Business Traveller provides an exclusive preview of the facilities at Helsinki airport’s new Terminal 2 extension
Helsinki-Vantaa airport’s Terminal 2 extension is now complete and opens today (December 11) for long-haul passengers. It sports a new 1,000 sqm lounge that seats 250 passengers, and a 600 sqm spa, both with runway views.
The Finnair-operated lounge is open to business class passengers as well as top-tier Oneworld and Finnair Plus members for free. The spa is free only for Finnair Plus Platinum cardholders, with a charge of €45 for all other passengers. Entry to the lounge can also be purchased for €45, or €70 for both facilities.
The Via lounge and Via spa are located between Gates 36 and 37 at the far end of T2. The spacious and artistically lit lounge (open 6am-12am) has a variety of seating areas for working or relaxing, free wifi, European plug sockets in some armchairs, three Mac computers and Samsung LED TVs.
There are also six private shower suites for those not using the spa, and an extensive food and beverage area. A wine bar stocks vintage champagnes, wines and special cognacs, at a price. For example, a glass of Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin Brut, Pommery Wintertime Blanc de Noirs or Lanson Brut Rose costs €16, and Krug Grande Cuvee is €37. Hennessy Paradis (4cl) costs €45, Gordon's Gin (4cl) costs €5.80, Johnnie Walker Red Label (4cl) costs €6.50. The only free alcohol available is wine and and beer on tap.
The spa is located just behind the lounge and is open 10am-10pm, with treatments available 12pm-6pm. Facilities include a steam room, four saunas, a stone bath (like a normal steam room except hot stones are plunged into cold water to create the steam), Rasul for mud skin peels, a mineral water pool, and loungers facing the runway – the lower parts of the windows are blacked out so people can’t see in.
Treatments are designed to combat the side effects of flying and last ten to 25 minutes on average (costing €25-€55). Spa pioneer Paul Haslaver said: “Airport spas are totally different – we can never say no. If ten or 20 people come we have to be able to offer them a treatment. For example, passengers on long flights are sitting for a long time so they might have problems with circulation, such as heavy legs, so we have designed special treatments for them.”
The spa and lounge, which have been developed jointly by Finnair, Finavia, which maintains Finland’s network of airports, and airport catering company SSP Finland, are available for departing and transiting passengers going to non-Schengen destinations. Travellers from Manchester or London arriving at T2 can use the facilities on arrival before going through passport control.
With Finnair working hard to promote the Great Circle Route via Helsinki as the best way to get to Asia from Europe, and from New York to Indian destinations such as Delhi, it hopes that the €143 million it has invested in the terminal extension will make its offering even more competitive.
The three-floor extension, which initially opened in September prior to completion, offers eight passenger bridges for wide-bodied aircraft (A330s, A340s and A350s), plus the My City Helsinki restaurant, retail outlets and a new baggage handling system.
Samuli Haapasalo, president and CEO of Finavia, said: “When planning the new extension, we focused on experiential services and travel efficiency, and a high level of expertise has been the hallmark of its construction.”
Visit finnair.com for more information.
Report by Jenny Southan
Check back on Monday for photographs of the new Finnair lounge and spa facilities at Helsinki Vantaa. In the mean time, here's an artist's impression...