Alaska Airlines has unveiled its newest special-edition aircraft featuring Starbucks.

Alaska Airlines teams up with Starbucks

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Alaska Airlines has unveiled its newest special-edition aircraft featuring Starbucks.

Alaska Airlines has unveiled its newest special-edition aircraft featuring Starbucks. The plane, tail number N238AK, showcases Starbucks famous red cups filled with their signature holiday drinks.

The two partners will provide 50 flights with reusable holiday cups and treats through 12 December Alaska will also offset the carbon impacts of these flights through The Good Traveler program, as part of our commitment to be carbon net-zero by 2040.

In celebration of National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, Alaska’s holiday sweaters are returning, with any passenger who wears their festive holiday sweaters to the airport on 17 December can board early across Alaska’s expansive network. This year’s design is now available for presale at Alaska’s Company Store.

Any passenger wearing an ugly holiday sweater this holiday season can purchase a day pass to one of Alaska’a nine lounges, located in Anchorage (ANC), New York (JFK), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA) for US$25 for immediate use.

Air NZ plane in flight

Air New Zealand and FLYR Labs launch AI collaboration

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Air NZ plane in flight

Air New Zealand and FLYR Labs have formed a strategic alliance to collaboratively develop advanced AI-based applications that utilise the Cirrus software platform.

Under the agreement, the two companies will leverage the Cirrus software platform to develop complementary AI-powered products that enhance and optimise other aspects of the airline’s commercial operations.

The collaboration will see a team of FLYR Labs data science, software development, and other employees co-locate out of Air New Zealand’s headquarters in Auckland in the new year.

Michael Williams, Air New Zealand Group’s General Manager for Commercial, Strategy and Alliances commented: “The Cirrus software platform has been key in optimising our capacity and schedule planning, providing efficiencies for both our team and our customers. The next stage on our journey is looking to how we can use the software to further enhance our digital capabilities across the business.

“This alliance is also incredibly exciting for our people, who will have the opportunity to develop and implement software that’s leading the way in innovation in the aviation industry.”

Alex Mans, founder and CEO of FLYR Labs added: “FLYR Labs has worked alongside Air New Zealand to demonstrate how our Cirrus platform can improve passenger load forecasting and, by so doing, optimise revenue outcomes. It is very gratifying to announce that we have formalised the relationship with Air New Zealand and intend to work alongside their team to partner on the creation of additional solutions.”

FLYR Labs’ proposition leverages advanced AI that captures and contextually analyses massive amounts of data, enabling airlines to more accurately forecast demand and automatically set revenue-optimal fares. Beyond revenue management, FLYR’s Cirrus software platform enables improved performance across commercial functions, clarifying operation decisions that touch marketing, scheduling and planning, executive leadership, and air cargo.

FLYR Labs recently completed a US$150m Series C funding round led by Laurence Tosi’s WestCap, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Silver Lake, Peter Thiel, and others. Prior to this, FLYR Labs acquired Faredirect to expand its ancillary offerings, such as personalised seat, meal, and baggage offerings, and xCheck for its marketing technology tools that expand fare visibility across channels and drives demand.

Finnair retail catalogue covers

Finnair reintroducing travel retail service

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Finnair retail catalogue covers

Finnair is set to restart its travel retail service on 1 December.

The Nordic carrier will offer a renewed travel retail pre-order service, with a new luxury range inspired by Nordic design and sustainability that will be continuously updated to ensure items are popular and relevant.

Items include accessories and cosmetics from quality brands like Marimekko, Makia (which makes bags out of recycled material), Rokua (organic skincare for men), Het-ki-nen (organic pine lip balm) and Lancôme Idôle Edp with refillable bottle.

The service will be available on intercontinental and European flights and will create a seamless experience from the moment a passenger makes an order to their purchase being delivered in-flight.

Elina Wahlman, Finnair Business Manager, Travel Retail and Ancillaries, said: “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.

“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.”

Finnair customers can pre-order retail products before their journey online via the Finnair Shop at finnairshop.com or within the Finnair mobile app.

