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The next government must improve Finland's accessibility  

Article published
9.4.2023 at 09:00
Portaat ja lentokonekyltti
Finland's distance to the world has increased as a result of Russia’s war of aggression. We have lost our favourable logistical position between Asia and Europe for a long time.

The shortest flight route between Europe and Asia over Russia is closed to airlines from EU countries, as are rail traffic to Russia and sea and container traffic to St. Petersburg. Finland is increasingly an island.

The next government must create a concrete action plan to improve Finland's international and domestic accessibility. The programme should aim to develop the Finnish transport system as a whole together with actors in the transport sector, such as Finavia, Finnair and VR. We are ready for this job. 

Passengers are best served by a service offering where travel is seamless and the transfer from one means of transport to another is smooth. Passengers benefit from sufficiently busy transport hubs. A service offering like this can become a comprehensive transport system that makes use of the competitive advantages of all modes of transport.

For passengers, the smoothness of trip chains could also be experienced through convenient ticket purchases.

We are ready to promote a model where you can arrive at your destination with a single ticket, even if the journey includes flights, trains and buses.

All forms of transport are needed. Flights connect Finland with the rest of the world, and Helsinki Airport is a natural and efficient hub for Finland's international traffic. In domestic traffic, on the other hand, flights are suitable for routes where the passenger volumes are large enough to make them profitable on market terms.

Train and bus connections cover domestic destinations extensively, cost-effectively and in an environmentally friendly manner. In order to improve accessibility, time-saving direct train connections to Helsinki Airport must be improved. Regardless of other rail projects, there needs to be a commitment to construct the Airport Railway Line that enables the connection of long-distance trains to the airport without transfer.

When outsourced services are procured with public funds for otherwise unprofitable connections, all forms of transport must be taken into account in the tendering process.

For example, further connections between Helsinki Airport and regional centres must be possible by train or bus, if it is reasonable and economically advantageous in terms of travel time.

In a weakening public economy, the responsible thing is to ensure that transport solutions are both economically and environmentally sustainable.

With national decisions, Finland can also strengthen its international position as part of global traffic flows. Finavia, Finnair and VR safeguard and develop Finland's improved accessibility in a responsible and sustainable manner.

We hope that the next government will share this task with us. 

Kimmo Mäki, CEO, Finavia

Topi Manner, CEO, Finnair

Elisa Markula, CEO, VR