Mancunian Mandarin: airport joins Chinese social media

Manchester Airport is promoting itself in Mandarin on the Chinese equivalents of Twitter and Whatsapp.

The airport launched direct flights to Bejing in June, with Hainan Airlines, and has already seen almost 40,000 passengers on the service.

It is using the Chinese social media channels Weibo and WeChat to communicate with passengers in China, and Chinese people in the UK.

The Chinese population across Manchester’s catchment area reaches as far north as Scotland, south to the West Midlands and across to north Wales, Merseyside and Yorkshire.

The airport has worked with Chinese digital agency, Red Lantern, to create and develop its presence on the channels.

Patrick Alexander, the airport’s head of marketing, said: “Not only can we provide relevant airport and airline information, but by using their channels, in their native Mandarin, we can give added value and a better, more targeted, customer service.

“The channels will provide a wealth of content and as we grow and develop our route network to China.”

The new interactive WeChat account will give Chinese visitors details of the airport’s services, including an airport map, travel information, eating options, language help, free WiFI connection, and duty-free tax information.

The WeChat and Weibo accounts also feature tourist attraction information in Mandarin for the broader area, as well as light-hearted video content from local Chinese students.

Hainan Airlines flies four times a week to Beijing from Manchester with an Airbus A330-300 with 260 economy seats and 32 in business.

Pictured launching the channels are Manchester Airport’s Patrick Alexander (centre) and Emma Stone (right) with Lisa Yam, chairwoman of the Federation of Chinese Associations in China Town, Manchester.