This represents growth of 2.4% from the year before. Helsinki and Oulu, Finavia's two largest airports, are both about to break new passenger records.
The increase in Finnish air traffic comes from international scheduled flights. Of all air passengers in January–September, 11.6 million were international passengers, showing an increase of 3.1%.
In particular, long-distance flights and traffic in the EU area are showing good growth. Then again, chartered air services have decreased by 14.6%, which indicates that the popularity of independent travel is increasing and package travellers are also flying to their destinations using scheduled flights. However, chartered air services are expected to grow towards the end of the year as the Christmas season starts in Lapland and winter travellers start flowing into Finland.
Lapland's attraction offers domestic growth
Domestic traffic increased in January–September by 4.1% to 3.9 million passengers. The positive development of tourist airports in Lapland account for most of the growth in domestic traffic. Other growing airports in January–September were Turku (6.1%), Oulu (5.4%) and Vaasa (3.6%). The renovation of traffic areas in Rovaniemi kept the airport closed until July, which had an impact on the number of passengers at Rovaniemi, Kemi-Tornio and Oulu Airports.
During the third quarter, domestic traffic decreased by 2.3%, but the proportion of passengers transferring from international to domestic flights increased by 10.3%.
In July–September, the most popular destinations from Finland were Stockholm, London and Copenhagen which have for long been the favourite attractions among Finnish people. During the summer season, other attractive destinations were Amsterdam, Prague, and Munich and Berlin in Germany. Iceland is also increasing its popularity.
Helsinki Airport has more than 13 million passengers
The number of passengers at Helsinki Airport increased in January–September by 4.7% to 13 million. International transit travel increased by only 0.4% in January–September.
“There are signs that the decelerated growth of transit travel can be explained by the decreased attraction of major destinations in Europe due to, for example, the unstable situation in terms of general safety. Finland has become attractive in Asia as a safe and charming destination; after all, more and more Asian passengers are making a stop in Finland. Finavia's future growth will be firmly directed at Asia, and the number of passengers from China, in particular, is expected to increase even further,” says Joni Sundelin, senior vice president at Finavia.
The decelerated growth in transit travel is reflected in Europe's largest hub airports where the number of passengers were at the lowest level in three years. Only Schipol in Amsterdam was able to significantly increase its number of passengers. Despite the slower growth in Europe in general, the total number of passengers at Helsinki Airport is about to break a new record this year, provided that the total growth in air traffic proceeds as expected during the rest of the year.
Of the most significant destinations in Asia, the highest growth in January–September was seen in Bangkok in Thailand (9.7%), Shanghai in China (8.4%) and Japan. In addition, the volume of passengers travelling to North America has increased.
Number of landings and volume of cargo traffic
The number of commercial aviation landings decreased by 2.5% in January–September. The number of landings has decreased for several years in succession as the size of aircraft has increased.
The volume of cargo traffic increased by 8.1% in January–September, carrying 3,517 tonnes of domestic cargo and 132,585 tonnes of international cargo. The volume of domestic cargo increased by 14.3% from the corresponding period in the year before.