PAX International Amenities April 2021

Page 1

APRIL 2021 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

Special Amenities Issue

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Comfort at the core: Onboard innovations that build passenger confidence



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 PAX International 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 Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator E-mail: ash@pax-intl.com

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICES Kevin Greene, International Business Development Manager E-mail: kevin@pax-intl.com Tel: (1 519) 870-9836

ART DEPARTMENT Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail: jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times per year by PAX International, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two

What a passenger wants

A

lot has changed in the industry since we published the Amenities issue about a year ago. We saw amenities and comfort suppliers pivot to produce personal protective equipment and sanitization products. Now the industry is proactively preparing for the post-pandemic restart with insightful predictions into the critical demands of travelers in the years ahead. In his guest column, TravelPlus’ Simon Ward shares with PAX International that these passenger demands largely focus on how passengers will want to interact with amenity and comfort products, from incorporating PPE into luxury branded amenity kits, to sustainable packaging and materials. In the Buzz 2021 & Beyond - Trends & Insights Report released in early-April, the company identifies five major traveler trends that are expected to be strong in 2021 and beyond. According to the team at Buzz, “Understanding the macro trends, the key drivers fueling consumer behavior and action, will help to support and reassure travelers as they plan.” The macro trends include the merging of sustainability and luxury; clean but not clinical environments; positive communications about community and togetherness; contactless spaces that delight the senses without compromising on service; and, enriched collaborations that consumers will want to support, engage with and share. To achieve this, airlines are incorporating digitalization to cater to passenger needs while exploring new revenue streams. In a March 2021 survey from IdeaWorks Company and CarTrawler, 25 leading airlines identified four strategies to support recovery, including: airlines readily providing travelers with travel restriction info before boarding the aircraft or entering a country; providing testing info; offering COVID-19 protection and trip insurance for passengers; and, offering flexibility for fees and ticket bookings. “Airlines are recognizing the need to expand COVID-19 care beyond physical safety measures to new areas such as providing more online information and services features,” reads the press release. “It is crucial that airlines incorporate the requisite steps to facilitate smooth, hassle-free journeys for passengers,” said Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer at CarTrawler. In an industry known for being ahead of the times, I’m confident that in time, it will emerge powerful with thoughtful solutions that fulfill passenger needs and drive the restart far beyond what we can predict now. I’m really looking forward to being able to meet everyone at the next big industry event. It’s been a long time, but it will be well worth the wait!

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. July 2019. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

Jane Hobson Editor PAX International

PAX-INTL.COM

3


CONTENTS

14

Features

Special Amenities Issue

APRIL 2021 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

8

Comfort at the core:

12

Onboard innovations that build passenger confidence

13

ON THE COVER

Global Inflight Products offers biodegradable, compostable and recyclable amenity kits using sustainable materials such as cork. Read more about amenity kit and packaging trends for post-pandemic passengers on page 8.

Departments

4  APRIL 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

5

ASSOCIATION NEWS

19

PERFECTLY PACKAGED COMFORT These companies are focused on offering amenities and comfort offerings packaged to meet post-pandemic passenger expectations COMFORT AND MORE FOR SALE With airlines looking to maximize revenue by any means possible, the sale of onboard comfort items seems a logical step PREMIUM AND SUSTAINABLE SWISS International Air Lines has been working three years to perfect an ambitious buy-on-board program that it expanded significantly at the end of March

REGIONAL REPORT

14

HIGH TOUCH ANA expands the comfort zone of its 777 design with The Suite and The Room

GUEST COLUMN

16

TRENDY TRINITY In this guest column, Simon Ward, Director of TravelPlus Insight and Founder of TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards, discusses three key trends in passenger amenities; hygiene, wellness and sustainability


NEWS

COMPANY

AIRLINE

Qatar Airways picks luxury toiletries from FORMIA diptyque celebrates the French art of living

Qatar Airways has introduced a line of toiletries for premium passengers created by luxury fragrance brand diptyque. The range is available in First and Business Class lavatories and at the airline’s premium lounges around the world. The exclusive collaboration is facilitated by FORMIA. The collection includes hand lotion (sweet almond and petitgrain scent), hand wash (lavender, rosemary, ylang ylang), facial water (rose, Virginia cedar and lemon petitgrain) and face cream (roses, prickly pear and lemon petitgrain). Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion complete the range of products offered to premium lounge passengers at Hamad International Airport (HIA) and other key airport hubs.

