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Finnair Reports December 2009 Traffic

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Monday, 11 January 2010

Finnair's scheduled traffic declined in 2009 by nearly 9% compared with the previous year. Last year, Finnair carried more than 7.4 million passengers on its scheduled and leisure flights. Business class passenger numbers fell in 2009 by 2%, but grew in December by 16%, this despite scheduled traffic capacity cuts.

Passenger numbers in scheduled traffic were more than 9% lower, due to a more than 10% capacity cut, however, the passenger load factor rose by more than 1 percentage point to over 73%.

In December the fall in scheduled traffic demand levelled off. Scheduled traffic declined by 4%. Capacity in scheduled traffic was cut in December by more than 8% which resulted in load factors rising by more than 3 percentage points to 75%.

Asian traffic declined over the full year by nearly 10%, and in December 2009 by less than 4%. Last year, more than 1.1 million passengers travelled on Finnair's Asian flights. Business class demand in Asian traffic is growing however. In December the number of business class passengers in Asian traffic grew by 25%.

"A pick-up in business travel between Europe and Asia is perceptible. Growth is now coming from markets outside Finland in particular. We have improved service in long-haul traffic business class. Passengers on a flight to Asia can travel in a full-flat bed seat," said Finnair SVP Communications Christer Haglund.

European and domestic traffic both declined in December by more than 3% and capacity was cut by more than 11%, so load factors rose in European traffic by 5 and in domestic traffic by 6 percentage points. In the full year, European traffic declined by more then 8% and domestic traffic by nearly 13%.

Leisure traffic declined in December by 30% and capacity was cut by the same amount compared with December of last year. In terms of the full year, leisure traffic declined by more than 10%.

"Leisure flight passenger numbers have clearly declined, which is due both to a fall in demand and a change in market share. Finnair's leisure traffic capacity has been successfully adjusted, which has kept load factors and prices at a sound level," says Haglund.

Finnair scheduled traffic's average revenue per passenger kilometre fell last year by 14% and in the final quarter by more than 12%. "The price level of flight tickets has fallen significantly, and no rise in prices is perceptible," said Haglund.

For cargo, traffic last year was difficult, which was apparent as a 12% fall in cargo demand. In December demand grew more than 6%. The price level is still clearly below the year 2008 level.

Of Finnair's flights, 50% arrived on schedule in December, which is 30 percentage points less than in the same period last year. Among the main contributing factors to delays were a walkout by loading personnel and poor weather around the Christmas period at Helsinki-Vantaa and Central European airports. For the full year, the arrival punctuality of scheduled flights was 87%.

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