Monarch outsources catering to Alpha

1 April 2010
1 April 2010 | Allie Anderson

Monarch Airlines has announced it is to outsource its catering and in-flight retail services to onboard retail supplier Alpha.

Under the terms of the three-year contract, Alpha will manage an annual spend of more than £80 million on behalf of Monarch.

It will take control of these elements of the supply chain from early May in a bid to save money and increase customer satisfaction. Details of the cost savings Monarch hopes to achieve were not revealed but were said to be “significant”.

Craig Cherry, CPO at Monarch, told SM: “This is quite a major thing in the aviation industry and it’s taken a long time to put together. It’s not just about buying cheaper and quicker but developing a better product for the customer.

“Our expertise is in flying aircraft. Alpha’s expertise is in-flight catering and shops. The partnership will enable us to look at new and innovative ideas that will increase onboard spend per head as well as allow us to buy more effectively by leveraging their buying power.”

Cherry added that the changeover will have a marked effect on its vendors, but Monarch will retain final signoff on and brand control. “Alpha will inherit our supplier database. We still make the decisions and they are not going to get rid of anyone without proving to us it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

“It will free up a lot of time for us in procurement because at the moment we have 60 or 70 suppliers to manage, but now we will only have one. We have no doubt it will be a massive success.”

Alex Forbes, business director of regional airports at Alpha, added: “The decision to outsource is a progressive step by Monarch and will see significant improvements in supply chain and vendor management.”

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