“We get many suggestions for activities and improvements from our passengers. Finnish culture and nature seem to be things people would like to experience while at the airport. Midsummer, as a popular and quintessentially Finnish celebration is a great opportunity for our passengers to experience both,” says Ville Haapasaari, Helsinki Airport Director at Finavia Corporation.
The Midsummer festivities organised at Helsinki Airport gate area 32-40 are a part of TravelLab, an initiative started by the Finnish airport operator Finavia to pilot and test potential new services in practice. Throughout TravelLab, passenger feedback is collected to determine whether the pilots should be implemented as permanent services at Helsinki Airport.
During the week leading up to midsummer, which is celebrated 20-21 June, passengers will get the opportunity to take part in flower garland workshops, where they can make their own flowers and garlands using craft supplies provided by TravelLab staff, donning national dress for the occasion.
At the gate area, decorated by a maypole, passengers can also get a taste of Finnish superfoods, including wild berries, fresh peas and berry juices and smoothies. On Wednesday, 18 June, passengers can step out in classic Finnish style in a traditional midsummer dance session.
The Midsummer celebrations are the last service piloted in the first stage of TravelLab, which has been running from mid-May. Services piloted so far have included airport yoga sessions, animal footprint guides for children, the #selfiefromHEL photowall and Gate Roastery, a mobile coffee-vending station offering Finnish coffee from a boutique Helsinki-based roastery.
TravelLab schedule for Midsummer week
18 June Midsummer dance session in the afternoon, Gate Roastery from 2 pm to 5 pm
19 June Flower workshop at gate 35 from 11 am to 1 pm, Gate Roastery from 2 pm to 5 pm
20 June Gate Roastery from 6 am to 8 am
TravelLab is part of Helsinki Airport Development Program
Helsinki Airport is expected to have 20 million passengers each year in the early 2020s. The development programme will be carried out between 2014 and 2020 and the focus will be on increasing check-in and transit travel capacity and on improving traffic arrangements and airport services.