Strong start to the year for Finland’s airports
Chinese visitors and Santa Claus have helped airports in Finland enjoy a positive start to the year, with demand for air traffic growing strongly in the first quarter, according to the latest figures.
Passenger numbers at Finavia’s airports were up 6.9 per cent on the same period in 2016, and the main factors behind the buoyant start to the year were the growing interest of Chinese passengers in Finland, and the wonderful winter season in Lapland, home of Santa Claus.
The total number of passengers at Finavia’s airports during the first quarter of the year was 5,255,893 (compared to 4,917,647 passengers for January–March 2016). Of these, international passengers accounted for 69 per cent. The growth in passenger volume in Lapland’s airports set a new record, with numbers up by 21 per cent.
International transit travel, which is strategically central to Finavia, also developed well in the first quarter, with the number of passengers switching to another flight increasing by 4.5 per cent.
That said, more and more passengers chose Finland as their final destination, with many of the increased arrivals at Helsinki Airport continuing on to the snows of Lapland. Behind the growth was Finavia’s long-term development of flight routes and the development of services by local tourism operators, as well as joint targeted marketing of the country. Of Helsinki’s nearby destinations, Tallinn and St. Petersburg also benefited from the Helsinki Airport passenger flows.
Kari Savolainen, Finavia Oyj’s chief executive officer, said: “In terms of growth in tourism, this year started excellently. In addition to the positive development of growth in tourism, as the summer season approaches new routes are now being rapidly opened to Finland.
“Our active and long-running work in support of Finnish air traffic is producing results, and thanks to our efforts new airlines have found Finland to be an attractive destination. So the beginning of the year bodes well for the development of passenger numbers for the year overall.”