“Helsinki Airport is now more efficient and attractive than ever before,” says Airport Director Ville Haapasaari of Finavia.
Haapasaari says that the new spacious security checkpoint with five new lines, available in Terminal 2, increases the security check capacity by 40%. A total of 23 security check lines now serve travellers. The number of security check personnel has also been increased.
“Starting from Friday, 23 May, the departure procedure goes smoother than ever. Waiting times at security check will be considerably shorter than before during peak hours. We can serve more than 4,100 passengers per hour,” says Haapasaari.
The check-in process has also been improved. Finavia has installed dozens of new check-in machines. A total of 62 check-in machines and 14 bag drop machines are now available to travellers. The terminal already had 76 airline service desks.
According to Haapasaari, automated services are a global trend in air travel. Self-service will allow passengers some flexibility regarding the time they check in, even out rush hour peaks at the airport, and increase the capacity of the terminal.
Efficient airport services reduce the costs incurred to airlines, which helps keep ticket prices in check.
Major service overhaul at Helsinki Airport
In addition to streamlining and improved efficiency, Helsinki Airport is also modifying its service selection. Changes are planned together with partner organisations and based on customer wishes and consumer surveys.
“This is the most extensive service overhaul ever at Helsinki Airport. Approximately 70 new or revamped service points will open at the airport. Most of the changes will take place during 2014,” says Business Director Anne Gullstén of Finavia.
The restaurant selection will gain new variety, and outlets of international top brands will open during the summer. The objective is to respond to the wishes of an increasing, more international traveller base.
New names in the restaurant scene include Grab and Fly, Urban Food Market, Freshly Made, Johan&Nyström and Two Tigers Sushi and Noodle. International fashion is provided by brands such as Hugo Boss, Burberry and Ralph Lauren.
Other top brands with presence at the airport will include Porsche Design, Armani Jeans, Versace Collection, Sunglasses, Bally, Loewe, Etro and Montblanc.
A mobile test laboratory invites travellers to provide feedback
The mobile TravelLab laboratory provides travellers with new experiences. TravelLab can be used to test travellers' suggestions for new airport services. The test results will be used in service design and the development of the traveller experience.
The competition of airlines and travellers between international airports is increasing. The customer experience is becoming a crucial success factor.
“The competition emphasises the importance of interesting services and good customer service. Surveys show that customer satisfaction at Helsinki Airport has improved continuously during recent years. We aim to continue on this trend,” Haapasaari says.
Experiences available to travellers include a traditional Finnish midsummer dance event, pop-up yoga classes and Finnish coffee culture. TravelLab also introduces technical services for testing. These include screens that give passengers tips on what to do at Helsinki Airport.
TravelLab's first service prototypes have been tested by travellers since early May.
Finavia’s development programme builds solid competitive advantage
Last year, Helsinki Airport reached a new record number of travellers, exceeding for the first time the milestone of 15 million travellers. Growth has continued between January and April: the number of travellers has increased by five per cent during that period.
Finavia aims to actively increase air travel from the airport. The S7 and Eurolot airlines have started operations at Helsinki Airport this spring.
The EUR 900 million development programme launched by Finavia at the beginning of the year improves the airport's capacity, services and traffic arrangements. Helsinki Airport is prepared to serve an annual number of 20 million travellers by 2020.
The increased traveller volume will bring approximately 5,000 new permanent jobs to the area within the next six years. The development programme is estimated to bring approximately 14,000 man-years of employment.