Delta is introducing contactless payments onboard

Delta debuts latest touchless tech

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Delta is introducing contactless payments onboard

From 16 March, Delta is introducing tap-to-pay technology enabling contactless payment for onboard purchases.

In advance of extending the payment service to all onboard sales as more food and beverage options return, passengers will initially be able to purchase earbuds on board using their mobile devices or contactless-enabled credit cards, with the option for emailed receipts.

“At Delta, we think big, start small and scale fast to improve the experience for our customers,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “Not only will these new features provide peace of mind in the pandemic era by reducing touchpoints, they’re a key element of our vision for easing every step of the travel journey.”

The airline is also testing digital seatback menus on select international flights with plans to expand the feature across its fleet. A new electronic Delta One menu, currently accessible via personal seatback screens on A330-operated flights between Boston and Amsterdam, will reduce waste, streamline service and allow flight attendants to connect with customers more safely.

Delta continues to expand touchless innovations throughout the travel journey. In onboard lavatories, touchless faucets, flush levers and waste lids reduce touchpoints on the highest-use surfaces while anti-microbial lighting for sinks and countertops provides added protection. These solutions are in place on many Delta aircraft, including the Airbus A350, Airbus A330-900, Boeing 767-400 and Boeing 757. Other aircraft types will be retrofitted with some of these features later this year

Malaysia Airlines has launched a new online shopping platform, Enrich Shoppe

Malaysia Airlines launches new online shopping platform

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Malaysia Airlines has launched a new online shopping platform, Enrich Shoppe

Malaysia Airlines has launched Enrich Shoppe, a new online shopping platform powered by RebateMango.

Enrich members in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines can earn Enrich Miles for purchases from over 500 e-commerce brands such as Tumi, Sephora, Michael Kors, Watsons, JD Sports, Uniqlo, Cotton On, and more.

Enrich members can earn up to 10X Enrich Miles earned for every USD1 spent on Enrich Shoppe. These acquired Enrich Miles can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays via Enrich Hotels and Temptations’ in-flight duty-free products, as well as a variety of lifestyle vouchers, exclusive dining vouchers or redeemed them for seat upgrades and Golden Lounge Access.

Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Lau Yin May said: “Online shopping has become the better alternative these days, especially now in light of the current restrictions and the second phase of the movement control order in Malaysia, hence we embarked on this collaboration with RebateMango to meet customers’ preferences. This partnership is a great opportunity for customers to enjoy a safe and seamless shopping experience with their favourite brands from the comfort of home and to be rewarded with Enrich Miles for the four million Enrich members when they shop with Enrich Shoppe. As we continue to provide more options and flexibility to earn Enrich Miles, we believe this latest addition will be rewarding for our members. If you are not a member yet, sign up as Enrich member now which is absolutely free of charge to start enjoying many exclusive benefits by Enrich!”.

Scoot's new in-flight portal, ScootHub

ScootHub portal prepares Scoot for new normal

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Scoot's new in-flight portal, ScootHub

Scoot has launched a new in-flight portal, ScootHub, to serve as a one-stop shop for all customer needs in-flight, allowing Scoot to resume some in-flight services, such as buy-on-board food, which had been temporarily suspended.

Powered by AirFi’s rapidly deployable and fully integrated platform, ScootHub, can be accessed from customers’ own mobile devices, reducing surface contact and physical interactions between customers and crew, and is the first of its kind in the region.

Scoot has been using AirFi’s Connected Crew solution since 2018. Streamlining existing content offerings and packing new content formats onto a digital platform, it is estimated that Scoot will reduce paper consumption by more than 156 tonnes of paper (equivalent to over 2,000 trees), translating to over 13 tonnes of fuel saved and over 41 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reduced a year.

Martijn Moret, co-Founder, AirFi and based in Singapore, said: “We are impressed with the forward-looking vision of the Scoot team, and congratulate everyone involved – including our long-term partner SATS, KrisShop and the AirFi team – on rolling this out within just three months. The best part is, this is just the start! Over the next few months, there are a number of innovations that will be added to the in-flight repertoire of Scoot, effectively positioning them as leaders in customer-oriented digital transformation efforts.”

