Finnair reveals first quarter profits plunge

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the airline hard during the first three months of the year, with that impact set to continue into the second quarter as well.

File picture of Finnair plane / Credit: Finnair

Finnair has revealed its first quarter earnings results today, which show the airline’s financial situation at the start of 2020, and highlight how much the coronavirus has impacted the industry.

So far this year Finnair’s revenue has decreased by 16% compared with the year before, down to €561.2 million.

Financial net expenses increased significantly, with a €55 million increase related to jet fuel prices and foreign exchange rates. The number of passengers also fell from 3.1 million during the first quarter last year, to 2.7 million this year.

File picture of Finnair CEO Topi Manner

“The first quarter of 2020 will be remembered for the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. We started our year strongly, with January developing noticeably better than expected. However, from February onwards, the coronavirus situation caused a dramatic change in revenues – a change that compares to nothing in the entire 100-year history of commercial aviation” says Finnair CEO Topi Manner.

The airline had to start canceling flights to Asia when the coronavirus pandemic hit ticket sales especially on China routes, and since then Finnair has canceled up to 90% of its schedule, keeping only a skeleton route map in operation, and furloughing thousands of workers.

The airline estimates that it will operate the minimum flight network through the end of June as well before it starts looking at a possible recovery in passenger traffic from the beginning of July.

Finnair has so far paid out €144 million in refunds to customers for canceled flights, with the amount set to increase as the year goes on.