Passenger numbers at Finavia airports are rising to record figures this year. As a result of strong growth, Helsinki Airport is about to reach 17 million passengers for the first time in its 64 years of operation. A significant factor in this milestone is international transfer passengers who are strategically vital to Finavia.
Meanwhile, the combined passenger numbers at Oulu Airport and the airports across Lapland are to reach one million passengers, a notable figure in Finnish air traffic.
”Record figures are not created without hard work. That is what we have been doing, most of all together with our carrier clients and our personnel. The cooperation carried out with many different organisations in promoting Finnish tourism has also played a major role. Finland's growing attraction as a tourist destination is most clearly seen in the figures for Lapland. We must also give our thanks to every passenger that has used our airport services,” states Kari Savolainen, CEO at Finavia.
Helsinki Airport as a growing hub of international air traffic
With its over 17 million passengers, Helsinki Airport demonstrates strong growth as a hub of traffic between Europe and Asia, in line with Finavia's strategy. New carriers and routes have provided their share of the increases. Helsinki Airport currently offers direct flights to 135 destinations. During the summer of 2016, with the opening of the Fukuoka route, Helsinki Airport became the largest airport in Europe in terms of routes to Japan. Other notable long-distance routes opened this year include direct flights to Doha, Qatar, Miami, USA and Guangzhou, China. As a result of the increase in transfer traffic, European flight connections have also been bolstered.
”In addition to expansion, our focus is on the development of services. A memorable customer experience brings passengers back to the airport and inspires them to recommend it to others, which is of crucial importance, most significantly to Helsinki Airport as it competes for transfer passengers. This part of our work has also proven fruitful. Several international parties have again this year given recognition for the quality of services at our airports,” Savolainen says.
Oulu Airport reaches a million again
On Thursday, 15 December, Oulu Airport celebrated its one millionth passenger of the year. The second busiest airport in Finland, Oulu therefore makes its return to the million-passenger club, which it previously achieved in 2012. That time, the threshold of one million passengers was reached for the first time in Oulu.
The importance of air traffic to the Oulu region's economy is demonstrated by the fact that a significant part of the airport's passengers are business travellers. In 2014, after overhauls aimed at improving passenger experience were completed, Oulu Airport has been repeatedly rated among the best airports with its outstanding customer satisfaction.
Lapland's tourism businesses reap the benefits of cooperation
In the course of 2016, the popularity of Lapland tourism has continued to increase. Regional cooperation has borne fruit in Lapland, and growth has been sustained by attractive tourism services as well as by new route openings. During the current winter season, Lapland is served by a total of eight direct international connections from the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
”Metaphorically speaking, what used to be a small ember has now burst into a fiery blaze. This winter, the number of flights to Lapland has reached record figures. Since international charter and scheduled flights hold great importance to the region's airports and tourism industry, it is the determined goal of Finavia to increase air traffic in Lapland. Reaching the landmark of a million passengers also sets the bar appropriately high for the year to come, as we seek to break new records together with our partners,” Kari Savolainen explains.