Corendon Dutch Airlines has partnered with AirFi to launch a new in-seat ordering service, enabling passengers to order food and drinks or duty free items onboard and have them delivered directly to their seat.
The deployment is the airline’s latest step in enhancing the passenger experience, reducing waste and optimising revenue opportunities. Following a successful trial, the service will be launched on the airline’s fleet of three Boeing 737-800 aircraft by the end of February and will complement its existing trolley service.
The Corendon Café is fully integrated with AirFi’s ePOS (point of sale solution) and IFE system and the new service is fully controlled by the crew. Once the IFE system has been turned on, the airline crew will perform a first trolley service before activating the new service, allowing passengers to purchase extra snacks and drinks extending the opening hours of the onboard shop.
Passengers can purchase a wide array of snacks, drinks, and warm meals, by simply connecting to Corendon’s streaming IFE and shopping platform using their own mobile devices by selecting the appropriate Wi-Fi network onboard. They can then fill their shopping basket with their chosen items, and place their order.
Cabin crew is notified of the order on their tablets, marking the request “in progress” or “complete” for other crew members to see. Passengers can also see their order status via messaging on the wireless IFE platform streamed to their personal electronic device. When the order is ready, a crew member will deliver the items to the passenger’s seat and proceed with the payment. As a cashless airline, Corendon accepts all major debit and credit cards.
Crew members are also able to monitor stock levels, marking products as ‘out of stock’ when they become unavailable. The airline is currently trialling optimised loading using data from its AirFi’s ePOS solution to help drive down operational costs without compromising sales opportunities.
Gert-Jan de Vries, Manager Cabin Crew & Inflight Sales, Corendon Dutch Airlines, commented: “Since COVID-19 began, passengers have been asked not to walk about the cabin, and since childhood, most of us were taught not to press the flight attendant call button unless absolutely necessary. This is very courteous, but not ideal if the passenger really would like to buy some duty free or have a refreshment. With AirFi’s in-seat ordering, we provide a more discreet way for our guests to request what they want, when they want it. The result is that our guests are more content during the flight, and as an airline we earn additional revenue that might have otherwise been lost.
“The passengers loved this feature learned how to use the in-seat ordering functionality very quickly when we ran a trial in January. We saw an instant use of the system and are thrilled to deploy across our fleet just ahead of the busy spring/summer holiday season. Going forward, we will continue to boost sales, improve crew efficiency, and broaden our offering of shopping and digital inflight entertainment.”
Job Heimerikx, CEO, AirFi, added: “Corendon has been a partner of AirFi for many years and we’re incredibly excited to announce that they’re the first European airline to adopt our ground-breaking in-seat ordering capabilities. By offering hybrid service that begins with the traditional trolley service then switches to in-seat ordering, Corendon is truly maximising the potential of its onboard retail programme.
“Building strong ancillary revenue streams from the captive passenger is of paramount importance for airlines post-pandemic as we finally begin to see passenger numbers climbing. AirFi is committed to supporting Corendon and other airlines around the world with a suite of digital retail and entertainment solutions that put ROI first.”
In 2020, AirFi and Singaporean LCC Scoot launched “ScootHub” with in-seat ordering in a regional first. The initiative facilitated a shift from printed menus and in-flight magazines at each seat to a fully digital solution, saving the airline 156 tonnes of paper annually.