Several airlines operating in Finland are starting to add more and more flights.

Photograph: Seppo Sirkka/Eastpress

Air traffic has started to pick up in Finland, according to Traffic Management Finland, a government-owned organization focused on providing traffic information. While overflights have been increasing since May, several airlines operating in Finland are starting to add more flights.

Ryanair, for example, has announced new flights between Bergamo and Lappeenranta in Finland starting July 1. There will be two flights per week at first.

Bergamo, a city with about 122,200 residents (2019) in northern Italy, is the worst city in the country hit by the coronavirus pandemic (13,600 cases and 3,000 deaths in June). Bergamo is part of the Lombardy region, where on Saturday there were 94,223 confirmed coronavirus infections and 16,675 deaths.

At the end of the summer season, flights are expected to increase further. In addition to Lappeenranta, regular flights from Vaasa and Pori to Helsinki will also return.

Flight volumes are also increasing at Helsinki, Turku and Rovaniemi airports. SAS announced its plans to start flights from Stockholm to Helsinki and Turku, whereas Finnair has added flights to various destinations, including Rovaniemi. Norwegian also decided to move up its first flights out of Helsinki.

Stockholm county reported of 19,892 confirmed coronavirus infections and 2,298 deaths (July 4). Norway had 8,921 confirmed coronavirus infections and the death toll is at 251 (July 4).

“Even though air traffic volumes are still far behind last year’s numbers, it seems like the worst is now behind us. This is a good sign for the entire industry,” Traffic Management Finland noted in a statement.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland still recommends avoiding non-essential travel, except to Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The former Finnish prime minister, Alexander Stubb, shared a photo on Twitter from the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport on Friday while waiting to embark.