“We carry out a monthly comparison of the growth rate of Helsinki Airport’s international passenger traffic to the reported growth of passenger volumes at other main airports in Northern Europe. In a long-term comparison, we surpassed Oslo in Norway and Copenhagen in Denmark in October 2017. Now, in March 2018, we also overtook Arlanda in Sweden,” says Joni Sundelin, Airport Director of Helsinki Airport.
Sundelin’s responsibilities include Finavia’s route development, and he understands the competitive setting in the international airport business. Getting new airlines, opening new routes and taking larger aircrafts into use require plenty of work. The prize for the winners will be growth in passenger volumes and a quicker growth rate compared to competitors.
Helsinki Airport expects the milestone of 20 million annual passengers
In the first quarter of the year, Helsinki Airport was visited by almost 4.7 million passengers. The growth from the previous year was 12.3 per cent. International air traffic at Helsinki Airport included almost 3.8 million passengers, which is 13.0 per cent more than the previous year. Significant growth came from several European and long-haul destinations. The actual passenger numbers grew the most from Qatar, Spain and the Netherlands. Most passengers arrived at Helsinki Airport from Spain, Germany and Sweden. The number of passengers on domestic flights increased by 9.5 per cent.
“If the development of passenger volumes continues as in the first quarter of the year, we will reach the milestone of 20 million passengers this year. The key is to keep up the good work with our customer satisfaction and customer experience development when we at the same time are getting ready to serve over 30 million annual passengers, says Sundelin, and refers to Finavia’s ongoing EUR 900 million development programme at Helsinki Airport.
In 2017, Helsinki Airport was visited by a total of 18.9 million passengers. Read more how the expansion of Helsinki Airport will affect passengers in the next few years.
Lapland continues to enthrall – Rovaniemi has been catching up to Oulu this year
Finavia administrates 21 airports in Finland. Almost all of these airports experienced an increase in passenger volumes in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2017. In addition to Helsinki Airport, Finavia was especially happy with the growth of the airports in Northern Finland and Lapland.
“The difference in the number of passengers between the second and third largest airports in Oulu and Rovaniemi was only a little over 50,000 passenger in the first quarter of the year. Passenger volumes grew at both airports but the official airport of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi experienced a significantly quicker growth than Oulu Airport,” says Sundelin.
Finavia classifies the Lapland airports in order of passenger volumes as follows: Rovaniemi, Kittilä, Ivalo, Kuusamo, Kemi-Tornio and Enontekiö. The lure of Lapland – that has been covered widely in international media – reflects also in the number of air passengers. In the first quarter of the year, the growth in Kittilä, for instance, was more than a tenth more compared to the corresponding period of last year, in Ivalo more than a quarter and in Kuusamo more than a third.
Every month, Finavia publishes the passenger statistics of its airports on its website.