Iberia Express Retail On Board has been digitised by Immfly and DO & CO.

Iberia Express digitises onboard retail experience

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Iberia Express Retail On Board has been digitised by Immfly and DO & CO.

As part of its continuing investment in digitalising its onboard passenger experience, Iberia Express has digitised its onboard retail experience.

Working with Immfly and official catering provider DO & Com, the airline has introduced a new all-integrated crew app and user-friendly, smart back-office system improving the warehouse and inventory management process.

The new solution digitalises the Iberia Express Retail On Board menu proposition by enabling payments through an innovative all-in-one Android EPOS. This allows contactless transactions whilst its backend system manages the warehouse operations and inventory.

Immfly’s technology will also allow in-seat ordering, which will enable passengers to consult, order and pay for all onboard catering products from their own devices, making it a complete retail experience on personal devices.

This new retail capability is also available with Boeing Digital Direct, a complete digital services platform for any commercial airplane that combines the best of Immfly and Boeing for retail, ancillary revenue and wireless in-flight entertainment.

“At Immfly we are intensively working towards unlocking the full potential of inflight service and entertainment for airlines. With Iberia Express being the first to test out our new disruptive Retail On Board solution in the market, we are really confident in the efficacy of our service and payment technology,” said Pablo Linz, Immfly CEO.

“At Iberia Express we are committed to innovation and we pay special attention to the service we offer. Regarding this, we know that digitalisation is key to guarantee a seamless service for our customers, that is more suited to their new habits. These small details make a big difference, and we will continue working with Immfly and DO & CO to ensure that our customers receive an excellent on-board experience,” commented Paloma Cabañas, Head of Customer Experience at Iberia Express.

“At DO & CO we are eager to continue exceeding customer’s expectations. We have joined the on-board retail business to continue providing unique customer experiences. Through collaboration with Immfly, our technological partner, we have been able to provide Iberia Express with the necessary tools to deliver the best quality service to customers looking to enjoy premium freshly made products on-board,” stated Attila Dogudan, CEO DO & CO.

AERQ has revealed the third parties collaborating with its digital platform AERENA.

AERQ unveils latest AERENA partners

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AERQ has revealed the third parties collaborating with its digital platform AERENA.

AERQ has revealed the third parties collaborating with its digital platform AERENA.

Unveiled in October, AERENA provides opportunities for revenue creation, savings and growth through an open IT system including in-seat and cabin digital signage system solutions for airlines.

According to AERQ, the platform will “facilitate greater passenger engagement onboard the aircraft leading to a deeper understanding of passengers’ in-flight behaviours and needs.”

In September 2021, AERQ had announced one of the first partnerships with ABOVE to automate content supply to the aircraft and the fleet with the aim to reduce time for loading content onboard from months to weeks.

“We are excited to announce further partners for AERENA. They play an important role in the creation of a memorable digital experience onboard as their apps and offerings will help passengers make the most out of the time spend onboard. Our objective is to have a wide variety of content for AERENA across different use cases and industries. This is just the beginning, there are many more partners to come,” said Arnd Kikker, Co-Managing Director at AERQ.

“Partnerships are a fundamental component of AERENA. Airlines will be able to choose from the extensive portfolio to match any personal experience and preference of their passengers. Content will range from information and gaming to entertainment and planning of the stay at a destination, all enhancing ancillary revenues,” added Sang Soo Lee, Co-Managing Director at AERQ.

The new associates include Gladi8tor, which provides high-quality gaming entertainment for passengers on-board. This experience includes a wide variety of games to play, news from the gaming industry, a video channel offering esports and popular gameplays and an onboard digital shop with the latest games for consoles and PC.

Additionally, premium destination video guide provider InflightFlix joins digital media distribution provider MediaCarrier and transport apps solution Rydes as new affiliates.

EVA Air has begun selling airline tags made from a retired EVA 747 aircraft in association with German company Aviationtag.

EVA Air markets airline tags from retired 747

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EVA Air has begun selling airline tags made from a retired EVA 747 aircraft in association with German company Aviationtag.

