Rus­sian stew­ardess shines onHainan Air­lines

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - ByWANGWEN

It’s been more than five years since Rus­sian flight stew­ardess Bazhen­ova Evgenia, 31, joined Hainan Air­lines Co, but to this day, she gets ner­vous re­call­ing her first flight. “I could not sleep the night be­fore.”

It was an early flight from Beijing to Xi­a­men, Fu­jian prov­ince. Sleep­less, she had to force her­self to work. It in­volved go­ing through var­i­ous pro­cesses that she learnt dur­ing the three-month train­ing.



China’s fourth-largest car­rier, is a ma­jor op­er­a­tor in the Rus­si­aChina mar­ket. It in­tro­duce sev­eral flights to Rus­sia in re­cent years. Two of its pop­u­lar routes con­nect Beijing to Moscow and St. Peter­burg.

That’s how it started to re­cruit Rus­sian flight at­ten­dants in 2006. It now has seven Rus­sian flight at­ten­dants, in­clud­ing Evgenia. Their big­gest chal­lenge: Deal­ing with cul­tural dif­fer­ences be­tween Chi­nese and Rus­sian fliers.

Evgenia re­called work was not easy in the be­gin­ning. She had got­ten used to a slow pace of life in Rus­sia. Then, sud­denly, she found her­self fly­ing across con­ti­nents in a mat­ter of hours.

“We (Rus­sians) work slowly, talk slowly and eat slowly. But I have many things to do quickly while at work,” said the blue-eyed stew­ardess.

Thank­fully, Evgenia re­ceived help from her in­struc­tor, which helped her to cope with the fast-paced life­style of a flight stew­ardess. “My in­struc­tor is the per­son I ap­pre­ci­ate the most in this job.”

Evgenia now speaks flu­ent Chi­nese, a lan­guage she learned in China. Why, she re­ceived a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Beijing Lan­guage and Cul­ture Univer­sity.

She said her fa­ther thinks China will soon graduate to a de­vel­oped coun­try, and skill in the Chi­nese lan­guage will be use­ful. His con­vic­tion con­vinced Evgenia to go study and work in­China. “I know he was right.”

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, she just wanted a job to sup­port her­self. She landed the job of stew­ardess with Hainan Air­lines. The car­rier pays her well, she said. “Back then, I wanted to work for one year and buy a car.” But her life goals changed af­ter just one year into the new job.

Evgenia’s hard work also re­ceived ap­pre­ci­a­tion from her em­ployer, which fea­tured her on its brand­ing poster in 2013 as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the air­lines’ for­eign flight at­ten­dants team.

In the poster, Evgenia’s clear blue eyes are like the wa­ter of Lake Baikal, which is near her home­town of Irkutsk. “I rec­om­mend you a visit to my home­town, which has a beau­ti­ful view, al­though it is cold in win­ter. But Rus­sians’ pas­sion (for treat­ing vis­it­ing Chi­nese well) will drive away the cold for you.”

Evgenia has been away from her home­town for seven years now. She said she misses it as well as her fam­ily. But Beijing, she said, is her sec­ond home now. She never thinks about leav­ing Beijing. “I love this his­tor­i­cal city, which helps me grow up.”

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