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Helsinki airport improves services for Chinese passengers

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-31 09:42

HELSINKI - As the number of Chinese passengers traveling to Finland increases, the Helsinki-Vantaa airport has been continuously updating services for Chinese tourists.

The airport has launched a series of services targeting the needs of Chinese passengers such as Chinese-speaking services and Chinese signboards and maps.

Spotted in the airport were two Chinese-speaking service desks in the Schengen area and non-Schengen area respectively. On the side of desk were three blue Chinese characters meaning "I help you", and on top of the desks were piles of Chinese brochures and fact sheets. At least one uniformed staff could be seen standing behind each of the desks, ready to offer help in Chinese.

Some shops have adopted remote translation software. In case a Finnish attendant has problem in communication with a Chinese customer, he or she can open a tablet and turn to the remote translation application.

All stores and restaurants at the airport accept Chinese UnionPay, and some shops have also launched Alipay, the leading third-party mobile and online payment platform in China.

Along the wall of the corridor leading to the waiting lounges Chinese artistic characters denoting "pure", "beautiful", "dream", "love" and "hero" are seen.

Katia Siberg, senior vice-president of Finnish airport operator Finavia, said the paintings were made by Pan Jianfeng, a Chinese designer who blended Chinese and Finnish elements.

At the newly built terminal, some water dispensers are marked with "hot water" in Chinese. Siberg said Europeans are used to drinking cold water, whereas many Chinese prefer hot water. Helsinki airport has installed some water dispensers with hot water supply specifically for the Chinese travelers.

Helsinki is situated on the shortest route from China to Europe, noted Siberg. "China is a very important market for us," she said.

Currently, the Finnish national carrier Finnair runs direct flights between Helsinki and six Chinese cities.

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