Lapland expected to have the busiest winter season of this decade
Finavia‘s airports in Lapland are preparing for the busy winter season. This winter, air traffic volumes are expected to the highest since 2007: It is expected that 500 charter and scheduled flights will arrive at Lapland in December.
More than 450 charter flights are expected in Lapland in December. Measured by the number of charter flights, the busiest airports of the month will be Kittila (150) and Rovaniemi (140), as in the year before, where the number of charter flights is expected to remain at the previous year’s level. Instead, Ivalo is expected to grow significantly: the airport is expecting 93 charter flights, which is 36 more than last year. Enontekio is expecting 58 and Kuusamo 11 charter flights.
The steady annual growth in the number of charter flights shows how attractive winter destination Lapland has become. Travel operators in Lapland have done a lot of work in developing travel products also for the summer season. The results are now starting to show: Dutch Voigt Travel will bring new charter flights from the Netherlands to Rovaniemi in summer 2017, says Joni Sundelin, senior vice president at Finavia.
The first charter flight will land land from London to Enontekio on 25 November. Before Christmas as many as 30 charter flights a day will land in Lapland. The majority of tourists will come from Britain. In addition, there will be flights from Germany, Italy, the Neatherlands, France and Spain.
A record number of scheduled flights
In addition to charter flights, Lapland has attracted a record number (48) of scheduled flights.
Lufthansa will double the number of flights on its Munich–Kittila route, and it will open a new Franfurt–Ivalo route in December. For the winter season, Germania will open three routes from Germany and Switzerland to Lapland: Berlin–Rovaniemi, Dusseldorf–Kittila and Zurich–Rovaniemi. This winter, Monarch will fly to Kittila from Manchester and London, and Norwegian will fly to Rovaniemi from London.
In addition, Alibaba, the world’s largest online marketplace company, announced in October 2016 that it will fly 50,000 tourists from China to Rovaniemi next year, of whom 3,000 will make their way to Lapland this winter.
Attracting new routes has been successful in Lapland. Finland is now trending in many ways: Lonely Planet selected Finland among the top 3 travel destinations in 2017. We have an excellent opportunity to offer such wonderful service experiences to travellers that they want to come back and also recommend Finland to their friends. In this, cooperation between travel operators plays a significant part, Sundelin says.
Finavia supports the operating conditions of tourism in Lapland by offering cost-effective and high-quality airport services to its airline customers. In 2014-2016, the company invests a total of 35 million euros in Lapland’s airports. In addition, Finavia has increased its Lapland marketing efforts with other operators. Lapland is the driver of sales and marketing directed at Finavia’s airlines.
According to the World Economic Forum, Finland has one of the best airport networks in the world. However, the traffic volume is, above all, determined by the attractiveness of tourism and regions, and these generate true demand. Lapland is a textbook example of this, Sundelin says.
Finnair opens new route to Astana for the World Expo 2017
Finnair has announced that it will add a new short-haul route to Astana, Kazakhstan for the summer 2017 season. Finnair will operate two weekly flights between Helsinki and Astana, from June 20 to August 11. The new route will coincide with the 2017 World Expo which starts in June 2017.
Finnair’s flights to Astana will be flown with an A319 aircraft and have a duration of four hours and ten minutes. Helsinki departures will be flown on Tuesdays and Thursdays while flights from Astana will return on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“The addition of the Astana route will be a great asset in our expanding network for the summer 2017 season,” says Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “This will be the first time Finnair flies to Kazakhstan and we are excited to take this first step in growing our operations in the Central Asian region. Millions of visitors are expected to attend the World Expo 2017 and we look forward to offering our European and North American customers an efficient way to travel to the Expo through our Helsinki hub.”