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How Monday's blizzard affected Helsinki Airport flights

Article published
13.12.2022 at 10:04
Kunnossapitokalustoa lumisessa maisemassa
Despite the exceptionally harsh winter storm, approximately 60 per cent of Helsinki Airport flights departed and arrived on schedule.

“We had 420 flights at the airport on Monday 12 December, and almost 60 per cent of those were on schedule. In particular, the preparation of our own winter maintenance, airlines and ground handling companies as well as air traffic control, and the accurate forecast of the Finnish Meteorological Institute enabled us to get the planes off the ground well,” says Finavia’s Jani Elasmaa, who is responsible for Helsinki Airport’s apron and runway operations.

The weather was very bad. There was a heavy snow, and a strong wind at the same time, which meant that the number of arrivals and departures had to be limited for safety reasons, and some flights were delayed. However, Finavia was able to maintain two parallel runways at all times, which improved the flow of air traffic. In spite of the challenging conditions, the deicing operations of the airlines also went smoothly.

Air traffic in Central Europe also suffered from winter conditions. Some flights at Helsinki Airport were unable to depart on time or landed up to several hours late when the runways at the destination airports were closed or their traffic was severely restricted.

For example, during the morning, six flights to Riga and Tallinn landed at Helsinki Airport, which was used as an alternate airport for the aircrafts.

For individual flights, Europe's weather situation has been reflected in Helsinki Airport's baggage claim. Late Monday evening and at night, the wait for baggage may have taken quite a while.

Some baggage may also have been left at airports in Central Europe. They will be delivered to passengers afterwards. You can contact your own airline regarding your baggage.

Read also:

Why are flights delayed in a blizzard? Read Jani Elasmaa's blog: Finavia airports’ snow-how is a result of the seamless cooperation of many airport actors