With the financial year drawing to a close this week, we’ve been taking a look back at our “Year in the Air” and caught up with our Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod to crunch some of the numbers and get his take on the customer insights.
First up, was it a busy year on the network?
Totally! Our teams on the ground and inflight did an amazing job.
We operated more than 190,000 flights this past year with our customers collectively flying 37.4 billion kilometres in FY19 and earning 101.5 million Airpoints Dollars along the way. One of our most frequent flyers covered 522,602 kilometres over the course of the year!
It was also another busy year for domestic travel. In February we announced a reduction to domestic fares of up to 50 percent which really stimulated demand for travel, with Kiwis booking more than 100,000 seats on that announcement day alone!
Reducing carbon emissions is obviously a significant issue for airlines and Air New Zealand has been encouraging customers to offset their flying footprints through its FlyNeutral programme. How did the programme perform in the past year?
We launched FlyNeutral in 2016 and it’s been pleasing to see the number of customers choosing to offset their travel trend upwards. In the past year alone more than 174,400 trips (50,000 tonnes of carbon) were offset – 34.5 percent more than in the previous year. We’d expect to see this trend accelerate into FY20.
Interestingly, our UK based customers offset more journeys than anyone else with close to 10 percent of all trips from that market offset through FlyNeutral. Kiwis in comparison offset 4.6 percent of their travel, so we have some way to go to catch up to the UK.
Air New Zealand is renowned for its famous Kiwi hospitality. What were the most popular dishes on board this past year?
We operate some of the longest sectors in the world which makes it incredibly important we deliver a strong inflight service. The 6.3 million inflight meals we served in FY19 were prepared in 24 locations globally by a team of 2,000 chefs and culinary specialists.
One menu item that garnered significant global media attention and generated strong debate was the plant-based Impossible Burger which we took to the skies for the first time last July. Since then we’ve served up around 7,000 Impossible Burger patties and 4,200 Impossible sliders.
Once again we were proud to showcase New Zealand ingredients through our inflight menus with customers enjoying 1.6 million New Zealand beef and lamb dishes, 45,000 appetisers featuring Ngāti Porou’s Ahia smoked fish as well as more than 960,000 ice creams and 900,000 portions of New Zealand cheese on international flights departing New Zealand alone.
Air New Zealand is also the largest single server of New Zealand wines. We poured close to 5.8 million glasses on board this year, including many wines from the Fine Wines of New Zealand programme. These can cost up to $150 a bottle on the ground and it’s terrific to give our Business Premier customers a taste of the very best of our nation’s wine. Pinot noir was the most popular varietal across our three cabins.
As a nation of coffee lovers, how many cups of coffee were served this year?
Our team of baristas brewed 1.2 million cups of the good stuff in our lounges with many orders made through our mobile app. The flat white was the firm favourite among customers, making up 45 percent of all orders. We also served 11 million hot drinks on board – 5.8 million cups of coffee and 5.2 million cups of tea.
What kept customers most entertained on board?
We’ve had some terrific content on our inflight entertainment platform this year and our Digital team has been pouring over the viewing data. Bohemian Rhapsody was the most watched film, clocking up more than 162,000 views while the Beatles were the most listened to artist with 606,773 plays! We also have a fantastic sleep playlist which customers spent three million minutes drifting off to. Our customers have also spent thousands of hours online since we introduced complimentary Wi-Fi earlier this year.
Check out Air New Zealand’s 2019 financial year by the numbers below