Sunday March 07, 2021

Finnish airports see passenger traffic plummet in 2020

Published : 15 Jan 2021, 01:30

Updated : 15 Jan 2021, 10:42

  DF Report

Press release Photo: Finavia

The number of passengers at Finnish airports remained at a record low in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Finavia, the company that operates the country’s airports.

In 2020, the airports served a total of 6,400,583 passengers, which is almost 20 million less than that in the previous year. The number decreased by 75 per cent year on year.

“At the beginning of 2020, air travel started very briskly as usual. In January and February, we saw a further two per cent increase in passenger numbers. In March, the global COVID-19 pandemic halted the growth in air travel and travel volumes plummeted. During the year, it became very clear that the situation would not change quickly,” said Finavia’s Vice President of Sales and Route Development Petri Vuori.

In 2020, a total of five million passengers travelled from Helsinki Airport, of which four million were international passengers.

The number of passengers at Helsinki Airport fell by 77 per cent from that in the previous year.

International transfer travel, which has enabled the airport’s rapid growth in recent years, fell by 80 per cent. The number of passengers with connecting international flights was 713,000 (3,571,900). Passenger volumes haven’t been this low at Helsinki Airport since the 1980s.

At regional airports, the total number of passengers last year decreased by 68 per cent year on year to 1.3 million.

Direct international flights to and from many regional airports were suspended, reducing the share of international passengers by 72 per cent to 334,650.

At Lapland airports, domestic passengers brightened up slightly in an otherwise weak year. The airports at Kajaani, Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Kemi-Tornio, Jyväskylä, and Joensuu were closed for part of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“2020 was an extremely exceptional year for air travel following the collapse in passenger numbers, and the situation is not yet improving. However, we strongly believe that travel will improve again, once the COVID-19 situation is under control globally. In this situation, we will focus on ensuring safe and smooth travel and completing the Helsinki Airport investment programme,” said Petri Vuori.