PAX International Asia-Pacific May 2022

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Asia-Pacific Issue

MAY 2022 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

UPDATE from the

EAST



EDITOR’S LETTER

PAX International Mississauga, Ontario Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Website: www.pax-intl.com

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail: aijaz@globalmarketingcom.ca

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 354-2343 Mobile: (1 612) 859-4502 E-mail: rick@pax-intl.com Jane Hobson, Editor Tel: (1 416) 997-3914 E-mail: jane@pax-intl.com Jayson Koblun, Deputy Editor Tel: (1 289) 456-9059 E-mail: jayson@pax-intl.com Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator E-mail: ash@pax-intl.com

ART DEPARTMENT Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail: jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca

A restless region

T

he Asia-Pacific region was sending several different messages out to the world as spring began. Traffic figures for the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines reported an “ongoing weakness” in the international air travel market. The group attributed it to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Asia-Pacific region. Member airlines logged only 2.5 million international passengers, far less than the 30.3 million that took to the airlines February of 2019. International passenger load factor was an anemic 41.7 percent. One bright spot that has been there since the beginning of the pandemic is the air cargo market, which has held steady from strong consumer, business and supply chain issues in maritime shipping. The spring also carried some good news from one of the dominant carriers in the region. For the first time in two years, Singapore Airlines posted a quarterly profit of SGD$85 million (US62.76 million). The airline credits the turnaround to the Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangements that allowed it to help unlock pent-up demand for travel during an important time of the year – Lunar New Year. At PAX International, we’re hopeful there is enough demand for travel in the months ahead for the Asia-Pacific region to shuck off some the forces weighing down on travel that include, but are not limited to, international inflationary pressures, fuel prices and airspace closures. The industry is awaiting more news from Asia, and at next month’s expos in Hamburg, PAX plans to pull aside as many people from the region as possible to get their thoughts about the future.

PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times a year by PAX International, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. International Distribution.

Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International

publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

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CONTENTS

8

Features

14

ASIA REPORT

8

REGIONAL REVIEW: ASIA In this Asia Report, Jeremy Clark, PAX International Asia Correspondent, connects with catering and industry representatives for updates on business in the region

CATERING

10

TECHNOLOGY IN THE TROPICS SATS broke ground on a new Food Hub that will add to the company’s already strong reputation for developing advanced production methods and practices

PROFILE

12 Asia-Pacific Issue

MAY 2022 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

UPDATE from the

EAST

ON THE COVER

Global Inflight Products sources many of its eco-friendly materials from China. More on this in the Q&A on page 15.

14 15 16

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

6

4  MAY 2022

LIVING PROOF At WTCE, SkyTender Solutions plans to debut results of the UNESCO Life Cycle Assessment study it recently participated in CULTIVATING ELEGANCE Hong Kong-based FORMIA has facilitated an exclusive amenity kit partnership between Qatar Airways and French perfumer Diptyque SUPER SOURCING In this Q&A, Global Inflight Products shares some behind-the-scenes of where it gathers its materials for its green products GOING LOCAL With the responsibility for sustainable products shifting to suppliers, RMT Global Partners is focusing on innovative products manufactured closer to home

EVENTS

18

A DECADE OF SUCCESS WTCE returns to Hamburg in June, celebrating 10 years since its inception


Feel at home, Anywhere in the world

At SATS, we enable people to eat better with tasty, nutritious meals made with authentic flavours and responsibly sourced ingredients.

We combine technology with the passion, creativity, and expertise of our people to bring a taste of home to the skies, anywhere in the world. As a leading food solutions provider in Asia, we delight passengers with our signature dishes and culinary innovations across more than 55 locations and 14 countries. Find out how we feed and connect communities at sats.com.sg


NEWS

SUPPLIER

Video Clip: Happy K introduces amenity kit Vietnam-based Happy K Solutions has launched a new travel safe amenity kit. Designed with double function post-flight, the K-Trustkit has space for a cell phone, passport, travel documents, wallet and more. Available in two designs, a purse or a pouch, it includes two pairs of disposable gloves, reusable three-layer face mask with adjustable ear line, refillable sanitizer and surface spray bottles and antigen COVID test kit. It also has a removable clear inner plastic bag that holds all contents for security checks. “With the current new world, safety products are more important than a razor or moisturizing cream, so we went with what we think is really important to travelers these days,” says Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Founder of Happy K Solutions. Happy K Solutions plans to produce more luxury amenity kits in the future that offer value to the passenger with high-end products.

