Inflight heavyweights gategroup and Immfly have signed a strategic alliance for delivery of on-board retail services. The combination promises integration of gategroup’s inflight sales and inventory platforms with Immfly’s digital entertainment and integration, delivering a one-stop shop for airlines looking to boost inflight ancillary revenues.
Our collective expertise will enable us to provide airlines with a comprehensive, seamless and engaging retail and entertainment experience that not only meets the needs of today's passengers but helps drive incremental revenue channels for our partners.– Fernando Guinea, Managing Director of gateretail
The alliance sees gategroup’s gateretail arm contribute its experience in developing in-flight retail solutions, with a current customer base in excess of 20 airlines around the world. Immfly adds its digital platform, which included retail and entertainment offerings. The pair aim to expand their solutions, delivering “a fully integrated in-flight retail platform that includes a state-of-the-art digital storefront, personalized product recommendations, and an efficient and secure payment and delivery system.”
The platform hopes to eventually deliver a blend of in-seat and pre-flight ordering, with a dynamic pricing engine and real-time inventory. Immfly also becomes gategroup’s technology partner of choice for all the back-office offerings such as crew tablets and payment processing.
“By combining our digital expertise with gateretail’s retail acumen, we’re poised to offer a revolutionary, integrated digital experience within airline cabins,” explains Jimmy M. von Korff, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Immfly Group. “This enhanced approach allows airlines unprecedented customization, enabling them to fine-tune their digital strategy to meet both operational demands and individual passenger needs.”
Those are big promises, to be sure. And the long-term commercial partnership should help both parties commit the necessary resources to the promised development. But, as with most promises of the next generation of inflight retail, the proof will be in the delivered product. The concepts touted by the companies are not particularly new. Execution will be everything.
The move also puts the squeeze on other players in the market. All the talk about open platforms and interoperability means much less when only one partner is considered for implementations.
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