LONDON — While it may be too early currently to get excited and ready for the Christmas season, the airlines beg to differ on this one.
The city of Rovaniemi in Finland has secured it’s first of many Christmas flights that will operate to that airport over the course of the winter.
The first carrier to launch this service will be easyJet who will operate this route twice per week on Wednesdays and Sundays from London Gatwick on October 31 this year.
The aircraft type is unclear currently but will most likely be operated by their Airbus A320 or A321neo aircraft depending on demand.
This service will be expected to carry around 13,000 people over the course of the winter operation.
British passenger numbers to Rovaniemi has grown by nearly 40% between 2016 and 2017 so the likes of easyJet launching these routes is a smart move for them on the revenue front also.
“British travelers are our traditional market. We’re happy for the new connection that serves the visitors to meet Santa Claus and to experience the magic of Christmas any day at the Arctic Circle”, says Sanna Kärkkäinen, the CEO of Visit Rovaniemi.
“The magical Northern Lights can be seen from August to April and there are many tours available. In winter season many travelers go on husky sleigh rides, reindeer farm visits, snowmobile safaris and skiing”, Kärkkäinen added.
On top of Rovaniemi being the official home for Santa Claus, this route will also provide connectivity for those living too far away from Helsinki to the United Kingdom.
The route also serves at once many neighboring travel resorts, meaning that Lapland is within a short driving distance of the airport.
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With demand for Lapland growing year on year, Finnish airport operator Finavia has announced also that they will be investing a significant amount of money into Rovaniemi Airport’s terminal, with capacity due to increase by 75% by the Christmas Season of 2019.
The investment will not just reflect on the seasonal demand as visitors around the world go to Lapland to see Santa Claus 365 days per year.
“The new route and cooperation with easyJet is an important milestone”, says Jani Jolkkonen, Senior Vice President of Airport Network at Finavia.
In all, it is good news for the Christmas tourism market in Rovaniemi and with the other UK carriers set to announce their operations into Rovaniemi, we will be able to see their markets boost and grow in a reflective and positive manner.