Helsinki the helpful while awaiting Asia rebound

Bernie Baldwin

“The Asian traffic is very important to us, since we are one of the main airports connecting Europe and Asia; it will take months for traffic to return, yet the Asian situation is getting better.” Petri Vuori, vice-president sales and route development at Helsinki Airport for Finavia, is in a much happier mood as the tribulations of recent months seem to be coming to an end.

“Some airlines are making schedules to ramp up operations, and we expect them to return to us soon,” he adds.

Passenger traffic at Helsinki Airport almost stopped during COVID-19. “We were down to about 1.000 passenger a day; under usual circumstances we would be at around 60,000. The cargo activity was still good, with some longhaul widebody operations, mainly carrying belly cargo and no passengers.”

During the time it took the Finnish government to come up with a support package for restaurants and hotels, Finavia steeped up to the plate to help the food and beverage outlets at the airport. “Most shops and restaurants were closed at Helsinki Airport as there was no traffic for them, so we helped them with rents,” Vuori confirms.

Vuori and his colleagues have mostly been working from home and using the Teams meeting app to keep up with developments. “We all hope to return to the office, but understand it must be a safe environment for all of us,” the VP concludes.

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