AIRLINE

THAI and Doi Tung launch black silk blend coffee onboard Thai Airways and Doi Tung are bringing locally sourced drip coffee into the cabin

THAI passengers traveling on the Royal First and Royal Silk classes to Europe, Australia, Japan and Korea destinations will be able to enjoy black silk blend premium drip coffee. Doi Tung Development Project produced an extract for THAI with a taste and aroma that engages the six senses, for a “magically smooth” experience at 30,000 feet, reads the March 14 press release. The partnership aims to help generate local employment, a circular economy, and sustainable community development. The coffee beans are harvested by local farmers on hills at 1,200 meters above sea level and roasted through a sustainable process by Doi Tung.

CATERING

dnata further enhances sustainability efforts at Changi Airport dnata is investing further in infrastructure and equipment to improve global resource efficiency. The company has installed a 3.5 megawatt-peak rooftop solar power system across its operations at Changi Airport (SIN), including its cargo and catering facilities. The rooftop power plant has more than 6,500 individual solar panels and will generate more than 4,300 megawatt hours of green power per year, enabling dnata to reduce its electricity-related carbon emissions by 20 percent annually in Singapore. The strategic objective us to reduce its global carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2024. In Singapore, dnata has replaced several of its ground

6  MAY 2022

The solar panels at SIN generate more than 4,300 megawatt hours of green power per year

support equipment (GSE) and forklifts with hybrid or electric alternatives, and refurbished some GSE to extend life cycles, reduce waste and update them to the latest safety and quality standards. Most recently, dnata has added 44 electric baggage tractors to its GSE fleet at Changi Airport. The company serves more than 50 airline customers with a team of 1,100 employees in Singapore. “The inauguration of the solar power system in Singapore marks a significant milestone in our efforts to make dnata’s operations even more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint,” said David Barker, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Operations.


NEWS

CATERING

AIRLINE

Turkish Airlines resumes Istanbul stopover service Turkish Airlines has resumed its Istanbul stopover service that was paused during the pandemic. The program allows passengers with lengthy connection times to discover the city of Istanbul. The airline provides a one-night stay in a 4-Star hotel for Economy Class passengers, and a twonight stay in a 5-Star hotel for Business Class passengers, with a hotel voucher that is issued after ticket purchase. In addition, passengers also have the option to stay at a contracted hotel with rates starting US$49 per night. “We aim to show the Turkish hospitality and unique wonders of Istanbul to our passengers opting for stopover accommodation service while contributing to tourism in Turkey and increase the number of transfer passengers of Turkish Airlines,” said Bilal Ekşi, General Manager at Turkish Airlines. Since the stopover accommodation service started in 2017, more than 57,000 passengers from 42 countries and 108 cities have used the program. Supporting the Turkey tourism sector, the project plans to expand to 15 new departure countries this year.

Turkish Airlines has brought back its Istanbul stopover accommodation service to encourage tourism in the city

SATS signs on with UN human rights compact

SATS is performing on-site trials in several airports to assess the suitability of new vehicles for airport operations to expand electric ground support equipment and vehicles usage. PHOTO CREDIT: SATS

SATS Ltd. has become a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) commitment to human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. The company has also obtained ISO 37001 certification, the international standard for anti-bribery management systems. SATS’ 2030 goals include converting 100 percent of its ground support equipment at its Singapore hub to sustainable energy resources, reducing its Singaporebased Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprints by 50 percent from a FY2018-19 baseline, using 100 percent sustainable food packaging, increasing average value-add per employee across all subsidiaries by 50 percent. The company is performing on-site trials at several airports to assess the suitability of new vehicles for the unique requirements of airport operations to expand the use of electric vehicles and equipment beyond tractors and forklifts. In Singapore, SATS has, through a collaboration with Singapore Airlines, introduced sustainable service ware on some of the airline’s flights, and SATS’ training arm, SATS Academy, has trained more than 12,000 workers in the aviation sector. SATS’ sustainability objectives are mapped to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, SATS will align its strategy and operations with 10 universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption to develop plans that put people and the environment at the heart of its business to be a force for good. SATS will detail its efforts to implement the 10 principles annually in its sustainability report.

