International Demand Drives Traffic Growth at Swedish Airports

An aircraft parked at the terminal at Stockholm Arlanda.
Photo Credit: Swedavia

Swedavia, the operator of ten airports across Sweden, is reporting positive news for air travel. April 2024 saw a welcome increase in passenger traffic, with over 2.6 million passengers choosing to fly through Swedavia’s airports.

This represents a 1.5% rise compared to April 2023, indicating a continued recovery in the aviation industry following the pandemic.

International Travel Soars

The primary driver behind this growth is a surge in international travel. Passengers eager to explore new destinations or reconnect with loved ones abroad are fueling this demand.

Airlines operating at Swedavia’s airports are capitalizing on this trend by continuously expanding their route networks.

The 2024 summer program boasts an impressive 25 new routes, offering exciting travel opportunities that weren’t previously available.

This network expansion is particularly evident at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the largest airport in Sweden.

Optimistic Outlook for Summer Season

Jonas Abrahamsson, Swedavia’s President and CEO, expressed optimism about the future: “We’re pleased to see a continued rise in international travel demand at our airports.”

“The summer program offers a wider range of destinations, further enhancing connectivity. While domestic travel shows a slight decline with regional variations, we anticipate an overall increase throughout the summer season.”

Traffic Breakdown by Airport: A Mixed Picture

While the overall trend is positive, a closer look reveals a mixed picture across Swedavia’s airports. Here’s a breakdown of the key figures:

  • Overall: Passenger traffic at Swedavia’s airports in April reached nearly 2.6 million, representing an 82% recovery compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. This indicates a steady return to normalcy in air travel.
  • International vs. Domestic: The surge in international travel is undeniable. Compared to April 2023, international travel witnessed a 4% rise to nearly 2 million passengers. Domestic travel, however, dipped slightly by 5% to approximately 660,000 passengers.
An aircraft parked at Stockholm Arlanda Airport Terminal 5.
AleWi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stockholm Arlanda Leads the Way

Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the busiest airport in Sweden, mirrored the national trend. Over 1.8 million passengers passed through Arlanda in April, reflecting a 5% increase year-on-year.

International travel thrived here, rising by 8% to 1.6 million passengers. Domestic travel also saw an encouraging 8% increase to nearly 275,000 passengers.

Passenger levels at Stockholm Arlanda have recovered to an impressive 91% of pre-pandemic figures, signifying a near-complete return to pre-COVID travel volumes.

A Swedavia ground handler attends to an aircraft.
Photo Credit: Swedavia

Göteborg Landvetter Airport Holds Steady

Göteborg Landvetter Airport, the second-largest airport in Sweden, displayed a more stable picture. Passenger numbers remained steady compared to April 2023, with nearly 429,000 passengers transiting through the airport.

While international travel grew by a modest 2% to 381,000 passengers, domestic travel experienced a 14% decline to just over 47,000 passengers.

Despite this dip, passenger traffic at Göteborg Landvetter has recovered to 78% of pre-pandemic levels, indicating a positive trajectory.

View across Sweden Arlanda Airport.
Photo Credit: Orlando G Boström/Swedavia

Regional Variations at Other Swedavia Airports

Traffic trends at Swedavia’s remaining airports varied in April. Ronneby Airport and Kiruna Airport displayed the most significant growth compared to April 2023.

This is suggestive of a rise in regional travel demand. Conversely, Malmö Airport and Visby Airport saw the lowest passenger numbers compared to the same period last year.

However, when looking at pre-pandemic figures, Luleå Airport, followed by Kiruna Airport, showed the best recovery. This suggests a strong rebound in travel to these destinations.

Looking Ahead: A Summer Surge

To cater to the anticipated surge in summer travel, Swedavia has bolstered its charter offerings at Malmö, Åre Östersund, Umeå, and Luleå airports.

This strategic move ensures these airports are well-equipped to handle the influx of passengers seeking summer getaways and outdoor adventures.

With a wider range of destinations, increased connectivity, and a focus on regional travel, Swedavia is well-positioned for a successful summer season.

Passengers can look forward to a smooth and enjoyable travel experience as they explore the world or reconnect with loved ones.

The positive trends witnessed in April are a strong indicator that the aviation industry in Sweden is on the rise.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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