Posted on: 25 July 2010 by Mark Howells
Rebranded flyLAL plans iPad IFE
Small Planet Airlines, as Baltic charter airline flyLAL has rebranded itself, plans to introduce iPads for on-board entertainment as part of a new emphasis on passenger service.
“The main catalyst for the rebranding was our international growth,” says Small Planet CEO Vytautas Kaikaris. "The previous brand flyLAL was associated with ‘scheduled flights,’ ‘business travel’ and ‘Lithuania,’ whereas today our business strength is in charter flights in four European countries — Italy, Poland, Estonia and Lithuania."
The new name also reflects a new business philosophy that makes passenger service a key focus area.
“Charter airlines are not exactly famous for great passenger service," admits Kaikaris. "After all, their services are commoditised and bought on lowest price and passenger services are kept to a bare minimum. We see an opportunity here. Having a strong experience in the charter business, we aim to become Europe’s leading independent charter airline. We are passionate about passenger service and will work to make holidays started right after travellers get aboard of our aircraft.”
In line with this philosophy, Small Planet says, passengers will be offered the latest press as well as beverages, food and other goods from the renewed Sky-shop. And at the end of the year the airline plans to introduce iPads with a wide choice of games, movies and other entertainment.
There will be toys and colouring books for children and a special children’s drinks and food menu.
Lithuanian designer Kristina Kruopienyte has created new flight attendant uniforms.
And from the beginning of 2011 new ergonomic seats from UK manufacturer Acro Aircraft Seating will increase the available legroom.
Operating in four European countries, Small Planet Airlines says it ensures that cabins are crewed by local teams speaking the local languages to avoid language barriers and possible service inconveniences.
Kaikaris says the spirit of holidays is also reflected in the new Small Planet Airlines logo and the aircraft livery. This year the company’s aircraft will be repainted in bright colours and their tails will be decorated with the colourful globe that is the new brand’s logo.
“The new brand, image and focus on passengers service will be supported by the renovation of the airline’s fleet”, adds Kaikaris. The current fleet comprises five Boeing 737-300s and two 757-200s: the 737s are due to be replaced by 737 NGs, with the first two arriving next summer
Part of Lithuanian aviation business group Avia Solution, Small Planet Airlines provides full charter, ACMI and ad-hoc solutions to tour operators and airlines. The airline has Air Operator Certificates (AOC) for Lithuania, Estonia and Poland and has started the process for acquiring an Italianm AOC.
In 2009 it became the Baltic charter market leader, carrying more than 500,000 passengers and registering EUR46 million in revenues. By 2012 it plans to have 12 aircraft and carry more than two million passengers.