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Finavia’s Business Review January–March 2020: The global coronavirus had a significant impact on Finavia

Article published
07.05.2020 kl 09:58
Matkustaja Länsisiivessä Helsinki-Vantaalla
The coronavirus (COVID-19) that spread from Asia at the turn of the year was declared a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. According the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the passenger volumes had by the end of March decreased by 95% from the previous year.

The impacts of the coronavirus started to show in February at Finavia's airports. However, the steep decline in passenger volumes only started after the beginning of March and decreased further from 19 March 2020 when internal border controls were resumed, and strict restrictions were imposed on travelling in Finland. 

The coronavirus crisis resulted in a considerable decrease of passenger volumes at Finavia’s airports. In January–March 2020, the passenger volumes decreased by 20.1%. The total number of passengers was 4.9 (6.1) million. 

To strengthen its financial position, Finavia started the most extensive adaptation programme in its history. It included a temporary layoff of the permanent personnel at all company’s passenger airports. The company also sought significant savings in operating activities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, Finavia took up emergency management and made major changes in the passenger and airport processes for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, ensures that cleaning and hygiene are enhanced and assisted the passengers in ensuring their safe and smooth air travel. The actions were based on orders issued by health authorities and other authorities, as well as on Finavia’s own active approach. 

Finavia suspended the work initiated in autumn 2019 for updating its strategy and started the planning work for seeing it through the exceptionally difficult situation. The decision was taken to continue the strategic investment programmes at Helsinki Airport and Lapland Airports as planned. The work for updating the strategy will re-start as soon as possible.

– Recovery of the aviation sector will require that the pandemic alleviates, passenger restrictions are lifted and the supply and demand for flights are restored. In Finland, the travel restrictions will be in force at least until 13 May 2020, which means that the impacts at Finavia’s airports will be felt long into the autumn and next year. It is too early to have an accurate forecast of how the recovery from the crisis will unfold. The development of global economy and general recovery of society will affect the timetable of restoring travel volumes, says Kimmo Mäki, CEO of Finavia.

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