Airport operator Finavia has released figures showing passenger numbers grew by 6.9%, year on year, in the first quarter of 2017.
Finavia said the main factors behind the buoyant start to the year were “the growing interest of Chinese passengers in Finland, and the wonderful winter season in Lapland, home of Santa Claus.”
The total number of passengers at Finavia’s airports during the first quarter of the year was 5,255,893 (compared to 4,917,647 for January–March 2016). Of these 69% were international travellers. The 21% growth in passenger numbers for Lapland’s airports set a new record, thanks to the booming winter season.
International transit travel, which is strategically central to Finavia, also developed well in the first quarter, with the number of passengers switching to another flight having increased by 4.5%.
At Helsinki Airport, the primary international gateway, the total number of passengers rose by 6.1% and the nearby destinations of Tallinn and St. Petersburg also benefited from the Helsinki Airport passenger flows.
“In terms of growth in tourism, this year started excellently. In addition to the positive development of growth in tourism, as the summer season approaches new routes are now being rapidly opened to Finland,” said Finavia Oyj’s Chief Executive Officer Kari Savolainen. “Our active and long-running work in support of Finnish air traffic is producing results, and thanks to our efforts new airlines have found Finland to be an attractive destination. So the beginning of the year bodes well for the development of passenger numbers for the year overall.”