Kaelis COPPTECH technology brings limitless options to airline industry Kaelis tells PAX International in April that its Kaelis Protected by COPPTECH technology has hit the market with a boom. The company is in talks with various airlines who are studying the range of possibilities of incorporating the versatile antimicrobial application in cabin offerings. Kaelis is in the process of quoting prices for several airlines and rail companies. First introduced in October 2020, Kaelis Protected by COPPTECH technology can be applied to a range of onboard products, from textiles and plastic to coating parts of the aircraft. “The range is actually limitless,” explains Fernanda Veiga, Chief Marketing Officer at Kaelis. “Pajamas, blankets, pillows, socks, pouches, trays, jugs, ice buckets, crew masks, galley equipment are just some examples of what Kaelis Protected by COPPTECH can offer.” Some customers are looking at bedlinens, table linens and headrests. Kaelis Protected by COPPTECH technology headrests

SUPPLIER

Zibo Rainbow updates shortand long-haul amenity kits Since the outbreak of COVID-19, inflight products supplier Zibo Rainbow has updated its short- and long-haul amenity kits by including face mask, hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, gloves and more. With my years of industry experience, the company is devoted to providing airlines with suitable passenger travel protection solutions. Zibo Rainbow has also created hygiene kits for passengers and crew. The content can be custom-

ized, including face mask, hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, gloves, head cap, shoe cover, face shield, gowns and more, depending on the airline requirement. “We can design and suggest the packing bag suitable for the hygiene kit with customized printing and size,” reads the April press release. The company encourages any interested parties to reach out.

PAX-INTL.COM

5


NEWS

SUPPLIER

Plane Talking Products introduces plastic-free cutlery

COMPANY

Le Must introduces luxury salt, pepper and sugar

Plane Talking Products has launched a 100 percent plastic-free cutlery pack as part of its ongoing sustainable product program. The cutlery is made from sustainably sourced birchwood. It is lightweight, strong and suitable for hot and cold foods. The pack also includes an unbleached FSC-certified napkin, paper condiments sachet and recycled or FSC-certified Kraft paper packaging. Plane Talking is working with manufacturers on a number of plastic-free, fully biodegradable and recyclable Economy Class meal service items that are due to roll out later this year. The products meet sustainability requirements and provide an attractive print-surface for the airline to brand and reinforce their eco-responsibility credentials. “Pressure is on the airline and general transportation industries to speed up on taking single-use plastics and other disposable non-biodegradable products out of service,” Martin Piper, Sales & Marketing Director at Plane Talking Products tells PAX International. “The EU ban of single-use plastics coming this summer will force carriers down this road even faster.”

Le Must salt, pepper and sugar are packaged in PLA bioplastic, fully biodegradable and compostable

The cutlery packs are part of the company’s ongoing sustainable product program

6  APRIL 2021

Le Must has expanded its offering with individually packaged prestige hand-harvested sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and organic white and brown sugar. Packaged in transparent biodegradable and compostable PLA bioplastic, they are lightweight, disintegrate in landfill and can come with clear, reusable displays. The products feature a marked slit for intuitive opening and the rigid material ensures a good grip, even with wet hands. Passengers can see exactly how much of product they are adding to their food, resulting in a better user experience that enhances the taste of the meal. The practical design is appealing, revealing the highquality ingredients through the package making it suitable for front of cabin classes. And, it eliminates the typical annoyances that come with using paper salt and pepper packets. With labels printed in soy ink, the line is the first in the world see-through, single-serve accents with USDA Organic and bio-based seals.



ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

Perfectly packaged comfort

Plane Talking Products’ 100 percent plastic-free Birchwood cutlery pack, with FSC certified and managed wrappers and tissues

These companies are focused on offering amenities and comfort offerings packaged to meet post-pandemic passenger expectations

A

by JANE HOBSON

menities and comfort items communicate many things to the passenger, perhaps the most significant being the airline’s brand and values. As studies such as the Buzz 2021 & Beyond – Trend & Insights Report from Buzz reveal, the pandemic has passengers reprioritizing these details. The report highlights five traveler trends that will be critical in the restart, including supporting meaningful brands, wellbeing needs, positive communication, hygiene priorities, and enriched brand collaborations. Companies such as SPIRIANT, Plane Talking Products and Global Inflight Products are finding ways to support their airlines customers as passengers zero in with a critical eye.

