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As airlines face the greatest revenue freeze in their history, leading digital specialist AOE has acquired supply chain specialist SHIFTEO and launched the aviation industry’s first vertically-integrated E-Commerce solution. AOE now offers airlines an end-to-end model to accelerate their ancillary and on-board business, incorporating a transformative approach to Retail and F&B integration.
AOE, the world's leading provider of digital solutions along the travel retail passenger journey, announces the launch of a transformational E-Commerce model for airlines with its acquisition of on-board sales and supply chain specialist SHIFTEO. The agreement includes SHIFTEO’s Inflight ePOS, Supply Chain Management and Back Office for Catering Management solutions.
The enhanced capabilities of AOE’s new integrated platform enable airlines to seamlessly integrate and manage their revenue-driving operations with existing on-board sales operation for both Travel Retail and F&B. The result is a powerful, self-managed, supplier-independent ecosystem combining stronger customer engagement with end-to-end delivery capabilities.
The unique functionality of the vendor-independent platform integrates with simplified vendor management to give airlines the freedom to select and manage multiple caterers and duty free suppliers right across location hubs and service stations. This strengthening of operational control enables the precise tailoring of the passenger experience, free of the traditional model’s constraints of solution-specific vendors and time contracts.
Michael Raasch, CCO AOE Aviation comments: “AOE’s new platform provides airlines with powerful operational and competitive advantages that will drive new and stronger ancillary revenue opportunities. Additionally, in a new strategic cooperation with on-board technology experts Airfree, we also offer airlines complete connection and digital solutions on In-flight and IFE transactions. This completes an inflight solution that can not only accelerate airline recovery from the current crisis but also deliver stronger long term performance.”
Peter Coelho, co-founder of SHIFTEO, adds: “By joining forces with AOE we give airlines freedom to move from the current limited choice of suppliers, often with their own proprietary technologies, which has led to a strongly disconnected customer experience based on route, destination and contractual agreements rather than the customer’s needs. Airlines now have unlimited freedom to select their preferred catering and duty free partners across a fully vertically-integrated solution across the entire process.”
“With sustainability the second-biggest priority on airlines’ minds after recovery, this model also has the potential to create immense savings in food waste, stock management, inefficiencies, last-mile delivery, fuel cost as well as theft and fraud,” he adds. “Transforming just 20 percent of buy-on-board to E-Commerce and ten percent of passengers to pre-order their meals could result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars per year across the airline ecosystem.”
AOE has also incorporated stronger IFE accessibility to support the integration of all aspects of its digital solutions following a partnership agreement with Airfree, the leading specialist provider of on-board E-Commerce frontend and caching technology.
The partnership enables AOE to further expand its platform’s reach to the passenger in low-connectivity on-board settings, supporting the airline and expanding revenue opportunities across every stage of the seamless passenger journey.
Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, outlines the potential influence of the new platform: “Connectivity is the golden key to future incremental revenue and these agreements gives us the agility to integrate our proven solutions into the entire value-chain of the world’s most forward-thinking carriers, unlocking the full potential of the seamless passenger journey.
“The current crisis has accelerated the passenger’s demand for holistic digital solutions that enhance the quality of their journey through personalized experiences that can not only grow airlines’ ancillary revenue performance but also drive passenger loyalty and service quality perceptions. Our model even helps overcome the airlines’ current CAPEX pressures as we offer the platform fully on a revenue share basis.
“The global crisis has accelerated both digital behavior and the obsolescence of the traditional revenue models and, as we all know, digital behavior never regresses. The only one path to recovery is the one that the passenger is already treading – the digital path.”
The transaction remains subject to additional regulatory approvals and is subject to final binding agreements.
Founded in 1999 by CEO Kian Gould, AOE is the world's leading provider of technology solutions and consulting for digitalizing the entire travel retail passenger journey for airports and airlines, including pre-order, pre-select, onboard-sales, POS, E-Commerce, personalization, logistics, and fulfillment.
Simultaneously transforming the passenger experience and the ancillary revenue opportunity, AOE’s technologies are driving performance at airports and airlines across the world, including London Heathrow Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Auckland Airport (including downtown retail), Singapore Airlines and Avianca.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt and offices across the world, AOE and its global team of more than 250 people in six countries has the ability to support airports and airlines globally across the entire travel retail ecosystem.
Founded in 2015 by three experts in their respective fields, SHIFTEO combines in-depth competences in airline & rail retail catering, supply chain & logistics and IT programming.