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ASIA REPORT

Regional review:

ASIA by JEREMY CLARK, PAX International Asia Correspondent

Some of Vietnam Airlines Caterers’ customers include Emirates, Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways

In this Asia Report, Jeremy Clark, PAX International Asia Correspondent, connects with catering and industry representatives for updates on business in the region

A

s the world comes to realize that the virus is something to learn to live with rather than beat, travel restrictions are beginning to ease. For Asia-Pacific, the best case is hassle-free travel across the region and as PAX connects with its sources for this Asia Report, the signs point to some movement again.

BAC back in business

In Thailand, Asia’s most popular tourist destination, Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) reports a 40 to 50 percent capacity compared to 2019 levels and growing quickly. “We’ve seen a big growth in the leisure markets since April and total volumes are growing at an increasing rate,” BAC General Manager Mohammed Farran tells PAX International.

Many caterers laid off staff at the start and some even closed and mothballed operations. Some are still awaiting bigger volumes, but the task of re-hiring and re-training will be a challenge. This was not the strategy at BAC, Farran explains. “We took a corporate strategical decision not to dismantle our labor force. We have invested a lot of time and resource accumulating the finest talent and best workforce in this region. We were never going to throw that away knowing in the long term, this would be to our advantage,” he says. “Our staff are at the core of our success.” Farran says this strategy has not only rewarded its employee’s loyalty, but also put BAC in a strong and secure position as business returns. “We are completely ready to serve all of our customers to the quality they expect from BAC without stressing our resources. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 during the previous year, BAC has gained two great new clients during the depths of this period with Etihad and Rossiya joining our customer base,” he says.

Vietnam active again

Mohammed Farran, General Manager, Bangkok Air Catering

8  MAY 2022

Afdal Amir, Chief Executive Officer, Aeroprima

Vietnam is seeing similar growth as borders are basically hassle-free. “We are seeing many airlines returning to original schedules and full service,” says Bert Dinkel, Deputy General Manager at Vietnam Airlines Caterers (VACS). “We are pleased to be fully serving these customers again, such as Emirates, Singapore


Bangkok Air Catering reports a 40 to 50 percent capacity compared to 2019 levels

Ramzanee Bin Rameli, Head of Market Intel and Special Projects, POS Aviation (left) and Jeremy Clark, PAX International Asia Correspondent

Bert Dinkel, Deputy General Manager, Vietnam Airline Caterers (left) and Jeremy Clark, PAX International Asia Correspondent

Airlines and All Nippon Airways. Many of our customers were back-catering through the toughest times but are now reverting to the original set ups as loads get back to pre-pandemic levels.” Dinkel says there is strong growth in the local and regional markets, and also in business traffic. “We see J Class cabins (Business Class) around two-thirds full in this area. Overall, Business volumes at VACS are at around 50 percent of 2019 levels,” he says.

Movement in Malaysia

Meanwhile, south of the border in Malaysia things are a little slower to start back. The borders are ‘open,’ but with restrictions. Pickup is slow and there are reports of confused scenes at airports regarding vaccines status and quarantine times. “We are currently at around 25 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is beginning to resume long-haul but the recovery is slow at this time,” says Ramzanee Bin Rameli, Head of Market Intel and Special Projects at POS Aviation. He goes on to say that the company has engaged a few local vendors to support production. “We lost a lot of our staff at the beginning as confidence in the industry was low. Many left to further their home industries and seek income from a different industry,” he explains. Malaysia’s tourism department said it expects to see strong growth through 2022, but that will come with relaxing of mask mandates and easier arrival and departure protocols. The domestic market in Malaysia is dominated by Air Asia and Firefly, a MAS subsidiary. With most domestic flights in Malaysia not more than an hour or two, the onboard service demand is still very minimal.

What’s up in the south

Looking further south to Indonesia now, the region’s largest single-country market. Afdal Amir joined Aeroprima as Chief Executive Officer just six months ago. Aeroprima, a joint venture operation with Aerowisata and caterer to Indonesia’s flag carrier Garuda, is preparing the catering service for coming Hajj flight operations in June to August. Amir tells PAX International the domestic market is building fastest. “We have seen a doubling of volumes in domestic travel from this time last year and the momentum continues,” he says. International travel is growing but at a very much slower pace, to key locations such as Jakarta and Bali. “We see the return of some international carriers like Singapore Airlines to Bali with good loads but our volumes are maybe still only 20 to 30 percent on 2019 volumes,” says Amir. Many operators have taken the opportunity to make strategic changes. Aeroprima is no exception with plans to expand into the hospitality catering sector and retail. “As some units went from 10 daily flights to four a week, we had to look elsewhere to ensure the survival of the business,” Amir explains. Aeroprima also took this opportunity to initiate radical programs resulting in a very considerable reduction to operational costs. “For the sake of our own survival, and to secure jobs for our own employees, we have had to make changes. This down-time has given us the opportunity to do so.”

