“Helsinki Airport has already been in the elite class of airports for almost 20 years. The Skytrax award is proof of the high level of the airport’s operations and services,” says Ville Haapasaari, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Director from Finavia.
Finavia’s objective is that the position of Helsinki Airport among the most popular transfer airports in Europe will continue to strengthen as the airport prepares to serve 20 million annual passengers by year 2020. The EUR 900-million development programme currently underway aims to preserve the strengths of Helsinki Airport. Short transfer times, friendly staff and world-class services will stay the same although passenger volumes increase.
Haapasaari wants to warmly thank the entire airport staff. According to him, the award is based on the good work done by around 15,000 people employed by different companies at the airport. Day and night, they make sure that customers are served with a smile, airport operations run smoothly and services function in all situations.
Over a third want experiences and pampering
In addition to international airport comparisons, diverse customer surveys are a significant part of Finavia’s work in developing the airports. Last year, eight different surveys were carried out at Helsinki Airport.
Data was gathered, for instance, by organising surveys in the terminal, with in-depth interviews, mystery shopping and also with real-time data collection devices. Data is gathered on travel destinations and passenger types, among other things. Also, subjects such as the development of travel, passenger behaviour as well as needs and satisfaction at the airport are researched.
“According to the surveys, passengers can be divided into four groups: those interested in experiences and pampering themselves (34%), passengers who appreciate quick and efficient service (26%), routine passengers (22%), and passengers seeking a sense of safety who appreciate familiarity and clarity (18%),” says Haapasaari.
Based on the results of different passenger surveys, the needs of the target groups will be taken into account when developing services.
“This year, we are charting the needs and wishes of so-called frequent flyers. A total of 33 percent of the passengers of Helsinki Airport are frequent flyers,” states Haapasaari.
Finavia also studies the commercial behaviour of passengers. This has revealed that there are great differences between nationalities. Typically, the largest purchases at the Helsinki Airport are carried out by Chinese and Russian passengers.
Background information on the Skytrax survey
Passengers voted for the airport they considered best in the Skytrax survey. They evaluated the functionality and quality of airport services with almost 40 indicators, all the way from check-in to the departure gate. The evaluated fields include security control, connecting flights, passport control and shopping.
Skytrax is an independent no-profit organisation that has carried out the World Airport Survey since 1999. The organisation does not receive external funding or any financing from airports or other parties. The award is based on ratings by passengers.
Between June 2015 and February 2016 a total of 13.25 million people responded to the survey. The respondents represented 106 different nationalities. The survey featured 550 airports around the world.
The Singapore Changi was chosen as world’s best airport and Münich the best in Europe. Helsinki Airport is the best airport in Northern Europe.