A new pier has opened at Finland’s Helsinki Airport, with five jet bridges, 13,000m² (140,000ft²) of additional space, two new restaurants, a premium-class lounge and a new child care room.
The West Pier will raise Helsinki Airport’s long-haul flight services to an unprecedented level, according to operator Finavia.
“The opening of Helsinki Airport’s West Pier comes at a very good time, as Finnair’s successful Asian strategy continues to increase the number of transfer passengers at our airport. In addition, there will be flights operated by the two new Chinese carriers signed by our route development team – Tibet Airlines and Juneyao Air,” said Joni Sundelin, executive director of Helsinki Airport at Finavia.
The design ideas for the spacious and bright West Pier draw on a nature theme.
“Wall surfaces are decorated using 9m-tall (30ft) wooden reliefs made from Finnish birch. The three-dimensional surfaces convey the mood of fluttering foliage and old wood-shingled roofs,” explained Tuomas Silvennoinen, head designer, PES-Architects.
The tree-like charging stations for mobile devices and the large luminaires made from translucent plywood also evoke images of Finland’s magnificent nature.
Among the new services in the long-haul area is the Plaza Premium Lounge, open to all passengers on payment of an entrance fee. The West Pier also features Finland’s first Jamie Oliver restaurant, Jamie’s Deli. Moomin Coffee, the world’s first Moomin-themed airport café, designed especially for Moomin fans and families with children, has already opened. Both new restaurants are operated by SSP Finland.
The opening of the West Pier is part of a larger Finavia investment program at Helsinki Airport. Scheduled to last about eight years, the €1bn (US$1.12bn) project aims to strengthen the airport’s competitive position and ensure Finland’s accessibility.
An extension project aimed at the development of transfer passenger capacity will be completed by the end of this year. July will see the opening of new premises for border control, and the second phase of the West Pier, including the extension of the baggage handling facilities, will be completed by December.
Other ongoing projects include the improvement of the level of service for Schengen flights and the construction of a new entrance to Terminal 2.