Finnair announced on Monday that it expects to delay around 550 flights this week due to a trade union protest against the Finnish government on February 1 and 2.

The political strike will have a significant impact on Helsinki Airport’s operations and Finnair’s flight operations,” the airline stated in a statement.

Finnair will apply flight cancellations in its systems one at a time, beginning Tuesday morning, January 30, clients will be provided alternate routes.

Finnish unions have recently challenged the right-wing government’s intention to prioritize local work agreements over centralized bargaining, prohibit political strikes, and make it easier to cancel work contracts.

The history of Finland’s aviation sector began in the early twentieth century; eventually, all advancements led to the establishment of commercial aviation with the founding of Finnair, the national flag carrier. Today, being one of the world’s northernmost countries, Finland’s aviation sector plays an important role in linking the country to the outside world. 

Throughout the years, the country has placed great importance on industry development. Until the coronavirus pandemic, investment expenditure on airport infrastructures steadily increased yearly, and Finland invested 160 million euros on airport infrastructure projects despite the global outbreak.

Leading airports in Finland

Helsinki Airport was the largest airport in terms of passenger volume, with 15.4 million passengers in 2022. This airport was substantially busier than any other in Finland; in comparison, Oulu and Rovaniemi airports only served 632,000 and 560,700 passengers at the same time, respectively. Finavia, Finland’s state-owned airport operation corporation, earned 203 million euros in income from its operations at Helsinki Airport in 2022. The business operates and maintains Finland’s airports. That year, the company’s managed airport revenue totaled 298.4 million euros.

Finnair, the national flag carrier

Finnair, the national flag carrier, is a major international airline with a substantial presence in Europe and Asia. Finnair’s domestic and international flight operations generated little less than 21.2 billion revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) in 2022, with 56 registered aircraft. In the same year, the firm increased passenger numbers by 9.1 million, more than triple the previous year’s total.

Net-zero aims for Finnish aviation

The Finnish government aims to reduce carbon emissions by around 95% by 2050. As is generally known, the transportation industry accounts for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the Finnish transport sector is no different. As a result, the government focuses heavily on decarbonizing the transportation industry, particularly through renewable energy production.