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!
The Favourite set to reign the BAFTA's
With five Golden Globe and twelve BAFTA nominations, as well as being the winner of two awards at the Venice International Film Festival, The Favourite has been causing waves with critics and audiences alike since its release. Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is in bad health and sits on the throne, though she seems to have little interest in governing and more in pursuing her quirky interests. However, her trusted advisor and friend Duchess Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) more than makes up for Anne’s lack of interest by directing and controlling the Queen’s choices and effectively running the country through her suggestions.
This delicate balance begins to tip when Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), Sarah’s impoverished cousin, arrives and starts to court the Queen’s desire for gentle affection, the type Sarah has not provided in a long time. These two women start to play the game against one another, though it soon becomes apparent that the position of a pawn on the board is not as clear cut as it initially seemed. After all, there can be only one Queen.
Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, these three award-winning giants of cinema use their formidable talent to display the passions, desires, and hunger for power these three historical figures sought and sacrificed heavily for. Director Yorgos Lanthimos of The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, also uses his skill of combining subtlety with vibrant essences to showcase this sumptuous dramatization of the life of one of the more enigmatic monarchs in British history.
With 12 nominations, along with its notable success at the Golden Globes, The Favourite and it’s stellar cast are all but set to occupy the throne at this years BAFTA Film Awards. Samantha Lyons | Inflight Dublin © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
KCTV IFE Guide
Established in late 2001, Air Astana is Kazakhstan’s national carrier and over the last number of years, Inflight Dublin has developed a close working relationship with them as providers of their IFE. In 2016, they felt their inflight guide: KCTV was due a re-vamp and tasked us with the redesign, with one goal in mind: make it stand out.
The team at Air Astana placed their trust in us at Inflight Dublin and afforded us full creative input. We began with a redesign of the front cover, which we decided should be impactful, modern and stylish, but with enough open-space to accommodate three languages. We developed an iconography set for the magazine to indicate the different sub-sections, which we employed in a subtle way throughout.
We mixed editorial pieces on Hollywood movies and actors with local and International musicians, alongside the key information of the IFE for passengers, in a bid to create a more engaging read, rather than just an information listing.
RwandAir Safety Video
With a tight deadline of just one month, RwandAir asked us to develop a safety video for the delivery of their new Airbus A330.
The challenge was to form a concept that could be designed and animated within the short timeframe, while keeping the style in-line with RwandAir’s brand and tone of voice. We went through an extensive, concept development phase, exploring multiple avenues before arriving at the idea to base the video around an animated safety card. With this idea in mind, we fixed our design on clear illustrations, like those found in safety cards.
In tandem with this, we constructed a script that would cover and meet the necessary safety information and requirements of the various aviation safety authorities.
Concept Development & Storyboarding
The challenge was to come up with a concept and aesthetic that could be designed and animated within the short timeframe, while keeping the style in line with RwandAir’s brand and tone of voice.
We went through an extensive concept development phase, exploring multiple avenues before arriving at the idea to base the video around an animated safety card. This concept helped define our design exploration to clean illustrations similar to those found in safety cards.
In tandem with this, we developed a script that would cover the necessary safety information and meet the requirements of the various aviation safety authorities.
As the production timeline was very tight, our designers worked with the animation team, immediately passing-off finished assets to be animated. In this manner, it enabled us to hit our deadline, even with some time to spare.
Norwegian Air Shuttle Content Bumpers
Norwegian Air Shuttle approached us looking for a suite of new bumper videos, bumpers are short five – ten second videos that play before a TV show or movie.
Norwegian Airlines has a distinct brand and company ethos that we needed to follow. This was challenging because we had to stick closely to their imagery style.
We pitched several ideas to them and their favourite was a mixture of vector-illustration and footage.