Finland’s Helsinki Airport has seen its passenger traffic decline by 87% in August this year compared to the same period last year.

The airport, which is operated by Finnish airport operator Finavia, served 270,000 passengers last month.

In addition, transfer travel stopped almost completely while cargo volumes at the airport fell by 54% in the month.

Finavia CEO Kimmo Mäki said: “Having started to increase in July, passenger volumes turned towards a substantial decline in mid-August due to new strict travel restrictions.

“We estimate that the situation in the autumn will be bleaker than in August. Flights that are important to the Finnish economy, including export promotion, other business travel and international tourism, are at a standstill. There are hardly any connections available.”

During August, passenger volume across all of Finavia’s airports was 328,600, a decline of 85% compared to the same month last year.

The airport served 5,621,600 passengers from January to August.

Mäki added: “That is something we cannot afford. When passenger volumes are this low, Finland loses revenue and jobs. Air travel has significant cascade effects on other sectors of the economy, including tourism, services and construction.

In July, Helsinki Airport announced that it will reopen its third runway on 3 August after more than four months of closure due to the pandemic.

In May, Finavia decided to continue with the Helsinki Airport Development Programme despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.