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NEWS Last modified on October 27, 2016

Manchester Airport launches social media channels in Mandarin

Manchester Airport has boosted its appeal to Chinese travellers by launching it presence on Weibo and WeChat, the Chinese equivalents of Twitter and Whatsapp.

The move follows the launch of Hainan Airlines flights between Beijing and the UK gateway earlier this year.

The airport claims that its new social media presence will allow it to better communicate and interact with Chinese passengers.

Almost 40,000 passengers have travelled between Manchester and Beijing since the Hainan Airlines service began in June.

According to Manchester Airport, it will use the socoal media channels to not only communicate with current passengers in Mandarin who use the route, but also with the huge Chinese population across its catchment area that spans as far north as Scotland, south to the West Midlands and across to North Wales, Merseyside and Yorkshire.

Manchester has the third biggest China town in Europe.

Patrick Alexander, head of marketing at Manchester Airport says: “What better way to speak to a core demographic and our new passenger base than adopting the channels they know and love. 

“Not only can we provide them with 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, in turn the social media channels will also grow.”

Chinese digital agency, Red Lantern, worked with the airport to create and develop its presence on Weibo and WeChat.

Founder, Lewis Hannam, says: “The direct flights between Manchester and Beijing are a significant boost to trade between the two countries, and it’s great that Manchester Airport is doing all it can to be the UK’s most China-friendly airport. 

“WeChat and Weibo are vital tools in engaging and understanding your Chinese customers. This is just the first step in some innovative moves the airport will make for its Chinese travellers.”

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

Both the WeChat and Weibo accounts will also feature tourist attraction information in Mandarin for the broader area, as well as light-hearted video content from local Chinese students explaining why the area is such a great place to visit, and some of its hidden gems.

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