Lauda Air launches in-flight shopping channel

Flightstore, an in-flight shopping channel which will enable passengers to shop online, is being launched by Lauda Air.

Lauda is the first airline to sign up. If successful, Brighton-based Flightstore hopes to roll out the service to other airlines.

The service will be available from July and will initially feature on long-haul flights from Vienna to Melbourne and Sydney.

So far, the only retailer Flightstore has signed up is gadgetshop.com. However, Flightstore client director Charles Vine says the company is in talks with several other retailers, including Lego, Ted Baker, Mulberry, Estée Lauder and Manchester United.

Vine says the idea of the channel is to provide another form of entertainment on long-haul flights.

Passengers will order via a screen set into the seat in front of them, and pay by swiping a credit card through the handset used to operate the channel. The information is then downloaded on landing.

Lauda Air in-flight product manager Alexander Eisenbach says current methods of on-board shopping are a problem because of the space and weight involved.

He added that Lauda wanted to offer passengers the opportunity to buy interesting things, not just more of what was offered in the duty free shops on the ground.

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