8  APRIL 2021

Cost-effective and eco-conscious

“In the comfort category, sustainability is an important consideration when airlines make their buying decisions,” says Lisa Benzaoui, Chief Executive Officer at Global Inflight Products (GIP). “One priceless factor in ‘going green’ is demonstrating the importance of environmental awareness to their passengers.” GIP is well-known for its Green Is Possible line. The range offers natural, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable amenity kits and comfort items, as well as meal service items, such as stir-sticks, napkins cups and more. The products are created using sustainable materials: birch,

GIP’s Green Is Possible line uses sustainable materials such as cork to create desirable and attractive amenity kits


GIP rotable meal boxes can be packed with sealed food items, cutlery and napkin. The versatile containers fit neatly into the trolley to the number maximize passenger meals and snacks

bamboo, vegetable starch, sugar cane, wheat straw, palm leaves and cork. The woven blanket is made from recycled plastic bottles (RPET) that are transformed into a fine thread. With passenger safety and cleanliness in mind, GIP launched a line of health and safety amenities. Face masks, gloves, individual hand wipes and hot/cold towels can be packaged in an eco-friendly pouch or bag for

easy distribution in the cabin. Simplicity is key for food service through the pandemic, Benzaoui tells PAX International, adding that there has been an emphasis on sealed, well-packaged food and snack items that are environmentally friendly. “Translating the look of First or Business Class products to disposable items typically found in Economy Class creates a cost-effective option

that also reassures passengers about cleanliness,” Benzaoui says. The company designed an ecoconscious replacement for First or Business Class tray table linen and napkin pouch for cutlery. The nonwoven cloth is printed with a refined tone-on-tone jacquard-look. Airlines can opt for the logo or customized design. The sealed and compact meal box offering from GIP is an “attractive” way to ensure quality and food safety, with minimal passenger-crew interaction, Benzaoui says. The meal boxes also make trash collection easier as all components can be safely enclosed in the box. The GIP rotable meal box solution is a colorful, stackable option that can be packed with sealed food items, cutlery and napkin. The versatile containers fit neatly into the trolley to maximize passenger meals and snacks. “As a company, the biggest benefit of offering these products includes working toward global waste reduction making our planet green. We support commitments to both our customers’ and our own internal company values,” Benzaoui says. “All of this

Stylish, Sustainable & Safe... Our elegant, cost-effective rotable and consumable textiles are available in a range of recycled materials and all are now offered with a fully washable antibacterial treatment.

TEXTILES • MEALSERVICE • SUSTAINABLES • HYGIENE • CONSUMABLES For more information on our extensive range or for a quote:

T +44 (0)1962 761747 E info@planetalking.net www.planetalking.net @plane_products PAX-INTL.COM

9


ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

GIP’s RPET blanket

GIP’s napkin cutlery pocket

helps to build passenger and customer confidence in the airline. Green really is possible – just like our brand says.”

Talking alternatives

With reduced flights comes a reduced demand for comfort items such as blankets and pillows. The emphasis instead has been on delivering nonrotable meal service items, explains Martin Piper, Sales & Marketing Director at Plane Talking Products Ltd. The company recently revealed its 100 percent plastic-free Birchwood cutlery pack, with FSC certified and managed wrappers and tissues. With the European Union single-use plastics directive coming into effect in July, Plane Talking Products has experienced a spike in demand for these alternatives. “This will force most international operators down this route and we are seeing this crystallized in most tenders we’ve seen so far this year,” Piper tells PAX International. “We will also see PLA on the decline too as the directive is decreeing PLA as not as easily recycled or managed post-use.” The company has already received “red flags” from paper product factories on imminent price increases due to the increase in demand. Piper notes, “The great thing is that a lot of the new innovative products are naturally tactile and shout sustainable in their style without looking cheap and nasty.” The shift stands as an opportunity for airlines to communicate their

10  APRIL 2021

“eco message,” as Piper calls it. “In our opinion, true eco credentials are about much more than the product itself – it’s about a total review of the end-to-end life of the supply chain, including transportation, loading efficiencies, consolidation,” he says. Part of this closed-loop landscape includes the company’s work with a UKbased company that is examining the use of wind-assisted container ships, as well its blanket offering aboard rail service Eurostar designed with an easily removable tag allowing it to be laundered and donated at the end of its working life.

