Category Archives: Finnair

Finnair carried 82.7% less passengers in March compared to a year ago

The COVID-19 pandemic impact was still clearly visible in the March passenger traffic figures, very strong month for cargo

In March, Finnair carried 86,300 passengers, which was 82.7% less than in March 2020 even though the COVID-19 impact was visible already then. The number of passengers in March 2021 was 1.1% less than in February 2021.

The COVID-19 impact, including the exceptionally strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures despite the first passenger flights since June 2020 and Asian figures.

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) decreased in March by 81.3% year-on-year. Finnair operated 74 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 34.6% compared to March 2020. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter average stage length of operated flights and by the smaller gauge of operated aircraft compared to March 2020. Finnair’s traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) decreased by 92.0%. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) decreased by 33.4% points to 24.6%.

The ASK decline in Asian traffic was 78.7%. The North Atlantic capacity decreased by 91.4%. In European traffic, the ASKs were down by 85.0%. The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 65.3%.

RPKs decreased in Asian traffic by 96.4%, in North Atlantic traffic by 99.3%, in European traffic by 89.4% and in domestic traffic by 59.6%.

The PLF was 9.9% in Asian traffic but it was supported by the very strong cargo operations and a high cargo load factor. The PLF was 5.3% in North Atlantic traffic, 39.6% in European traffic and 58.9% in domestic traffic.

Passenger numbers decreased in Asian traffic by 96.2%, in North Atlantic traffic by 99.2%, in European traffic by 85.5% and in domestic traffic by 65.1%.

Available scheduled cargo tonne kilometers decreased by 73.2% year-on-year and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometers decreased by 56.5%, both due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scheduled flights. However, cargo related available tonne kilometers decreased only by 16.6% and revenue tonne kilometers increased by 26.5% as they both also include the cargo-only flights operated mainly between Europe and Asia as well as Europe and North America. Compared to February 2021, cargo-only tonnes were up by 36.9% and the total cargo tonnes by 30.0% as demand for the cargo capacity was very strong especially in Asian traffic. As a result, the cargo load factor was clearly higher than in the corresponding period of 2020.

In March, 93.1% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (92.0%).

Traffic statistics for April 2021 will be published on Wednesday 5 May 2021.

Finnair Traffic Performance March 2021
Month % Change YTD % Change
Total traffic
Passengers 1,000 86.3 -82.7 259.2 -90.2
Available seat kilometres mill 424.2 -81.3 1,201.5 -87.6
Revenue passenger kilometres mill 104.4 -92.0 306.5 -95.6
Passenger load factor % 24.6 -33.4p 25.5 -47.1p
Cargo tonnes total 8,007.7 9.0 19,410.1 -35.5
Available tonne kilometres mill 164.8 -51.0 414.4 -70.9
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 68.4 -58.3 169.4 -79.3
Asia
Passengers 1,000 Asia 3.0 -96.2 9.1 -98.0
Available seat kilometres mill Asia 227.9 -78.7 664.2 -85.8
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Asia 22.5 -96.4 67.9 -98.1
Passenger load factor % Asia 9.9 -49.1p 10.2 -66.1p
Europe
Passengers 1,000 Europe 40.5 -85.5 120.9 -92.0
Available seat kilometres mill Europe 127.1 -85.0 361.1 -89.9
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Europe 50.4 -89.4 147.4 -94.0
Passenger load factor % Europe 39.6 -16.6p 40.8 -28.0p
North Atlantic
Passengers 1,000 North Atlantic 0.1 -99.2 0.1 -99.8
Available seat kilometres mill North Atlantic 17.3 -91.4 17.3 -98.0
Revenue passenger kilometres mill North Atlantic 0.9 -99.3 0.9 -99.9
Passenger load factor % North Atlantic 5.3 -60.1p 5.3 -71.1p
Domestic
Passengers 1,000 Domestic 42.7 -65.1 129.1 -78.2
Available seat kilometres mill Domestic 51.9 -65.3 158.9 -72.6
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Domestic 30.6 -59.6 90.3 -74.4
Passenger load factor % Domestic 58.9 8.3p 56.8 -4.0p
Cargo Traffic
Europe tonnes 159.7 -90.5 556.2 -91.8
North Atlantic tonnes 149.9 -73.8 149.9 -94.0
Asia tonnes 2,502.2 -50.4 6,837.1 -66.9
Domestic tonnes 29.4 -17.8 85.6 -25.0
Cargo scheduled traffic total tonnes 2,841.2 -61.3 7,628.8 -74.6
Cargo flights, tonnes** 5,166.4 100.0 11,781.2 100.0
Cargo Traffic tonnes total 8,007.7 9.0 19,410.1 -35.5
Available tonne kilometres* mill 74.4 -16.6 175.9 -51.4
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 59.2 26.5 142.3 -24.8
Available sched. cargo tonne kms*, mill 23.9 -73.2 65.5 -81.9
Revenue sched. cargo tonne kms, mill 20.4 -56.5 54.0 -71.4
Cargo load factor* % 79.6 27.1p 80.9 28.7p
– North-Atlantic cargo load factor* % 84.6 16.9p 84.6 18.5p
– Asia cargo load factor* % 88.7 31.3p 85.7 29.8p
Scheduled traffic Cargo load factor*, % 85.3 32.8p 82.5 30.3p

