Onboard Hospitality September/November 2023

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The Art of Storytelling

Transforming the passenger experience through design




Stuart Forster stuart.forster@onboardhospitality.com


April Waterston april.waterston@onboardhospitality.com


Sheena Adesilu


Jo Austin (For Taste of Travel enquiries: jo.austin@onboardhospitality.com), Julie Baxter (julie.baxter@ onboardhospitality.com)


Charlotte Flach, Markus Gilges, Lance Hayward, Gordon Smith Kelly Stevenson, Steve Walpole


Steve Hartridge


Sue Williams sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com


Craig McQuinn craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com



Caitlan Francis & Emma Norton


Clare Hunter


Steve Hunter



Matt Bonner CEO

Martin Steady


Kay Fisher subscriptions@bmipublishing.co.uk







Regularly read in over 70 countries worldwide and mailed to our 25,000+ international database. Read this magazine in digital form, share it virtually or subscribe. If you are looking for a supplier or caterer, check out onboardhospitality.com/finder

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� Onboard Hospitality at linkedin.com onboardhospitality.com

Inspired to tell stories

Global EXPO and FTE APEX Asia Expo.

You can read about all three of those trade shows in this edition. Perhaps we'll have opportunities to meet in Long Beach and Singapore? Onboard Hospitality will be present at both of those expos and we welcome networking possibilities. Several of the stories on the following pages were inspired by meetings in Hamburg. Notably, Chris Wood MBE discusses difficulties faced by travellers in wheelchairs, highlighting how people and companies active in the onboard sector can be a force for positive change. Going forward, BMI Publishing, the publisher of Onboard Hospitality, will address accessibility issues as part of its new Travel for Everybody campaign.

Columns by expert contributors Kelly Stevenson and Steve Walpole debut in this edition. And Markus Gilges discusses how technology is being utilised to schedule maintenance.

Meanwhile, April Waterston draws upon expert insights to outline how storytelling plays a key element in inspiring designs. Bear that in mind while viewing the winning entries from this year's Onboard Hospitality Awards, which you can see towards the back of this edition.

We hope that you'll enjoy reading the magazine and have a productive time ahead of our next issue.



WELCOME / 3 STUART FORTSER Got story ideas or want to set up an interview? Please don't hesitate to reach out to our Editor. APRIL WATERSTON Share your news stories with our Digital Editor, April, who puts together our online weekly newsletter. CRAIG MCQUINN For queries about the Onboard Hospitality ForumAsia or entering our awards, please contact Craig. SUE WILLIAMS
to see your advert in our magazine or online? Please contact Sue to discuss opportunities.
We must make the most of the time we have. It feels like only yesterday that industry representatives were gathering in Hamburg at AIX/WTCE yet, already, we're gearing up for the APEX/IFSA
Stuart Forster EDITOR Onboard Hospitality
Inside this issue... 80 95 Regulars 06 In Numbers: Cabin Waste 09 Industry Update: Recent News 34 In Debate: Amenity Kits 78 Inspired by the Past: Shoe Designs 80 Events: Forthcoming Trade Events Shows 18 AIX/WTCE: 2023 Review 21 APEX/IFSA Global EXPO: Show Preview 22 APEX/IFSA Global EXPO: Exhibitor Overview 29 FTE APEX Asia Expo: Show Introduction 30 FTE APEX Asia Expo: Show Preview Food & Beverage 34 The State of Global Inflight Catering 36 Opinion: Bongi Tshazi on African Cuisine 38 Expert Opinion: Pours for Thought 42 Focus On: Vegan Korean Cuisine 44 Trends in Cocktails 46 Expert Opinion: Chef's Table 50 Kosher Food Trends People 54 In Convo: David Young 56 The Burnt Chef Project Retail 58 Focus On: Brokers 59 In Convo: Ceasar Brown 60 New Arrivals: Creative Nature 61 How To: Sell to Gen X & Y Wellbeing 62 First Aid Onboard 66 Oral Hygiene 68 Take Your Pick: Jet Lag Solutions Design & Innovation 70 Story Telling Through Design 76 In Convo: Chris Wood MBE 77 Focus On: Evolutions in Fabrics Tech 83 Technology News: Industry Developments 86 Opportunities for Onboard Retail 89 Predictive Cabin Maintenance 92 In Convo: Simon Cuthbert 93 Focus On: Headphones Awards 95 Awards: Introduction 96 Winning Entries 102 Cabin Concept Winners 70 18 04 / CONTENTS onboardhospitality.com
44 38 78 89 CONTENTS / 05 onboardhospitality.com

31-76 Million tonnes of CO2 emitted through waste disposal


According to a study conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2019, the average recycling rate for waste generated during flights was approximately 20%. This means that only about 20% of the waste was recycled, while the rest was disposed of through methods such as landfill or incineration.


The airline industry estimates that it generates up to 450,000 tons of 'biohazardous' international Catering Waste (iCW) each year. The waste generated by airlines amounts to 1.4 kg per passenger per year, which is equivalent to the waste produced by 800,000 households

44.5 million tonnes of InternatIonal cabIn waste wIll be burned or burIed – the equivalent of all the 24 mIllIon cars on the road in spaIn. onboardhospitality.com 6 / IN NUMBERS
will be spent by the industry on waste dIsposal $7.1 million 8.91 million tonnes $30.7
will be untouched food and drink of untouched food and drink wasted Tonnes of CO2 emitted burning unused waste 6 - 15 million 200 grams average food waste per passenger each long-haul flight**
average co2 created to carry food waste per long-haul flight
average food waste per longhaul flight
between 2023–2030*: between 2023–2030:

In 2012 an IATA study at Heathrow measured

352.71 kg of waste per flight...

19.5% was collected as cleaning waste

Catering waste collected in compactor boxes and static waste bins


Catering waste placed back in trolley carts 57%

...and from these waste-streams, the composition was:

In 2017 a significant portion of the cabin waste generated during flights was attributed to single-use plastic items such as cutlery, cups and packaging

Research by IATA indicates that up to


of cabin waste consists of untouched food and drink

* Statistics in the first two columns of the preceding page are based on 2017 waste audits and projections using International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Official Airline Guide (OAG) passenger numbers.

** AICA (Artificial Intelligence for Consumption Analytics), developed by LSG Group, provided the top three figures in the right-hand column of the previous page.

food waste is emerging as a global issue with up to one third (1.3 billion tonnes) lost or wasted each year.

The IATA Cabin Waste Handbook has details of waste handling practices plus strategies for reducing it and increasing recycling.

Find out more about this topic at aviationsustainabilityforum.com.

Sealed, loose food and beverages contributed

(by weight)

Liquid and packaging both represented (by weight)

(by weight) of the cabin waste comprised potentially recyclable materials including paper (8.8%), glass bottles (5%), plastic (PET) bottles (2%), beverage cartons (0.8%) and aluminium cans (0.7%)

39.2% 18% 17.3% 23.4%

Unconsumed food and beverages including sealed water

In 2017 it was estimated that the airline industry produced up to 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste which costs the sector $927 million (IATA). With a passenger growth rate currently at 7.6% per year these cabin waste quantities could double in the next 10 years.


on many routes

LSG Group has implemented the Zero Waste to Landfill (ZLF) programme as part of the company's operations in North America. This programme has successfully diverted approximately 30% of their waste from entering landfills.

onboardhospitality.com IN NUMBERS / 7
Waste paper represents around 46.8% of cabIn cleaning waste, and unfortunately, it is not recycled
To find out more, please visit our IFSA EXPO booth 735, or contact info@formia.com FORMIA .COM INTRODUCING THE FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL INFLIGHT AMENITY KITS
onboardhospitality.com industry update / 9 Top stories from across the industry industry update Top sTories from across The indusTry 10 17 11 New sleepwear EVA Air extends its partnership with designer Jason Wu Iberia upgrades New menus and a personalised digital experience await 15 People on the move New recruits for The Hayward Partnership, En Route and Watermark Air India rebrands The airline has refreshed its global identity with a new logo.

New branding for Air India

Air India's global identity is receiving a refresh thanks to a rebranding that includes a new logo.

Signifying 'limitless possibilities, progressiveness and the airline's bold, confident outlook for the future, the new logo is inspired by the peak of a gold window frame.

"Our transformative new brandreflects an ambition to make Air India a world-classairline serving guests from around the globe and that represents a new India proudly on the global stage," said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD of Air Aindia.

Air India has recently made a host of investments, including a $400 million refresh of the interiors of its legacy fleet, a new website, a mobile app plus all-day passenger contact centres. airindia.com

Flying Food Group summer contract wins

Flying Food Group won several new contracts this summer.

It now caters for ITA Airways at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Also at SFO, Flying Food Group started catering for Zipair on June 2. The

Cathay Pacific ups plant-based food

Cathay Pacific has teamed up with VEDA by Ovolo to offer plant-based dishes aboard its flights.

The new plant-based menus, designed by VEDA by Ovolo's Executive Chef Raul Tronco, will be available until June 2024 in Economy and Premium Economy cabins on select loghaul flights departng from Hong Kong. The partnership is part of Cathay Pacific's ongoing commitment to wellness and sustainability.

"It gives us great pleasure to announce this new partnership with VEDA, a Hong Kong restaurant that shares our commitment to providing fantastic cuisine while also being sustainable," said Vivian Lo, General Manager of Customer Experience and Design at Cathay Pacific. cathaypacific.com

Whispering Angel at BA

catering company also provides its services to Zipair at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Hawaii and LAX.

It now caters for Turkish Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airline (EWR) and O’Hare International Airport (ORD). flyingfood.com

British Airways has opened a Whispering Angel rosé bar at London Heathrow Terminal 5B. The airline is the first to have a bespoke Whispering Angel bar in the Concorde, First and Club lounges. It has also introduced Rock Angel onboard in its First Cabin. ba.com

onboardhospitality.com 10 / industry update Top stories from across the industry

Bangkok Airways upcycles uniforms

Bangkok Airways has upcycled used uniform to create 300 ‘boutique-design products’.

The result is products such as aprons for airport lounge staff, cloth bags and water cup bags.

A collaboration with Circular Industry Company, the project aims to further reinforce Bangkok Airways’ commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050.

The project saw 150kgs of used uniforms colour sorted before being turned into new fabrics. The items were not bleached to avoid PM2.5 particles, which could occur during the process of dissolving used uniforms.

The project is estimated to help reduce CO2 by around 307.44 kgs and save 1,826 kwh of electricity. bangkokair.com

Iberia upgrades inflight service in all cabins

Iberia has launched several innovations to improve the passenger experience onboard its flights.

These improvements, which are implemented in all cabins, include the redesign of the menus, improved services on long-haul flights and a new personalised digital experience.

Iberia has redesigned its inflight meals globally with the help of its catering provider. DO & CO worked to improve the quality of the menu designs in all cabins and flights, maintaining the essence of Spanish cuisine and products. On longer flights originating from Madrid, a tapas bag service is offered. iberia.com

susta.IN launches Korean Air lager Airport accessibility

IN Air Travel Experience, Antos Environmental and 2030 Markets have announced an alliance to bring their combined expertise in resource recovery, circular economy and energy transition to international aviation as susta.IN. in-atx.com

Airport services for disabled passengers have improved over the last year, according to a report from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Its Airport Accessibility Report highlights airports’ efforts in providing disabled and less mobile passengers with assistance services. caa.co.uk

In collaboration with Playground Brewery, Korean Air has launched its own-branded craft beer, KAL’s Lager. The beer is described as a “delightful harmony of tropical fruit aromas and a refreshing taste.” The can features an image of an aircraft soaring in the blue sky. koreanair.com

onboardhospitality.com industry update / 11 Top stories from across the industry

United adds braille onboard

United has become the first US airline to add braille to aircraft interiors, helping millions of travellers with visual disabilities more easily navigate the cabin independently.

The airline currently has equipped about a dozen aircraft with braille markings for individual rows and seat numbers as well as inside and outside the lavatories.

United expects to outfit its entire mainline fleet with braille by the end of 2026.

In addition to adding braille, United is working with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and other disability advocacy groups to explore the use of other tactile navigational aids throughout the cabin such as raised letters, numbers and arrows. united.com

UK's CrossCountry Trains adds alcohol-free cocktails to menu

Mavrik Drinks' Cuban Mojito is now being served on the CrossCountry Trains network.

Mavrik's canned cocktail range comprises six flavours. Aromatic G&T, Espresson Martini, Passion Star Martini, Storm and Spice plus Venetian Spritz are the other five, in addition to Cuban Mojito.

"Our all-natural, low-calorie, ready-to-drink cans are an easy swap with zero compromise on taste, so they are perfect for those looking to unwind after a long day at work or for those who just want an appetizing and flavoursome drink," said Andrew Mallinson, Director at Mavrik Drinks. mavrik-drinks.com

British popcorn Banana snacks Sparkling white wine

Popcorn Shed unveiled Strawberries and Cream popcorn ahead of the tennis season.

The flavour is based on a longenjoyed summer treat now famously served at Wimbledon. It is made with freeze-dried strawberries and airpopped corn. popcornshed.com

Snacking brand Pukpip has introduced single servings of its chocolate-dipped frozen banana snacks containing real fruit.

A healthy alternative to ice creams, the snacks contain between 151 and 161 calories and are high in both fibre and potassium. pukpip.com

London-based wine startup NICE has added a sparkling white wine to its range of canned wines.

Dry and crisp, the vegan white wine expands the company's range of 200ml cans, adding to four still wines, including a fruity Argentinian Malbec from Mendoza. nice-drinks.com

12 / industry update Top stories from across the industry onboardhospitality.com

Champagne partnership

Global Airlines will serve Laurent Perrier on transatlantic flights from 2024.

The 200-year-old Champagne house is set to be the premier brand of the new airline’s A380. Each glass of its ‘fresh and elegant’ Champagne will be accompanied by complimentary canapes.

James Asquith, CEO and Founder of Global Airlines, said: “A great Champagne is a huge part of an amazing onboard experience and I am delighted that Laurent Perrier have agreed to be our partners. It is a brand that is known the world over, and our intention is to offer LP brands to passengers across our three cabins, and, if we can make it work, that absolutely includes in Economy.” globalairlines.com

Air France adds summer flavours to inflight menu

Air France is continuing to promote fine French dining with a new series of original dishes.

Taking flight until October 2023 on departures from Paris in La Première and Business cabins, French Michelin-starred chefs Régis Marcon and Thierry Marx will be working alongside the Meilleur Ouvrier de France pastry chef Philippe Urraca to create dishes for the airline’s passengers.

The chefs have worked with Servair to create dishes that change with the seasons using fresh, local produce. The meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs on each menu are sourced in France, and the fish comes from sustainable fisheries. airfrance.co.uk

Simon Soni joins The Hayward Partnership

Simon Soni will be consulting with The Hayward Partnership.

"I look forward to working with The Hayward Partnership team to accelerate positive change for customers and staff across the breadth of the hospitality environment," said Soni, who has been building a practice as an indusry adviser.

“We are so delighted to welcome Simon into The Hayward Partnership. The span of his knowledge and experience combined with his vast network of contacts in our industry makes him a perfect fit with the rest of our team...we are really looking forward to the energy and wit for which he is famous,” commented Lance Hayward, MD of The Hayward Partnership. thehaywardpartnership.com

14 / industry update
Top stories from across the industry onboardhospitality.com

Aer Lingus recycles

Aer Lingus is segregating and recycling onboard waste arriving on short-haul flights into Ireland.

The Irish flag carrier is now on target to be recycling 20% (200 tonnes) of onboard waste from flights into Cork and Dublin airports by the end of 2023. This figure is scheduled to increase to 40% (720 tonnes) by 2025.

Lynn Embleton, Air Lingus’ CEO said: “We know from our customers that recycling is something the vast majority wish to see happen and this new onboard initiative complements other positive steps we are taking on our aircraft, including the use of more sustainable materials and reducing single use plastics onboard.” aerlingus.com

onboardhospitality.com 16 / industry update Top stories from across the industry Untitled-1 1 14/08/2023 09:05

New EVA Air sleepwear

EVA Air has announced an extension of its longstanding partnership with Jason Wu, the renowned New Yorkbased fashion designer.

Wu's third generation range of EVA Air inflight sleepwear is already available onboard select routes. The initial collaboration was in 2019 with the creation of fashionable yet comfortable Jason Wu pyjamas for EVA Air's Royal Laurel Class passengers.

The new range features a casual hoodie style. The top features a kangaroo pocket on the front, adding a stylish touch, while the tapered leg pants come with adjustable draw cord for convenience. The pyjamas are available in two colours and three different sizes. They are made from a soft and cosy jersey fabric.

Buzz brought this brand partnership

Qantas collabs for amenities

Qantas Airways partnered with Australian fashion designer Rebecca Vallance and Watermark on new amenity kits. The collaboration celebrated the reintroduction of flights from Sydney to New York for the first time since 2020.

The amenity kits were designed for Qantas Business class travellers and pay homage to New York. The partnership was developed to drum up awareness of the new route.

Each piece incorporated Vallance’s Avenue Astoria Collection print, which is a nod to the glamorous characters of New York’s Waldorf Astoria in the 1970s, including Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Ross.

