“This growth proves that Helsinki Airport is one of the top airports in Europe. Measured by the number of flights to Asia, Finland’s main airport is the fifth largest airport in Europe,” Ville Haapasaari, airport director at Finavia, states happily.
According to Haapasaari, more positive developments are to be expected next year, as Helsinki Airport will be the departure point for 21 long-distance routes. Measured by routes to Japan, Helsinki Airport will be the largest airport in Europe next summer.
“Over a hundred long-distance flights take off from Helsinki Airport every week; 85 of them to Asia and 15 to the United States.
The expansion of the flight route network and Helsinki Airport’s status as a transfer station for passengers flying between Europe and Asia will bring foreign tourists to Finland.” Haapasaari believes that tourism has significant growth potential in Finland.
According to statistics recently published by the Finnish Hospitality Association, the number of Asian tourists in Finland is currently increasing. For instance, the number of Chinese visitors staying overnight has increased by over 40 per cent.
“We are a part of these developments in tourism, and we do our best to increase the attractiveness of the business in the international market. It has been estimated that as many as 20 million passengers will travel through Helsinki Airport in 2020,” Haapasaari states.
The last time Helsinki Airport had reason to celebrate the increase in its passenger volumes was in December 2013, when the passenger volume exceeded 15 million. The 15-millionth passenger was Jiayang Zhuo, who was traveling from Amsterdam to Shanghai via Helsinki Airport.
Finavia has launched a development programme, worth EUR 900 million, with the goal of strengthening the position of Helsinki Airport in both the international competition between airports and as a significant airline hub between Europe and Asia.
An internationally competitive airport is important for the well-being of Finland as a whole, as it helps the country maintain good flight connections for Finns to all destinations around the world. Thanks to the expansion, the airport can serve 20 million passengers annually in the year 2020.
Image: Finnair route opening at Helsinki Airport 2015