Sitting Down With: John White, CEO
After a successful year in 2021, we want to share our industry knowledge by interviewing the talented employees who make Inflight Dublin thrive.
Kicking off our first interview of the ‘Sitting Down With’ series with some industry insight and outlook for 2022 is Inflight Dublin’s CEO, John White.
How did the pandemic continue to affect business throughout 2021? To what extent did you see it recover?
During 2021, Inflight Dublin (IFD) saw increased demand for its products and services as the world started to manage the pandemic better and airline activity increased.
At the beginning of 2021, the continuation of the pandemic dampened expectations in relation to the rate of recovery. However, with the increased rollout of vaccines throughout the world, the industry grew strongly during the northern hemisphere summer and into the latter part of the year. However, with the emergence of the Omicron variant towards the end of year there was a negative impact on demand.
At the year end, despite being in the middle of the Omicron wave, there was increased optimism that 2022 would be the year that we got on top of the Covid crisis and that there will be a strong recovery in business. Having finished 2021 with an increased level of business, we are confident that our business will grow strongly in 2022.
How did Inflight Dublin adapt to the ever-changing environment of the aviation & inflight entertainment industry during the second year of the pandemic?
IFD continued to focus on 3 key areas:
- Product & service innovation
- Delivering value to our clients
- Enhancing our customer service
The pandemic has led airlines to review their businesses and identify new and more efficient ways to operate and deliver services to their customers.
At a very early stage of the pandemic, IFD recognised that there would be a paradigm shift in the industry and that greater levels of innovation, value and customer service would be required. Therefore, we invested in these areas. As well this, we reviewed our own business to ensure that we were optimising the way we operated, as well as ensuring that we were structured in the right way to exploit future growth opportunities.
What were Inflight Dublin’s biggest achievements & developments in 2021?
IFD’s biggest achievements during 2021 were working in partnership with our clients to help them successfully navigate the crisis: I’m delighted to report that none of our clients went out of business and that we didn’t lose any of them.
Moreover, we were delighted to win a number of new airline clients, including Qatar Airways, Ukraine International, Neos and others. We also expanded our partnerships with existing clients with the rollout of IFD’s Everhub Wireless system on Ethiopian Airlines, Sunclass Airlines and Azur Air.
In terms of developments, we invested heavily in our Everhub Wireless IFE solution and delivered a range of benefits, including: lower costs, remote updating of content, payment platform for on board retail, destination services, crew app and enhanced data analytics through our IFD Insights™ tool.
On the Content side of our business, we extended our Content management System (CMS) to further improve our workflow efficiencies and deliver in-depth cycle management and analytics tools to our clients.
Our hard work and success was also recognised through receiving the Top 10 Aviation Solution Provider Award with Aerospace Defense Review.
What is your outlook for 2022? What’s next for Inflight Dublin?
I am very positive about the outlook for 2022. I strongly believe that it will be the year that the world starts to overcome the Covid crisis and that there will be a strong recovery in the airline industry due to the pent-up demand for travel.
At IFD, we are very excited to be moving into a new state-of-the-art facility next month. We have equipped the new space with the very latest technologies and the highest levels of security, and have ensured that there’s enough space to accommodate our significant growth plans.
From a product and service point of view, we will continue to focus on delivering the highest levels of innovation, value and service to our clients. This will include the delivery of a number of new services on our Everhub wireless platform, which will include greater revenue generation opportunities for our clients, lower costs, enhanced flexibility, more in-depth passenger usage data, and increased hardware options. Watch this space!