Amenities trending: PPE please!
This is a special feature from PAX International's December 2020 FTE APEX Virtual Expo digital edition.
As travelers’ perception of comfort continues to evolve through the pandemic, so too do suppliers’ offerings. While some airlines have reduced traditional amenity kit offerings and temporarily suspended some onboard services, the demand for comfort products remains strong. Global Inflight Products, RMT Global Partners and Bayart Innovations are updating their offerings to keep pace amid the uncertain future.
Lisa Benzaoui, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Global Inflight Products (GIP), tells PAX International that among its most popular offerings are personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, wipes, masks, gloves and cabin and lavatory cleaning kits.
“Airlines must focus on passengers’ health and well-being onboard,” she says. “Airlines must adapt to the current situation in order to stay competitive by developing new, unique ways to reassure their passengers that their health is a top priority.”
The customizable passenger PPE kits from GIP include sanitizing hand wipes, hand spray, masks and more. The Clean Is Possible kit features a fresh blue and white reusable pouch with PPE inside. Kits made specifically for crew are also available, as well as cockpit cleaning kits and lavatory and cabin cleaning kits.
Among demands from RMT Global Partners’ airline customers are disposable items from its sustainable range, galley wipes and PPE, including RMT’s best-seller sanitizing wipe. It provides reassurance to travelers at a competitive price for customers, CEO Richard Tuttle says. Airlines are also requesting RMT’s textiles, including rPET blankets and polyester woven blankets that are designed to withstand high temperature sanitizing laundry cycles.
Tuttle says it is difficult yet to make predictions about the future of cabin products, but the company’s customers have as of late expressed interest for “choice-based service.” He says these are products ideal for providing choice to passengers for the items they want during inflight.
“The biggest issue for us as a supplier right now is the uncertainty about what will happen to airline travel in the next six months as well as what long-term effects the pandemic may have,” Tuttle says. “Thanks to the good relationships we have built up over the years with our partners, we feel we are in a good position to continue to provide a good service to our customers.”
All efforts on behalf of airlines is to prove the safety and cleanliness of flights, says Albert Facques, CEO of Bayart Innovations. He predicts amenity kits will continue to see the effects of this for years to come, such as individually packaged products, hygiene certificates and personal protective equipment. The supplier is now offering sustainable hygiene products, which Facques says, will be majorly important in years to come due to passenger priorities and the cost advantage for airlines.
While 2020 has been challenging, the biggest challenge for suppliers is the uncertain future that lies ahead, he says.
“Airline decision makers reassess their flight network on a weekly basis. If you cannot forecast passenger numbers, you cannot manage any inflight product tenders because you cannot calculate [how much will be needed],” he says, adding that the full affect this may have on supply chains and pricing strategies remains to be seen.
Now the supplier is focused on its ongoing projects and confirming tenders with airlines. Bayart plans to continue launching innovative rotable inflight products, amenity kits and headsets, similar to the PPE catalog it launched in May.