Launching in phases commencing December 2020, Scoot customers will be able to order food and beverages from Scoot Café. Food and beverages including hot meal combos, snacks, hot drinks, soft drinks and alcohol can be ordered. Cabin crew will be alerted via their fulfilment device once orders have been placed, and food will be served within 20 minutes to customers at their seats.

Passengers can also browse an extensive range of travel essentials, cosmetics, accessories, as well as exclusive Scoot merchandise from Scootalogue. The range of in-flight duty-free shopping items available for sale will steadily grow, and by end-June 2021, customers will be able to access KrisShop.com’s full range of items and delivery options.

Payment via credit card on the portal is targeted to be available by end-March 2021.

In ScootHub’s second phase, from April 2021, customers will be able to book ground activities and attractions while in-flight. The digital function replaces Scott’s physical in-flight magazines. They can also sync their Krisflyer membership to earn or redeem miles when they purchase items via KrisShop or activities and attractions via Pelago, the SIA Group’s new platform for destination inspiration and content. Scoot has a roadmap of additional features to be deployed in subsequent phases.

Passengers can also view the flight’s progress in real time via a live map. By end of 2021, travel and hospitality brands will be able to offer relevant content to travellers through real-time geo-positioning on the map.

Via polls, Scoot will obtain customers’ feedback on their in-flight experience on the spot. Companies may also use this feature for market surveys so that they can better understand customers’ travel habits and consumption patterns, in return for incentives such as free drinks or snacks from the Scoot Café menu for customers who participate.

Additionally, passengers travelling on Scoot’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners will be able to purchase in-seat power directly on ScootHub. Onboard seat upgrades, currently suspended to facilitate contact tracing, will be enabled in a subsequent phase. To entertain children and their families, a myriad of games are also available on the portal, ranging from colouring activities and puzzles, to fun-packed adventures and brain teasers.

Campbell Wilson, Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We know that health and safety are top of customers’ minds these days, and that regulatory requirements have changed the in-flight experience.

“ScootHub enables us to resume valued services in a safe, low-touch manner, improving customers’ experiences and – through reduction in paper-based collaterals – improving our environmental sustainability too.

“Our investment in this portal is part of Scoot’s comprehensive digitalisation programme, both internal and external, which also includes health-focused initiatives such as touchless check-in kiosks and bag-drop facilities, enhanced online and mobile check-in capabilities, and real- time information on travel requirements.”

dnata's new unit delivers tailor-made on-board retail programmes and innovative products for airline customers

dnata establishes new center of excellence

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
dnata's new unit delivers tailor-made on-board retail programmes and innovative products for airline customers

Dnata has launched a dedicated in-flight retail center of excellence.

The specialist retail unit, headquartered in London, will be led by Alan Hayes, who currently leads retail for dnata’s UK catering operation.

From the new facility, dnata will provide airline customers with a comprehensive suite of ‘off-the-shelf’ services from product development, digitalised sales channels and technological solutions through to cabin crew engagement, product design and accounting. A suite of additional managed services options can be delivered as required.

Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata catering, said: “By bringing our retail skills and experience into a dedicated global retail unit and structure, we are now better placed to deliver award-winning solutions across our network.

“We have seen significant growth with our core retail customers in recent years, particularly in driving pre-order capability and lifting on-board sales performance through reward, recognition and engagement of cabin-crew. Our dedicated unit will further enhance our ability to provide best-in-class retail programmes and on-board innovation to our customers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen airlines rapidly explore additional revenue opportunities. We’re working closely with our airline customers to help them maximise ancillary revenue on-board while improving on-board experience and choice for passengers.”

easyJet is trialling EPax from gategroup and Black Swan Data

easyJet trials Epax to improve onboard hospitality

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
easyJet is trialling EPax from gategroup and Black Swan Data

Over winter, easyJet will trial over winter Epax, the digital retail solution from gategroup and long-term analytics partner, Black Swan Data.

