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ANCILLARY ALLIANCES

It Takes Two (or More) How can airlines recover from the largest business model shift in the history of commercial aviation? When it comes to important ancillary revenue streams, industry leaders agree that digital platforms are key. But no company can deliver the promised land alone. Savvy partnerships, on the other hand, just might. by SETH MILLER

The catering arm of dnata will integrate its food and beverage services into the Bluebox system.

With the ongoing need to reduce onboard interactions and a shift in consumer demand for ancillary products due to COVID-19, airlines and service providers have had to reevaluate the in-flight retail experience to meet current and future challenges. That means tapping into the power of digital platforms, industry leaders say. But thus far, digital has largely been absent from the in-flight retail landscape. Several partnerships, inspired or accelerated by the pandemic, are changing that. Portable in-flight entertainment (IFE) company AirFi recently entered into a sales partnership with IFE content provider Spafax that will combine the platform’s passenger and behavioral data with Spafax’s expertise in advertising and media. It’s the key that “will finally unlock the huge growth potential in onboard digital revenues,” says AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx. Together, they’ll be able

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to deliver targeted and more personalized digital opportunities that will result in better and higher-yielding conversions, he adds. In October, streaming IFE supplier Bluebox Aviation Systems announced an agreement with the catering arm of dnata to integrate its food and beverage services into the Bluebox system. Providing passengers with a seamless experience and embedding catering logistics into an IFE platform can be quite technically complex, says Duncan Greeney, dnata’s general manager for Retail. “In the present climate our customers need solutions that are simple and quick to deploy. This is an opportunity for airlines to minimize contact and dialogue between passengers and cabin crew but still deliver an excellent service and a full range of food, drinks and retail goods that are such an essential part of the ancillary revenue income.”

Expo Daily Experience

Profile for Spafax

FTE APEX Virtual Expo Daily Experience – December 1, 2020  

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