Finnish airport operator Finavia airports handled 2.6 million passengers from January to September 2021, a 56% slump from 5.8 million in the same period last year.

The figure in the same period of 2019 was 19.6 million.

Passenger traffic at Helsinki Airport (HEL) during the first nine months of this year was down 55% compared to the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, the total number of travellers during this period was 2.1 million, with 78% of this total constituting passengers travelling on international flights.

The airport operator’s operating result before extraordinary items stood at $-119.17m (€-102.8m) during January–September 2021, versus $-98.42m (€-84.9m) in the prior year.

Revenues plunged 33.9% from $145.83m (€125.8m) to $96.33m (€83.1m) over this period.

However, net debt decreased 23.9% to $656.72m (€566.5m) from $792.35m (€683.5m).

In a statement, Finavia said: “At the beginning of the review period, Finavia selected three key focus areas with the aim of accelerating the recovery of business, safeguarding the company’s financial position and ensuring the well-being and future of the company’s personnel. In addition, the company continued to invest in the mitigation of climate change and promote Finland’s connectivity.”

Additionally, the airport operator invested more than $1.16bn (€1bn) for the development of Helsinki Airport.

Construction work to extend the airport’s Terminal 2 was concluded during the period while the deployment phase commenced in September this year.

Finavia invested $8.11m (€7m) for streamlining traffic at Helsinki Airport, along with environmental protection whose completion is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

Around $5.80m (€5m) were allocated for the renovation of the runway and replacement of the runway lighting system at Mariehamn Airport (MHQ), which was finished in July.

Furthermore, Finavia moved forward towards attaining net-zero emissions through its climate programme during the period.

Last month, Finavia signed a $29.02m (€25m) loan agreement with Nordic Investment Bank to fund Terminal 2 expansion at Helsinki Airport.