Finnair Q1 2024 results and Q&A | Finnair Belgium
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Finnair Q1 2024 results and Q&A

Yields and operating cash flow remained at a good level but strikes had a negative impact on revenue and result.

Tomi Lindell, Senior Manager, Investor Relations

We published our first quarter interim report on 23 April. 

We carried 2.5 million passengers in January–March and revenue for the period totalled 681.5 million euros (694.7). Comparable operating result in a seasonally weakest quarter was -11.6 million euros (0.9). Demand remained good in the quarter and customers booked trips especially for the upcoming summer season. As a result of the successful pricing, our yields remained strong despite a slight decrease year-on-year. Also our operating cash flow was at a good level.

The political strike in Finland in February halted our traffic for two days and we were forced to cancel approximately 550 flights. We were able to offer alternative routings for two thirds of our customers while a part of the customers decided to cancel their bookings. The strike had a negative impact on our result in the form of rerouting costs, meal and accommodation costs, and lost bookings. The political strike in March impacted on our aircraft refueling as fuel delivery was halted in Finland for two weeks. Extraordinary fueling arrangements increased our costs but they enabled us to operate all our flights. The strikes in Finland and in Europe affected negatively our on-time performance during the quarter. Our on-time performance was also burdened by winter weather conditions, landing at 75 per cent.

A new era started in our Finnair Plus loyalty programme in March when it became spend-based and we adopted Avios as our loyalty currency. The ticket type changes implemented last summer have yielded results that are visible in our customer satisfaction, on-time performance and ancillary revenue figures. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) measuring customer satisfaction remained at a good level at 34.

During the first quarter, our contribution to solving the climate challenge of aviation took an important step forward as we submitted our new climate target for validation to Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  Finnair’s target is to reduce the emissions intensity from the aircraft we fly by 34.5 per cent through 2033 compared to 2023 baseline.

We updated our guidance and now plan to increase our total capacity, measured by ASKs, by c. 10 per cent in 2024. Our revenue is expected to grow at a slower pace than capacity in 2024. In our previous guidance, we planned to increase our capacity by more than 10 per cent and revenue was expected to grow at a somewhat slower pace than capacity in 2024.

After the review period, we received credit rating of BB+ from S&P Global Ratings with stable outlook. It is the first credit rating for Finnair. In addition, we signed a binding secured revolving credit facility of 200 million euros for general corporate purposes.

The day after the results announcement, we also got a new CEO, Turkka Kuusisto. A warm welcome onboard, Turkka.


We have gathered some questions and answers related to our Q1 result here.

What explains your negative comparable operating profit in the first quarter? 

First quarter is always seasonally weakest quarter of the year in terms of operating result. Strikes and lower revenue also had a negative impact on the result. However, yields and operating cash flow remained at a good level and operating expenses were at par with the previous year despite increased capacity. Our efforts to increase revenue and to control costs are thus bearing fruit.

What was the financial impact of the strikes in February and March in Finland?

As we had to cancel approximately 550 flights due to the political strike in February, the financial impact of the strikes amounted to several million euros. Costs included rerouting costs and meal and accommodation costs. Lost revenue was recorded due to halted traffic for two days and lost bookings. In addition, the political strike in March increased our costs at the end of the quarter, when we had to carry out special arrangements for fuelling during the two-week interruption of fuel supply at our home hub Helsinki.

Is the strong demand levelling off? How do you see the demand outlook?

We are continuously following the booking situation. For now we haven’t seen major changes in demand but we are naturally also prepared for any changes in the demand situation. This requires, among other things, constant care of the cost level. Based on the current booking situation, we expect that the coming summer season will be very busy.

How do you see the development of ticket prices? 

The demand for airline tickets and the market determine the price level. Cost pressures, industry capacity constraints and growing environmental requirements put pressure on ticket prices. Our goal is to offer competitive prices and also take care of the profitability of flying.

Why did Finnair resolve a reverse split at the end of the quarter?

Finnair’s Annual General Meeting resolved on the reverse split in March. After the reverse split, every 100 old shares corresponds to one new share. The aim of the reverse split was to facilitate trading conditions and improve the price formation of the shares.

Why did Finnair change its guidance for 2024?

We updated our guidance as our visibility for the whole year is now better and we know that our capacity in the first quarter was slightly lower than expected. It is noteworthy that we are increasing our capacity through efficient use of our existing fleet. At the end of the year, we will of course get a new A350 aircraft into use but its effect on the year’s total capacity will be small. As usual, revenue grows less than capacity because the utilisation rate of the increased capacity always lags somewhat behind. This means that the revenue development follows with a slight delay.

Why did you get a credit rating from S&P?

The public credit rating enables the use of wider debt markets and increases the certainty of execution of financial transactions, so as a result we feel that we are in a better position and also satisfied with the credit rating we have received, although our goal is of course always strive for better. 

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