Going The Extra Mile

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At The Moodie Report we strive to do whatever it takes to get the story, and today we went the extra mile again – all the way to Gibraltar, onboard Monarch Airlines’ 07.05 ZB068 flight from London Luton Airport. Among the industry executives keeping this writer company in the small hours (we rendez-vous’d in the dark at 05.30 – much caffeine was consumed) were Alpha’s Alex Forbes and Alan Hayes, and Monarch’s Craig Cherry and Paul Keithley.

The trip was organised to highlight at close quarters certain key elements of the partnership model created following both companies’ decision in December 2010 to combine resources and enter into a full concession model (previously Alpha managed Monarch’s inflight retail and catering business only).

Since then, as part of its detailed Turn Around Plan (TAP), Alpha has overhauled Monarch’s inflight retail offer, revamped the F&B portfolio, introduced a new state-of-the-art onboard computer system and created a groundbreaking crew engagement programme. Today’s flight to Gibraltar allowed The Moodie Report to observe these elements first-hand: we sampled two inflight meals (both delicious, with a special shout-out to the divine chocolate/caramel mousse), browsed the inflight brochure, examined the hand-held Ingenico iPA280, chatted to cabin crew and conducted four one-to-one interviews.

The Moodie Report’s Rebecca Mann rocks on in Gibraltar

We didn’t quite manage to get off the plane and spend any time in Gibraltar – but ultimately that really didn’t matter, because instead we gained a great insight into a bold and innovative undertaking that has already achieved a +100% increase in pre-order F&B sales; an +8% increase in onboard retail revenue; and a -7% reduction in costs, thanks to an improved procurement strategy.

Keep an eye out for the full feature in The Moodie Report’s next Digital Print Edition. We, however, are now having a hard time keeping our eyes open after today’s early start, so will sign off with a thank you to Alpha and Monarch for their time and hospitality – and an unusual photo opportunity with Gibraltar’s famous Rock.

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