Airports in Arctic Finland saw record passenger numbers in December, says the latest data from Finavia, Finland’s airport authority.
Their final tally showed 364,834 passengers passed through Lapland’s airports in Rovaniemi, Kittilä, Ivalo, Kuusamo and Kemi-Tornio.
“Already about half of the flights to Lapland are scheduled flights,” Petri Vuori, senior vice president of sales and route development at Finavia, said in a statement on Monday.
“Regular scheduled flights are very important for the region’s appeal, residents and livelihoods. They attract passengers from a wider area than the city of departure, thanks to their comprehensive connecting flights.”
At Rovaniemi Airport, Christmas passengers increased by 40 per cent (158,757 passengers).
At Kittila Airport, holiday passengers increased by 13 per cent (101,868 passengers).
Finland’s regional network airports countrywide saw 2.5 million passengers, 126 per cent more than in 2021.
Elsewhere in Finland, flight volumes in 2022 suggest recovery from the pandemic is continuing, Finavia said.
There was a 187 per cent increase in the number of passengers countrywide compared to 2021.
“We are actively working with airlines and tourism organisations to strengthen flight connections,” Vuori said.
“In 2022, Finland had 130 direct flight destinations around the world. Last year, the number of passengers increased especially on European flights.”
Transfer travelling between Asia and Europe still lagging
Some 12.9 million passengers were tallied at Helsinki Airport in 2022. Of those, eighty-seven per cent were international passengers and 13 per cent were domestic passengers.
The only international connections still lagging are those between Asia and Europe.
“Flight connections to Europe and the United States have recovered excellently,” Finavia said.
“However, the share of transfer travelling between Asia and Europe remained small, as a result of which only about 70% of the travelling at Helsinki Airport returned compared to the period before the pandemic.”
In all, 15,405,024 passengers passed through Finavia airports in 2022.
Write to Eilís Quinn at email@example.com
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Extra medical flights to and from Nunatsiavut to continue, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Air France launches flights to three destinations above the Arctic Circle, The Independent Barents Observer