Finnair swings to profit in second quarter as demand recovers

Finnair produced an operating profit of 66.2 million euros ($73.7 million) in the second quarter, versus a year-earlier loss of 84.2 million euros.

The airline issued this statement:

Strong quarter driven by strong demand and successful strategy implementation. The company raises its longer-term profitability target.April – June 2023                                           

  • Earnings per share were 0.09 euros (-0.20)*. Result for the period included a positive, one-off income tax item of 99 million euros.
  • Revenue increased by 36.2% to 749.2 million euros (550.3). 
  • Comparable operating result was 66.2 million euros (-84.2). Operating result was 65.8 million euros (-92.9). 
  • Cash funds were 1,530.6 million euros (31 Dec 2022: 1 524.4) and the equity ratio was 13.1 per cent (31 Dec 2022: 9.9).
  • Net cash flow from operating activities was 175.8 million euros (182.0), and net cash flow from investing activities was -187.7 million euros (2.8).** Gross capital expenditure totalled 62.5 million euros (34.1).
  • Number of passengers increased by 19.4% to 2.8 million (2.4).
  • Available seat kilometres (ASK) increased by 17.5% to 9,212.8 million kilometres (7,841.2). 
  • Passenger load factor (PLF) was 76.3% (67.3). 

January – June 2023                                     

  • Earnings per share were 0.09 euros (-0.36). 
  • Revenue increased by 52.0% to 1,443.9 million euros (950.1). 
  • Comparable operating result was 67.1 million euros (-217.1). Operating result was 74.1 million euros (-257.8). 
  • Net cash flow from operating activities was 382.6 million euros (217.3), and net cash flow from investing activities was -331.4 million euros (-20.8).** Gross capital expenditure totalled 136.2 million euros (100.3).
  • Number of passengers increased by 39.8% to 5.4 million (3.9).
  • Available seat kilometres (ASK) increased by 20.4% to 17,763.0 million kilometres (14,756.4). 
  • Passenger load factor (PLF) was 75.7% (57.9). 

* Unless otherwise stated, comparisons and figures in parentheses refer to the comparison period, i.e., the same period last year.** In Q2, net cash flow from investing activities included 128.1 million euros of investments (4.8 million euros of redemptions) in money market funds or other financial assets (maturity over three months). In H1, these investments totalled to 191.9 million euros (2.9 million euros). They are part of the Group’s liquidity management.



Finnair raises its guidance for comparable operating result for the full year 2023, as it expects the travel demand to continue stronger than previously anticipated, fuel price development has been more favourable than expected and as the company’s strategy implementation has progressed better than anticipated.Contrary to the previous guidance, the company estimates that the comparable operating result will probably reach or even exceed the 2019 level (162.8 million euros). In terms of 2023 revenue, Finnair still estimates that it will not yet reach the 2019 level (3,097.7 million euros).As a result of the improved profit outlook, Finnair’s strategic comparable operating profit margin target of at least 5 per cent from mid-2024 onwards would be reached 12–18 months earlier than anticipated. However, uncertainty in Finnair’s operating environment continues as the fuel price is still high and also since the end of the closure of Russian airspace is not in sight. In addition, the extent of the impacts of inflation and rising interest rates on demand and costs is uncertain.Finnair estimated in its guidance published on 27 April 2023 that its 2023 revenue will significantly increase and comparable operating result will significantly improve year-on-year, especially as the first half of 2022 was heavily burdened by both the pandemic and the closed Russian airspace. However, the company estimated that revenue and comparable operating result would not yet reach the level of 2019.Finnair will update its outlook and guidance for the full year 2023 in connection with its half-year report to be published on 21 July 2023.


Finnair reiterates its capacity guidance issued on 27 April 2023, estimating that in 2023, it will operate an average capacity of 80–85 per cent, as measured in ASKs, compared to 2019. Finnair also reiterates its previous guidance, estimating that its 2023 revenue will significantly increase year-on-year but will not yet reach the level of 2019 (3,097.7 million euros).The company specifies its guidance related to full year 2023 comparable operating result provided in connection with the positive profit warning published on 13 June 2023 and now estimates that it will be within the range of 150–210 million euros.Specific risks related to Finnair’s operating environment have normalised as the impacts of the pandemic have faded and the markets have adapted to the closure of Russian airspace. However, risks related to the impacts of inflation and rising interest rates on demand and costs remain elevated, thus, causing uncertainty in the operating environment. The company’s comparable operating result estimate is based on the current fuel price and exchange rates.Finnair will update its outlook and guidance in connection with the Q3 2023 interim report.

CE­O Topi Manner: 

The second quarter was a strong one. We carried 2.8 million customers and had a passenger load factor of 76 per cent. Our comparable operating profit was 66.2 million euros. Looking back, I’m proud of how the entire Finnair team has brought the company out of the pandemic and adapted to Russian airspace closure by defining a new strategy and implementing it successfully.  The strong quarter was driven by continued strong travel demand and successful implementation of Finnair’s strategy. We captured demand with our balanced network and were successful in our pricing and sales efforts. Also our cost control measures are bearing fruit. The net result for the period increased to 138.6 million euros, supported by the re-recognition of previously written down deferred tax assets due to clearly improved profitability and improved longer-term outlook of our business. We introduced the new Superlight ticket type and changes to baggage allowances, and enhanced control of carry-on baggage. The changes support on-time performance and upselling, as well as add choice available for our customers. The new ticket type is part of Finnair’s strategy to offer a comprehensive range of products and price points to meet the needs of different customers. In addition, we completed our strategic fleet optimisation with a long-term lease agreement for A330s with our oneworld partner Qantas. The agreement enables us to profitably deploy our A330 aircraft, whose range limits their use in Finnair’s own long-haul flights in the current situation.Customer satisfaction measured by Net Promoter Score was 35 in the second quarter, a good level in international comparison. Our on-time performance, which is a key factor in customer satisfaction, remained good at 85%, and our renewed long-haul cabins continued to receive excellent feedback from customers. In addition, our home hub, Helsinki Airport, was chosen as the best airport in Europe in its size category. Finnair was named the best airline in the Northern Europe for the 13th time in a row in a Skytrax evaluation based on customer insights.The long tail of the pandemic was visible as capacity bottle necks in global aviation; there is a global shortage of aircraft, spare parts as well as pilots and other staff. The global capacity challenges impacted Finnair in two ways, offering opportunities to lease aircraft and crew on one hand, and prolonging the maintenance schedules of aircraft on the other hand, resulting in less than planned capacity on some routes and the cancellation of some flights from the end of the summer season. Over the past year, Finnair has succeeded well in actively addressing the opportunities in the market. Among other things, we have made successful network choices and allocated our capacity profitably, improved sales efficiency by significantly increasing the share of direct distribution, and improved cost efficiency while maintaining our operational excellence. Due to this, also our longer-term outlook has improved, and the specific risks related to the business environment have normalised, as the impacts of the pandemic have faded, and both Finnair and the market have adapted to the closed Russian airspace. In June, we announced that we would reach our previous strategic profitability target, i.e. a comparable operating profit margin of at least 5%, 12–18 months earlier than previously estimated. We are now able to raise our strategic profitability target to 6% by the end of 2025. In addition, we intend to call our 200-million-euro hybrid bond in early September. We have also made some updates to our strategy. We are aware that our work is not done, and we continue to implement our strategy in a determined manner.    The busiest travel weeks of the summer mean full planes and busy days at airports. I want to thank our customers for allowing us to be part of their journey also this summer. At the same time, I would like to thank our entire personnel for their excellent work and commitment to ensure smooth journeys and safe operations every day, on every flight.