July 7, 2020 / 7:36 AM / a month ago

Finnair June passenger traffic down 96% yr/yr

FILE PHOTO: A Finnair Airbus A320-200 aircraft prepares to take off from Manchester Airport, Britain September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Finland’s Finnair (FIA1S.HE) reported on Tuesday a 96% drop in June passenger numbers as the spread of the coronavirus kept most of its flights grounded.

“The COVID-19 pandemic impact was still clearly visible in the June traffic figures but the number of passengers more than doubled from May 2020 and cargo-only demand remained strong,” Finnair said in a statement.

In cargo traffic the fall was smaller due to cargo-only flights, operated primarily between Asia and Europe, with June revenue tonne kilometres down 70% from a year earlier.

Finnair said it operated 215 one-way cargo-only flights in June, down 18% from May, as available capacity in the cargo market increased.

Finland’s flagship airline, which is 55.8% state-owned, has said it was losing about 2 million euros a day as 90% of its flights were grounded. It has warned it could take two to three years for air traffic to recover to 2019 levels.

The airline, which has issued two profit warnings this year, last week raised around 512 million euros - roughly as much as the total equity of the firm was worth previously - from an oversubscribed rights issue.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely

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