For first time, passengers will be able to browse, order and buy in-flight retail services from their personal devices.

Epax is the first platform to deliver access to a full on-board retail offering direct to a passenger’s own device.  The retail experience will be accessible via simple connection to an onboard wireless network through a passenger’s own browser. Epax will not only make the customer experience more convenient onboard, but also support more relevant choices, using machine learning and data driven innovation to offer a smarter inflight retail experience.  Customers will be presented with more of what they want, based on factors such as flight destination, flight duration and time of day, as well as insights generated by a wealth of in-flight retail data.

The platform has the potential to remove hundreds of tonnes of paper a year from the cabin, while smarter loading of cabins based on retail data can be anticipated to reduce waste.

Robert Carey, Chief Commercial & Customer Officer at easyJet, added: “We are always looking to enhance our customer’s travel experience. From searching for a flight to making sure they can eat what they want onboard, we are excited to bring this new technology to market as a means to give customers more of what they want and reduce waste across the airline.”

“We continue to innovate with partners like gategroup and Black Swan Data to ensure that when it is possible for us to welcome more customers back on board, we are matching improved in-flight options with our crew who continue to provide a leading standard of safety-focused service and onboard hospitality.”

Steve King, CEO at Black Swan Data, commented: “easyJet are real innovators in onboard experience, so it’s exciting to support gategroup in developing its Epax technology and launching this exciting new platform with Black Swan’s analytics and insights. Epax delivers an improved inflight retail experience for passengers and allows airlines to streamline operations and maximise on-board revenues which is paramount for the industry right now.”

Immfly screen shot on seatback screeen

Immfly and GetYourGuide launch new onboard booking solution

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Immfly screen shot on seatback screeen

Immfly and booking platform GetYourGuide have launched a new onboard digital service allowing passengers book experiences with GetYourGuide through Immfly’s in-flight digital platform, even when offline.

While flying, passengers can browse and choose from GetYourGuide’s catalogue of over 60,000 bookable travel experiences, comprising of walking tours by top local experts, immersive food and beverage tours, cooking and craft classes, bucket-list experiences, and niche offerings not found anywhere else, as well as special incentives with skip-the-line tickets to some of the most iconic attractions around the world.

“We’re on a mission to give the whole world access to incredible experiences,” said Emil Martinsek, Chief Marketing Officer at GetYourGuide. “To do so, it’s critical we effectively leverage every stage of our customers’ journeys to engage and inspire them. Our partnership with Immfly represents a big step forward toward that goal, and we’re excited to work together to help even more travellers love where they’re going.”

The new service is available immediately, regardless of an airline’s their existing provision of onboard internet services. A number of Immfly’s airline customers have already signed up to the service, with roll-out due imminently.

A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE to acquire SHIFTEO

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
A single, intuitive, integrated platform allowing airlines to manage their ancillary revenue operations efficiently (Source AOE)

AOE is to acquire on-board sales and supply chain specialist SHIFTEO. The agreement includes SHIFTEO’s In-flight ePOS, Supply Chain Management and Back Office for Catering Management solutions.

When complete the unique functionality of the vendor-independent platform will integrate with simplified vendor management to give airlines the freedom to select and manage multiple caterers and duty-free suppliers right across location hubs and service stations.

Michael Raasch, CCO AOE Aviation commented: “AOE’s new platform provides airlines with powerful operational and competitive advantages that will drive new and stronger ancillary revenue opportunities.

“Additionally, in a new strategic cooperation with on-board technology experts Airfree, we also offer airlines complete connection and digital solutions on in-flight and IFE transactions. This completes an inflight solution that can not only accelerate airline recovery from the current crisis but also deliver stronger long-term performance.”

Peter Coelho, co-founder of SHIFTEO, added: “With sustainability the second-biggest priority on airlines’ minds after recovery, this model also has the potential to create immense savings in food waste, stock management, inefficiencies, last-mile delivery, fuel cost and theft/fraud,” he added. “Transforming just 20% of buy-on-board to E-Commerce and ten percent of passengers to pre-order their meals could result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars per year across the airline ecosystem.”

