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Aberdeen, Lübeck, Skellefteå… Interest in the Finnish LYGG is at an all-time high – “Regions are struggling”

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Just a few hundred monthly business travelers can be enough to open a new route, says Roope Kekäläinen of LYGG, giving a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes decision-making process. Seeking sustainable growth, LYGG believes the travel industry is heading towards a “post-infrastructure era”, where digital solutions and short runway aircraft will lift cities and businesses struggling to prosper out of their predicament.

The Finnish air travel platform LYGG is attracting unprecedented interest from local airports across Northern and Central Europe. “There are dozens of ongoing discussions about new route possibilities,” says Roope Kekäläinen, co-founder and CEO of LYGG.

“The list of potential cities under discussion is long:Hamburg, Esbjerg, Stavanger, Aberdeen, Lübeck, Skellefteå, Luleå, Borlänge and Sundsvall for example. In Northern Sweden and Western Denmark in particular, there is huge interest. The high demandhas not come as a surprise, but it has reinforced our understanding that regions are struggling greatly to maintain their vitality. The collective struggle due to the lack of direct business aviation connections is immense in many places,” Kekäläinen stresses.

“We constantly hear from our Swedish unit that business travelers, especially in the north of the country, have to travel up to 6–8 hours by car because there are no flights and travelling by train would take as long as driving. For business travelers in such cities, the availability of local and direct air connections is of huge importance,” he continues.

Towards Post-Infrastructure Travel

So what does it take to open a new route? In the case of LYGG, Kekäläinen says the so-called critical mass is relatively small; even a few hundred passengers a month makes the route worth considering. Specifically, if no previous direct connections exists. The Linköping–Helsinki route, which opened in March, is a good example of this.

In detailing the process of negotiation and decision-making that precedes the launch of new routes, Kekäläinen talks about the shift towards post-infrastructure travel.

“In the airline business, opening a new route can take up to 1-2 years of planning as it is based on fleet management and asset ownership.”

“LYGG is a digital platform, which makes it possible to open a new route within weeks based on customer demand. In five years’ time we can do it in hours. We are in the middle of a major transformation. Today travel is largely an infrastructure game – there is road, rail and aviation infrastructure – but with digitalisation and short runway aircrafts, we are moving towards post-infrastructure travel.”

As an important step towards the future revolution, LYGG announced late last year a partnership agreement worth over EUR 1 billion with hybrid manufacturer, Inc. The partnership will bring up to 300 hybrid aircraft to LYGG operators from 2028 onwards.Developed by Electra, eSTOL, an electric hybrid aircraft designed for extremely short runways, needs only about 100 metres of surface to take off or land with 800 kilometers of range.

Selection of City Pairs

According to Kekäläinen, there are two ways to determine the connecting cities:data and customer driven.

“The overall data points allow us to determine between which regions our competitiveness is maximal. Our competitive position is naturally strengthened by the absence direct connections, which allows us to save time. When a particular connection is not the best possible by a universal metric, can sufficient demand from a client can make it feasible.”

Kekäläinen estimates that a large part of the current discussions could, in the best-case scenario, result in an operational route.

“At current rate of growth with today’s technologies we should have dozens of new LYGG routes in five years’ time. We see no reason why we should not have the right to grow at a much faster pace. If we succeed, the number of new routes in 2029 could be as high as triple digits,” he estimates.

More information

Roope Kekäläinen, CEO, LYGG
+358 50 401 1321,

Heidi Koivisto, Communications Manager, LYGG
+358 50 389 2863,