‘Adapt & Survive’ Skype video series: Christine Martin, Director, Ethos Farm

By Andrew Pentol |

Christine Martin- 460x306Ethos Farm, Business Development Director, Christine Martin, has launched a passionate plea for the resumption of inflight retail once aviation resumes.

The plea is in response to a document published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control last month, calling for inflight retail services not to resume once the aviation industry restarts.

Speaking to TRBusiness as part of this publication’s Adapt & Survive Skype Video Series, Martin who is currently on furlough leave said: “I have read this document four or five times. It says the points listed serve as guidelines as well as a protocol. They can’t do both as it would be a contradiction.”

She added: “IATA are encouraging us to adopt this protocol as well their own. The messages out there are just so confusing and so biased. I think it’s absolutely appalling.”

On the prospect of inflight retail not restarting, Martin said: “We know the airlines that take inflight retail seriously. Those revenues will be extremely important when we actually start flying again.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PRIORITY

“Obviously health and safety come first, but there are ways around this. If you are sitting next to someone shoulder to shoulder, I do not see a problem with delivering a service on board, as long as all parties follow the health and safety rules.”

Asked by TRBusiness to assess the state of the inflight retail sector pre-crisis, Martin remarked: “If I had to give inflight retail a colour code it would be amber. Everyone knows the model was broken before Covid-19, but nobody was brave enough to fix it. Now we must do something.”

In the meantime, Martin, who joined Ethos Farm at the beginning of last year, is hosting a weekly webinar series alongside Vimal Rai, Trace Consulting Ltd, Managing Director.

Rai, who recently took part in our Adapt & Survive video series was also a speaker during yesterday’s (2 June) second TRBusiness Travel Retail Connect webinar, which attracted 483 participants.

“Being furloughed really affected me, so I had to do something and get myself back on that carousel. Vimal and I got together and created an inflight retail health-check webinar series. The aim was to try and provide a safe, open, honest and transparent forum and find a new way of working,”

Moving forward, the inflight retail sector must excite and delight customers, emphasised Martin. “I am afraid inflight retail seems to have lost its way on that front. The sector has been lazy and too focused on giving customers what we want them to buy rather than what they want to purchase.

“If you always do the same thing you get the same results.”

Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.

To register your interest in the Adapt and Survive series, please contact one of the editorial team at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected].

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