According to the latest reports, Finland’s largest airline, Finnair, suffered substantial financial losses lately, after having been forced to fly around Russian airspace, posting operating loss of €133 million, of which €51 million in expenses was for aircraft fuel costs.
Finland’s flag carrier and one of the world’s oldest airlines was forced to fly around Russia, after the country closed its airspace in retaliation to Western sanctions, banning the airlines of 36 states and territories from its skies and effectively closing the traditional routes from Europe to Asia to Western carriers.
The European Union member-states and other Western countries closed their airspace to Russian airlines after Moscow launched its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine in late February. Russia responded in kind.
The tit-for-tat bans have forced European carriers to reconfigure their routes, depriving some countries of the monthly air navigation fees that they used to receive when flights from neighboring states passed through their airspace.
As a result of airspace bans, Finland has lost its key advantage over other Scandinavian countries – the shortest distance to China, Japan and South Korea.
Some flights to the Asia-Pacific region, which had been generating up to 50% of Finnair’s profit, were canceled.
Finnair’s fuel costs have also reportedly surged almost twofold since December 2021, from 30% to 55% of its total expenses.