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Increase in international air travel helped to boost passenger volumes after a period of decline

Press release
Article published
11.10.2013 at 06:00
In January–September 2013, passenger volumes at Finavia Corporation airports decreased by 1.8 per cent compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. However, strong growth in international air travel helped to boost passenger volumes in the third quarter.  At the same time, the downward trend in domestic air travel continued.

A total of 14.4 million passengers used Finavia's airports in January–September 2013 (14.6 million in 1–9/2012). The passenger volumes declined by 1.8% compared with January–September 2012. After a substantial drop in the first quarter, the decline in demand was halted and passenger volumes increased by 3.3% in the third quarter. The growth was a result of an increase in international air travel.

The number of commercial aviation landings decreased by 6.0% in January–September.


Strong increase in transit traffic in the third quarter

A total of 11.7 million passengers used Helsinki Airport in January–September, which was 2.5% more than in the corresponding period of 2012. International transit traffic increased by 8.6% compared with the same period in the previous year. There was particularly strong growth in the number of passengers transferring between international flights. The increase was 18.0% during the third quarter.

"International transit traffic has grown steadily throughout the year and the rate of growth has accelerated towards the year's end. This means that we have every reason to be optimistic about the future. We can be very happy with this trend, because it shows that Helsinki Airport is an important and attractive air transport hub between Europe and Asia," says Joni Sundelin, Senior Vice President in charge of the Finavia airport network, marketing and sales.


Continuing decline in domestic passenger volumes

The number of passengers on domestic flights declined further in January–September compared with the corresponding period of 2012. It totalled 3.6 million (a drop of 13.1%).

"Domestic passenger volumes continued to decline in the third quarter, and there has only been a slight slowdown in the downward trend since spring. Demand for domestic air travel has dropped as a result of factors such as price increases on a number of routes and the restructuring of Finnish industry. It also seems that other modes of transport have become more competitive, particularly on short-haul routes," explains Sundelin.

During the first nine months of the year, Rovaniemi was the only provincial airport posting an increase in passenger volumes in domestic and international traffic (3.2%). The sharpest falls were recorded in Turku (-32.0%), Jyväskylä (-25.9%) and Oulu (-25.5%).


International air travel on the increase

International passenger volumes at all Finavia's airports (including scheduled and chartered services) increased by 2.6% in January–September, to 10.5 million. The increase was a result of strong growth during the third quarter. In the third quarter, passenger volumes went up by 7.0% and there was a substantial increase in travel to Europe and other parts of the world.

Of the important Asian destinations, China (+20.2%) and Japan (+5.2%) recorded strong growth, while Spain (+18.5%) and Turkey (+21.1 %) were the major European destinations posting the biggest increases.


Continuing strong growth in transit traffic and international air traffic

"There has been strong growth in transit traffic and international traffic since spring and we expect the passenger volumes in these areas to keep on growing in the latter part of the year. Because of strong growth in these two sectors, this year's passenger volumes at Finavia's airports may reach 2012 levels, despite the general economic situation," concludes Sundelin.


Finavia publishes monthly traffic statistics, which are available at 

All percentages of change given in this press release describe the developments in January–September 2013 compared with the corresponding period in 2012. Correspondingly, the developments in the third quarter of 2013 have been compared with the third quarter of 2012.