Finnish airport operator Finavia and its Chinese counterpart Capital Airports Holding Company (CAH) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a sister airport relationship between Helsinki and Beijing Capital international airports.
Finavia aims to turn Helsinki into a major transfer airport between Asia and Europe, and the MoU is expected to help the operator move towards its goal by strengthening the connection between Helsinki and Beijing.
Finavia Corporation CEO Kari Savolainen said: "Cooperation with the largest airport operator in China will contribute to the attractiveness of both operators' airports and to the development opportunities of the Finland-China routes.
"For Helsinki Airport, it represents an outstanding opportunity to develop a competitive edge regarding the Asian and especially the Chinese market in comparison to other airports in Northern Europe."
Helsinki, which is Finland's main airport, connects Europe and Asia with the shortest route. It is the fifth largest airport in the continent.
CAH president and CEO Liu Xuesong said: "Helsinki Airport is a leading hub between China and Europe due to the shorter flying distance and minimum connecting time, as well as its first class performance in safety, security and customer service."
The sister agreement allows the two airports to cooperate in benchmarking best practices and sharing knowledge, creating co-marketing activities in respective home markets, exchanging personnel and building competence.
The staff exchange activities between Helsinki Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport are expected to begin this year.
China is planning to invest around $12bn in its infrastructure, particularly airports, to give a push to its economy.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said it will invest in the construction of new airports in Beijing, Chengdu, Qingdao, Xiamen and Dalian.
Image: Finavia and CAH executives signing the MoU. Photo: courtesy of Finavia.