In the very heart of the Baltic Sea, halfway between Finland and Sweden, lies Mariehamn, the capital of the autonomous Finnish province of Åland. Founded in 1861 and named after the Russian empress Maria Alexandrovna, Mariehamn is a picturesque and friendly town with a strong maritime legacy. It is populated by 11,200 Swedish- and English-speaking inhabitants.
Mariehamn Airport is just as special. Last year, close to 60,000 passengers passed through the airport on 2198 flights – 1440 commercial and 758 general aviation. There are flights seven days a week to direct destinations such as Helsinki, Turku and Stockholm. These are operated by Nextjet and Nordic Regional Airlines, or Norra.
“Mariehamn Airport mostly serves frequent business travelers during the spring and fall.”
“Mariehamn Airport mostly serves frequent business travelers during the spring and fall,” shares Tanja Sabel, Airport Manager. She adds that the airport also welcomes high-profile guests, including Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and his Nordic colleagues, who convened in Åland last fall for their annual informal summer meeting.
The airport, which employs 30 people, provides good opportunities for shopping.
“We have a duty free shop where we sell local and international products. On the shelves, you can find handicrafts, beer produced by microbreweries and ecologically produced wellness items such as sea buckthorn soap. There are also spirits, wine, tobacco, and perfumes and fragrances from well-known international labels,” continues Sabel.
Due to tax legislation, all departing passengers – both on domestic and international flights – are welcome to shop at Mariehamn Airport.
In addition, the delightful 60 North Bar & Café can be found landside. “It has an exciting view of the landing strip and apron. You can see people arriving and boarding planes, and aircraft landing and taking off,” says Sabel.
Did you know the best spots for surfing and bouldering – a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses – are on Åland? Kite boarding is also popular in the archipelago.
“The Åland Islands are a lovely tourism destination all year round."
“The Åland Islands are a lovely tourism destination all year round. People fly to Åland both for work and play, and visitors typically fall in love with the archipelago consisting of more than 6,500 islands. We would love to welcome even more leisure travelers,” concludes Sabel.