In March, Finnair's overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres increased by 2.2 per cent year‐on‐year, and traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres grew by 4.1 per cent. The passenger load factor increased by 1.5 percentage points to stand at 81.0 per cent. Third-party labour disputes forced the cancellation of 190 flights, primarily in domestic and European traffic, reducing capacity growth by 1.0 percentage point.
The capacity in Finnair’s largest traffic area, Asia, increased by 3.7 per cent in March and traffic grew by 8.8 per cent due to a significantly higher passenger load factor. The moderate capacity growth reflects the suspension of Finnair flights to Chongqing as planned between 11 March and 2 May 2017 due to pilots’ A350 trainings.
The capacity in American traffic decreased by 6.6 per cent year-on-year, and traffic measured in RPK decreased by 10.3 per cent. The scheduled destination range was the same as in the comparison period. Part of the Atlantic traffic was operated by temporarily wet-leased aircraft and crew.
Finnair’s capacity in European traffic increased by 1.4 per cent and traffic grew by 1.1 per cent year-on-year. Domestic capacity increased by 6.4 per cent, and traffic grew by 4.7 per cent year‐on‐year due to increased flying to Northern Finland. Third-party strikes at the Helsinki Airport affected in particular Finnair’s European and domestic traffic.
In March, the Revenue Scheduled Cargo Tonne Kilometres increased by 7.5 per cent, although the corresponding cargo capacity contracted by 4.2 per cent. The cargo volume grew markedly both in Asian and European traffic but decreased in North Atlantic and domestic traffic. Finnair’s total cargo capacity also included three weekly freighter flights between Helsinki and Brussels, operated by DHL.
In March, 87,8 per cent of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (88.7).
According to preliminary data, Finnair’s unit revenue, or RASK (total Group revenue divided by ASK), increased in January–March by 3.3 per cent year‐on‐year and totalled 6.82 euro cents.
"Unit revenue rose in the first quarter largely on the back of an improved passenger load factor, especially in Asian traffic. Flight cancellations due to resource constraints and labour disputes kept passenger capacity (ASK) at last year’s level. Nevertheless, domestic traffic grew considerably, driven by tourism in Lapland. The divestment of SMT after the comparison period had a negative effect of slightly below one per cent on the unit revenue growth," says Finnair CFO Pekka Vähähyyppä.