The collaborative Qantas x Rebecca Vallance designs featured a monogram

to life exclusively for EVA Air. EVA Air’s continual focus on improvements as well as collaborations with luxury brands such as Jason Wu for Royal Laurel and Premium Economy Class passengers has been a factor in it regularly winning awards, including Skytrax 5 Star Airlines and World’s Top 10 Airlines. evaair.com

People on the move


To: commerciaL direcTor from: ssp Group Global food service and supply chain partner En Route International has appointed Marcus Nilsson as Commercial Director, a newly created role.

Based at the company’s head office in Windsor, Nilsson will be tasked with growing sales revenue and improving margins across the business, assuming full responsibility for En Route’s global sales and commercial department. He will also take responsibility for En Route’s US presence, lead EMEA sales and account management and work closely with the APAC director.

of the Qantas ‘Roo’ and Vallance’s logo. The palette of blues and Art Deco undertones reflect the heritage, glamour and sophistication of the Waldorf Astoria’s hotel architecture. The amenity kits were on all flights from Australia and New Zealand to New York and vice versa in June and July. qantas.com

To: creaTiVe direcTor from: consuLTanT Michael Carr has 15 years' experience as an industrial designer and has spent his career working largely with the premium and luxury industries, specialising across technical products, fashion accessories and homewares. He has designed, developed and launched multiple iF and RedDot awardwinning collections for a variety of high profile brands, ranging from Hackney-based startups like Uniform Wares to large international organisations such as Braun, P&G and Vivienne Westwood. His work has featured in Wallpaper, Hypebeast, Monocle and Hodinkee, as well as permanent exhibitions at both London's Design Museum and the MoMA in New York City.

please send your appointment news to stuart.forster@onboardhospitality.com Top stories from across the industry onboardhospitality.com


the 2023 Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) took place from June 6-8 in Hamburg, Germany. AIX drew approximately 6,000 attendees and 428 exhibiting companies to the Hamburg Messe while more than 3,500 attendees from 88 different countries attended WTCE, where over 250 exhibitors met with existing and prospective clients.

Representatives from leading airline and rail companies met with suppliers at the simultaneous trade shows, a factor that contributes to AIX/WTCE being seen as the leading global event for inflight catering, onboard services, and passenger comfort.

The trade shows were preceded by the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on June 5 at the Congress Center Hamburg. The theme of PEC’s plenary session was  Debunking the Seamless Journey and then it split into two themes, Delivering for the New Generation Passenger and  Succeeding in the Green Revolution.

views of AiX

“This year’s AIX has demonstrated just how much the post-pandemic recovery is in full swing, and we’ve been blown away by the optimism and enthusiasm demonstrated by our exhibitors and visitors as they look to the future. With airline buyer attendance up by 59% on last year, we’re delighted to bring a highlevel audience to the event and continue providing a platform for the aircraft interiors industry to do business,” commented Polly McGraw, Event Director of AIX.

Indicative of that success, Andy

onboardhospitality.com 18 / event review
In review
We’ve been blown away by the optimism and enthusiasm demonstrated by our exhibitors and visitors as they look to the future
Polly McGRAW
Our stand buzzed with activity as we hosted over 100 meetings. The engagement and discussions held during these meetings are invaluable ANDy MoRRis

Morris, Chief Commercial Officer at Thompson Aero Seating, said: “Thompson Aero Seating was able to showcase its latest innovations and engage with key customers, OEMs and media at AIX 2023. We proudly displayed our full premium seating product portfolio, highlighting the evolution of our Vantage seating range. Our stand buzzed with activity as we hosted over 100 meetings. The engagement and discussions held during these meetings are invaluable to our continued growth and success.”

Perspectives of wtCe

“It’s always fantastic to witness firsthand the enthusiasm from visitors and exhibitors at WTCE, and really reassuring to see just how far we’ve come in the post-pandemic recovery process. One of our themes this year was bringing the fun back to travel and our exhibitors well and truly embraced this, to show how airlines and rail companies can create memorable experiences onboard,” said McGraw in her capacity as Event Director of WTCE.

Anne de Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience, described AIX/ WTCE as an ”unparalleled dynamic experience” and said, “WTCE 2023 was all about people and nurturing connections.”

The Wellbeing Walk-Through was new for 2023, designed to guide buyers to the 30+ exhibitors specialising in food, drink, beauty and amenity kit products that can enhance passenger health and wellbeing while travelling. “WTCE was an exciting event that allowed us to connect with reputable buyers in the travel catering industry worldwide. As a gluten-free health and wellness brand,

it was inspiring to be part of insightful discussions on emerging trends focused on promoting wellness and sustainability onboard,” said Ellouise Byrne, EMEA Head of Sales and Business Development at skinny genie.

“We were pleased with airline attendance at this year’s WTCE and the meaningful discussions we had with current and target customers. While we retained the hospitality aspect of our stand, which is always popular, we changed the way we presented product and service concepts, making use of both multimedia and physical samples,” commented Wayne Costigan, Partner at Global-C, indicating the company would retain that format in future trade shows.

taste of travel

Curated in partnership with Onboard Hospitality, 2023’s Taste of Travel sessions offered thought-provoking and insightful discussions led by top passenger experience professionals and sustainability experts. “There really was something for everyone at the Taste of Travel Theatre, giving us a real taste of the future of travel catering. It left attendees with a renewed commitment to enhancing the passenger journey while prioritising sustainability, health and wellbeing,” commented Marc Warde, Director of Niche Free-from Kitche, who moderated two sessions.

Warde expressed hopes that all Taste of Travel sessions to be recorded in 2024, enabling people who are with customers or suppliers to view or listen to them later.

AIX/WTCE will return to the Hamburg Messe from May 28-30 while PEC will take place on May 27 2024.  •

onboardhospitality.com event review / 19
Sustainable Hand Care For A Greener Journey Freshorize.com Customization Air Freshener Hand Care To Learn more visit Booth:740 Patented Products R-PET Bottles Dermatologically Approved Untitled-3 1 21/08/2023 08:40 Premium onboard single pack snack solutions www.snackboxtogo.com | sales@snackboxtogo.com Untitled-1 1 07/03/2023 13:41


This year, for the first time, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) will co-locate with the Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global event. More than 3,000 attendees, with expertise in all aspects of the end-to-end passenger experience, will be present.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), content providers and system manufacturers will be among APEX members showcasing the products, technologies, content and systems that will influence the onboard experiences of the future. Meanwhile, around 1,000 industry professionals will be on the IFSA side, where food, beverages and onboard services will be presented.

Largest ever

“APEX/IFSA Global EXPO will be the largest event in our history with over a thousand additional attendees joining FTE Global. We’ve filled all 224,000 square feet – 20,810 square metres – of the Long Beach Convention Center,” says Dr Joe Leader, CEO of APEX/IFSA.

“Alongside FTE Global, I’m most looking forward to having our bestattended event ever. We were nearly

this large in 2019, when we co-located with AIX Americas. Now, like much of the industry, we’ve surpassed our highest point,” he adds of this year’s member-only event, which will showcase innovations and attract aviation industry leaders from around the planet.

Thought leadership

Airline executives will count among the speakers taking to the main stage during the all-day Thought Leadership Conference on September 21. “As our industry evolves, it’s important that APEX/IFSA Global EXPO advances to best serve our airlines and suppliers. We’ve kept the awards on the final exhibition day as a capstone event. We continue to expand thought leadership

content with an incredible finale on Thursday with airline CEOs and leaders,” elucidates Leader.

“I am excited how we have aligned around the theme of Air Transport 2030. APEX, IFSA and Future Travel Experience are quite different in that we leverage our non-profit trade association strength to genuinely transform our industry. For IFSA, I believe that our thought leadership on the floor is a unique highlight to the event. We’ve made tremendous progress with our government affairs efforts in both Washington and Brussels,” highlights the CEO of the Atlanta-headquartered organisation. Onboard Hospitality magazine will be distributed at the expo. expo.apex.aero •

The 2023
onboardhospitality.com SHOW PREVIEW: APEX/IFSA GLOBAL EXPO / 21
The APEX/IFSA Global EXPO takes place from September 19-21 at Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in California


Sola will be displaying the latest designs in stainless steel cutlery at the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO. Varying from modern, contemporary to classical designs, all of them can be customised to specific needs, for cabins from First to (Premium) Economy. Hollowware – including Thermos pots, baskets, and coffee brewers – will also be on display. Booth 642 – sola-cutlery.com

Intervine CULINARY

Intervine will be attending its 13th IFSA Expo, showcasing its fast-growing portfolio of food and beverage products, providing samples of wines, ready-to-drink cocktails and other goods. Booth 653 – intervineinc.com



Spafax One enables live-streamed events and on-demand TV and also redefines a multitude of IFEC experiences. It centres on three cornerstones: a dynamic experience engine ensuring seamlessness and data-powered curation personalising revolutionary content delivery Booth 1317 – spafax.media


AirFi is re-introducing Dance24, a catalogue of more than 100 hours of music video content recorded live at the world’s biggest electronic music (EDM) festivals. Booth 1147 – airfi.aero



In May Viasat acquired Inmarsat and will demonstrate how the greater scale of the combined company. It will also be publishing its annual passenger experience survey results during the expo. Booth 1209 – viasat.com



As industry dynamics evolve and passengers' tastes change, Panasonic Avionics envisions a world where the seatback screen becomes an extension of a passenger's relationship with the airline and in which airlines can dynamically use IFE to create marketplaces, exclusive advertising opportunities and unforgettable brand moments.

Booth 819 – panasonic.aero

22 / SHOW


Product displays augmented with multimedia content will explain GlobalC’s approaches to increasing value for the passenger, sustainability and circularity, and supply chain diversity.

Booths 627-730 – global-c.nl

McGuire and Associates


Established more than 40 years ago, McGuire and Associates / The Gourmet Center is proud to be exhibiting again at the International Flight Services Association Global EXPO. They will be showcasing a range of new ambient and ready-to-eat products from brands including Hippeas, Red Plate Foods, Paris Delice and Traiteur de Paris. Examples of the newest product lines will be available to sample at the booth, so stop by to try their textures and delicious flavours. Booth 546 – matgci.com




Bluebox is showcasing the awardwinning Blueview digital passenger experience platform – focusing on how onboard retail and IFE modules provide distinct and complementary value. Booth 929 – blueboxaviation.com

Clip will showcase ‘the best of the best’ products from the past years at its booth at the 2023 APEX/IFSA Global EXPO. Premium new products and brand partnerships, in tableware and skincare, will also be on show. Clip will also present new, improved and re-designed rotable and compostable box concepts to tackle the challenges faced by airlines with a lack of galley space. Booth 640 – cliponboard.com

Stellar Entertainment


Beemster Cheese


Produced using a traditional method and made with vegetarian rennet. Sample Beemster cheese and the Beemster Cheese Roll hot snack, made in collaboration with Smilde Bakery. Booth 649 – beemstercheese.us

Established in 1974, Stellar Entertainment is the world's longest-running inflight entertainment company. Offices around the world offer local expertise, global connectivity and roundthe-clock support. Visit the booth for a demo of PixL, the company’s one-stop digital media platform. Booth 1317 –stellarentertainment.software




ThinKom is pushing the next generation of antennas into production as demand for inflight connectivity increases worldwide. The Ka2517 Plus and Ka1717 regional jet solutions will be featured at the expo. Booth 911 – thinkom.com

Euronews CONTENT

Euronews is a leading international news channel, resulting in a unique European identity and multilingual model in 17 languages (12 language editions and five branded affiliates). Impartial and independent, Euronews delivers a diversity of viewpoints and offers a wide range of inflight entertainment (IFE) content portfolio. Booth 1607 – euronews.com


Hear about the latest offerings available from CNN, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Adult Swim and the much-loved Cartoon Network, which is available in 26 languages. Live TV is now available from CNN on over 20 different airlines. Booth 1160 – cnninflight.com


The new AERENA Experience Studio by AERQ gives airlines freedom and flexibility to create their own unique digital onboard experience. It means that airlines can constantly adapt digital onboard offerings to their passengers' needs. Booth 1037 – aerq.com

That's It.


That’s it Nutrition makes plant-based snacks that are free from the top 12 allergens. Since 2012, it has been innovating the natural foods category in the US with its portfolio of simple and nutritious snacks made from real, whole foods. Booth 638 – thatsitfruit.com

Global Inflight Products DESIGN


GIP says its eco-products can be designed into any shape or design, helping free the skies from plastic and aluminium, and invites visitors to its stand to help shape a greener future. Booth 753 – gipusa.com

AMI Group and Buzz CULINARY


AMI Group and Buzz will jointly provide a unique, engaging space highlighting 'The Power of Moments'. AMI's suppliers also will offer a market experience and street food menus to showcase their capabilities, along with beverage pairings. Booths 561 & 15 others – amigrp.com and buzzproducts.com




Kaelis invites attendees of the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO to experience EcoWays: pathways to a greener tomorrow. A diverse selection of sustainable solutions revolutionising how people live and travel Innovative, functional eco-products across all cabin classes that set new trends and elevate the travel experience will be on show at the Kaelis booth. Booth 623 – kaelis.world

Monty's Bakehouse


Monty’s Bakehouse has over 20 years’ experience of manufacturing food products. Members of its global team will be talking about how handheld hot snacks can delight customers and support airlines’ business goals. Booth 435 – montysbakehouse.co.uk

Optimum Solutions Inc.


Optimum Solutions will be showcasing ambient product solutions representing flavours and recipes from around the world. They range from breakfast options to casseroles and tapas. The products include ready-to-drink cocktails. Booths 440, 442 and 443 – optimumcanada.com


Committed to sustainability, RMT Global Partners is an EcoVadis Gold Medal winner offering a range of eco-friendly products. Products such as the bagasse-sugarcane entrée dish and RMT Hot Cup are fully compostable and biodegradable.

Booths 556 and 558 – rmtglobalpartners.com



ICM Hub will exhibit its new onboard digital assistant solution, which assists passengers throughout their flight via AI-powered chat. It accompanies passengers with two-way communications via personal electronic devices. Booth 1549 – icmhub.com


HACO will feature new products from its family of brands, including vegan (oat) milk chocolate from TCHO Chocolate, sweet potato chips from Jackson’s, halal snacks from Torino and organic fruits from Solely. Booth 741 – haco.us.com


ITW Envopak’s unique Tenor Trio system offers a solution to losses inflight from high-value carts containing liquor, buy-on-board or duty-free items. Demos will be available. Booth 656 – itw-envopak.co.uk


Undercover Snacks CULINARY

Undercover Snacks are gluten-free, allergy-friendly, non-GMO, Rainforest Alliance certified and made by a WBENCcertified woman-owned business.  Core flavours, as well as seasonal surprise and delight options, will be available to sample in Long Beach. Booth 365 – undercoversnacks.com

Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections BEVERAGES

Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections import fine wines from some of the most prestigious names in the world. Booth 257 – palmbay.com/taubfamilyselections.com

Encore Inflight CONTENT

Encore Inflight provides inflight entertainment from international blockbusters and Hollywood indies to hidden gems and award-winning titles from over 300 studios and production houses.  Booth 1537 –encoreinflight.com



Following several new content partnerships this year, including industry-first content partnerships with Formula 1, Mindvalley and WaterBear, Anuvu continues to strengthen its approach to highly-curated inflight entertainment through its robust programme library and industry-leading data analytics tools. Contact entertain@anuvu.com to book a meeting. Booth 1127 – anuvu.com

Bunzl Distribution  PACKAGING & HYGIENE

Bunzl Distribution supplies a range of products, including outsourced food packaging, disposable supplies plus cleaning and safety products to a range of users, including airlines. Bunzl Distribution operates more than 190 warehouses. Booth 552 – bunzldistribution.com



The 2023 FTE APEX Asia Expo in Singapore

The 2023 FTE APEX Asia Expo will take place at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore on November 8 and 9. FTE stands for ‘Future Travel Experience’ and the theme of the event is Preparing for tomorrow’s world.

More than 70 exhibitors and sponsors will be present and approximately 2,000 attendees are anticipated over the two days of the expo. Participants include representatives from airlines, airports, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and vendors.

FTE has been hosting conferences and expos in Asia for more than a decade. “We’re excited to be bringing FTE APEX Asia Expo back to Singapore this November. Following the huge success of last year’s event, the free-to-attend FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023, including the co-located Onboard Hospitality ForumAsia, promises to be our biggest, best

and most meaningful event in the APAC region yet,” comments Ryan Ghee, Chief Operating Officer at Future Travel Experience, of the trade show.

Free and premium access

Premium passes supply access to the FTE APEX Asia Expo Reception and Awards After Party on November 8 as well as use of the attendee engagement platform to arrange meetings. The Premium Conference will provide insights into trends and technologies shaping the aviation industry. It will feature the Airline Innovation Summit, FTE New Technology Summit and CEO keynote speeches.

The free-to-attend Onboard Hospitality Forum-Asia has a dedicated zone and showcases leading suppliers of catering, design, innovation and wellbeing products and services. It brings opportunities to network and

attend educational conference sessions.

Co-located forum

Co-located with the Onboard Hospitality Forum-Asia, FTE APEX Asia Expo’s freeto-visit exhibition highlights innovative products and services designed to aid airlines and airports to enhance sustainability, operational efficiency and the passenger experience. Startups, regional specialists and established global providers will demonstrate a wide variety of new products, services and equipment.

