Air France - global cultures
Tuesday 16, November 2010
Air France links Europe to the rest of the world by serving 244 destinations in 110 countries. Over half its customers are non-French. Therefore, Air France offers services which are adapted to the cultural needs of its international customers.
Multicultural agents at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport
Over half of Air France customers have a connection at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. To make their time at the airport easier, Air France has 6 teams of multicultural agents originally from China, Korea, Japan, India, Latin America and the Middle East.
In charge of welcoming international customers seven days a week, they work together with Air France's other airport staff who rely on their specific knowledge in order to offer the best possible service to customers.
These multicultural agents speak Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.
Adapted service on board
Air France has introduced a specific training programme on the Asian and Indian cultures for its 15,000 cabin crew. This training provides cabin crew with essential information on the cultural habits and expectations of passengers from these countries and concerns body language as well as vocabulary.
Depending on the destination, in addition to the English language, on board announcements are also made in the local language: in Mandarin on flights to and from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, in Cantonese to Hong Kong and in Hindi to India. Moreover, for the past ten years, Chinese interpreters have been present on board all flights to and from China.
Concerning in-flight catering, Air France pays careful attention to its customers' cultural tastes. On departure from Paris, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, Air France offers dishes whose recipes have been designed by Oswaldo Pinto, Head Chef of the prestigious Oberoi chain of hotels.
On flights to and from Asia, in partnership with South Beauty, Air France offers Chinese dishes served in Business class between Paris and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong and in Economy and Premium Voyageur to Hong Kong. Between Paris and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, passengers in Economy and Premium Voyageur can choose a full Chinese meal with a selection of Asian spices.
As for the in-flight entertainment programme, the selection of 85 films available has been specially designed to meet the tastes and expectations of the many different cultures on board Air France flights. Films from all over the world are available in their original language: Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Korean, Tamil, Brazilian, Latin American, Arabic and African.
Air France offers films in up to nine different languages and is one of the only Western airlines to offer films in Tamil.
There are also newspapers and magazines, music channels and TV news adapted to the destination. For example, the CCTV news is shown on flights between Paris and China in addition to the other international news programmes such as NHK and Euronews.
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