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Finavia airports’ growth continues: nearly 19 million passengers January–September

News Press release
Article published
17.10.2018 at 09:58
Helsinki Airport terminal from apron
The number of air passengers has continued to grow as expected. According to Finavia’s statistics, 18.6 million (+11%) passengers travelled through Finavia’s 21 airports between January and September. A record-breaking 15.8 million air passengers travelled through Helsinki Airport between January and September. The 20 million passenger milestone is expected to break at Helsinki Airport later in 2018.

There has been 11.0 per cent more air passengers between January and February this year compared to the same period last year. The growth in air travel reflects what has been a good year for air traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a destination and the increasing importance of Helsinki Airport as a hub between Europe and Asia.

-The excellent growth in traffic is in accordance with our expectations. Passenger numbers are now growing at the same rate at Helsinki and the main regional airports, such as Oulu, Turku, Kittilä and Vaasa. Besides growth, responsibility in operations and the sustainable development of airports are at the core of Finavia’s business. This means that we bear the responsibility for the impact of our operations on people, the environment and society — working carefully and conscientiously. Helsinki Airport is already completely carbon neutral, as will be all the network airports by 2020, says Joni Sundelin, Executive Director of Helsinki Airport and Airline Sales & Accounts

Finavia works hard all year round to get new routes and new airlines for the airports. Finnair’s new connections are visible in the statistics – passenger numbers are growing on Asian routes. For example, Finnair and Norwegian have both increased the number of their routes. A new airline, FlyDubai, started daily scheduled flights to Helsinki and SAS started a direct route from Tampere to Malaga. At the end of October, EasyJet will start flying from London Gatwick to Rovaniemi, which is expected to bring more British travellers directly to Lapland.

The number of international transit passengers at Helsinki Airport has grown by 26.2 per cent from January

The growth demonstrates how significant Helsinki Airport is as a hub between Europe and Asia. The number of international transit passengers has grown by 26.2 per cent. Most of the transit passengers come from Japan, China, Sweden and Germany. The traffic growth at Helsinki Airport has continued to be stronger than at other Nordic main airport hubs.

At Finavia’s other airports, the number of passengers grew by around 10.0 per cent. Three weeks of runway repairs caused only a temporary decrease at Tampere Airport. At the regional airports there has been an increase of 8.6 per cent in domestic passengers and 14.0 per cent in international passengers.

-The number of charter flights to Europe grew during the summer holiday season in particular. Holiday flights to Greece have clearly grown in popularity as a result of a higher number of scheduled flights. We also expect next winter to be busy at Lapland’s airports, says Sundelin.

The 20 million passenger milestone will break at Helsinki Airport this year

The robust growth of Helsinki Airport is explained not only by more frequent flights, but also by the fact that more and more airlines use large wide-bodied aircraft.

Sweden, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom continue to be the most popular flight destinations. The rise in the number of passengers on international scheduled routes has grown by 11.6 per cent. The most popular long haul destinations January–September were Japan, China and Thailand. Qatar’s growth continues: in September the number of passengers grew 73.5 per cent.

-The 10 million passenger milestone was reached already in June at Helsinki Airport. In the period of January–September, there have been 15.8 million passengers. By the end of the year, we will have reached the magical 20 million passenger milestone at Helsinki, and we will in fact be closer to 21 million, Sundelin says.

During January–September, 86.0 per cent of the passengers at Helsinki Airport travelled internationally and 14.0 per cent on the domestic routes. The biggest growth was in the volume of transit passengers (+23.9%).

Finavia’s airports are growing and developing

Finavia invests hundreds of millions of euros in developing its airports. At the moment, extension work is ongoing at Helsinki and Lapland airports. The Tampere-Pirkkala extension was completed on August 2018. Read more on Finavia’s website.

Currently, Helsinki Airport is going through the biggest development programme in Finavia’s history, which will extend the capacity to serve 30 million passengers annually. More on the development programme.

Finavia publishes the number of traffic operations as well as financial and passenger statistics for its airports on a monthly basis on its website.