* Based on average operational cargo capacity

** Including purchased traffic

  • Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year (p = points).
  • Available seat kilometres. ASK: Total number of seats available. multiplied by the number of kilometres flown.
  • Revenue passenger kilometres. RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometres of available seat kilometres.
  • Available tonne kilometres. ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Revenue tonne kilometres. RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Overall load factor: Share of revenue tonne kilometres of available tonne kilometres.

Finnair to start Helsinki – Alicante flights on May 1

Finnair has announced it will start flights from Helsinki to Alicante with one weekly frequency from May 1.

In other news, Finnair reported concerning COVID-19:

Many people are currently concerned about the safety of traveling. How big is the risk of getting a coronavirus infection while flying if another person with a coronavirus infection is on the same flight?

“Getting a SARS-CoV-2 infection during a flight is possible but highly unlikely,” tells Finnair’s Medical Director Kimmo Ketola. “During 2020, there were fewer than 50 SARS-CoV-2 infections caught onboard a plane. At the same time, there were 1.2 billion air travelers globally. So even if the real number of cases was tenfold, the probability of contracting Covid-19 remains extremely small.

According to Ketola, there are many reasons for the low number of infections. They are related to passenger behavior, aircraft ventilation and hygiene measures.

Moreover, authorities in many countries currently require travelers to have a negative Covid test result before traveling, which further reduces the risk of getting infected during the flight. In Finland, the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare has advised airlines to require a negative test result from travelers arriving in Finland, and Finnair follows this recommendation.

1. FINNAIR DOES NOT ACCEPT PASSENGERS WITH SYMPTOMS OF A CORONAVIRUS INFECTION ONBOARD.

Our ground crew pays close attention to possible symptoms at the departure gate. Typically, people tend to cancel or reschedule their flight if they are feeling ill or unwell. Finnair offers flexibility for changing travel dates for bookings that are made between 1 April 2020 and 31 August.

2. HEPA FILTERS REMOVE 99.79% OF ALL MICROBES IN CABIN AIR.

Fresh air is supplied from the overhead stowage compartment level and extracted at floor level, which means that there is no airflow forward or rearward along the cabin. The cabin air changes every 2 to 3 minutes. The particles in a cough or sneeze are removed from the cabin air within a few minutes.

A recent American study found that aerosol particles released in a cough are reduced by 99.99% before they enter a nearby passengers’ respiratory zone. The infection risk is the biggest for passengers sitting next to an infected passenger, although the risk is still minimal due to the facts stated before.

3. SOCIAL DISTANCING IS ALSO IMPORTANT DURING THE FLIGHT.

Finnair has made several changes to its inflight service, which aim to reduce the contacts between cabin crew and customers, as well as unnecessary movement in the cabin. The service is limited, and boarding is organized row by row so that close contacts with other passengers can be minimal.

When traveling as a family, it’s advisable to sit next to each other and travel in your own “bubble”, meaning staying with the same group of people.

According to studies, having only one carry-on baggage will reduce close contacts by about 2/3 during boarding. Therefore, it’s recommended to travel light and have as few items as possible during the pandemic.

4. THE HYGIENE LEVEL HAS BEEN RAISED FURTHER FROM AN ALREADY HIGH STANDARD.

Even though the risk of getting an infection from a surface is low, the risk can still be reduced further by careful cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning of the aircraft has been enhanced, and Finnair also offers its customers surface wipes so everyone can wipe armrests and tables. Good hand hygiene during the flight reduces infections as well.

5. THE INFLIGHT INFECTION RISK CAN BE REDUCED FURTHER BY WEARING A MASK.

Surgical or FFP classified masks give the best protection. Finnair requires all passengers older than 7 to wear a mask from boarding until disembarkation. The mask can be taken out for a moment to eat but eating shouldn’t be prolonged. Finnair accepts self-made fabric masks, surgical masks or FFP masks without valves (FFP2, FFP3, N95 or equivalent standards).

Finnair shows green light to electric flying, signs letter of interest on electric aircraft developed by Heart Aerospace

Finnair has signalled its interest for electric aviation as a force to be reckoned with for future flying, signing a Letter of Interest for Heart Aerospace’s Electric ES-19 electric aircraft, which is currently under development.

