The World Duty Free Group (WDFG) will start shop operations at Helsinki Airport following a deal with Finavia, the operator of Finnish airports. WDFG is establishing a Finnish subsidiary and is committed to making substantial investments in the development of the shops it operates at the airport. About 50 Finavia employees will transfer as existing employees to WDFG’s Finnish subsidiary.
The first World Duty Free shops at Helsinki Airport will be opened in spring 2014, after which Finavia will no longer have shop operations of its own at the airport. “The goal is to seek better service, new brands and an appealing product range. We will also introduce other special shops in cooperation with the new operator,” says Anne Gullstén, Director at Finavia.
Europe’s gateway to Asia
According to José María Palencia Saucedo, CEO of World Duty Free Group, during the next 20 years half of the growth of the world air traffic will come from flights to or from the Asia Pacific region. “We are delighted to have won this opportunity to operate at Helsinki Airport. Its unique geographical location – the shortest route between Europe and Asia – makes Helsinki Airport the main European gateway to Asia with over 1.8 million of passenger on Asian flights in 2012,” he says.
Finavia is launching an extensive development programme at Helsinki Airport as it prepares to serve 20 million passengers in the early 2020s. “We know we can create a first world-class airport shopping environment here and we look forward to working closely with our partners at Finavia to take travel retail to the next level for its passengers,” says José María Palencia Saucedo.