Rovaniemi, located in Finland's Arctic Circle region, is getting an economic boost from Chinese visitors arriving from Helsinki on Finnair flights.
Finnair has carried more than 2.65 million passengers to China on the Helsinki-Beijing route, which started in June 1988. Now, it tops all European airlines in providing 38 weekly flights to seven destinations in China－Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xi'an, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Finnair was the first airline worldwide to launch the Alipay online payment service on longhaul flights to China in 2017. The airline has doubled its onboard duty-free goods sales since then.
According to Vauramo, the key to Finnair's future strategy is extending its network and strengthening its capacity in the Chinese market.
"In the early days, people in Finland and other European countries came to China to sell things. Now, it has turned around as more Chinese go to Europe to promote exports of goods and investment," he said.
He has noticed more Chinese investment in industries such as gaming, medicine, biotechnology and other high-tech fields.
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