Finnair could acquire up to 20 of the new 19-seater Heart Aerospace ES-19 electric aircraft (above), for use on the airline’s short routes. According to Heart Aerospace, the aircraft are expected to be available for first commercial flights in 2026.

Anne Larilahti, Finnair Vice President of Sustainability, said: “Finnair believes electric aviation will be one of the tools for the future of flying. It will help to promote responsible and sustainable aviation especially on short routes, in an era where climate change will increasingly dominate the agenda.

“We want to be actively involved in developing and implementing new technologies which enable carbon-neutral flying.

“Solving the climate challenge of flying is essential so that the social and economic benefits of aviation can continue. Many of the measures require collaboration across industries in tandem with partners playing a key role in our ongoing sustainability work.”

Anders Forslund, CEO at Heart Aerospace, said:  We’re excited about Finnair signing this letter of interest for our ES-19 aircraft. Finnair’s climate goals are among the most ambitious in the airline industry, and we believe that our electric aircraft can play an important role in creating zero emissions regional travel. We’ve been working closely together in the Nordic Network for some time. We are very impressed by the dedication and commitment of the Finnair team, and we’re thankful for their support as we take the next steps in building and certifying the ES-19.

Since 2019, Finnair has been a part of the Nordic Electric Aviation initiative to drive the development of electric flying, with focus on standardising electric air infrastructure in the Nordic countries; developing business models for regional point-to-point connectivity between Nordic countries; developing aircraft technology for Nordic weather conditions; and creating a platform for European and global collaborations.

As part of its industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Finnair is committed to halving its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in 2045.

Among the range of measures needed to achieve this are improving fuel efficiency, reducing aircraft weight, combining different modes of transport, emissions trading, and sustainable aviation fuels.

Finnair’s traffic in February was down 91.6% versus the previous February

Finnair reported its traffic figures for February 2021:

The COVID-19 pandemic impact was still clearly visible in the February passenger traffic figures, strong cargo performance continued

In February, Finnair carried 87,300 passengers, which was 91.6% less than in February 2020 (included the leap day that had a positive impact e.g. on the number of passengers). However, the number of passengers in February 2021 was 2.0% more than in January 2021. Comparable increase in the number of passengers was 12.9% compared to January 2021 when taking into consideration the 3-day difference between January and February.

The COVID-19 impact, including the exceptionally strict travel restrictions imposed by several countries, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures (where there were no scheduled passenger flights in February).

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) decreased in February by 89.1% year-on-year. Finnair operated 77 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 21.4% compared to February 2020. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter average stage length of operated flights and by the smaller gauge of operated aircraft compared to February 2020. Finnair’s traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) decreased by 96.2%. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) decreased by 49.5% points to 26.6%.

The ASK decline in Asian traffic was 86.9%. The North Atlantic capacity decreased by 100.0%. In European traffic, the ASKs were down by 91.4%. The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 75.7%.

RPKs decreased in Asian traffic by 98.2%, in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 95.3% and in domestic traffic by 77.8%.

The PLF was 10.7% in Asian traffic but it was supported by the strong cargo operations and a high cargo load factor. The PLF was 39.9% in European traffic and 59.3% in domestic traffic, whereas there was no PLF figure in North Atlantic traffic since there were no passenger flights in February.

Passenger numbers decreased in Asian traffic by 98.2%, in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 93.6% and in domestic traffic by 81.0%.

Available scheduled cargo tonne kilometres decreased by 83.8% year-on-year and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometres decreased by 73.4%, both due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scheduled flights. However, cargo related available tonne kilometres decreased by 55.1% and revenue tonne kilometres only by 28.6% as they both also include the cargo-only flights operated mainly between Europe and Asia as well as Europe and North America. Compared to January 2021, cargo-only tonnes were up by 32.8% and the total cargo tonnes by 17.5% despite February being a shorter month as strong demand for the cargo capacity especially in Asia continued. As a result, the cargo load factor was clearly higher than in the corresponding period of 2020.

In February, 83.4% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (86.1%).

Traffic statistics for March 2021 will be published on Wednesday 7 April 2021.

