Retail Therapy: Finnair Reinstates Popular Travel Shopping Service

Finnair today announced that it is resuming its ravel retail service at the beginning of next month. The flag carrier of Finland is adapting its popular offering to allow passengers to pre-order their products ahead of their flight. The airline also shares that there are more options with this personalized approach.

It was revealed early last year that Finnair was suspending the sale of products on flights within Europe in a bid to lighten aircraft. Photo: Finnair

Back in stock

It’s often the case that when a passenger looks through an on board brochure, the item they want is not on board. So, by pre-ordering, Finnair can ensure that the desired item is available, leaving travelers satisfied on their journey. 

So, those flying with the Nordic operator on most intercontinental and European services can choose from a luxury range of locally-inspired accessories and cosmetics. They can pre-order items before flying by visiting the online store or using Finnair’s app. Moreover, during their journey, travelers can scroll through a section of newspapers and magazines online, along with pre-ordering for their return journey by using the Nordic Sky WiFi portal.

Several airlines have scrapped inflight retail across their services for one reason or another. For instance, in June 2019, Qatar Airways suspended inflight duty-free. The flag carrier of Qatar’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, expressed that many operators don’t realize that this provision isn’t a significant revenue generator. He highlighted that every kilo that it puts on an airplane costs fuel burn. Instead, he is focused on having duty-free stock handled at the airport and for passengers to order online before picking up. 

The right balance

Finnair is nonetheless proud of the return of its retail service. Even though it doesn’t share the exact same sentiments as Qatar Airways, the airline recognizes the value of saving weight amid its pre-order approach. 

“We are excited to bring back our travel retail service that offers our customers a great selection of popular products. With more focus on pre-orders, we can ensure we only carry items that our customers need, which helps reduce aircraft weight and thus emissions,” Elina Wahlman, Finnair Business Manager, Travel Retail and Ancillaries, shared in a company statement. 

“Customers’ interest in online shopping and pre-ordering travel retail is growing, and so our aim is to focus on developing our digital channels and pre-order selection to better serve these needs and wishes.”

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Keeping up with the transitions

Despite the ever-changing industry, onboard shopping is here to stay. So, airlines are adapting to the new climate and turning to technology with this process. Notably, Simple Flying recently caught up with Nathan Clapton, VP Inflight Media at Inmarsat Aviation, to talk about OneFi, a new portal to help offer a retail experience that resembles online shopping. Ultimately, the program seeks to replace decades-old systems with modern solutions.

Finnair understands the need to modernize travel retail. So, while it looks to continue providing a unique shopping experience to its passengers, it’s ensuring that there is a sustainable system in place. 

What are your thoughts about Finnair’s travel retail service? Are you happy about the return of this offering? Let us know what you think of the overall initiative in the comment section.

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