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Commentary: Groundbreaking commercial spatial design and customer insight used in the development of Helsinki Airport

Article published
19.7.2023 at 12:50
Henkilökuva Helsinki-Vantaan kaupallisen liiketoiminnan johtajasta Nora Immosesta
Good commercial customer insight is the starting point for the design of Helsinki Airport’s passenger journeys and terminal facilities. The continuous development of commercial services creates an excellent customer experience and satisfaction at the airport, writes Nora Immonen, Finavia’s Director of Commercial Services for Helsinki Airport.

Year after year, Helsinki Airport continues to be ranked among the best airports in the world. The development of the airport has been recognised internationally. Most recently, in June 2023, Airports Council International (ACI) recognised Helsinki Airport as the Best European Airport of 2023 in its size category. In addition to smooth airport processes, such as security control, Finavia has ambitiously developed its terminal facilities, service offering and commercial services.

Good customer insight is the starting point for the design of Helsinki Airport’s passenger journeys and facilities. Customers’ needs were taken into account from an early stage of the design process. In cooperation with the architects, the terminal and commercial spaces were designed from the very beginning to be profitable. The ease of orientation and findability of the spaces have been taken into consideration to an even greater extent: the visibility of the apron and runways has been increased, which will help people get around in the terminal.

Now there is one main corridor running through Helsinki Airport, along which there is a wide range of commercial areas for entertainment and refreshment. As the old saying goes, “retail is detail”. This is also apparent in the details of the revamped airport’s design.

As a business environment, Helsinki Airport is always changing: consumer behaviour, passenger profiles and popular flight routes change from day to day. Developing commercial services requires foresight and in-depth knowledge of the customer profile. Successful terminal and commercial spaces design identifies different needs and creates opportunities for a wide variety of ways to spend time.

Thanks to careful design work, commercial spaces from restaurants to shops have fallen into place like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The last service and meeting area, which will be completed in autumn 2023, will showcase Finnish entrepreneurship, know-how and design.

Helsinki Airport is a unique marketplace where you need to react quickly to changes in sales and the customer base. Sales competence is a competence that is measured by how well the company responds to feedback from the customer interface and promotes sales.

At Finavia, we work closely with our partners to develop our sales competence, which includes shop location and visibility, product quality and relevance to customers, customer service, sales monitoring and rewarding. I believe that sales success determines the future of every company, also at the airport. Success stories are created in partnership.

Helsinki Airport’s commercial revenues enable many of the investments required at Finavia’s airports, which is why harnessing commercial customer insight as a resource for the development programme has been important. Finavia’s EUR 1 billion investment in Helsinki Airport will be completed in autumn 2023. Our goal is that Helsinki Airport is a source of pride for Finns and that it enables companies to have a competitive and desirable place on the international stage.

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