October 6 2020  |  Catering

Bluebox and dnata Australia to develop foodservice/IFE solution

By Rick Lundstrom


A new inflight environment is pushing caterers and airlines to low-touch solutions

Bluebox Aviation Systems and dnata catering Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and market offerings based on the deployment of Bluebox wireless in-flight entertainment solutions across Australia, New Zealand and a number of other Pacific Ocean territories.

The companies will support each other in product customization and processes for delivering joint solutions to customers in the region.

"COVID-19 has changed the landscape for in-flight catering and logistics, and by partnering with Bluebox we’ll be able to help our customers mitigate some of the restrictions required in this new touch-free world. This means allowing airlines to minimize contact and dialogue between passengers and cabin crew but still delivering an excellent service and a full range of food, drinks and retail goods that are such an essential part of the ancillary revenue income for many airlines," said Duncan Greeney, General Manager Retail, dnata catering, in today’s announcement. "Aiming to appear seamless to passengers, integrating complex systems – in this case an IFE platform and catering logistics – can actually be quite complex technically, and in the present climate our customers need solutions that are simple and quick to deploy. By establishing this formal partnership with Bluebox – with its award-winning and rapidly deployable W-IFE systems – we’re positioning ourselves to resolve current constraints and keep our customers’ on-board services running smoothly and safely."

"IFE as we knew it was already evolving to deliver so much more than in-flight entertainment, and COVID-19 expedited our delivery of touch-free payments for on-board retail and the digitization of materials that support ancillary revenue generation, such as digital menus and magazines which provide significant advertising revenue for airlines," said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. "Now, though we have the expertise in the passenger interface, content integration, secure payments and the wireless technology to deliver it all, by partnering with dnata catering we can expand the platform further into the on-board logistics systems, integrating the catering and retail elements they provide. So we’re really delivering an in-flight engagement platform for enhancing the passenger experience on board – still ‘IFE’, but well beyond entertainment."

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