Helsinki airport, Chinese, China, routes, service, social media, hot water, alipay, unionpay, guides, language, help, wechat, youku, Sina Weibo

Finnish airports enhance service for Chinese

Free envelopes with discounts and New Year wishes are just the tip of the iceberg.

During February, passengers from Asia are being welcomed at Helsinki Airport with bright red envelopes. The airport’s Chinese speaking guides are handing out the envelopes, which contain discounts and wishes for the Year of the Dog 2018.

Airport operator Finavia says this is one example of how it continues its long-term development work to improve its customer experience for its ever-increasing numbers of Asian visitors, especially as the number of routes to China increase.

The numbers of Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists have increased rapidly in Finland in recent years. In 2017, nearly 500,000 air passengers from China and over 675,000 from Japan arrived at Finavia’s airports.

“Of all of the airports in Europe, Helsinki offers the most direct connections to Japan, and the fifth most to China”, says Finavia’s director of marketing and communications Katja Siberg.

“Lapland’s rising popularity as a tourist destination has also considerably increased the numbers of Asian passengers. Finland is a central hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia.”

Real-time interpreting
Helsinki has direct connections to 140 international and 20 domestic destinations, making it an important hub for transfer passengers.

The airport started out with signs in various languages, then added Chinese-speaking guides and customer service staff, and now offers its stores and restaurants a real-time mobile interpretation service.

The services are also introduced in Chinese on the airport’s WeChat and Sina Weibo social media accounts, as well as on the Youku channel, which is similar to YouTube.

Asian passengers’ shopping at the airport is made easier by UnionPay and Alipay. According to the Alibaba Alizila website, Finland is becoming Europe’s first “all Alipay” destination, where Chinese tourists can pay for their shopping with a mobile application without a credit card or cash.

Meanwhile, Helsinki is a sister airport to Asia’s largest hub, Beijing Airport – a collaboration that has, for example, resulted in employee exchanges between Finland and China. It has also resulted in “a good dose of understanding for the Chinese service culture and the needs of Chinese passengers”, such as hot water vending machines.

Related stories

Helsinki: even more China routes

#LIFEINHEL social media experiment a “success”

Helsinki Airport breaks new record


Check Also

Scandic Helsinki Airport, open, Helsinki, cell, meeting, jail, prison, Finland, MICE, forest, police, operations

Hold a meeting in a former airport jail cell

At the just-opened Scandic Helsinki Airport, the meeting rooms used to be cells for the airport police.

United, flight, pet, dog, overhead, bin, compartment, USA, Houston, New York, apology, crew, attendant

Dog dies in aircraft overhead compartment

United Airlines apologises after a flight attendant insists the dog should travel in the compartment.

Helsinki Airport, management, HEL, director, Finavia, appointment, Joni Sundelin, Ville Haapasaari, port, airport, head, chief

Helsinki Airport gets a new director

Joni Sundelin has been appointed from within the Finnish airport operator Finavia.

SynXis, Sabre, Cendyn, hospitality, business, service, CRM, management, technology, personalised, guests

Sabre enhances “single source of truth” hotel tech

The travel tech company teams up with a customer relationship solutions provider to intensify personalised service.

Norwegian, complaint, Facebook, airlines, respond, poem, fee, name change, ticket, service

Norwegian replies to poetic complaint with a poem

The airline has been praised on social media for its response to a rhyming complaint.

Helsinki airport, HEL, business travel, best airports, Copenhagen, Oulu, food, security, speed

Helsinki best airport in world – according to Finns

Around 550 Finnish business travellers are asked what their favourite airports are and why.