Finnair Traffic Performance February 2021
Month % Change YTD % Change
Total traffic
Passengers 1,000 87.3 -91.6 172.9 -92.0
Available seat kilometres mill 373.0 -89.1 777.3 -89.5
Revenue passenger kilometres mill 99.3 -96.2 202.1 -96.5
Passenger load factor % 26.6 -49.5p 26.0 -51.1p
Cargo tonnes total 6,159.7 -38.9 11,402.4 -49.9
Available tonne kilometres mill 131.4 -73.5 249.6 -77.0
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 54.3 -81.7 100.9 -84.6
Asia
Passengers 1,000 Asia 3.0 -98.2 6.1 -98.4
Available seat kilometres mill Asia 205.6 -86.9 436.4 -87.9
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Asia 22.1 -98.2 45.4 -98.5
Passenger load factor % Asia 10.7 -68.2p 10.4 -71.1p
Europe
Passengers 1,000 Europe 38.7 -93.6 80.3 -93.5
Available seat kilometres mill Europe 114.2 -91.4 233.9 -91.4
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Europe 45.6 -95.3 97.0 -95.1
Passenger load factor % Europe 39.9 -33.6p 41.4 -31.3p
North Atlantic
Passengers 1,000 North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 0.0 -100.0
Available seat kilometres mill North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 0.0 -100.0
Revenue passenger kilometres mill North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 0.0 -100.0
Passenger load factor % North Atlantic N/A N/A N/A N/A
Domestic
Passengers 1,000 Domestic 45.6 -81.0 86.4 -81.6
Available seat kilometres mill Domestic 53.2 -75.7 107.0 -75.2
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Domestic 31.5 -77.8 59.7 -78.5
Passenger load factor % Domestic 59.3 -5.6p 55.8 -8.5p
Cargo Traffic
Europe tonnes 160.5 -92.9 396.5 -92.2
North Atlantic tonnes 0.0 -100.0 0.0 -100.0
Asia tonnes 2,196.1 -67.8 4,334.9 -72.3
Domestic tonnes 29.3 -22.6 56.2 -28.3
Cargo scheduled traffic total tonnes 2,386.0 -76.3 4,787.6 -79.0
Cargo flights, tonnes** 3,773.7 100.0 6,614.8 100.0
Cargo Traffic tonnes total 6,159.7 -38.9 11,402.4 -49.9
Available tonne kilometres* mill 54.9 -55.1 101.5 -62.8
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 45.6 -28.6 83.1 -41.6
Available sched. cargo tonne kms*, mill 19.8 -83.8 41.6 -84.8
Revenue sched. cargo tonne kms, mill 17.0 -73.4 33.6 -76.4
Cargo load factor* % 83.0 30.8p 81.8 29.7p
– North-Atlantic cargo load factor* % N/A N/A N/A N/A
– Asia cargo load factor* % 89.4 33.5p 84.0 28.7p
Scheduled traffic Cargo load factor*, % 85.9 33.7p 80.9 28.8p

* Based on average operational cargo capacity

** Including purchased traffic

  • Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year (p = points).
  • Available seat kilometres. ASK: Total number of seats available. multiplied by the number of kilometres flown.
  • Revenue passenger kilometres. RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometres of available seat kilometres.
  • Available tonne kilometres. ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Revenue tonne kilometres. RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Overall load factor: Share of revenue tonne kilometres of available tonne kilometres.

Finnair aircraft photo gallery:

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Finnair completes a lease financing arrangement for its next Airbus A350 delivery, will work with Fintraffic

Finnair has made this announcement:

As a part of Finnair’s rebuild program, the company has finalized a lease financing arrangement for its next A350 aircraft delivery, with JLPS Holding Ireland Limited as the lessor and lease servicer. In the arrangement, Finnair will assign the purchase of the Airbus A350 aircraft to a third party, and then leases it back for its own operation. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Finnair in the second quarter of 2022. The operating lease period is a minimum of 12 years, including a storage period expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021, concurrent with the aircraft‘s sale.

The total positive cash effect of the arrangement for Finnair in 2021–2022 is in excess of 100 million US dollars compared to a situation in which the aircraft had been purchased and owned by Finnair.

Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new A350-900 XWB aircraft from Airbus, of which 16 have been delivered as of September 1, 2020; the aircraft concerned will be the 17th. The remaining two A350 aircraft are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.

Videos:

In other news, Finnair and Finland’s air navigation service provider Fintraffic ANS have joined forces to reduce CO2 emissions and enhance commercial aviation’s environmental footprint.

 

Under the new initiative, Finnair will share fuel consumption data with Fintraffic ANS and the parties will together explore how to support airlines in their bid to drive down and meet new lower emissions targets.

As part of its industry-leading commitment to sustainability, Finnair is committed to halving its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality in 2045.

Finnair pilot, Captain Tom Hakala, is in charge of fuel efficiency of Finnair flight operations and advises how Finnair pilots can maximize their fuel-efficient flying techniques.

Captain Hakala said: “Reducing the CO2 emissions of our flight operations is our number one environmental target, and we work for this on every single flight.

“Through this welcome partnership, we will now start sharing openly our fuel data and the impact air navigation services’ actions have on fuel consumption. Together with Fintraffic ANS we can explore new ways of further reducing the amount of fuel we use and the environmental impact of flying upon the environment.

“Our vision is that Finland has the safest, smoothest and most environmentally friendly airspace in the world. Every day, we focus on making air traffic as optimized as possible. Flight route optimization, continuous descent approach and close international cooperation are our means of reducing emissions”, says Pasi Nikama, Fintraffic ANS CCO.

