Helsinki Airport pavilion was opened in 1969. The same year, the airport's first restaurant, now called Fly Inn, was opened for passengers.
The number of passengers at Helsinki Airport has since grown from one to nearly 17 million, and the needs of passengers have become more diverse. However, Fly Inn has continued to serve passengers in its original location to this very day.
Now, Fly Inn has undergone a transformation. The renewed restaurant will open on Saturday, 17 December 2016.
Breakfast buffet and Finland's leading restaurants
As the look & feel of Fly Inn changes, so does its menu.
Fly Inn Featuring meals have been designed with Finland's leading restaurants.
- For example, we will offer a breakfast buffet in the style of a boutique hotel, consisting of carefully selected Finnish tastes, says Jussi Laakso, director of marketing and business development at SSP Finland, the operator of Fly Inn.
Other new features include the Fly Inn Featuring meals offered alongside the classic meals, such as grilled salmon and reindeer burger. These have been designed with Finland's leading restaurants.
Ravinteli Bertha: bringing fun dining to the airport
The first restaurant guest at Fly Inn will be Ravinteli Bertha, selected as the best restaurant in Tampere many years in a row. Its restaurateurs Mika Roito and Pekka Salmela highlight the unique tastes of the awarded restaurant at Fly Inn until Spring 2017.
Roito and Salmela describe Bertha as relaxed, easy and original. Instead of fine dining the men want to talk about fun dining.
"We welcome you as you are: whether you are wearing shorts, sweatpants or a suit."
- We want to provide our customers an amazing restaurant experience in a relaxed environment. We welcome you as you are: whether you are wearing shorts, sweatpants or a suit. When designing the Fly Inn menu we have taken the airport environment into account. The food can be prepared in a rather short time, and our dessert can be enjoyed also as take away, they say.
- Cooperation with Fly Inn is absolutely great. It shows that we have done something right over the years. This is a great possibility to introduce our food philosophy at Finland's most international arena, Roito and Salmela say.
Established in 2010, Ravinteli Bertha prefers Finnish ingredients. The meat is almost without exception from Finland. The bread grains and rye are from an organic farmer.
- We don't want to make a big deal about the local and organic ingredients. From day one Bertha has been about offering good food in a laid-back environment. Quality ingredients are a natural part of this, they say.
Service overhaul at Helsinki Airport
The range of restaurants and shops at Helsinki Airport has changed almost completely during the past two years. Currently, there are 70 new or modernised shops, cafés and restaurants.
"Fly Inn's success in the HelsinkiMenu competition has not at least reduced the attraction of food lovers."
- In recent years, tens of new restaurants have been opened at Helsinki Airport. However, Fly Inn has been able to maintain its popularity among passengers. Its continuous success in the HelsinkiMenu competition has not at least reduced the attraction of food lovers towards the restaurant. We are delighted to welcome the leading Finnish restaurant guests at the airport, says Elena Stenholm, vice president at Finavia in charge of commercial services at Helsinki Airport.
Fly Inn design brings together Finnish nature, artisanal culture, internationalism and modernism. Carefully selected vintage elements reflect the restaurant's history as the oldest restaurant at the airport.
The new look has been designed by design agency Amerikka. The same agency has designed Helsinki Airport's wine bar Wine & View awarded as the world's best airport wine bar in 2016 in the international FAB Awards.
Image: Bertha's Mika Roito (left) and Pekka Salmela (center) and Fly Inn's chef Mikko Isoniemi (right).