“There are a total of 38 weekly flights from Helsinki Airport to China, and the number of passengers from China has increased by 20 percent this year. We have invested heavily in services particularly targeted for Chinese passengers,” says Joni Sundelin, Airport Director of Helsinki Airport, who is also in charge of Finavia’s route development.
For example, Helsinki Airport shops accept Alipay and ChinaUnion Pay. Chinese-speaking members of Finavia’s staff, the mobile interpretation service Tulka, which is free of charge for passengers and the shops’ personnel, and the airport’s signage in Chinese will help overcome the language barrier. You can browse the airport’s information in Chinese in advance with the Helsinki Airport WeChat, Sina Weibo and Youku social media accounts.
“We are closely monitoring the preferences and customer satisfaction of the Chinese passengers in our airport. Helsinki Airport is a sister airport of the biggest airport in Asia, in Beijing. We are actively exchanging information and competence with each other through employee exchange programmes, for instance,” adds Sundelin.
Special services for Chinese passengers at Helsinki Airport include free-of-charge hot water dispensers, for instance. In April, Finavia announced that several Chinese passengers’ wishes will be fulfilled when the extremely popular fast food restaurant Ajisen Ramen will open its first restaurant in Northern Europe at Helsinki Airport.
World-class flight connections from Finland to China and Asia
The route to Nanjing was made possible by the air services agreement between Finland and China, which was updated in April 2017. In addition to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland was represented in the committee by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, the airport company Finavia and the Finnair airline.
“So far, only Finnair operates flights between Finland and China. Finavia is constantly engaged in negotiations with several Chinese airlines. We hope that we will see a Chinese airline operating at Helsinki Airport soon,” says Sundelin.
The number of direct flights from Helsinki Airport to China is the fifth largest in all of Europe. The total number of weekly flights from Helsinki Airport to Asia is already well over 100. This is more than twice as many as from Copenhagen, Denmark, and significantly more than four times the number of flights from Arlanda, Sweden. Finnair has 97 flights from Helsinki Airport to Asia each week.
Nanjing is already Finnair’s seventh destination in China. It is a busy commercial and cultural centre, with increasing demand for travel and freight connections to Europe. Other Finnair destinations in China from Helsinki Airport are Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an.
This June will mark the 30th anniversary of Finnair’s first route from Helsinki Airport to Beijing.