The Finnish air transport sector has experienced a disastrous first quarter of 2021 in terms of activity and business. The drop in passenger numbers has been accompanied by large operating losses.
According to the Finnish airport operator (Finavia), the passenger volumes of commercial air traffic in January–March 2021 declined by 89.6% year-on-year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The total number of passengers was 508,038, down from 4,863,432 in the same period of the previous year. In the comparison period, air traffic was at the normal pre-pandemic level during the first two months, January and February 2020.
The passenger volume of Helsinki Airport declined by 90.6% during the period under review. The total number of passengers was 363,660. International transfer passengers accounted for 23% of the total passenger volume.
"Air traffic between Asia and Europe, which is vital for Helsinki Airport, was nearly at a standstill," says Finavia.
A total of 144,378 passengers travelled through the regional network airports in the first quarter. The passenger volume declined by 85.7%.
The state carried out competitive tendering for scheduled flights to five domestic destinations during the review period. As a result, scheduled flights from Helsinki Airport to Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Kemi-Tornio and Kajaani will be operated by new airlines starting in May, 2021.
Revenues for January–March 2021 decreased by -70.6% and amounted to 25.5 million euros, down from 86.7 million one year before.
The operating margin before extraordinary items declined by -170.2% to -14.8 million euros (21.1 million in the same period of 2020) million. The operating profit before extraordinary items was -40.9 million euros (-3.5 million one year before), a decrease of -1,077.9%.
In the 2021 budget, the Finnish Parliament granted 350 million euros to be used to ensure Finavia’s solvency.
In March 2021, Finavia’s Extraordinary General Meeting decided to strengthen Finavia’s equity by 317.15 million euros.
The capital investment was recognised in its entirety in the company’s reserve for invested unrestricted equity.