The Expo Stage will host free-toattend demos of products and services amid a programme of sustainability, technology and innovation-themed briefings and case studies.

Members of the Onboard Hospitality team look forward to engaging with attendees of the FTE APEX Asia Expo.  futuretravelexperience.com/fteasia

BE A PART OF FORUM-ASIA: craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com SHOW PREVIEW: FTE APEX ASIA EXPO / 31

2023 FTE APEX Asia Expo –show preview

Preparing for tomorrow’s world is the theme of the 2023 FTE APEX Asia Expo in Singapore.

At the time of going to press, the planning of the expo was still ongoing, meaning that only an outline of the full programme can be shared on this and the following page.

The snapshot provided will evolve over the coming weeks, with more detail about sessions being added. With that in mind, you are encouraged to visit both the onboardhospitality.com and futuretravelexperience.com/fteasia websites in the run up to November’s FTE APEX Asia Expo for full details, including the names of moderators, participants and sponsors.


The headline partners of the FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023 are:

• Changi Airport Group

• Onboard Hospitality

• Singapore Airlines

• Star Alliance


Premium Conference sessions are open to Premium Pass holders. All airline attendees automatically receive a complimentary Premium Pass. The sessions will include:

• Airline CEO Keynotes

• Airline Innovation Summit –how airlines and their partners are making pioneering use of technology to enhance the customer experience (CX),


efficiency and sustainability

• Inflight innovation powered by technology

• The Customer Experience and Service Summit – creating unique and memorable customer journeys

• The FTE New Technology Summit

BE PART OF THIS EVENT IN 2022: craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com 32 / SHOW PREVIEW - FTE APEX ASIA EXPO
Stuart Forster looks into what is being planned at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on November 8 and 9


All Expo Stage sessions are free to attend for all attendees and will include:

• The future of inflight service and food and beverage at 35,000 feet

• The future of e-commerce, ancillary revenue and retail –new opportunities for growth and collaboration

• Leveraging IFEC advancements to create unique onboard experiences

• The Sustainability Symposium

• Finding the right balance between automation and human service to enhance the passenger experience

• The FTE Startup Innovation


• Inflight Innovation – case studies


The sponsors and exhibitors already confirmed include:

Aeroplay Entertainment


Airport Dimensions




Bayart Innovations



Buzz Products


Collins Aerospace



Do Food Co Ltd








Gunnebo Entrance Control


Immfly Intelsat

JG Tech Innovation


Magnetic Control Systems

Mirus Aircraft Seating


Netherlands Pavilion


PrehKeyTec Germany


Shabstec Limited


TAV Technologies




West Entertainment

Zibo Rainbow Airline Appliance Co. Ltd




Amenity kits' future

Amenity kits are an established element of air travel.  Stuart Forster asks Clip’s Cindy Lam about their evolution and future...



A kit that is of best-perceived quality, has a smart object – such as a cable tie for the SWISS Victorinox kits we did or the lovely fingerless gloves for JetBlue Mint in the winter holidays – and brings a smile and delight to the passenger. It provides high-quality essentials along with a nice gift that makes the offering more valuable to the passenger. The product has to be desired by the passenger, leaving a memorable experience.




That really depends on the cabin. Most airlines offer four basic essential items. These are

socks, eyeshades, a dental set and earplugs.  Depending on the airline and cabin, some offer luxurious skincare products whilst others offer many items such as a comb, mirror, sewing kit, shoehorn, screen wipe and nail file. The beauty is to add a meaningful keepsake, such as the monkey keyring in Kipling Premium Economy kits.



We are seeing airlines moving away from big-name brands to focus on up-and-coming, local and relevant brands in meaningful and fresh collaborations. For example, with young natural cosmetics makers or entrepreneurial bag creators.  Airlines want to use amenities as a platform to showcase their brand values. Being forwardthinking, supporting local initiatives and working for the common good are ideas that are gaining traction in most parts of the world – and airlines want to take part.

34 / IN DEBATE onboardhospitality.com
Cindy Lam, Director of Clip, has more than 20 years' experience of designing innovative inflight products

Sustainability is the big one, but only if the cost works. I believe differentiation is also equally important, as this is what sets the airlines apart. Creating an exciting concept for an airline and aligning the brand and airline values are part of the design norm. Increasingly, post-pandemic, we are being asked by airlines to source or produce locally or close to their home country. This is a huge challenge and that we are exploring with our customers.


This will continue to have a large role to play in the future. Sustainability is a big topic but hasn’t yet reached its peak. It is bound to reflect in every aspect of the service of air travel.

Greenwashing is becoming less and less tolerated. Sustainability should, and ultimately will be, the norm for everything we do.



Smarter, more optimised, less wasteful packaging, less single-use plastic items, more thoughtful on design and alignment with the airline’s brand and corporate social responsibility values. Overall, the value and quality offering needs to be increased, so that

passengers can take them off the plane and reuse the items; that is the most sustainable for our planet.

We believe that less is more. Airlines should spend more on offering good quality products and less on cheap, unwanted and polluting products.



Pre-ordering the contents of amenity kits has been a topic for a long time. We were already discussing it when we launched Clip in 2015.

It’s a great idea to reduce waste and weight on board, which is crucial. The main issues lie with the ease of pre-ordering for the passenger and the logistics for airlines. It is more complex and airlines would still need to bulk load some kits as not everyone would order but everyone would still expect items to be available onboard. •

IN DEBATE / 35 onboardhospitality.com
We believe that less is more. Airlines should spend more on offering good quality products and less on cheap, unwanted and polluting products.

Catering on the bounce

Stuart Forster reports on growth in the global inflight catering industry at a time of rising costs…

inflight caterers are reporting an upswing in business. That is linked to a rebound in international travel, stimulated by Covidrelated restrictions being lifted worldwide.

Yet as the 2022-23 annual report of Singaporebased SATS Ltd. points out, the “pandemic and geopolitical events in the past few years have caused massive disruptions in the global supply chain.” Those mean caterers are being hit by significant rises in the costs of fuel and ingredients.

Notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has played a role

in pushing up food prices. And in July, India banned exports of non-basmati white rice. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund, has warned that global grain prices could rise by up to 15% this year. Caterers will need to plan accordingly.

Upward trends

During 2022-23, SATS recorded revenue growth of $581.5 million, up 49.4% to $1.76 billion, but a $26.5 million loss – partly due to one-off expenses. It produced 134.3 million meals for 508,600 flights. Present in 27 countries, SATS has more than 46,500 employees, 2,000 of whom were recruited and

onboardhospitality.com 36 / catering

trained in readiness for travel's rebound.

DO & CO’s 2022-23 annual financial report states that the airline catering market had reached “approximately 70% of pre-crisis levels” noting “a strong upward trend”. From its 32 gourmet kitchens on three continents, it catered for 125 million passengers on 705,000 flights.

“Summer 2023 is proving to be a time of strong rebound for the travel industry. Most of the markets Flying Food Group is servicing have opened. Both domestic and international destinations are seeing increased traffic,” affirms Nicolas Rondeau, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing at Flying Food Group, which began handling new accounts across the US.

Similarly, Newrest reported contract acquisitions in its most recent annual report and the takeover of an inflight catering unit in Houston, dedicated to United Airways, counted among performance highlights. Airline catering contributed 43% of the company’s consolidated 2021-22 revenue, surpassing the 42% of pre-Covid 2018-19.

increased production

“Over the past year, we have substantially increased production to support airlines to expand their operations in key markets, including Australia, UK and USA. In the financial year 202223, our teams uplifted 111 million meals to airline customers, which represents a 179% growth year over year,” comments Robin Padgett, CEO of dnata Catering and Retail, which has 10,500 professionals across 60 locations in 11 countries.

He predicts that retail is set to grow: “Buy-onboard programmes allow better customer choice and the opportunity for airlines to drive ancillary revenue. It requires a mastery of disciplines such as product sourcing, ranging, merchandising, data analytics, technology and supply chain management. We’re seeing legacy and long-haul carriers become more interested in this area. dnata is one of the few organisations to have this full suite of skills and we have been successfully developing this part of our business.”

“We’re also seeing high interest in healthy onboard options and a huge rise in non-meat alternatives. Vegan or vegetarian alternative offerings are being demanded by airlines, which need to be as good or better than meat-based products. We’re working closely with our customers to deliver innovative, delectable meals that passengers love,” adds Padgett.

culinary treats

Sebastian Schäfer, Manager Culinary Excellence at the LSG Group, makes a similar observation: “At the moment, vegan food is a big trend in the worldwide airline catering market. This is not only down to people who do not consume meat or dairies at all. There are more ‘flexitarians’ and passengers who like to explore vegan options out of curiosity – as they can present a culinary treat when prepared in a creative way.”

In the pandemic year 2022, the LSG Group counted 18,778 full-time equivalents (FTEs) at 131 locations in 40 countries worldwide and generated consolidated revenue of €1,960 million. LSG Sky Chefs produced 275 million airline catering meals, and 33 million food commerce units.


“There is no way around sustainability in our industry. Increasingly, airlines are asking for the footprint of catering – also because it is important to their passengers and therefore for their Net Promotor Score (NPS). We can help them to become more environmentally friendly and at the same time more customeroriented,” comments Simon Frischemeier, Head of Sustainability at the LSG Group.

Expect more sourcing of ingredients locally, improved automation and greater use of artificial intelligence-powered technology to analyse consumption count among the trends impacting catering as we move forward. •

onboardhospitality.com catering / 37
Clockwise from above: Sebastian Schäfer, Manager Culinary Excellence at the LSG Group; A piri piri chicken meal prepared and packed in a dnata kitchen; A plated meal; Chefs from dnata catering at work.
more sourcing of ingredients
greater use of AI

African cuisine

Airline menus underrepresent African cuisine. One key reason behind the lack of African cuisine on airline menus is the widespread lack of knowledge surrounding it.


Many passengers and airlines are simply unfamiliar with the breadth and depth of African culinary traditions, often associating it with a few well-known dishes such as jollof rice or injera. That lack of exposure perpetuates stereotypes and hampers the exploration of the array of delicious flavours and ingredients in African cuisine. It offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options plus regional variations, whose unique ingredients pose logistical challenges for airlines. Sourcing authentic African ingredients elsewhere in the world may be more complex than for other cuisines.

Supply chain

Ensuring a consistent supply chain while catering for dietary restrictions and preferences can be a daunting task. But partnerships and collaborations with local suppliers, and commitment to promoting cultural authenticity can help overcome those logistical challenges.

The scarcity of trained chefs with expertise in African culinary traditions is another obstacle. Airlines must invest in developing and curating menus that authentically represent the diverse flavours of Africa. Establishing training programmes and fostering collaborations with experts would allow airlines to build a skilled workforce capable of delivering outstanding African culinary experiences in the air.

Celebrating diversity

Airlines have an incredible opportunity to celebrate cultural

diversity and showcase the culinary heritage of Africa through their inflight dining offerings. Including African cuisine on menus would allow airlines to represent the cultures of the destinations they serve and cater to the growing number of passengers seeking unique and authentic culinary experiences. Such inclusivity fosters cultural exchange and understanding while enhancing overall customer satisfaction.

Inflight dining is an opportunity to transcend borders and bridge cultural gaps. By featuring African cuisine, airlines foster crosscultural connections, allowing passengers to experience the richness and diversity of African cultures. Such interactions lead to mutual understanding, appreciation and a celebration of our shared humanity. gic-international.com •

onboardhospitality.com 38 / OPINION
Inflight dining is an opportunity to transcend borders and bridge cultural gaps
We need more
Culinary expert
Bongi Tshazi, Commercial Director at GIC International
Catering, argues that African cuisine should be better represented by
Award-winning food. World-class service. En Route’s flexible, service partner approach to logistics means that whenever and wherever product is required, you can put your trust in our people to deliver with maximum supply chain efficiency. en-route.com WINNER Winner of Best Onboard Snack: Economy – 2023 Serrano Ham & Iberico Cheese Sandwich

Pours for Thought: Curating the wine cellars in our skies

I have studied at length the science behind our tastebuds’ performance at 38,000ft and a great deal has been written about altitude’s impact on taste. However, that isn’t the only factor to consider in selecting wines for airlines.

The wine must taste great. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying on a private jet, a commercial airline or by charter carrier, the choice on any flying wine list is limited. Unlike a restaurant with a vast menu, you can only stock a small ‘cellar’ in the sky.

Airline wine selectors make choices that result in bottles being loaded into narrow trollies, for storage in small aircraft galleys. The space limitations offer the opportunity to judiciously edit choices to offer only the best-scoring wines in each category.

Wine secrets

Let me let you into a secret: the art of curating a winning wine list is as much about logistics as taste.

The length of time a wine stays on the menu varies from airline to airline. When I chose the wines for British Airways, in my role as Global Wine and Beverage Manager, the minimum sourcing period was one month, but often the optimum listing time was longer than that.

The volume available is a huge factor in the selection and impacts decisions as to which routes the wine

flies on. Wine menus might differ according to the destination or one wine might fly an entire route network. It depends on whether the winery has enough to support an airline’s operational requirements. Airline catering operations are complex and wines are finite, some rarer than others. Sometimes a wine is so desired that an airline will fly it continuously. The number

onboardhospitality.com 40 / EXPERT INSIGHT
Kelly Stevenson , Director at JetVine, specialises in supporting wine producers and airlines to offer the world’s best wines, and looks how to make choices…

of bottles needed to commit is huge and the objective is to ensure no customer ever goes thirsty and that their choice is available. You don’t fly a menu unless you can guarantee the wine can be loaded.

Loading choices

It’s important to have a clear plan. Consider where the wine will be poured, the volume

required over a set period of time and sub-classifications of desired wine styles –sparkling, red, white and so on.

The aim is to create a service standard for each cabin because First class and Economy passengers will have differing expectations of the wine inflight.

Profiling means applying best-fit styles, to ultimately offer a choice that appeals to a wide audience, from sipping wines to versatile ‘food pairers’.

Business class wine

Take Business class as an example. If one of the reds is a full-bodied Shiraz or tanninheavy Tempranillo, the other, when only two can be loaded, maybe a lighter Pinot Noir or a delicate Grenache Noir.

The Champagne will almost certainly be non-vintage due to the volume of bottles needed compared to First class, where the expectation is a vintage or prestige cuvee. Another prominent consideration for any wine selector is the price point. Airlines need to buy a lot of wine and everything comes at a price. The trick is to make the wine list interesting and varied, covering the classics, trends and core favourites. Try and offer something for everyone. Feature several different wine-producing countries and regions, and a mix of grape varieties so that, even though an extensive list is not possible, no one is disappointed during their flight. •

kelly.stevenson@ jetvine.co.uk


onboardhospitality.com EXPERT INSIGHT / 41
Let me let you into a secret: the art of curating a winning wine list is as much about logistics as taste.

Seoul food

Gordon Smith reports on the development of the temple food-inspired vegan cuisine served in all three cabin classes of Korean Air's international flights.

In March, Korean Air unveiled vegan meals created using local flavours and ingredients. Positioned as a more sustainable choice, the range is available to all passengers flying internationally from the airline’s Seoul hub.

A major planning project began in February 2022 explains Na Do Woong, Culinary Chef of Korean Air's In-Flight Catering Planning Team: “On the menu-planning side, one of the main ideas was to create a vegan option. The chefs started to brainstorm and study concepts which resulted in the development of a timeline and ultimately led towards the introduction of the new menus.”

Temple time

Na and his colleagues spent weeks visiting local religious sites to develop their understanding of vegan temple food before considering how it could translate to long-haul flights. A year in the making, the results are worth the wait. Distinctive flavour profiles and textures, many unique to Korean cuisine are apparent, with ingredients such as seaweed, shitake mushroom and burdock acting as cornerstones of

the menu.

The team believe the Korean menu will be popular among passengers seeking a more eco-friendly choice as well as those following a vegan diet.

Sustainable options

Seasonality is a pillar of genuine sustainability and Na’s menu reflects this. Ingredients such as goguma (Korean yam) are available year-round and a regular fixture on menus but others feature only for three-month stints, when at their seasonal best. Where possible, all of the vegetables used are sourced domestically, further reducing the carbon intensity of each of the dishes.

Although it’s early days for the new menu, Na says his team are keeping an eye on possible trends: “We’re closely monitoring the data to find out which routes have the

most passengers requesting the new menu. It’ll be very interesting to see if it is more popular with Korean or international travellers.”

“We’re proud to be the only airline that has created its own exclusive country-style vegan menu. It’s been a lot of hard work but we hope it will help change perceptions about what inflight catering in all cabin classes can look and taste like,” says Na, reflecting on the project’s successful roll-out.

koreanair.com •

onboardhospitality.com 42 / FOCUS ON
Seasonality is a pillar of genuine sustainability and Na’s menu reflects this.
OUR NEW TAPAS SOLUTION! All you need in one box! www.foodcase-international.com LIFE’S TASTY Untitled-2 1 20/07/2023 12:55

Mixing Cocktails

The popularity of cocktails has endured since the late-1800s and Charlotte Flach serves us a generous measure of the latest trends…

Cocktails are not just popular on solid ground – they are, once again, being increasingly appreciated in the sky and at sea. Consumers aboard trains, ships and aircraft are looking to elevate their travel experience with premium drinks and pre-mixed drinks are helping to fulfil demand for flavour-packed pours.

