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Finnair reports weakening profits in second quarter

Finland's national air carrier cites an economic slowdown as well as rising fuel costs for a challenging start to 2019.

Finnairin matkustajakone lähdössä Helsinki-Vantaan lentokentältä.
Finnair's profits in April-June 2019 were down 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Finnair's operating profit declined to 47.2 million euros in the second quarter of 2019, a drop of nearly 20 percent compared with the 59.1 million euros profit that was reported for April to June last year. The result is the latest setback in a difficult year for Finland's national air carrier, which reported a loss of 16.2 million euros for the first quarter of 2019.

However, Finnair also reported that sales increased by 10.4 percent to 739 million euros, led by a strengthening of the company's market share in both Asia and Europe.

The number of passengers choosing the airline during this period also increased by 13.1 percent to 3.9 million, which the company says is a record high.

Freight and travel services suffered

"Overall, our passenger traffic developed well, and European traffic also grew as we expected. However, freight and travel services suffered as a result of a more difficult market environment," Finnair CEO Topi Manner told Yle.

According to the company, the second quarter result was affected by a gradual slowdown in economic development in Finnair's main operating market. The increase of the cost of fuel compared to the same quarter last year was also a factor, the airline reported.

Despite these recent setbacks, which also included an AirHelp Finland report critical of Finnair's punctuality and reimbursement policy, Manner insisted that the company will continue to grow in the future. In Asian traffic, this means opening new connections in the second half of the year. In Europe, growth is reflected in Finnair's "route-specific optimization".

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