Finnair to slow growth as profits slide

Finnair whose ‘bridge across the arctic’ strategy has paid huge dividends in growth over the last few years, is to slow expansion and concentrate on profitability.

Profits fell 18.8% but passenger numbers increased some 11%, but with capacity rising by 13%.

In any event Finnair had a record year, but over capacity and low fares have hit profits.

Overall load factors dropped to 76.9%.

One of its most crucial long haul markets is China and the economic slow down there is far more that the Chinese official figures suggest, so Finnair sees a slow down in growth there.

It’s other hyper-competitive market is Scandinavia and Northern Europe – Norwegian has been pulling back from many of its long haul markets using 737-8’s and deploying them on short haul, with Finnair as one of its targets.

There is some concern that a disorderly Brexit will hit its biggest single route to London Heathrow, but it’s hoping that increased frequencies this summer will sustain its position.

Finnair is expecting to add 2 more A350-900’s in 2019, which will have the reduced business cabin, space being allocated to an Economy plus type seating.

The pair will raise the airline’s total to 14 A350-900’s, supported by 8 A333’s, 19 A321’s, 10 A320’s, 8 A319’s and 12 ERJ-190’s.

I’ll being writing up a full review of the Finnair A350-900 business class and A321 services from London to Hong Kong and back from Tokyo in April/May.