“Once a popular sight in the golden age of travel back in the 60s and 70s, cocktails are making a comeback and it’s easier than ever to drink them on board thanks to the growth in popularity and availability of ready-to-drink

cocktails in recent years,” says Ben Iravani, Co-founder of Whitebox Cocktails.

In embracing this trend, airlines are delivering a wow factor to passengers. “Cocktails definitely contribute to building that experience onboard, leaving a lingering pleasurable memory associated with the airline brand,” says Rakesh Sheth, Founder of &Stirred Cocktail Mixes, whose products are already aboard several airlines and available via e-commerce channels.

Top of the class

Cocktail popularity is dependent on where they


are being consumed, says Sheth, for example, in a cocktail bar with a professional mixologist. “When it comes to airlines and onboard cocktails, however, consumers prefer the classics where there is little chance of going wrong and you don’t ruin your drinking experience.”

As cocktails are now outpacing wine and beer, airlines should take advantage of the convenience and minimal space demands of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, adds Jonjie Lockman, CEO at Intervine.

Ready-to-drink cocktails mean that airlines can serve combinations that are not easy for flight attendants to mix themselves, says Lockman. “Vodka based cocktails are the most popular with 45% of the category volume share, with that percentage forecast to continue increasing.”

“Orange juice and vodka are readily available onboard, so it does not create a great efficiency to offer a Screwdriver as an RTD. However, a popular vodka-based cocktail like a Cosmopolitan creates a great customer experience,” she adds.

What’s your flavour

Cocktails are also a great alternative to straight drinks, as they are more flavourful and mask the taste of strong spirits such as tequila, says Sheth: “There are very few people who sip tequila but Margarita makes this ruthless strong spirit a lot more flavourful and easy on your palate.”

Improving taste continues to be a focus in the RTD mixology world, with early versions of drinks often being overly sweet. Lockman says: “A super sweet version of your favourite handmade cocktail is a turn off for most spirits drinkers, so a great tasting, well-balanced RTD is key to keeping consumers coming back for more.”

Custom blends and bespoke concoctions are growing in popularity onboard too, says Sheth, citing &Stirred’s Maharaja Martini and also the brand's Masala Margarita.

Taste can be subjective, so it’s important to cater for a spectrum of drink preferences, says Iravani. “For the refined pallets, the opportunity to effortlessly enjoy a perfect, ice cold gin martini on a flight is a novel experience, however serious cocktail lovers can try classics such as the bourbon-based Boulevardier.”

Drinking by demographic

Adult passengers of all ages enjoy an onboard cocktail, however, “from a recent survey the

majority of our customers are typically between 30 and 40 years old,” says Iravani.

Although cocktails are consumed by all ages, there is a clear division in preference between the generations. “We have seen that the senior generations prefer the classics whereas the younger ones are more experimental and open to trying new and interesting blends,” says Sheth.

The nationality of passengers or the market being served can also be a deciding factor in what is consumed, with a bias towards products that seem familiar, says Iravani. For example, passengers from the US, “tend to favour cocktails like the Martini and Margarita.”

Lockwood disagrees, stating: “Consumers are more knowledgeable and adventurous than ever. Therefore, I think we’re seeing a shift away from the big brand loyalty of the past that’s leading to an increased interest in supporting smaller brands and trying new things.”

What’s next?

As cocktails are not a new phenomenon, they tend to follow trends in line with spirits trends, says Iravani: “The next releases on our list are some of the classic rum cocktails such as the Daiquiri which has stood the test of time since it was created in 1898.”

Any fancy drink that can be distributed in airline-friendly packaging, particularly when that enhances the convenience of making and serving it, is becoming increasingly popular, adds Sheth: “We also see cocktail menus now going beyond the usual Margarita, Bloody Mary and Mojito.”

Whatever the destination of a flight, regardless of whether it is short-haul or longhaul, and whether it is a popular tourism destination or not, there may be travellers ready to sip cocktails on a flight. The expanding range of quality RTD cocktails makes it is easier than ever to satisfy demand. •


/ 45

Chef's Table: Mindful menus, seasonal produce

Chef and consultant  Steve Walpole  believes that kitchens should adopt seasonality to help drive sustainability while delivering great-tasting food…

Airline food needs to change. The problem is, where to begin? Identifying what is not working makes for a strong starting point Budgets are tight, as airline chefs well know. And although customer expectations are high, inflight food is often sadly deemed as lacking by consumers. We know that food tastes different at altitude and with re-heating – both factors which can’t be controlled by chefs.

Thinking sustainably

Therefore, we need to focus on what we do have the power to change: ingredients, provenance, nutrition and sustainability. At a time when food costs are increasing rapidly, we need to reconsider how to get the most out of a budget while thinking sustainably.   Sustainability, to me, does not just mean using recyclable or biodegradable packaging or going meat-free. It involves focusing on things such as seasonality, variety and a more natural, nutrition-rich approach towards feeding people. Small changes to incorporate such factors can have a significant long-term impact – more so than, for example, focusing on ‘quick-fix’ solutions such as changing packaging – in helping the kitchen produce a smaller carbon footprint.   Airlines have a responsibility to provide their passengers with food of acceptable quality.  This can be readily achieved through the adoption and implementation of healthier, more nutritionally balanced

and better-quality food options – what I call ‘mindful menus’.

An example would be all airlines using whole-grain, unrefined, locally sourced foods that are route specific. This would reduce the amount of food that has had to go through carbon-heavy sorting and refining processes and eliminate reliance on imported, out-ofseason produce.

Waning trends

Food trends show that consumer interest in vegan and vegetarian diets is waning, with concerns relating to sustainability, the

onboardhospitality.com 46 / EXPERT INSIGHT

high level of additives used in meat alternatives and the highly processed nature of such products.

Businesses such as Fable Foods are exploring offering minimally processed ‘raw’ meat-free alternatives that can be combined with meat products to create hybrid dishes that deliver on taste, quality, nutrition and also sustainability.

Additionally, new software, such as that offered by Klimato, allows businesses to calculate the carbon footprint of their food and work towards reducing their climate impact from culinary offerings. So,

the resources needed to make and measure changes do already exist.

Mindful menus

The concept of menu mindfulness draws heavily on seasonality and airlines really do have a niche opportunity to draw from the cream of the crop taking into consideration the seasonal food offerings of the many countries their flight routes extend to.    The benefits of using produce when in season are often overlooked. Meanwhile, the desire to provide consumers with out-ofseason produce is too often over-sold and, at the same time, underwhelming.   Adopting seasonality enables costs to be kept low while serving food with nutritional value and taste at a premium. Airline meal providers need to dramatically reduce their use of out-of-season, imported fresh goods – a relatively simple move towards reducing our carbon footprint.

Ingredients such as lentils, beans and pulses can be canned or dried, meaning that they have a much longer shelf life than imported fresh produce. They are among the vast choice of under-utilised ingredients that can be skilfully coupled with flavours and textures to deliver superior options to many of the meals now being served.

Chefs have the ability to introduce relatively simple, realistic and achievable changes that can make a major long-term contribution towards sustainability. •

info@stevewalpoleltd. com


onboardhospitality.com EXPERT INSIGHT / 47
At a time when food costs are increasing rapidly we need to reconsider how to get the most out of a budget while thinking sustainably.


www.thehaywardpartnership.com #positiveimpact GLOBAL EXPERTISE CONNECTED EXPERT TESTIMONY

Tradition and evolving tastes

Stuart Forster looks at trends in kosher food and the expansion of its appeal beyond consumption for reasons of religion…

The origins of the kosher diet are laid out in the Bible, in chapter 11 of Leviticus. Despite being thousands of years old and having strict rules, kosher food continues to evolve and airline caterers report that its appeal is growing.

“Kosher rules include avoiding oysters, shrimps and all marine life without fins and scales, animals must have cloven hooves and chew the cud, never mixing meat and dairy, animal slaughter only by the humane method of shechita, and avoiding even the tiniest drop of blood, which would disqualify an egg yolk,” explains Rabbi Jeremy Conway, Director of KLBD.

KLBD, the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din, operates under the Court of the Chief Rabbi

of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. It is the leading UK authority on Jewish dietary laws and one of the agencies which provide kosher certification.

“Every meal needs to be prepared according to the specifications, the airlines are very strict on this matter,” confirms Wim Pannekoek, Director of Kragtwijk Finest Food. Based in the Netherlands, he observes: “Although airline catering is relatively traditional we see a trend towards more healthy, vegetable-based menus.” Notable trends include increased emphasis on quality and pricing, and more focus being placed on special meals in kosher recipe development.

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Clockwise from above: A Kosher Meal Box; A kosher platter.

easier than ever

“Keeping kosher in 2023 is simpler and easier than ever before,” states Rabbi Conway, adding that strictly observant Jews would rather assuage hunger with only an apple or banana than a regular inflight meal if their pre-ordered kosher choice was not served during a long-haul flight.

“The general feedback from passengers is that they want reassurance that the meal is a genuine kosher product that meets religious kosher standards and dietary requirements…

We have rabbinical supervision over our production,” says Justin Elyea, General Manager of Gate Gourmet in Toronto, Canada, whose kitchen’s output is certified to the highest kosher standard –Glatt Kosher.

Demand for such meals has been consistently strong over the past 18 months, reveals Elyea, with the Toronto-Tel Aviv route seeing Gate Gourmet’s largest consumption of kosher meals: “From the meals we provide out of Canada, typically we see a mix of a smoked fish appetiser, followed by a chicken or beef entrée, followed by a selected dessert – typically an assortment of cakes.”

Menu development

“In recent years there’s been a lot of development in the kosher menu. Not long ago it was very traditional with dishes such as roasted chicken and gefilte fish,” says Avi Lisser,

Chief Operating Officer at Hermolis, which produces between 10,000 and 12,000 kosher meals a day at its kitchen in the Wembley district of London, England.

“It used to be that our clients were very Ashkenazi-style, in the sense that they liked a relatively bland style of food – chicken with a little bit of paprika. We now do an adafina cholent – cholent is a traditional dish with beans, potatoes and meat,” he says, observing a trend towards increased spice use.

“To the kosher world, chicken was usually served on the bone. It was far less common to see dishes such as stir-fried chicken, chicken kievs and chicken stroganoff. We recently presented around 20 different chicken dishes to an airline that does not carry beef on its aircraft,” says Lisser, outlining changing preferences and evolving palates. “We also now serve sashimi-style slices of marinated salmon plus tuna carpaccio and beef carpaccio.”   Chef Hady El-Sawah joined Hermolis nearly 25 years ago. He recalls: “It was hard for me to adapt non-kosher recipes to kosher recipes. For example, with a kosher meal you can’t mix meat and milk, so you can’t mix cheese and meat.” Yet with creativity and experimentation he developed flavourful dishes that observe such restrictions, including an alternative to traditional meunière sauce made using soya milk and margarine.

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Keeping kosher in 2023 is simpler and easier than ever before
Clockwise from above: Kosher ready for onboard consumption; Plates of food prepared by Hermolis; Kosher wine

dietary appeal

That is a factor why kosher cuisine appeals to passengers from beyond Jewish communities. “We offer vegan and vegetarian, and we’re a dairy- and lactose-free kitchen. We tick many boxes, not just the fact that you may be religious, but also with special dietary restrictions or requirements,” explains David Johnson, Business Development Manager at Kosher Arabia, which is based in Dubai.

Elyes Benali, General Manager at Kosher Arabia, acknowledges that sourcing kosher ingredients of the highest quality can be challenging as many must be imported into the UAE. Yet kosher food’s appeal is broadening to a growing niche of mindful eaters who look at the provenance of what they eat. Meat comes from animals that are grass-fed: “It won’t be pumped with any hormones. It’s not only about how we slaughter the animal, it’s about how the animal has grown, so the quality itself is amazing. So kosher is associated with healthier, quality food. The more people are looking at the healthy side of the business, the more kosher will benefit.”  That sentiment is echoed by Natchanun Suvannaratana, Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing at Bangkok Air Catering (BAC). Based in Thailand, the company has been supplying kosher meals to El Al Israel Airlines for 15 years.

“The airline industry has been witnessing an increased focus on dietary preferences, healthconscious options and special meal offerings. Regulatory requirements and passenger demand for specific dietary accommodations have been on the rise. Introducing the Kosher Meal Box aligns with these industry trends and positions our company as an innovative and adaptable player in the market,” says Suvannaratana, referencing BAC’s new product.

Available with Asian, Mediterranean and Western recipes, Suvannaratana points out that the box allows airlines to “tap into a broader customer base, catering to various tastes and preferences.” That brings opportunities to enhance passenger satisfaction and “maintain a competitive edge in the evolving airline catering landscape.”

Wrapped and sealed

Fitting within that landscape means considering sustainability. That poses challenges as kosher airline meals must be double-wrapped and sealed to ensure they reach passengers uncontaminated during heating with non-kosher dishes. “Onboard we use a lot of cardboard and very little cellophane or plastic. The cutlery that’s used is made from compressed palm leaves,” says David Johnson of Kosher Arabia’s move away from single-use plastics.

“Kosher law, at its basics, covers hygiene and health and safety,” summarises Avi Lisser of Hermolis. And the kosher dishes served aboard aircraft are evolving to reflect the tastes and expectations of global passengers. •

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Clockwise from above: Bangkok Air Catering's kitchen; Trays at Hermolis' premises; Traditional kosher food.

I moved Into sustaInabIlIty because I have a real passIon

Iwas surprised, honoured and humbled when I heard that I’d been named the 2023 Industry Champion. I'd like to thank everyone who sent me all the lovely messages of congratulation, that was really heartwarming and it did my ego the world of good!

Also, a lot of awards are Euro- or US-centric. Having someone from AsiaPacific recognised is really important because its our industry’s biggest growth area.

accummulated respect

I hope being named Industry Champion is recognition of the respect that I've earned over time and also the commitment I've given back. I've held ITCA [International Travel Catering Association] board positions and spoken at numerous events. I’ve also helped when help’s been asked for from new starters, emerging players,

airlines and suppliers.

In my 25 years in the industry, I've worked for three airlines and then ran an airline catering and supplier business. I've been both a customer and a supplier, which has given me a unique perspective. I tried to take a very balanced view, seeing both sides.

effective relationships

I pride myself on having effective working relationships and networks, pragmatic sharing of knowledge and understanding, and true partnerships with suppliers. I would hope people could look at me and say, “Whichever side he was on, he managed relationships with respect.”

Having moved out of aviation, I’ve stayed in hospitality and tourism – in hotels. I see some amazing synergies and think that hotels can learn from airlines and vice versa, particularly in regard to sustainability.

There's a fundamental industry change needed on things like waste and unless we all work together it'll take a lot longer, that’s why initiatives such as the ASF (Aviation Sustainability Forum) are so important. I moved into sustainability because I have a real passion around how the travel and hospitality industry needs to be positioned regarding waste management and infrastructure.

adding value

We've done a lot around designing new products and services to be as ecofriendly as we can. Yet we need to close the loop. That's where I think I can add real value by bringing cross-hospitality knowledge. There are not too many people who've supplied customers in airlines and then hotels, so I think I've got a unique perspective.

I'm keen to be involved in tackling the bigger, broader industry challenges. •

54 / In conversatIon onboardhospitality.com
Sydney-based David Young, Director of ESG at Accor, was named Industry Champion at the 2023 Onboard Hospitality Awards…
Working In Harmony And The Planet. With You BIODEGRADABLE ENTRÉE DISHES A Perfect Alternative to CPET Plastic and Aluminum! Contact us today so we can create a customized approach for your airline. Visit Us at RMTGlobalPartners.com

The Burnt Chef Project

Everyone in the hospitality industry knows how tough work can be – it is accepted as part of working life. During and following the pandemic, that hard work has brought with it increasing stress levels and strains on mental health.

Kitchens and restaurants have been stretched with tough financial decisions, a shortage of staff and long, anti-social hours – often in excess of 60 a week. There may be little or no access to natural light, a ‘work hard, play hard’ culture and perhaps less rigid or informed policies on workplace adjustments when it comes to mitigating the risks of high-stress environments.

What other industry expects staff to start work at 6.00 am after just three hours’ sleep and then work a 12- to 16-hour shift in a hot, dark environment before repeating the process?

In the onboard hospitality industry, kitchens have to be open 24/7. Work may be hard but financial rewards are high and rotas and working hours are strictly adhered to. However, work stress is inevitable, often resulting in mental health issues.

Talking openly

One of the challenges of managing mental health is accepting that issues exist and talking about them. Recent surveys reveal that eight out of 10 people in hospitality experience mental health

issues during their careers but only 46% feel comfortable talking about them with colleagues.

In comes Kris Hall, a hospitality professional with 12 years’ industry experience. He has faced struggles with his mental health, he explains:

“I hit rock bottom with my mental health and realised that self-medicating with alcohol was not the solution. Fortunately, I was able to overcome the stigma and ask for help.”

With the realisation of his condition and working alongside other people with the same problem, Kris felt it was his moral obligation and duty to improve the industry and the health of those who work in it. His solution was to found The Burnt Chef Project in May 2019.