Creative comfort

“We have been pushing ourselves to innovate and be creative so that we can be a step ahead when more flights are operating and when traveling will no longer be a distant memory,” says Angie Fung, Head of Amenities and Sleepwear at SPIRIANT. “The need for comfort items to be anti-bacterial and anti-viral is something we haven’t

seen before and it will continue to be a focus for our customers.” All sleepwear proposals and amenity kits feature sustainable and recycled material options, including its range of #FLYSAFE kits and items which debuted in May 2020. The range is now flying on airlines such as Lufthansa and is available in different formats; Standard PPE, Eco warriors kit and Fashionista. Standard PPE includes a MOPP (mono-oriented polypropylene) pouch with non-woven face masks, hand sanitizer and wipes to bring a sense of security to passengers. Eco warriors kit is made out of environmentally conscious materials and includes a reusable facemask and a pack of sanitizing towels safely stored in a pouch. The brown and dark green colors resemble the eco-friendly material and offer a fashionable choice. The Fashionista kit is for those seeking an option that allows room for customization. The pouch includes a refreshing towel and pack of tissues, as well as a 100 percent cotton face mask that the airline can design to align with its brand identity – ideal for post-flight use. “The drastic reduction of flights – especially long haul ones – has a huge impact on the need for amenity kits,” says Fung. But the company has used the opportunity to strengthen relationships with partners nonetheless, she adds. SPIRIANT has developed a PPE kit for use in luxury jewelry house Asprey London’s retail stores. As well, it has designed new ranges of Gifts with Purchase (GWP) for some of its cosmetic brand partners. “Our main focus has always been with the aviation industry but during 2020 we have been using our expertise to expand into other markets,” Fung explains. “The trust we have built with our partners over the years have led them to come to us for various projects where we can add value creatively.”


Stay in touch with &

IN PRINT  PAX issues are distributed at some of the biggest international onboard services, aircraft interiors and MRO trade shows around the world.

IN YOUR INBOX  Get breaking industry news weekly to your inbox, and copies of our digital issues as soon as they are available.

ONLINE  Our website is updated daily with content from the seating, interiors, IFEC and MRO industries, plus onboard catering and passenger services news. For advertising queries, please contact jane@pax-intl.com or kevin@pax-intl.com

WWW.PAX-INTL.COM


ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

The Malaysia Airlines pajamas and comfort products available for sale in Temptations

Comfort and more for sale With airlines looking to maximize revenue by any means possible, the sale of onboard comfort items seems a logical step by RICK LUNDSTROM

I

n the past, the onboard amenity kit has been a well-known keepsake for passengers traveling in the front cabin, a way to remember a trip that for many is a rare occasion to experience the finest luxury an airline can offer. However now, with the need for greater ancillary revenue more important than ever, airlines are looking in many directions, and finding solutions in some interesting places. For Malaysia Airlines, the idea for expanding its for-purchase offerings had a partial start in direction with a product much more humble. “Following the overwhelming response to Malaysia Airlines’ signature salted peanuts recently, this latest initiative offers customers a taste of premium Malaysian Hospitality inflight experience especially to those who

12  APRIL 2021

miss flying with the airline,” said a March release from Malaysia Airlines. When a travel ban was in place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline began offering is salted peanuts in a gift box. According to reports the treat sold out in less than two hours. Another well-known snack that this been flying with the airline since the early 70s is now also for sale in selected parts of the country. Its signature satay is now available in chicken or beef in frozen packages of six. Peanuts, satay and other more luxury cabin products can be found in Temptations, the airline’s flagship retail store for limited-edition merchandise and duty free products. Shopping can be done through the Malaysia Airlines website and downloadable app. Heading the list of comfort offerings for sale is the airline’s amenity kit of leather manufactured by Aspinal of London. Among the brands in the kit are skin and body product from PAYOT. The kit sells on Temptations for RM99 (US$24). Also found in the Business Class cabin and for sale in Temptations are a duvet festooned with Malaysia Airline’s logo for sale at RM110 (US$26). The duvet can be paired with the airline’s Business Suite pajama set

