HELSINKI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — Finnish national carrier Finnair reported an operating loss of 595.3 million euros (718.2 million U.S. dollars) for 2020, compared to an operating profit of 162.8 million euros in 2019, the airline said in a press release on Thursday.
The 2020 revenue of Finnair was down by 73.2 percent to 829.2 million euros, compared to the 3,097.7 million euros in 2019, it said.
“Amid lockdowns and exceptional restrictions to travel across countries and continents, airlines suffered massive losses as passenger flows diminished,” Finnair CEO Topi Manner said in the release.
In 2020, Finnair carried 3.5 million passengers, down 76.2 percent from 2019 when the airline had carried 14.7 million passengers. In December 2020, Finnair reported a 92-percent decrease in passenger numbers compared to a year earlier.
“The year 2020 will go down in history as the most difficult peacetime year in commercial aviation’s 100 years of existence. The COVID-19 pandemic … has also been a severe crisis for aviation and for the tens of millions of people globally whose livelihoods depend on international travel, including us at Finnair,” said Manner.
However, Manner said Finnair has built a path through the pandemic, and its balance sheet and cash reserves remained at a healthy level. Finnair cash reserves amounted to 823.7 million euros at year end of 2020.
Due to the continued strict travel restrictions, the comparable operating loss in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 will be of a similar magnitude as in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2020. In Q1 2021, Finnair continues to operate a limited network, it said.
Manner also said that Finnair remains committed to its Asian strategy. Finnair is currently flying to the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, and other destinations could be opened based on demand.
Manner said Finnair continues to work for a better codeshare network in China, adding that the company has a codeshare arrangement with China Southern Airlines and has introduced co-operation with Juneyao Airlines.
“We expect travel to begin to recover from summer 2021 onwards as vaccination coverage increases and countries start lifting their travel restrictions. We intend to come out stronger and serve our customers even better when the market starts moving. We have enhanced the agility of our operations so that we can act fast when our customers are again ready to travel,” Manner added. (1 euro = 1.21 U.S. dollars) Enditem