Stockholm Arlanda airport is benefiting from the lack of free capacity at some of the big European hubs, which is prompting long-haul operators to consider smaller gateways, according to Ole Wieth Christensen, director of route development at operator Swedavia.
"What we see, not in terms of [intra-]European traffic, but long-haul traffic, is that some long-haul carriers looking at Europe tell us some of the major airports, like the Amsterdams and Frankfurts, are full," Christensen states. "So in that context, they start to look into the next tier, where we consider ourselves a prime candidate".
Arlanda has good slot availability, he notes, to accommodate that "spin-off demand".
"We have so far never lost a customer due to lack of slots," Christensen continues, suggesting capacity constraints are only evident during the busiest holiday periods.
Among new services, "we have China Eastern starting in June, doing Shanghai," he says, adding it will operate Airbus A330-200s on the route.
To handle continuing growth, Christensen says infrastructure projects are under way, including the addition of a new pier, for which the operator recently secured funding.
"We are doing the grounding work for that one now,” he states. “Really, the focus is, we want to make sure that Arlanda is an optimal transfer airport for our partners".
He adds that as part of infrastructure work, one of Arlanda’s gates is being updated to accommodate A380 flights.
FlightGlobal schedules data shows Arlanda is handled more than 10,000 flights in April, an increase of 7% year-on-year. It serves 142 destinations, an increase of 4 from April 2017.
Source: Cirium Dashboard