Air France – Vinexpo partnership reaches new heights
While Air France already had a service counter at the 2014 edition of Vinexpo Hong Kong, 2016 was the first edition at which a full-service Air France lounge was to be found at this event. The partnership between Air France and Vinexpo has been developing and growing for some years now, and it continues to evolve.
“Last year, we decided with Guillaume Deglise – CEO of Vinexpo – to enhance our cooperation in order to put forward our common values such as expertise, and the value we give to our customers,” says Bénédicte Pellerin – Regional Manager – South West France Regional Division. “We brainstormed together and the idea of the Vinexpo Air France Club came about. This fitted perfectly with the fact that Vinexpo has a ‘club’ of 5,000 VIP customers, and the idea was to create the privacy and exclusivity of an Air France lounge for these people. We started this last June at Vinexpo Bordeaux, and we decided to export this idea to the Hong Kong event, as well as doing something similar at Vinexpo Tokyo. It’s a chic and elegant space, giving a feeling of excellence, just like a bottle of fine wine!” This year again, Air France also had a service counter on the first floor where professional staff could assist customers who needed to change their flights, or who needed help with online check-in.
A VERITABLE “BRIDGE ACROSS THE SKY” FROM HK & CHINA TO EUROPE
Herman Wan, Sales Manager – Hong Kong & Macau explains that in the greater China region, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, Air France / KLM has nine destinations and 95 flights into the region per week: “This makes us the number one European carrier into this region. Our new Airbus A380 started flying into Shanghai in 2015, and since April the new aircraft has also been serving Hong Kong. We have a good partnership with Chinese carriers that are part of Skyteam, meaning if we combine code-share, we have 124 flights in a week.”
ON OUR LONG HAUL FLIGHTS, THE FINE WINES THAT PASSENGERS CAN FIND ON BOARD ARE ONE OF THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF OUR AIRLINE FOR PEOPLE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD
Mr Wan says the exclusive “French touch” is a big plus when it comes to marketing to local passengers. “I believe the market in China can be developed thanks to the association of Air France with good food and great wines. On our long haul flights, the fine wines that passengers can find on board are one of the main attractions of our airline for people in this part of the world. Air France flies to Paris and Bordeaux, meaning if people are going on a wine tour, Air France is the logical choice.”
PERSONALISED SERVICES FOR CHINESE PASSENGERS
Air France offers customers on its Chinese routes the excellence of personalised service combined with many products developed exclusively for flights to and from China. At Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, staff speaking Mandarin and Cantonese are on hand for customers to assist with formalities on departure, arrival and when they have connections. On board, the crews offer a custom-designed service adapted to Chinese passengers. This constant search for excellence, hospitality and service is reflected both in gestures and in the polite vocabulary used. In addition, there are Chinese interpreters on board all Air France flights to and from China.
Onboard announcements are made in Mandarin or Cantonese depending on the flight’s origin and destination. Adapted versions of Air France in-flight magazines in Chinese are available to passengers, as well as a selection of Chinese newspapers and magazines. In the new cabins, wide highdefinition individual touch screens show up to 1,000 hours of programmes on demand in numerous languages, including some films in their original Chinese version or with subtitles. During the flight, all passengers are given menus translated into Chinese as well as oshiboris (hot or cold towels) just after boarding. As far as the meal service is concerned, Air France takes care to adapt to the culture and dietary requirements of its customers, while providing a French-style dining experience. For its Chinese passengers, the Chefs at Servair, an Air France subsidiary specialised in airline catering, design an offer of refined Chinese dishes