. For European traffic, passenger numbers decreased by 0.9%. In Middle Eastern traffic, the number of passengers increased by 1,193.8% but decreased in domestic traffic by 7.6%.

    In September, 82.8% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (84.5%). 

    Finnair Cargo Performance

    Many cargo figures increased year-on-year in September. This is attributed to Finnair’s cooperation with Qatar Airways and increased Asian capacity. The increase is despite discontinued operations between Sweden and the US cut North Atlantic cargo capacity. Finnair reports cargo carried on flights as a part of the airline’s cooperation with Qatar Airways, where cargo capacity is fully allocated to and sold by Qatar Airways under Middle East cargo figures.

    Available cargo tonne kilometers increased by 22.6%. Revenue cargo tonne kilometers increased by 20.6% year-on-year. The total cargo tonnes increased by 24.1% year-on-year and by 5.0% month-on-month.  

    Finnair Traffic Performance Figures

    Finnair Traffic Performance September 2023
    Month% Change YTD% Change 
    Total traffic
    Passengers 1,000 921.8 3.58,372.8 26.0
    Available seat kilometers mill2,976.6 9.827,106.9 17.3
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill2,318.4 13.021,011.5 37.9
    Passenger load factor % 77.9 2.2p 77.5 11.6p
    Cargo tonnes total11,406.1 24.198,082.5 6.6
    Available tonne kilometers mill 429.1 15.53,892.5 14.0
    Revenue tonne kilometers mill 275.8 14.82,469.7 25.9
    Passengers 1,000  103.9 37.7 970.6 101.3
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill  978.9 31.89,393.0 51.4
    Available seat kilometers mill  787.9 39.47,316.4 101.9
    Passenger load factor % 80.5 4.4p 77.9 19.5p
    Passengers 1,000  638.8– 0.95,473.6 16.6
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill 1,356.2 4.311,168.6 8.5
    Available seat kilometers mill 1,057.6 1.98,918.2 16.3
    Passenger load factor %  78.0– 1.8p 79.9 5.4p
    North Atlantic
    Passengers 1,000  32.6– 35.1 313.5– 26.1
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill  325.2– 43.53,244.1– 41.5
    Available seat kilometers mill  245.2– 34.92,377.9– 25.2
    Passenger load factor %  75.4 10.0p 73.3 16.0p
    Middle East
    Passengers 1,000  38.21 193.8 373.9 824.1
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill  240.11 958.62,286.41,012.6
    Available seat kilometers mill  169.71 679.41,661.1 976.8
    Passenger load factor %  70.7– 11.1p 72.7– 2.4p
    Passengers 1,000  108.3– 7.61,241.2 23.4
    Revenue passenger kilometers mill  76.2– 6.31,014.8 17.3
    Available cargo tonne kilometers** mill 58.0– 8.6 737.8 20.3
    Passenger load factor %  76.1– 1.9p 72.7 1.8p
    Cargo traffic
    – Europe tonnes2,030.2 5.016,909.1 10.9
    – North Atlantic tonnes1,174.3– 50.511,443.9– 55.1
    – Middle East tonnes2,048.655,538.516,472.21,366.6
    – Asia tonnes6,112.6 28.052,826.2 29.1
    – Domestic tonnes 26.7– 15.1 259.6 0.1
    – Cargo flights tonnes* 13.7– 80.2 171.6– 98.1
    Cargo traffic tonnes total11,406.1 24.198,082.5 6.6
    Revenue cargo tonne kilometers mill 112.3 22.61,062.3 10.0
    Revenue cargo tonne kilometres mill 68.4 20.6 590.6– 1.6
    Cargo load factor** % 61.0– 1.0p 55.6– 6.5p
    Source: Finnair

    * Including purchased traffic

    ** Based on average operational cargo capacity

    • Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year (p = points, N/A = not available).
    • Available seat kilometres. ASK: Total number of seats available multiplied by kilometers flown. 
    • Revenue passenger kilometres. RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried multiplied by kilometers flown.
    • Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometers of available seat kilometers.
    • Available tonne kilometres. ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers, cargo, and mail multiplied by kilometers flown.
    • Revenue tonne kilometres. RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers, cargo, and mail multiplied by kilometers flown.

    Finnair’s traffic statistics for October 2023 will be published on Tuesday, 7 November 2023. 

    Finnair Publishes Additional Financial Targets

    Finnair published additional key long-term financial targets and announced that it will bring forward the release date of its Interim Report for January – September 2023.

    • As previously announced, Finnair seeks to achieve a comparable operating profit margin of 6 percent by the end of 2025.
    • In addition, Finnair seeks to achieve 1-2x net debt to comparable EBITDA by the end of 2025
    • Finnair also announced plans to reinstate the company’s ability for shareholder distributions from 2025 onwards.
    • The company’s long-term targets are:
      • Comparable operating profit margin of 6 percent by the end of 2025;
      • 1-2x net debt to comparable EBITDA by the end of 2025;
      • Reinstate the company’s ability for shareholder distributions from 2025 onwards (based on 2024 earnings); and
      • Carbon neutrality by 2045.

    The company has set long-term financial targets based on several key assumptions. These assumptions include an increase of more than 15 percent in the company’s overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASK), from 2023 to 2025. The company’s maintenance capital expenditure is expected to be between EUR 80 million and EUR 100 million annually. Additionally, the company forecasts utilizing EUR 190 million of recognized deferred tax assets, limiting the corporate tax payable in the medium term. Lastly, the company aims to maintain a cash-to-sales ratio of 30 percent over time, calculated as cash and cash equivalents plus other financial assets divided by revenue for the last 12 months.

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