“Air navigation services must also take into account the requirements of the environmental permit for aircraft noise management. Close cooperation with Finnair gives us new information and ways to develop Finnish air traffic to be even more environmentally efficient”.

Reducing a flight’s fuel consumption starts by planning the route to be as efficient as possible. During the flight, measures include minimizing time and unnecessary stops in taxiing, using continuous climb and descent during take-off and landing. Other considerations include optimizing the flight route, speed and altitude taking into account the weather conditions. In Finland, the airspace can be very efficiently used, which was also highlighted by Eurocontrol’s study last year.

In November 2020, Finnair and Fintraffic ANS explored the possibilities for minimizing fuel consumption with two test flights flown from Helsinki to Kittilä and Ivalo.

On the test flights, the flight time, flight length, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions were measured, and data comparison was made between the optimal plan and the realized flight. The flights showed several factors, such as weather conditions and other air space users, affected the possibility to optimize fuel consumption.

”Fuel efficiency is impacted by many factors, and even small actions make a difference, when they are repeated on thousands of flights per year”, says Tom Hakala.

On Wednesday 17 February Finnair will fly from Helsinki to Kittilä in Northern Finland, and the different phases of the flight and their impact on fuel consumption are followed on Finnair’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.

More on the Finnair blog:

WHAT WOULD A PERFECTLY FUEL EFFICIENT FLIGHT LOOK LIKE?

Carbon emissions caused by fuel burn form an airline’s biggest environmental impact. That’s why one of the most important ways to decrease the environmental impact of aviation is to improve fuel efficiency. Finnair has been investing in this for years.

Finnair A320

“During every flight, we make several decisions that impact fuel consumption. Even decisions that might appear small have a large impact when they’re repeated on thousands of flights every year” says Tom Hakala, who’s the technical lead responsible for the fuel efficiency of Finnair’s flight operations.

On 17 February at 1pm Finnair will, in cooperation with Fintraffic ANS, fly from Helsinki to Kittilä to test how much fuel consumption can be decreased when we strive to optimize all parts of the flight for fuel efficiency.

Fuel efficiency will be considered, for example, by choosing a fuel efficient route, optimizing the load and weight of the aircraft and minimizing queuing and unnecessary stops during taxiing, as well as using the airspace efficiently.

The flight will utilize biofuel bought by Finnair’s customers through the Push for Change program since 2019. The biofuel won’t be used at Helsinki airport, as Finnair’s biofuel is manufactured in California and it wouldn’t be sustainable to transport it to Finland. Instead, San Francisco airport will receive biofuel equalling 50% of the fuel consumption of Finnair’s HEL-KTT flight. According to the industry standard practice, Finnair can claim the resulting emissions decrease.

BEST RESULT THROUGH COLLABORATION

The best fuel efficiency is achieved through tight collaboration by the teams working at air traffic control, the airport and airline.

“It’s crucial that the organizations actively share data with each other. When all parties know the same things, we can make decisions that lead to bigger emissions decrease than if everyone just optimized their own area”, says Finnair’s VP of Sustainability, Anne Larilahti.

“The pandemic is an opportunity. When there’s less traffic, it’s easier to do things as planned.”

Fuel efficiency is optimized at the following stages of the flight.

BEFORE THE FLIGHT

Finnair’s routes are as fuel efficient as possible. We usually aim to fly to the destination the shortest possible route, considering the weather. Turning away from the route for a few minutes can burn hundreds of kilos more fuel. Having said that, the most direct route isn’t always the most energy efficient. Sometimes the wind is against you, and you can achieve better fuel efficiency by flying a slightly longer route.

FUELING

Finnair’s Pilot Briefing Fuel Dashboard is a flight preparation tool used by our pilots. It produces data to support the pilots’ fueling decisions. The captain makes fueling decisions based on the flight plan and their own consideration. There’s always enough fuel, and some disruptions like landing on another airport or a go-around are considered.

LOADING

The lighter the plane, the less fuel it burns. Catering and water are optimized according to passenger numbers. The centre of gravity of the aircraft should be as far back as possible, considering restrictions, to minimize the aerodynamic drag and thus increase fuel efficiency.

DE-ICING

Pilots determine the need for de-icing visually before departure. If the weather conditions require anti-icing, Finnair pilots take advantage of the SureApp application to consider which level of anti-icing provides appropriate weather protection for takeoff. Precise decisions enable a decrease in de-icing treatment time, burned fuel (as the engines are running for that time) and environmental effects.

TAXIING

The aircraft will usually taxi out for departure and in after landing with one engine in Helsinki. The CDM production control system at Helsinki airport gives departing planes their own time window, so they don’t need to queue or make unnecessary stops. Taxiing with one engine at departure will save on average 100kg of fuel in the A350 aircraft.

