Airport passenger numbers up again in Finland
The popularity of Finland as a tourist destination continues to blossom, with airport passenger numbers up again for the third quarter of 2017.
The total growth in the 21 airports operated by Finavia was 9.4 per cent, with international passenger volumes growing even more rapidly, by 12.7 per cent.
According to Finavia’s traffic statistics there were more than 16.8 million passengers in its airports between January and September 2017.
Joni Sundelin, senior vice president, director of Airport Networks and Sales, said: “Our passenger volumes continue to grow due to general positive development in the economy, Finnair’s strong growth especially in their Asian air traffic, improved passenger load factors, and Finland’s growing attraction as a travel destination.
“We also work tirelessly on acquiring new routes and airlines to our airports. Over the past year, we have gained new clients to the Helsinki Airport, including Qatar Airways, Transavia, Blue Air and Croatia Airlines. In addition, the Chinese airline Lucky Air will start operating in January.”
In the third quarter of 2017, 88.0% of Finavia’s passengers travelled through Helsinki Airport. The airport had 5.2 million passengers in the third quarter, representing a 10.7% growth year-on-year.
Strongest growth from Asia
International passenger volumes grew in the third quarter both from Europe (+11.2% compared with Q3 2016) and elsewhere (+21.0%). The most significant destinations in Europe were Germany, Sweden and Spain, and in Asia, Japan and China.
“Summer is the busiest time of the year in European air travel. For example, passenger volumes between Helsinki and Amsterdam were up by 27% compared with the same period last year,” said Sundelin.
“This positive development has been facilitated by Norwegian’s and Transavia’s new operations, for instance. In addition, Tampere airport has seen a remarkable change in international passenger volumes [+30.7% compared with Q3 2016] – one of the reasons being the opening of Air Baltic’s route to Riga.”
In the third quarter of 2017, there were 4.8 million international passengers, of which more than 660,000 were transfer passengers (+25.5% compared with Q3 2016). Although over 83% of the quarter’s traffic was European traffic, Asian traffic made already a tenth of the total traffic.
“Air travel is increasing in popularity, not only in Europe, but also elsewhere. We can see this especially well in the growing international transfer passenger volumes at Helsinki Airport,” explained Sundelin.
“We have continuously broken records from quarter to quarter this year. For example, the growth of our Asian passenger volumes by 20% is due to both Finnair’s more frequent flights to Hong Kong [+46.1% compared with Q3 2016] and Tokyo [Japan +19.7 compared with Q3 2016], and to larger planes used by the airlines along with their improved passenger load factors.”