Finnair is gearing up to offer online payments in-flight, announcing it has teamed up with ePassi, Finland’s ePayment platform to provide Alipay to travelers.
According to a report, Finnair said it’s the first airline around the globe to offer online payment platform Alipay. The airline operator plans to trial the application on a route between Helsinki and Shanghai on Jan. 27. With the service, customers can make mobile payments for in-flight purchases.
“Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by digitalization is an integral part of Finnair’s accelerated growth strategy,” said Katri Harra-Salonen, Finnair’s chief digital officer, in a press release announcing the initiative. “The introduction of Alipay onboard is part of our commitment to continuously develop a better travel experience for our customers and to enhance the customer experience with digital solutions. As the number of travelers grows between Asia and Northern Europe, the need for a familiar and convenient payment platform has never been greater. This new partnership with Alipay will help Chinese travelers to make payments onboard in a very convenient manner, through a system that is both fast and familiar to them.”
Alipay, which is a service from Ant Financial Services Group, a company owned by Alibaba Group, is one of the leaders in pushing for a cashless society. It has more than 450 million active users in China and is used by more than 60 percent of Chinese travelers. Helsinki Airport has adopted ePassi-Alipay for some shops and sales outlets. Alipay will be available for a month on a trial basis, and decisions on future rollouts will be made after the trial period, Finnair said. Finnair’s flights between Helsinki and Shanghai are operated with the Airbus A350. Finnair’s entire long-haul fleet will be Wi-Fi-enabled in the spring of 2017.