Finavia’s 2021 statistics: Air travel recovered towards the end of the year – Airports in Lapland had an excellent Christmas season

Rovaniemi Airport © Lauri Silvennoinen on Wikimedia

A total of 5.4 million people travelled through Finavia’s airports in 2021. Air traffic began to recover significantly in the second half of the year. The number of passengers exceeded one million in December, marking a record for the pandemic period.

The year 2021 showed that air travel will recover as soon as the pandemic eases. People want to travel. Air traffic started to pick up in July as travel restrictions were lifted,” says Petri Vuori, Senior Vice President, Sales and Route Development at Finavia.

Passenger volumes were the highest on routes to Germany, Spain and Sweden. Traffic volume to Asia was low throughout the year. International transfer passengers accounted for approximately 15 per cent of the total number of passengers.

At Helsinki Airport, the number of passengers in 2021 rose to 4.3 million. Some 80 per cent of the passengers flew on international flights. December was the busiest period, with the number of passengers at the airport increasing to nearly a million.   

The new departure and arrival halls at Helsinki Airport opened just in time for the Christmas season. More space and new services will be available as early as this coming spring when state-of-the-art security control, for example, will be introduced. The Helsinki Airport development programme will be fully completed in 2023,” Vuori says.

The number of passengers at Finavia’s regional airports in 2021 was 1.1 million. During the year, several new international flight connections were opened at Rovaniemi Airport, Kittilä Airport, Tampere Airport and Turku Airport.

In addition to chartered flights, direct scheduled flights from major European cities to our regional airports are increasing. We have been working hard for many years now at Finavia to encourage airlines to fly here and we have marketed Finland as an attractive destination. These efforts are now bearing fruit,” Vuori explains.

An excellent Christmas season for Finavia’s airports in Lapland

The year 2021 culminated in an excellent Christmas season for Finavia’s airports in Lapland. The number of arriving chartered flights was 690, which is as much as six per cent more than before the pandemic, in 2019.

The number of tourist flights increased particularly at Kittilä Airport and Kuusamo Airport. We have invested EUR 60 million in tourism in Lapland, expanded our airports and significantly improved the service level. Lapland has strong appeal and we believe in the growth of tourism,” Vuori adds.

Number of chartered flights in Lapland, per airport


Passengers at Finavia airports 2020-2021

Statistical summary and the development of passenger volumes in 2021, 2020 and 2019

?January–December/2021January–December/2020January–December/2019 *
Total passengers at Finavia’s airports5,376,841






Passengers at Helsinki Airport4,261,431






Departing international transfer passengers at Helsinki Airport393,089






Total freight volume at Finavia’s airports178,684






Freight volume at Helsinki Airport175,765






Total number of commercial flights at Finavia’s airports91,635






Total number of commercial flights at Helsinki Airport68,403






* The figures for 2019 are compared to 2018


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