Finnair‘s new short-haul wifi solution, powered by Viasat, is no longer free. The carrier ended the introductory trial period for the service this week.The new pricing will split into two tiers, browsing and streaming. Rates are also tiered by flight duration. Routes within Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltics are set at €4.95 per flight for browsing and €9.95 for streaming. On longer flights across Europe those rates increase to €6.95 and €12.95, respectively. Premium cabin passengers and top-tier frequent flyer members receive complimentary access for a 30 minute session. After that they pay the same rates as everyone else for access.
The rates are competitive in the region. Air France recently announced its pricing with a free messaging tier and browsing starting at 5 euro for flights across Europe. The Air France Connect platform will not support streaming on short-haul flights. The Lufthansa Group carriers also offer three tiers of pricing at similar rates. SAS offers a Viasat-powered solution similar to Finnair with a single performance tier priced at 39 DKK/49 NOK/49 SEK/4,9 EUR per flight.
From a performance perspective the airline could not be more happy with the Viasat solution. Piia Karhu, SVP of Customer Experience, was effusive in calling the offering “fantastic” during an interview on the sidelines of the recent APEX EXPO conference in Boston. “We get really good feedback from customers,” she continued, calling attention to public comments lauding the video streaming capabilities of the service.
Finnair recently completed installation of the wifi kit on the 20th aircraft in its shorthaul fleet; 16 remain pending. The installation work will continue through Summer 2019.
Karhu also called attention to free content on the Nordic Sky Portal front-end of the system. “Moving map is the most popular one, as always. There is also content about the destination, electronic newspapers, and we intend to bring in other content ideas, different from traditional IFE.”
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