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Photo: Finnair

Finnair’s Asia traffic in surprise decline

Routes to Asia make up half of the airline’s traffic measured in available seat kilometres, so why the decline?

For the first time in a very long period, Finnair has experienced a surprise decline in its important Asia traffic, primarily due to capacity relocation, reports.

Asia is an important market for the Finnish flag carrier, a fact best illustrated by saying that half of the airline’s traffic measured in available seat kilometres originates from its many routes to Asia.

But Finnair reported a 4.6% decrease in passenger numbers on its Asian routes in November, against an overall increase of 14.5% for the first 11 months of the year.

This means 169,300 passengers flew Finnair to and from Asia in November versus 2,205,200 for Asian flights for the year so far.

At the same time, the load factor on the Asia routes decreased by 3.1 percentage points in November from 80.6% to 77.5%, which is significantly below the annual average of 86.2%.

Westward focus
The decline is due to Finnair reducing its available seat kilometres by 1.5 per cent in November, while at the same time revenue passenger kilometres declined by 5.3%.

Finnair writes in a press release that the production decline is due to a shift in capacity to its North American routes. There, traffic increased by 19.4%, as the relocated capacity was used to extend the seasonal routes from Helsinki to both Chicago and San Francisco.

Overall, the Finnish airline saw a 3.2% increase in passengers in November to 980,100, while 12,248,200 passengers have travelled with the company in the year to date, up 11.8%.

However, the load factor fell in November as Finnair was unable to sell all of the increased capacity at the prices it offered. So the overall load factor fell 3.8 percentage points to 74.6%, while the load factor for the year so far is 82.3%.

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