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Thomas Cook Group Airlines awards new long-term contract to Alpha LSG

London December 18, 2015: Alpha LSG has been awarded a new long-term contract to continue to service all Thomas Cook Airlines' flights from UK airports and manage its inflight retail programme.

The new agreement, commencing from March next year and running to 2021, will see a number of new innovations being introduced to enhance the passenger experience.

Alex Forbes (right), Alpha LSG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Thomas Cook Airlines are one of our largest customers and a strategic partner for our wider service portfolio. We were jointly awarded this contract — together with our colleagues in LSG Sky Chefs — against very strong competition which reflects the success of our partnership and recognises the important role we have played in helping the airline to meet its objectives.

“Over the past few years, we have supported Thomas Cook Airlines’ success not only through an exemplary catering and logistics record but by growing their on-board sales by close to 80% and developing a meal retailing program — the James Martin range — which has contributed extra revenue and increased passenger satisfaction.”

Ralf Teckentrup, Chief Commercial Officer of the Thomas Cook Group Airlines said: “The new joint catering and retail contract delivers significant savings and is fully in-line with the Thomas Cook Group Airlines’ strategy to bundle activities across its four airlines and harmonise product offerings at the same time. We also recognised the significant role that Alpha LSG has played in the growth of our on-board retailing in the UK and are counting on continued success.”

Alpha LSG already manages all aspects of the inflight retailing including sourcing and selecting products, advertising and marketing, pricing and sales, management of software solutions, provision of hand-held terminals along with Cabin Crew engagement and training.

In the future there are plans for even more innovation. To give passengers a wider choice when pre-ordering meals from the James Martin range, they will have the ability to order specific dishes in advance.

Another major innovation being introduced for passengers in the UK in 2016 is the launch of the airline’s Airshoppen concept where duty free goods can be pre-ordered online which are packaged and delivered to passengers’ seats before departure. The service is available on out-bound and in-bound flights.

Airshoppen already operates in Germany and Scandinavia, and will be available in the UK from January. More than 1,000 products will be available to choose from with goods stored in a central bonded warehouse where they will be picked and packed for delivery to aircraft flying from 17 UK airports.

Meanwhile Alpha LSG’s OMG! Awards which recognise and reward the inflight sales achievements of Thomas Cook Airlines’ Cabin Crews is to be rolled out globally in 2016. Combined with a pioneering training programme, the inaugural OMG! Awards for Thomas Cook Airlines were staged in the UK in 2015 and were a resounding success.

Mr Forbes said: “Cabin Crews are our front-line sales team and therefore engagement with them and training are absolutely vital ingredients to the overall success of our Inflight Retail programme. The retail team at Alpha LSG has worked extremely hard to develop the OMG! Awards event which has really caught the imagination of the Cabin Crew and will now embrace crews across the entire Thomas Cook Airlines global network.

“Over the next few years we will continue to develop our relationship with Thomas Cook Airlines to deliver even greater results for passenger satisfaction and to explore further opportunities for revenue growth.”

Alpha LSG provided services to over six million passengers flying with Thomas Cook Airlines from UK airports in 2015 with more than three million meals supplied from the James Martin range. The airline flies to destinations including the Canary Islands, Caribbean, Egypt, Gambia, Geneva, Goa, Mexico, Tunisia, Turkey, USA and Europe.

18th December 2015