Monday, December 28, 2015

Delta Air Lines Is 2015 IdeaWorksCompany revenue innovation champ

IdeaWorksCompany continues a year-end tradition by identifying airlines that have shown the greatest prowess in ancillary revenue, a la carte pricing, and loyalty marketing. 

“Throughout 2015, we assessed the top ancillary revenue producing airlines and the most generous frequent flier programs, and issued reports that described the industry’s service innovation and product development; and offered practical advice for airline executives,” said a release from the Wisconsin-based company. 

The culmination of this work is the Airline Ancillary Revenue and Loyalty Guide for 2015. The Guide includes every published report and survey issued by IdeaWorksCompany during the year. IdeaWorksCompany has found that a select group of airlines clearly stood apart in their quest for new sources of revenue success. 

At the top of the list is Delta Air Lines. In 2015 Delta began offering a new product called Delta Comfort+. For a modest upgrade charge, passengers get priority boarding, dedicated overhead bin space, extra legroom, superior snacks on longer flights, free drinks such as beer and wine, and complimentary premium entertainment. 

“This ancillary revenue generator has been a huge financial success for Delta; IdeaWorksCompany estimates the carrier sells more than 45,000 Comfort+ seats a day,” said a release IdeaWorksCompany.

A program at Gatwick Airport that allows passengers to purchase what looks very much like an insurance policy; booking them on the next available flight at no cost if an inbound flight is delayed or cancelled and a passenger misses and outbound flight. Hotel and meal costs may also be added. SWISS International is offering a new program of branded fares called Light, Classic and Flex. JetBlue Airways has improved its inflight purchasing with Apple Pay and added cabin software that helps crew break language barriers with passengers. Rounding out the top five is AirAsia, which now offers a smart phone chat program with the help of its supplier, Tune Box.

A full look at the top revenue enhancing programs can be found on the IdeaWorksCompany website.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Thai Airways plans sweet Christmas treats

Thai Airways will be offering a special dessert menu on for Christmas Day, onboard nearly all its international flights from Bangkok.

During either lunch or dinner meal service, Royal First Class passengers will be served apple and cranberry parfait with cranberry compote and chocolate marzipan. Royal Silk Class passengers will be served apple and cranberry parfiat with cranberry compote. Economy Class passengers will be served Maria cake with vanilla Anglaise sauce.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Social media buzzed during launch celebration of Norwegian Escape

Norwegian Escape, the newest and largest of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 14-vessel fleet, experienced a record-breaking social media milestone during its inaugural celebrations from October 22-November 11. 

Cruisers logged 576,896 Facebook posts, 14,150 Tweets and 11,367 Instagram posts for a total of 159 million impressions, surpassing the cruise line’s “social media usage at sea” record set during the 2013 inaugural events for Norwegian Breakaway, exceeded in 2014 with the Norwegian Getaway.

The Escape has an advanced hybrid communications network of satellite-terrestrial-cellular connectivity from EMC that allows passengers and crew to connect their smartphones and other devices to post pictures and updates, call friends and family, and stay connected for important business communications. The engagement was ongoing during Norwegian Escape’s inaugural voyages.

Thousands of guests and media were able to participate in a variety of inaugural social media events, from a sail-along Instagram scavenger hunt to a secret menu that could only be unlocked with a Tweet.

“Norwegian challenged us with a robust schedule of ongoing social media activities that significantly increased engagement and we were happy to exceed their expectations,” said Brent Horwitz, President of Cruise and Ferry services, EMC. “Our team is unsurpassed in the cruise communications industry when it comes to delivering on this level of service, and our patented technology approach and unmatched network make the at-sea experience feel more like that on land.”

EMC has tracked the majority of Internet traffic on cruise ships around the world since the advent of social media. The combined 159 million social media impressions garnered from Norwegian Escape’s inaugural events showed a 330% increase, compared to the impressions tracked from previous inaugural events.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Delta passengers treated on Sinatra's birthday

Passengers on a few of Delta Air Lines’ transcon flights between LAX and New York JFK Saturday celebrated with the airline what would be Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday.

To honor Ol’ Blue Eyes, flight attendants served a special tasting of Jack Daniels’ ultra-premium, limited run whiskey, Sinatra Century, developed by Brown-Forman in collaboration with the family. Delta One customers received a commemorative shot glass to go with the tasting and all month, the airline has been featuring the Frank’s Way signature cocktail—two fingers of Jack Daniels Old No. 7, ice and a splash of water—just the way the singer and actor liked it.

"Shoutout to @Delta for celebrating Frank Sinatra’s bday with free shots of whiskey. #toastsinatra” wrote MTV News contributor Madeline Roth via Twitter.

Delta has featured dedicated Frank Sinatra playlists on personal in-flight entertainment as well as feature films, documentaries and concerts. Where possible, passengers were welcomed on board and settled into their seats listening to some of Sinatra’s most famous tunes.

Frank Sinatra and Mister Jack had relationship that lasted decades. He frequently referred to Old No. 7 as the “nectar of the Gods” and was even buried with a bottle of the Tennessee Whiskey in his casket.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Servair opens Burger King outlet in Abidjan

Servair has expanded the scope of its Africa business, with the opening of a Burger King® restaurant in the new CFAO Carrefour shopping mall in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

“The opening of a Burger King® restaurant in a shopping mall is part of Servair's development strategy which aims to expand its service offering outside airports,” said a release from the company. “Since 2012, thanks to the expertise of its teams and its knowledge in logistics and hygiene standards, Servair Abidjan develops its off air activities, including catering (school and companies) and public (with the event catering service, Grain de Sel) or airport outlets such as Air Lounge CafĂ©.”

With the opening, Ivory Coast becomes the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to have a Burger King restaurant.

Servair Abidjan is the concessionaire for the operation and management of the 90 square meter restaurant located in the new CFAO PlaYce Marcory shopping mall in Abidjan. Fifty people have been employed for its opening.

Servair has been operating in Africa since 1989, and in Ivory Coast since 2008 with the creation of Servair Abidjan following the acquisition of Abidjan Catering. With 21 units on the continent, Servair is now the leading caterer in Africa, where it employs 3,250 people.

"We are proud to announce the opening of the first Burger King® restaurant in Ivory Coast. This opening is part of the Servair international development strategy. It will help to strengthen our leading position on the African continent" said Michel Emeyriat, President and CEO of Servair, in today's announcement. "The partnership that we have initiated is an important growth driver for the diversification of Servair activities. It also reflects the quality of our expertise and our ability to exercise outside of the aviation sector, recognized through this partnership with a major international restoration player."

The new mall is catering to a growing “consumer class” in the region according to its owner. CFAO recently worked with a research institute and polling firm to determine the extent of middle class consumer growth in five countries. From the results, CFAO concluded that a consumer class will rise to more than 224 million people by 2040, compared with 78 million five years ago. The report tracks buying power such as access to credit and the consumer tastes for technology.