According to a forecast made by Finavia Corporation in November, the number of charter flights to Lapland will remain at last year's levels. This means that Lapland has not lost any of its appeal.
According to a forecast based on bookings made through travel operators, Kittilä (138) and Rovaniemi (100) will be the busiest airports over the Christmas period. There will be more than 50 charter flights to both Enontekiö and Ivalo. The number of charter flights landing at airports in Lapland will remain at last year's levels. However, Kuusamo has seen a slight decline in the number of charter flights. There will be about seven charter flights to Kuusamo this Christmas.
Most of the charter flights to Lapland are from Britain. For example, about 90 per cent of all charter flights landing at Rovaniemi Airport over the Christmas period are from the UK. As expected, the number of charter flights arriving from Russia this winter has declined from last year. Charter flights to ski resorts in northernmost Lapland will continue until the end of April. These flights are especially popular among French and Dutch visitors.
As an airport service provider, Finavia is notified of charter flights later than before. This is because bookings through travel operators occur later than before and closer to the time of departure.
- We are now cooperating more closely with the tourism industry in Lapland. We want to be an active partner in the marketing of Lapland so that there would be an increase in the number of people flying to Northern Finland. In addition to the direct international flights to Lapland it is important to get more foreigners changing planes at Helsinki Airport to visit tourist destinations in Lapland and elsewhere in Finland, notes Joni Sundelin, Director of Airport Networks, Sales and Marketing at Finavia.
- Lapland has a great deal of appeal as a tourist destination, which means that there is a lot of growth potential in this respect. Slow recovery of the world economy and a decline in the number of Russian visitors will, however, have an impact on demand and it seems that there will not be any growth this Christmas, Sundelin explains.
Rovaniemi is the busiest Finavia airport in Lapland, with 330,000 passengers between January and October this year. Over the same period, a total of 162,000 passengers went through Kittilä Airport, while in Ivalo, Enontekiö and Kuusamo the figures were 97,000, 800 and 60,000 respectively.
Finavia will release its passenger statistics for 2014 in January 2015.