Foreign tourists travelling to and from Norway account for the biggest increase in air travel in recent years and Oslo Airport’s share of international passengers has increased from 61 to 68 per cent from 2015 to 2017, according to Avinor’s Travel Survey 2017.
The Norwegian airport operator said the proportion of domestic traffic to and from Oslo Airport has also increased – from 73 per cent in 2015 to 75 per cent in 2017. The proportion of travellers from regional airports that used Oslo Airport to connect to international flights increased from 51 to 58 per cent during the same period.
Avinor chief executive officer, Dag Falk-Petersen said: “Avinor’s Travel Survey 2017 shows that increasing tourism, in particular, has driven growth in air passenger numbers, which the tourism industry has also confirmed in recent seasons.
“Avinor’s mission is to facilitate the needs that arise from this – both for visitors coming to Norway and for travelling Norwegians whether they are flying domestically or internationally.”
Passengers living outside Norway accounted for 73 per cent of scheduled air passenger growth from 2015 to 2017. The proportion of passengers on scheduled flights reporting that they are resident abroad has increased from 44 per cent in 2015 to 47 per cent in 2017. Most visitors come from the UK, USA and Germany, with 15, 11 and nine per cent market shares respectively. Sweden, Denmark and France then follow.
From 2015 to 2017, the number of foreigners on domestic flights increased by 53 per cent – from 1.3 million to 2 million passengers. The proportion of foreigners on domestic flights increased from 9 per cent in 2015 to 13 per cent in 2017.
The highest proportion of foreigners in 2017 on departures from Oslo were on flights to Svalbard (53 per cent), Kirkenes (32 per cent) and Tromsø (30 per cent). The Oslo-Tromsø route saw the biggest growth, with the number of foreign passengers rising from 150,000 to 350,000 in the two-year period.
The number of flights per capita has fallen and is now at 2.3 trips per person. Travel frequency has fallen particularly significantly in Northern Norway. The number of domestic business trips fell by a total of 2 per cent from 2015 to 2017, while there was growth of 8 per cent for the number of holiday and leisure trips.
Almost all growth in international air travel to and from Norway was due to holiday and leisure passengers. The number of Norwegians travelling abroad on holiday and leisure trips increased by 8 per cent from 2015 to 2017. London, Copenhagen and Stockholm are the biggest foreign destinations for scheduled flights.
Intercontinental destinations accounted for 15 per cent of international scheduled flights to and from Avinor’s airports in 2017, which was equal to 2015. During the course of the last 10 years from 2007 to 2017, the number of intercontinental passengers increased from 1.7 to 2.9 million, representing annual growth of five per cent.
The most important intercontinental destination is the USA, with 1.2 million passengers in 2017. Thailand is the second largest, and Canada has overtaken Dubai/UAE as the third largest destination. Avinor’s Travel Survey 2017 includes 147,000 passengers at 10 airports.
The Institute of Transport Economics has analysed the figures.