The numbers of airline passengers in Finland reached an all-time high in 2016, as the total number reached a little over 20.7 million passengers. This increase was also visible at Turku Airport, which is the airport with the second highest passenger traffic in Finland when looking at the number of international passengers. In Turku, the number of international passengers increased by 7.8 per cent.

In the opinion of  Juha Aaltonen, the manager of Turku Airport, the airport is very important to the competitiveness of the entire Turku region.

– When businesses look for a place to set up their offices, it is important to them that the transport chains can be utilised quickly in both passenger and freight traffic. Accessibility is a key element. A region where ship, rail and air traffic meet is particularly attractive as everything is close by.

The fact that the city has an international airport already speaks for the city’s attractiveness

Anne-Marget Hellén

– According to studies, flight connections influence companies’ decisions on where to locate their offices, in addition to affecting the ability to attract international congresses and, of course, flows of tourists. The fact that the city has an international airport already speaks for the city’s attractiveness, adds Anne-Marget Hellén, Director of Tourism with the City of Turku.

Holidaymakers and commuters

The holiday flights departing from Turku have been gratifyingly full. In the winter season, holiday flights arranged by travel agents, such as Tjäreborg, take passengers to the Canary Islands, among other places. Turku Airport is popular among the residents of Turku and nearby areas, particularly because of its small size. Being uncrowded and easily accessible, the airport attracts families with children as well as other target groups.

In the summer, most of the flights from Turku are scheduled flights to Gdańsk, for example, where travellers will once again be able to fly on almost any day this summer. Five different airlines operate in Turku Airport: Finnair, SAS, AirBaltic, NextJet and Wizzair, each of which flies directly to one destination: Helsinki, Stockholm, Riga, Mariehamn and Gdańsk.

Travel around the world from Turku via Helsinki

With Finnair, you can travel almost anywhere in the world from Turku, as the airline flies to more than 80 different destinations via Helsinki. Flying via Helsinki does not raise the price much. When flying to destinations in Asia from Turku via Helsinki, the extra charge is less than €20, which is less than a week’s parking fee.

SAS flies between Turku and Stockholm up to four times per day. From Stockholm, passengers can catch a connection flight to more than 200 countries, which is why air passengers should compare prices and flight times not only in Helsinki but also when flying via Stockholm.

When travelling from Turku, passengers can also catch a connection flight in Riga, as BalticAir flies there every day in the summer. In addition to Helsinki, Stockholm and Riga, passengers from Turku can also take a direct flight to Gdańsk and Mariehamn on every weekday in the summer.

You rarely have to wait in line in Turku

The busiest days of the week at Turku Airport are Monday, Thursday and Friday. Other days are quieter, as most of the passengers travelling through Turku Airport are commuters and business travellers who mainly travel on weekdays, on Mondays in particular.

However, even on the busiest days the airport usually remains uncrowded and people rarely have to wait in line, which is the reason why many choose specifically to depart from Turku Airport.

Gdańsk is to the residents of Turku what Tallinn is to the residents of Helsinki. It’s that easy to take a trip there

– I fly from Turku whenever possible, and I most recently spent the New Year’s in Gdańsk. I left on a Thursday and came back on a Sunday. They say that Gdańsk is to the residents of Turku what Tallinn is to the residents of Helsinki. It’s that easy to take a trip there. I also visit Stockholm every now and then, sometimes by plane and at other times by ship,’ says Hellén..

– Having the residents of Southwest Finland use the airport helps it retain its vitality and opens up opportunities for direct flight connections.

Aaltonen sees clear growth potential in the numbers of passengers.

– The airport’s growth is currently at a stable and sustainable level. Over the last year, the numbers of passengers have continued to grow, which means that more can only be achieved with greater use. This applies to both freight and passengers.

Image: SAS