Friday, 10 November 2017

Visit to Xiamen Air HQ. Behind the Scenes of China's Best Airline 厦门航空

Xiamen-Air-Headquarters-厦门航空

I had the privilege to visit Xiamen Air Headquarters in Xiamen on 3 Nov 2017. It’s an eye opening visit to one of China’s leading airlines and emerging global player.

Xiamen-Air-Headquarters-厦门航空

From the half day visit which included tours of the in-flight catering kitchen, crew training centre and customer service centre, I saw that Xiamen Airlines puts a lot of emphasis on safety and excellent customer experience.

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First things, first. Our first stop was the conference room where we viewed a corporate video and were hosted to a scrumptious in-flight meal 😋

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We were treated to a typical in-flight business class meal served on Xiamen Airlines. Quality in-flight meal is identified by Xiamen Air as one of its competitive edge. Xiamen Air designed their in-flight meals to meet the 6 ideals of good taste, aroma, cuisine, presentation, wine, cutlery, and ambiance 美味, 美形, 美酒, 美器, 美食, 美境.

Xiamen-Air-Headquarters-厦门航空

We had tender savoury stir fried mutton, gently spicy fish, savoury duck and mushroom soup, shrimps, sweet cod roll and more. When it is neatly arranged on the tray, it may not look like much food but it's really a lot to eat, well balanced and very filling 😄

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Executive Chef 黄 developed all the dishes for Xiamen Air including this series of sauces. Personally, I like to taste my food without sauce but do give the sweet spicy Xiamen style of chili sauce a try.

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Ah.... I hereby declare that this was the best Portuguese egg tart that I have ever tasted in Singapore, Malaysia, Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Little Portugal Toronto (disclaimer: I have not been to Portugal before 😂 ).

The flaky base was so light and crispy, tiny bits fell all over when I bit into it. The custard was sooo... smooth and creamy with pronounced eggy taste and aroma.

I was hoping to taste it again on the flight home to Singapore but was told that it is only served to guests visiting Xiamen Airline's headquarters 😂

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Tasting Xiamen Air's delicious in-flight meal whetted our appetite to visit their in-flight catering kitchen. But, before entering the facility we had to put on sanitised overalls, masks, caps and shoe covers. I can see that food hygiene and safety are top priorities at Xiamen Air.

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The little army of cooks and staff busy preparing ingredients, cooking and packing in-flight meals for Xiamen Air passengers. I am impressed with the logical and smooth work flow and cleanliness of the sprawling kitchen. Xiamen Air's in-flight catering can produce 30,000 in-flight meals a day.

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We were busy trying to get the best shot of the beautifully plated meals 😄 We were the first visitors allowed into Xiamen Air's in-flight catering centre since it opened in 1988 😄 

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Our next stop was Xiamen Air crew training centre 厦门航空培训部.

After feasting on good food and feasting our eyes in the kitchen, it is time for some exercising 😄

Xiamen-Air-Headquarters-厦门航空

But no, we were watching cabin crew go through the paces in rigorous training. It would be fun to jump off and bounce down on that slide 😝 (In training lah.)


(Best viewed on web version on lap top or desk top)

Xiamen Air put a lot of emphasis on safety. All recruits are trained to operate safety equipment and operational crew are put through refreshers regularly.



Xiamen Air crew training centre now has 5 full motion simulators (with another 5 more in the pipeline). The heavy investment reflects Xiamen Air's commitment to flight safety which earned it, its outstanding accident-free record.

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We also visited Xiamen Air's customer service centre 厦门航空95557客服中心. A cheery flower island greets guests at the entrance - the numbers 95557 is Xiamen Air's 24-7 customer service hotline.

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I poked my head into a classroom and saw customer service officers in training 😄 There are more than 350 customer service officers at the 95557 centre and the average age is just 27 years old 😄

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The customer service centre has many busy 13-member teams responsible for different types of services such as ticketing, payment, itinerary changes etc. Team leaders wear white and team members, the corporate blue.

In 2015, nearly 5 million customers called 95557. Connection rate is nearly 90%, and remarkably, customer satisfaction is almost 100%.

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Xiamen Air provides good customer service. How do I know? Besides winning many service quality awards such as "China Best Call Center", I saw the customer service officers smiling as they spoke with (invisible) customers at the other end of the line.

I was told long ago to smile 😃 when speaking on the phone because though the person at the other end of the line may not see my smile, they can definitely feel it 😄

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From my short visit to Xiamen Air, I saw that a lot of hard work, team work and dedication lay behind the numerous glamorous awards and accolades Xiamen Air receives. Founded only in 1984, the young Xiamen Air won the coveted "The Best Airline In Mainland China" award consecutively, multiple times.


A post shared by Tony Johor Kaki (@johorkaki) on

👉 Xiamen Air is one of the airlines that I fly with confidence because of it's impeccable flight safety record, professional and sincere cabin crew, delicious in-flight meals and caring customer service. Xiamen Air's all Boeing 160-aircraft fleet is young too, with the average aircraft age at less than 5 years old.

✈ Xiamen Airlines MF874 departs Singapore for Xiamen at 8:55am everyday. Xiamen Airlines MF852 departs Singapore for Xiamen at 3:15pm everyday.

✈ Xiamen Airlines MF851 departs Xiamen for Singapore at 9:45am everyday. Xiamen Airlines MF873 departs Xiamen for Singapore at 5:40pm everyday.

Date visited: 3 Nov 2017



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