On April 27, 2021, Finnair said that it saw travel demand “gradually” recovering from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic in late summer 2021.
“We are currently expecting that demand will gradually recover starting from late summer driven by improved vaccination coverage and expected easing of travel restrictions,” Finnair CEO Topi Manner said.
In the first quarter of 2021, Finnair continued cost adjustments and financing measures while international air travel demand remained weak. The airline reported an operational loss of €143.2 million ($173 million) in Q1 2021. Finnair’s revenue fell by 79.8% to €113.6 million ($137 million). Additionally, the airline’ passenger traffic numbers decreased by 90.2% to 0.3 million passengers.
“We operated a limited network and frequencies throughout the quarter, as we had indicated. This was reflected in our passenger numbers, revenue and result,” Manner said.
However, cargo performance remained strong during the first quarter of 2021. Finnair’s cargo revenue hit the highest record in March 2021 due to supply-chain challenges caused by the Suez Canal blockage. During the month, Finnair operated 547 cargo-only flights. Cargo performance also supported the continuation of certain long-haul passenger operations and proceeded to account for 50% of the airline’s revenue.
Finnair expects the second quarter of 2021 results to be of similar magnitude as in previous quarters.