As the pandemic decimated travel a year ago, a top industry executive predicted that a major U.S. airline would go bankrupt and the carriers themselves warned of painful cuts to come.
Now, with demand for tickets rebounding, airlines are predicting the summer will be almost normal, and some companies even say they could turn a profit.
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Passenger counts are increasing, which feeds optimism, but they’re far from a level that can sustain business. Airports and operators have worked together well and that hopefully will continue as they start to collectively tackle longer-term challenges facing the concessions industry. Listen now as AXN’s Andy Tellijohn and Rob Wigington, executive director, Airport Restaurant & Retail Association, discuss this and much more.
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The mobile food ordering and delivery service at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is on a roll thanks to a new ambassador that barely sees eye-to-eye with most kids and doesn’t speak a word. Yet, it invites double-takes, smiles and pointed fingers from travelers as it rolls by on its delivery missions.
In partnership with AtYourGate, MSP ASAP has unleashed a rolling droid, called a gita (jee-tah), as part of a pilot program that enhances contactless food ordering capabilities in Terminal 1.
"There is convenience and safety for customers to be able to order food from their phones or laptops, and within 15 to 30 minutes, the gita rolls up and opens its cargo doors for the customers to grab their order,” said Eric Johnson, director of commercial management and airline affairs for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP. “It’s fun and whimsical, but there is also a purpose behind the technology for customers to feel more confident in avoiding queue lines and having their order delivered.”
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Source: Aviation Pros
Date of Article: April 9th 2021
After a year of curtailed activity due to the pandemic, this spring people are beginning to reveal and act upon a pent-up desire for excitement and travel, said Steve Sisneros, managing director, airport affairs for Southwest Airlines.
Speaking on the weekly industry call hosted by the Airport Restaurant & Retail Association (ARRA), Sisneros acknowledged the challenges facing airports and concessionaires in reopening during such tumultuous times, but he urged concessionaires to open as many venues as possible to feed the enthusiasm for leisure travel.
Travelers “are looking to have fun,” Sisneros said. “They’ve been locked up for months. They’re looking to do something different. They want to spend some dollars – they’re going to have a drink, they’re gstoing to sit down and [have a meal].”
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Source: Airport Experience News
Date of Article: April 1st 2021