Avinor Oslo Airport accounted for 1.7 million, which amounts to 6.6 percent of this growth. Among the other airports, Tromsø (8.7 percent), Harstad/Narvik (6.2 percent) and Bergen (2.8 percent) saw the strongest increase.
"Improvements in the Norwegian economy, and consequently greater optimism both among businesses and individuals, is the main reason behind the increase in passenger numbers. Furthermore, the economic upturn that we are seeing internationally, has a positive impact on visitor numbers to Norway as well", says Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen in a comment.
As expected, the North continues to grow
"Avinor has had a proactive strategy for the northern areas for many years. Several airports are undertaking developments and improvements to meet the continuously increasing tourist traffic. Aviation plays a decisive role in national value creation, particularly in Northern Norway where some places are seeing a very high growth in traffic", says Falk-Petersen.
"We expect further growth at about the same rate. In the coming years, we have a number of projects aimed at developing our infrastructure in the North. Developments in Tromsø, building a new airport in Bodø, evaluation of a new airport structure in Lofoten, Ofoten and Vesterålen, evaluation of a new airport in Hammerfest, and a bit further ahead, a new airport in Helgeland", concludes Falk-Petersen.
New, popular routes are important to the tourist industry
Tromsø-Frankfurt was a success throughout last year. In addition, Tromsø had new routes to Palma and Gdansk. The latter opened in December, to a good start. Moreover, the new routes of Widerøe from Oslo to Leknes and Svolvær have been successful, as well as the capacity increases of Mosjøen and Mo i Rana to Oslo.
"Along with popular routes, Avinor’s airport network contributes to making Norway more accessible to visitors from home and abroad. Good flights are important to securing tourism throughout the year. It is particularly important to development of the travel industry", says Bente Bratland Holm, Director VisitNorway, at Innovation Norway.
December number confirm 2017 trend
Passenger growth in December was 1.6 percent higher than in 2016. Among Avinor’s largest airports, Tromsø had the greatest passenger growth in percentage with 7.9 percent, followed by Ålesund (4.2 percent), and Bergen (2.9 percent). In number of passengers, Oslo Airport saw the largest growth, with an increase of more than 48 000.