APEX in Profile: Juha Järvinen

Juha Järvinen
Chief Commercial Officer

Juha is an executive board member at Finnair, and Joint Venture Executive Board member for Atlantic Joint Business and Siberian Joint Business. With more than 18 years of aviation experience, he’s held positions in sales and marketing, commercial functions, airport operations and cargo logistics, among others. He joined Finnair after 14 years with Scandinavian SAS Group. He’s been an APEX board member since May 2016.

Frequent Flight: HEL-LHR
Now Watching: CNN
Now Reading: Flight Airline Business magazine
The future of flight will be: Experience
Favorite Aircraft: A350
Passport stamp you wish you had: Tahiti
Seatback or PED? Seatback
Favorite social network: Facebook

Did you choose the airline industry or did it choose you?
When I was studying at university in London, I applied to 30 different airlines for a one-year industrial placement; SAS and Finnair offered me positions, and I chose SAS at Heathrow to work as a call center agent.

Something that never ceases to amaze you in your industry?
Despite all the challenges every day, this industry keeps operating so many flights, globally, with great punctuality and safety.

What do you think is the most overlooked aspect of the passenger experience?
There are still many improvements needed in irregularity handling: Exploring how we can be more proactive in solving the issues as they occur and finding alternative solutions for our passengers.

How do content and entertainment expectations change for people when they are traveling?
More and more people expect to have access to their favorite content, but are also expecting blockbuster surprises. Generally speaking, their expectations correspond to the needs on the ground.

How important is social media for an airline in the digital age?
Social media is a crucial communications channel for airlines. It is fast, works for PR and marketing needs, but also for urgent information in case of irregularities, etc.

What new technology do you think will have the most impact on the airline passenger experience?
Virtual reality. It can make the in-flight journey into an experience on its own.

What opportunities are there for airlines and airports to work together to improve the end-to-end passenger experience?
For customers, there is only one experience: It includes the experience on the ground and in flight. Airports and airlines need to be able to find ways to maximize the total experience, both in terms of seamless travel and transit, but also through delivering an experience that makes the customer choose the same airline and airport combination again.

For customers, there is only one experience: It includes the experience on the ground and in flight.

How may the rise of Chinese travelers influence the passenger experience?
Chinese customers have a continuous demand to be online 24/7. Onboard Wi-Fi access and localized meal options are both important for Chinese travelers and many [other] Asian travelers.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing?
I had a dream to become a CNN news anchor.

What is a funny thing that happens to you at work?
When flying on long-haul flights, waking up and not remembering where you are going – the result of too many flights in short time frames!

Every job has a cool factor. What’s yours?
For me it’s meeting interesting people around the world. I just met the Chinese Premier in Beijing!

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
Gym gear.

Something that only a frequent flyer would understand?
Weekend at home with no program planned: Best feeling ever.

Two things that you miss most about home when you’re traveling?
My family and my own bed.

If you could sit beside anyone on a plane, who would it be?
Queen Elizabeth II.