Finnish airline hard hit by Russian war on Ukraine

Finnish airline Finnair, which was experiencing a significant loss of passenger air traffic due to COVID-19, was also affected by the situation in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Despite a notable improvement in air traffic recorded in February, the closure of airspace to Russian air traffic will bring additional difficulties to the airline.

A total of 443,000 passengers were carried by Finnish airline Finnair in February, down 1.8% from January figures and up from the 87,300 passengers carried in February of the year. last.

According to the Finnish airline, there was a significant improvement in passenger numbers in February last month, compared to the figures for the same period last year, reports

The spread of the Coronavirus has also affected the travel and tourism sector, despite the fact that the good performance has continued.

Finnair revealed it operated an average of 196 daily flights in February, including cargo-only flights, compared to 209 recorded in January.

Capacity over the past month has fallen by 11.8%, while the airline’s air traffic has marked a total of 14.1% compared to January figures.

The airline pointed out that the impact of the coronavirus, including travel restrictions and entry bans imposed by a large number of countries due to the Omicron variant, has affected passenger traffic figures.

“This was particularly noticeable in the North Atlantic and Asian figures, although travel from Finland and Sweden to the United States and, for example, Thailand opened in November, increasing the number of passengers carried by Finnair. The impact of the crisis in Ukraine was not yet visible in the February figures. the statement released by the airline notes.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led European countries to impose sanctions. In addition, European countries, including Finland, have closed their airspace to Russian air traffic. Such a decision was confirmed by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Timo Harakka.

Last month, the minister confirmed that the Nordic country was preparing to close its airspace to Russian air traffic with which it shares a 1,300 kilometer border.

The situation in Ukraine has thrown the travel industry into turmoil, raising serious questions about whether it is safe to fly amid the ongoing war.

In addition, Finnish authorities announced that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led a large number of countries to cancel their trips to Finland due to security concerns.

In this regard, Director of Visit Finland, Kristiina Hietasaari, pointed out that the tourism industry in Finland has improved after being heavily affected by the coronavirus situation, but the industry is now facing uncertainty. because of the war in Ukraine.

“We responded to inquiries about the current situation, whether you can come to Finland and what has been affected here,” Hietasaari pointed out.

She considered the situation as a serious crisis adding that she feared that there would be effects.

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