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Airline Marketing Monthly - January 2019

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The January issue of AMM, published on 22/1. This includes a special supplement inside the magazine on the mobile traveller, produced in association with Urban Airship.


NOLO AT 35,000 FEET (VIRGIN ATLANTIC) Virgin Atlantic has joined the “no and low alcohol cocktail movement” by announcing what it says is the world’s first ‘No Lo’ inflight cocktail menu - “N o l o ® at 35,000 feet” with partners Seedlip and Regal Rogue. According to the airline’s food and beverage manager Mark Murphy. “There’s a big focus across the airline industry on reducing the amount of alcohol consumed in flight, and we’re delighted to be leading the way by offering our customers across all cabins a selection of zero and low alcohol alternatives.” Seedlip says it is the world’s distilled non-alcoholic spirits, while Regal Rogue, calls itself the “world’s quaffing vermouth.” While most airline food and drink launches tend to be for the benefit of premium cabin passengers, Virgin Atlantic says that these no and low alcohol cocktails will be available in economy and premium economy, as well as in upper class. Given several high profile incidents of alcohol-fuelled air rage on UK airlines over the past year, there’s clearly a behavioural benefit in encouraging passengers to switch to low or no alcohol alternatives. 26 Airline Marketing Monthly - January 2019

However, Virgin introducing its new ‘Nolo’ cocktail menu is also part of a wider trend. According to the Drum, in 2016 the UK’s Office for National Statistics revealed a drop in alcohol consumption for the first time in a century, while Supermarket Tesco announced that it would be creating a low and no alcohol section in its stores. Meanwhile an article in the Financial Times from March talked about the fact that there is “money in moderation - the rise of alcohol free drinks.” beverage says that though “food and beverage make up a very small piece of the customer decision to purchase,” having food options on board does drive an “emotional connection” to the airline. We suspect it’s the same with Virgin Atlantic and its ‘Nolo’ cocktail menu. The proportion of passengers choosing drinks from the menu will probably be very small, but much of the value to Virgin Atlantic is by being able to make a statement about the kind of airline it is, simply by having it on board. Then there is the wider issue of airline passengers wanting healthier and different alternatives, in turn mirroring on the ground food consumption habits. A piece in CNBC from November talked about airlines stepping up gluten free and vegetarian / vegan alternatives. Quoted in the piece, David Rodriguez, who manages Alaska Airlines food and The same applies to Air New Zealand stocking the “Impossible Burger” (see our July issue) on select routes. Few people will in practice order it, but it positions Air New Zealand as a forward thinking, innovative airline which is up on the latest food and drink trends, and which also caters to people wanting a wider selection of meat-free alternatives. £1 Golden Tickets At the end of the year, Virgin Atlantic hid ten £1 “Golden Tickets” in its booking system. These were Premium Economy tickets to random destinations that could be bagged for just a pound (plus taxes). For a chance to win, you simply had to carry out a flight / fare search via Virgin Atlantic’s website in the normal way. Airline Marketing Monthly - January 2019 27

Airline Marketing Monthly

Airline Marketing Monthly - January 2019
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