Finnair is suffering as travel restrictions continue to affect its main long-haul markets in Asia, leaving the carrier more exposed than its European rivals, the airline said on October 26, 2021.
The Finnish airline said it had seen positive booking trends from September onwards, reflecting pent-up demand and vaccination coverage. However, most countries in Asia are still closed to international travel and the United States is not easing restrictions until November 8.
“Only approximately half of our markets are, thus, open for travel, which is clearly less than for many other European airlines,” Chief Executive Topi Manner said in the carrier’s third quarter results statement.
Finnair’s business model has been to connect Asia with Europe via its hub in Helsinki (HEL). The airline predicts that markets in Asia will start opening to travelers “more meaningfully” in early 2022, apart from China, which it expects will only open after the first half of 2022.