EVA Air has begun selling airline tags made from a retired EVA 747 aircraft in association with German company Aviationtag.

A licensing partnership was formed between the plane’s original owners and Aviationtag following a successful bid from the latter to acquire a part of the retired aircraft. The tags are made from the outer skin of a Boeing 747-400 wide body airliner retired from EVA Air’s fleet in August 2017.

Although Aviationtag made 15,000 aircraft skin tags from the aircraft part it acquired, only 2,000 are available in Taiwan.

Every tag comes with a serial number and retains the original paintjob of the aircraft skin along with marks from wear and tear over years of active service, an EVA Air spokesperson said.

The tags come in the colours of EVA Air’s logo – white, green and orange, with orange being the rarest as it covers the smallest surface area of the aircraft.

airBaltic SKY Service

airBaltic reveals most purchased onboard sales items

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airBaltic SKY Service

Latvian airline airBaltic has revealed that since the introduction of digital on board service platform airBaltic SKY Service, the most popular items purchased have been freshly brewed coffee and cloth face masks.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic said: “By introducing the airBaltic SKY Service, we took a step forward in offering our passengers a more personalised service, and the possibility of adding various new functionalities in the future. The first three months have shown that an increasing proportion of passengers are now using it.”

The most popular meals passengers have chosen on the platform have been sweet & sour chicken with rice as well as potato pancakes with smoked salmon. Among passengers, who did not yet use the platform, the most popular meal has been croissant with ham and cheese.

airBaltic SKY Service enables passengers to use their mobile devices to order items from the onboard menu as well as airBaltic Sky Shop, check company’s current destinations and ticket prices, sign up for the airBaltic Club loyalty program. Passengers are also able to read Baltic Outlook magazine and the airBaltic Blog.

airBaltic tail fin

airBaltic enjoys ancillary services uptake

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airBaltic tail fin

Latvian airline airBaltic has revealed its most popular ancillary services of the summer months of 2021.

Checked baggage, advanced seat reservation as well as pre-order and on-board food sales have boosted the airline’s non-ticket revenues.

Eva Plakane, SVP Revenue Management of airBaltic commented: “We continue to regularly review and improve our services. Addressing the passenger needs of today, we have provided them with additional flexibility and introduced a new flight cancellation option. At the same time, this spring we improved the allowed weight limit of checked baggage from 20 to 23 kg.”

Most passengers, who purchased advanced seat reservation, select a window seat. Adding advanced seat reservation also enables passengers to check in for the flight already five days before the departure.

This summer airBaltic also saw a 52% increase in the number of passengers who chose to travel with their pets. Among carriers providing direct flights to and from the Baltics, airBaltic is one of the few, which offers such a service.

Omnevo and in-flight digitalisation specialists airfree have entered into a partnership to expand the in-flight retail experience. The first rollout of the new joint platform was launched on Singapore Airlines (SIA) in collaboration with KrisShop, SIA’s flagship retailer, in June 2021 and is being expanded across the airline’s Thales-enabled Airbus A350 fleet.

Omnevo and airfree expand in-flight shopping potential

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Omnevo and in-flight digitalisation specialists airfree have entered into a partnership to expand the in-flight retail experience. The first rollout of the new joint platform was launched on Singapore Airlines (SIA) in collaboration with KrisShop, SIA’s flagship retailer, in June 2021 and is being expanded across the airline’s Thales-enabled Airbus A350 fleet.

Omnevo and in-flight digitalisation specialists airfree have entered into a partnership to expand the in-flight retail experience.

The first rollout of the new joint platform was launched on Singapore Airlines (SIA) in collaboration with KrisShop, SIA’s flagship retailer, in June 2021 and is being expanded across the airline’s Thales-enabled Airbus A350 fleet.

Omnevo’s in-flight expansion of its single-platform strategy through airfree’s onboard expertise now provides an inter-connected, uninterrupted customer experience across the whole passenger journey, enabling KrisShop to host what is believed to be the largest in-flight retail offering ever seen in the industry.

