Distinguished Leaders, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and Friends from the Media,
Today I would like to speak in Chinese. Please pardon me if I make any pronunciation mistake.
First, I would like to thank Baiyun Airport and Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province for giving us this opportunity to introduce Finnair. Finnair may not be a familiar brand to you. In the 1980s, we only had domestic flights, and very few international flights to some part of Northern Europe. At that time, we were a very small company. But by next summer, Finnair will have nearly 60 flights between Europe and Asia, which means we are developing very fast.
Why has Finnair chosen "Fly the Straightest Way from Asia to Europe" as our slogan? It is because if you look at the globe, you will find that Finland is the closest European country to China. There is only Russia between us. It is because of this geographical reason that Finnair has chosen to offer this service. As an air company between Europe and Asia, we take Asian passengers to Europe, and European passengers to Asia. We are actually transferring this geographical advantage into our brand.
Right now, we have flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Although there are only four flights per week to Guangzhou, we hope that the flights will increase to seven as the other three cities. Then what is Finnair's service? That is to take you to Helsinki Airport, which is our hub airport first, and then transfer you to any of the 42 destinations in Europe in no time. Therefore, you take off from Guangzhou to Helsinki, and then transfer to other European cities from Helsinki. Of course, as a Finnish air company, we also have 21 domestic destinations at your choice. I will skip this part, as it is approaching lunch time.
Finnair also has other advantages. For example, we have numerous choices of flight schedule to Europe and short transferring time. The shortest transferring time in Helsinki is 35 minutes. For your information, the 35 minutes include all the customs procedures, which means it is very fast. How can we achieve this? It is because the Helsinki Airport is very small; hence it brings great convenience to passengers to transfer quickly. Actually through this picture, I would like to show that flights from Guangzhou will bring you to any city, even the southernmost cities in Europe within 15 hours.
Finnair has developed rapidly in recent years. All of our business class can be compared to facilities in five-star hotels. The facilities and service of the business class is the pride of every air company, and Finnair is of no exception.
We established route to Guangzhou two years ago. But this year marks the twentieth anniversary of Finnair airlines to Beijing. During the past two decades, we tried to excel in China's market. But how? In my opinion, that is to let Chinese customers feel comfortable when they transfer in Helsinki without any difficulty. In order to achieve this, we provide ground crew who speak Chinese, including Chinese-speaking stewardesses. And of course, instruction signs in Chinese and Chinese-speaking ground service staff. With these, our customers will transfer smoothly with comfort.
Finnair is a member of Oneworld, a large alliance. Maybe the leaders present today know that Cathay Pacific Airways is also a member of Oneworld. I will go through the rest slides quickly. Next will be some pictures. We have ordered many new airbuses last year, over 30 airbuses. We are now waiting for these new products, which will arrive soon. A340 is an excellent type; I believe anyone who has experienced it must know it. We have chosen some small-sized airplanes for inland flights. Why? Because we want to cover a lot of destinations, which means we would like to go anywhere you want to go. When the passenger flow volume is comparatively limited, it is more environmentally friendly for us to use smaller planes. Plus it is suitable for the actual passenger flow volume.
That is so much for my speech. Finally, I would like to say that I am much honored to have this opportunity to share with you my opinions. And I am very glad to have the chance to introduce Finnair to you. As a salesperson, it is really rare for us to cut a long story short like this, especially for me. Last, I'd like to wish you good health and good luck! Thank you very much!
(Full text of the remarks by Rebekka Mikkola, Genearal Manager for South China of Finnair at "Flying from Guangzhou" Promotion Convention of the 2007 Guangdong Interntional Tourism and Cultural Festival on November 24, 2007, as transcribed)