Air traffic to Lapland in 2009 was busiest in December
Traffic at Lapland's airports is heaviest in December, which was also reflected in last year's travel figures. Domestic passenger numbers for Lapland remained the same in December, but dropped by 8.8% for the whole year compared with the previous year. Overall traffic to Lapland dropped by 12.8% in 2009.
The number of charter flights dropped, especially from Great Britain. British passengers have cut down on travelling significantly as a result of the recession and this can clearly be seen in the traffic figures for Lapland as well.
“The number of foreign passengers for the entire year dropped by 24.2% compared with the previous year. International traffic at Christmas was down by as much as 30%. The biggest contraction in foreign markets was from Britain, which is the largest single market area,” says Thomas Kingelin, Finavia’s Sales Manager with responsibility for developing air traffic in Lapland.
The total number of passengers to Lapland during the entire year was 892,159, and according to an estimate by Finavia, 40% of this number were international passengers. Foreign passengers arrive in Lapland on both scheduled and charter flights.
Finavia believes air travel will recover and has been examining new international markets together with actors in Lapland’s tourist industry.
“Russia, Germany and Holland are growing markets at the current moment. In addition, the aim is to increase the number of flights to destinations in Lapland from other Central European countries,” says Kingelin.
Domestic traffic in December was unchanged, although it dropped by 8.8% during the entire year compared with the previous year.
“It appears that lower prices for air tickets have had an impact on domestic travel, as Lapland has been a tempting travel destination,” says Kingelin.
In domestic travel last year, a total of 692,144 passengers flew to Lapland. Lapland is served by scheduled flights from Finnair, Finncomm Airlines and Blue1. Blue1 also added flights from Helsinki to Kittilä, Kuusamo and Ivalo.
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