COVID-19 has certainly kept airlines on their toes, and while many airlines are frantically trying to get their operations off the ground once again, there’s been an unusual, yet somewhat expected side effect. For years airlines have strived to become lifestyle brands, as relevant in the home as they are in the skies.
The problem was that for both airlines and passengers alike, it made sense for the industry to focus at what it did best, act as a service provider for getting people from A to point B. Now, however as wanderlust has firmly set in, and airlines have questionably even started flights to nowhere, they’ve sold out in seconds, proving in some regard that there is a desire for consumers to enjoy the brand in some form, even without the necessity of getting to point B.
Say hello to Flygge
Flygge is TheDesignAir’s name for this new emerging trend where airline’s brands are now entering the home environment without the need to purchase a plane ticket, with the result of making aviation fans feel content and a little warm inside. We’ve seen Qantas selling off their old trolleys – snapped up in seconds, or Singapore Airlines’ A380 sold-out restaurant on Changi’s tarmac and Hemispheres at Home, United Airlines’ mailed copies of their award-winning magazine to passengers’ homes.
While there’s obvious commercial reward for trying to expand an airline’s commercial offer (especially now), this is also about brand reinforcement, reminding these valuable consumers of your product offering so that its front of mind when it comes to gracing the skies. These initiatives make use of an airline’s existing resources, something we highlighted in our TheDesignAir White Paper at the start of the pandemic.
Our first of a few Flygge initiatives comes from Finnair. For the first time, Finnair’s Nordic inflight Business Class-inspired menu can now be bought in Finland and enjoyed without taking a flight. Simply put, the Finnish flag carrier has started selling ready-made Business Class-inspired meals so customers can enjoy a ‘Taste of Finnair’ in their own homes. Finnair has some of the best cuisine we’ve actually tasted in the skies, so this is a real treat.
Sadly for now, the ready-made meals are just available in one Finnish store – the K-Citymarket Tammisto, located near Helsinki Airport, in the city of Vantaa. However, if the pilot is successful, Finnair could increase production and start selling the meals in other stores too. Starting at €5.90 for a starter and €12.90 for a main dish, the specially developed concept meals have been designed by Finnair’s own top chefs and hand-made in the airline’s dedicated Finnair Kitchen.
As well as offering those missing flying the ability to enjoy the inflight dining experience on the ground, the initiative has also helped secure the jobs of catering staff who were called back from furlough, because of the pandemic.
Finnair is synonymous with its routes between Europe and Asia, so no surprise has opted to reflect this with their fusion of Finnish and Asian signature dishes, such as Finnish reindeer and beef in teriyaki-radish sauce. Marika Nieminen, Finnair Kitchen VP, said: “We want to offer the opportunity for a Finnair experience and everyday luxury at home, now that travel has been restricted in many ways.
“At the same time, this is a new business opening for us and employs our chefs in Vantaa. As so many of Finnair Kitchen’s employees are temporarily laid off, the project enables us to create new work and employment for our people.”
Two main course options are available throughout the week from Monday to Sunday and an additional appetiser from Friday to Sunday. The menu changes every two weeks.
Stay tuned for more Flygge initiatives over the coming days…