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What does Helsinki Airport mean to you? We asked the Airport Director, blogger Veera Bianca and three others

Article published
26.11.2020 at 09:42
Helsinki Airport at night time.
We asked five people what Helsinki Airport means to them: the Director of Helsinki Airport, the Mayor of Vantaa, an aircraft captain, the travel blogger Veera Bianca and a customer service representative from Finavia.

“A gate to the world and a gate to Finland for the rest of the world”

“To me, Helsinki Airport is a gate to the world and a gate to Finland for the rest of the world. It’s a place that makes it safe and convenient to start your trip and return home. It’s my workplace, where I get to work together with fantastic and highly committed people in an international environment.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we at Finavia have done our best to make the airport safe for passengers and our staff. We have introduced the latest innovations, such as UVC disinfection and Covid-19 sniffing dogs. We have received a lot of good feedback on these developments and they have even given Finland positive visibility internationally.

We currently have the largest development programme in Finavia’s entire history under way at the Helsinki Airport. When it has been completed, it will strengthen Finland’s competitiveness and provide even smoother departures and arrivals for passengers. Good flight connections are also tremendously significant for me personally. My family has relatives abroad and we hope we can meet with them regularly in the future.”

Ulla Lettijeff,
Airport Director, Helsinki Airport

“Vantaa has roots and wings”

“The airport is the beating heart of the city of Vantaa. Vantaa’s local economy and vitality are strongly linked to the airport. Ensuring that the airport has the necessary conditions for its operations is an important task for us as a city and also a source of pride.

In Vantaa, you can find Finland’s entire history of urbanisation, and the airport represents the story of the city’s international connections. In terms of transport connections, Vantaa is the best place in Finland to live and run a business. The airport area, known as Aviapolis, is the second-largest business hub in Finland, and it is home to 40 per cent of all jobs in Vantaa. It generates four per cent of Finland’s GDP and a significant proportion of Vantaa’s corporate tax revenue.

Helsinki Airport is an engine of the Finnish economy and the position it has established for itself must not be lost. Finland’s appeal has been built on air traffic to a significant degree. Without good flight connections, Finland will not be able to achieve a strong economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. International cooperation is part of my daily work and it would not be possible without good flight connections. Helsinki Airport opens up the entire world to me.

When was I child, our family would drive our small car to Seutula to watch the airplanes. It was so exciting. That feeling has stayed with me through the decades. It still gives me joy to look through the window at City Hall and see planes taking off from the airport.

Vantaa has roots and wings.”

Ritva Viljanen,
Mayor of Vantaa

“My career would be different without good flight connections”

“Helsinki Airport is a source of inspiration for me. It’s also the place where my interest in aviation began when I had a summer job there after I finished upper secondary school in 2002. Every time I go to Helsinki Airport, it brings back positive memories and gives me a good feeling. I may have built my career abroad, but Helsinki Airport is still my home airport.

Good flight connections are very important to me. I’ve been flying aircraft professionally abroad for ten years now, and good connections to Helsinki have made it convenient for me to travel to work and back home again. My career would be different without those connections.”

Tapio Siivola,
Aircraft captain,
Tapio on the move vlog on YouTube

“Helsinki Airport means dreams and freedom”

“To me, Helsinki Airport means dreams and freedom. My earliest childhood memory is from Helsinki Airport. We drove there with my family to pick up my aunt when she was moving back from Israel. I remember taking a nap inside the terminal and wondering what this strange place was.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I took my first international flight. I’ve always felt at home at airports around the world, and I even worked at Helsinki Airport for a few years.

Good flight connections are essential for my work. I also value direct flights because unnecessary stop-overs complicate my schedule and have a negative impact on the environment.

To me, Helsinki Airport means great adventures and big emotions; reunions and good-byes.”

Veera Papinoja
Travel blogger, social media entrepreneur, consultant
Veera Bianca -blog

“A great workplace where we get to witness big emotions”

“Helsinki Airport is very dear to me. I’ve worked here for more than 20 years. I’ve had a great view of the airport’s expansion and the growth of passenger volumes.

I feel very proud when I get to show off Helsinki Airport’s world-class services and fantastic architecture, such as Aukio, the south pier and the west pier. It’s great that we can give this impression of Finland to foreign passengers.

Helsinki Airport has a colorful and international atmosphere. We get to witness big emotions: the excitement of departure, the heartache of separation and the joy of reunion. Every day is different. It’s a rewarding feeling when you manage to help a customer or colleague. In my opinion, the common characteristics of all the people who work at the airport are a heartfelt desire to help, a positive attitude and a hospitable disposition towards everyone.

When I was younger, I worked abroad as a tour guide. Back then, arriving at Helsinki Airport meant coming home. My heart still skips a beat when my flight approaches the airport and I see Helsinki, the runway lights and, finally, the Helsinki Airport sign.

Leila-Marianne Koski
Customer service representative,

People & Aviation