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The Airport Wine Bar of the Year comes from Helsinki

In the international and highly esteemed contest for restaurant services at airports, Finavia was ranked in two categories. Helsinki Airport’s Wine & View received the award for Airport Wine Bar of the Year. In addition, Helsinki Airport got an honourable mention for the transformation of the Airport F&B offering. For Finavia, the rankings are international recognition of a successfully implemented commercial service renewal at Helsinki Airport.

The FAB Awards (Food and Beverage Awards) is a highly regarded, international restaurant service contest that annually presents awards to operators at airports and railway stations for innovative and successful restaurant and café concepts.

The finals of the contest were held in Geneva on Thursday 30 June. The wine bar Wine & View at Helsinki Airport was victorious in the category “Airport Wine Bar of the Year”. According to the jury, the breadth of selection, especially regarding wines sold by the glass, trendy design of the restaurant, and popularity among customers were the factors ensuring the victory went to Wine & View. The wine bar is operated by SSP.

In addition, Helsinki Airport got an honourable mention for “Great Transformation of Airport F&B offering", F&B referring to food and beverages. The reasoning behind the mention included the wide coverage of the transformation in which tens of restaurants were renewed as well as the new business locations that were created.

“This feels amazing. We have worked hard to renew the food and beverage selection at Helsinki Airport. With our international and local partners, we have opened more than 30 new or reformed cafés and restaurants at the airport. In addition to local concepts, we have added several global brands that have had a successful launch in Finland. The victory shows that the comprehensive renewal of our services has been very successful”, says Elena Stenholm, Vice President at Finavia, Commercial Services of Helsinki Airport.

In addition to Wine & View, the café and restaurant services of Finavia airports also qualified for the finals in three additional categories. The nominees were Nordic Kitchen, in the category “Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year”, and Rovaniemi Café from Rovaniemi Airport, in the category ”Best Reflecting Sense of Place”. Moreover, Helsinki Airport was nominated in the “Food & Beverage Offer of the Year” category, in which the food and beverage selections of airports are compared in a comprehensive manner.

According to Stenholm, locality and freshness are the competitive assets of Helsinki Airport.

“Finnishness and fresh ingredients are the foundation of our renewed food and beverage selection. The airport currently offers, for instance, fresh bread baked from sourdough right there at the airport, food made from ingredients produced by local smallholding producers, and high-quality Finnish microbrews. The sushi and freshly squeezed juices, among other things, are always made from fresh ingredients that very day”, says Stenholm.

Helsinki Airport fascinates international operators
In 2013, Finavia started the most extensive service renewal in the history of Helsinki Airport. It has brought a number of significant international businesses to the airport, supporting its growth into a leading airport for connecting flights in traffic between Europe and Asia. They also bring a considerable amount of foreign capital and new jobs to Finland.

“In the past few years, Helsinki Airport has become a leading trade centre in its industry and an attractive location for global operators. As a token of this, in the spring 2016 we received the international Skytrax Award as the best airport in Northern Europe, among other things. All in all, the investments of international operators in Finavia airports total tens of millions of euros. The service renewal has also created hundreds of new jobs at Helsinki Airport”, says Stenholm.

At Helsinki Airport, restaurant services are produced by HMSHost and SSP, two of the largest airport restaurant operators in the world. The Duty Free and Retail operator Dufry also operates at the airport. In connection with the renewal, a total of about 70 new or renewed service points were opened at the airport.

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