Malaysia Airlines employee Agnes Yap with is part of the MHArtisans program

selling for RM119 (US$29). The pajama set comes with eye mask, socks and slippers packed in a reusable tote bag. Another recent addition to the airline’s line is a selection of specially handcrafted products by employees of the airline launched under the name MHartisans. Initial offerings include a line of handcrafted dolls and aviation memorabilia. One product is a “kabaya girl” developed by Agnes Yap, a graphic designer who joined Malaysia Airlines as a flight attendant. Wesley Anak Juntan a cabin crew member since 2010 is offering three doll creations, a Sarawak, Sabah and Kabaya Girl doll wearing the airline’s distinctive onboard uniforms.


ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

Premium and sustainable

SWISS International Air Lines has been working three years to perfect an ambitious buy-onboard program that it expanded significantly at the end of March by RICK LUNDSTROM by RICK LUNDSTROM Bircher Muesli sells for US$8 in the SWISS Saveurs selection

U

p and down the menu on the SWISS Saveurs food and beverage program expanded this year on SWISS are fresh products from familiar companies for Economy Class passengers on short- and medium-haul flights. SWISS is expanding the program after a three-year pilot project launched out of Geneva. It makes use of local partners, start-ups and established players with products tracked painstakingly by new technology and an operations team that accurately gauges usage. This allows the airline to bring more freshness on board and minimize waste. Helping SWISS kick off the program is Retail inMotion which has been working with the airline and some of its important partners such as Confiserie Sprüngli, which has supplied fresh Bircher muesli, salads, sandwiches and sweet pastries using its popular recipes. Other products for purchase are Swiss Ragusa and Kägi Fret chocolate, Zweifel chips and Caotina hot chocolate. Coffee comes from the small Zurich-based miró manufactura de café roastery, which sources its beans whenever possible from fair-trade suppliers. There is also a gin from Turicum of Zurich and WhiteFrontier craft beer from Martigny in Canton Valais. SWISS is

also launching a new mineral water with its supplier RAMSEIER Suisse AG. SWISS Altitude 1150 water will initially be provided complimentary on SWISS’s short- and medium-haul services. The prices per item range from CHF7.50 (US$8) for Bircher muesli or a sandwich to CHF18.50 (US$20) for a freshly prepared hot meal that is available on longer flights. Snacks and drinks sell for between CHF3 and CHF12 (US$3.25 to $12). To adapt the program to the larger operation at Zurich, SWISS developed the menu items and honed the process from Geneva. But Manuel Hübschmann, Retail Director at Retail inMotion, says plans are to take the concept further. “There has not been a premium, local, sustainable onboard retail program to the extent that we have had it now in Geneva and we will launch and expand it to Zurich,” Hübschmann tells PAX International. To make the process viable and keep waste at a minimum, Retail inMotion has refined a sophisticated cloud-based artificial intelligence program that helps the airline plan loads for each flight. The program that started in Geneva has been expanded to Zurich. It has garnered industry awards and has the capability to project usage from

multiple data points such as flight times, routes and holiday traffic. “We’ll be breaking new ground here with our packaging as well,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “Where we’ll be using sustainable materials wherever we possibly can.” SWISS Saveurs offerings are packaged in PaperWise material, which is made from agricultural waste and using renewable energy, and is thus entirely carbon-neutral. PAX-INTL.COM

13


REGIONAL REPORT

ANA is the first airline with a 4K screen in the premium classes

HIGH TOUCH ANA expands the comfort zone of its 777 design with The Suite and The Room

I

by RICK LUNDSTROM

n service for 27 years and with more than 1,650 copies flying around the world as of February, Boeing’s workhorse long-haul aircraft, the 777, shows no sign of slowing down and still attracts the airline’s attention and designer’s innovation. In the past, the aircraft has been modified with the wellknown QSuite on Qatar Airways. Three years ago, Emirates unveiled its new look, with personal suites inspired by Mercedes-Benz. Singapore Airlines made a US$13 billion investment in the 777X, but as the pandemic wore on, delayed its delivery. One of the latest designs to push the envelope of the aircraft’s comfort capabilities comes from All Nippon Airways. A famous architect and a well-known UK company took up the challenge of making widebody comfort high-tech and high-touch. The first of the designs flew on ANA’s Tokyo – London route and later from the Japanese capital to New York and Frankfurt.

