The line includes a new 8km dual-bore tunnel and serves five new stations at Kivistö, Aviapolis, Airport, Leinelä and Vehkala, using two services which operate in opposite directions on the ring line: I, which runs from Helsinki city centre via Pasila to Tikkurila and the airport and was used by 42,000 passengers on the first day of operations; and P, which runs from Helsinki city centre via Huopalah to the airport and via Tikkurila back to Helsinki, and was used by 38,000.
However, passengers face a wait to use the new Helsinki Airport station which is set to open on July 10 once the western entrance from Tietotie is completed. Once operational I services will offer a 27-minute Helsinki - Helsinki Airport journey time, and P services 32 minutes, with a 10-minute interval service available to the airport at peak times. A journey time of eight minutes is possible from the airport to Tikkurila, which is set to become an important transfer point for long-distance passengers travelling to and from the airport with passenger numbers at the station expected to triple.
Currently a free shuttle bus is operating from Aviapolis station to the airport, which is operating at five minute intervals with a journey time of five minutes. Another direct entrance to the terminal from the station will open this autumn.
Construction on the project began in 2009 and cost an estimated €773.8m. Funding was provided by the Finnish Transport Agency, the City of Vantaa and Finavia, as well as the European Union's through its TEN-T programme.
VR is operating services on the line using a fleet of nine 120km/h Sm5 Stadler Flirt EMUs ordered by Junskalusto Oy in a €54m deal signed in 2011. Junskalusto Oy is owned by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa, which have 65% of the shares, and VR Group which owns the remaining 35%.