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Finnish feel will remain in commercial services at Helsinki Airport

Finavia is strongly renewing the range of services offered at Helsinki Airport. The newest commercial openings are the Arctic Bar, which offers weather-related experiences, the renewed Wine & View wine bar, as well as the Nordic Kitchen, which will bring Nordic flavours to the airport this spring. Finavia's goal is to retain the Finnish feel and Finnish products as a strong part of the airport's growing and ever more international range of commercial services. This way, the company strengthens the sales of domestic products through the international airport operators and enables them access to global airport markets.

"The starting point for our commercial operations is that, regardless of the supply becoming more international, the Finnish feel will remain a strong part of the overall experience.

"We can differentiate ourselves from the competitors with the Finnish feel and Finnish products. At the same time, we can increase sales of domestic products through foreign operators. The situation is also favourable in the sense that being a part of the range offered by international operators also opens a door for domestic products in international airport markets," says Finavia's Vice President Jukka Isomäki, responsible for commercial operations at Helsinki Airport.

One of the newest restaurants opened at Helsinki Airport is the stylish Arctic Bar. The speciality of the bar, located at Gate 29, is its roofless outdoor terrace, where departing and transit passengers get to go outside and feel the Finnish weather as it is – whether that means snow, sleet, rain or sunshine.

- The idea came from wanting to offer transit passengers at Helsinki Airport a small piece of authentic Finland. Feeling the soft snow on their skin may inspire passengers to take their next holiday in Lapland, for example. We introduced the idea of an arctic bar and outdoor terrace to our restaurant operator HMSHost. The result of the cooperation is a bar that promotes the image of Finland, Isomäki says.

Arctic Cocktails, such as the fell-inspired Tunturi Tonic or a frosty Kuura Julep, can be enjoyed at the Arctic Bar. The bar offers also Arctic Bites such as salads, sandwiches and finger food.

At the same time, the classic Wine & View bar at Helsinki Airport has undergone a complete transformation. A more stylish and spacious wine bar now awaits passengers at Gate 26. - In addition to the appearance, we have also renewed the selection of food and drinks at Wine & View. Customers can get a flavour of the nobility of the world of wine present from our wine cellar with taster portions. For hungry customers, our staff puts together a plate of tapas with a Finnish influence based on customer preferences, says Operation and Marketing Director Jussi Laakso of SSP Finland.

The new range at Wine & View includes, for example, ales that suit the different seasons, products from selected microbreweries, cider from Normandy and high-quality spirits.

The selection of restaurants in the Non-Schengen area of Helsinki Airport will grow during May, with the Nordic Kitchen restaurant. The menu with Nordic flavours includes Scandinavian classics, such as Toast Skagen and delicious servings of meat and fish.

In addition, Dutch travel retail specialist World of Delights will start operating at Helsinki Airport in May. Its FineFood and souvenir selection includes various Finnish and Nordic products and gifts, such as local meat and fish products, the sweetest Scandinavian confectionary and typical Finnish heroes. World of Delights opens two shops at the airport’s Schengen area during Summer and one shop at Non-Schengen area during fall.

During spring, more Finnish fashion will arrive in the Non-Schengen area when Marimekko opens its second outlet and the watch and jewellery shop Finngold its third at Helsinki Airport in April.

In autumn 2015, the gate area will experience possibly its most visible transformation, when a stunning Pier Zero opens next to Arctic Bar. The two-storey café-restaurant will offer a leisurely break with a treat amid the hustle and bustle of the airport, as well as a magnificent, unrestricted view of the air traffic area.

- Bringing Arctic Bar and Pier Zero to Helsinki Airport is a great honour for us. Finavia is currently renewing the airport and its service selection greatly, and it is great to be so visibly a part of the reform. We hope that passengers enjoy new experiences, leisurely moments and enjoyable flavours at our restaurants before their flights or in-between flights, says Operations Manager Juha Räsänen at HMSHost.

Finavia has commenced an extensive EUR 900 million development programme at Helsinki Airport, with the goal of increasing the transit traffic capacity of the airport and the annual passenger volume to 20 million in 2020. At the same time, Finavia is implementing an extensive service reform at Helsinki Airport which will bring 70 new or revamped shops and restaurants to the airport.

For its part, the service reform supports the entire Finnish economy. At present, commercial operators at Helsinki Airport have invested more than EUR 40 million in the airport, meaning that the appeal of Helsinki Airport has attracted a significant amount of international capital. The new operators are expected to create more than 200 new jobs in Finland.

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