The Head of International Air Companies Service of Sheremetyevo International Airport said that the airport’s success in the Chinese-European market is due to the strong attention it has paid to the needs of Chinese travelers as well as the airport’s advantageous geographic position.
Speaking at the 2019 IAR Chinese-European Aviation Summit, Aleksandr Nikonov emphasized that Sheremetyevo particularly prioritizes on-time performance, development of innovative infrastructure, and the creation of a comfortable environment for Chinese passengers.
In 2017, Sheremetyevo became the first airport in the Moscow Air Cluster to obtain a China Friendly certificate, which acknowledges the high quality of services provided to Chinese passengers. The airport introduced a number of user-friendly features to cater to Chinese travelers, including the official website, voice announcements, and indoor navigation system all available in Chinese, among other languages.
Sheremetyevo also boasts a range of Chinese and Asian cafes and restaurants. Further, the Sheremetyevo Duty-Free Heinemann stores offer travelers the option of paying with UnionPay, Alipay, or WeChat Pay. A Tax-Free service has also been implemented at Sheremetyevo.
The IAR Chinese-European Aviation Summit, which was held November 20-22 in Beijing, is the Institute for Aviation Research’s (IAR) annual event for leading airlines and airports across Europe and China seeking to develop partnerships. It is sponsored by the Civil Aviation Authorities of China (CAAC) with the direct participation of the Party Secretary and Vice-President of the Beijing Capital International Airport, executives of major Chinese airport holding companies, and top executives from European airports and airline companies.
Issues discussed during the summit included the development of transport operations in the Chinese-European market, the transfer passenger flow through key international hubs, the opening of new routes from Chinese regional cities, the introduction of common service standards, the need for collaborative innovations, and the liberalization of the air transport market across the region.
The Chinese-European market for passenger transport is currently one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Since 2007, the number of routes connecting Europe and China has increased almost fourfold to reach 120. Summit experts noted that flights with Aeroflot (which had a 7.8% market share in 2018) are always extremely popular among passengers flying from China to Europe. Aeroflot is second only to the Chinese national carrier, Air China, which owns an 18.2% market share.