Finnair’s business class passengers grew last month

January 9th, 2010 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Nordic carrier Finnair Saturday said its business class passengers grew 16 percent in December last year, despite a scheduled reduction in flights.
“Business class passenger numbers fell in 2009 by a couple of percent, but grew in December by 16 percent, despite scheduled traffic capacity cuts,” Finnair’s senior vice president Christer Haglund said in a statement.

“A pick up in business travel between Europe and Asia is perceptible. Growth is now coming from markets outside Finland in particular. We have improved service in long-haul traffic business class. Passengers on a flight to Asia can travel in a full-flat bed seat,” said Haglund.

Last year, Finnair carried over 7.4 million passengers on its scheduled and leisure flights, he added.

The airline’s scheduled traffic declined in 2009 by nearly nine percent from the corresponding period the year earlier. “This was due to a more than 10 percent capacity cut. However, the passenger load factor rose by more than one percentage point to over 73 percent,” the airline said.

“Leisure flight passenger numbers have clearly declined, which is due both to a fall in demand and a change in market share. Also the price level of flight tickets has fallen significantly and no rise in prices is perceptible,” says Haglund.

The airline’s cargo traffic last year fell 12 percent, while the demand picked up by more than six percent.

Of Finnair’s flights, 50 percent arrived on schedule in December, which is 30 percentage points less than in the same period last year. Among the main contributing factors to delays were a strike by airline employees and poor weather around the Christmas period at airports at Helsinki-Vantaa and central European airports.

For the full year, the arrival punctuality of scheduled flights was 87 percent, the airline said.

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