The growth in air traffic volume slowed down in 2012

17.1.2013 - 08:43
Press release
The passenger volume at Finavia airports increased last year to the record-high level in 2011, i.e. to 19.2 million passengers. However, as the global economy continued to be unstable, the volume growth experienced a rapid slowdown and remained at 0.5 % compared to 2011. The strong development in Asian traffic continued, and Helsinki Airport maintained its position as a significant transit airport.

Finavia airports had 19,187,508 passengers in 2012 (19,089,089 in 2011). Domestic passengers accounted for 28 % and international ones 72 %. In Q4 of 2012, the total number of passengers was 4,548,555 (4,711,469 in October–December 2011). The decline compared to October–December 2011 was 3.5 %. Domestic passenger volume clearly declined in Q4 In 2012, the domestic passenger volume decreased by 0.5 %, and the number of passengers was 5.4 million (5.5). In Q4, the domestic passenger volume decreased by 12.0 % compared to Q4 of 2011. ”The passenger volume in Finland has decreased from Q2 and the situation continues to be challenging. Airlines took action to meet the lower demand and altered their routes. At the same time, it needs to be kept in mind that 2011 was a time of exceptionally strong growth in Finland's internal air traffic," says Joni Sundelin, Director responsible for Finavia's airport network, marketing and sales. Of the regional airports, Joensuu, Turku, Oulu and Vaasa saw a significant increase in passenger volumes in 2012. The passenger volume in Oulu exceeded one million for the first time, totalling almost 1.1 million. There was a decline in the passenger volumes at the airports in Pori, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta and Tampere. As a whole, the development of tourist airports in Lapland was positive, and the passenger volumes increased in Ivalo and Kittilä in particular. International air traffic increased to a small extent The passenger volume of international air traffic increased by 0.9 % in 2012, and stood at 13.7 million (13.6). The passenger volumes of flights between Finland and the rest of Europe remained at the previous year's 11.5 million. The passenger volume to countries outside Europe was 2.2 million (2.1). The passenger volume of international air traffic in October–December was 3.3 million. There was an increase of 0.3 % compared to the same period in 2011. Helsinki-Vantaa's Asian traffic continued its rapid growth The passenger volume of Helsinki Airport in 2012 declined by 0.1 % compared to the previous year, and stood at 14,858,215. In October–December, 3.5 million passengers passed through Helsinki Airport. The decline compared to the same period in 2011 was 2.3 %. Helsinki Airport's Asian traffic also continued its rapid growth in 2012, and the total passenger volume of Asian flights in 2012 was almost 1.8 million (1.6). The growth compared to the same period in 2011 was 8.3 %. "The increase in the volumes of Asian traffic has been boosted by the direct route to Chongqing, China. The number of direct connections to Asia will further increase as Finnair is going to introduce routes to Xi'an in China and Hanoi in Vietnam in June. Japan Airlines will introduce a route from Helsinki to Tokyo in March. In addition to Asian traffic, Helsinki Airport's European routes will be expanded at the beginning of the year," says Sundelin. Airplane occupancy rates increased The number of commercial aviation landings decreased to 124,402 operations last year, which is 10.3 % less than in 2011. As the passenger volumes remained almost the same as in 2011, airplane occupancy rates increased, which means that air traffic was more effective than before. Demand fluctuation and cost pressure from airlines will also have an impact on the sector's development in 2013. The European financial hardships and the slowdown in the growth in Asia will still affect air traffic as long-term uncertainty. Finavia will further develop its operating methods in the unstable business environment. The purpose of the efficiency improvement steps is to improve cost-efficiency and serve flight passengers and airlines even better.