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CATERING

The SATS Food Hub is slated for completion in 2024. PHOTO CREDIT: SATS

Technology S in the

tropics SATS broke ground on a new Food Hub that will add to the company’s already strong reputation for developing advanced production methods and practices by RICK LUNDSTROM

10  MAY 2022

ATS broke ground in early April on a five-story, 20,000-square-meter food production facility that the Singapore-based company says will “enhance efficiency and strengthen operations resilience.” The SGD$150 million (US$110 million) facility is located in Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District. At the heart of what will be called the SATS Food Hub will be an emphasis on technology and robotics incorporated into large-batch meal production when the facility is completed in 2024. Plans also call for SATS to expand its existing Global Innovation Centre into the hub, welcoming food technology startups, small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and education. “The move aligns with SATS’ strategy to strengthen its Singapore core while growing international and non-travel businesses,” said an April 7 release from SATS. The Food Hub will rely heavily on automation in its large-batch production. Heretofore manual processes such as meal assembly could be handed over to robotic finger grippers and automated dispensing units for various food components. Such automatic could produce up to 200,000 packed meals per day. “Automating our meal production processes changes the landscape significantly to benefit our customers, suppliers and business partners,” said Kerry Mok, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS Ltd, in the April announcement of the Food Hub. “It will enable us to implement high-tech food production to achieve cost efficiency, strengthen operation resilience and create greater opportunities for upskilling our people.”


The facility will primarily serve SATS’ non-travel related food solutions segment, including its existing institutional catering business. The company has signed a 30-year lease with JTC Corporation. SATS now runs its institutional catering businesses at JTC-leased properties in an area of Singapore called the Pandan Loop, reports The Straits Times newspaper. “SATS will be the first food player to join a growing community of innovative companies in the district, said Tan Boon Khai, Chief Executive Officer to JTC. “We look forward to collaboration between SATS and the Jurong Innovation District community to create new and exciting products sustainably by leveraging the latest technology.” Leveraging technology has been a SATS hallmark for several years. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, SATS was investing in new technologies in the form of robotics and other solutions in the airline catering units and airport operations. In the spring of 2017, SATS committed to investing S$110 million (US$78 million) in an open innovation concept, TechnIC@ SATS, to drive improvements in automation for the company’s units at its headquarters and beyond. At the Food Hub, what the company calls “digital twin technology” will be used to optimize resource planning, enhance knowledge management, and improve operational efficiency using simulations and real time data. “A Digital Twin is a replica of a product or process,” said a description from SATS “By bridging the physical and virtual world, data is transmitted seamlessly allowing the virtual entity to exist simultaneously with the physical one.”

Food processing and production technologies will be found throughout the Food Hub. There will be an RFID-enabled load and tracking inventory system for raw materials. The automation for the bakery production center will require minimal physical labor and have the ability to produce 3,500 pieces of bread per hour. In another part of the Food Hub, food products made using retort processing technology known as “retort pouches” will be stacked and loaded onto racks with an automated shuttle system. In an 18-hour operation the system is expected to produce up to 27,000 kilograms of food products. Cartons and boxes of various sizes can be formed from a single machine at the rate of 10 to 18 per minute. Information on the contents are fed into a data system for inventory control and accuracy. Another feature will be a line that dishes food bento style at the rate of 6,000 trays per hour. Following and tracking it all will be an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that harvests real time data from operating equipment that can be analyzed for good manufacturing practices and overall equipment effectiveness. The RFID transport system tracks more than 2,000 data points per second. “Such digitization eliminates the manual input of information and enables quicker generation of reports,” said a description from SATS.

