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Chinese and Russian interpreters available on a tablet at Finnish airports


Finnish airport operator Finavia is piloting a virtual interpreting service for the Chinese and Russian languages at its airports in Helsinki and Rovaniemi. The digital interpreters help passengers and service providers at airports to cross the potential language barrier.

Tulka, a Finnish mobile interpreting service, and Finavia, the operator of the 21 Finnish airports, have launched a pilot project at Helsinki Airport and in Rovaniemi, at the official airport of Santa Claus. Sales and service personnel at the airports will test the interpretation service on tablet computers in different customer service situations, particularly with Chinese and Russian customers.

 – Finavia’s aim is to provide its customers with innovative world-class services. Tulka allows us to contact a professional interpreter within seconds in the form of sound and image, says Helsinki Airport Vice President Heikki Koski from Finavia.

The aim of this joint project is to find out the benefits of interpretation between passengers and service providers at airports. One of the key metrics analysed in the pilot is the effect of the customer experience on customer numbers and sales volumes.

The service providers participating in the Tulka pilot are Budget-Avis, Vantaa Taxi, World of Delights Helsinki, Marimekko, Iittala, WDFG Helsinki, Finavia Customer Service at Helsinki Airport, and Rovaniemi Airport.

The pilot launched in July and will continue until the end of 2017. Decisions on whether to continue the service will be made after the pilot.


Helsinki Airport is an important air traffic hub in Europe, particularly from the point of view of routes to Asia. There were more than 17 million passengers at the airport in 2016. In 2020, the airport expects to have up to 20 million passengers. The number of Chinese and Russian travellers is increasing, and the airport has paid particular attention to providing information and services in Chinese in recent years, in addition to services in Finnish, Swedish and English.

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