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Finnair Passenger Traffic Rises 5.4% In December

In December, Finnair saw a 5.4% increase in passengers compared to December 2022, carrying 878,200 travelers. This also marked an 8.2% rise from November 2023, although it’s important to note that month-on-month comparisons may be impacted by the variance in the number of days.

Finnair Passengers. Source: Finnair

The positive trend in December’s passenger traffic reflects a recovery from the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace during the same period last year. The impact of the Russian airspace closure, particularly on Asian passenger traffic, was still noticeable in December 2023 relative to pre-pandemic levels. The reported traffic figures also don’t account for the longer routings due to the airspace closure, based on Great-Circle distance.

Finnair Capacity in December

Finnair‘s overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), saw a 7.8% increase compared to the previous year and an 8.5% increase from the previous month. Finnair’s traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), rose by 5.1% year-on-year and 8.4% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) decreased by 1.8% year-on-year and 0.1% month-on-month, reaching 70.9%.

The ASK for Asian traffic surged 14.9% year-on-year due to increased capacity to Japan and South Korea. However, North Atlantic capacity dropped by 9.1%. European traffic saw an 8.3% increase in ASKs. Additionally, the Middle Eastern capacity grew by 4.8% with the commencement of flights between Helsinki and Doha as part of the Qatar Airways cooperation in mid-December 2022. Finally, domestic traffic experienced a modest 1.0% increase in ASKs.

Finnair Passenger Traffic Performance

In the past year, Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.0% in Asian traffic and 6.8% in European traffic. However, RPKs decreased by 11.4% in North Atlantic traffic.

Regarding Passenger Load Factor (PLF) for December, the rates were 68.1% in Asian traffic, 69.6% in North Atlantic traffic, 73.9% in European traffic, 74.8% in Middle Eastern traffic, and 68.7% in domestic traffic.

Furthermore, passenger numbers increased by 5.2% in Asian traffic and 8.1% in European traffic but decreased by 10.8% in North Atlantic traffic. Middle Eastern traffic saw a notable increase of 9.8% in passengers.

Finnair Cargo Figures

Many cargo figures saw a year-on-year increase in December, attributed to the partnership with Qatar Airways and the expanded capacity in Asia and Europe. The cargo transported on flights operated in cooperation with Qatar Airways, where the cargo capacity is exclusively allocated and sold by Qatar Airways, is included in Finnair’s Middle East cargo statistics.

There was a 14.4% rise in available cargo tonne kilometers and a 15.8% increase in revenue cargo tonne kilometers year-on-year. The total cargo tonnes experienced a 16.5% year-on-year growth and a 3.6% month-on-month increase.

Finnair On-Time Performance

In December, 64.7% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (compared to 67.8%). Severe weather conditions significantly impacted the airline’s on-time performance.

Finnair Traffic Figures Table

Finnair Traffic Performance December 2023
Month% ChangeYTD% Change
Total traffic
Passengers 1,000 878.2 5.410,983.3 20.8
Available seat kilometers mill3,101.9 7.836,154.5 15.5
Revenue passenger kilometers mill2,200.1 5.127,626.4 30.6
Passenger load factor % 70.9– 1.8p 76.4 8.8p
Cargo tonnes total12,584.2 16.5135,370.1 10.3
Available tonne kilometers mill 457.5 11.25,229.3 14.6
Revenue tonne kilometers mill 273.9 8.03,286.2 22.7
Passengers 1,000 109.3 5.21,291.3 73.0
Available seat kilometers mill1,226.4 14.912,752.0 42.4
Revenue passenger kilometers mill 835.4 8.09,755.9 74.6
Passenger load factor % 68.1– 4.3p 76.5 14.1p
Passengers 1,000 496.7 8.17,096.0 13.7
Available seat kilometers mill1,095.3 8.314,760.0 8.2
Revenue passenger kilometers mill 809.7 6.811,618.9 13.4
Passenger load factor % 73.9– 1.0p 78.7 3.6p
North Atlantic
Passengers 1,000 28.8– 10.8 397.5– 24.2
Available seat kilometers mill 320.6– 9.14,162.9– 38.3
Revenue passenger kilometers mill 223.0– 11.43,019.7– 23.5
Passenger load factor % 69.6– 1.8p 72.5 14.0p
Middle East
Passengers 1,000 44.1 9.8 495.6 326.3
Available seat kilometers mill 267.3 4.83,054.4 342.2
Revenue passenger kilometers mill 200.0 11.82,211.9 354.3
Passenger load factor % 74.8 4.7p 72.4 1.9p
Passengers 1,000 199.3 1.21,702.9 15.9
Available seat kilometers mill 192.3 1.01,425.3 12.1
Revenue passenger kilometers mill 132.1 1.31,019.8 14.0
Passenger load factor % 68.7 0.2p 71.5 1.2p
Cargo traffic
– Europe tonnes2,156.5 29.523,692.4 13.8
– North Atlantic tonnes1,327.2– 8.015,083.0– 50.8
– Middle East tonnes1,958.5 15.522,632.4 415.0
– Asia tonnes7,119.5 20.073,390.8 27.8
– Domestic tonnes 22.4– 35.0 335.9– 6.8
– Cargo flights tonnes*0.0– 100.0 235.7– 97.4
Cargo traffic tonnes total12,584.2 16.5135,370.1 10.3
Available cargo tonne kilometers** mill 132.2 14.41,442.8 12.6
Revenue cargo tonne kilometers mill 77.2 15.8 815.6 3.5
Cargo load factor** % 58.4 0.7p 56.5– 5.0p
** 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.

The airline will publish traffic statistics for January 2024 on Wednesday, 7 February 2024.

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