Airport operator Finavia’s passenger numbers have fallen sharply this year and, as a result, the company’s economic situation has deteriorated significantly. The State of Finland is preparing to capitalise the company by EUR 350 million in order to strengthen financial position of Finavia.
“Finavia is a company owned by all Finns. We play a key role in building the connections for Finns, and we are an integral part of Finnish society and the traffic system. The COVID-19 crisis has caused unprecedented financial distress for the aviation and tourism sectors. The consequences are also dramatic for us,” says Finavia’s CEO Kimmo Mäki.
Finavia has developed its airport services on a long-term basis and Helsinki Airport has determinedly aimed for the leading position in the international competition between transfer airports. The company has invested more than EUR 1.2 billion in the development of Helsinki Airport and the tourism in Lapland.
“Helsinki Airport has achieved a significant position as an important hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia. Passengers travelling through Helsinki Airport generate a substantial amount of income and number of jobs, and Finns have exceptionally good flight connections. The current standing is a result of long-term work and it will take years to get it back,” says Mäki.
“Finland is an island in a remote part of Europe. Finnish business life, export and tourism need good flight connections around the world as well as airports that operate efficiently and smoothly,” says Mäki.
Finavia launched a cost-cutting programme in March
Finavia launched the most extensive cost-cutting programme in its history in March. “It includes long-term layoffs concerning the entire personnel as well as significant cost cuts in operations. The company is aiming for a total of EUR 200 million in savings.
Mäki also stresses that an extensive investment, which has partially been financed by debt, is underway in Finavia.
The increase in capital will secure the completion of this investment.
Tourism and aviation figures
- The tourism sector employs more than 140,000 people in Finland.
- There are 1,500 companies at Helsinki Airport alone, employing more than 20,000 people.
- Finavia’s investment in the Helsinki Airport Development Programme offers jobs for 16,000 people during the construction period.
- The degree of domestic content of Finavia’s investment programme is nearly 90%.
- Tourism and aviation account for nearly 3% of Finland’s GDP. The travel demand in Finland amounts to approximately EUR 16 billion annually.