Finland set a new air travel record in 2017, according to Finnish airport company Finavia.
New data released by Finavia shows that airports in Finland served nearly 22.7 million passengers in 21 airports across the country in 2017. Helsinki Airport, the largest airport in Finland, broke its record with nearly 19 million passengers in a year. The Lapland airports in Northern Finland achieved their milestone of one million air passengers earlier in the year than ever before.
For the entire country, passenger numbers increased by 10.8 percent in December and a total of 9.2 percent in 2017. The growth reflects the excellent year of the Finnish airline Finnair, the allure of Finland and the increasingly important status of Helsinki Airport as a hub in the European air traffic for Asian passengers, Finavia said.
According to statistics, Helsinki Airport served a total of more than 18.9 million passengers in 2017. The passenger number of the largest airport in Finland increased by a total of 9.9 percent in one year and that of international air traffic by 11.4 percent.
“We are discussing new routes, added flights and the use of larger aircraft with a number of airlines. Finland is currently quite an attractive destination, and when the overall capacity of many airlines in terms of offered passenger-kilometres has increased, it is reflected in our figures. In 2017, we also welcomed three new airlines who started operating at Helsinki Airport,” said Finavia SVP Sales and Network Joni Sundelin in a written statement.
The second largest increase in passenger numbers after Helsinki Airport was seen at Finavia’s airports in Lapland. However, the passenger numbers at Oulu, the largest airport in Finland after Helsinki Airport, remained slightly under one million due to a runway renovation in the summer.
As usual, the largest numbers of passengers in 2017 came from Germany, Sweden, Spain and Great Britain. Passengers from the EU represented more than 71.4 percent of all passengers on scheduled flights. However, the numbers of passengers from Japan, China, Russia and Hong Kong saw the largest growth at Helsinki Airport.
Helsinki Airport is a vital hub in the air traffic of Northern Europe, especially for Asian passengers. In 2017, the number of transit passengers at Helsinki Airport increased by 17.6 percent. The growth was particularly strong during the last six month of the year, reaching a difference of up to 25 percent to the corresponding period of the previous year at a monthly level.