Monday, January 16, 2017

Helsinki Airport Is Among Europe's First To Adopt Jack Ma's Payment Platform - To Get Ahead In The Race For Chinese Air Traffic

Via Business Insider:

With the massive and growing Asian market, European airports are racing to establish themselves as hubs for Asian air traffic.

The routing of Asian flight traffic through Finland has been one of the top priorities for Helsinki-Vantaa airport and it’s handling company, Finavia. As another step in the massive effort put into promoting the airport as the most desirable transit point between Asia and Europe - in particular for the rapidly increasing traffic from the Chinese market - Finavia has now implemented the Chinese payment system Alipay.

Alipay was launched in 2004 by Jack Ma through his Alibaba Group. The online payment platform has about 400 million users in the Asian region to date. It could best be compared to Paypal though up until recently, it wasn’t available in Europe. Thus far, the only two other places that have the Alipay option are Munich and Frankfurt so it’s very early days, but it fits beautifully with Helsinki-Vantaa’s Asian strategy.

Chinese passengers are high priority.

Finavia's director of commercial services, Elena Stenholm, says, “Chinese passengers are the most rapidly growing customer group coming to Helsinki Airport, as well as the group that spends the most money. Familiar and easy payment options increase the feeling of smooth and safe travel for Chinese passengers”.

Helsinki-Vantaa is among the first airports in Europe to enable AliPay. To begin with it can be used at the airport’s Iittala, M-Box, Finspiration, Lindroos and Moomin shop outlets, though Finavia intends to have Alipay available at all of its commercial operators eventually.

The first commercial operators at Helsinki Airport adopted the Chinese AliPay mobile payment application in December 2016.

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