Helsinki Airport hits 20 million passenger milestone
Helsinki Airport recorded its 20 millionth passenger of 2018 during December, a major milestone that capped off its unprecedented growth in recent years.
Joni Sundelin, director of Helsinki Airport, said: “This is a momentous occasion for Helsinki Airport and the entire Finnish aviation industry.
“The number of passengers has been growing faster than we predicted a few years ago. Back then, we talked about 20 million passengers in 2020. However, we hit that mark already this year.”
Up to 21 million passengers were expected to visit Helsinki Airport by the end of the 2018 (the corresponding figure last year was 18.9 million) and its current development programme, budgeted at €1 billion, is preparing for it to serve up to 30 million passengers per year.
Sundelin said that responsibility is a key factor in the airport’s growth.
“We do our best to ensure that the volume air traffic can grow responsibly. Helsinki Airport is already a carbon neutral airport, “ he said.
“We use renewable energy and fuels and compensate for other emissions.”
International transit traffic growth
The increasing number of passengers is due to the growth of international transit traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a travel destination and Finns’ increased tendency to travel by plane, according to Sundelin.
“All areas of our operations have grown,” he explained. “The majority of traffic is still within Europe, but Asian transit traffic, in particular, has been growing more rapidly than expected.”
He also said the growth of international traffic at Helsinki Airport had continued to be stronger than at the other main Nordic airports.
“We are currently among the most rapidly growing air traffic hubs in Europe – we have established our status as a hub of transit traffic between Europe and Asia.”
Finavia works arduously on getting new routes and airlines to use its airports. The main airlines, Finnair and Norwegian, have increased their range of services considerably this year. In addition, the airport has secured new airlines as its clients. FlyDubai, for example, began operating daily flights to Helsinki.
“Hopefully, we will continue to acquire more clients next year,” added Sundelin.
“We expect Helsinki Airport to continue its strong growth, but we also assume that the rate of growth will become more moderate in the coming years.”