Northern Norway's Skyward Surge: International Flights and Tourism on the Rise


Northern Norway is experiencing a remarkable surge in international traffic, marked by a significant increase in passenger numbers and the establishment of new direct routes. This growth is most notably seen in Troms and Finnmark, with figures indicating a rapidly growing interest in the region. Avinor, in collaboration with local tourism actors and airlines, has played a crucial role in developing these routes.

Northern lights over Sakrisøy, Lofoten islands
Northern lights over Sakrisøy, Lofoten islands Envato Elements Envato Elements

Growing Popularity of Northern Norway

"It's extremely gratifying to see that more and more people are discovering Northern Norway as an exciting travel destination," says Minister of Transport, Jon-Ivar Nygård. "Many forces across the region have worked together to create appealing tourism products and experiences for all visitors. Thanks to the collaboration between local tourism actors, Avinor, and the airlines, several direct routes to Tromsø, Bodø, Evenes, and Alta have been established from various European cities. This is a real boon for the entire region's tourism industry."

Tromsø: A Winter Wonderland

Tromsø Airport Langnes has been at the heart of the impressive growth in international traffic to Northern Norway. Monthly statistics show a substantial increase in passengers to and from abroad, especially during winter. For instance, the number of passengers in November and December 2023 saw an incredible rise of 74% and 82%, respectively, compared to the same months in 2019. This underscores the increasing allure of Troms and Finnmark, and Northern Norway as an international destination.

A Historic Bloom for Northern Norway

In addition to the rising traffic figures at Tromsø Airport Langnes, new direct routes to other airports in Northern Norway, like Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes, and Alta Airport, have been opened. Abraham Foss, the CEO, comments on the upturn, highlighting the teamwork behind this success: "The remarkable growth in international traffic to Northern Norway is the result of close cooperation between Avinor, local tourism actors, and airlines. Not to mention the tourism industry's ability to create attractive offers and services for foreign tourists. We are proud to have contributed to promoting Northern Norway as an attractive destination for international travelers. This development has opened up fantastic opportunities for the region, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen accessibility and the tourism industry in Northern Norway."

Wild, Beautiful, and Exciting

Aase Marthe Horrigmo, Director of Tourism at Innovation Norway, shares her enthusiasm for the growing interest in Northern Norway: "Northern Norway, especially Troms and Finnmark and Lofoten, has long been on the radar of foreign tourists. We're pleased to see the interest increase and more people discovering other cities and places in Northern Norway. Northern Norway has so much to offer – wild, beautiful, and exciting experiences, whether you're seeking an adrenaline rush, interested in art, culture, and history, or looking for peace and quiet."

Horrigmo also highlights the unique attractions in Northern Norway, like the Northern Lights, Bodø as the European Capital of Culture in 2024, world-class seafood, spectacular mountain views, whale watching, and the opportunity to experience the midnight sun. She emphasizes the importance of increased accessibility and points out the new direct route from Frankfurt to Alta as an exciting opportunity to attract international tourists.

On Tuesday, January 16th, a new direct route was announced between Alta and Frankfurt with Lufthansa, scheduled to open in December 2024. This marks the first dedicated route for international tourism into Alta, heralding a new travel adventure for the entire Finnmark region. "The establishment of this direct route with Discover Airlines is a major milestone for the tourism industry in the Alta region, and for the entire local community," asserts Katja Pettersen, Tourism Chief at Visit Alta. "Accessibility has always been a major challenge and barrier to further development in our industry, but this new route is a game-changer. Discover Airlines brings Europe closer to Alta, and Alta closer to the wider world," she exclaims with enthusiasm.

Table: Overview of New and Existing Direct Routes from Abroad to Northern Norway

Route (From-To) Airline Start Date
Helsinki - Bodø Finnair May 2023
Paris CDG - Evenes Air France June 2024
Frankfurt - Evenes Discover Airlines May 2024
Palma de Mallorca - Evenes Norwegian May 2024
Amsterdam - Tromsø Transavia December 2023
Stockholm - Tromsø SAS -
Berlin - Tromsø Eurowings December 2023
Berlin - Tromsø Norwegian January 2024
Milano Bergamo - Tromsø Norwegian January 2024
Paris CDG - Tromsø Air France December 2022
Paris CDG - Tromsø Norwegian January 2024
Copenhagen - Tromsø Norwegian October 2023
Copenhagen - Tromsø SAS -
Dusseldorf - Tromsø Eurowings December 2021
Frankfurt - Tromsø Lufthansa -
Gdansk - Tromsø Wizz Air -
Hamburg - Tromsø Eurowings December 2023
Helsinki - Tromsø Finnair -
London Gatwick - Tromsø Norwegian -
London Luton - Tromsø Wizz Air -
Munich - Tromsø Lufthansa -
Rovaniemi - Tromsø Finnair December 2023
Vienna - Tromsø Austrian December 2022
Zurich - Tromsø Edelweiss Air -
Zurich - Evenes Edelweiss Air -




Media hotline, Avinor: +47 918 15 614,
Visit Alta: Katja Pettersen, +47 916 25 408,
Innovasjon Norge: Siri-Ann Roska, +47 97 79 45 11,


Avinor is a wholly-owned state limited company under the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for 44 state-owned airports. Avinor has taken a leading role in reducing climate gas emissions from the aviation industry, including the development of electric aircrafts and supplying sustainable jet-biojetfuel. Avinor provides safe and efficient travels for around 50 million passengers annually, half of which travel to and from Oslo Airport. Over 3000 employees are responsible for planning, developing and operating an efficient airport and air navigation service. Avinor is financed via airport charges and commercial sales. The air navigation services is organized as ​subsidiary wholly-owned by Avinor. Avinor's headquarter is in Oslo.

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Latest releases from The Avinor Group

Fourth quarter 2023: Reduced revenue due to changing travel patterns.12.2.2024 14:23:28 CET | Press release

“Avinor's main challenge is reduced revenues due to changes in travel patterns after the pandemic. There are far fewer business travelers than before, and Norwegians' domestic travel activity has levelled off. Lower traffic volume, lack of adjustment of airport taxes, as well as reduced revenue per passenger, largely due to reduced duty-free quota, challenge the Avinor model”, says Abraham Foss, CEO of Avinor.

Discover Airlines opens Finnmark to Europe with new direct route16.1.2024 17:00:00 CET | Press release

Discover Airlines and Avinor are pleased to announce the launch of a new direct route from Frankfurt to Alta. This winter route opens the doors to a new chapter in Northern Norwegian tourism. "Alta deserves better accessibility to key markets for the local tourism industry," says Martin Langaas, Route Development Manager at Avinor. "Now that we can present the first air route dedicated to international tourism into Alta, we are opening up a whole new travel adventure for the entire Finnmark region."

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