Finnair’s Asian flights carried 1.3 mn passengers in 2008

January 12th, 2009 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Helsinki, Jan 12 (IANS) Nordic carrier Finnair’s traffic grew in 2008 by 10 percent compared with the previous year, with Asian traffic alone growing by 16.5 percent, the airline said.The average revenue per passenger kilometre, however, fell last year by more than four percent due to lower airfares.

“Finnair’s Asian flights carried a total of 1.3 million passengers last year, a new record. Our successful Asian strategy will be an essential part of our scheduled traffic also in the future,” Finnair senior vice-president (communications) Christer Haglund said in a statement.

In December, Asian traffic demand grew six percent, while capacity was cut by nearly four percent. This year, scheduled traffic capacity is expected to be two percent less than last year, an airline statement said.

“Asian traffic capacity will fall by the same amount, because the present Boeing MD-11 long haul aircraft will be replaced with new Airbus A-330 aircraft and the number of aircraft will not increase,” the statement added.

In December, scheduled traffic growth was more than five percent.

North American traffic grew by 29 percent, influenced to a large extent by the addition of one flight per week to New York. North American traffic accounts for around six percent of scheduled traffic’s revenue passenger kilometres, the airline said.

In domestic traffic, capacity fell last year by six percent, mainly as a result of turbo-prop traffic being discontinued a year ago.

“This contributed to the fact that in December and the whole of last year, domestic traffic passenger kilometres fell by nearly nine percent,” the airline said.

Leisure traffic grew by 12 percent last November, and in December by 13 percent, the airline added.

Finnair scheduled traffic average revenue per passenger kilometre fell last year by more than four percent and in the final quarter by 12 percent.

“The price level of flight tickets has fallen significantly. Flying is now cheaper than ever before. A fall-off in business trravel towards the end of the year also weakened average revenues,” Haglund explained.

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