According to Airport Council International (ACI), the annual expenses incurred by European airports are around EUR 4 billion higher than the service fees paid by airlines. For this reason, airports increasingly depend on income from commercial services for passengers.
Income from airport shops and restaurants is used to finance the air traffic infrastructure. Many airports have a strong need to increase their commercial income.
"We want Helsinki Airport to be able to develop and remain an attractive and competitive option for airlines."
- We want Helsinki Airport to be able to develop and remain an attractive and competitive option for airlines. We have to further enhance its role as an interesting and lucrative place of business, so that we attract the best commercial players, says Elena Stenholm, VP, Commercial Services at Helsinki Airport, Finavia.
The ACI Europe Airport Commercial & Retail Conference in Helsinki in spring 2016 will bring together managers and decision-makers representing European airports, airport operators, retailers and brands. Its key themes include commercial services at airports and the increasing importance of the income from such services.
- The conference will discuss best practices in the field, and we will be able to make use of them in our operations as well. We will also have an opportunity to attract the best commercial players to Helsinki Airport and support the brand of Finland by marketing our country as a multifaceted destination, says Stenholm.
Combining commercial services with experiences
Finavia has strongly renewed the selection of commercial services at Helsinki Airport. During the past two years, nearly 70 new or renewed shops, cafés and restaurants have been opened at the airport.
"Helsinki Airport development is guided by a customer-focused approach, high service level, smooth passenger processes, and commercial services combined with experiences."
Hosting the conference is an acknowledgement for Finavia of its strong customer focus and the recognition it enjoys in the field of air traffic in Europe.
- The development of Helsinki Airport, along with a growing number of other airports, is guided by a customer-focused approach, a high level of service, smooth passenger processes, and experiences as part of commercial services for passengers. We were selected to host the conference, which shows that our efforts to renew our commercial selection have been noticed and are appreciated, says Stenholm.
For example, passengers can enjoy a quick make-up session and a hand massage at Beauty Store at Helsinki Airport. The roofless terrace at Arctic Bar enables transfer passengers to experience what snowflakes and freezing weather feel like on the skin.
Finavia is a wanted event host
Finavia has gained a strong position as an organiser of major international aviation events.
In October 2015, Finavia hosted the CAPA World Aviation World Summit for commercial aviation managers. In February 2015, the Winter Operations and Airside Safety Europe (WOASE) conference attracted almost 150 participants from more than ten countries to Helsinki Airport.
In April 2016, Finavia will host the ACI Europe Airport Commercial & Retail Conference in Helsinki.
Established in 1991, ACI Europe is an organisation of airport operators that represents more than 450 European airports. It organises aviation events around Europe annually.
Towards the year 2020
The service renewal at Helsinki Airport is based on a need to develop the range of services to better meet the varied needs of the increasing number of passengers.
The development programme is worth EUR 900 million. Its aim is to strengthen the position of Helsinki Airport in the international competition between airports and as a significant airline hub between Europe and Asia.
An internationally competitive airport is important for the well-being of Finland as a whole, as it helps the country maintain good flight connections for Finns to all destinations around the world.
Starting at the beginning of 2016, the terminal expansion project will enable Helsinki Airport to serve 20 million passengers annually from 2020.