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Finnair to launch facial recognition technology at Helsinki Airport

Finnair to launch facial recognition technology at Helsinki Airport

Finnair and Finavia, together with Futurice, will test the use of face recognition technology for the check-in process of Finnair flights at Helsinki Airport.

During the test period taking place between now and May 23rd, the companies will gather information on the usability of face recognition technology in an airport environment, and the systems and processes used by the airline.

Finnair has invited a group of 1,000 frequent flyers to take part in the test.

“Face recognition technology could simplify and speed up the departure process from the customer’s point of view, and eliminate the need for a boarding pass,” said Sari Nevanlinna, head of ground experience and ancillary at Finnair.

“This test will give us information on the usability of face recognition technology for our processes, and the impact it has on the customer experience.”


Finnair customers taking part in the trial will use an application to upload their face portraits to the face recognition system. When checking in to their flights, customers will use a designated check-in desk, where the technology is installed.

A customer service agent will then check each customer’s travel information and indicate in the system if the face recognition was successful.

“We want to make air travel flow even smoother and be involved in further developing the customer experience,” said Heikki Koski, vice president of Helsinki Airport for Finavia.

“Facial recognition is part of the larger megatrend of biometric recognition, and it will enable travelling where you no longer need any travel documents.

“When all travel-related information is digitised, it takes less time and is easier to get through the checkpoints at the airport.

“Last year, we tested facial recognition technology at the employee security control and the results were very encouraging.”

The system used in the test is provided by Futurice, and built using widely available hardware and software as well as cloud-based services, with a strong focus on the customer experience.

In line with Finnair’s growth strategy, the airline recently announced an increase in Airbus A350 XWB services between London Heathrow and Helsinki to a daily operation.

The A350 offers long haul comfort between the two capital cities and enables increased passenger and cargo capacity on the route.