Finnair saw its traffic in July surpassing the one million monthly passenger mark for the first time since the pandemic.
The Nordic carrier flew 1,062,500 passengers during July 2023, the highest figure since February 2020.
The newly released figures also confirm the airline’s continued growth, with monthly traffic figures being up 6.3% on July 2022 and up 6.5% on the previous month (June 2023).
The improved figures come following the fading effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the airline’s continued strategy avoiding Russian airspace. The effects of the Russian airspace closure, especially on Asian passenger traffic, was however, still visible in July 2023 compared to pre-pandemic figures.
Finnair’s overall capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), increased in July by 12% year-on-year and by 3.9% month-on-month, while Finnair’s traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs), increased by 9.8% year-on-year and by 9.2% month-on-month.
The 54.5% year-on-year increase in Asian ASKs came as a result of Finnair’s expansion in Japan and South Korea, and a new route from Helsinki to Mumbai.
Capacity in the Middle East also surged by 1,520.1%, following the airline’s new partnership with Qatar Airways which began in November 2022, which resulted in North American capacity falling by 42.9% due to the suspension of transatlantic routes from Stockholm.
In Europe, ASKs rose by 1.8% year-on-year, while domestic traffic increased by 10.6%.
Finnair’s Passenger Load Factor (PLF) also continued to grow, rising by 4.1% points month-on-month to 84.8%, and just 1.8% points short of July 2022.
During the month, the Nordic airline recorded a passenger load factor of 85% in Asia, 87% in North America, 86% in Europe, 77.6% in the Middle East, and 69.6% for domestic flights within Finland.
The airline’s passenger numbers increased by 912.6% in the Middle East year-on-year, with traffic to Asia also increasing by nearly two thirds (64.2%). European traffic also saw an increase of 2%, with domestic traffic remaining stable (-0.1% YoY change). In North America, traffic levels fell by 45.3%.
Cargo figures also increased year-on-year in July due to the airline’s new partnership with Qatar Airways and increased Asian capacity.