Navigating war’s woes, Finnair continues to remain profitable in H1 2023

Finnair finished its third profitable quarter in a row
Markus Mainka /

Finnair continued to be profitable in the first six months of the year, with the airline successfully navigating the challenges presented by Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine. 

The airline’s chief executive officer (CEO) Toppi Manner described Q2 2023 as “strong”, with the airline finishing H1 2023 with a result of €141.6 million ($157.5 million), while in Q2 2023, the result was €138.6 million ($154.1 million). 

During H1 2022, Finnair lost €381.4 million ($424.2 million). 

“This was the third consecutive profitable quarter after ten loss-making quarters caused by the pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace,” Manner said. Q2 2023 was the third consecutive profitable quarter following 10 successive loss-making three-month periods due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. 

“Strong demand, combined with capacity and resource constraints in the aviation sector caused by the pandemic, contributed to the positive development of our unit revenues,” Manner continued. 

In its guidance issued on the same day as its financial results, the airline reiterated that its Available Seat Kilometers (ASK), measuring capacity, would be between 80% and 85% of 2019 levels, while revenue will fall short of levels seen four years ago by the end of 2023.  

However, Finnair estimated its full-year profit to be between €150 and €210 million ($166.8 and 233.6 million), an improvement over the previous guidance. The airline recognized that some risk factors related to its business have normalized over the period, including the ending of COVID-19 lockdowns and the closure of Russian airspace. 

At the same time, “risks related to the impacts of inflation and rising interest rates on demand and costs remain elevated, thus, causing uncertainty in the operating environment”. The de facto Finnish flag carrier will provide an update on its outlook when it publishes its Q3 2023 results on October 31, 2023. 

Since December 31, 2022, Finnair’s fleet has shrunk by one aircraft, as the airline has retired a single Airbus A319. It still has a pair of Airbus A350-900s on order. 

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