AOE has also incorporated stronger IFE accessibility to support the integration of all aspects of its digital solutions following a partnership agreement with Airfree, the leading specialist provider of on-board E-Commerce frontend and caching technology.

Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, outlines the potential influence of the new platform: “Connectivity is the golden key to future incremental revenue and these agreements gives us the agility to integrate our proven solutions into the entire value-chain of the world’s most forward-

“The global crisis has accelerated both digital behavior and the obsolescence of the traditional revenue models and, as we all know, digital behavior never regresses. The only one path to recovery is the one that the passenger is already treading – the digital path.”

The AOE-SHIFTEO transaction remains subject to additional regulatory approvals and is subject to final binding agreements.

Vistara’s Business Class seats on its A321neo are upholstered in premium, genuine leather that recline into fully-flat beds.

Vistara launches new ancillary stream

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Vistara’s Business Class seats on its A321neo are upholstered in premium, genuine leather that recline into fully-flat beds.

In an effort to drive sales on unsold Premium Economy and Business Class seats, Vistara has partnered with Plusgrade to launch its new upgrade program, Vistara Upgrades.

With business travel expected to take longer to bounce back, and leisure travel becoming the clear recovery driver, Vistara’s new upgrade program aims to leverage the higher capacity in superior cabins as an added benefit to their passenger experience.

“Vistara’s new upgrade program is expected to play a major role in building passenger confidence and loyalty in the long term. With support from Plusgrade, more passengers will have access to the personal space, comfort, privacy and high-end service that come with a Premium experience,” stated Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer at Vistara. “These are all things that our travellers are looking for as they consider returning to the sky.”

Vistara’s upgrade program key features:

  • Passengers can select whether to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy or Business Class through an online portal
  • Travelers will be able to take advantage of Plusgrade’s full suite of offer submission options: bid for upgrades and instant upgrades
  • Eligible passengers will be alerted of the opportunity to upgrade via targeted emails

Additional touchpoints, like web check-in and mobile app invites, are planned to be released following the launch.

Digginravel Academy flier

Airline Digital Retailing Academy launched

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Digginravel Academy flier

PROS, a provider of AI-powered solutions, and Diggintravel have launched the new learning platform, Airline Digital Retailing Academy to educate airline professionals on the fundamentals of digital retailing, digital optimisation and digital product development.

“Innovation is needed now, more than ever, to combat today’s challenges and problems faced by the airline industry,” said Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Diggintravel, Iztok Franko. “This one-of-a-kind opportunity for airline professionals is carefully designed to deliver the nuts and bolts of digital retailing within an environment that offers engagement and support, with the goal of enabling attendees to redefine and shape the future of travel through next models of digital retailing.”

The five-week part-time interactive course includes a mix of instruction, case study work, discussion, and networking with follow-on options for more in-depth learning on a variety of related topics. Graduates will earn an Airline Digital Retailing certification at completion of the course.

The course begins on 19 October.

Under carriage of jet

Accelya completes Farelogix acquisition

By Ancillary revenues, FeaturedNo Comments
Under carriage of jet

Accelya has completed its acquisition of Farelogix, enabling it to provide a next-generation, end-to-end, Offer-to-Settlement airline commerce platform, including a full suite of innovative retailing, distribution, and fulfillment solutions.

To accelerate the delivery of Accelya’s next generation platform, the Accelya and Farelogix management teams will be fully integrated, with Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson being appointed Chief Product Officer of the newly expanded Accelya Group.

“With the acquisition of Farelogix complete, we can now focus our efforts on delivering an integrated Offer-to-Settlement platform that drives revenue, increases brand loyalty, and reduces costs for airlines worldwide,” said John Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of Accelya.

Davidson commented: “There has never been a greater need in our industry for creativity, rapid innovation, and new technology choices for airlines as they work through this time of COVID-19, recovery, and the future of airline retailing. We have had tremendous interest and support from across the industry and with the completion of the acquisition by Accelya, we can execute our vision to deliver these essential, pro-airline solutions needed by our current and future airline customers.”