2019 was a busy year at Finavia’s airports even though growth in air traffic was more moderate than in previous years. A total of 26 million passengers (+4,2%) traveled on scheduled and chartered flights.
Last year, 21,9 million passengers (+4,9 %) traveled through Helsinki Airport, the largest international airport in Finland. The number of passengers using Finavia’s other airports increased to a total of 4,2 million (+0,6 %). Out of the larger airports, the number of passengers increased the most at Turku Airport (+22,6 %), Helsinki Airport (+4,9 %) and Rovaniemi Airport (+2,6 %). A total of 1,5 million passengers (+1,5%) used Finavia’s airports in Lapland in 2019. The number of passengers declined slightly at Oulu Airport (-3,6 %) and Tampere Airport (-2,5 %) due to a decrease in the number or flights.
Number of transfer passengers continued to grow at Helsinki Airport
The number of passengers transferring from one international flight to another at Helsinki Airport increased by 16,7 per cent. Flights to and from Japan, Germany, China and Sweden had the most international transfer passengers. Last year, international transfer passengers amounted to 38,6 per cent of all passengers passing through Helsinki Airport.
A total of 659 000 passengers (+18,2 %) traveled on flights to and from China in 2019. For the Japan routes, the number of passengers was 837 000 (+11,2 %). Currently, flights are operated from Helsinki Airport to nine destinations in China. Helsinki Airport also offers flights to five destinations in Japan, which is more than any other European airport offers. In addition, three weekly flights also started to operate to Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport last autumn. In December, Helsinki Airport opened Europe’s only direct connection to Sapporo, Japan.
1 644 000 passengers (-1,6 %) traveling on the Sweden routes, 594 000 passengers (+15,2 %) traveling on the Russia routes and 323 000 passengers (+9,4 %) travelling on the Estonia routes passed through Helsinki Airport in 2019.
”Helsinki Airport is still very successful in attracting passengers. Asian transfer passengers form a significant user group at Helsinki Airport as Finland’s geographic location between Asia and Europe is ideal for transfers. During the 2020 summer season, 53 weekly flights to China and 45 weekly flights to Japan will be operated from Helsinki Airport. The smooth travel and the high quality of customer service give us a competitive advantage. For example, many services are available in Chinese both at the airport and in our digital environments,” says Petri Vuori, Finavia’s Vice President, Sales and Route Development.
Around 439 000 passengers traveled to North America from Helsinki Airport in 2019, which is approximately 103 000 passengers more than in 2018 (+30,5 %). The number of flights offered from Helsinki Airport to North America has increased compared to last year – for example, due to the new route to Los Angeles that opened in March.
New routes from our network airports – Lapland remains a very attractive destination
Like last year, routes to Germany, Sweden and Spain were the most popular when all Finavia airports were considered. For our network airports, the number of international passengers was highest on routes to Sweden. At Helsinki Airport, routes to Germany were the most popular.
Turku Airport continued its positive development as the number of passengers increased to 453 000 (+22,6 %). At Turku Airport, flights to Gdansk, Poland, had the highest number of passengers in 2019. Turku Airport’s selection of direct routes to European destinations was extended considerably last year. In summer 2020, direct flights to Kutaisi, Georgia, will start to be operated from Turku Airport.
In December, Oulu Airport reached one million annual passengers for the fourth time in its history. In total, 1,1 million passengers passed through Oulu Airport in 2019, which is a little less than in 2018 (-3,6 %).
Rovaniemi Airport was used by 661 000 passengers (+2,6 %) last year. At the airport, the international route with most passengers was the route from Rovaniemi to London. During the current winter season, Rovaniemi Airport also offers flights to Manchester. The most significant route opening during the winter season was the launch of direct flights from Rovaniemi to Istanbul for the winter season in December.
The North is still very attractive – a total of 1,5 million passengers (+1,5 %) used Finavia’s airports in Lapland in 2019. The number of passengers travelling on chartered flights was 309 000 (-8,0 %), and 1 374 chartered flights (-6,3 %) arrived at Finavia’s airports in Lapland. Last year’s number of chartered flights was affected by the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook and the classification of some of the flights as scheduled flights. The highest number of chartered flights to Lapland came from the United Kingdom, with Kittilä, Rovaniemi and Ivalo being the most popular destinations.
Finavia’s development program for Lapland’s airports to improve the customer experience and raise the level of service was completed as planned before the beginning of the 2019 Christmas season. The development program consisted of investments amounting to EUR 55 million aimed at improving the customer experience and raising the level of service at the Ivalo, Kittilä and Rovaniemi airports.
A wider range of services for passengers at airports
“2019 was a year of more moderate growth and a good year overall: air traffic still increased at a rate higher than the long-term average. At Helsinki Airport, we opened Aukio, which is the new heart of Non-Schengen area, and the new West Pier serving passengers on long-haul flights and wide-bodied aircraft.
Finavia works persistently to provide a first-class customer experience for passengers. In Lapland, we were able to open the extensions of Rovaniemi and Kittilä airports to customers before the start of the busiest Christmas season.
It is also worth noting that our growth and development has been carried out sustainably. We are a pioneer in the development of more sustainable airport operations – all of Finavia’s 21 airports are already carbon neutral,” says Petri Vuori.
Finavia aims to make Helsinki Airport one of the best airports in the world in terms of both services and the atmosphere of the airport. 2020 will be a time of construction work at Helsinki Airport. The new car park P1/P2, now almost at its full height, will be opened by autumn 2020. The construction of the new entrance to the airport and the arrivals and departure halls has begun as planned. The range of services offered at the airport will be extended as new shops and restaurants are opened in the gate area during the spring.