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AIRLINE NEWS KLM announces end of onboard tax free sales

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will cease its tax free sales on European flights from July and on intercontinental flights from January next year. The Dutch carrier blamed ‘new

developments such as the rise of e-commerce’ for the demise of its onboard retail programme. In a statement, the airline confirmed it is

exploring ‘alternative forms of travel retail’. Last July, TRBusiness revealed exclusively

that KLM was looking into the ‘relevance’ of its inflight duty free business, which raised suspicions it was considering withdrawing from the channel altogether. An airline source told TRBusiness at the

time: “We will take the time to review all possibilities, the pros and cons of the current proposition and will inform the markets and external stakeholders about our eventual new proposition in due course.”

It is understood its famed Boutique Magnifique Crew event was also cancelled around the same time. The source said it was ‘premature’ to

discuss new strategy, but admitted the review would ‘shed a different light’ on the inflight sales process. Tobacco sales have been unavailable on

board since 1 July 2018, with the tax free range extended to replace the category.

Source: KLM.

Miriam Kartman, Executive Vice President, KLM Inflight Retail Services said: “Because the current sales process no longer meets today’s customer requirements, we have decided, after extensive deliberation, to bring this to an end.”

Tourvest steps up duty free on Mango Airlines

Tourvest Retail Services (Tourvest) is developing a best-in-class buy-on-board and boutique duty free solution for South African low-cost carrier Mango Airlines. An omni-channel e-commerce solution

will help incorporate retail into the traveller’s booking journey. This is enabled via the airline’s website or the customer’s own mobile device application. Tourvest will also introduce its inflight

LSG Group wins another five years with airBaltic

LSG Group has extended its contract with Latvian carrier airBaltic for a further five years. The new contract prolongs the existing

hybrid service model, which includes classic airline catering for business class and crew meals and the management of the onboard retail programme for economy passengers. LSG Sky Chefs began working with

the airline in 2004 to introduce onboard retail and a pre-order concept for economy passengers. Philipp Hees, Head of Sales for the LSG

Group’s Emerging Markets commercial region commented: “We are very happy that during the tender process we were able to once again convince airBaltic that we are the right partner to take their service concept to the next level and support them on their planned growth path.”

APRIL 2019

As reported, the company registered consolidated revenues of €3.2bn ($3.6bn) in 2018, despite the negative impact of foreign exchanges (adjusted for currency- related factors: +4.3%) and the expiration of two hub catering contracts in South Korea and Italy in the Summer and Autumn of 2018, respectively. LSG’s portfolio comprises: Sky

Chefs (catering and hospitality, including lounges), Retail inMotion (onboard retail), SPIRIANT (onboard equipment) and Evertaste (convenience food). Changes in the group of consolidated

companies contributed to a growth in sales of €22m with adjusted EBIT of €115m; +73% above the 2017 figure. This was primarily due to ‘an improved

operational performance and lower transformation costs’. TRBUSINESS 11

electronic point-of-sale device, allowing customers to purchase products onboard through multiple payment types in a ‘quick and efficient’ manner. A forecasting tool will ensure product

demand is met, while Tourvest’s warehouse management system and operational solution is designed to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. This will ensure successful distribution and fulfilment.

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