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Airports see 90% nosedive of passenger volume

Published : 14 Oct 2020, 16:05

Updated : 14 Oct 2020, 22:51

  DF Report

Finavia press release photo.

The passenger volume of Finavia’s airports fell by 90 per cent in September year on year.

Finavia’s statistics for September indicate that the decline in passenger volume at Helsinki Airport was even sharper at 92 per cent, said the country’s airports operator Finavia in a press release.

“There is no end in sight for the difficulties faced by the aviation industry. Helsinki Airport’s position as a hub for air travel between Asia and Europe and as a significant European airport is at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Finavia CEO Kimmo Mäki.

According to Mäki, Finavia’s airports served flights to 200 direct destinations around the world a year ago. The situation is now completely different. The airports have gone quiet and there is now practically only one country of restriction-free travel between Finland and the rest of Europe.

“Unfortunately, the recovery of air traffic in Finland is lagging behind the rest of Europe to a considerable extent,” pointed out Mäki.

The number of international transfer passengers at Helsinki Airport fell by as much as 95 per cent compared to that in September last year. Transfer travel is very significant to Finland, as each transfer passenger brings income and jobs to Finland and helps create new flight connections both domestically and internationally.

“Some 20,000 people work at Helsinki Airport, employed by about 1,500 different companies. Their jobs are now at a risk. The situation also concerns the other people who work in the Finnish travel industry. The industry employs some 140,000 people across the country,” said Mäki with concern.

Air traffic and the travel industry are engines of the Finnish economy. They represent nearly three per cent of Finland’s GDP. The aviation industry also has significant cascading effects on other sectors, including services, transport, and construction. Moreover, the volume of air freight passing through Finavia’s airports declined by 55 per cent in September.