Finavia reveals that retaining a strong Finnish feel in terms of its F&B offerings will be a key focus as it enhances the airport's growing, and ever more international, range of commercial services.
It believes the philosophy will strengthen the sales of domestic products through the international airport operators and enable them access to global airport markets.
"The starting point for our commercial operations is that, regardless of the supply becoming more international, the Finnish feel will remain a strong part of the overall experience," says Finavia's vice president Jukka Isomäki, who is responsible for commercial operations at Helsinki Airport.
"We can differentiate ourselves from the competitors with the Finnish feel and Finnish products. At the same time, we can increase sales of domestic products through foreign operators.
"The situation is also favourable in the sense that being a part of the range offered by international operators also opens a door for domestic products in international airport markets."
Weather-related experiences at roofless outdoor terrace
One of the newest restaurants opened at Helsinki Airport is the Arctic Bar operated by HMSHost.
The speciality of the bar, located at Gate 29, is its roofless outdoor terrace, where departing and transit passengers get to go outside and feel the Finnish weather as it is – whether that means snow, sleet, rain or sunshine.
The idea came from wanting to offer transit passengers at Helsinki Airport a small piece of authentic Finland.
Arctic Cocktails, such as the fell-inspired Tunturi Tonic or a frosty Kuura Julep, can be enjoyed at the Arctic Bar, which also offers also Arctic Bites such as salads, sandwiches and finger food.
Wine tasting and tapas the Finnish way
At the same time, the classic Wine & View bar operated by SSP at Helsinki Airport has undergone a complete transformation, which according to Finavia, ensures that a more stylish and spacious wine bar now awaits passengers at Gate 26.
"Customers can get a flavour of the nobility of the world of wine present from our wine cellar with taster portions," says Jussi Laakso, SSP Finland's operation and marketing director.
Nordic Kitchen and World of Delights
Finavia promises that the selection of restaurants in the Non-Schengen area of Helsinki Airport will grow during May, with the opening of the Nordic Kitchen restaurant.
The menu with Nordic flavours includes Scandinavian classics, such as Toast Skagen and delicious servings of meat and fish.
In addition, Dutch travel retail specialist World of Delights will open at Helsinki Airport next month.
During spring, more Finnish fashion will also arrive in the Non-Schengen area when Marimekko opens its second outlet and the watch and jewellery shop Finngold its third at Helsinki Airport.
Pier Zero finalises renewal of gate area
Meanwhile in the autumn 2015, the gate area will experience possibly its most visible transformation, when Pier Zero opens next to Arctic Bar.
Finavia claims that the two-storey café-restaurant will "offer a leisurely break with a treat amid the hustle and bustle of the airport, as well as a magnificent, unrestricted view of the air traffic area".
The Helsinki experience
Finavia's decision to revamp Helsinki's retail/F&B offering will lead to 70 new or revamped shops and restaurants opening at the airport.
To date the commercial operators at Helsinki Airport have invested more than €40 million in the airport and the new outlets are expected to create more than 200 new jobs.
The retail/F&B upgrade coincides with Finavia's €900 million development programme at Helsinki Airport, which utimtately, is designed to raise the gateway's capacity to 20mppa by 2020.