In an industry first, Finnair will introduce Alipay services onboard its aircraft.
As part of its continued efforts to woo more Chinese travellers, the Finnish national carrier will trial the application on its Helsinki-Shanghai route from 27 January 2017.
The move will allow Chinese passengers to pay for their in-flight purchases, such as duty-free items, using Alipay. The Finnair lounge at Helsinki Airport will also accept Alipay.
“Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by digitalisation is an integral part of Finnair’s accelerated growth strategy,” said Katri Harra-Salonen, Finnair’s chief digital officer. “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 travellers 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 travellers to make payments onboard in a very convenient manner, through a system that is both fast and familiar to them.”
Created by the Alibaba Group, Alipay’s smartphone-based payment solution now has 450 million active users in China and is used by more than 60% of overseas Chinese travellers. Helsinki Airport recently adopted Alipay at some of its retail outlets.
The onboard Alipay system will be rolled out to more Finnair routes operated using flights equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi in future.