Greece and nearby destinations gained popularity in summer charter flights

30.8.12 at 09:01

Regarding individual destinations, especially Iraklion in Greece and Billund in Denmark became more popular. The variation is explained by changes in the offering of travel agencies and airlines. In total, flight travel volume decreased slightly compared to the same period last year.

Finavia's statistics say that the most popular charter destinations from Finland in June and July were Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain. Greece was the most popular country. A total of 140,584 took charter flights there and back, 4% more than last year. The popularity of Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain as charter flights decreased. The number of passengers who took charter flights from Finland to Spain and other way around was 21,192, as much as 41% less than last year. The clear drop is explained by route traffic's simultaneous growth in regard to some destination cities, and changes to the charter flights of international tourists.

This year, nearby destinations were clearly more popular than during the same period last year. Denmark was the seventh most popular charter destination: the passenger volume there was 68% higher than last year, totalling 6,643 people. Almost all these trips were to Billund, of Legoland fame, doubling its popularity since last year. In fact, Billund was an almost equally popular charter destination as Kos, the traditional favourite of Finns.

"Greece has always been a favourite resort of Finns and it seems that this does not change. Not even the financial turmoil has scared passengers off. With some destinations, the variation in charter flights is also explained by the fact that changes have taken place in the route traffic offering to the same destination," says Mikko Saariaho, Communications Director at Finavia.

Hurghada less popular

Regarding cities, Finns' most popular resorts were Antalya in Turkey, Chania and Rhodes. Palma de Mallorca in Spain was the fourth most popular charter flight destination and it seems that its popularity is returning to previous levels.
Relatively speaking, Iraklion in Greece gained the most popularity. Regarding southern charter flight destinations, Hurghada in Egypt particularly decreased in popularity.
In 2011, a total of about 19 million passengers passed through the 25 airports maintained by Finavia. In 2011, a total of 14.9 million passengers passed through Helsinki Airport, the busiest airport in Finland.

"In addition to Helsinki Airport, charter flights are available from many different provinces. It is a good thing that Finns can smoothly depart on a holiday from their nearby airport. At the same time, holiday flights provide many a provincial airport with a vital passenger flow, which makes it easier to maintain the airport and retain connections from the province," says Mikko Saariaho at Finavia.

According to an air passenger survey commissioned by Finavia to Statistics Finland in 2010, 55% of of Helsinki Airport passengers are male and 45% female. 47% of passengers are on a recreational trip, 38% on a business trip and 15% are visiting friends or relatives.

The financial situation has also started to have an impact on the total volume of air travel, which started to decline in the spring. In January-In April 2012, the combined passenger volumes of route and charter flights still increased but in June, the total number of air passengers was 2.4% and in July 4.3% less than the same period last year.