By signing with Routehappy, Airbus pushes for customers to book flights by plane type

Routehappy allows for rich content merchandising options with travel agents and websites

By signing up with merchandising content provider Routehappy, Airbus wants to change the way passengers book flight tickets.

The European plane maker signed onto Routehappy's services last week. Routehappy provides airlines with content and branding tailored to the merchandising capabilities on global distribution systems used by travel agents and websites offering flight tickets. These capabilities emphasise the various services offered onboard each plane type on a route; when communicated to customers, it adds the kind of aircraft flying on a particular route to the list of considerations that affect their decision.

“Study after study shows the ever-growing importance of the inflight experience for the more than 3.5 billion people who travel by air every year,” says Airbus’ head of market and product strategy, Bob Lange.

In a 2016 survey Atmosphere Research Group found that 53 percent of leisure passengers and 61 percent of business passengers pay attention to the type of aircraft they will fly on. “The majority of passengers are interested in details about their flights and would find this information helpful when booking their flights,” says Henry Harteveldt, president and analyst at Atmosphere Research Group. “Airlines that make this available stand to benefit by showcasing their differentiated products.”

Airbus has been pushing hard to promote its aircraft on the routes that airlines fly. Last year it began the IflyA380 programme calling for passengers to communicate their appreciation for its onboard experience and desire to have airlines fly it on more routes. “Airbus builds the most modern, comfortable aircraft family and airlines are investing heavily in their inflight services, cabin comfort, and the overall passenger experience. Yet passengers have little information to go on when booking their flights. Finally this is changing,” says Lange.

Emirates, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have signed on to the service, with Airbus calling them “launch partners”.

“This is a fantastic initiative that will empower passengers,” says Paul Starrs, Emirates’ senior vice President, global sales. “We will be delighted to showcase the on-board service and comfort of our world-leading A380 fleet to the flying public in this innovative way.”

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