the Electronic Cabin Bag (eCB) digitalises and automates cabin crew tasks while enabling passengers to use their personal electronic devices for in-flight shopping and service requests.

Collins Aerospace unveils new touchless in-flight solution

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the Electronic Cabin Bag (eCB) digitalises and automates cabin crew tasks while enabling passengers to use their personal electronic devices for in-flight shopping and service requests.

Collins Aerospace has unveiled a new touchless in-flight solution for onboard crew and passenger services.

Now available to airlines across the globe, the Electronic Cabin Bag (eCB) digitalises and automates cabin crew tasks while enabling passengers to use their personal electronic devices for in-flight shopping and service requests.

By digitising documents, in-flight processes and in-flight inventory, the eCB solution puts the information that the cabin crew needs to better serve passengers on a single device, replacing traditional paper-heavy processes. The solution also eliminates the need for passengers to touch high-traffic call buttons.

In addition, eCB enables airline passengers to access real-time onboard inventory of food, beverage and in-flight shopping at any stage during the flight, with the knowledge that what is being shown to them is what is available to purchase. eCB is further enhanced when the aircraft has a satellite connection to enable real-time credit card payment verification — reducing the levels of fraudulent transactions.

“eCB gives airlines a boost in efficiency and ancillary revenue while simultaneously helping their passengers and crew feel confident in returning to travel,” said Clotilde Enel-Rehel, General Manager for Commercial Aviation & Network Services for Collins Aerospace. “The data and analytics generated by eCB will also enable airlines to make informed decisions to better support their strategic and tactical planning.”

GlobalX A320 aircraft

3Sixty to manage duty-free programme of Global Crossing Airlines

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GlobalX A320 aircraft

US start-up charter carrier GlobalX has selected 3Sixty Duty Free to manage its onboard in-flight duty-free programme.

“The transaction announced today represents an exciting opportunity for 3Sixty,” commented 3Sixty’s Chief Operations Officer, Alex Anson. “Joining forces with GlobalX, further expands our omnichannel footprint and continues elevating the travel retail experience for customers.”

The initial phase of the partnership entails the implementation of 3Sixty’s in-flight duty-free program with plans to include pre-order service, home delivery, and their onboard pouring program in the future.

From its bases at Miami International Airport and Atlantic City International Airport, GlobalX is scheduled to begin operations in July with two aircraft in its fleet, an Airbus A320 and a A321, serving routes to Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

It intends to grow its fleet by up to ten aircraft over the coming 18 months, including a widebody A330 and several A321 passenger-to-freighter aircraft, with plans to expand to other US airports.

The airline has also launched a mobile client app, Client ConneX, which features flight information, menus and seat maps as well as other trip details.

AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers' wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

AirFi and Transferz offer new route for airline ancillary revenues

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AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers' wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

Passengers will soon be able to reserve airport transfers during flight following a partnership between AirFi and global ground transport marketplace, Transferz.

AirFi will develop an API and software developer kit that integrates the Transferz taxi booking engine into its airline customers’ wireless IFE platforms, providing carriers with new ancillary revenue opportunities.

“We see the wireless IFE portal as a gateway to broader e-commerce success and enhanced ancillary revenue for our airline partners. This partnership is a great example of how we help airlines improve their bottom lines,” said AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx. “We have been in talks with Transferz for quite some time and are impressed with their business model, high standard of ground transport partners, suite of integration tools, and global reach and client base that includes airlines, airports and OTAs”.

The Transferz application can be easily added to the IFE portal of existing AirFi customers and will be a pre-integrated option for new customers. Passengers connected to the wireless onboard network can access the engine with one click, enter their destination hotel (or residence, office, etc.), the number of people in their party, the amount of luggage they have, or any other special need to view suitable rides and prices. Payment can be completed in both online and offline cabin scenarios, and passengers can also add a note for the driver. Upon arrival, the Transferz systems will communicate with the passenger through every relevant moment during the journey.

