The Russian SIM cards will become available in flight from 01 February. The list of carriers also includes Russia, Yakutia, Utair, Aurora, Ruslan and Royal Flight.
The agreement on the distribution of SIM cards was signed with the company Aeromar, which is engaged in trade in airplanes, in-flight catering, cleaning and equipping salons, a source familiar with the details of the project said. “There is an agreement between Aeroflot and Aeromar on the right to trade on Aeroflot flights,” the airline explained. Aeroflot expects goods to be in demand. Selling SIM cards on board will provide additional convenience for passengers, said Utair. The remaining airlines did not respond to requests.
Tele2 also focuses on travelers who are interested in large Internet packages and roaming options, the company noted. The operator is already distributing inactive SIM cards in taxis, Aeroexpress and Pyaterochka supermarkets, and customers register themselves through the application, the representative recalled Tele2. The Lycamobile to not answer the request.
In October 2019, the virtual operator Easy4 , also working on the Tele2 network, announced the start of sales of SIM cards on board the same seven airlines. In “VimpelCom” we tested the sale of SIM cards on airplanes and trains, including the flights “Ural airlines” in Yekaterinburg. “Moreover, we have experience selling SIM cards in Cambodia’s tuk-tuks,” the operator’s representative said. “But practice has shown that SIM card sales in vehicles are very niche.” The operator does not exclude the possibility of returning to these channels, “if it is claimed by customers.”
MegaFon is developing new distribution channels and is exploring possible prospects for their expansion, including through the airline, its representative said. Now the operator’s salons are represented in most major airports in Russia, and tourists can also purchase a Russian SIM card in terminals or pedestals and register it on their own, he added. The MTS satisfied with the performance of existing sales channels, said a representative of the operator.
The cost of mobile Internet in 2019 decreased
All operators are trying to intercept a potential subscriber as early as possible and have already mastered all sales channels near airports, but not the planes themselves, says Eldar Murtazin, an analyst at Mobile Research Group. “The new channel can provide an increase in the subscriber base, but the cost of accessing it for operators is much higher than just arranging a desk at the airport,” he notes. These costs are laid down in the price of a SIM card, Mr. Murtazin is sure.
It’s important for the operators participating in the project to quickly increase their subscriber base, and tourists and business travelers are one of the most interesting audiences, according to AC&M Managing Partner Mikhail Alekseev. At the same time, the expert warns, the minus is that the cost of selling SIM cards on airplanes will be several times higher than in ordinary retail, and the subscriber’s loyalty and lifetime value (total profit over the time of using the services) will be several times lower.