– Development of digital services is an important part of our development work. We want to be pioneers, and this will be a huge step for our digital strategy. We are proud that the Helsinki Airport mobile application has been accepted among the first smartwatch applications available in App Store, says Ville Haapasaari, Helsinki Airport Director and SVP of the Finnish airport operator Finavia Corporation.
According to Haapasaari, the development of digital services goes hand in hand with the passengers’ expectations and wishes.
Smart Thinking 2014 Survey, carried out by international air transport organization SITA, states that passengers want their journey to be easier and they are turning to technology to assist them. For instance, 72 percent of passengers would like to receive real-time flight status updates with their mobile devices.
Some of the pre-orderers of Apple Watch will get their hands on the new smartwatch today. The Helsinki Airport smartwatch application will make traveling easier
The Apple Watch application has been designed to guide the departing passenger in various stages of the journey. When the passenger has added their flight into the Helsinki Airport application available for iPhones and iPads, the flight will appear in the watch automatically.
It is possible to check flight information, departure time and gate, the shortest security control queue, the check-in desk, the departure terminal and nearby services from the watch in just a couple of seconds. – The application notifies, for instance, the user when the gate opens and requires just a glance from the user, Haapasaari says.
The airport application is an example of Finnish know how
The application has been designed and created in cooperation with the Finnish company Futurice. – The development process regarding applications for Apple Watch offered us the opportunity to study how services are designed to create genuine extra value for the users, designer Timo Sulanne at Futurice says. The user experience in smartwatches is different from phones and tablets. The display of the watch is very small. Therefore, it is important that the current information is displayed without the need to scroll.
In 2013, Teleforum ry and the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries awarded Finavia as the best operator in its own league that uses mobile services in its operations. The award was granted for the Helsinki Airport application which has been designed and created by Finavia and Futurice.
Finavia’s development programme—worth nearly a billion euros—is in progress at Helsinki Airport. The aim of the programme is to prepare the airport for growing passenger numbers and to secure its position as a competitive, international airline hub. Short transfer times, friendly staff and world-class services are among the strengths of Helsinki Airport.