“The market for ground transportation to and from the airport is immense, and in the case of low-cost carriers, the combined price of ground transfers is often higher than the fare itself. Airlines should be looking at every opportunity to tap into this part of the journey for revenue opportunities and better customer care,” said Johan van Vulpen, CEO at Transferz. “We have six years of experience working with only the most reputable and well-established ground transfer companies at over 1,500 airports globally. Each of our transfer partners must comply with our strict service level agreements, with tough criteria for driver checks, cleaning standards, fleet sustainability, safety, and more. This makes it possible for us to give the passenger true peace of mind, which is especially important when they arrive at a new destination for the first time.”

Transport Canada has granted Astronics an supplemental type certificate (STC) for its latest cabin network platform, The Edge.

Astronics gains STC for Edge cabin network platform

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Transport Canada has granted Astronics an supplemental type certificate (STC) for its latest cabin network platform, The Edge.

Transport Canada has granted Astronics a supplemental type certificate (STC) for its latest cabin network platform, The Edge.

Designed to be installed overnight with installation certifications owned by Astronics and reusable for future airline customers, The Edge takes advantage of a distributed network architecture that uses Smart WAPs. The solution combines an ‘industry first’ Wi-Fi6 wireless access point and server functionality as compute nodes that minimise installation wiring and provide a redundant and fault tolerant system.

“Astronics already has thousands of aircraft flying with our IFE hardware on board, which is unmatched in the market. This latest STC approval for The Edge is a testament to our technology leadership and continued solutions for the in-flight entertainment and connectivity market,” explained Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC.

LiFE in the Air has partnered with Astronics to use The Edge to host LiFE in the Air’s digital in-flight solution. Through this collaboration, LiFE in the Air is offering trial and demonstrations to airlines.

LiFE in the Air’s digital in-flight solution enables airline passengers to use their personal electronic devices to virtually buy products onboard, access in-flight entertainment, and keep occupied while in flight with short films and entertaining content, games, and community-driven features. Another key feature is that no air-to-ground connectivity is required.

“This is another major milestone for LiFE in the Air and a big step forward as we continue our progress of enhancing the passenger experience while providing services for airlines around the world,” said Bayram Annakov, CEO and founder of LiFE in the Air. “With the needed STCs completed with Astronics, we can now focus our attention on Boeing 737-800 and MAX aircraft installations globally, and bring our innovative IFE solution to passengers, as travel starts to recover.”

The Omnevo customer journey

Omnevo partners with dnata

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The Omnevo customer journey

dnata, through its Alpha Flight Services joint-venture, has selected Omnevo to power its future omnichannel retailing and on-board sales and service offerings on-board its largest in-flight-retail airline customer in the UAE.

The project scope includes a digital program to enrich on-board and pre-order catering programs, including the rollout of Omnevo’s digital platforms in powering the on-board ePos and pre-order systems and its unique expertise in supply-chain management.

Omnevo has created a new, modular ecosystem with low entry cost that offers a seamless, end-to-end solution, including the capability to generate real-time analytics throughout the entire supply-chain. This incorporates precise identification of what is consumed, purchased, wasted and lost, creating significant cost-savings and customer service improvements for airlines of any size.

Michael Raasch, CEO of Omnevo, welcomed the agreement: “Particularly from my own airline background, we are especially delighted to work with such globally respected operators as dnata and Alpha Flight Services. Our concept for Omnevo was crystalised right in the heart of this crisis specifically to smash through a number of key operational barriers faced by airlines and other mobility operators, so we know their challenges and how to resolve them.

Omnevo’s solution has already proven to strongly improve retail program and supply chain efficiency by double-digit percentage figures with other pioneering airlines by reducing involuntary stock-loss, fraud, food waste and routing and supply chain issues and supporting sustainability goals. These enhanced efficiencies can drive a post-COVID recovery for the airlines and operators with the vision to realise that the already declining effectiveness of traditional methodologies will not – cannot – fully address these new realities.”

David Loft, Chief Commercial Officer of dnata catering, commented: “Every area of aviation has faced an unprecedented crisis in COVID-19. Positively, the challenges of the last 12 months have driven an even sharper focus on customers across the board and fast-tracked the development of technology and product solutions.”

Delta is introducing contactless payments onboard

Delta debuts latest touchless tech

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.”