Strong air passenger growth in Finland
New statistics unveiled by airport operator Finavia show air passenger volumes are experiencing strong growth in Finland.
During the first six months of the year, the total number of passengers travelling via Finavia airports amounted to 12.3 million – 1.3 million more than the year before, and an increase of 11.9 per cent. Helsinki Airport served a record-breaking 10.1 million air passengers.
Joni Sundelin, airport director of Helsinki Airport, who is in charge of Finavia’s route development, said: “Growth of nearly 12 per cent is sky-high. The direction is good not only at Helsinki Airport but also at our central regional airports.
“The excellent figures not only reflect the favourable economic situation but also Helsinki Airport’s strengthened position as the hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia. This development has boosted a great increase also in other airports of the network.”
Sundelin said the threshold of 10 million air passengers was reached in June at Helsinki Airport, with more than 84 per cent flying on scheduled international flights. The number of transfer passengers grew the most, rising by 23.9 per cent, he revealed.
A number of factors have contributed to the growth of passenger volumes at Helsinki Airport – there are more frequent flights than before, and more airlines are flying larger wide-body aircraft. In terms of long-haul flights, the largest number of passengers flew on routes to and from Japan, Thailand and China. Among single destinations, Qatar’s figures saw a huge increase of 137.6 per cent.
Sundelin expects growth to continue at Helsinki Airport. He said: “We predict that this year the annual passenger volume will exceed 21 million. Currently, Helsinki Airport is undergoing a billion euro investment programme getting ready to serve 30 million passengers.”
Regional airports also enjoyed growth, with more than 15,500 flights more to and from Finavia airports compared to the corresponding period of the previous year (+ 8.3%). Sweden and Germany continue to be the most popular flight destinations.
“With regard to regional airports, the highest number of international flight passengers was to and from Spain,” added Sundelin.
“Furthermore, holiday flights to Greece have become more popular. The number of flights to and from the UK grew by more than 20 per cent, which results from Lapland charter flights. All in all, according to our statistics, there were 18.7% more passengers departing from regional airports to Europe at the beginning of the year than the year before.”