The growth rate was the highest in transit traffic at Helsinki Airport, which increased the total passenger volume in air traffic. Domestic travel declined by a total of about 2 per cent; however, there were exceptions as domestic passenger volume improved by 12 per cent in Rovaniemi.
In the first quarter of 2015, a total of 4,644,677 passengers (4,631,323 in Q1 of 2014) passed through Finavia's airports, with international passengers accounting for 69 per cent of the total. The passenger volume in international air traffic increased only slightly, by 1.3 per cent to 3,220,844 in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the corresponding period in 2014. International traffic increased in particular for North America (+37.2%), Africa (+12.5%) and other Europe (+10.7%, non-EU area).
The total passenger volume of air traffic did not grow much, and the volume improved by 0.3% compared to the first quarter of 2014. The number of commercial aviation landings declined by 4 per cent; however, that still means cost-efficiency in air traffic, since the aircraft now have fewer empty seats than before.
International transit travel at Helsinki Airport continued to increase
The ever strengthening transit travel at Helsinki Airport had a positive effect on the passenger volumes. International transit travel, which is strategically important to Finavia, increased by 7.7 per cent.
Otherwise, the growth rate in passenger volumes was moderate. In the first quarter of 2015, a total of 3,675,210 people (3,630,983) travelled through Helsinki Airport, which was 1.2 per cent more than in the corresponding period in 2014.
“Helsinki Airport has further strengthened its position as an important transit airport. This increases demand on European routes and supports Finland's competitiveness. The development programme of Helsinki Airport is proceeding as planned and it will enable further traffic increase in future. It is our goal to further strengthen Helsinki Airport's position as a transit traffic hub by investing in it being well-functioning and offering a good range of services,” says Finavia's Director of Airport Network Joni Sundelin.
Domestic passenger volumes declined slightly
In the first quarter of the year, 1,423,833 people travelled on domestic flights, compared to 1,452,152 passengers in the corresponding period of 2014. The passenger volume declined by 1.9 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014.
The domestic passenger volume is strongly dual in nature, and the majority of the airports continued to lose passengers. The seasonal alterations are clearly visible in the first quarter of the year, when the tourist season is at its peak in Lapland. In particular, the passenger volume grew well in Rovaniemi, by 12 per cent. In total, the traffic in Lapland increased by 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.
In Finland, the volume of air freight decreased by 11.6 per cent to 39,877 tons during the period.
In Finavia's air traffic statistics, international travel at Helsinki Airport refers to passengers who depart Helsinki Airport on an international flight. Thus, the figures include passengers who arrive at Helsinki Airport both by air and by other means of transport. International transit travel refers to passengers who arrive at Helsinki Airport either on a domestic or an international flight and who continue on an international flight.
Finavia publishes monthly traffic statistics, which are available at www.finavia.fi/en/finavia-corporation/statistics/. In this press release, all percentages of change describe the development in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014.