CEO of Airfree, Etienne de Verdelhan, speaking at the Thales media luncheon during APEX EXPO 2019

CEO of Airfree, Etienne de Verdelhan, speaking at the Thales media luncheon during APEX EXPO 2019. Image: Vance Walstra

Looking to further its mission to bridge the passenger experience between the home and the air during what has been a year of digital transformation for Thales, the IFE maker shared a series of news at a media luncheon during APEX EXPO 2019.

Not only is Thales hoping to reinvent the IFE experience with the debut of a full-cabin 4K viewing experience with previously-announced launch customer Emirates, but it is also strengthening its long-running partnership with JetBlue by supplying the carrier’s first fleet of A220-300 aircraft with Thales AVANT IFE.

“Currently, in-flight duty-free shopping for airlines has an average revenue of $2 per passenger, compared to $30 per passenger in the airport” – Etienne de Verdelhan, Airfree.

Elsewhere, Thales is teaming up with Airfree to give carriers worldwide a host of new ancillary revenue opportunities by bringing the airport duty-free shopping experience into the cabin via its e-commerce platform. Allowing passengers to browse and shop for duty-free items via the seatback IFE system or PED of choice, the Airfree marketplace will also offer ground fulfillment at more than 350 airports worldwide.

“Currently, in-flight duty-free shopping for airlines has an average revenue of $2 per passenger, compared to $30 per passenger in the airport,” said Airfree CEO, Etienne de Verdelhan. “So what we are trying to do is give the opportunity to the airline to close a bit of this gap.”

Manuel Chacón, Product Line Manager, Thales InFlyt Experience, added: “Bringing services like these into the cabin is part of what we’ve been working toward at Thales. Airfree is a clear example of success, where passengers will truly achieve an experience that is so seamless that they will forget that they are traveling on an aircraft.”