The number of passengers carried by the airline increased by almost 61 per cent to 2.5 million passengers, adding up to a passenger load factor of 72 per cent.
The CEO of Finnair, Topi Manner, said on Wednesday that the flag carrier is about to leave behind the acute three-year period of the crisis and will continue to recover.
He added that this is another important step in the right direction, but the road to profitability on an annual level is long and full of challenges in the operating environment, despite the fact that the full-year operating result remained 164 million euros in the red.
In 2022, Finnair carried 9.1 million passengers, an increase of 6.2 million from 2021, with a passenger load factor of 68 per cent.
Manner reminded that despite the persistent challenges such as high fuel prices, the war in Ukraine and the closure of Russian airspace, the last three months of last year brought some good news. Japan opened its borders to international travellers. China has loosened its pandemic restrictions, paving the way for a gradual restart of travel.
He commented that he expects that the strengthening of unit revenues will play a larger role than we previously expected in achieving our targets, because the market is developing more positively than previously anticipated and the continued strong cost inflation on the other hand.
People want to travel, and demand is expected to continue despite the economic uncertainty and weak consumer confidence. YLE noted on Wednesday that passenger jets are filling up despite purchasing power eroding and fares are at their highest level in years. Manner told the public broadcasting company that one factor is related to remote work practices in the post-pandemic world: people working remotely on Friday so that they can enjoy a long weekend in other parts of Europe.
He said that people are prioritising different experiences while weighing up their consumption choices, and that is reflected in booking habits.