Finnair CEO Mika Vehviläinen at the company AGM:
“World events in recent times cannot but have an effect on Finnair. We expect that the shocking and devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan will have a negative impact on flight demand in the coming weeks and months,” says Finnair CEO Mika Vehviläinen in his speech at today’s Annual General Meeting at the Helsinki Fair Centre.
“It is currently impossible to assess, however, the future course of the crisis in Japan and the subsequent recovery. Over the longer term, the reconstruction of Japan may act as a stimulus for our sector. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and its effects. At the moment, however, we are focusing on helping Japan by flying our scheduled nearly 20 flights per week to Japanese destinations and by delivering humanitarian aid to the disaster area. This is the best way that we can help the Japanese people at this sad time,” says Vehviläinen.
According to Vehviläinen, in addition to the situation in Japan, the sharp increase in the price of oil due to events in the Middle East and North Africa will inevitably affect Finnair’s result in 2011.
“To date we have not seen any stabilisation or decline in oil prices. It is impossible to predict how the situation will change both in Japan and the Middle East or how fuel costs will develop in future. Our current estimate, however, is that we will be unable to achieve a positive result unless there is a substantial improvement towards the end of the year in the oil price trend and in the situation in Japan. Our first quarter result, moreover, will be even weaker than previously forecast. Finnair will, of course, continue all measures aimed at restoring operational profitability and will also explore new means of achieving this goal,” says Vehviläinen.
Finnair previously forecast that its first quarter 2011 result would be significantly loss making and that the result for the full year 2011 would be in profit.