Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group at Helsinki Airport, where they are able to use a familiar payment method which will further improve their service experience.
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, with familiar and easy payment options which increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers,” says Finavia's Elena Stenholm, director of commercial services at Helsinki Airport.
“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 continues.
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 the airport's commercial operators accepting AliPay.
“We work in close cooperation with our commercial partners to develop the customer experience and AliPay has been received very well, we encourage businesses to enable it,” adds Stenholm. “If the biggest commercial operators at the airport come along, the amount of outlets accepting AliPay will increase tenfold at once.”
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 are 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 a Chinese social media channel Weibo, and a WeChat account which will be opened in this year. Weibo has approximately 300 million and aliWeChat more than 800 million active monthly users.
Helsinki Airport is the leading hub for air traffic between Europe and Asia and offers the fastest and shortest route between the continents.