NETHERLANDS. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to resume inflight duty free sales of liquor and tobacco on board its flights from 1 February. The airline said the move was in response to consumer demand. The carrier de-listed liquor products in 1984, and tobacco in 1986, and has not featured either category in its inflight range since then.
“KLM constantly adapts its sales assortment on board to the wishes of its passengers,” said Paul Elich, Executive Vice President of KLM Inflight Services. “By buying alcohol and cigarettes on board, passengers no longer have to carry heavy bags around the airport. It makes no difference to the weight on board.”
The assortment will be limited to begin with, featuring spirits brands Courvoisier XO Cognac and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky. The bottles will be delivered on board in sealed plastic bags, said KLM. The cigarettes in the assortment are Marlboro Red and Marlboro Gold.
KLM’s web shop will also offer a broader assortment, which passengers can order online and then pick up on board.
The liquor & tobacco items will only be available on intercontinental routes and not on intra-EU routes.
Speaking later to The Moodie Report, Director Inflight Sales Koos Kruijswijk said: “KLM (through KLM Tax Free Services) used to sell these categories in its airport shops at Schiphol, so we were serving the passenger need on the ground until 2007, when Schiphol Group took over that business. We have since seen passenger demand grow. And since the introduction of our web shop liquor and tobacco have been among the most searched-for products. That prompted us to re-introduce the products.”
Kruijswijk said it was “difficult to judge” how much incremental revenue the new items would add to the offer, but said: “We are confident there will be an increase in sales. We may increase the range later but it depends on the results. We have two leading cigarette lines and two premium liquor products for now.”