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Scandinavia DESTINATIONS


European Commission. Avinor’s new air traffic management system should be up and running by mid-2022. The ATC upgrade will be needed as


Norwegian air traffic figures continue to soar. Passenger numbers across Avinor airports were up 4.3% for the first six months of 2017. Aside from a new Oslo airport, there will be new terminals in Bergen and Tromsø and capacity at Stavanger will be increased. About 50 million airline passengers use one of Avinor’s 45 airports every year. Around half travel to and from Oslo airport. Across the border in Finland, Finnair is pursuing its strategy of connecting Europe and Asia, taking advantage of Helsinki’s advantageous location. In China, the carrier is developing such secondary cities as Chongqing and Xian while the main Beijing and Shanghai routes have seen an upgauge in aircraft from the Airbus A330 to the Airbus A350. Tokyo and Hong Kong have gained additional frequencies. Looking west, San Francisco, Havana in Cuba, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic have all joined the network. To cope with the airline’s ambitions,


airport operator, Finavia, has invested ¤900 million in Helsinki-Vantaa, rehabilitating Terminals 1 and 2 and developing the west and south wings. The airport handled close to 11 million passengers in the first seven months of 2017 – almost 9% above the previous year’s figures. The improvements will enable the gateway to handle 20 million passengers by 2020.


Benefits of Scandinavia Many airlines are taking advantage of the beneficial Scandinavian conditions with the low-cost carrier (LCC) market set to grow. Low-cost upstart, Norwegian, has


obviously been making great strides and its rapid ascension in the airline world has been well documented. Wizz Air is another LCC with a notable presence in the region. It recently announced further services to Eastern Europe from Malmo. Other names are not yet as well known,


although it is probably just a matter of time. Primera Air is an Icelandic-owned airline but is headquartered in Riga, Latvia and operates with a Danish licence. There are actually two airlines operating in parallel – Primera Air Scandinavia and Primera Air Nordic. The basic model is running holiday flights from Scandinavian hubs to European holiday destinations. It operates a fleet of nine aircraft, two new generation Boeing 737-700s and seven Boeing 737-800s, though there are orders for Airbus A321s. Initially, Primera Air operated charter


important is aviation to Scandinavia?


How


According to IATA’s Benefits Beyond


Borders country reports: • In Denmark, aviation supports


75,000 jobs and generates $7.8 billion in GDP. The country benefits from around 300,000 flights a year.


flights for Scandinavian tour operators but started selling surplus flight- only seats and has now developed a scheduled service to run alongside the charter business. There is still plenty of room at the Scandinavian hubs for the LCCs to grow, although Helsinki in particular remains a difficult nut to crack. Overall, it seems as if Scandinavia is finally shaking off that tag of being a small region on Europe’s periphery. The Northern Lights are shining bright. £


• In Finland, aviation supports 64,000 jobs and generates $6.4 billion in GDP. There are more than 210,000 flights per annum.


• In Norway, 130,000 jobs and $20 billion in GDP depend on aviation. Some 700,000 flights per year connect the country.


• In Sweden, it is 240,000 jobs and $24 billion in GDP. There are more than 450,000 flights a year.


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2017 ISSUE 5 75


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