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Passengers lined up for a security check at Helsinki Airport on 3 March, 2017. Nearly 19 million passengers passed through the airport during the course of last year. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)
Passengers lined up for a security check at Helsinki Airport on 3 March, 2017. Nearly 19 million passengers passed through the airport during the course of last year. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Finnish airports recorded an increase of over nine per cent in passenger traffic to almost 23 million passengers in 2017.

Finavia, the state-owned operator of the national network of airports, estimates in a press release that the growth is a consequence of the successful year of Finnair, the growing appeal of Finland, and the popularity of Helsinki Airport as a transit point for air traffic between Asia and Europe.

“2017 was a year of records for Finavia,” summarises Joni Sundelin, the director of the airport network at Finavia. “We reached new six-digit figures on different fronts as expected, although slightly sooner than anticipated.”

Helsinki Airport alone was used by almost 19 million air passengers – a number that signals a year-on-year rise of 9.9 per cent – during the course of last year.

“We are in discussions with several airlines about new routes, additional services and the use of larger aircraft. Finland is currently an attractive destination and, as many airlines have increased their overall capacity measured in available passenger kilometres, it is reflected in our statistics,” tells Sundelin.

Last year, he highlights, three new airlines launched operations out of Helsinki Airport.

Finavia’s statistics also augur yet another successful winter tourism season for Finnish Lapland: the airports in Ivalo, Kemi-Tornio, Kittilä and Rovaniemi, for example, all set new records for passenger traffic in 2017.

“Similarly to last year, this winter is becoming a super winter in terms of passenger numbers for Northern Finland,” says Sundelin.

Helsinki Airport witnessed an increase especially in the number of passengers from Japan, China, Russia and Hong Kong. The European Union, however, accounted for more than 70 per cent of the passengers carried by airlines on scheduled services to Finland, according to Finavia.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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