Accelya completes Farelogix acquisition

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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.”

Alaska Airlines

Retail inMotion introduces new solution with Alaska Airlines

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Retail inMotion have introduced an updated version of their vPreo product to make ordering and selecting products faster and easier for all passengers.

Through the updated service, airlines can offer passengers the ability to pre-select products on offer, such as in-flight meals and duty free, to then be delivered to them during the journey.

Alaska Airlines is the first customer to introduce this new solution to their customers. All passengers are able to pre-order a meal up to three weeks prior to their flight by using the airline’s app or website.

In the case of Alaska Airlines, the data – meal availability and fulfilment, handled by the LSG Group – is integrated between Alaska Airlines, eGate IFX and Retail inMotion’s Vector via a set of connectors.

“This is a milestone for Retail inMotion to expand our end-to-end platform and enhance our technical solution to reduce our time to market for future developments”, said Giacomo Tomolillo, Engineering Manager at Retail inMotion.

The items on offer will be specific to location, aircraft types, destination and other factors. The business rules and offer availability through the programme can be easily managed by Alaska Airlines admin staff to ensure a successful implementation.

Retail inMotion aims to make the systems manageable to accommodate market changes and suggests the product could enable future clients to tap into new business opportunities.

Emirates revamps in-flight retail offering with EmiratesRED

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Emirates has revamped its onboard retail offering with the launch of a new collection, EmiratesRED, as well as introducing an in-flight shopping channel.

Through the new collection, passengers can browse a selection of duty and tax free products, products from Emirates Official Store and unique experiences in Dubai and beyond.

Since the October launch of the new EmiratesRED offering, the airline has seen revenue increase 23%, while average sales per customer rose by 10%.

Emirates Airline retail revenue

Along with the new collection, Emirates has introduced a dedicated shopping channel on its in-flight entertainment system (IFE); ice, in what the airline said it a first for the airline industry.

The shopping channel is called EmiratesRED TV and is hosted by Andi Peters, providing insights with some of the names behind the products available for purchase onboard.

The channel includes interviews with Roja Dove, founder and creator of Roja Parfums; Julien Levy, co-founder of Dr. Levy Switzerland; and David Crisp, CEO of Boadicea the Victorious.

The EmiratesRED catalogue (with RED standing for Retail, Experiences & Dubai) features over 150 products offering top brands, must-haves and unique or ‘hard-to-find’ products.

The airline has found one of the most popular products sold onboard are the Apple Airpods and EmiratesRED now also offers Apple’s newly launched Powerbeats Pro.

“One of the biggest shifts in Emirates’ inflight retail strategy is to offer experiences to passengers, helping them plan their visit to Dubai and beyond more effectively,” the airline said in a statement. This includes exclusive deals to Dubai Parks & Resorts for example.

Onboard purchases continue to give customers benefits as the receipt can be used for discounted rates at Le Clos or select food and beverage outlets at Dubai International Airport.

EmiratesRED retail

Gulf Air signs multi-year retailing deal with ATPCO

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Gulf Air has signed a five-year retailing deal with ATPCO to integrate Routehappy Rich Content on the airline’s website to further modernise and enhance its flight shopping display. In addition to Gulf Air’s direct channel website, the deal will also see the airline’s targeted rich content integrated with key regional and global third-party sales channels.

Rich Content types include at-a-glance information about flight features, including amenities (in-seat power, in-flight entertainment, connectivity etc), UTAs (Universal Ticket Attributes) that provide easy-to-understand benefits and restrictions such as cancellation, refund policies and boarding priority by fare, and UPAs (Universal Product Attributes) providing relevant media, captions and descriptions to define the airline’s products and services by aircraft type, cabin, time of day, etc.

La Compagnie offers SKYdeals

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La Compagnie is offering a digital shopping experience from SKYdeals as part of its deployment of high-speed Internet 4G+ onboard its two new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

On the route Paris-Orly/New York Newark, all customers have now access to the e-commerce platform and benefit from exclusive deals available during their flight.

“Offering the SKYdeals solution to our customers onboard our Airbus 321NEO was obvious for us. The smart shopping is part of La Compagnie’s DNA since its launch, almost five years ago. This is also SKYdeals’ promise to provide our customers with exclusive and private sales on products and services at destination during their flight. We are, with SKYdeals, creating the next generation of “shopping in the air” through exceptional events, group purchases, flash sales and many other initiatives,” explained Jean Charles Périno, sales and marketing director and co-founder of La Compagnie.

“We are delighted to deploy the first e-commerce platform for travelers on the Paris-New York line with La Compagnie. Thanks to this partnership, we have a great opportunity to reach premium passengers, sensitive to exclusivity at the best price.

