Finnair profits surge on strong Europe-Asia traffic

Helsinki: Operating profit for Finnish flag carrier, Finnair, surged 74 per cent for third quarter 2007, the group said, citing strong demand from Asia. Operating profit for third quarter 2007 totalled 39.2 million euros ($56.6 million), compared to 22.5 million euros reported for the corresponding business period in 2006.

Turnover increased almost 6 per cent for the quarter to 545 million euros.

"The growth of demand has been particularly strong in Asia and South America. Finnair''s growth comes from Europe-Asia traffic," chief executive Jukka Hienon said in a statement.

During the quarter, Finnair subsidiary Fly Nordic was sold to Norwegian Air Shuttle, generating a one-time operating profit of 14 million euros.

In its outlook, Finnair said it would continue to focus on traffic between Asia and Europe, noting that China and India were growth markets.

Currently, the carrier operates 59 non-stop flights a week to 10 Asian destinations.