On-board SIA passengers gain in-flight ‘live’ access to KrisShop’s offerings, with a curated selection of over 4,000 products ranging from beauty and fragrances to electronics and liquor, as well as exclusive KrisShop and SIA merchandise. SIA passengers can shop from the comfort of their seat during their flight, supported by convenient delivery options, including to their homes almost anywhere in the world, as well as to upcoming SIA flights.

The extended, holistic reach of the Omnevo platform now enables customer engagement at any journey point, including pre-order, in-flight shopping, post-flight and loyalty shopping as part of a single, cohesive shopping and entertainment in-flight experience.

airfree’s semi-embedded technology enables airlines to update the content of their servers before every flight, thereby reducing satellite connection costs and optimising bandwidth usage (whereby live in-flight connectivity need only be utilised during the checkout phase), to ensure a fast, smooth and seamless experience for passengers. This on-board technology creates a ground-to-air service offering a rapid, connected shopping experience with an intuitive, responsive front-end design adapted for both IFE screens and personal devices. Additional features that airlines can incorporate include smart management of the product catalogue, with route-based personalisation, real–time stock, price and promotion updates, multi-language and currency management, online payment, with every purchase trackable by shoppers through their account.

The SIA rollout is the first stage in a partnership between Omnevo and airfree and will serve as a blueprint to enable the new joint-platform across any Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft in the future.

Michael Raasch, CEO of Omnevo, said: “As airlines seek to recover from the greatest revenue crisis in aviation history, the in-flight revenue opportunity has been revolutionised through a powerful, proven path to higher revenue. With this newly expanded platform for KrisShop, we have demonstrated how leading airlines can bridge the industry’s pivotal gap in the targeting of the in-flight customer by placing the digital shopping experience right in front of them, in the seatback. The decades-old conundrum of how to fully exploit the ‘captive’ in-flight audience and actually deliver the revenue-driving potential of IFE can now be resolved through a dedicated, cutting-edge online shopping experience.

“Consumer digital adoption was greatly accelerated in the crisis and airlines must respond with a stronger customer experience across all journey points, including, crucially, in the air. This extension of our single, connected, tailored platform opens up viable, cost-effective new routes to recovery not only for FSCs but also for LCCs. Digitalisation is the only way to grow ancillary revenue in this turbulent market and seize a lasting competitive advantage.”

From November, United passengers on select flights can show a flight attendant the PayPal QR Code in the PayPal app and use it to buy snacks, drinks and other inflight purchases while onboard.

United introduces PayPal QR codes as in-flight payment option

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From November, United passengers on select flights can show a flight attendant the PayPal QR Code in the PayPal app and use it to buy snacks, drinks and other inflight purchases while onboard.

United and PayPal have introduced a new way to make touch-free in-flight purchases, even in areas without Wi-Fi.

From November, United passengers on select flights can show a flight attendant the PayPal QR Code in the PayPal app and use it to buy snacks, drinks and other in-flight purchases while onboard.

United is the first airline to offer PayPal QR Codes, and this partnership is part of United’s easy-to-use, suite of contactless payment tools.

PayPal QR Codes can be used on select flights departing from Chicago O’ Hare International Airport in November and before the end of the year, will extend to all flights across the entire network where contactless payment is available.

“Our contactless payment offering is built on simplicity and choice and it’s another way we’re improving the overall experience of flying United,” said Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer for United. “PayPal is a terrific partner and this technology gives our customers another easy way to make purchases, even when they’re not online. We expect to introduce even more new and innovative options for our customers in the future through our collaboration with PayPal.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with United to introduce our new offline QR code functionality, adding more ways for customers to check out with PayPal in more places, especially in offline or low connectivity areas,” said Frank Keller, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Segment Solutions and Digital Commerce at PayPal. “Bringing PayPal QR Codes in-flight reinforces our commitment to offering customers choice and provides a new level of touch-free convenience for consumers when making in-flight purchases, within the PayPal app they know and trust.”