Omnevo, a new subsidiary of AOE Group, is making sure that airlines can still generate significant income despite limited passenger numbers.
Digital travel retail solutions provider AOE has merged its aviation commerce technology OM3 with catering management and supply-chain company SHIFTEO. Now, they have launched Omnevo (a portmanteau of omnichannel and evolution), which specializes in vendor-agnostic digital retailing and catering management infrastructure for airports and airlines.
“We decided to merge because we thought that together we have the potential to be the only end-to-end solution for the aviation sector,” Kian Gould, CEO of AOE and chairman of the board at Omnevo, told APEX Media. Its remit covers everything from front-end personalization and fulfilment to logistics such as warehousing, the cooling chain for food and beverage (F&B) and touchless point of sale systems in-flight and on the ground.
The goal of Omnevo is to democratise the retail and food and beverage spaces so that airlines aren’t limited solely to what one catering partner can supply. Gould continued, “In the past, airlines needed a caterer that could supply the food at all the stations they flew in and out of. That isn’t the case anymore, because you can plug any caterer into our technology at any station, and control what each caterer is supposed to do for you.”
It also hopes to help commercial aviation to recover from the pandemic by creating a growth trajectory for ancillaries, independent of how many people are flying. The idea, Gould said, is to enable airlines and airports to “utilize their loyalty ecosystems to become a real B2C brand that can sell products, services, and experiences.” Omnevo already does lots of work outside the aircraft cabin, such as global home delivery for retail and delivery to airport lounges anywhere.
Within one year of working with Singapore Airlines, for example, Gould said it “transformed a business that was 90% in-flight and 10% ecommerce into a business that’s 90% ecommerce and 10% in-flight. The ‘Singapore Airlines A380 experience,’ where you could bid to have a dining experience in the cabin, was facilitated by our platform.” According to Gould, demand far outstripped supply.
In terms of data, Omnevo’s solution has full analytics and tracking capability across all its platforms. Airlines can see which products a passenger first looked at, what they ultimately bought and their purchases from previous trips.
Although COVID-19 saw the disappearance of airport and airline capital expenditure overnight, Gould believes the financial challenges for airlines in terms of restarting their catering programs means they’re looking at it from a “blank-sheet approach;” that they want to be unencumbered by legacy systems. “Airlines throw away 15% of their food, so if you can get more food pre-ordered, preselected and prepaid, that’s very important – airlines are going to save millions in weight and fuel that way, and they’ll generate additional revenue too.” Of course, pre-ordering also helps minimize crew and passenger contact.
“Omnevo can empower airlines to manage their digital retail and catering programs in a way that’s never been done before,” concluded Gould.