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Accessibility to Arlanda is decreasing – it is difficult to get to Sweden by air

Accessibility to Arlanda is decreasing – it is difficult to get to Sweden by air

Accessibility to the Stockholm/Arlanda area decreased by 25 percent between 2018 and 2023. Despite the rapid recovery after the pandemic, flying and accessibility to European cities have generally declined. But the number of flights to and from Arlanda has fallen more than to similar regions in Europe. This is evidenced by a new study conducted by the Stockholm region in cooperation with Swedavia and Visit Sweden.

In the analysis, the Stockholm region is compared with Helsinki, Oslo, Hamburg, Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Copenhagen, Dublin, Barcelona, ​​Munich, Amsterdam, Paris and London. Of the areas compared, only Oslo, Hamburg and Helsinki have lower accessibility than Stockholm.

The Stockholm region already had lower access than many other regions before the pandemic, and the differences have now increased even further.

Arlanda availability has been reduced to all regions, both domestic and international. Overseas, availability has declined further in Asia and Europe. The lower availability in Asia was primarily driven by lower indirect availability. Increased and improved connections to some international airports could improve accessibility to Arlanda.

– Many of Sweden’s and Stockholm region’s larger trading partners are in Finland, Germany and China. In order to continue to be an interesting business partner, to be globally competitive and to attract investments and visitors, it is important to have quick and direct communications with Stockholm, says Anton Fastberg, Stockholm Region Development Director.

Arlanda falling behind in this way makes it difficult for Sweden to compete for international tourists and for tourist income that is important for business, creating job opportunities throughout Sweden. Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the USA, China and India are the second most important tourism markets to Sweden after the neighboring Nordic countries. As the global trend is towards fewer travel days, flexible direct connections become increasingly important to compete, says Susan Anderson, CEO of Visit Switzerland.

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The largest absolute decline in direct access to Stockholm/Arlanda refers to domestic flights, which are down 32 percent.

– Arlanda’s accessibility affects more than just the development of the Stockholm region. Arlanda is of national importance and the airport is the most important connection point to the rest of Sweden. At the same time as we need to improve connections to airports in Europe and major global hubs, we need to boost domestic flights to ensure the whole of Sweden is accessible, says Jonas Abrahamsson, CEO of Swedavia.

The Stockholm Region, together with business, regional and national actors and authorities, will advance this issue, which is crucial for the competitiveness of the Stockholm Region and the whole of Sweden.

You can find the full report in the attachments to the right.

Facts and background

The accessibility study was conducted on behalf of the Stockholm Region, Visit Sweden and Sweden by the consulting company Copenhagen Economics in cooperation with SEO Economic Research. The measurement was performed during one week in September 2023.

The report is a follow-up to the Stockholm Region International Accessibility Report, which was published in 2012 and subsequently updated in 2019. The three reports are comparable as calculations are made according to the same method and data type.

The Stockholm Region is responsible for regional development. We are responsible for strategic issues within regional development. We identify the strengths and challenges of the region and bring together actors to work together for a better Stockholm region.

What is accessibility?

Area/airport availability is calculated using models containing data from worldwide line tables.

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Immediate availability, available now It is created when passengers can fly directly to a destination, for example, Arlanda. Direct availability increases with the number of departures per week.

Indirect accessibility It is created when passengers can fly to a destination via a stopover at another airport, for example from Stockholm Arlanda Airport via Frankfurt to Beijing. Indirect availability increases when the number of weekly departures at airports increases with flights arriving from the Stockholm area or when a new route to another hub is established. Indirect access is provided by other hubs, but is also influenced by how better departures from the Stockholm area are in relation to departures in other hubs.