BARTA update: Budapest Airport, Wizz Air and Heinemann trial ‘exceeding all expectations’


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At the co-located FTE Europe and Ancillary 2017, Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport, discussed the BARTA (Brand, Airline, Retailer, Technology, Airport) initiative with a panel including Davit Mamulaishvili, Head of Revenue Development, Wizz Air; Ildikó Jankovich, Managing Director, Heinemann Duty Free Hungary; and TRBusiness Managing Editor Charlotte Turner, who chaired the session. Jandu stated: “Working together through BARTA principles opens up a new opportunity to drive growth.”

Mid-way through the three-month trial of the revolutionary BARTA travel retail concept to electronically-engage airline passengers in airport shopping, the main partners in the Budapest Airport-focussed experiment are already reporting that the results are significantly out-performing targets.

BARTA (Brands, Airlines, Retailers, Technology, Airports) is an initiative which aims to electronically include all stakeholders in the airport shopping process in an effort to significantly increase yields. The Budapest trial, which began in March, involves a collaboration between Budapest Airport, Heinemann Duty Free and Wizz Air, and follows the launch of Future Travel Experience’s BARTA framework at the FTE Europe and Ancillary event in Dublin in June 2017. The next BARTA update will be presented at FTE Ancillary in Dublin, 6-8 June 2018.

The BARTA concept brings an airline deeply into the airport travel retail relationship for the first time, with the first results indicating a sizeable increase in revenues and footfall. Indeed the Budapest partners have gone on record to report their satisfaction with the initial results ahead of discussing the trial at this year’s FTE event in Dublin.

“Surpassing even our most optimistic forecasts”

Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport, commented: “As consumer use of online retail platforms continues to grow, BARTA is all about maintaining and advancing the relevance of airport retail. Mid-way through the BARTA electronic engagement experiment at Budapest Airport, all the indications are that the results are going to surpass even our most optimistic forecasts. Right now this first-of-its-kind collaborative model, together with our Heinemann and Wizz Air partners, is setting the benchmark for the future of airport shopping.”

“After just a few weeks the BARTA initiative is already proving to be a success, showing promising results with increased penetration rates, higher than average receipts, and the redemption of the vouchers exceeding our expectations. During the same period the number of Wizz Air customers in the shops increased and their spending also increased ahead of the shop trend,” commented Ildikó Jankovich, Managing Director Heinemann Duty Free at Budapest Airport. “Our goal is to remain an engine of innovation in the travel retail market while continually surprising travellers with outstanding offers and ideas. Engaging with Budapest Airport and Wizz Air in this new retail concept is an important part of achieving this objective, and we are excited to continue this successful cooperation trial.”

George Michalopoulos, CCO, Wizz Air, added: “Wizz Air constantly strives to improve its services and product portfolio to best meet the needs of savvy travellers. The cooperation with Heinemann Duty Free and Budapest Airport has proven to be a very fruitful partnership, and we are getting very positive feedback from our travellers.”

How the BARTA trial works

During a three-month trial period starting on 1 March 2018, any departing Wizz Air passenger spending over €50 or €75 in the Hungarian gateway’s Heinemann Duty Free store receives a €4.50 or €7.50 voucher, respectively. Customers may redeem these vouchers on board in the WIZZ Café, choosing any product from the airline’s wide selection of hot drinks, fresh sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages.

The offers will be promoted via the digital channels of all parties, including wizzair.com and the Wizz mobile App. Crucially this is the first time that Budapest Airport’s largest airline has participated in such a shopping promotion which offers an outreach to up to 1.75 million travellers booking Wizz Air seats this summer.

Commenting on the trial, Daniel Coleman, Founder of Future Travel Experience, said: “That the Budapest partners are already saying such strong, positive things about the ongoing BARTA trial is a huge indicator that electronic traveller engagement is the key to ensuring the relevance of airport shopping in the future. I can’t wait for the partners to give us further indicators of the success of the full trial when it is discussed at the Future Travel Experience Europe and Ancillary Conference & Exhibition in Dublin 6-8 June 2018.”

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