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Published: February 18, 2021

Finnair sees depressed traffic until the summer

Finnair Oyj said Thursday it doesn't expect to meaningfully increase its traffic until summer of 2021, as airlines continue to be forced to cut their capacity due to strict travel restrictions imposed by governments and an overall lack of demand.

"We expect travel to begin to recover from summer 2021 onwards as vaccination coverage increases and countries start lifting their travel restrictions," Chief Executive Topi Manner said.

"We have enhanced the agility of our operations so that we can act fast when our customers are again ready to travel," he added.

The airline expects its 2019 traffic levels measured in available seat kilometers--a key airline measure of capacity--to be regained in 2023.

The airline reported a net loss of 9.1 million euros ($11 million) for the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of EUR24.5 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue fell 87% to EUR102.0 million.

Fourth-quarter earnings were helped by amendments to the company's pension fund, which had a positive one-off effect of EUR132.8 million.

Finnair expects its comparable operating loss in the first quarter of 2021 to be of a similar magnitude as in the second, third and fourth quarter of 2020, it said.

The airline didn't provide full-year revenue guidance amid limited visibility.

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