Finnish flag carrier Finnair reported a half-year operating profit of 66.2 million Euros on Friday, as it hailed the success of a turnaround strategy that has seen the airline slash wages and loan out its planes and crew to other airlines, including British Airways and Qantas.
The impressive financial result for January to June 2023 compares to a loss of 84.2 million Euros in the same period in 2022 as the Helsinki-based carrier struggled to recover its business following the pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace.
Chief executive Topi Manner said on Friday that the airline now expected to turn a full-year profit of as much as 210 million Euros, up from the previous estimate of 162 million euros – that guidance was only issued last month, indicating how rapidly Finnair’s fortunes have turned around.
“The strong quarter was driven by continued strong travel demand and successful implementation of Finnair’s strategy,” Manner said.
“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,” he continued.
“Also, our cost control measures are bearing fruit.”
Finnair has shifted its reliance on the Far East as a result of the closure of Russian airspace, while the airline continues to reap the awards of stronger-than-expected travel demand and lower-than-anticipated fuel costs.
Despite economic headwinds, Finnair says travel demand remains strong, and the market has adapted to the closure of Russian airspace.
As part of its cost-cutting programme, Finnair has cut baggage allowances for many passengers, introduced a new ‘superlight’ ticket type and enhanced control of carry-on bags. Finnair says the new baggage policy has helped to improve on-time performance, especially on short-haul flights.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.