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PROFILE

Living proof by JANE HOBSON

The SkyTender Solutions mobile beverage system has a carbon footprint 50 percent less than other solutions

At WTCE, SkyTender Solutions plans to debut results of the UNESCO Life Cycle Assessment study it recently participated in

S

ustainability remains a focus for the catering sector. Unlimited-use water bottles, plastic-free drinking cups, the list goes on. Most of these opportunities focus on the long-term impact on the environment, while few emphasize the immediate benefits. And in most cases, the instant effect is immeasurable. But, a recent scientific study by the Barcelona-based UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change, an international center of excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its application to mitigating climate change, aims to provide some reliable comparative figures for cold beverages for the first time. The study was conducted over the last 12 months and is due to be published by UNESCO this year. Study participant SkyTender Solutions AG plans to share the findings at WTCE in Hamburg. The company could not share full facts or figures at the time of writing as the study is being reviewed by an independent panel. In April, SkyTender told PAX International that the preliminary findings reveal that the company’s mobile beverage system has a carbon footprint 50 percent smaller than other current solutions. “This will be the first time in the history of commercial aviation that

12  MAY 2022

reliable figures are available on the impact of beverage catering on the environment,” says SkyTender Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang von Krogh. SkyTender became involved in the UNESCO study as it was looking for a non-commercial scientific institution to validate the concept that eliminating consumer packaging in beverage catering significantly reduces the carbon footprint. Von Krogh says SkyTender sees the preliminary results as a confirmation of its belief that its beverage systems are sustainable and commercially viable for airlines and caterers. The SkyTender mobile beverage system relies on trolleys with integrated post-mix technology. It provides full connectivity, tracks consumption data that can be analyzed to optimize the supply chain and provides detailed insights on the ecological footprint – useful for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reporting. The multi-beverage trolley system, SkyBar Splash, offers fresh and sparkling drinks from leading brands prepared directly in the aisle for fast service using the touch display. The smart, connected and bottleless beverage solution simplifies the supply-chain, and reduces over-catering and waste notably.

The LCA study, conducted in collaboration with major sector stakeholders, examined the full life cycle of a cold beverage, including the role of the caterer and airline. The analysis covers every phase of the SkyTender mobile beverage system, including figures on waste generation, energy consumption and consumption of non-renewable resources, as well as the CO2 footprint; acidification potential and eutrophication potential. It covers the system within the cabin, the acquisition of raw materials to produce the packaging, trolleys and machines needed, end-oflife stage, incineration and disposal. “In workshops with some of the largest airlines worldwide, we have jointly determined that the use of the SkyTender system is not only self-financing, but also generates a significant return on investment next to contributing a large portion to the airline’s ESG goals,” says von Krogh. Later this year, the company will roll out its SkyBarista ONE coffee system. The company has confirmed leading caterers and airlines as customers. “The Barista system will make it possible for the first time to prepare and serve coffee specialties such as espresso, cappuccino or flat white directly at the seat,” explains von Krogh. “Initial tests have already been successfully carried out and show that both passengers and crew are enthusiastic about the new solution.”



PROFILE

Cultivating elegance

Hong Kong-based FORMIA has facilitated an exclusive amenity kit partnership between Qatar Airways and French perfumer Diptyque

The Qatar The Qatar Airways Airways kit for kit First for and Business First andClass Business passengers Class features passengers, a Diptyque featuring brandeda bag and diptyque luxury products, branded bag withand the brand’s luxurysignature products,oval featuring the brand’s signature oval

Like the amenity bags, the gift boxes feature Like the amenity bags, diptyque products, the gift boxes feature including lip balm, Diptyque products, body lotion, face including lipabalm, cream and fragrance body lotion, face cream and a fragrance

by JANE HOBSON

W

ith the responsibility of transporting people from one location to another, the need to deliver a memorable passenger experience is universal for airlines regardless of the regions they operate in. Hong Kong-based FORMIA has been helping airlines deliver an excellent passenger experience for two decades and has established offices in Bangkok, Shanghai, Dubai, and most recently, New York. The inflight comfort products and amenities company is no stranger to collaborating with international customers, with an impressive clientele base including Singapore Airlines, ANA, Aeromexico, Emirates, and Qatar Airways. Last month, FORMIA spoke to PAX International about the exclusive amenity kit and gift box partnership it facilitated between Qatar Airways and iconic French perfumer Diptyque. The new amenity range consists of Diptyque branded bags and gift boxes featuring Diptyque’s signature oval, customized for male and female passengers, as well as skincare products, eyeshade and socks. The bespoke products launched on select long-haul routes for Qatar’s First and Business Class passengers in April. “The vision behind the collection is to inspire and delight every passenger through meaningful and enhanced

