Airlines generate monthly revenues of more than $4 billion through additional sales - per month! The so-called ancillary services business is currently growing by an impressive 15% compared to the previous year.
At the centre of this hype over sought-after seats, gourmet meals above the clouds, preferred boarding treatment and cheap airport transfers is a Swedish travel tech company.
Paxport from Stockholm has made a splash with airlines and travel merchandising with its Merchandising Distribution System (MDS).
The better you know a traveller, the more attractive you can make your offer. Umbrella knows customers and their preferences. That is what makes the combination of Paxport and Umbrella so valuable – not only for travellers, but for vendors and sales, too.
Get more details and background information in our interview with Joacim Berntsson, Strategic Business Development Manager at Paxport:
Joacim, what is the Paxport Merchandising Distribution System?
Our PaxShop, a product within our MDS suite of products, is a “post-booking retail application”. Based on the booked trip, we offer travellers a predictive selection of ancillary services. Some pictures can be found here:
This is attractive not only for customers. Airlines and agents benefit as well. Some airlines have seat sale conversion rates of up to 50%. The travel agents, of course, receive appropriate commissions.
The pictures show examples from the MDS PaxShop with an online booking. Is there also a solution for agency sales?
Of course! In this case, we receive the booking information from the travel agency. Then we send an email with a link to their tailor-made offers in MDS and travellers can effectively create their own travel experience. We are also thinking about a PaxShop for travel agents!
Who are your customers? Where is your focus and what are your plans for the near future?
On one hand, we have contracts with the entire spectrum of airlines: full service carriers, low cost carriers and charter airlines. And on the other hand, we have more than 300 partnerships with tour operators and travel agents.
Because of our roots, we are strong in Great Britain and Scandinavia. And we have also established ourselves well in Benelux, Spain and Turkey. At the moment, we are focused on our growth in the German-speaking region, as well as in Southern and Eastern Europe.
Where is your office and how many staff does Paxport employ?
We have grown to about 100 employees. Our commercial head office is in Stockholm. After the acquisition of Multicom, we also have an office in Bristol (UK), where the majority of our development team is based.
What do you expect from your cooperation with Umbrella?
One thing we know for sure: travellers are absolutely prepared to pay for extra services. But these extras have to be offered in a way that is attractive for customers.
Umbrella has comprehensive experience with travel profiles. With this knowledge, we can customize many precise offers for travellers. Customers are more satisfied with the offer, and sales increases. The added value is evident and, for this reason, I am really looking forward to our partnership.
Joacim, at Paxport you are responsible for strategic partnerships and relationships with airlines. Where do your professional roots lie?
I worked for Amadeus Scandinavia and its predecessor company, SMART AB (a subsidiary of SAS), for 12 years. That's why the processes and challenges of airline sales are, of course, very familiar to me. But I also deal intensively with the opportunities that arise through new technologies. So I like to see myself as an “evangelist” for new, disruptive sales concepts.
Could you tell us a bit about what you enjoy outside of work?
Of course. I have been an enthusiastic coach of a junior handball team for many years. I do this mainly for our club, Hammarby IF from Stockholm. It is a lot of fun for me, even though I – interestingly – did not play as a child and I do not like gymnasiums. But coaching the kids and seeing how much fun they have playing gives me a lot of energy.
Excellent! Thank you so much for the interview!