TAKEOFF

Accurate departure is important. Passengers can have an impact on this by being on time for their flight. Sometimes we need to wait for transfer customers from other flights, and the delay of one arriving flight can impact several departures. This can increase fuel burn: catching up the lost minutes by flying faster is expensive. Catching up every minute lost on the ground burns on average 100kg of fuel.

ROUTE

Pilots can optimize fuel burn by adjusting altitude and speed. The Finnair A350 aircraft are equipped with a program that calculates an optimal flight profile for fuel efficiency based on speed and altitude.

Wind impacts fuel consumption, so we aim to fly with favorable winds. When the wind is favourable, fuel burn will decrease without losing speed. It’s not always worth it to get to the destination as fast as possible. Flying slowly – when possible – can save fuel considerably. Collaboration with air traffic control is a vital part for optimizing fuel efficiency.

LANDING

The most fuel-efficient way to land is the continuous descent approach. Over 90% of the approaches by Finnair to Helsinki-Vantaa airport are made with a continuous descent, in which the altitude is continuously decreased from the cruising level to the landing runway without level flight segments. Level flight requires more engine thrust, thus increasing fuel consumption and noise.

THE PASSENGERS’ ROLE

Every customer can impact fuel efficiency. It’s important to be on time at the airport and at the gate, so the flight can depart on time. The amount of baggage also plays a role. Will you pack three pairs of shoes, or just two? Will you pack a full size shampoo, or a small travel size bottle? If every Finnair customer had had 1kg less baggage in 2019, the fuel saved could have been used for 20 flights from Helsinki to Tokyo.

Finnair aircraft photo gallery:

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Finnair to dismantle and recycle an Airbus A319 aircraft at Helsinki Airport

Finnair intends to dismantle and recycle an Airbus A319 aircraft, which has reached the end of its economic lifecycle at 21 years. The dismantling will begin at Helsinki Airport, where Finnair’s mechanics will remove parts that can be used elsewhere in Finnair’s fleet. These include the engine, seats, landing gear and avionics components.

“This is the first time that a Finnair aircraft is dismantled and recycled in Finland. We made the decision to take the plane apart at our home hub to optimize sustainability and economics”, says Juha Ojala, Vice President of Finnair’s Technical Operations. “This project allows us to improve the cost efficiency of maintenance operations and employ our mechanics during the pandemic when their normal workload has decreased.”

Before this, Finnair’s aircraft have been recycled elsewhere in Europe when they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle. Most companies that do this type of work are located in dry zones, where the climate is favorable for long-term storage of aircraft. This is the first time that a commercial aircraft will be dismantled in Finland. It’s an unusual project for Finnair, as it’s different from the company’s normal maintenance work, especially when it comes to planning and project management.

Aircraft have a pre-determined maximum service goal, as the body of the aircraft can only handle a set number of pressurizations. After this, the aircraft needs to be taken out of use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The recyclability of the aircraft and its parts is considered already at the design phase. As much as 98% of a new aircraft can be reused and recycled. With older aircraft, like the A319, about 90% can be reused.

“Many parts of the plane that will be dismantled – like landing gear, engines, the auxiliary power unit and avionics – can be utilized in Finnair’s maintenance operations, which supports both sustainability as well as cost efficiency,” Juha Ojala explains. “The parts that will be reused will be carefully inspected and overhauled. Smaller elements, like seat covers or cabin curtains, can also be reused.”

More from the Finnair blog:

Finnair is no stranger to recycling its old planes sustainably, ensuring parts can be reused and waste is kept to a minimum.

Finnair engineer works on a plane to be recycled

Just last year an Airbus A319-112, part of the A32S fleet, was sent to the Cotswolds in England to be dismantled by our expert partners. And now, one of its sister aircraft, another A319, is about to undergo the same treatment. Except this time the recycling will be done on home soil.

“This will be the first commercial airliner to be recycled in Finland,” says Timo Rossi, Project Manager for Finnair Technical Operations. It’s all part of Finnair’s sustainability strategy, ensuring that older planes that have completed years of service can be taken apart safely and their parts reused.

Finnair engineer assesses plane to be recycled

GETTING TO WORK

Taking apart the A319, which has flown a massive 54,710 hours across 32,966 flights over a period of 21 years, is a big job. One that starts at Helsinki Airport.

“It’s going to be done in three parts,” says Timo, explaining the process. “Finnair is going to remove bigger components such as the wings, engines, landing gears, auxiliary power unit (APU). Then a couple of hundred other parts will be taken off for eventual use in our active flying fleet.” This work is completed under Part 145 aircraft maintenance approvals, a European standard for companies involved in aircraft maintenance.

Once the component removals have been done by Finnair staff at Helsinki Airport, the remaining parts of the aircraft will be transported to an external partner for further dismantling.

