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Václav Havel Airport Prague Reports Growing Demand for Services of Chinese Speaking Assistants

Prague, 9 January 2018 Demand for the services of on-site Chinese speaking assistants at Václav Havel Airport Prague has been growing in parallel with the increased capacity on flights to Chinese destinations. Chinese speaking assistants have been providing their services at the Prague’s international airport since September 2015, when the first direct scheduled operation to China was launched. Their role is to help passengers during the check-in process, primarily with regard to language barriers and cultural issues. Václav Havel Airport Prague was among the first airports in the world to introduce the services of on-site Chinese speaking information assistants.

Prague Airport uses the services of six members of Chinese speaking information staff for now. They are located in Terminal 1, assisting passengers headed to the four Chinese destinations operated from Václav Havel Airport Prague. The workers are either native Chinese or Czech students of the Chinese language. They have been employed by the airport since September 2015, when the first direct scheduled route from Prague to Beijing was opened by Hainan Airlines. “With the arrival of other carriers operating flights to China, the number of handled passengers on flights to Chinese destinations has increased. Between January and November 2017, Prague Airport handled a total of 165,996 passengers on flights to the Chinese destinations served from Prague which, compared to the same period of the previous year, represents a 91% increase,” Marika Janoušková, Prague Airport Spokesperson, said. 

According to Chinese passengers, the service of Chinese speaking information assistants is rather rare at the world’s airports. Therefore, their work in Prague has received very positive feedback. The most frequent questions asked by passengers of the Chinese speaking information assistants concern getting through the terminal, tax-free refunds, passing through security control or details regarding checking-in for flights (e.g. weight limits for checked-in baggage or rules for travelling with cabin baggage.) Twice already, a Chinese speaking assistant accompanied a passenger with health issues to the local hospital. The assistants are present at the airport premises wearing red T-shirts with Chinese inscriptions.

Alongside the service of on-site Chinese speaking assistants, Prague Airport also provides the service of on-site information assistants to all passengers, i.e. of staff who are ready to answer questions from passengers both on departure and arrival and to help organise smooth check-in for flights. They move around both airport terminals, proactively offering their services. In the summer months, there are about one hundred assistants, while in the winter months their number is reduced to sixty. As a result of the record growth in the number of handled passengers at Václav Havel Airport Prague, it is expected that the number of on-site information assistants will be increased during the next summer season.