In Finland, Finavia’s airports have attracted a record number of passengers this year. In the first half of 2017, there were in total of 10,958,075 passengers. This represents a 7.9% growth when compared to the previous year.
“International passenger volumes at our airports grew by more than 10% between January and June, with a growth of around 2% in the number of domestic passengers. The growth continued to accelerate further in the second quarter in comparison to the first. The developments we are seeing are mainly due to the rising number of Asian and other international passengers travelling through our airport,” says Kari Savolainen, CEO at Finavia.
In the second quarter, the number of international passengers reached around 4.4 million (+12.6% compared to Q2 2016). Around 3.2 million of these passengers remained in Finland (+10.3% compared to Q2 2016) while around 1.3 million transfer passengers travelled onward to other destinations (+19.0% compared to Q2 2016).
Helsinki Airport, the largest of Finavia’s 21 airports, recorded a total of 9,034,244 passengers in the first quarter of 2017. This represents 8.6% growth year-on-year. The passenger numbers in both the first and second quarter exceed the previous year’s performance. In fact, the first half of 2017 was the busiest ever at Helsinki Airport.
At Helsinki Airport, the rapid growth in the number of passengers from Asia, up by 12.8% compared to H1 2016, is among other things due to additional flights from Japan and Hong Kong and the overall rise in the number of international transfer passengers.
The number of passengers connecting on to another international flight at Helsinki Airport grew by a staggering 23.3% when compared with Q2 2016. The success is above all due to Helsinki Airport’s status as the best globally-connected airport in Northern Europe.
“We have been working hard at Helsinki Airport to achieve this growth in passenger numbers, both in terms of supporting our carrier clients and improving the services we offer. We are in the midst of a EUR 900 million development programme that will allow us to provide services for the 20 million air passengers we expect to see annually by 2020. We just introduced our new south pier on Monday, which will serve long-haul and transfer passengers in particular. Our goal is to retain our strong position in the competition for international air traffic,” explains Savolainen.
In the second quarter, passenger numbers at Helsinki Airport were up by 10.8% compared with the same period in the previous year. At Finland’s second largest airport in Oulu, passenger volume was down 16.6% due to a runway refurbishment. This allowed Kemi-Tornio Airport in Lapland to increase traffic by 78.1%. In Lapland, Kittilä Airport also achieved a more than 70% year-on-year increase in passenger volumes in the second quarter of 2017.
Europe continued to hold the top spot for passenger numbers, although the number of passengers from Asia exceeded one million for the first time in the first half of the year (+12.7% compared to H1 2016.) The increase in passenger numbers on routes to Asia amounted to 19.5% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same time period in the previous year.
International freight volumes remained steady, while the volume of international postal deliveries grew. By contrast, domestic freight and postal traffic fell significantly when compared to last year. In the six-month review, freight and postal traffic in total was down less than 1% from the previous year.