Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are trialling a new online ordering and payment platform to allow inflight shopping to be reinstated in the Covid-19 era.
Lufthansa Group said that the current pandemic had restricted inflight services including onboard sales, and as a result the new Skydeals platform is being introduced using aircraft internet capabilities.
The service is currently available on flights within Germany and Europe, and during the test phase customers will receive a Flynet Mail and Surf voucher for inflight internet usage when making a purchase using the new platform.
Passengers order and pay using the platform, and can then have their purchases delivered to a chosen address.
The service also allows the carriers to highlight products “related to the destination or the flight route” – an example given being discounts offered on local products such as Swiss chocolate on flights over Switzerland.
Even before the onset of Covid-19 carriers had been paring back or adapting inflight sales, citing both competition from online shopping, and the desire to save fuel by not carrying products on board.
KLM and SAS both announced plans to suspend inflight sales last year, although KLM said at the time that it was “exploring alternative forms of travel retail concept”, with plans to launch “several pilot projects”.
Commenting on the news Erik Mosch, vice president product management ancillary services Lufthansa Group, said:
“With the creative and exciting product range of Skydeals, coupled with the free access to the Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines Flynet portal, we are taking the inflight experience to a new level. We are delighted to be able to offer our customers the opportunity to shop above the clouds again.”