Finnair returns to profit after sharp rise in demand

Finnair prides itself on its customer service – to which I can personally attest – and its whole strategy is based on its excellence.

Persuading people to fly indirect routes from Europe to Helsinki then on to the US or Asia, the later its priority routes, requires a careful balance of customer service excellence and prices.

That makes it difficult to ensure profits – especially when you’re paying for brand new A350-900’s and staff who are some of the most highly paid in the world for an airline.

Finnair posted a €31.2 million (US$35 million) second-quarter net profit, reversing a €15.5 million net loss for the same period in 2018. Revenue for the quarter rose 10.4% to €793 million, as a 14.8% capacity growth was notched up, including the introduction of another Airbus A359.

Key however was a 14.7% higher demand. That’s been achieved by some clever marketing and partnership deals. One example is it offers reduced price business fares to specialist high-end cruise line Viking, taking passengers with time on their hands for less, to ocean and river cruise destinations in the Far East – especially China and Japan.

The Finnish flag carrier plans to update its strategy in November, which will include a growth slowdown in 2020 as it consolidates its gains.

Passenger numbers were up 13.1% year-on-year, proving its “Northern Route to Asia” policy is working.