Finnair Carries 38.2% More Passengers in December 2022 Compared to December 2021
In December, Finnair carried 832,900 passengers, which was 38.2% more than in December 2021 and 10.9% more than in November 2022. Month-on-month figures are, however, not fully comparable as there was one day less in November.
The COVID-19 impact, including the strict travel restrictions imposed by some countries, still affected passenger traffic figures, and it was particularly visible in the Asian figures. The Russian airspace closed at the end of February due to the counter sanctions related to the war in Ukraine, which resulted in route and frequency cancellations in Asian traffic. Thanks to robust demand for cargo, Finnair, however, continued operating to most of its Asian destinations despite the longer routings. The negative impact of the airspace closure on Asian passenger traffic figures, which were already affected by the pandemic, was, nevertheless, visible in December. The distance-based reported traffic figures do not take into account longer routings caused by the airspace closure as they are based on Great-Circle distance.
Finnair’s cooperation with Qatar Airways began on 1 November as daily flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Doha were commenced. Daily Helsinki – Doha flights were started in mid-December. Related traffic figures are reported by Finnair and those are currently visible in the European figures. Starting from January 2023 traffic performance release, a new traffic area Middle East will be introduced and these flights as well as flights to Dubai and Israel will be transferred into the new traffic area.
The overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), increased in December by 13.4% year-on-year and by 15.1% month-on-month. Finnair operated, on average, 263 daily flights (cargo-only included), which was 14.3% more than in December 2021 and 4.8% more than in November 2022. Finnair’s traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 51.4% year-on-year and by 17.2% month-on-month. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased by 18.3% points year-on-year and by 1.3% points month-on-month to 72.7%.
The ASK increase in Asian traffic was 17.9% year-on-year. The North Atlantic capacity decreased by 35.4% as the operations between Stockholm and the North American destinations were discontinued at the end of October. In European traffic, the ASKs were up by 37.3%. The ASKs in domestic traffic increased by 16.4%.
RPKs increased in Asian traffic by 119.2% year-on-year but declined in North Atlantic traffic by 17.7%. In European traffic, RPKs increased by 51.7% and in domestic traffic by 23.5%.
In December, the PLF improved particularly in Asian traffic (72.4%) and North Atlantic traffic (71.3%) year-on-year. The PLF was 74.0% in European traffic and 68.4% in domestic traffic.
Passenger numbers increased in Asian traffic by 129.3% year-on-year. In North Atlantic traffic, the number of passengers decreased by 19.8%. In European traffic, passenger numbers increased by 37.2% and in domestic traffic by 28.8%.
As a result of the Russian airspace closure, many cargo figures declined year-on-year in December. However, most cargo figures improved month-on-month. Available scheduled cargo tonne kilometres increased by 7.1% year-on-year (increased by 17.7% month-on-month) but revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometres decreased by 8.7% (increased by 7.4% month-on-month). Cargo-related available tonne kilometres decreased by 19.2% year-on-year (increased by 17.8% month-on-month) and revenue tonne kilometres decreased by 34.8% (increased by 7.5% month-on-month). These figures also include the cargo-only flights and in December, only a few such flights were operated. Strong demand for cargo capacity continued in December, even though the total cargo tonnes decreased by 24.2% year-on-year as December 2021 was very strong (increased by 7.1% month-on-month).
In December, 67.8% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (56.3%). On-time performance was mainly impacted by severe weather conditions