Finnish Government-owned airport operator Finavia has announced that 26 million passengers travelled through its airports in 2019, an increase of 4.2% compared to 2018.

Finland’s largest airport Helsinki Airport served 21.9 million passengers, a year-on-year (YoY) improvement of 4.9%.

Other airports operated by Finavia registered an increase of 0.6%, with a total of 4.2 million passengers.

Turku Airport registered the highest increase in passenger numbers at 22.6%, followed by Helsinki Airport and Rovaniemi Airport at 2.6%.

Airports in Lapland were accessed by 1.5 million passengers, which marks an increase of 1.5% compared with the previous year.

However, Oulu Airport and Tampere Airport reported a decrease of 3.6% and 2.5% in passenger numbers respectively. This decline is attributed to a decrease in total flights.

Helsinki Airport reported a 16.7% increase in the number of passengers who accessed the airport for an international layover. These passengers accounted for 38.6% of the total passengers last year.

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Flights from Helsinki to China, Japan, Germany and Sweden recorded the highest amount of passengers with international transfers.

Flights departing to and arriving from China saw a total of 659,000 passengers, an increase of 18.2%. Meanwhile, Japan recorded an 11.2% increase with 837,000 passengers.

Helsinki Airport offers the highest number of destinations to Japan from a European airport, with five. Last month, Europe’s only direct connection to Sapporo in Japan commenced from the airport.

Finavia sales and route development vice-president Petri Vuori said: “Helsinki Airport is still very successful in attracting passengers. Asian transfer passengers form a significant user group at Helsinki Airport as Finland’s geographic location between Asia and Europe is ideal for transfers.

“During the 2020 summer season, 53 weekly flights to China and 45 weekly flights to Japan will be operated from Helsinki Airport. The smooth travel and the high quality of customer service give us a competitive advantage. For example, many services are available in Chinese both at the airport and in our digital environments.”