Changing attitudes

“I’d like to see The Burnt Chef Project become synonymous with leading the charge against workplace mental health stigma and ensure that the hospitality industry flourishes and improves as conversations and attitudes on this subject begin to change worldwide," says Kris. "Our existence drives conversations within workplaces and the profits that we make from sales of B2B services as well as our merchanidise goes towards paying for mental health awareness training and management training so that we can upskill staff across the world.”  AMI Group, whose business includes supplying

56 / XXXXX onboardhospitality.com
Jo Austin meets Kris Hall, Founder of The Burnt Chef Project, a not-for-profit social enterprise aiming to improve mental health in the hospitality industry…

cruise lines and airlines, has partnered with the social enterprise to create a range of branded products to generate revenue to channel back and support the organisation while promoting The Burnt Chef Project’s brand and reach.

“We believe that the organisation is changing lives across the hospitality industry. AMI want to support The Burnt Chef Project to allow them to continue to work with those in need of help and support, and ultimately grow the organisation to reach more people,” says David Sharp, Business Consultant at AMI Group. AMI and The Burnt Chef Project, along with some of the project’s chief ambassadors, have developed products with an elevated quality and flavour profile. The range of products includes an entrée meal, hot handheld snacks plus savoury snacks and bites.

“We believe that by creating a product that is giving back to society, the finished products should also deliver a genuine sustainable solution. Plane Talking has developed an innovative card packaging to replace the standard C-Pet tray,” added the AMI Group Business Consultant.

A people focus

The Burnt Chef Project is a not-for-profit community interest concentrating on peoplefocused sustainability. Through corporate training sessions and merchandise sales, the project has grown and now provides free-toaccess 24/7 support services plus free health and wellbeing training in over 122 countries.

Eight out of 10 people in hospitality experience mental health issues during their careers

It has now trained over 140 ambassadors to give free mental health awareness advice and support. Globally recognised, it is fully committed to making the hospitality profession healthier and more sustainable by focusing on people’s wellbeing first.

“Plane Talking Products are delighted to be working alongside AMI on The Burnt Chef Project. Our brief was to provide food packaging that meets their objectives with regard to sustainability – our dishes are made from FSC board with ovenable liners, all of which are fully recyclable” says Alison Wells, Director at Plane Talking Products.

Burning the stigma surrounding mental health, the organisation continues to raise awareness and educate businesses on how to implement cultural changes. Importantly, that includes creating psychologically safe environments and putting teams’ and individuals’ wellbeing first while adding to a business›s bottom line.

Visit The Burnt Chef Project’s website to discover how to work with it, to access training, browse merchandise and find information on how to access support. theburntchefproject.com   •

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Brokers in North America

Stuart Forster looks at the role of brokers in seamlessly connecting suppliers and airlines in North America…

Around much of the world, food and drink manufacturers contact airlines to establish working relationships which results in their products being stocked aboard aircraft. But in North America the system is different and brokers act as intermediaries between producers and airlines.

One factor influencing that is five of the planet’s 10 largest airlines are headquartered in North America.

Brokers perform a vital role in understanding and fulfilling the needs of those and other airlines, curating the selection of products that are served to passengers. Their role includes assessing the ability of manufacturers to deliver products at scale for consumption aboard aircraft, ensuring a seamless supply chain for the full duration of a contract.

Traditionally, large suppliers with broad capabilities supplied many airline requirements. Passenger expectations for new, alternative products allows smaller businesses to compete.

“Brokers have the expertise and resource to develop new and emerging brands in order to provide more

supplier options and support small and DEI [diversity, equality and inclusion] businesses to find success in this multifaceted arena,” explains Jeremy Parson, CEO at AMI Inflight.

“Brokers enhance the food and beverage experience, optimising operations and elevating customer satisfaction within the aviation sector,” adds the CEO of the food and wine specialist which has evolved into co-packing and product solutions and logistics management.

Detailed knowledge

It simplifies a complex and carefully balanced working relationship to say that brokers interface between manufacturers and transport providers to reach agreements on what is

stocked and prices.

A broker is expected to fundamentally comprehend both parties. That means having a working knowledge of requirements, expectations, limitations and processes. A detailed understanding of those and other facets of interfacing between suppliers and airlines places a broker in a unique position to bridge gaps and, when necessary, solve challenges.

“Effective brokers can develop innovative products and services that cater to all stakeholders – from manufacturers to airlines, distributors, caterers, and, most importantly, passengers,” suggests Parson.

Events such as the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO provide opportunities for brokers to meet new and existing clients. •

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brokers can develop innovative products and services that cater to all


DFMi was founded in 1988 and focuses on the travel and transportation industry. While the airlines and most of the industry might consider us a traditional broker, we don’t operate as one.

supplier partners

DFMi is an extension of the supplier partner. When we represent a brand in front of customers – the airlines – we want them to view us as an extension of the company. DFMi is very selective in who we represent and we don’t carry competing products or brands.

We do all the vetting for the airlines before they get involved making sure that supplier partners can meet demands, whatever the volumes might be. We understand the ownership structure of that supplier partner, their production capabilities and we qualify them from a food safety standpoint.

Take pretzels – we choose just one manufacturer, the one we feel is the most suitable and prepared to partner with the airlines. We choose by flavour, packaging and their overall capabilities.   We aren’t employed by manufacturers but represent them just like a salesperson from their own organisation, so we consider ourselves the sales and marketing arm of our supplier partners.

airline customers

We pride ourselves on holistically understanding our customers – the airlines – and their culture; not just for a transaction. We understand how they do business, from product selection to putting products onboard and passengers touching them. That’s where we really differ from a broker. Our hope is customers view us as an experienced, knowledgeable team and a great source for special products and programmes.

today’s challenges

The biggest challenge today is pricing. With inflation and rising costs in raw goods and materials, labour and logistics, we are constantly working towards finding common ground that both our supplier and customer find mutually beneficial.

We want supplier partners to be as successful as possible, which means them being profitable. At the same time, we have a partnership with airline customers that's not transactional. We have personal relationships with the procurement and product selection teams and want to give them a buying programme that helps them save money and be more profitable too.

We pride ourselves on having strong relationships with both our customers and suppliers and we are grateful for the transparent relationships that we have worked so hard to build over our 35 years in the industry. •

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Ceasar Brown, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Strategies at DFMi, dicusses the specialty sales and marketing company...

Safe snacking inflight

Allergen safety onboard continues to climb the agenda. Creative Nature is one snack company aiming to keep food fun and safe for everyone. April Waterston reports...

Everyone loves a success story and at Onboard Hospitality we have been excited to see just how successful specialist companies can be once they get involved with the onboard sector.

We’re on the look out for newcomers to the industry, be they young people, young companies or young products: those that may be the faces and drivers of the sector tomorrow.

So if you're making your way into the onboard market, get in touch and we’ll spread the word, champion the cause and watch your business as it heads sky high or gets on track. In the meantime, check out this snack company helping to make food safer for those with allergies inflight...

'Food for everyone to enjoy' UK-based snack brand Creative Nature is aiming to disrupt the snack scene with delicious food that is entirely allergen-free. Julianne Ponan, CEO and Founder of Creative Nature explained: "Driven by my own battle with allergies, I created Creative Nature to be top 14 allergen-free food with a simple yet powerful mission: to create delicious and safe food that enables everyone to enjoy."

Creative Nature offers a wide range of snack bars, confectionery, baking

mixes and superfoods – all free from the 14 most common allergens. Its Crispy Thins were named among the Ones to Watch in the 2023 Onboard Hospitality Awards.

Safe snacking onboard

In addition to offering safe snacking options, Creative Nature is aiming to raise awareness of allergies inflight. "Recently, we launched a powerful campaign with a crucial message –to halt the consumption of peanuts and tree nuts on airplanes," said Ponan. "In airports, we strategically placed billboards that urged people to 'think before snacking onboard.' This included statements like ‘Your holiday or someone else's life?’ and ‘Would you bring a weapon onboard?’ It was a hard-hitting campaign but it's vital to communicate the challenges faced by travellers with allergies."

creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk •

60 / NEW ARRIVALS onboardhospitality.com
It's vital to communicate the real challenges faced by travellers with allergies

How to...

Sell to young travellers

In a Taste of Travel session moderated by Omnevo's Joe Harvey, Wiesbaden Business School students outlined what next-generation passengers want…

IdenTIfy pOTenTIal clIenTs Of THe fuTure

Millennials (Generation Y) were born from the early 1980s into the mid1990s and followed by Gen Z. By the end of the current decade, they will account for approximately 50% of all airline passengers.

Students from Wiesbaden Business School, one of RheinMain University of Applied Sciences’ five faculties, conducted research to understand what young travellers want, surveying more than 500 participants and conducting 28 interviews.

undersTand THe passengers

The younger generations tend to be leisure passengers who are highly informed. They have high expectations and, thanks to online offerings, more purchasing options than ever before.

They are characterised by a short attention span, want to be reachable and regard themselves as flexible. Convenience is very important to them. They enjoy healthy lifestyles and exhibit strong individuality. Sustainability is very important and they have high expectations relating to services.

grasp THe cHallenge

They are cost- and health-conscious. Broadly speaking, they do not feel reached by communication from airports and airlines and are not attracted by traditional airport shopping or duty-free offerings.

Findings show young travellers regard the food and drink prices as high.

Few young travellers buy perfume, tobacco, cosmetics or souvenirs at airports or dutyfree aboard aircraft.

80% said they would be willing to spend €20 or more in addition to their ticket price.

Free wi-fi connectivity can offer entertainment and opportunities that facilitate potential online sales.

Consumer habits are changing among digital natives who know how to effectively compare prices and offers from their mobile phones. Brand loyalty is becoming a thing of the past with Millennials more likely to switch to the best offer when presented with a variety of options. The level of service, rather than the brand, is likely to be key to a young person making a purchase.

see THe pOTenTIal

Omnichannel sales strategies offering consistent and seamless customer service across touchpoints are likely to appeal.

Food and drink are their most purchased items but the study found that 20% of the travellers have never made a purchase at an airport or on an aircraft.

Gen Z and Gen Y would like to see sales offerings revised to meet their expectations and tastes •

XXXXX / 61 onboardhospitality.com HOW TO... onboardhospitality.com
facT fIle

Is there a doctor onboard?

Inflight medical emergencies are bad news for everyone. For the passenger suffering illness, of course, but also for fellow travellers impacted by the anxiety caused by the incident, the flight attendants forced into a medical role and ultimately the airline’s finance team. Airlines are heavily impacted if the incident results in a flight diversion.

The annual number of inflight medical emergencies is difficult to calculate as there is no official standardisation on defining and reporting data on medical events. Researchers have quantified it at around one incident in 600 flights, 16 events per million passengers, as well as one incident every 11,000 and 14,000 passengers.

While the data is unreliable, it is clear incidences are rising as more people travel, particularly on long-haul journeys that mean passengers are in the air for longer. Add to this that people expect to continue travelling well into old age, as well as with chronic illnesses and infirmities, and it is not surprising that many airlines have this issue on their radar for attention and action.

Being prepared

Regulatory recommendations ensure airlines have some level of medical preparedness onboard. Yet commitment to additional training or extended First Aid kits varies, a fact that adds to the challenges which qualified medics face if they decide to respond to the inflight public address of “Is there a doctor onboard?”

Standard medical kits supplied by the likes of

MedAire, Selles Medical or Cabin Crew Safety include blood pressure cuffs, a stethoscope, glucose testing kits and thermometer strips to aid diagnosis plus treatment items such as syringes, needles, IV kits, tongue depressor, CPR masks, dressings, catheters, scalpel and umbilical cord clamps. Some carriers are also investing in more sophisticated medical equipment and support. MediAire supplies inflight medical solutions including onboard products, training and workshops, and can provide medical support for crews through its MedLink service. Its latest partnership is with Starlux Airlines where Brian Lin, Chief Corporate Safety Officer, says: “Partnering with MedAire enables us to provide a premium service, ensure the safety and comfort of passengers, while maintaining compliance with international regulations.”

Inflight medical kits are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Julie Baxter explores what’s being added and why...
62 / FIrst AId trends

Ground support

Medaire’s comprehensive Advanced Aviation Medical Kit combines standard First Aid supplies with prescription medications needed to stabilise a patient until ground-based medical support is available. These additional medications can be administered with the assistance of MedAire’s MedLink doctors.

Bill Dolny, CEO of MedAire, says: “As first responders, crew members need to provide assistance quickly and accurately. Having a clinically and logically assembled medical kit to assist, saves valuable time when treating any type of medical incident. MedAire medical kits meet – or exceed –applicable regional regulations and are reviewed annually by an expert panel of aviation medical, regulatory and operational experts to ensure the best solutions.”

Virgin Atlantic recently upgraded onboard safety equipment, bolstering support for sick passengers in a new partnership with medical tech provider CardioSecur. All flights are now equipped with the world’s smallest and lightest mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) kit, weighing just 50 grams and needing minimal stowage space. The goal is to save lives and reduce medical diversions. It claims to be the first airline worldwide to have an entirely ECG-equipped fleet.

CardioSecur provides expertise through an

app which can help crew address serious inflight medical issues. The compact, intuitive system allows crew to send the results from 12-lead ECGs via wi-fi and satellite to a ground based medical service. Crew then receive feedback detailing medical steps and whether a diversion is necessary.

Flight diversions

Prioritising this equipment makes sense as cardiovascular events are the single most common cause of medical flight diversions. Exact numbers of cardiac incidents are not avaialable but the Resuscitation Council UK believes that around 1,000 people die each year during commercial flights.

Since 2004, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has required all US commercial airlines to carry Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) but this is not a worldwide requirement.

Anecdotally, the most common complaints experienced onboard are chest pains, collapse from fainting or epilepsy, asthma, head injury from items falling out of overhead lockers, psychiatric problems triggered by fears of flying or other anxieties, abdominal pains and vomiting. Each year, several babies are unexpectedly born on aircraft in international airspace.

With the global rise in diabetes, hypoglycaemic episodes are increasingly

onboardhospitality.com FIrst AId trends / 63
Clockwise from left: A stethoscope; First Aid being applied; Child receiving oxygen; First Aid equipment; CPR training in progress.
As first responders, crew members need to provide assistance quickly and accurately

common too, often because a passenger has injected insulin before boarding in expectation of a meal soon after take-off. And with allergies now affecting huge numbers of travellers, this too is something crew need clear training on.

To address these trends many major airlines beyond the US do now carry defibrillators, and train crew to use them, as well as oxygen, sedatives and anti-sickness medications. Glucose injections may also be available, and several airlines include glucagon injection and oral glucose gels in their medical kits to help counteract the rising number of diabetic incidents.

Chronic disease

Allergies are now Europe's most common chronic diseases. Up to 20% of patients with allergies are in daily fear of an asthma attack, anaphylactic shock or even death from an allergic reaction.

Natalie Hopkins founded The Allergy Badge scheme to provide organisations with in-depth First Aid training on adrenalin pen administration. Offering fully-accredited training courses, she says: “Knowledge is key when travelling, specifically if the incident is mid-air or in the middle of the ocean. The cost implications of redirecting planes and ships can run into thousands of pounds and disrupt the travel plans for hundreds of travellers which entails further costs.”

She says the most common cause of allergic reactions onboard are allergens left on surfaces that have been contaminated by previous passengers. Ensuring hygienic wipe downs is

important but she advocates for emergency autoinjectors to be carried.

“Allergies can develop at any time in a person’s life, triggered by up to 250 foods, and adrenaline pens can often be hard to come by, and regularly expire. Having a backup set onboard provides an extra safeguard if any passenger onboard has a severe allergic reaction and requires immediate treatment. It is a ‘must have’ option,” she argues.

Listed exemption

Understanding there is some confusion around crew administering medications, Hopkins explains that under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, the operator or commander of an aircraft is a listed exemption from the restrictions on supplying prescription-only medicines. That means that aircraft can and should be carrying adrenaline pens for emergency use.

Kitt Medical is one if the providers offering an anaphylaxis kit. It includes an emergency set of adrenaline pens, on a subscription basis to ensure that they are updated, combined with unlimited access to online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited anaphylaxis training.

Combining good quality products from medical brands and suppliers that understand onboard needs, with comprehensive crew training and effective emergency procedures is clearly going to become increasingly vital in the years ahead. •

that understand onboard needs, with


64 / FIrst AId trends
Clockwise from above left: Syringes and vials of medicines; Cabin crew must always be ready for emergencies; A First Aid kit ready for onboard use.

Fly on the wings of perfection in terms of

and safety.

Security and safety are the most important values an airline can offer. A great number of checks are required before the captain and cabin crew are finally able to welcome the passengers on board. This includes making certain that travellers will receive a clean and hygienic service. With our professional warewashing systems for inflight catering, we at MEIKO are guaranteed to reach the recommended level in purity, hygiene and cleanliness. Sustainable, economic and efficient. From small business airports to large international traffic hubs: discover the versatility of our tailor-made warewashing systems.


Professional wash-up systems for Inflight Catering

Keeping smiles on passengers

Taking care of oral hygiene while travelling helps passengers to feel fresh, particularly on long-haul journeys. And in line with other elements of the onboard experience, ongoing efforts to improve sustainability are influencing the design of oral care products.

For example, The Humble Co. produces sustainable items such as bamboo and plant-based interdental brushes, including co-branded products for airlines. Their Nylon-6 bristles allow them to be used for up to three months, meaning that they can be reused by passengers long after flights.

Toothpaste tablets

Kaiwan Chu, CEO of The Humble Co., explains that water accounts for between 60% to 80% of traditional toothpaste. That translates into weight that must be shipped. Consequently, significantly lighter toothpaste and mouthwash tablets are now being produced. They require less packaging, aligning with the sustainability goals of transport providers.

Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Bamboovement has designed an ecofriendly dental kit for use aboard airlines, cruise ships and night trains. Each kit includes a dentist-approved bamboo toothbrush and toothpaste tablets packed

This carbon-neutral dental kit eliminates the need for plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, reducing waste while maintaining a high standard of oral care.

The kit includes an Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified bamboo toothbrush and vegan, microplastic-free toothpaste tablets. “By offering eco-friendly and carbon-neutral solutions, we empower businesses to prioritise sustainability without compromising quality or guest satisfaction,” says Ainu van den Hurk, Co-Founder of Bamboovement.

Meanwhile, Frescoryl, a solid toothpaste that takes the form of chewable tablets, was introduced in 2019 and is supplied on Etihad and Tahiti Nui flights as well as aboard SNCF trains. Available in lemon, mint and strawberry flavours, Frescoryl is certified as natural and organic by NATRUE, the international association for organic and natural cosmetics.

onboardhospitality.com 66 / ORAL HYGIENE
Stuart Forster looks into the latest oral hygiene trends developed to meet the needs of travellers and their transport providers…
By offering ecofriendly and carbon-neutral solutions, we empower in plastic-free kraft paper packaging. businesses to prioritise

Saving water

Passengers chew the easy-to-store Frescoryl tablets, which are supplied in biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging. With their tongues, users rub the resultant paste onto their teeth then swallow without rinsing. That saves water and removes passengers need to go to the bathroom to clean their teeth, helping minimise movement.

“Frescoryl was created to allow airplane travellers the opportunity for oral care anytime in the cabin during the flight. Using it without water or a toothbrush, it enables an easy and effective oral care routine without having to leave one›s seat or go to the airplane lavatory, unlike traditional toothpaste. It ensures clean teeth and fresh breath during the flight,” explains Michel Bourdoncle, Founder and CEO of Frescoryl.

Yet there’s still demand for toothpaste.

“White Glo’s Professional whitening toothpaste is now available in a sutainable

and convenient paper sachet format. Caring for enamel and gums, this premium, bestselling toothpaste contains active whitening ingredients for a brighter, healthier smile on the go. It was developed using cutting-edge science and formulated by dentists for a positive impact on both smiles and the planet,” says Isabella Chen, Manager of Airline and Travel Partnerships at White Glo.

Brushing regularly

The British Dental Association recommends that people brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean between the teeth on a daily basis while also limiting the intake of sugary food and drinks.

“Travellers are increasingly aware of the need for good oral hygiene while on the go,” says India-based Dr Forum Gada, Dentist at Smile Culture - Dental Clinic and Implant Centre, who suggests that people can benefit from buying compact toothbrushes designed for travel: “These brushes come with a protective cover and are small enough to fit into carry-on luggage.”

Fatima Khan, Dentist and Co-founder at Riven Oral Care, says it is critical that travellers store their toothbrushes properly, to prevent contamination: “The best option would be an electric travel toothbrush that has a travel case. A good option would be Philip’s One by Sonicare power toothbrush. ...Sonicare is a reputable brand and the vibration motion provides effective cleaning.” Another option is the Sonisk sonic toothbrush. Powered by a single AA battery, the moderately priced toothbrush comes in a protective case and with a spare head. “We’re bringing out a batch of travelling toothbrushes with a biodegradable brush head that people can use on board and on trips away. It comes in eight colours and can be co-branded with any airline logo,” says Brand Manager William Cowley. Thanks to developments such as these, there’s certainly plenty for people to get their teeth into when looking at oral hygiene trends. •

onboardhospitality.com ORAL HYGIENE / 67
Travellers are increasingly aware of the need for good oral hygiene while on the go

timeshifter app  Jet lag's horrors are enough to put some people off longhaul travel. The Timeshifter app creates personalised plans based on sleep and circadian neuroscience. The results speak for themselves – it is the most downloaded and highest-rated jet lag app in the world.  timeshifter.com

Dodging jet lag

Long-haul flights can confuse our body clocks.  Charlotte Flach and  Stuart Forster look at products to can help combat jet lag…

Jet canDy

This natural jet lag remedy comes in two forms. Jet Candy Plane Remedy bottles contain homeoopathic pillules and have single-pill dispenser capd. Jet Candy Botanical Travel Essence is available as a 10ml liquid with a dropper dispenser.   jet-candy.com

common Water

nature’s truth

re-timer Light therapy gLasses

The glasses use green light to re-time your body clock and aid in the adjustment to a new time zone faster. They mimic the natural effects of sunlight, resetting the body’s circadian rhythm and reducing jet lag, working best alongside a healthy sleep pattern.


Cannabidiol (CBD)-infused products are gaining popularity and can now be enjoyed in sparkling spring water form. CBD is cited as an antidote to anxiety, promoting relaxation. In small quantities it has therapeutic benefits and Common Water is also a way of staying hydrated.  drinkcommon.com

Levagen+ BeD

This supplement features Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an ingredient said to work wonders on jet lag. The naturally occurring amino acid can support sleep, promote recovery after sport and combat swelling. Suitable for vegans, Levagen+ BED also contains magnesium, vitamin B6 and L-Tryptophan.  naturestruthlevagen.co.uk


This electrolyte drink acts as a water multiplier and claims the same particulate concentration as blood. It’s simple to use on a longhaul flight by dissolving one tablet in 120ml of water whenever a hydration boost is needed to counteract dehydration.


68 / take your pick

Once upon a time

Through carefully curating all touchpoints throughout the passenger journey with thoughtful and intentional design, airlines can convey the true story of their brand, says April Waterston

Touch, smell, taste, sight and sound –all five of our senses can be engaged to tell a story. Perhaps the scent of an inflight fragrance transports us to faraway lands; the texture of a blanket reminds us of cosying up with family, and of home. Maybe striking patterns on an amenity kit remind us of art we once saw in a foreign gallery or boarding music harks back to recent happy times on the holiday we’re sadly leaving.

By engaging our senses, design offers a powerful tool for airlines and transport providers to tell a story – that is, their story.

This is particularly true with inflight service. “Inflight service items present airlines with remarkable opportunities to effectively

communicate their brand messages,” says Kara Cowan, Marketing Manager at Wessco International.

“When passengers find themselves in the unique environment of a plane, they are naturally more captivated and receptive to engaging with various products and advertising. This presents an unparalleled chance for airlines to connect with their customers on a deeper level.”

Adding value through culture

“To maximize this potential, it becomes essential for these items to be aesthetically pleasing, evoke a compelling narrative that resonates with passengers, and add genuine value to their lives,” adds Cowan. “By incorporating these elements,


airlines can forge strong emotional connections with their passengers, leaving a lasting impression that extends far beyond the duration of the flight.”

Wessco considered this approach when designing the ‘Artist Series’ of amenity kits for LATAM. The kits feature a curated collection of custom artwork from eight distinguished and diverse Latin American artists. With each artist contributing their distinct creative flair and unique perspective, the resulting collection aims to serve as an ‘authentic celebration of the region's artistic soul, intertwining a tapestry of colours, emotions and narratives that travellers carry with them on their journeys’.

“Storytelling is at the very heart of our design journey, guiding us from the initial spark of ideas to the final creation. At every step of the process, we immerse ourselves in crafting elements that not only seamlessly align with the airline's narrative but also deeply resonate with passengers,” concludes Cowan.

Looking at a destination’s or airline’s home country’s culture is just one of many ways to tell the story of a brand and journey. When designing inflight service items from amenity kits to tableware, Michael Carr, Watermark's Creative Director says: “We always start by looking for cultural references that relate to the subject, brand partner and customer we are working with – which could be anything from art, a place, music or even a person. This forms the central influence behind our ideas.”

produce authentic products, driven by these ideas, that not only perform well but that are holistically considered with sustainability at their core,” he adds.

Conveying a message

“We then apply our understanding of materials, production and process

So, how do you incorporate key brand messaging into product design? “It can be straightforward like additional items on tray tops or in amenity packs,” says Alison Wells, Director of Plane Talking Products. “However, some of our favourites over the years have been where the passenger finds the ‘message’ where you least expect it (and where an airline can have some fun with the branding) – on the flip side of a product, subtly woven into a label, engraved on cutlery are just a few examples. A long-haul passenger with time on their hands will find the hidden messages and if it ‘surprises and delights’ – they are more likely to remember it."

“We then apply our understanding of materials, innovations, to few examples. A long-haul passenger with time on

“In addition to this, an airline can highlight inflight products that support their brand messaging – such as through the brand they select for their amenities onboard or in the material and design choices they have made when selecting inflight products. It’s a great opportunity to share that thought process with the passenger – so they can understand the provenance and values that underpin the airline's product

products. It’s a great opportunity to share

Clockwise from bottom: FORMIA designed STARLUX's amenity kits; John Horsfall designs bespoke textiles

choices,” continues Wells.

“For example, if the products are made locally or support local causes because that fits with the airline’s brand values – then share that on the product, in the product and if you can inform crew to the advantages of certain products they can be a great way to champion and endorse the brand message,” she highlights.

FORMIA echoes this sentiment through its product development process. Ben Read, FORMIA's Chief Creative Director, says: “Every airline amenity product developed by FORMIA is thoughtfully tailored for each airline customer by our in-house team of product design specialists together with our customer experience experts.”

“One recent example is our new partnership with Taiwan-based carrier, STARLUX, an airline that has been making waves across the industry since its launch in 2020. FORMIA facilitated their brand-new amenities program launch earlier this year, developing customised kits designed in the airline’s unique brand colour palette of obsidian grey, rose gold and earthy gold,” he continues.

For example, Milk designed, created and launched an onboard kit for Oman Air that is being used across its entire fleet of aircraft. The agency’s remit was to develop a kit that helped to keep children engaged during their flight and, in turn, enhance the flying experiences of their fellow travellers.

Two versions of the kit were created: one for short-haul flights and the other for long-haul. The shorthaul contains a pencil case, activity book, pencil crayons and sharpener. The long-haul kit also includes a drawstring bag instead of a pencil case and stickers. Young passengers also receive a plush toy and a specially produced lunch box which contains their meal.

“Through a fully-collaborative process together with the airline, we immerse ourselves into the airline’s own brand universe, to understand the messages they aim to convey to their passengers, all whilst taking into consideration their regional and demographic consumer insights to ensure the passenger is always at the heart of our creations.

“With each specific kit thoughtfully curated to match the airline brand’s message together with the passenger’s needs and desires, storytelling becomes a natural part of the design process.”

Talk to the kids

“Making connections between culture and inflight service items gives a sense of cohesion with an airline which will ultimately help to build brand awareness,” says Aimee Johnstone, Client Services Director at Milk, who create amenity kits for the youngest passengers.

“In this particular brief, three characters –Sindbad, Farah and Saif – were created and are central to Oman Air’s core brand positioning,” says Johnstone. “Sindbad and Farah are young Omanis who love to travel and explore together whilst Saif is a turtle. The turtle was selected as it is a beloved animal in Oman; the country has five out of seven species and they are a common site on local beaches.

“Each character has their own unique personality, allowing connections to form between them and the different age groups and genders of the airline’s young flyers. By introducing characters that are representative of Oman, Milk wanted to educate, engage and entertain junior travellers about the nation’s history and culture. This also directly links to Oman Air’s own brand story.”

Blanket branding

“Onboard textiles such as blankets, cushions


Above: Watermark created Virgin Atlantic's 'goodie bags' amenity kits
Making connections between culture and inflight service items gives a sense of cohesion with an airline

and bedding are literally in the hands of the passengers through the flight,” says Ellie Parkes, Business Development Manager at John Horsfall. “There is fantastic potential to make those items a tangible, design-led expression of the airline brand. Colour and logos are an obvious place to start, but even the material choices and small design and trim details can affect how the passenger feels and enhance the overall brand experience,” she adds.

Storytelling and brand expression are integral parts of John Horsfall’s design process. “We work with clients to get an in-depth understanding of their brand personality, and how they want their passengers to feel while they are onboard,” explains Parkes.

“Is this a classic, sophisticated brand who wants their customers to feel calm, soothed and highstatus, or is it a quirky, light-hearted brand who wants passengers to feel joyful, excited and individual? The soft product can easily change to reflect those characteristics through the colour and handle of the fabrics, and through the use of pattern, trim and labelling,” she continues.

John Horsfall took this thinking and applied it to British Airways’ First class bedding. The team took inspiration from the essence of BA’s 2020 cabin enhancement programme which was ‘The epitome of Modern British Luxury tailored to make you feel exceptional’. The flagship cabin was to be a place where ‘sophisticated and contemporary British design meets impeccable service and attention to detail, all in the most elegant yet understated surroundings’.

“We incorporated these values, both literally and figuratively in the soft product,” says Parkes. “We used the classic herringbone, synonymous with British Tailoring, but made it contemporary by playing with the scale of the pattern and presenting it in soft, modern cream shades.

"The luxury element was achieved with an innovative cotton and polyester blend which gave softness and strength to the fabric, all finished with the lustrous satin binding and an elegant, branded label.”


“Years ago, inflight service items may have been chosen randomly, but for some time now they

have been selected not only for their function but also carefully and specifically designed to represent the airline’s mindset,” says Wolfgang Bücherl, Managing Director at skysupply. “They are a means of communication with the passenger and also add to the recognition value."

“If the inflight service items are not done thoughtfully, this will have a direct impact on the perception of the airline as a whole. It’s not different from any other aspect, such as service or food. Neglecting ‘small’ features will eventually have a big effect,” he continues.

However, Bücherl believes that thoughtful brand partnerships can contribute to accurately portraying an airline’s messaging, too.

“The partnership between TAP and Benamôr is a perfect example of a (design) concept that is truly Portuguese,” he says. “Every detail, from the colours and materials to the logo, to incorporating the airline’s brand message and the brand partner’s corporate identity, is thoughtfully and holistically implemented. The stay onboard and in the destination will be preserved through the pouch, however, the amenity kit mirrors much more than a material object. It’s a symbol of a very personal, lasting experience”.

Whether it’s through brand partnerships or exclusively bespoke design, it is clear that inflight service items hold great power in conveying a message and telling the story of an airline.

So, what’s your story? •



Introducing our revolutionary DUO FLASKS – designed speci cally for the airline industry to make the most of space, ensure safety, and enhancing convenience for the cabin crew.

Stand number: 642


At AIX, Delta Flight Products (DFP) showcased the prototype of an airplane seat that allows passengers who use powered wheelchairs to remain in their own wheelchair for the entire journey. DFP partnered with Air4All, a UK consortium that I represent onethird of, to develop the seat, which converts a standard aircraft seat to accommodate a wheelchair.

I worked in conjunction with the industrial designer Paul Priestman, of PriestmanGoode, and Nigel Smith, from SWS Certification Services, to design Air4All – a design that will allow power wheelchair users the ability to travel by air in their own postural bespoke chairs...Air4All brings a credible solution to the aviation industry.

It looks like a regular seat. Depending on the configuration, a wheelchair user will reverse into the front-row seat and be secured into position. It can be

used by an able-bodied passenger if no wheelchair is there.

Identifying the problem

I dedicated my time to accessible aviation after experiences on a couple of flights with my children, who are wheelchair users.

I identified the problem in Mexico back in 2015 with my daughter. Strange men picked her up and manhandled her into a passenger seat. I wondered why flying is so brutal and antiquated. With my son, I saw something similar.

Finding a solution

I set out to research the issues, I decided to go to aviation conferences and learn. AIX in Hamburg was one of the first. They said, “We need this subject in aviation.” I networked and talked about accessibility at a number of conferences.

It was clear the people having the

toughest air travel experiences were those using power wheelchairs. In many respects, I think as a disabled community we're trying to work with a broken system. It's not the ground handlers. It's not the people that have to lift passengers into seats. It's not, in many respects, even an airline's fault.

Broken journeys

The whole journey on an airline is broken from the moment you enter an airport to the moment you come out the other side. Hopefully, we can get that right so that disabled travellers can experience a seamless journey. We are looking at the first quarter of 2025, maybe earlier, to get the seat aboard aircraft.

Remarkably, nobody has ever put a wheelchair on an airline. We're the first to do this first. We are changing the landscape of air travel. flyingdisabled.org.uk •

76 / IN CONVERSATION onboardhospitality.com
Chris Wood MBE, Aviation Accessibility Consultant at Flying Disabled, believes wheelchair users should be able to enjoy comfortable, dignified and seamless journeys...

Weaving ahead

Tim Morris, Head Global at Mills Textiles, takes a look at trends relating to the introduction and use of fabrics...

Along with fashion, performance gains – such as getting more wash cycles from rotable items or saving weight – are among key factors influencing the introduction of new fabrics and fostering their use. But, at the moment, sustainability is by far the biggest driver relating to fabric use and the design of products.

Around 12 to 18 months ago, fabrics made from recycled bottles were very new and exciting but, of course, whilst manufactured from recycled material they are not biodegradable. Buyers are now demanding that consideration is given to the full product lifecycle. That includes the disposal of products and waste management is becoming an ever more important issue.

Over 60% of the world’s textiles are made from synthetic fibres such as polyester. These fibres lack inherent biodegradability. So if they end up in landfill or the ocean, they will potentially be there indefinitely.

Interesting yarn

We are working on a novel treatment to our polyester yarns to make them act and degrade like natural fibres

during biodegradation. If this comes to fruition, we may see a polyester airline blanket that harmlessly biodegrades in a similar time to a wool blanket.

Customers are also showing greater interest in whether fabrics are ethically manufactured and that plays a role in if they are used widely. We introduced Lyocell into our bedding products over the past year or so. It’s a regenerated cellulose material that offers excellent performance and closed-loop production, with wastewater and sustainable chemicals being reused.

Accelerating innovation

We are definitely noting acceleration in the introduction of new fabrics. In addition to our in-house design team, we have a team of textile technicians

visiting new markets, expos and factories constantly looking for new ideas and innovations.

Around 50% of our business relates to airlines and we also supply train, ferry and cruise ship customers. We’re seeing willingness from customers to consider something new or products that are a bit out of the ordinary. As buyers’ knowledge has evolved, we have seen this openness to novelties grow. Clients have been excited by products such as our heating graphene blankets and new, fully biodegradable slippers.

It’s exciting to see our on-trend retail products, including heating and cooling duvets, being reengineered for use in the transport sector. millstextiles.com •

We are definitely noting acceleration in the introduction of new fabrics

A shoe thing

Flight crew pedometers regularly clock up over 10,000 steps a flight. Talk to crew shoe developers and the current buzz of excitement is infectious. “After a very long plateau, the industry is evolving rapidly,” says Zak Clark, Founder of Sky Soles, summing up the current optimism.

Over the decades, crew footwear styles have varied a little. Heeled court shoes, Mary Jane buckle designs plus both long leg and ankle boots have all had their day. But the trend now is towards a more casual look and greater comfort. “Today, the ‘sneaker era’ is spreading globally with many airlines looking to include them either as a sole footwear or alongside more traditional designs,” adds Clark.

Sneaking ahead

Low-cost carriers seem to be leading the way in challenging the footwear norms, prioritising comfort over formality with trainers. In Australia, new airline Bonza launched with on-trend white,

custom sneakers. The Indian airline, Akasa Air, also has them. So too does Skyup Airlines, headquartered in Ukraine, and the Japanese carrier ZIPAIR.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian airline Gol has partnered with the fashion brand Yuool to create a gender-neutral, sustainable trainer for optional wear. Made from 100% recycled PET bottles with graphene soles, they reflect its commitment to sustainability. And Icelandic airline, PLAY, forged a link with Nike for white branded trainers as a key part of its gender non-specific flight attendant uniform.

At Eurowings, all employees were gifted branded Puma trainers. These have been trialled on ‘Sneaker Flydays’ as an alternative to the standard crew black leather high heels. The airline says Puma gifted the trainers in “recognition of all the extra miles Eurowings’ employees went during the pandemic” – but presumably with the hope that the gift might change footwear thinking.

78 / X onboardhospitality.com
Healthy feet are a key aspect of crew wellbeing but the focus of footwear hasn’t always been comfort, says  Julie Baxter …

Changing styles

It’s all a far cry from the stiletto heels and go-go boots once featured in crew uniforms. So what’s motivating the change?

A spokesperson for Eurowings says: “The sneaker symbolises the change of the zeitgeist, which now combines business and casual through a loose dress code. It fits our reorientation as a value airline.”

And it is not just low-cost carriers catching this mood. Finnair is celebrating its centenary with a uniform exhibition and teamed up with Finnish footwear brand, Karhu, to design an exclusive crew trainer reinforcing its commitment to the wellbeing of staff.

A Finnair spokesperson commented: “Our uniforms have typically represented the latest trends in Finnish design. In the 1970s, famous Finnish designers competed annually to dress our First Class Finn Hostesses and they became models for the Finnish clothing industry.”

dressing to impress

This connection with the fashion industry has been mirrored worldwide but, so too have other pressures on aviation. In the 1960s and 70s, when airfares were government-regulated, airlines had to look beyond low fares to attract passengers, especially businessmen – who were then the core market.

Those businessmen apparently expected to be served by attractive women in stereotypically feminine outfits. So capes, heels, miniskirts and go-go boots all came onboard. Marketing departments used the hostess style to support sales. Stilettos and low-cut tops were perceived to add glamour to the travel experience.

But times change and while associations with fashion continue, the introduction of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, appearance and gender have shifted the dial. Revealing uniforms reportedly correlated with an increase in inflight harassment. And social and industrial changes meant employee rights, wellbeing and professionalism came to the fore.

Crew footwear became more practical, comfortable and business-like. While the heels

might remain for the corporate ‘ground’ look, flat ‘cabin shoes’ became the norm inflight – more suitable for the aisle walking required.

Once deregulated, airlines began to compete on price, service and product. They no longer felt the need to hire only attractive young women or to dress them in heels. Today airlines like Virgin Atlantic and WestJet make a virtue of diversity policies which encourage crew members to be themselves and offer dress options to suit all.

blissful soles  Clark reflects: “From a biomechanical perspective, adding straps to court shoes was a seismic shift in the recognition of longterm workplace health and safety requirements for aviation staff. Now, sneaker design allows new technologies and comfort levels to be introduced and the use of more sustainable materials such as recycled polyester vegan leather. These increase lifespan and lower carbon footprint too.”

He expects the trend to evolve to include more zips, fashionable Velcro, tailored functionality as well as more colour. Branded sneakers may soon be chosen as a signature element of the uniform.

Crew footwear changes to reflect the times and is just one way for airlines to stay a step ahead of the competition. •

XXXXX / 79 onboardhospitality.com
Above from left: Sneakers are now a common component of crew uniform on many airlines; Sky Soles prioritises comfort even in more 'traditional' crew footwear.
The ‘sneaker era’ is spreading globally with many airlines looking to include them
InSpIred by the paSt /

Networking forum in Vietnam

What: APOT Networking Forum

Where: Danang, Vietnam

When: November 25 - 28, 2023

Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) is a notfor-profit organisation which was established to provide a community where professionals from the airline and related industries can network in a relaxed environment. It is the only organisation dedicated to such an agenda in the APAC region and is commited to creating a strong professional community.

The 2023 event, in Danang, will be the eleventh edition of the networking forum. This year participation has been extended beyond airlines, catering companies and suppliers of industry-related products and services to include sectors such as tourism and travel specialists, air cargo and also freight forwarders.

Participants can look forward to an agenda that includes a welcome

cocktail party, a river cruise, a trip into the Ba Na Hills and a cultural dinner party in Hoi An. There will also be an airline-themed gala dinner, an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest noodle soup carnival plus a competition for chefs and the APOT golf tournament. apot.asia

Just the TickEat

What: Meet the buyer event

Where: Milton Keynes

When: October 25 - 26, 2023

TickEat will be hosting the UK's only travel and leisure-focused meet the buyer event and travel conference at Marshall Arena, a mixed-use space next to Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, 55 miles from London.

Buyers can attend free-of-charge and representatives from airlines, train companies, airport lounges and hotels have confirmed their attendance.

"On the same day of our meet the

buyer event we are hosting the UK’s first travel conference for young food and drink brands who wish to break into travel and know more. We have panels lined up and keynote speakers," explains Heerum Fleary, Founder of TickEat, referencing the conference whch will be held on Thursday, October 26. The first such event was held last year.

Onboard Hospitality is a media partner of the 2023 edition and copies of the latest edition of the magazine will be available to pick up at the Marshall Arena. tickeat.co.uk

onboardhospitality.com 80 / EvEnts

What: lunch!

Where: London

When: September 27 - 28, 2023

Described as "the definitive café, coffee shop and food-to-go event," lunch! will return to the London ExCeL on September 27-28 and be co-located with its sister shows, Commercial Kitchen and Casual Dining. Collectively, the 2022 edition attracted more than 600 exhibitors to show thousands of products to well over 8,000 visitors.

It is an opportunity for representatives of catering businesses to source new food and drink products, sustainable packaging as well as the latest in industry-related technology, signage, equipment and interior designs.

More than 300 exhibitors are anticipated at the 2023 edition of lunch! where the Start-Up Zone will showcase newcomers to the sector. Live unveilings of innovations count among reasons to visit the Innovation Challenge Gallery.

A series of free-to-visit industry-related seminars will be held in three theatres

over the two days of lunch! Sessions will include The changing landscape of the foodto-go market and Global perspectives: the new opportunities for food-to-go and assess pitching. Interviews of thought leaders and panel sessions will also feature on the itinerary. lunchshow.co.uk

It's a plant


September 26-28

World Aviation Festival 2023 FIL

Lisbon, Portugal terrapinn.com

OctOber 2-4

The Restaurant Show Olympia London London, England restaurantshow.co.uk

Discover the best food-to-go Ships ahoy!

What: Hamburg Cruise Days

Where: Hamburg

When: September 8 - 10, 2023

The ships are the stars of the show in this key cruise industry event. Nine cruise ships will dock in the Port of Hamburg, which will be illuminated blue as part of a city-wide light show, Blue Port Hamburg, created by artist Michael Batz. On the Saturday evening, five of the ships will sail in formation on the River Elbe accompanied by music, firworks, a light show and a live commentary. hamburgcruisedays.de

What: Plant Based World Expo

Where: New York

When: September 7-8, 2023

The Javits Center in Manhattan will host the North America edition of the Plant Based World Expo. More than 4,000 stakeholders are expected to gather to discuss a market sector whose value is predicted to be worth $77.8 billion by 2025. The expo includes an Executive Summit as well as educational sessions held across four theatres. plantbasedworldexpo.com


OctOber 3-5 Expo Ferrovaria 2023, The International Exhibition of Railway Technology, Products and Systems Fiera Milano Rho Milan, Italy expoferroviaria.com

NOvember 8-9

Future Travel Experience Asia Expo / Onboard Hosptiality Forum-Asia Marina Bay Sands, Singapore futuretravelexperience. com

EvEnts / 81
STUART FORSTER Co-Located with: In association with: Built by:

tech news update

Technology touches all elements of the passenger journey. Here we showcase some of the latest innovations. Check out our online coverage and weekly e-news updates for more. Send your news to: april.waterston@onboardhospitality.com

BA douBles IFe content

British Airways has doubled the content available for passengers to watch through its inflight entertainment system since the start of the year. It now offers a wide range of new content onboard, including boxsets, movies, podcasts, children’s programmes and more. The airline has a range of British Original content, including highlights from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022, such as The Fringe, Fame and Me and Just for Laughs. ba.com

PAnAsonIc AvIonIcs exPAnds Geo sAtellIte network

Panasonic Avionics is set to expand its global connectivity network with a new GEO (geostationary) Ku-band satellite capacity. It is adding HTS (High Throughput Satellites) and XTS (Extreme Throughput Satellites) to its connectivity network to enhance coverage across North, Central and South America; the North and South Atlantic Ocean; Europe; the Middle East; Arabian Sea; Africa and the Indian Ocean. It is also introducing additional HTS capacity over China and Japan. panasonic.aero

MAlAysIA selects vIAsAt

Malaysia Airlines has selected Viasat to outfit the airline’s new Boeing 737-8 fleet with its wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) system. As part of its connectivity strategy, Malaysia Airlines will also introduce high-quality internet connectivity on its 737-8 aircraft. The agreement encompasses factory installation of Viasat’s equipment on aircraft delivered to Malaysia Airlines from August. It means passengers will be able to enjoy an enhanced and curated inflight experience through the airline’s wireless IFE system, MHstudio. viasat.com / malaysiaairlines.com

INDUSTRY UPDATE / 83 onboardhospitality.com
Enter your tech innovation in the Onboard Hospitality Awards 2024 awards.onboardhospitality.com Entries open November 1

chAt on swIss

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) now offers free internet service on all its long-haul flights. Passengers can now send and receive free text and picture messages using a smartphone, laptop or tablet throughout their flight. Available in all classes of travel, SWISS’ new chat services provide access to all the most popular messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. There is no data limit. swiss.com

luFthAnsA lAunches dIGItAl

lIBrAry For kIds


Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines, together with their partner Media Carrier Solutions, are offering their young passengers child-friendly content in a Kids Media Box. The digital children’s media library includes magazines to download, as well as colouring pages for digital colouring.

PArtners wIth ForMulA 1

Anuvu has partnered with Formula 1 to offer its aviation and maritime customers Formula 1-related content. Anuvu customers will have access to content including season reviews dating back to 19 81 and shows such as Beyond All Limits. anuvu.com

chArGe uP on unIted United has introduced a new domestic First class seat that includes a wireless charging station in every arm rest. The seat also features vegan leather upholstery, 13-inch seatback screens and 18-inch tray tables, Bluetooth connectivity and privacy screens. The airline expects the new seat to be on 200 domestic planes by 2026, including 737 NGs, A321neos and 737 MAXs. united.com

“Since 2015, we have been providing Lufthansa Group airlines with customised e-paper libraries. Until now, this offer was primarily aimed at adult air travellers,” said Sandra Bardewyck, Managing Director of Media Carrier Solutions. media-carrier.de

JAzeerA chAr


uP wIth BurrAnA

Jazeera Airways has selected Burrana’s lightweight in-seat power solution for their cabin retrofit programme. Burrana will install its USB in-seat power solution on Jazeera’s Airbus A320 and A321 fleets. Each passenger will benefit from USB-A and USB-C outlets to power and charge their personal electronic devices with a system that provides equitable power at every seat. burrana.aero


Sky-high opportunities?

may impact

Are we on the threshold of a digital onboard retail revolution? Huge opportunities to increase ancillary revenue and transform the inflight experience for passengers seem to be within reach. But is our industry ready?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) purport to be game changers. Every passenger could have access to personalised recommendations based on their preferences. They could utilise a virtual personal shopper to check product availability, compare pricing and be helped with language and currency translations.

There could be virtual try-ons and 3D product visualisation on seat-back trays.

And shoppers could be enticed by interactive AR-guided tours of virtual shops, destination experiences and travel exclusives.

Developing relationships

Beyond that, extended passenger relationships can be developed by exploring partnerships with global shopping players and delivery services.   ‘Back of house’ processes can also be optimised. Dynamic real-time pricing could

Lance Hayward, Founder and Managing Director of The Hayward Partnership, examines how technological advances onboard revenue generation…
86 / Technology

be introduced, enabling discounting of slowselling items and increasing prices with demand. Analysis of historical data can help forecast demand, optimise supply chains, reduce stockouts and minimise waste through AI-powered inventory management.

Fraudulent transactions can be detected in real-time with AI-supported detection. Range planning, marketing and promotions can be refined through AI passenger insight analysis of customer feedback and preferences.

Are we ready?

“Notable progress has been made in recent years,” says Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi. “AirFi provides fully integrated onboard shopping and Connected Crew applications, creating an e-commerce style browsing and ordering experience on passengers’ mobile devices using digital catalogues and payment options. AR is not gaining the level of traction that was envisaged a couple of years ago despite platforms being ready to host AR functionality for some time.”

“To effectively utilise AI technology there is a requirement for connectivity. Until connectivity is ubiquitous it will be tricky to realise the full benefits of AI...The pros and cons of ‘local’ versus ‘unrestricted’ connectivity options or indeed hybrids such as ‘AirFi LEO’ is a hotly debated subject,” and one worthy of further discussion, points out Heimerikx.

“Inflight retail is a key area of untapped potential for airlines who are constantly seeking ways to balance their books and create exceptional onboard experiences for passengers,” says aviation guest experience expert, Simon Soni.

“In many cases, there is a skills gap. Airlines often lack expertise in the retail sector, necessitating collaboration with specialists and exploring concession agreements. By forging partnerships, airlines can enhance their retail offerings and cater to passengers’ diverse preferences,” continues Soni.

“We are in a phase of evolution rather than revolution. The way existing airline systems function often has limitations and case-by-case evaluations need to be conducted. Reducing complexity of the existing IT landscape and creating one platform with integration into payment, loyalty and booking platforms is the first step before opportunities can be optimised.”

He argues that the organisational set-up of e-commerce retail capabilities is a driver for success along with technology. Significantly, purchasing behaviour is different in aviation to typical e-commerce marketplaces and varies between low-cost and full-service carriers, requiring customer journeys and personas to be mapped.

“The opportunity once realised, however, is significant and very powerful to gather data. There’s a saturation of similar products onboard and in the airport, there’s an opportunity for much more choice and differentiation of retail and services that would appeal to more passengers,” he concludes, pointing out that could highlight exclusive, different, relevant and local offers.

Retail behaviour

Consumer buying behaviour has been revolutionised by global online retailers who have raised the bar of digital consumer engagement. As a result, passengers are used to easy and entertaining product browsing, tailored choices, value for money, access to peer and expert reviews, rapid, reliable fulfilment and a hassle-free returns process. In short, a seamless shopping experience…while they are on the ground.

Aside from a few notable exceptions, the retail experience in the air hasn’t fundamentally changed for the past five decades. The future of inflight retail is both tantalising and challenging.    We’ve got a great opportunity to optimise onboard revenue and enhance the passenger experience. Yet some significant foundational work must be done before we can experience a ‘seamless shopping experience’ at 30,000 feet. •

Technology / 87
We are in a phase of evolution rather than revolution.
InflightDirect 7991 Valentina Ct. | Naples FL 34114 USA Tel: +401-717-4190 www.InflightDirect.com sales@InflightDirect.com Mills Textiles P.O.Box 67 | Oswestry Shropshire | SY11 1WD UK Tel: +44(0) 1691 656092 www.MillsTextiles.com sales@MillsTextiles.com Ask for Tom, Tim or Graham for more Information FACTORY - DIRECT INFLIGHT SERVICE PRODUCTS Providing factory-direct inflight services for over 60 years to airlines world-wide. ✓ IFE Headphones ✓ Amenity Kits ✓ Air Sick Bags ✓ Linens ✓ Napkins ✓ Duvets ✓ Blankets ✓ Pillows ✓ Hot Towels ✓ Headrest Covers ✓ & More ✓ Neck Pillows WITH US AND UK WAREHOUSING & STOCK READILY AVAILABLE

A timely fix

Markus Gilges, Solutions Specialist at Collins Aerospace, has 20+ years of experience of addressing technical issues in and around aircraft cabins, looks at Predictive Maintenance for the aircraft cabin...

Collins Aerospace is bringing Predictive Maintenance to aircraft interiors.  New products – enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), edge computing, advanced sensor technology and real-time data transmission – are empowering cabin crews with real-time predictive information to enhance the travel experience.

Considering the negative impact that faulty cabin equipment can have on the passenger

experience, it is not surprising that airlines are embracing the concept of Predictive Maintenance for the cabin.

An unusable premium class seat, an unavailable lavatory or a dysfunctional coffee maker or oven can negatively shape the passenger’s perception of the airline through a reduction in catering service or a delay caused by an unforeseen repair. Collins is a world leader in aircraft cabin interiors, supplying airlines with


everything from seating and galley equipment to lavatories, lighting and oxygen systems plus much more.

The expansion of Predictive Maintenance (PM) into the cabin is not only a natural next step in enhancing the air travel experience but also can reduce aircraft downtime spent on repairs and can create fleet-wide maintenance efficiencies, contributing to airline operability and cost savings. At the 2023 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, Collins showed some of their solutions in that area.

What is Predictive Maintenance?

PM takes historical aircraft and maintenance data and uses it to develop performance trends for components. Collins’ Connected Aviation Solutions (CAS) business is developing Predictive Maintenance analytics using a multitude of relevant parameters for different components or systems to predict future performance.

The PM system then generates detailed maintenance recommendations for the airline which may help prevent maintenance-related delays, flight returns or unpleasant Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situations. This may also enable the airline to turn unscheduled maintenance into planned maintenance.

To achieve this, PM uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse thousands of parameters, as well as look for correlations between parameters in the more complex systems that have multiple potential failure points. Because of the inbuilt intelligence, the system

learns and can fine-tune algorithms and its predictive capabilities with every additional data package that it analyses.

Another aspect of Predictive Maintenance that becomes increasingly important is the need for data interoperability. This is especially relevant when considering the growing number of components to which Predictive Maintenance is applied.

Airlines tend to have many different system providers onboard the aircraft – cabin or otherwise – all of which are becoming ‘smarter’ by producing more data for maintenance purposes. For a Predictive Maintenance provider like Collins, this means that data integration and interoperability are key to developing a holistic analytics portfolio.

Data gathering

For an airline to have multiple Predictive Maintenance systems is highly ineffective, which is why it is essential for Predictive Maintenance providers to gather relevant data on the components of various suppliers. This requires a shift from the old paradigm of singular solutions where no data is generated or shared. Openness and a collaborative spirit is now needed for Predictive Maintenance.

Predictive Maintenance may also take into consideration various environmental data. Think of the different operating environments for an airline’s air conditioning system on the ground in the Sahara or in Greenland.

External factors such as temperature and humidity can impact air conditioning system usage, and, subsequently, its maintenance requirements. Similarly, Collins’ recent acquisition

3 learns fine-tune
PM takes historical aircraft and maintenance data and uses it to develop performance trends for components

of FlightAware enables the company to access a wealth of aircraft operational data, which it can use to increase the accuracy of its predictive maintenance solutions.

Impacts of PM

There are three key areas where the impact of PM will be noticed:

Financial impact

Although Predictive Maintenance can reduce the occurrence of negative events, it is sometimes difficult to quantify its benefits. Use cases for a variety of components show the value predictive maintenance is creating through avoided AOGs, aircraft turns, delays, cancellations, reduced maintenance costs and also lower spare parts stock for components.

Think of a Premium class seat that is inoperable because the recline mechanism is broken. If this issue were discovered just before the aircraft’s scheduled departure, the airline would have to block that seat, not only costing the airline revenue and service costs but also impacting a passenger’s trip. Predictive Maintenance, however, could identify the faulty recline mechanism before it occurs, allowing operators to address the issue during scheduled aircraft downtime.

Organisational impact

Collins Aerospace Ascentia is a unifying data management platform for aircraft and fleet health monitoring, bringing together various sources of data throughout the organisation. One of its main purposes is to enable the airline to use its data more effectively. It is general knowledge that the increase in operational- and maintenance-related data produced by the most recent generation of aircraft is orders of magnitude bigger than the previous generation.

for aircraft and fleet health monitoring, bringing huge amounts of data. The easy-to-use, platform-

Through various self-help tools in Ascentia, Collins aids airlines to navigate and use these huge amounts of data. The easy-to-use, platformagnostic, web-based infrastructure enables the airline to create new types of maintenance reports in-house in an afternoon rather than having

to wait for the component original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to create such reports in months.

Impact on sustainability

Predictive Maintenance also has an impact on sustainability. An example is the detection of ailerons – the little flaps on the edge of wings – being out of rig. Traditional aircraft maintenance will usually only detect an issue if the aileron has reached a minimum threshold for being out of rig.

That means that the aircraft could be flying with suboptimally adjusted ailerons for a period of time. This won’t affect the aircraft’s safety but it increases fuel consumption. PM enables the airline to detect an ‘out of rig’ situation much before the normal maintenance procedure notification comes in.

The increasingly connected aircraft and the resulting exponential growth of data will enable airlines to generate information which is relevant to its operation and maintenance at a level that was unheard of a few years ago. This will create a substantial potential for the utilisation of Predictive Maintenance to optimise the airlines’ performance and the passenger experience.  •

onboardhospitality.com PREDICTIVE CABIN MAINTENANCE / 91
Predictive Maintenance also has an impact on sustainability.

This opens The door for unique and inspiring experiences...

one factor in making this content available to our customers is the improvement of server capacities onboard. With larger storage space, airlines can dive into themes and collections at scale to bring something really eye-catching to their passengers without the need to remove other programming to save space.

In addition, our digital supply chain can cost-effectively deliver thousands of files quickly. With certain airlines, we are aiming to deliver content in just one day, rather than the normal three-month cycle, which is important for timely content such as the 2023 Formula 1 season review.

short-form content

The popularity of short-form digital content continues to grow, especially around kids' programming. Last

year, we launched a partnership with Moonbug Entertainment, famous for Cocomelon and Blippi, which has been extremely popular across the world.

One challenge is finding the perfect way to bundle content. Airlines don’t want an excess number of short episodes, especially if there are ads involved, so we need to edit a collection together. The other challenge is the availability of languages, which can be rare and costly to produce.

We foresee the second screen experience becoming a lot more prevalent as Generation Y and Z passenger numbers grow. For users that means using their phone as a controller for IFE or the ability to log in and connect preferences to the screen, much like when scanning a QR code.

Personalisation will also become more important so the experience can be customised to passengers’ interests, language and destination. Inflight

entertainment systems know a lot about a passenger...This opens the door for unique and inspiring experiences beyond a simple video platform.

Delivering content

Our technology can deliver content weekly or even daily...Once we can deliver content over wi-fi, as Anuvu does today on Southwest, we can break cycles and react to trending stories or real-time events. For now, it’s about forecasting what’s important to passengers and advancing our airline and cruise partners’ experience.

We recently launched a refreshed version of our content selection platform and will soon be marrying it with an industry-leading analytics tool used by streaming services to make content acquisition decisions. The goal is to help airlines predict trends and invest each dollar with industry data and expert knowledge. anuvu.com •

onboardhospitality.com 92 / In conversatIon
Simon , VP of Content Licensing and Distribution at Anuvu, discusses the technology behind content delivery...

Sounds in the sky

Stuart Forster looks at trends relating to headphones and earbuds for passengers aboard aircraft…

Inflight entertainment (IFE) is developing at pace but surprisingly little has altered over recent decades relating to technology underlying headphone functionality. Yet headphones continue to evolve.

Increasingly, personal electronic devices (PEDs) are becoming the preferred point of IFE access during flights. Consequently, wireless Bluetooth connectivity is coming ever more into focus, so that passengers can pair their devices.

The world’s largest airlines each order around 30 million earbuds and headphones every year. “I think there’s always going to be a market for headsets with the airlines,” predicts Thomas G Mockler, CEO of InflightDirect, a company which offers over 400 different models and has been supplying headphones for 40 years.

Products within budgets

“A manufacturer, such as us, balances the patented technology versus presenting a good quality product for the passenger that works for the

airline’s budget,” he says.

Airlines tend to use a 300-ohm system though some use a 32-ohm system. Earbuds generally available for retail have a 16-ohm to 32-ohm output. This accounts for the quality issues that passengers can experience when connecting their own. “Sometimes, with a mismatch of technical impedances, then you might find a little bit of a difference in quality. You might find it being a little louder than normal or you might find quality just not there,” explains the InflightDirect CEO.

In First and Business, active noise cancellation headphones help to mask low-frequency cabin noise. Designs

appear similar to retail brands, though less expensive components keep down unit costs and only trained ears tend to notice sound quality differences. In Economy, the trend is primarily focused on what Mockler describes as "inexpensive but quality and comfortable earbuds or headbands.”

Sustainability concerns have resulted in packaging being reduced and prompted improvements to materials used to make earbuds, resulting in greater reuse post-flight, such as with laptops and in fitness centres.

We’ll listen for new developments and let you know when we have more! •

FOCUS ON / 93 onboardhospitality.com
I think there’s always going to be a market for headsets with the airlines



Onboard Hospitality was delighted to this year receive more than 130 entries in our 21 categories. All entries were considered by our panel of expert judges, which identified winners and highly commended entries. Winners were announced at WTCE and online, and can be viewed, along with a photo gallery of the awards ceremony at onboardhospitality.com/awards

Dedicated category awards

Congratulations to all our winners

Cabin Concept of the Year awards

Gold, silver, bronze airline winners

Industry Champion

Our award recognising people

Ones to Watch

New products of note

Be in the spotlight in 2024!

Entries open: November 1, 2023

Read full product details at onboardhospitality.com/awards
Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com

Welcome to our 2023


Key to the enduring success of the Onboard Hospitality Awards is our unique judging process of which we are extremely proud.

Our judges

Our judges include experts with many years of onboard hospitality experience. They include buyers and decision-makers from airlines as well as chefs and caterers, industry consultants and professional travellers. This year alone, the international panel brought together experts from North America, Australia, Asia and Europe. People with experience of working on every continent are represented and involved.

Your peers

All entries are first voted for online by our

international readership. This allows for informed peer-to-peer recognition. Those eligible to vote are our readers – the buyers and suppliers of onboard hospitality – the people we believe are best placed to recognise a good product or service, or a true innovation. These are the people – you and your industry colleagues – who really are in the know; industry insiders with expertise in the field.

Then during April our panel of independent, international judges gathered at a hotel near London Gatwick Airport to test and review products and services. They included the fabulous winning entries which you can see below and over the following pages. Congratulations to all of the 2023 winners.

Best OnBOard amenity Kits

Premium ecOnOmy

Winner: Buzz – air india tumi Premium economy Kit

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bayart Innovations – LOT Polish

Airlines Eco Amenity Kit Travel Organisers

Best FOr OnBOard sustainaBility

Winner: latam airlines group sa for its Five initiatives to build a sustainable Onboard experience

Highly Commended: Global-C – Qantas Plastic-free NeverLeak Box. Special recognition: Linstol – LATAM Business Class Sugarcane Bagasse Lids & Kaelis – LATAM Goes Plastic Free

96 / awards Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com


Best FOr First class amenities

Winner: Qatar airways – limited edition FiFa First and Business class amenity Kits


International – Japan Airlines First Class Amenity Kit

Congratulations! Our 2023 winners were selected from more than 130 entries.

Best OnBOard amenity Kits in Business class

Winner: Kaelis – turkish airlines chequered mate with Hackett london amenity Kit

HIGHLY COMMENDED: skysupply – Lufthansa Porsche Design Multifunctional Amenity Kit Series

Best OnBOard Beverage

Winner: retail inmotion – deux Frères dry gin

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Qatar Airways –French Bloom Le Blanc Organic French Bubbly Non-Alcoholic & Virgin Atlantic –Virgin Atlantic Nice Wine

Best OnBOard amenity Kits FOr ecOnOmy/ lOW cOst carriers

Winner: Bayart innovations – turkish airlines Kit

Best FOr catering innOvatiOn

Winner: lsg group – aica

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Retail InMotion – Currywurst with Sauce and Fries in the Skies & SriLankan Airlines – SriLankan Flavours

awards / 97 Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com

Best OnBOard service

eQuiPment (creW)

Winner: diethelm Keller aviation -tuFF-lite in-Flight galley carts

HIGHLY COMMENDED: TydenBrooks –HawkSeal


Best OnBOrd service eQuiPment (Passenger)

Winner: virgin atlantic – airbus

a339neo self-service Fridge-Freezer

Highly Commended - Global-C – LATAM SUP-free Economy Meal Service Equipment

Best snacKs in First/Business

Winner: mr Filbert’s Fine Foods –rosemary almonds

EstaBlisHED 2014


Best Kids catering

Winner: Foodcase international –cub Food

Best Kids Kits OnBOard

Winner: etihad airways its little viPs kit

HIGHLY COMMENDED: KIDZbranding – Treasure Iceland by Icelandair

Best OnBOard tecHnOlOgy

Winner: airFi – easyJet Onboard

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Inflight Dublin –Everhub Engagement Platform

Best snacKs in ecOnOmy

Winner: en route international –taste of spain serrano Ham & iberico cheese sandwich


Santa’s Cookies – Lemon Myrtle Choc Drizzled Shortbreads

98 / awards Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com
year the Onboard Hospitality Awards will be 10 years old.



Best OnBOard textiles

Winner: John Horsfall – virgin atlantic’s a330neo upper class sleep sheet

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Linstol – NetJets 100% Cashmere Blanket

Best WearaBle textiles

Winner: Buzz – air india tumi sleeper suit

Best OnBOard WellBeing

Winner: sWiss international airlines

– soeder Forst cosmetics

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Safran Group –Euphony

Winner: skysupply – sWiss victorinox amenity Kits travel series

Winner: david young

100 / awards Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com
trendsetter OF tHe year industry cHamPiOn

2023 oNES to Watch

HOPe & glOry

For its Teas & Tisanes Collections.

castellO mOnte viBianO

For its Rossino alcohol-free drink.


For its Duo by ClickEat disposable cutlery set.

mOnty's BaKeHOuse

For its Char Siu Sou Pastry.

creative nature

For its Light and Crunchy Thins.

Weave intelligence

For its Weave Intelligence logistics solution.


For its Smart Blanket.


For its Space-based Low Earth Orbit Inflight Connectivity.

inmarsat For OneFi.

awards / 101 Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com

2023 caBIN coNcEPt WINNERS

gOld Winner: Air New Zealand

Onboard passenger experiences are being redefined by Air New Zealand's focus 'Manaakitaking care further' brand promise and its focus on the future. The 18-month Future Aircraft Cabin Experience (FACE) programme identified a range of improvements. They include introducing the Skynest concept in Economy plus New Zealand-inspired interiors and catering.

sILVEr wINNEr: Virgin Atlantic

New cabins on Virgin Atlantic's A330neo aircraft have been developed from the belief that passengers value human connections. That has resulted in physical spaces for interactions during flights plus connectivity and technology to facilitate communications with loved ones and friends. It also embraced improved lighting and a more personal service from the cabin crew.

BrONZE wINNEr: Iberia

The arrival of Iberia's A350 Next aircraft saw the introduction of qualitative improvements to customer service across all cabins, inclusing personal suites in Business. Comfort, sustainability and technology drove the innovations. Both intuitive and interactive, Iberia's impressive IFE NEXT inflight entertainment system was developed in conjunction with Panasonic.

102 / awards Read full product details at awards.onboardhospitality.com
Qatar airWays
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Cuisine Solutions is the leading global manufacturer and distributor of sous-vide foods. In fact, we pioneered and perfected the innovative method, where food is vacuum-sealed and then cooked at precise times and temperatures. The result is food that’s safe, full of delectable flavor and more nutritious than traditional cooking methods. Food is perfect, every time.

Our team of culinary experts and food scientists have helped clients - including the world’s top airlines - solve their most pressing challenges. Streamline your operation without sacrificing creativity.

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