“We are very happy that Helsinki Airport’s ranking as the best airport in Northern Europe and as a continuously developing airport has also been noted among the best restaurant business operators. We work hard together with our partners to offer our air passengers as smooth and memorable customer experience as possible also regarding food and beverage selection. We welcome these new restaurant concepts that are unique to our markets to Helsinki Airport. Our more than 20 million annual passengers will offer the restaurants an interesting and international customer base”, says Elena Stenholm, Commercial Director and Vice President of Finavia at Helsinki Airport.
Pia Jormanainen, Managing Director of SSP Finland said: “We are delighted to be investing in these fabulous new restaurants at Helsinki. These are three innovative brands, that are ideally suited to the passenger profile at the airport, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with the team at Finavia to create an even better experience for passengers travelling to and from this fine airport.”
Ajisen Ramen is an international ramen chain restaurant, originating in Kumamoto, Japan. It has over 800 stores worldwide, including over 700 stores in China.
Moomin Coffee is inspired by the Finnish fictional character Moomin, which is popular around the world. The café offers passengers the opportunity to enjoy great food in the relaxed and warm ambiance that is familiar from the storybook’s Moominvalley.
Jamie’s Deli, from the world-famous chef Jamie Oliver is well-suited to today’s fast-paced way of living. The brand is known for its fresh, responsibly-sourced and healthy food.
These new restaurant brands at Helsinki Airport were chosen by the airport operator Finavia through a public tendering process. SSP already operates 11 restaurants, cafés and bars at Helsinki Airport.
“The driving forces of all the restaurants at Helsinki Airport are diversity and quality. As an international airport, we pay attention to the needs and preferences of many different nationalities, while, at the same time, highlighting Finnishness in our choices. Many of the restaurant concepts that we have created in cooperation with the restaurant operators reflect the locality and natural character also in their food selection. Furthermore, the restaurant personnel in the kitchens as well as in the dining rooms has specialised in paying attention to the needs of the air passengers, such as the time limitations”, says Stenholm.
Moomin Coffee attracts Japanese and families
“Moomin Coffee is the world’s first Moomin branded café at an airport. Helsinki Airport is a natural location for the café. The Moomins are particularly popular in Japan, and Helsinki Airport offers the highest number of direct scheduled flight connections to Japan of all European airports, courtesy of Finnair and Japan Airlines,” says Pia Jormanainen. “But families around the world love the Moomins, and all passengers are, naturally, welcome at the Moomin Coffee, just as they are at the Moominhouse dining table.”
The number of Japanese passengers is rapidly growing at Helsinki Airport. In 2017, there were more than 678,000 Japanese passengers, which is almost 16 per cent more than in 2016. A similar growth rate has continued in the beginning of this year.
#LIFEINHEL paved the way for the Asian restaurant Ajisen Ramen
Helsinki Airport has also invested strongly in services targeted at Chinese passengers, for example, in employing team members who speak Chinese, implementing China UnionPay and Alipay, and in a mobile interpreting service. In a campaign called #LIFEINHEL a Chinese man lived at the airport for 30 days last autumn and familiarised himself with the airport and its service selection from the international transfer passenger’s perspective.
“Ajisen Ramen, is both familiar and popular among Asian passengers. The fact that this is the second restaurant in Europe and the first in the Nordic Countries illustrates how Helsinki Airport and its services are continuously being developed with a customer oriented approach. Customer feedback has suggested that there is demand for the type of food offered by Ajisen Ramen that is not currently been met. Since we are seeing a double digit growth rate in the number of passengers, from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea we expect this restaurant to be very well received. It will offer a total of 200 customer seats, and as a nod to the cuisine of Finland, it will serve reindeer ramen”, says Jormanainen.
Freshness, healthiness and local ingredients are Jamie’s Deli’s assets
“Thanks to its world-famous founder Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Deli is already familiar to many air passengers. However, this is the first restaurant in Finland, and the airport is the ideal location for this brand debut. The food offer at Jamie's Deli is based on fresh, local produce and freshly prepared food, a concept that goes hand in hand with Finland's natural environment – the world's best drinking water and pure quality”, explains Jormanainen.
Pictures: SSP Finland
Finavia provides and develops airport services with a focus on safety, customer-orientation and cost efficiency in Finland. Finavia’s comprehensive network of 21 airports enables international connections from Finland — and to areas throughout Finland. Helsinki Airport is the leading Northern European transit airport for long-haul traffic. In 2017, corporate revenue totalled MEUR 374 and the number of employees was 2,700. www.finavia.fi
SSP – The Food Travel Experts, is a leading operator of food and beverage concessions in travel locations worldwide. SSP operates in 140 airports and 280 railway stations in over 30 countries. In addition to 11 cafés and restaurants, SSP Finland operates five kiosks, two lounges and the VIP and congress services at Helsinki Airport. http://www.sspfinland.fi/en/frontpage, www.foodtravelexperts.com