14  MAY 2022

experiences that add tangible value and extend long after their journey,” says Roland Grohmann, FORMIA’s Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner. The amenity kits and gift boxes have Diptyque products, including, ‘Nourishing Lip Balm,’ enriched with roses and violets to soothe and soften the lips; ‘Fresh Lotion for the Body,’ with the scent of orange blossoms to refresh sleepy skin for all skin types; ‘Essential Face Cream,’ for nourishing and replenishing with prickly pear extract to boost radiance; and of course, Diptyque fragrances. The kits and boxes feature ‘Eau Rose Eau de Toilette,’ an infusion of damascena and centifolia roses, or, Diptyque’s signature ‘34 Boulevard Saint Germain Eau de Toilette’ with notes of amber, patchouli, cinnamon and rose. “Travel is an elegance we cultivate,” said Fabienne Mauny, Executive Director of Diptyque, in the April press release from FORMIA. “Diptyque is therefore delighted to offer for Qatar Airways’ passengers wellness and pleasure in the skies. To concoct our precious perfumes, we seek out the noblest ingredients from around the globe. With this exclusive collection, we aim to provide enchanting experiences to passengers.” Keeping in line with Qatar’s focus on sustainability, the eyeshade and

socks are made from RPET, recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic that is used to make packaging, such as plastic bottles and food containers. In spring of last year, FORMIA brought Qatar Airways and Diptyque together for the first time with the introduction of a line of luxurious Diptyque toiletries for premium passengers. The range is available in First and Business Class lavatories and at the airline’s premium lounges around the world. The new amenity kits and gift boxes mark the first time Diptyque is available in the cabin. “I am proud to say that Qatar Airways is the only airline that offers Diptyque products onboard, complementing the washroom amenities offered onboard and in our lounges. This partnership further enhances our world-class passenger experience and will leave our customers with lasting memories of their journey, until we welcome them onboard again,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.


PROFILE

Super sourcing In this Q&A, Global Inflight Products shares some behind-the-scenes of where it gathers its materials for its green products by JANE HOBSON

The bamboo for cutlery is usually sourced from within China and is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

T

he commercial aviation industry as a whole is working toward reducing global waste, and serviceware is one of the more visible places airlines can show this commitment to passengers. Global Inflight Products (GIP) is wellknown for its Green Is Possible brand and eco-conscious options, offering organic, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable meal service products for First and Business Class meal service. The products are made of bamboo, palm leaf, rice husk, Polylactic acid (PLA), PLA corn starch, hay, birch and paper. In this Q&A, PAX International speaks with Joshua Tallent, Chief Executive Officer at GIP, about these materials and how they are sourced. PAX INTERNATIONAL: Where does GIP source the bamboo fibers for its products such as cutlery and stir sticks? How is bamboo more environmentally friendly than other materials, such as wood? TALLENT: The bamboo fibers are sourced mostly within China. Unlike wood, bamboo is not a tree, but a grass. It is comparably as strong as steel (in regards to tensile strength – the resistance to breaking or splitting under tension) and has been used to reinforce concrete. Bamboo is biodegradable, compostable and harvesting it has less

environmental impact than wood. Some species of bamboo can grow as much as 35 inches per day, while trees only grow three to four inches a year. Since it is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it is grown without the use of toxins, pesticides and fertilizers which are harmful to the environment. PAX INTERNATIONAL: What region do the fallen palm leaves, rice husk, corn starch, PLA and other paper materials come from for GIP’s serviceware products? TALLENT: Palm leaves are cultivated all over the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, Australia, Central America and South America, as well as the United States. We work really hard to reduce our carbon footprint, so we source our fallen palm leaves from locations nearest our factory. We have manufacturing capabilities, whether it be owning or partnering with, in 19 different countries. As for the rice husk, corn starch and PLA, they are usually sourced within China, but we source them from as close to our factories as we can. At the factory, the rice husk and cornstarch are crushed, molded, polished and cleaned in the process of becoming tableware. PAX INTERNATIONAL: Do organic products, such as the bamboo and palm, expire? Are they one-time use or rotable? TALLENT: Depending on what materi-

Joshua Tallent, Chief Executive Officer at Global Inflight Products

als the products you’re using are made from, some can be washed and used multiple times, whereas others are designed to be a single-use item. We always discuss with the customer before choosing which items are best and ensure safety for everyone. In saying that, these products are biodegradable, and if the items are stored in a dry area, a normal shelf life of two years is expected. PAX INTERNATIONAL: What is GIP’s overall impression of the trends in tableware and serve ware now? TALLENT: As a whole, there is massive demand for innovative green options throughout the airline industry. We are always adding new products to our Green Is Possible line and have received excellent feedback from airlines that have made the switch to greener options. Bamboo and palm leaf plates are a great alternative, especially for airlines who are promoting and branding a more environmentally friendly offering. Even as airlines are adjusting and preparing for a post-COVID-19 world, waterbased, plastic free packaging and to-go containers have always been among our popular items. PAX-INTL.COM