This unique cocktail of expertise enabled the creation of an innovative, robust ERP system specializing in managing complex food & beverage retail programs for the travel retail industry. SHIFTEO provides its customers with an end-to-end platform incorporating key functionalities, including supply chain management, distribution, epos and HR management, alongside several unique operational and analytical applications to steer, manage and control their business.
Under the slogan “Marketplace of the Sky”, Airfree was created in 2016 by three co-founders specializing in duty-free commerce, technology, digital and E-Commerce. The team has since grown strongly, including a team of developers, with a shared goal to become the world’s leading specialist airline marketplace provider.
Frankfurt, July 14th, 2021 - Omnevo, leading provider of revenue-increasing digital platform solutions for airports and airlines and part of the AOE Group, and Fraport AG, owner and operator of Germany's largest airport, announced today that Frankfurt Airport goes live with the latest advanced version of Omnevo's award-winning omnichannel e-commerce solution. Additionally, the two companies announced that they have extended their long-term partnership for another five years to further develop the digitalization of the airport's range of products and services for the almost 70 million passengers (before COVID-19) who travel through Frankfurt Airport each year. With go-live, the existing digital solution platform, which Omnevo’s parent company (AOE) had originally developed for Fraport, was migrated to the latest Omnevo product version. Through its original partnership with AOE Fraport utilized the OM³ digital platform (now known as Omnevo) to become the world’s first omnichannel airport focused entirely on omnichannel both before and, especially, during the pandemic. The newly enhanced Omnevo cloud solution enables the operation of a complete airport marketplace solution for all travel retail sales at a fraction of the costs previously required for such a leading ecosystem, creating new revenue opportunities for crisis-hit airports of any size. Thanks to the highly flexible SaaS solution, Fraport has also effectively future-proofed its digital strategy by integrating directly in the Omnevo product roadmap, enabling it to benefit from Omnevo’s strategy of continuous improvements to the solution.
The past year has been extraordinary in so many ways and, while the tragic impact on lives takes precedence, we’ve also had to deal with the huge changes in our working life too. As the crisis developed early last year, I was busy planning in my new role as CEO of Omnevo - AOE’s new specialist product division - positioned as a digital solution pioneer in the travel industry, launching in early 2021. As the crisis grew, this became the most challenging experience of my career, but I’ve been surprised to find that it’s also become one of the most instructive and rewarding experiences too. Creating and launching any new company is always a huge challenge but we suddenly faced extraordinary new barriers as the way we do business had to be transformed. Much of 2020 was spent planning the new company and today, still operates almost exclusively remotely. Many of us, including some of the founders, worked together for almost a year but have still not actually met in person! Yet we already operate successfully in a global network and are scaling and winning new business. Omnevo is a truly virtual organization; this is how we were born and that is how we thrive. In this short time, we’ve already made our mark on this industry, with a culturally diverse, agile and highly committed team working alongside customers of all sizes around the globe. We’re gaining a lot of attention because we are recognized as game changers - and that innovative spirit is integral to our team spirit. We are committed to being the digital challengers and innovators in the travel and mobility industry – an ethos drives us every day. And it’s working. But what is the glue behind this, what makes us successful? Why is it working and, in these bizarre working conditions, how did we manage to get the team so well and engage with our customers so quickly? I’m obviously proud of what we’ve achieved but I want to share my personal perspective on how we made this happen and hope that it will resonate with others in the industry - and, hopefully, help you with your management challenges too.
COVID-19 has caused a near universal consumer adoption of digital far beyond just search and discovery. Globally, across almost every demographic, international lockdowns have got us accustomed to pre-order, pre-select and home delivery for many of our retail and service transactions. These rapid and continuing shifts in digital behavior inevitably affect the post-crisis traveler journey. As flights slowly resume, airlines, airports and associated service providers will no longer enjoy the luxury of resurrecting 'high touch' retail or food & beverage. Shopping and food & beverage are, of course, two of the most essential experiential elements in any travel journey. As travel restarts, travelers will now expect convenient digital access to these types of products as well as an overriding commitment to hygiene, sustainability and safety. And there is every reason to believe that these expectations will extend across the travel life cycle - from airport, to inflight and post flight. If you were an airline now, given the devastating onslaught of the pandemic on revenues and cash flow, just how and where would you start? Where exactly are the incremental revenue generation opportunities and cost savings to be found? Let's start by understanding the three key challenges: