PHILIPPINES AIRASIA HAS launched its holiday in-flight catalogue which features vacation essentials and a solar-powered lantern.
“For this CSR initiative, we saw the project and we believed it’s something very important to the Filipinos,” Karlo Serafin Sanchez, head of ancillary revenue at Philippines AirAsia told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the launch held on Nov. 14 at Tarsier Botanika in Bohol.
The Sunny Sonny Story Lantern is a solar-powered lantern whose light can last up to eight hours and is waterproof because of it’s inflatable PVC enclosure. The lantern was inspired and named after “a young boy who survived supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda three years ago,” according to a press release.
The lantern, as described by the in-flight catalog, can be used for “outdoor activities, power outages and travel emergencies.”
“I am a Pinoy at heart… [so] when I came to the Philippines for the first time 26 years ago, I noticed, unfortunately, when I landed in Manila, there were a lot of brownouts. [It’s now] 2016 and almost nothing changed,” said Luca Verazzo, president and founder of Sunny Sonny Story during the launch.
“There are now 54 million kababayans (countrymen) living without the luxury of light. We came up with something unique,” he added.
The lamp retails for P650 and 10% of the proceeds will be donated in form of lanterns which will be given “to different communities in need.” One can also opt to buy one lamp and donate one for P1,050 (donors will be given a certificate for the donation). The lantern is only available onboard Philippines AirAsia flights.
Mr. Sanchez said that they plan on deploying “200 to 500” lanterns by February next year, though they haven’t pinpointed which communities will be given the donated lanterns.
“If we find a place where we see that they need more [of the lanterns], that’s the time we can deploy it,” he said, before adding that depending on how popular the item is, there is a possibility that the lantern will become a staple in the catalog.
Aside from the lantern, other items featured in the holiday-themed catalog are: His and Hers Sunnies sunglasses in six different designs; a Human Nature Travel Protect set which includes a sunscreen, bug shield oil, and sanitizer; an AirAsia Kids Fun Pack which includes a coloring and sticker book, a puzzle, and a set of eight coloring pencils, among other items; the airline’s airport playset featuring an aircraft, a tow truck, cargo trucks, etc.; and the AirAsia Bear Gift Set.
“The merchandise is actually a small part of the business. On our side, it’s really on terms of supporting the operations, supporting the business of the whole airline,” Mr. Sanchez said of the in-flight merchandise business before adding that while it is a small part of the entire business, it is growing.
“It is really growing. We’re trying to ramp up the items and partnering with good causes. We are open to those things,” he said. — Zsarlene B. Chua