Tampere-Pirkkala is the main airport of the Central and Western Finland. The access radius of Tampere-Pirkkala is the best in Finland. The location and business life targeting bold growth and development together with a strong, strategic regional development model are elements that make it possible for Tampere-Pirkkala to become the most significant regional airport in Finland and an important support point for our country’s main airport, Helsinki Airport, focusing on intercontinental feeder traffic.
Air passengers of Tampere-Pirkkala were pampered for over a decade with direct flights to Europe, when Ryanair was the largest operator at the airport. This came to a sudden halt two years ago in November, when Ryanair decided to discontinue winter traffic completely and to reduce summer traffic to just two destinations. Based on these circumstances, the regional air traffic development work was launched in August 2015. During autumn 2015, a goal was set to stop the decline in air passenger volumes in 2017 and to generate an upward trend during 2018.
The regional air traffic development work carried out under the lead of Business Tampere is being financed by the Tampere City Region and, in 2017, the municipalities of Hämeenkyrö, Virrat, Urjala, Juupajoki, Sastamala and Mänttä-Vilppula from among the other municipalities of the Tampere Region. The fact that a majority of the Tampere Region municipalities and cities are involved in the process, sends a strong message about the importance of flight connections to the area. A significant milestone was already reached during the first operating year, when a positive negotiation outcome was reached with airBaltic to launch flights between Tampere and Riga for the summer season of 2017.
The backbone of Tampere air traffic comprises regular flights to Stockholm, Helsinki and Riga; the transit traffic via these destinations offers flights to 300 different destinations per year. At the moment, maintaining and developing these flight connections is the most important task. Without the vital hub connections, our home airport would be just a torso and isolated because the creation of new connections is a long project requiring several years.
Seasonal direct flight connections and regular holiday flights are important muscles that hold the backbone together and enable growth. For this reason, it is important that the inhabitants of the surrounding area and travellers interested in coming here are aware of the possibilities offered by our own home airport and are committed to using it. Only active use of the airport will enable its development and growth in the future to offer direct and more far-reaching flight connections. This awareness work is being carried out with a long-term approach in cooperation with the Visit Tampere travel organisation in the international market and with airlines, travel agencies and tour operators regionally in Finland. Systematic marketing and efficient mobilisation of normal people and travellers have turned the passenger volumes up in just one year and the interest of airlines and tour operators in the Tampere-Pirkkala Airport has been aroused.
The Tampere Region serves as a pioneer in many things including internationalisation, so our own efficient international airport is a must.
Director, Air Transportation Development