“The entire SKYdeals team would like to thank La Compagnie for their trust and support. This new deployment is part of SKYdeals’ objective to reach, within five years, 4% of global air traffic, which counts for more than 200 million passengers per year,” stated Julien Sivan, CEO and co-founder of SKYdeals.

Etihad launches new shopping guide with Retail inMotion

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Etihad Airways has launched a new lifestyle shopping guide in collaboration with Retail inMotion to replace its current onboard Boutique catalogue starting 1 October 2019.

Etihad shopping guide Vibe coverDeveloped by Retail inMotion in conjunction with publishing house Identity, the new shopping guide ‘Vibe’ aims to engage passengers with onboard shopping in a new way and will be available as a printed product and through the IFE.

Jamal Al Awadhi, vice-president product and guest experience, Etihad Airways, said: “The launch of Vibe will set a new global benchmark for the in-flight retail experience and future enhancements will include an ecommerce platform, a pre-order option and home delivery.”

“We are enormously excited to launch Vibe into the market. Our market research has shown that the old model of in-flight catalogues is outdated; Vibe will engage with passengers at a completely different level, offering great content together with a ‘wish-list’ of products,” commented Andrea Fiore, head of global sales at Retail inMotion. “The guide has been developed after months of research and development, to offer a best-in-class retail experience to Etihad guests.”

‘Vibe’ will include the latest fashion and lifestyle trends; explore top brands, products and exclusive releases; and cover the latest events, shows and travel destinations. Regular features will include advice from an in-house health and beauty expert, and tips on favourite travel products from selected crew members.
Etihad's shopping guide Vibe beauty trends
The October issue will showcase International Fashion Weeks around the world, the best places to celebrate the New Year, and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Michael Dennington, director at Identity said: “Working with Retail inMotion for Etihad Airways provided us with an exceptional opportunity to leverage our in-flight retail publishing expertise, to develop a game-changing concept for the airline.”

After the contract was awarded in April 2018, Retail inMotion took over the Boutique programme in November 2018.

APEXEXPO2019: Thales and Airfree partner for in-flight shopping platform

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Thales and Airfree are partnering to introduce an e-Commerce platform to extend the airport duty-free shopping experience into the cabin, aiming to bring a new revenue opportunity to airlines.

The companies argue the Airfree marketplace will be the first to offer duty-free services with ground fulfillment at more than 350 airports worldwide, expanding the current onboard offering from a limited catalogue to thousands of products and new product categories.

Launched exclusively with Thales, the company said the service will make its commercial debut with an airline by the end of the year.

Through the platform, airport offerings are incorporated into a single marketplace and made available through the in-flight entertainment system on seatback and personal electronic devices. This then means passengers can browse and purchase items from an extensive airport offering, with product choices tailored to the passenger route. Passengers can also use airline points for payment or benefit from exclusive offers based on frequent flyer status.

Sylvia Arndt, vice-president digital services Thales InFlyt Experience said: “We are excited to partner with Airfree for the onboard duty free marketplace, enabling airlines to grow in-flight revenue and transform the shopping experience for their passengers.”

The companies say the Thales/Airfree airline-branded marketplace would reduce “or eliminates” logistics and weight for traditional onboard duty-free items, as well as reducing time and energy spent by the crew, while also increasing passenger choice and airline revenue.

With proprietary bandwidth optimisation technology, the Airfree platform reduces satellite data consumption compared to traditional technologies.

Etienne de Verdelhan, CEO of Airfree called the partnership “a great step in the development of our startup” adding that the two companies have strong synergies and can “propose a model that has a high value for the airlines.”

APEXEXPO2019: Viasat partners to bring destination guides and booking onboard

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Viasat has partnered with destination video guide and excursion companies to pair its in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions with travel bookings and destination content services, aiming to enhance the passenger experience and open additional revenue streams for airlines.

Viasat and destination video guide company InflightFlix have formed a partnership to bring destination video guide content to in-flight entertainment systems, hoping to generate new revenue streams for airlines and inspire travel opportunities for passengers in-flight.

According to Valour Consultancy, revenue from advertising, sponsorship, shopping and destination content on IFE is expected to grow from $170 million in 2016 to $1.3 billion by 2026, with destination content representing about two-thirds of the expected total revenue in 2026.

This growth will be driven by the development of new forms of advertising that attract new advertisers, and provide in-flight audiences with relevant, contextual and engaging content. Viasat are tapping into this opportunity with InflightFlix to help airlines convert traditional in-flight destination video content cost to revenue.

