Finnair issues second profit warning, drops dividend

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

(Reuters) - Finnair FIA1S.HE on Monday issued its second profit warning in three weeks, saying it would report a substantial comparable operating loss for 2020 as it was cutting around 90% of its normal capacity from the beginning of April.

“It is now clear that the coronavirus is by far the biggest crisis in the history of aviation,” CEO Topi Manner said in a statement.

The Finnish airline said it would also not pay a dividend.

“The substantial deterioration of our financial outlook is fully attributable to the coronavirus,” Manner said.

Finnair said the company was working on an additional substantial funding plan, including available credit lines, sale and leasebacks of unencumbered aircraft and a substantial, market-based pension premium loan.

“The government of Finland has confirmed to the company that it will actively support Finnair through this exceptional period,” it said.

Finland owns 56% of shares in Finnair.

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