More to buy in the air

11 Mar 2009

When AirAsia X, budget carrier AirAsia’s long-haul sibling, makes its maiden run today between Kuala Lumpur and London, chances are passengers will be patronising one of its pay-to-use services.

AirAsia X, a joint venture between AirAsia and the Virgin Group, will be charging for food and drink, merchandise and inflight entertainment following a business model that has succeeded in the low-cost carrier’s regional operations.

Setting up a shop thousands of feet above ground, however, requires some tricky infrastructure, which is where GuestLogix comes in.

A pioneer provider of onboard retail technology to the commercial travel industry, GuestLogix offers airlines solutions to reduce cash and inventory shrinkage, maximise current sales through secure credit card acceptance and generate new revenue through innovative products and services.

Its top customers are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada and Ryan Air, and recently, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines signed on for a partnership. Now, keen to grow its base of Asian carriers, it opened an Asia-Pacific office in Singapore a year ago, signing up AirAsia X as its first regional partner. John Devins, director for GuestLogix in Asia-Pacific, said: “We think there’s tremendous opportunity for airlines to sell more things onboard. But they’re not the only ones who will benefit. Passengers will also have their flying experience enhanced.”

GuestLogix, he added, not only shows airline customers how to increase their income, but it actually organises a group of vendors they can work with to make this happen.

In the US, GuestLogix got among others, Schubert, the Broadway ticket specialist onboard. And currently, Devin is in discussion with  Hongkong’s Airport Express Line management to sell train passage to passengers before they land. Attractions such as Hongkong Disneyland and the Singapore Flyer are the next ideal products for inclusion in future shopping line ups.

Said Devin: “Not only is there a convenience factor involved, but people will have more confidence the items they purchase have value behind them because they trust the airline that’s selling them.”

Given the prevailing economic climate that has seen airline profits plunge drastically, ancillary revenue – earned through non-transportation channels  such as a la carte services and features purchased before or during travel process – has been identified as the aviation industry’s next big growth sector.  

For more details, visit

Margie T Logarta

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