“We’ve calculated the component removals will take roughly eight weeks,” says Timo. “At Helsinki Airport it will take around a day to cut off the wings and the tail to get the aircraft transported to the final recycling location. The current plan is to start in the middle of February, with the work of our partner finishing in late March or early April.”

SUSTAINABILITY THE GOAL

Once the aircraft has been fully dismantled, the parts that are leftover will form a vital part of Finnair’s future, says Timo.

“As an airline, our plan is to reuse as many parts as possible. Our partner will be able to recycle more than 90 percent of the remaining aircraft, maybe 95 percent. The exact numbers will be more clear once the work is done. They’re able to recycle nearly all of it. They have already said that the waste from the aircraft will be really minor.”

“Components and parts from all over the aircraft will be reused depending on our needs at the time. All parts will be carefully inspected and if necessary, repaired. Landing gears can be installed on another aircraft as those have been recently overhauled. And the APU is going to be reused too, as well as a lot of avionics components. We are storing the  parts in our own stock, so that gives us more flexibility to support the rest of our fleet going forward.”

Finnair engineer inspects plane to be recycled

A FIRST FOR FINLAND

Choosing to recycle this A319 in Finland has allowed Finnair to utilize the expertise of its maintenance staff and lay plans for future recycling of its fleet too.

“There have been a lot of bad effects from Covid, but the pandemic has given us an opportunity to do this for the first time [in Finland],” says Timo. “It gives quite a lot of workload to our employees, because their current workload has decreased compared with this time last year. Now we have resources that we are able to use.”

Timo says that all of this effort is a test to see if Finnair can recycle an aircraft at home, rather than having to fly them to other countries to get the job done. He and his team will have a clearer idea of the entire process once the work is done.

“We need to get through this, to put everything on paper and see what the numbers are. What is the benefit we are getting out of it? The sustainability and environmental point of view needs to be thought through too.”

Finnair aircraft photo gallery:
Finnair aircraft slide show:

Finnair re-starts passenger flights from the UK and Ireland to Finland

Finnair has made this announcement:

Finnair will re-start passenger flights from the UK and Ireland to Finland as of 25 January 2021, following the decision by the Finnish traffic authority, Traficom, to allow passenger flights from these countries.

In line with the recommendation by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, Finnair will also from 28 January onwards require that passengers present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result, or a certificate of a previous COVID-19 infection if they travel on any Finnair flight to Finland. This requirement does not apply to customers transferring at Helsinki Airport for their international connecting flights. The certificate requirement is in force until further notice.

The new test certificate requirement by Finnair does not change the procedures by the local health authorities upon arrival in Finland. All passengers arriving at Helsinki Airport from abroad are directed to COVID-19 testing.

Finnair communicates the new requirement to its customers in all customer communications channels. Finnair staff will check the test certificate or other certificate at check-in or at the gate, and failure to provide the required document will result in boarding being denied. Customers can then postpone their travel by contacting Finnair.

Winter Operations at HEL:

Finnair introduces one-way ticket fares for its flights within Europe

Finnair has made this announcement:

Finnair brings customers more choice and flexibility by introducing a new, one-way fare structure for its intra-Europe and domestic flights from January 12, 2021. One-way tickets with competitive fares are now available for all Finnair intra-Europe and domestic flights in all purchase channels.

Finnair will continue all its safe travel measures in 2021 and revises them on a regular basis. For example, using a mask is still required for all customers and crew at the airport and onboard flights.

Starting in 2021, Finnair is also extending active Finnair Plus tier tracking periods by 6 months for all members. On top of that, Finnair has frozen the expiration of Finnair Plus award points, meaning no points will expire before the end of August 2021.

Related story: Recycling an airplane: What’s scrapped when an aircraft retires?

From CNN.

Finnair’s traffic drops 92% in December, cargo improves

Finnair has issued this report:

In December, Finnair carried 92,500 passengers, which was 92.0% less than in the corresponding period of 2019 but 8.8% more than in November 2020. The COVID-19 impact, including the exceptionally strict travel restrictions imposed by Finland, still affected all passenger traffic figures. It was visible especially in the North Atlantic figures (no scheduled flights in December).

The overall capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) decreased in December by 90.1% year-on-year. Finnair operated 75 daily flights (cargo-only included) on average which was 21.5% compared to December 2019. The differences between capacity figures are explained by the shorter operated flights on average and by smaller operated aircraft compared to December 2019. Finnair’s traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) decreased by 96.1%. The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) decreased by 47.1% points to 30.1%.

The ASK decline in Asian traffic was 89.5%. The North Atlantic capacity decreased by 100.0%. In European traffic, the ASKs were down by 91.3%. The ASKs in domestic traffic decreased by 73.8%.

RPKs decreased in Asian traffic by 98.3%, in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 94.3% and in domestic traffic by 79.4%.

