The “Spotify of transportation” – and getting aviation on the playlist

Jonna Pöllänen is Collaboration Manager at MaaS Global. Its product, Whim, offers a pay-as-you-go or monthly plan which covers public transport, taxis, cars, bikes and more. Pöllänen explains more about what the concept of mobility as a service means for aviation.

The basic idea behind mobility as a service (MaaS) is that you use your chosen method of transport when you need it, rather than owning.

Some are calling the idea the “Spotify of transportation.” When we hear about MaaS, aviation isn’t often factored into the ecosystem but this is changing with advances towards flying cars and urban air mobility drones, as well as rising passenger expectations for a seamless experience across all modes of transport.

Curating innovation

Pöllänen explains: “The MaaS concept is to combine all the different transport modes, so it can be also air companies and so on. So, we try to gather public transportation, different taxi services, car services, and whatever innovation enters the transport sector, and we try to tailor those to individual needs as monthly packages."

We aren’t really seeing any aviation examples in this ecosystem right now, but this is set to change in the near future, according to Pöllänen.

“We've been already discussing with some aviation companies and we've heard, also, some other MaaS pilots going on that are discussing with different companies, focusing [on aviation]," she says.

How does aviation fit in?

Pöllänen explains: “It’s all about thinking of what happens before and after your flight. Of course when people are travelling, they are thinking of how to get from home to the airport and what happens after getting to your destination, so you need to get from the airport to your hotel or to the meeting. And of course, there are a variety of options, from how you pay for the services, which services you can count on, etc. So, basically we are just trying to make that easier for the end customer."

She adds: “I really believe that it will create opportunity for aviation companies to cooperate with new commerce in the markets and try to be innovative together to create better customer journeys for [all] of our customers.”

Pöllänen expects us to see more examples of aviation integrated into the MaaS ecosystem by next year.

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