One of Finland’s major airlines is adopting Alipay support, with plans to let passengers use the mPayment platform for in-flight purchases.
The support will start on a trial basis for flights between Shanghai and Helsinki, and purchases will reflect the exchange rate of the day. The move could prove popular, with Finnair having focused its business on the Asian market in recent years, and Finland welcoming over 550,000 Chinese tourists per year. In a statement announcing the Alipay support, Finnair Chief Digital Officer Katri Harra-Salonen said that “[a]s the number of travelers grows between Asia and Northern Europe, the need for a familiar and convenient payment platform has never been greater.”
As South China Morning Post reports, Alipay already has a notable presence in the Finnish market, with a partnership with ePassi Payments established last autumn having brought the platform to more than a hundred Finnish merchants. Finnair’s innovation extends beyond domestic borders, however, with the company claiming to be the first airline in the world to enable in-flight purchases with Alipay.
The support represents another step into the European market for Alipay, with parent company Ant Financial having shown a growing interest in extending the global presence of the China-based mPayment platform over recent months.