- Over a third of cabin crew on Beijing and Shanghai flights will be Chinese nationals, fluent in Mandarin
- Support for Chinese customers on the ground at Heathrow Terminal 5 also increased
LONDON, 2018-Apr-20 — /Travel PR News/ — British Airways is doubling the number of Chinese cabin crew on its flights to and from China, so it can better serve its Chinese customers.
On any of the 17 flights a week that the airline operates between the UK and China, four cabin crew will be Chinese nationals, accounting for over a third (36%) of the total cabin crew on board. These cabin crew are fluent in Mandarin, which significantly helps customers who are do not speak English, or have English as their first language.
The doubling of the number of Chinese cabin crew on each flight is being made possible by a significant recruitment drive in China, with British Airways looking to recruit 26 cabin crew based in Beijing, and 44 based in Shanghai.
In total, the airline offers 10 flights a week from Heathrow to Shanghai, as well as a daily service between Heathrow and Beijing.
British Airways has also been increasing the size of its team of Mandarin-speaking customer service representatives at Heathrow Terminal 5, where the flights to Beijing and Shanghai depart. At check-in, the team, which were introduced last year, greet customers and help them drop off their bags, print their boarding passes and assist them through security. At the gate, they make announcements in Mandarin for customers on the Shanghai and Beijing flights. And on arrival, they meet the plane, greet customers and help those who have particularly tight connection times.
Noella Ferns, British Airways’ Executive Vice President for Greater China, said: “We hope today’s announcement further demonstrates commitment to our Chinese customers and will improve the quality service we offer them.
“We appreciate our Chinese customers have a choice when they fly to and from the UK so we hope these changes, alongside the increase in the number of Mandarin-speaking customer services representatives at our home in Heathrow, will make their journeys as smooth as possible.”
On top of the Mandarin-speaking customer service representatives and cabin crew, British Airways offers a number of other services for Chinese customers. These include tailored menus for flights to China, as well as Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking customer relations teams to help customers before or after they travel.
More widely, British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for customers over the next five years, including installing the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline has renewed its World Traveller catering and is also investing £600m specifically in Club World, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding – plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access.
Last week British Airways launched its new long haul ‘Basic’ fare which is available on a number of routes originating from London, including to a number of destinations in the region including Singapore and Hong Kong. The fares will cost up to £60 less than the standard return fare with fares from London to Singapore starting from £230 each way, and to Hong Kong from £228, based on a return fare.
British Airways customers who select the new lower ‘Basic’ fare will be able to enjoy the improved in-flight meals now being served in the airline’s World Traveller cabin, take advantage of the airline’s generous complimentary two-piece hand baggage allowance and use Avios as part payment to further cut the cost.
SOURCE: British Airways