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Traffic at Helsinki Airport continues to recover more slowly than at other European airports

Article published
08.07.2021 kl 14:17
Helsinki-Vantaan lentoaseman terminaali ja lentokone
Slightly less than 1.1 million passengers travelled through Finavia’s airports between January and June 2021. The number of passengers was 78.9 per cent lower than in the corresponding period last year. Helsinki Airport lagged significantly behind other European airports in the first half of the year.

Finavia's air traffic statistics for January–June indicate that passenger volumes at Helsinki Airport have not recovered at the same rate as at other European airports.

On average, passenger volumes at European airports during the first half of the year were 45 per cent lower than in 2020 and 79 per cent lower than in 2019. For Helsinki Airport, the corresponding figures were -79.9 per cent and -92.5 per cent.

"We are lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of recovery, and the situation in the early part of the summer is only slightly brighter than previously. Several airlines have resumed their European routes and there are few airlines preparing to launch and re-open routes to Finland. It appears that Finland's extensive international flight connections are gradually returning," says Petri Vuori, Senior Vice President, Sales and Route Development at Finavia.

A total of 800,000 passengers travelled through Helsinki Airport in January–June, 70 per cent of whom were passengers on international flights. The busiest routes were Frankfurt and Amsterdam. The number of passengers was 79.9 per cent lower than in the corresponding period last year.

"Travel restrictions continue to have an impact globally, which is reflected in people's willingness to travel and the number of passengers. Travel restrictions in Finland have been very strict during the first half of the year, which is reflected in the statistics.

A significant share of the passenger volume in air traffic in Finland comes from international traffic. Slight signs of recovery were seen in this respect in April after travel restrictions were eased by the Finnish Government.

Domestic tourism has not recovered to pre-Covid level

A slight recovery in domestic air travel has been seen in the late spring and early summer at Kuopio, Oulu and Vaasa airports, which have been served by flights throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of passengers at Finavia's network airports increased by 75,1 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year and totalled 260,000 passengers. Cargo and mail volumes in January–June increased by 7,8 per cent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Over 80,000 tonnes of cargo and mail were transported by air in Finland.

"In April–June, the passenger volume in domestic traffic was higher than in the previous year. Oulu was the most popular destination, with Rovaniemi also near the top of the list. Passengers can fly with confidence from Finavia's airports. We have made various arrangements and taken measures to ensure safe travel," Vuori adds.

The passenger volumes of Kittilä Airport are attributable to the busy winter season, which saw the airport emerge as one of the busiest in Finland. Flights to Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kokkola-Pietarsaari and Kemi-Tornio airports resumed in May on a contract flying basis purchased by the state.

Statistical summary and the development of passenger volumes in January–June 2021, 2020 and 2019




Total passengers at Finavia’s airports


-78,9 %

-91,7 %

Passengers at Helsinki Airport


-79,9 %

-92,5 %

International transfer passengers at Helsinki Airport


-85,7 %

-95,0 %

Total freight volume at Finavia’s airports


7,8 %

-27,2 %

Freight volume at Helsinki Airport


8,4 %

-27,2 %

Total number of commercial flights at Finavia’s airports


-53,8 %

-77,3 %

Total number of commercial flights at Helsinki Airport


-54,2 %

-77,9 %

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Finavia's air traffic statistics are published on the Finavia website every month.

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Updated 8/2/2021: Helsinki Airport freight volume in H1/2019