Finavia invests in digital services for Chinese passengers.
Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group at Helsinki Airport. Being able to use a familiar payment method will further improve their service experience at the airport. Helsinki Airport is among the first airports in Europe to enable AliPay.
The first commercial operators at Helsinki Airport adopted the Chinese AliPay mobile payment application in December 2016.
"Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group at Helsinki Airport, and the group that use the most money. We work hard to offer them the best possible service experience. Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers," says Finavia's Elena Stenholm, director of commercial services at Helsinki Airport.
Helsinki Airport is among the first airports in Europe to enable AliPay. "As far as we know, the only other airports accepting AliPay are Munich and Frankfurt. Seven commercial service points have now adopted it at Helsinki Airport, and many others are interested. China UnionPay is already available at most airport outlets," Stenholm says.
AliPay can now be used to pay at the airport’s Iittala, M-Box, Finspiration, Lindroos and Moomin shop outlets. Finavia's intent is to have all airport's commercial operators accepting AliPay.
"We work in close cooperation with our commercial partners to develop the customer experience. AliPay has been received very well, and we encourage businesses to enable it. If the biggest commercial operators at the airport come along, the amount of outlets accepting AliPay will increase tenfold at once," Stenholm says.
AliPay is a part of world’s largest online trading company Alibaba. AliPay is China's leading mobile payment giant which has approximately 400 million users according to its own website.
Chinese passengers a high priority for Finavia
Helsinki Airport has seen a sharp increase in the number of Chinese passengers in recent years. The number of Chinese passengers is expected to continue increasing for both transfer connections and overnight stays in Finland.
In Finland, Lapland is a particular attraction for Chinese tourists. Alibaba’s travel service provider AliTrip has announced that it will bring 50,000 Chinese tourists to Rovaniemi during 2017.
Finavia has responded by bringing Chinese-speaking service guides to Helsinki Airport and by adding signs in Chinese. In autumn 2016, the staff exchange program between Finavia and Beijing Airport helped increase knowledge of the Chinese service culture and the needs of Chinese travellers.
Helsinki Airport has an account Chinese social media channel Weibo. A WeChat account will be opened in 2017. Weibo has approximately 300 million and WeChat more than 800 million active monthly users.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.