APEXEXPO2019: Viasat partners to bring destination guides and booking onboard

Viasat has partnered with destination video guide and excursion companies to pair its in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions with travel bookings and destination content services, aiming to enhance the passenger experience and open additional revenue streams for airlines.

Viasat and destination video guide company InflightFlix have formed a partnership to bring destination video guide content to in-flight entertainment systems, hoping to generate new revenue streams for airlines and inspire travel opportunities for passengers in-flight.

According to Valour Consultancy, revenue from advertising, sponsorship, shopping and destination content on IFE is expected to grow from $170 million in 2016 to $1.3 billion by 2026, with destination content representing about two-thirds of the expected total revenue in 2026.

This growth will be driven by the development of new forms of advertising that attract new advertisers, and provide in-flight audiences with relevant, contextual and engaging content. Viasat are tapping into this opportunity with InflightFlix to help airlines convert traditional in-flight destination video content cost to revenue.

The agreement leverages Viasat’s wireless IFE platform along with the destination video guide content produced by InflightFlix. Content is created specifically for each airline, aligned to the brand values and a complete set of video guides are created for each destination on the network.

Martin O Regan, chief executive officer, InflightFlix, said: “By connecting airline passengers with destination experience videos, we’re providing passengers with highly inspiring content to enhance experiences in-flight, in destination and inspire travel to other destinations. And at the same time, we are enabling airlines to improve the passenger experience, convert content costs into revenue and show a return on investment for their IFE systems.”

Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat added, “In partnering with InflightFlix, we can further grow Viasat’s portfolio of ancillary revenue products aimed at helping airlines monetize the passenger journey. This partnership is unique in that it is highly customizable—ensuring airlines can best connect their passengers with experiences and flight routes.”

Booking destination excursions

Viasat also partnered with booking platform GetYourGuide to bring rich contextual-based excursion offers to passengers in-flight with no data or airtime charges to either the airline or passengers.

The partnership will leverage contextual-based displays of excursion offers from GetYourGuide’s inventory and will enable passengers to activate those offers in-flight over Viasat’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system.

Viasat will act as the direct contractor to airlines integrating GetYourGuide’s travel experiences into the Viasat IFEC system. The implementation can be white-labeled and airline-branded and Viasat can promote any tour, activity or attraction ticket offer to a connected passengers, then activate the offer in-flight.

Activities will be targeted by route initially, though future expansion plans include targeting excursions and adventures by fare class, loyalty status and profile types, while fully compliant with GDPR.

“We feel strongly that GetYourGuide’s winning combination of the right inventory, a best price guarantee and same-day bookings have proven compelling to travelers all over the world,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “Our partnership with GetYourGuide makes it fast and simple for airlines to improve their in-flight customer experience, and earn a significant commission without any cost.”

Speaking to Inflight at APEX EXPO in Los Angeles, Buchman pointed out many passengers will have booked travel and hotel but haven’t typically booked an excursion yet and are ready to explore activities. The solution could present special offers for onboard bookings to benefit both passengers and airlines.

He added: “As well as destination excursions, it allows passengers to explore extra options as well and consider future trips and destinations they would next like to visit, reaching them in the envisioning or dreaming stage.”

“We’re on a mission to connect travelers with incredible experiences at every stage of their journey,” said Shane Mayer, head of Partnerships at GetYourGuide. “In initial tests, we found that users of in-flight displays showed a strong propensity to book destination experiences: engaged passengers were up to four times more likely to make a destination purchase while in-flight, compared to typical conversion rates from other touchpoints. Thanks to Viasat’s unique contextual display, we expect our partnership will create exceptional engagement and conversion, and deliver a great financial result for the airlines while helping their passengers love where they’re going.”

Image: GetYourGuide

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