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Finnair launches new flight services for China

07/07/2015| 6:10:16 PM|

Finnair plans to launch the Airbus A350 into the market in September, making Finnair the first airline to operate this aircraft in China.

The Finland Visa Application Center was officially opened in Beijing and Shanghai in May in order to meet the growing demand of Chinese tourists.

In the first two months of 2015, overnight stays by Chinese visitors in Finland grew by 33 percent year on year. Specifically in Lapland, the Northern part of Finland, the growth was more than 100 percent compared with last year.

Finnair, the largest airline in Finland, is catching up with the Chinese market by raising its game in terms of quality and service.

To mark the 65-year diplomatic relations between China and Finland, Finnair plans to launch the Airbus A350 into the market in September, making Finnair the first airline to operate this aircraft in China.

For six years in a row, Finnair has been ranked by in-flight research services provider Skytrax as the best airline in Northern Europe.

Finnair entered the Chinese market as the first European airline in 1988, when the idea of traveling overseas was beyond the thoughts of most Chinese people.

As the pioneer and witness of the international airline industry in China, Finnair is staying ahead of the pack and making new steps in world transport.

Currently, Finnair flies daily to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Finnair also has flights to Chongqing and Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.

Lars Olofsson, Greater China sales director at Finnair, said Finnair's brand promise is about delivering to Chinese travelers a unique Nordic experience.

"We have the whole Nordic region in our product deliverables," he said. "We are one of the most efficient airlines connecting Asia and over 60 destinations in Europe and have been working with Helsinki Airport to deliver world-class transfers."

Olofsson said that Chinese people do not like to waste time, and neither does Finnair. Thus, the company has 35-minute international connections.

Finnair reduced emissions by 24 percent since 2010. Even its next-generation airbus is environmentally friendly as it has achieved a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

"We believe that the more efficient we are, the more environmental friendly we also are," said Olofsson.

In Airbus A350, Finnair's dedication to quality service is evidential. Its Business Class will be equipped with Zodiac Cirrus III seats, in a 1+2+1 layout, which is still a brand new concept to many airlines. Every seat has its own aisle so that passengers do not have to climb over each other to get to the aisle, even if they sit by the window.

"Our configuration is 297 seats in total, while some other airlines that also ordered this aircraft have almost 500 seats. So our configuration is more spacious and comfortable," said Olofsson. "Of course, throughout the whole cabin, we will also have brand new in-flight entertainment equipment."

He also noted that from 2016, all Finnair's flights will be equipped with Wi-Fi.

The in-flight humidity in the cabin will also be increased so that passengers will enjoy fresher air during the flight.

The new plane is also supposed to help with jetlag, with a LED lighting system that can be adjusted in a way that triggers human body to adapt to various time zones, Olofsson said.

Last year, Finnair launched "Economy Comfort" for economy class passengers on some flights who pay about 400 yuan ($64.45) extra for class upgrading. These passengers get "13 centimeters of more legroom, business class hand phones, additional snacks, a personal amenity kit, and priority boarding," said Olofsson.

Being approachable, warm and friendly is part of Finnair's mission. As part of this, four Chinese crew members on each flight are willing to help Chinese passengers who can not speak English.

Now, Finnair also has Alipay and Unionpay options on finnair.com/cn.

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TAGS: Finnair | Chinese tourism | visa | Finland
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