iFLEAT takes off
March 7, 2017
At first glance the iFLEAT product seemed somewhat unbelievable. A business that could enable air passengers to order restaurant food directly to their seats. Really?
A year on, it’s happening. The company has secured a series of deals with high profile airlines since exhibiting at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) in 2016 and is expecting further growth in the year ahead.
iFLEAT, a downloadable app-based service which simply requires passengers to fill in their name and booking number before allowing them to pre-order restaurant food ahead of their flight, is now available across the Air Berlin network and is being rolled out across other global airlines.
The service was launched in October 2016 after more than a year of research and development when passionate foodie and former gategroup executive Jaap Roukens identified a gap in the market for delicious, easy-to-order restaurant-quality meals on board. He explains: “I firmly believe iFLEAT is a game changer when it comes to the passenger experience. It’s simple to set-up, easy to operate and most importantly, offers travellers a large selection of tasty restaurant food delivered by the cabin crew to the comfort of their plane seats.
“There are no additional costs for the carrier or the caterers, it simply relies upon a partnership between the airline and ourselves to make it happen. Overall I believe it is a win-win situation for everyone involved – passengers are happy that they are getting a delicious meal which in turn creates positive feelings towards the airline and hopefully generates loyalty.”
Air Berlin was the first to launch the iFLEAT service in October 2016 following a meeting with the company at WTCE earlier in the year. The app can be used to pre-order food – no later than 12 hours before the flight – from restaurants in the German capital which is delivered to the aircraft on the day of travel. To date, five Berlin restaurants are partnered with the service, each offering a different style of food, and iFLEAT is set to roll out in other cities serviced by Air Berlin and its partner, Sky Catering, including Abu Dhabi, New York, Miami and Chicago shortly. Following its participation in WTCE 2016, iFLEAT is also partnering with three other major global airlines in 2017.
Roukens concludes: “Exhibiting at WTCE was a smart move for us. We met with a huge number of airline representatives, many of whom shared our passion for innovation and making delicious food from around the world accessible onboard. As a result, we have rolled out the service on Air Berlin and have a number of other exciting contracts in the pipeline. We will be exhibiting at the show once again this year and hope to have the same level of success in Hamburg.”
iFLEAT will be exhibiting on stand 4E89 at WTCE in Hamburg from 4-6 April 2017. Onboard Hospitality looks forward to meeting and showcasing other new arrivals at the Taste of Travel Theatre and on our stand 1G99. Full programme available here (ADD ToT LINK)