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St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport first in Russia to receive “Welcome Chinese” Certification

St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport first in Russia to receive “Welcome Chinese” Certification

Pulkovo Airport has received a Welcome Chinese Certification of the Chinese Academy of Tourism, testifying to the high quality of services provided by the airport to tourists from China. St. Petersburg airport is the first in Russia to achieve this certification recognized by the Chinese tourism authorities.

The Welcome Chinese standard has been developed for international transport and tourism facilities with the support of the Chinese Academy of Tourism, a structural subdivision of the Chinese National Tourism Office. The certification is awarded only to facilities that have introduced special services for Chinese tourists, with each of the services corresponding to standards of quality recommended by tourism authorities of the People’s Republic of China.

Due to a sharp increase in traffic between destinations in China and St. Petersburg, Northern Capital Gateway Company (NCG, the main operator of Pulkovo) has been actively adapting the infrastructure and services at the airport to make Pulkovo more convenient and understandable for Chinese passengers. Flights information boards in the terminal have been translated into Mandarin, announcements of flights to Moscow and China are also dubbed in Chinese, passenger leaflets, the terminal map, the website of the airport and the menus in restaurants and cafes have all been translated as well. Food service and retail outlets accept the China UnionPay cards, Duty Free shops employ Chinese-speaking staff, waiting areas provide access to free hot water.

“In the first 11 months of 2016, direct passenger traffic between Pulkovo and various destinations in China has increased by 85% to 166,000 people. Yet there’s considerable growth potential for us in China. More than 200,000 passengers arriving from China come to St. Petersburg from flights with a layover elsewhere. Additionally, most tourists arriving from the PRC to Moscow as part of visa-free groups spend about 70% of their time in Russia in St. Petersburg. We are confident that participating in the Welcome Chinese program will allow us to improve the recognition of Pulkovo Airport and Russia’s Northern Capital on the Chinese tourism market and serve as an additional stimulus for increased inbound passenger traffic from the PRC to St. Petersburg,” says Evgeny Ilyin, Chief Commercial Officer of NCG.

“Having become part of the Welcome Chinese project, Pulkovo has once again confirmed the high quality of its services for Chinese air passengers. This has considerable significance for us, since the work of the airline and the airport ultimately focuses on providing maximum comfort for the passenger enroute to his or her destination,” says Meng Chen, General Manager of the Hainan Airlines Office in St. Petersburg.

“The awarding of the Welcome Chinese Certification to Pulkovo testifies to the fact that the airport has created the best conditions for the comfortable stay of Chinese tourists among all Russian airports,” says Lee Jizhi, Head of the Moscow Office of China Eastern Airlines.

The Welcome Chinese certification program was launched in 2013 with the support and authorization by Chinese Academy of Tourism, and testifies to the quality of international hospitality for Chinese tourists. The certification is awarded to hotels, shopping and transport facilities, and companies involved in passenger transportation, etc. Other holders of the Welcome Chinese Certification, to name a few, are Fiumicino Airport in Rome and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, as well as the Italian railroad companies Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, the international hotel chains IHG Hotel Group, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, and others.

Pulkovo Airport offers three scheduled flights to destinations in China: Beijing (performed by Hainan Airlines), Ürümqi (performed by China Southern Airlines) and Shanghai (performed by China Eastern Airlines). In 2016, the St. Petersburg airport also provided charter flights to Macao, Taipei and Beijing, operated by Russian airlines.

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