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Finnair looks towards the US and Middle East for summer 2023

Photo by Anne Nygård

Finnair has said it expects a significant increase in 2023 revenue

According to the CEO of Finnair, the airline is preparing for an important summer season by turning to the Middle East and the United States to compensate for a decrease in traffic on Asian routes. Finnair has typically depended on Asian routes, taking advantage of the shorter flying times over Siberia. However, due to pandemic lockdowns and the closure of Russian airspace following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the airline has already experienced a decline in passenger numbers.

Topi Manner, CEO of Finnair, stated that Finnair’s ticket revenue from Asian routes has decreased from 50% to approximately 30%. He also mentioned that despite Chinese airlines having an unfair advantage in crossing Russian airspace, there is a significant amount of pent-up demand following China’s reopening that could boost Finnair’s bookings. Manner informed in the press release that Finnair is preparing to increase flights to China, particularly from the beginning of the third quarter, with Beijing and Shanghai as the primary routes.

“We are focusing on these two megacities because we don’t think it is possible to make secondary Chinese cities profitable…with the uneven playing field,” said Topi Manner.

In order to counterbalance the decrease in Asian traffic, Finnair is expanding its short-haul European network and adding routes to American cities such as Seattle and Los Angeles, as well as to cities in the Middle East via Doha.

Although Finnair has reported two consecutive profitable quarters, CEO Topi Manner stated that it is expected to take until mid-2024 for the airline’s earnings to return to pre-pandemic levels, despite expecting a considerable revenue increase in 2023.

Manner also noted that passengers seem to be willing to pay higher ticket prices to accommodate the increase in jet fuel costs, and he anticipates this trend to persist at least throughout the first half of the year.

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