We see phenomenal opportunities to revitalise the business with new marketing and product initiatives

John Garner
Deputy Chairman

UK. DFASS Group has been appointed as the new inflight retail concessionaire for Virgin Atlantic, effective 8 April 2014.

The fast-growing Miami-based concessionaire will replace Tourvest, which has operated the contract since 2004, twice renewing the agreement.

The airline launched an RFP for the business this Summer, attracting a number of leading inflight concessionaires.

DFASS Deputy Chairman John Garner commented: “We are thrilled that Virgin has decided to entrust us with the development of their retail programmes.

“We see phenomenal opportunities to revitalise the business with new marketing and product initiatives with this highly respected flag carrier.

“DFASS will be introducing its latest state-of-the-art inflight technology, which will expedite the sales processes for the crew and provide a superior management information system for the Virgin management team.

“It’s been a very intensive due diligence process and Virgin is to be complimented on the high quality of the team who worked with us on this new agreement.”

Virgin Atlantic Brand & Customer Experience Director, Reuben Arnold said: “We were impressed with the experience and credentials of the DFASS team. Their references from their other concession customers and suppliers were also very strong.

Virgin Atlantic is one of the world’s most innovative and consumer-friendly airlines and DFASS is pledging to provide an inflight retail offer that lives up to that reputation

“We have a clear vision and a challenging growth path for Retail Therapy [Virgin’s inflight retail programme – Ed] and felt that DFASS were the best operator to drive our business forward and help us meet our objectives.

“Our crew also really liked the bespoke hand-held EPOS and DFASS software, which is intuitive and very easy to operate.”

COMMENT: This is a hugely important contract gain for DFASS, which re-enters Europe after a long absence. Because of its outstanding and innovative reputation, Virgin brings not only sales value to DFASS but also considerable kudos. The concessionaire also believes there is a significant upside revenue opportunity.

Benny Klepach’s company has won several major accounts in recent years but this will rank high on the list. Driven by John Garner’s leadership, the company is on a roll in Asia (where it handles the blue-chip Singapore Airlines concession) as well as its traditional Americas heartland. Its comeback in Europe suggests a much greater push in the region is imminent.