Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
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Helsinki Airport (HEL) at 9.26pm on a summer’s night is a barren albeit pristine place.
Almost all the stores and food & beverage outlets are closed despite there being 15 flights between now and 01.25 after which there is a four-hour hiatus until the next one. Passengers are patiently whiling away the hours until their flights, enjoying the slightly surreal experience of broad daylight late into the Finnish night.
I’ve set up an Interim Bureau in the Finnair lounge, my home until my flight to Hong Kong in the early hours of Friday. It has a nice, relaxed, emphatically Finnish vibe (and some interesting wines), some decent buffet food (I guess this is the Nordic HEL’s kitchen) and I don’t even have the hassle of having to go through security again. As transit airports go, HEL is heaven.
My sojourn to the UK is over, a welcome chance to catch up with kids (all now of the adult kind), grandkids and several of my work colleagues. But my life, my wife and my heart are in Hong Kong these days and I am looking forward to an extended stint living out of my home rather than out of a suitcase.
The need to turn around a near-3,000 word interview conducted just this morning before I flew out from London this afternoon meant I only got a fleeting glance at the Heathrow commercial offer. However, from what I saw business is in an encouragingly robust state compared to the stark scenes I witnessed on my previous annual returns in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The Heathrow commercial team, led by Fraser Brown, are a class lot and they deserve the good times that are now following, as Dickens would have it, the worst of times.