FINNAIR beat expectations in the last quarter of 2022.
The Finnish majority state-owned carrier reported this week that its revenue surged by 66.2 per cent year-on-year to 687 million euros between October and December, exceeding analyst expectations by 16 million euros. Expected to remain narrowly in the red, its operating result improved by roughly 83 million euros to 17.9 million euros.
The number of passengers carried by the airline increased by almost 61 per cent to 2.5 million, adding up to a passenger load factor of 72 per cent.
Topi Manner, the CEO of Finnair, on Wednesday said the flag carrier is about to leave behind the acute three-year phase of the crisis and continue to recuperate.
“This is yet another important step in the right direction, but the road towards profitability on an annual level is a long one and full of challenges in the operating environment,” he added, referring to the fact that the full-year operating result remained 164 million euros in the red.
Finnair carried altogether 9.1 million passengers in 2022, an increase of 6.2 million from 2021, with a passenger load factor of 68 per cent.
Manner reminded that despite persisting challenges such as high fuel prices, the war in Ukraine and the closure of Russian airspace, the last three months of last year brought some good news, too. Japan opened its borders to international travellers. China relaxed its pandemic restrictions, paving the way for a gradual restart of travel.
“Considering on one hand the market developing more positively than previously anticipated and on the other hand the continued strong cost inflation, we expect the strengthening of unit revenues to play a bigger role than we previously expected in achieving our targets,” he commented.
“Despite the economic uncertainty and weak consumer confidence, people want to travel, and strong demand is expected to continue.”
YLE on Wednesday noted that passenger jets are filling up despite purchasing power eroding and fares being at their highest level in years. Manner said to the public broadcasting company that one contributing factor is related to remote work practices in the post-pandemic world: people working remotely on Friday so that they can enjoy a long weekend in other parts of Europe.
“People are prioritising different experiences while weighing up their consumption choices, and that’s evident in booking habits,” he said.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT