Employee exchange program to enhance service for Chinese passengers at Finnish airports

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Left: Beijing Capital International Airport in China

Employees from Finnish airport operator Finavia will spend two weeks visiting Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) this month (October) to learn more about Chinese service culture. Beijing airport staff will, in turn, visit Helsinki Airport during spring 2017 to learn about Finnish customs.

The staff exchange program is part of a cooperation agreement signed earlier this year between Finavia and Chinese airport operator Capital Airports Holding Company (CAH) to help create stronger ties between Helsinki and Beijing Capital International airports.

Finavia launched a Chinese-speaking guide service in June 2016 at Helsinki Airport and in only two months, more than 20,000 Chinese passengers have used the service. The operator also provided Helsinki Airport staff with cultural courses.

Kaarina Soikkanen, director of administration and personnel, Finavia, said, “It is fantastic for our staff to visit the world’s second largest airport and to see its day-to-day work and practices first-hand.

“Our staff will participate in practical tasks in several units and get to learn Chinese service culture and the needs of Chinese passengers from varying points of view. We hope to bring home new insights and practical skills on how we can better serve Chinese passengers at Helsinki Airport and our other airports, for example in Lapland.

Ville Haapasaari, Helsinki Airport director, Finavia, said, “Our aim is to make our Chinese passengers’ visit as easy and smooth as possible. One of the main challenges has been the language barrier, as not all Chinese tourists speak English.

“Our airport staff have an admirable service attitude. Many have studied different cultures independently in order to serve different nationalities the best possible way. A big part of our success is because of our airport staff.”

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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