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Finavia celebrates the 50th anniversary of Savonlinna Airport

Press release
Article published
5.3.2024 at 09:13
Savonlinnan kiitotie
People & Aviation
Savonlinna Airport, which has been part of the Finavia airport network since 1980, will reach the age of 50 in the summer of 2024. Finavia is celebrating the anniversary of Savonlinna Airport on its website and social media channels.

Savonlinna Airport’s first flights arrived in November 1973 when the construction of the airport was still partly in progress. The airport was officially inaugurated in June 1974 and became part of Finavia’s airport network in 1980. In 1995, the terminal facilities were upgraded by separating the areas for departures and arrivals and streamlining baggage handling. In 2022, Finavia invested EUR 3 million in paving the airport runway and taxiway and renovating the apron, which serves as a parking area for aircraft. At the same time, the runway lighting system was replaced with an energy-efficient LED lighting system.

The employees at Savonlinna Airport are strongly multi-talented. As a result, they have the opportunity to carry out a wide range of work tasks and continuously develop their own skills. They can also develop in-depth expertise in their own field because the airport requires very precise and exact know-how, for example in the areas of general maintenance and infrastructure maintenance.

“There is a strong sense of community at Savonlinna Airport, and everyone has a strong desire to serve air passengers and ensure smooth travel,” says Mauri Vihavainen, Director at Savonlinna Airport.

From the very beginning, Savonlinna Airport has served the guests and audience of the Savonlinna Opera Festival, which has been held since 1912. In addition, especially in spring and autumn, several holiday flights depart from the airport to the warmth of the south, making it possible for people in the region to go on holiday from their own local airport.

“During the Opera Festival, the number of passengers at the airport increases and there is a cheerful hustle and bustle at the terminal. Eastern Finland offers interesting things to see and experience throughout the year, but the atmosphere is especially pleasant in the summer.”

Finavia selected Savonlinna as the Airport of the Year in 1989, 1996 and 2021. The latest recognition was given during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the airport community showed strong commitment and resilience in an exceptionally challenging situation.

In the 2000s, passenger numbers at Savonlinna Airport have decreased significantly from its peak years. In 1998, more than 58,000 passengers travelled through Savonlinna Airport, but over the next 20 years, the number of passengers decreased to about 10,000 per year. Following the halt of air traffic during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the annual number of passengers at Savonlinna Airport has settled down to about 3,000 passengers. Today, Savonlinna’s scheduled flights operate with the support of the state and the City of Savonlinna, which will continue at least until the end of 2025.

In summer, there are chartered flights to Savonlinna from the Netherlands and Germany. These chartered flights bring summer tourists to admire Eastern Finland and enjoy the Finnish summer. According to current information, the chartered flights will continue in the summer of 2024.

Finavia is celebrating the anniversary of Savonlinna Airport in all its digital channels during the spring and summer of 2024.

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History of Finaiva's airports