The agreement leverages Viasat’s wireless IFE platform along with the destination video guide content produced by InflightFlix. Content is created specifically for each airline, aligned to the brand values and a complete set of video guides are created for each destination on the network.

Martin O Regan, chief executive officer, InflightFlix, said: “By connecting airline passengers with destination experience videos, we’re providing passengers with highly inspiring content to enhance experiences in-flight, in destination and inspire travel to other destinations. And at the same time, we are enabling airlines to improve the passenger experience, convert content costs into revenue and show a return on investment for their IFE systems.”

Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat added, “In partnering with InflightFlix, we can further grow Viasat’s portfolio of ancillary revenue products aimed at helping airlines monetize the passenger journey. This partnership is unique in that it is highly customizable—ensuring airlines can best connect their passengers with experiences and flight routes.”

Booking destination excursions

Viasat also partnered with booking platform GetYourGuide to bring rich contextual-based excursion offers to passengers in-flight with no data or airtime charges to either the airline or passengers.

The partnership will leverage contextual-based displays of excursion offers from GetYourGuide’s inventory and will enable passengers to activate those offers in-flight over Viasat’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system.

Viasat will act as the direct contractor to airlines integrating GetYourGuide’s travel experiences into the Viasat IFEC system. The implementation can be white-labeled and airline-branded and Viasat can promote any tour, activity or attraction ticket offer to a connected passengers, then activate the offer in-flight.

Activities will be targeted by route initially, though future expansion plans include targeting excursions and adventures by fare class, loyalty status and profile types, while fully compliant with GDPR.

“We feel strongly that GetYourGuide’s winning combination of the right inventory, a best price guarantee and same-day bookings have proven compelling to travelers all over the world,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “Our partnership with GetYourGuide makes it fast and simple for airlines to improve their in-flight customer experience, and earn a significant commission without any cost.”

Speaking to Inflight at APEX EXPO in Los Angeles, Buchman pointed out many passengers will have booked travel and hotel but haven’t typically booked an excursion yet and are ready to explore activities. The solution could present special offers for onboard bookings to benefit both passengers and airlines.

He added: “As well as destination excursions, it allows passengers to explore extra options as well and consider future trips and destinations they would next like to visit, reaching them in the envisioning or dreaming stage.”

“We’re on a mission to connect travelers with incredible experiences at every stage of their journey,” said Shane Mayer, head of Partnerships at GetYourGuide. “In initial tests, we found that users of in-flight displays showed a strong propensity to book destination experiences: engaged passengers were up to four times more likely to make a destination purchase while in-flight, compared to typical conversion rates from other touchpoints. Thanks to Viasat’s unique contextual display, we expect our partnership will create exceptional engagement and conversion, and deliver a great financial result for the airlines while helping their passengers love where they’re going.”

Image: GetYourGuide

SKYdeals joins La Maison des startups incubator by LVMH group

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SKYdeals has joined as part of the LVMH Group Startups acceleration programme as of 5 September.

The programme facilitates access to all the brands of the group (ie. Kenzo, Givenchy, Guerlain, Benefits) in order to test new solutions or launch innovative products.

“We are very proud and delighted to be part of the LVMH La Maison des startups programme. We look forward to taking advantage of this opportunity to significantly increase the number of our partner brands, particularly in the luxury industry.”

The company aims to provide ‘Inflight Shoppertainment’ using onboard connectivity to evolve the Travel Retail market. SKYdeals developed a platform to allow brands to promote preferential offers to passengers currently in the air and connected to the internet.

SKYdeals is available on all Air France connected flights since January 2019.

Vistara World goes app-free

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Vistara is marking the first anniversary of the launch of its free wireless streaming in-flight entertainment (IFE) service, Vistara World, by introducing an app-free solution.

Since launching last year, Vistara World, which streams content from the Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE platform to passenger devices, has been progressively rolled out to Vistara’s entire fleet of 31 aircraft, including Airbus A320 and the recently inducted Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.

Passengers are now able to watch Vistara’s DRM-protected content from their personal device browser, without downloading the app. Previously, only DRM-less content could be viewed without the app.

Vistara’s evolving content library includes a flight moving map, movies, TV shows and music in varying genres. In addition, one of the most popular elements of Vistara World is the membership enrolment page for “Club Vistara”, the airline’s loyalty programme.

“At Vistara we continue to invest in enhancing our service offerings to stay ahead of the curve. In the last year we have flown over five million customers who have consumed a variety of engaging content on ‘Vistara World’ and enjoyed the Vistara experience even more. The Bluebox platform’s convenience, robust capabilities and flexibility will now take this experience a notch higher,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, chief commercial officer, Vistara.