Coronavirus has a huge impact on Finland’s air traffic

Only a thousand passengers each day are using Helsinki Airport during the coronavirus crisis - down from the usual 57,000.

File picture of empty Helsinki Airport, April 2020 / Credit: Helsinki Airport FB

The coronavirus pandemic has predictably had a huge impact on Finland’s air traffic.

National carrier Finnair has had to cut up to 90% of its schedule, and other airlines which would normally fly into Finnish airports have also scaled back due to travel restrictions and lack of passengers.

Helsinki Airport, which would normally see 57,000 passengers every day, has just over a thousand passing through at present.

“The coronavirus pandemic has made itself felt in many ways at Finavia’s airports. All of us operating at airports have been worried about the safety of passengers” says Kimmo Mäki, Finavia’s CEO.

“The epidemic, which became a worldwide pandemic outbreak in only a few weeks, has affected the entire industry in very significant and far-reaching ways. The situation has also had an effect on airlines and companies that operate at airports as well as jobs and investments” he adds.

The total number of air passengers for all Finavia airports fell by more than 20% between January and March.

During March, Helsinki Airport’s passenger numbers were down 57.2% compared with the same period a year before.

File picture showing flight departure board at Helsinki Airport / Credit: News Now Finland

As the virus spread around the world, the effects on passengers from those regions can be mapped at Finnish airports.

For example the number of passengers from Asia declined significantly already in February, and by March there was a 95.8% drop in passengers from China compared with the year before.

In March there was an 89.5% drop in passengers to and from Italy; a 56.3% fall in passengers on routes to and from Spain; a 55% fall in passengers on domestic routes within Finland – particularly to Oulu, Kittilä and Rovaniemi.

Most of Finavia’s network airports have been closed temporarily with international flights only operating from Helsinki, Turku and Mariehamn.

Domestic flights are also currently operating from Helsinki, Kuopio, Mariehamn, Oulu, Rovaniemi and Savonlinna.