Following Finnair’s Asian expansion, which most recently has seen the company boost operations in Japan, Hong Kong, and mainland China, TrvelDaily Media spoke to Finnair’s chief commercial officer, Juha Järvinen.
In your own words can you explain the structure of Finnair’s expansion strategy in Asia?
Finnair has a goal of increasing the annual number of passengers carried to 20 million by 2030. We expect to reach the target of doubling our Asian traffic, from the level of 2010 in 2018, two years earlier than the previous target of 2020. We also aim to nearly double our 2016 ancillary revenues by 2020.
Looking at China specifically, how have you become such a dominant brand in China?
We have invested in customer service and are serving Chinese customers taking into account their culture (Chinese-speaking crew, Chinese food options, Alipay payment) We have over 30 years’ history operating in China, and therefore we have established relationships with authorities, tour operators and travel agency partners.
In addition, digitalisation offers us new possibilities to better reach and serve our customers, and we are moving ahead also this front.
What are the biggest challenges airlines face in China?
We are focused on Asia Europe traffic, so we have a clear strategic space where we operate and a clear competitive advantage, as we´re able to offer the shortest and smoothest connections between the cities we serve in China and over 100 destinations in Europe.
What advice would you give a brand seeking to establish in the Chinese market?
Digitalization is the key. And to get to know the local distribution platform ecosystem, as it is essential to distribute your products through these platforms.
Localize – the services offered to Chinese customers need to be localized to cater to their needs. In addition, cultural knowledge is very important
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