Finnair to continue state-subsidised regional flights, including in Lapland

File photo of a Finnair aircraft at Jyväskylä regional airport. (Petri Aaltonen / Yle)

The routes serve the regional airports of Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani and Kemi-Tornio.

Finland’s national airline Finnair will continue to operate state-subsidised flights between five provincial airports and Helsinki for at least the next two years.

Finnair won the tender to operate the routes put out at the beginning of this year by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom.

This means that flights to the five regional airports — Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani and Kemi-Tornio — can continue with state support until at least March 2026.

The continuation of the routes has been criticised due to the low passenger numbers and environmental impact of the flights.

Stefan Baumeister, a researcher at the University of Jyväskylä who studies the environmental impacts of domestic air travel, previously told Yle that from a climate change perspective, domestic air travel is a disaster.

“It is just plain stupid that we have empty planes flying around Finland,” Baumeister said last spring.

The regional route subsidies can amount to as much as 1,000 euros per passenger, but airlines were still unable to profit on the arrangement, according to figures released last year.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Air North cancels winter flights between Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Toronto, CBC News

Finland: Record December passenger numbers for airports in Arctic Finland, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Air France launches flights to three destinations above the Arctic Circle, The Independent Barents Observer

Yle News

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