The PLF was 12.4% in Asian traffic but it was supported by the strong cargo operations and a high cargo load factor. The PLF was 50.0% in European traffic and 52.2% in domestic traffic, whereas there was no PLF figure in North Atlantic traffic due to zero passenger flights in December.

Passenger numbers decreased in Asian traffic by 98.3%, in North Atlantic traffic by 100.0%, in European traffic by 93.3% and in domestic traffic by 82.2%.

Available scheduled cargo tonne kilometres decreased by 87.1% year-on-year and revenue scheduled cargo tonne kilometres decreased by 81.0%, both due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scheduled flights. However, cargo related available tonne kilometres decreased by 61.6% and revenue tonne kilometres only by 42.4% as they both include also the cargo-only flights operated mainly between Europe and Asia as well as Europe and North America. Cargo-only tonnes were down by 13.4% and the total cargo tonnes by 12.2% from November 2020 due to softer demand during the holiday season. Despite it, strong demand for the cargo capacity especially in Asia continued. As a result, the cargo load factor was clearly higher than in the corresponding period of 2019.

In December, 89.3% of all Finnair flights arrived on schedule (81.4%).

Traffic statistics for January 2021 will be published on Friday 5 February 2021.

Finnair Traffic Performance December 2020
Month % Change YTD % Change
Total traffic
Passengers 1,000 92.5 -92.0 3,485.6 -76.2
Available seat kilometres mill 387.9 -90.1 12,937.5 -72.6
Revenue passenger kilometres mill 116.9 -96.1 8,150.0 -78.8
Passenger load factor % 30.1 -47.1p 63.0 -18.7p
Cargo tonnes total 6,809.4 -50.7 71,732.8 -58.6
Available tonne kilometres mill 136.5 -76.4 2,436.5 -64.8
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 59.6 -83.2 1,213.6 -73.3
Asia
Passengers 1,000 Asia 3.5 -98.3 501.3 -80.4
Available seat kilometres mill Asia 208.4 -89.5 6,155.9 -73.6
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Asia 25.9 -98.3 3,837.7 -80.1
Passenger load factor % Asia 12.4 -65.3p 62.3 -20.6p
Europe
Passengers 1,000 Europe 45.2 -93.3 2,033.2 -78.1
Available seat kilometres mill Europe 121.2 -91.3 5,061.1 -71.7
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Europe 60.6 -94.3 3,140.5 -78.3
Passenger load factor % Europe 50.0 -27.3p 62.1 -18.8p
North Atlantic
Passengers 1,000 North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 82.3 -82.0
Available seat kilometres mill North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 848.9 -79.1
Revenue passenger kilometres mill North Atlantic 0.0 -100.0 647.1 -81.4
Passenger load factor % North Atlantic N/A N/A 76.2 -9.1p
Domestic
Passengers 1,000 Domestic 43.8 -82.2 868.8 -63.4
Available seat kilometres mill Domestic 58.2 -73.8 871.5 -54.7
Revenue passenger kilometres mill Domestic 30.4 -79.4 524.7 -58.4
Passenger load factor % Domestic 52.2 -14.2p 60.2 -5.4p
Cargo Traffic
Europe tonnes 243.0 -92.4 9,067.6 -74.2
North Atlantic tonnes 0.0 -100.0 2,542.2 -81.3
Asia tonnes 2,095.5 -78.3 33,746.9 -72.8
Domestic tonnes 31.2 -15.0 340.3 -40.5
Cargo scheduled traffic total tonnes 2,369.7 -82.8 45,697.0 -73.6
Cargo flights, tonnes** 4,439.7 100.0 26,035.8 100.0
Cargo Traffic tonnes total 6,809.4 -50.7 71,732.8 -58.6
Available tonne kilometres* mill 58.2 -61.6 718.8 -61.6
Revenue tonne kilometres mill 49.3 -42.4 485.4 -55.6
Available sched. cargo tonne kms*, mill 19.6 -87.1 489.2 -73.9
Revenue sched. cargo tonne kms, mill 16.3 -81.0 293.2 -73.2
Cargo load factor* % 84.7 28.2p 67.5 9.1p
– North-Atlantic cargo load factor* % N/A N/A 66.3 10.2p
– Asia cargo load factor* % 87.0 26.4p 65.1 1.8p
Scheduled traffic Cargo load factor*, % 83.2 26.7p 59.9 1.6p

* Based on average operational cargo capacity

** Including purchased traffic

  • Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year (p = points).
  • Available seat kilometres. ASK: Total number of seats available. multiplied by the number of kilometres flown.
  • Revenue passenger kilometres. RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometres of available seat kilometres.
  • Available tonne kilometres. ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Revenue tonne kilometres. RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers. cargo and mail. multiplied by kilometres flown.
  • Overall load factor: Share of revenue tonne kilometres of available tonne kilometres.