Jon Hall, Managing Director of Novo On-Board Retail, was recently interviewed by Henry Canaday, a journalist with 'Low-Fare & Regional Airlines' magazine.

What ancillary solutions you offer airlines?  

The adoption of Novostar’s ‘Hub’ Middleware solution allows airline operators to access invaluable customer profiling data. Combining passenger information with sales history creates a database that enables crew to employ modern in-flight retail practices. Understanding the individual passenger provides a more personalised transaction experience encouraging higher value sales.   At the point of sale, engaging with the passenger, making the sale and completing the payment process are all made easier by the adoption of the correct choice of mobile hardware combined with the latest innovations in payment technologies. NovoStar is our flexible and cost-effective sales and payment processing tool, capable of optimising the ancillary revenue opportunity in both the on-line and off-line environment. With the Novostar system, crew are able to secure payments on a tablet, Smart phone or dedicated POS terminal. Payment methods can include credit cards, debit cards (for certain countries), vouchers, Air Miles, cash or contactless cards (NFC).   

How do these solutions work?  

The NovoStar system is a portfolio of optimised system components, based around our NovoStar Hub middleware product. The Hub provides seamless interfacing to front-end POS hardware & software and all major back office business systems. It is based on the standard Microsoft Azure platform, providing an immediate level of assurance to airline IT personnel. System reliability, redundancy, security and future enhancement are all effectively underwritten by the Microsoft Corporation’s own development effort.  The integrated tools, pre-built templates and managed services associated with Azure make it easier for us to build and manage enterprise, mobile, and web applications faster.

How do they improve revenue or profit for the airline?  

Some of the many ways that the Novostar system enhances the ancillary revenue opportunity include using customer purchase history and social data to construct a personalised selling proposition and equipping the crew with modern hardware & software tools that provide excellent ease of use. Less time spent with the administration of the sale means more genuine selling opportunities. Combining passenger data with payment data helps to eliminate fraud and reduce the frequency of disputed transactions in-flight. Our system identifies passengers with historical high spend by name, enabling crew to target these customers for upsell opportunities and seat upgrades. ·         Intelligent data also helps the airline operator to avoid waste, an obvious and invaluable cost reduction consideration.

What is distinctive about your solutions?  

The inherent flexibility in the Azure platform has enabled us to incorporate system attributes that are of tangible benefit to the airline operator. We are able to maintain a genuinely agnostic stance with regards to hardware provision, which provides multiple choices for the airline operator. The system can interface with all data access points including smart phones, tablets and seatback IFE. The NovoStar system is scalable and modular in nature. We can offer implementation of standard modules or additional bespoke development to facilitate additional system functionality. The NovoStar system offers inherent platform stability with measurable and proven minimisation of downtime disruption. The NovoStar Hub facilitates multi-party system connectivity such that all relevant users including passengers, crew, airline executives and travel-operator vendors can access the components that are pertinent to them.

Can you tell us about any airlines that use your solutions?  

Novo On-Board Retail, under the former Novo IVC brand, were the first company to deliver a complete computerised on-board Point of Sale solution back in 1985. Current clients include Monarch, Thomas Cook, Sri Lankan and Condor.