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Statistics: Passenger volumes at Finavia's airports continue to grow – Rovaniemi exceeded its 2019 volume

Press release
Article published
17.7.2023 at 11:00
Matkustajat terminaalissa lähdössä matkalle
A total of 9 million passengers travelled through Finavia's 20 airports in January–June 2023, an increase of 36 per cent from the previous year. The passenger volume at Helsinki Airport grew by 37 per cent, but the passenger volumes of 2019 are still some way off as Asian traffic remains low. Passenger volumes have recovered particularly well at Lapland's airports, with Rovaniemi being Finavia's first airport to have exceeded its 2019 volume.

Air travel has continued to grow. A total of 9 million passengers flew through Finavia's airports in January–June 2023. In first half of last year, the number of passengers was 6.6 million, which means that the volume has increased by 36 per cent. Some 78 per cent of the passengers took an international flight and 22 per cent a domestic one. A particularly positive increase was seen in the passenger volumes at Tampere-Pirkkala, Rovaniemi and Turku Airports due to the opening of new direct international flight connections.

“Finavia's active work to open new flight connections improves accessibility for the whole of Finland. These statistics are a very positive sign that air traffic is recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer, there are direct flights to nearly 150 destinations around the world from Finavia's airports. We work actively with airlines and tourism operators to develop our routes,” says Petri Vuori, Finavia’s Senior Vice President, Sales and Route Development.

Rovaniemi exceeds its passenger volume for 2019

The recovery of air travel is particularly evident in the statistics of Finavia's airports in Lapland. At Rovaniemi Airport, the passenger volumes were even higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. In January–June 2019, a total of 322,331 passengers flew through Rovaniemi Airport. In January–June 2023, the number had already reached 346,660.

From Lapland's airports, Kittilä, Ivalo and Kuusamo came close to the 2019 level.

“The huge passenger volumes in Rovaniemi are a clear sign of the recovery of air traffic and the international appeal of Lapland. The overall passenger statistics at our Lapland airports were excellent during the past six months, and this year’s upcoming route launches promise even more growth in passenger volumes,” says Petri Vuori.

Helsinki Airport continues to grow – transfer travelling recovers more slowly

A total of 7.5 million passengers travelled through Helsinki Airport in January–June 2023. This is 37 per cent more than the 5.5 million passengers last year, but less than the 10.6 million passengers in 2019.

Of the passengers at Helsinki Airport, 87 per cent took an international flight and 13 per cent a domestic one. The number of transfer passengers on international flights increased by 56 per cent from the previous year, but there is still significantly less transfer travelling than in 2019. Its recovery continues to be affected by the low level of transfer travelling between Asia and Europe.

European flights the most popular international connections

The most popular international routes took passengers from Finavia's airports to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London and Paris. Of international scheduled flights, Germany, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy accounted for the largest numbers of passengers.

The most visited non-European destinations were the United States, Japan, Thailand, India and South Korea.

Passenger volumes at regional airports on the rise

A total of 1.5 million passengers travelled through Finavia's regional airports in January–June 2023. Compared to last year's 1.1 million passengers, this represented 34 per cent growth.

Most of the passengers flew from Rovaniemi, Oulu, Kittilä, Turku and Ivalo Airports. According to Vuori, the growing number of passengers shows, for example, how people have been activated to use the connections at regional airports. He stresses the continued importance of this in the future.

“We hope that the local residents of the regional airports will take advantage of the extensive connections out into the world. This will ensure that the routes that are opened at airports will continue to remain open,” says Petri Vuori.

The return to pre-pandemic passenger volumes has been slow, especially at Finavia's five regional airports, where the state subsidises scheduled flights as purchased traffic. In the first half of 2019, a total of 210,692 passengers travelled through the airports of Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kemi-Tornio and Kokkola-Pietarsaari. In January–June 2023, the number was 85,497.

Freight and postal traffic almost at the same level, number of commercial flights increases

The volumes of cargo and mail passing through Finavia's airports decreased by five per cent from last year. In January–June 2023, a total of 87 thousand tonnes of cargo and mail were transported. The number of commercial flights increased by 11 per cent compared to the previous year.

Fact box 1: Statistical summary, January–June 2023

January–June 2023

January–June 2022


Total passengers at Finavia’s airports



+ 36.48%

Passengers at Helsinki Airport



+ 36.94%

Transfer passengers departing on international flights



+ 55.59%

Total freight volume at Finavia’s airports



- 5.14%

Freight volume at Helsinki Airport



- 5.96%

Total number of commercial flights at Finavia’s airports



+ 11.19%

Commercial flights at Helsinki Airport



+ 11.13%

Fact box 2: Top 10 flight connections from Finavia airports



Total passenger volumes in January–June 2023

Helsinki – Stockholm-Arlanda


Helsinki – Copenhagen


Helsinki – Amsterdam


Oulu – Helsinki


Helsinki – Oulu


Helsinki – London-Heathrow


Rovaniemi – Helsinki


Helsinki – Paris-Charles De Gaulle


Helsinki – Manchester


Helsinki – Rovaniemi


Fact box 3: The 10 most used airlines at Finavia's airports

  1. Finnair
  2. Norwegian
  3. Ryanair
  4. Lufthansa
  5. SAS
  6. Air Baltic
  7. KLM
  8. Air France
  9. Turkish Airlines
  10. Jet Time

Source: Finavia

Air traffic statistics have been published on Finavia’s Traffic statistics website.

Read more:

Flight list: These destinations are served by direct flights from Finavia airports