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PROFILE

Going local With the responsibility for sustainable products shifting to suppliers, RMT Global Partners is focusing on innovative products manufactured closer to home by JANE HOBSON RMT Global Products introduced a range of eco-friendly bagasse meal items, including entrée dishes

T

he inability to travel in the last couple of years has drastically altered passengers’ expectations of the flying experience. Modern travel is all about eco-responsible options and customizable experiences. As airlines prepare for the predicted travel recovery, onboard products supplier RMT Global Partners is working on sustainable solutions that fulfill customer requests and keep passengers satisfied. While some years ago it seemed that some sustainability efforts were perhaps marketing-driven, RMT has noticed a distinct change given the legislation and regulations that have since come into force, Roland Standaert, Account Executive at RMT, tells PAX International. “The responsibility has moved to procurement, which has given the operational side of the business a bigger voice in sustainability efforts,” he says, adding

16  MAY 2022

that this shift makes inflight products more eco-friendly and helps improve sustainability at operations level. “For example, rotable items not only help reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste that is sent to landfill, but also reduces some of the carbon footprint since less product is shipped around the world,” says Standaert. And, shipping cost increases and delays at ports due to the pandemic have made local manufacturing more economically viable for passenger comfort items. RMT is looking at alternative sourcing routes and finding locally manufactured products to help customers reduce their logistics carbon footprint and costs. The company has started partnerships with manufacturers nearer to its US customer base, including with a factory in Mexico. The factory produces a new range of cutlery and barware,

including stirrers and straws, which are made of a bio-plastic material derived from agave fiber, a byproduct from the production of tequila. “It is a brand-new, exclusive product which we are bringing to the market. It will allow our customers to offer single-use items which are completely biodegradable in regular waste streams and don’t require specialized or industrial composting facilities,” Standaert explains. “We believe that the demand for more sustainable, local manufacturing will only increase in the years to come.” RMT now offers its single-use cutlery items made of PLA, wood, paper, or agave. The range of options allows customers to select the item that best matches their sustainability goals and budget constraints.



EVENTS

The industry will gather for WTCE at the Hamburg Messe for the first time since the pandemic began

A DECADE OF

SUCCESS

Polly Magraw, Event Director for WTCE

WTCE returns to Hamburg in June, celebrating 10 years since its inception

T

by JANE HOBSON

he WTCE (World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo) is returning to the Hamburg Messe this June 14 to 16 to celebrate a decade since its inception. “There is a huge amount of excitement building around the exhibition; people have really missed the opportunity to network, learn and share ideas during this period,” says Polly Magraw, Event Director for WTCE. The event for inflight catering, onboard services and passenger comfort is expecting more than 1,750 attendees from the airline industry, rail companies and international caterers including dnata, Newrest, SATS and LSG. More

18  MAY 2022

than 250 exhibitors – including approximately 60 who have exhibited every year since the event started and 70 first-timers – will be present, showcasing solutions to push the travel closer to full recovery. The 10th anniversary will be a big part of this year’s event, organizer RX says. A host of initiatives are running to mark the milestone including Onboard Icons which recognizes 10 of the most influential people in the sector – as voted by the industry. There will also be a showcase of 10 of the 50-plus companies that have exhibited at WTCE since 2012 and have successfully developed in the onboard services industry.

WTCE Connect is launching ahead of the show. The online tool will enable visitors and exhibitors to arrange the meetings ahead of time. Using data supplied by visitors and suppliers during the registration process, WTCE Connect will match businesses based on their interests and offerings as well as enable them to search for who they would like to meet and schedule a meeting at the Expo. As a proud Media Partner for the event, PAX International will be in attendance and distributing editions of the WTCE issue during the show.



A world of inspiration to enhance the onboard experience Taste, feel, touch and try new products and services from

250+ global suppliers.

14 -16 JUNE 2022

HAMBURG, GERMANY

REGISTER TO ATTEND Co-located with:

In association with:

Organised by:

Visit us at: worldtravelcateringexpo.com/PAX1


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