Travel retail is being taken to a new level by providing passengers the opportunity to shop duty free while they are flying. Airbus A 380 with its spacious interiors makes it possible to create a duty free luxury retail store on board. Korean Air is the first airline to have taken the initiative in this regard and is set to take duty free shopping to new heights by selling super-luxe items on-board their A380 airplanes. The first look of the store on board, which they call ‘World’s first flying Duty Free Shop’ was on display at the European Interiors Show in Hamburg last week.
Korean Air had commissioned the British design firm AIM Aviation to design the luxury retail store for them. The airline is teaming up with the French luxury brand Lancome to manage flying stores for them. You can rest assured that the stores will stock the best in French luxury. The stores will feature fragrances, make-up, expensive jewelry and watches, travel products and alcohol.
AIM Aviation Project Director Chris Whetter was on hand to explain how the store will function in air. First-class passengers will be allowed to peruse the stores first, followed by business-class passengers and then economy passengers. Some passengers might protest this rigid hierarchy but in the field of luxury only money talks. Passengers can place orders with the crew members on board after perusing the store. Your purchases will be delivered to your seat in nice wrappings. Tobacco products are not being sold in the flying stores as a matter of policy.
The airline has had to sacrifice 13 economy class seats in order to accommodate this store on the main deck of the aircraft A380. Mr Whetter is confident that the store will more than make up the revenue lost due to the removal of seats. Since the store will be stocking only high end brands the expected revenue from the on board sales are expected to be much higher than the revenue those 13 seats would have generated. The first A380 duty free shop is set to be rolled out on June 10.