Helsinki Airport maintained its strong position in transit travel
The work to improve the competitiveness of Helsinki Airport continued following the completion of the EUR 600 million investment programme in 2011. Helsinki Airport strengthened its market position in Asian transit travel in 2012.
The number of passengers using Helsinki Airport remained at the previous year’s level of 14.9 million. The number of travellers on Asian routes increased by as much as 8.3 per cent, and there were almost 1.8 million passengers (1.6). The growth in Asian traffic was supported by the direct route to Chongqing, China, opened by Finnair in May.
Transit travel, strategically important to Finavia, remained at the same level as before with a total of 4.5 million inbound and outbound transit passengers. The share of transit passengers of all passengers using Helsinki Airport was 31 per cent. The number of international transit passengers increased particularly dramatically.
Helsinki Airport's revenues decreased 6.3 per cent to EUR 146.9 million (156.8). Majority of the decrease in traffic revenues is due to the change in pricing structure implemented at the beginning of the year 2012.
Airlines were quick to react to changes in demand
The year 2012 was characterised by airlines’ quick reactions to fluctuations in demand. The number of landings at Helsinki Airport decreased by 11.0 per cent. The long-standing intense competition in the industry also led to financial difficulties for many airlines.
Malev and Spanair discontinued their service to Helsinki due to bankruptcy. Air Finland also went bankrupt. SAS, in turn, revised its Finnish route network during the year and moved its focus from other parts of the airport network to Helsinki Airport towards the end of the year. In November 2012, Blue1 became a production company of its parent company, SAS.
The 2012 operating environment of air traffic and Helsinki Airport is further described in another section of the Annual Report entitled Operating environment in 2012.
Finnair to have new direct routes to Asia in summer 2013
Finnair continued implementing its Asian strategy and announced that it would open direct connections to Vietnam's capital Hanoi and Xi’an, China, for the 2013 summer season. These connections are the first direct routes from Europe to these cities, and Finavia believes that they will further support the growth in transit passenger volumes.
The travel alternatives to Europe will be further diversified early in the year as several airlines will expand their selection of routes. The Spanish company Vueling will also start a service between Helsinki and Barcelona in May 2013.
Helsinki Airport has been serving passengers for 60 years
The history of Helsinki Airport dates back to the 1952 Summer Olympics, when the airport was opened for the games. During its first full year of operations in 1953, almost 170,000 passengers travelled through the airport.
The decades of Helsinki Airport have been a steady take-off run. In 1998, IATA selected Helsinki Airport for the first time as the world’s best airport, and over the years it has grown into an award-winning transit airport for long-haul traffic.
Over the decades, the airport has developed so that it now can respond to today’s travelling needs. The milestone of 10 million yearly passengers was reached in 2000 – now almost 15 million passengers fly via Helsinki Airport every year.
Read more about the decades of Helsinki Airport