Significant increase in August passenger figures compared to July and August 2020, cargo still going strong
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Finnair carried 266,500 passengers in August, which was c. 25% more than in July 2021 and 38% more than in August 2020. The increase in number of passengers was visible especially in the North Atlantic (+55% vs. July 2021 and European (+28% vs. July 2021) routes.
Our capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) increased and the Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) developed almost in line with the ASKs, which shows that there clearly was demand for the added capacity. The Passenger Load Factor (42%) is, however, still low due to e.g. strict travel restrictions imposed by the USA and Asian countries.
Demand for cargo remained the same in comparison to other summer months and, thus, cargo’s strong performance continued also in August, as expected.
Successful campaigning is visible in bookings
As indicated in connection with the Q2 result, we estimate that demand will increase gradually during the fall. Also the August traffic data illustrates that we have increased our capacity as a result of stronger demand.
To support the demand, we have increased our marketing activities, including a recent advertisement campaign in Finland. Our marketing efforts together with the increasing vaccination coverage are visible in passenger and booking figures during the rest of the year. Already more than 50% of the population in Finland has been fully vaccinated, and the number of potential customers thus increases all the time.
The improved vaccination coverage in Finland and opened travelling are also shown in Aurinkomatkat’s booking development, and our customers are now booking holiday trips especially for their autumn leave and for the upcoming winter season.
Covid vaccination coverage is improving swiftly especially in Asia
Even though the Covid vaccination coverage in Asia has progressed with a delay in comparison to e.g. Europe and North America, the situation has improved rapidly during the last few months. There are, however, major differences between the Asian countries. For example in China, more than 2 billion vaccines have been administered and almost 900 million citizens have received two doses, which equals almost 60% of the population. In Japan, some 47% of population is fully vaccinated, while in South Korea, the figure is c. 35%. Then again, Singapore has already surpassed the threshold of 75%. (Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations - Statistics and Research - Our World in Data, 6 September 2021)
We still expect that Asia will open to travelers some months later than Europe. We are prepared for the increasing travel also to our long-haul destinations, and already fly to many destinations in Asia and North America, supported by our strong cargo operations. However, demand for our long-haul destinations has showed promising signs since the summer.
We are currently operating well over 100 flights per day to c. 70 destinations
During the autumn and winter, we are operating over 100 flights per day which is roughly third of what we operated in 2019. The number of flights has increased but we are still quite far from a normal situation. We still expect to reach the 2019 volumes as measured in ASK in 2023 at the earliest.
We are flying to c. 70 destination during the autumn and winter of which more than 50 are in Europe and the rest in North America and Asia. In October, we will reintroduce our flights to Singapore and Osaka and at the end of October, we open new connections from Stockholm to Miami, Phuket and Bangkok. We continue to actively monitor demand development, but our firm goal is to operate the current network to make sure that our customers could book with confidence.
We have also reintroduced many of our services that have been closed during the pandemic. We opened our Schengen lounge at Helsinki Airport in August and since the beginning of September, we have served our renewed Nordic Kitchen selection on our flights.
Welcome onboard again!