#BehindTheScenes from the first ground test of Austrian Airlines’ new onboard retail concept

To prepare for the launch of the new food and beverage products that became available to Economy Class passengers on Austrian Airlines short-haul flights on March 18, Retail inMotion, together with the Austrian carrier, performed the first ground test on February 4.  

The trial run for the Austrian Melangerie, the new Buy-on-Board product concept, took place at Vienna International Airport on an A320 with 23 participants, employees from Austrian Airlines and two RiM representatives.  The test flight respected all the safety and disinfection measures to minimize the risk of coronavirus infection, including wearing FFP2 masks, accommodating only one guest per row and A/C ventilation.

This was an important day for the cabin crew, who were able to test the new service processes under real conditions for the first time. Two sets of cabin crew carried out four service levels of the Austrian Melangerie on four different flights. Special attention was paid to the guest service processes, the new vPOS sales technology and the actual sales process.

Passengers were able to choose, purchase, and test all the products that have been carefully selected by Retail inMotion.  

When designing the product concept with the Austrian carrier, Retail inMotion focused greatly on the brand identity and quality standards that are synonymous with the Austrian character. Therefore, passengers would have the opportunity to purchase iconic snacks such as Manner wafers, Mirabell Echte Salzburger Mozartkugel or a slice of original Sachertorte alongside a cup of Wiener Melange. The Meinl SuprLid combines traditional coffee specialities from Meinl with SuprLid, Retail inMotion’s revolutionary portable cafetiere.

Passengers onboard flights with a duration of up to three hours can enjoy a rich variety of warm dishes such as Wiener Hühner Schnitzel or warm Viennese apple strudel, along with premium wines from Meinl am Graben.

The six-page menu, which was first introduced on the test flight, features a protective coating, thus making it easier to disinfect to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The menu can also be downloaded on passengers’ personal devices using the QR code on the flyer.

The passengers on the test flights were asked to give feedback on various aspects in order to allow Retail inMotion to put the final touches to the new concept and deliver on the promise to build a best-in-class passenger experience.