14  APRIL 2021

When the 777-300ER with the new design flew its first route in late 2019, few would have thought what the importance the latter concept — high-touch — would mean as the world moved into 2021; and the increased importance of making aircraft cabins for premium passengers places where privacy was paramount. To create a cabin that could fly Japanese pride on its wings and yet add an East-meets-West feel, ANA turned to Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and British design company Acumen Design Associates. It also brought aboard a number of well-known Japanese companies to add comfort items that appeal to passengers from head to toe and installed the industry’s only 4K resolution inflight entertainment from Panasonic. It also brought aboard more the more intangible aspects that can only come from an architect like Kuma, who worked with Acumen to tie together the passenger experience in a seamless, recognizable concept. “He (Kuma) had just designed their entire ground experience,” Daniel Clucas, Senior Designer at Acumen Design Associates said in a recent PAX Panel discussion. “We worked very closely with him to pull those elements from the ground onto the aircraft. He talked a lot about ‘materiality’ — the touch and the feel of actual objects in the lounges, and we brought that onto the aircraft.”


Eight seats are in ANA’s First Class in a 1-2-1 configuration

First Class seating on ANA’s 777 built for privacy and comfort with jacket storage

Business Class on ANA’s 777s seat 64 passengers

Passengers are experiencing a few of the high-touch items in the comfortable offering of Japanese made products that are flying on ANA. The First Class Cabin, called The Suite, has eight seats laid out in a 1 - 2 - 1 configuration. Each has a closing door, and the center ones have privacy partitions. Seat width is 28.1 inches with maximum bed length of 80.1 inches. A comforter in The Suite, has improved insulation with Nishikawa Sangyo’s proprietary techniques that leave the pillow airy and filled with Hungarian white duck down. Its moisture wicking capabilities help alleviate discomfort in a stuffy airline cabin. The pillowcase is 100 percent cotton. The blanket in The Suite is made from organic cotton by another domestic company, Tenerita, with the front side of the blanket made in cashmere. The two materials combine to create a blanket that is breathable and insulated. The science of sleep extends further in The Suite with a three-dimensional mattress that is designed for good posture and dispersing body pressure. The Business Class cabin of the 777 is called The Room. With wide seating of 37.7 inches and maximum bed length of 77.4 inches, the section seats 64 passengers in a 1-2-1 configuration. Amid the paneled shades in three types of Japanese wood, ANA again uses Nishikawa mattress topper, and a new comforter from Maruhachi Mawata filled with feather down.

The pillow has two layers: one filled with feather down and the other made from soft, springy polyurethane foam. “The Nishikawa AiR conditioning mattress disperses the pressure placed on your body through a unique, three-layer structure,” reads a description of the bedding. “Maintaining a favorable sleeping position and promising a good night’s rest. AiR’s excellent design is praised both inside and outside Japan, winning various design awards around the world.” The year couldn’t pass without some sweeping changes in the way ANA processes passengers and provides for their needs onboard. In addition to standard procedures of masking and social distancing, the airline has ended instruction cards for its Economy Class meals and cut out printed material like newspapers and magazines. Passengers now use “plantderived” plastic straws and cutlery products made of wood and wrapped in paper. Such details, from high-touch fabrics, to sustainability, to practices to keep passengers healthy are important, throughout experience, and allows an airline to “wrap its arms” around a passenger through the check in and boarding process, says Clucas, of Acumen Design. “Passengers feel that connection and they should not come across things that made them feel uncomfortable or worried, because there is probably enough of that already with flying in a pandemic,” he adds. PAX-INTL.COM

15


GUEST COLUMN

The Clean Kit range from FORMIA

Trendy trinity In this guest column, Simon Ward, Director of TravelPlus Insight and Founder of TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards, discusses three key trends in passenger amenities; hygiene, wellness and sustainability

Setting the scene

Simon Ward

16  APRIL 2021

As I reflect on the changing landscape of the world of onboard amenities, the last decade could well be remembered as the Golden Era for passenger amenities and the luxury branded amenity kit. Our 2019 TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards featured a plethora of luxury brands that had partnered with airlines to produce some of the greatest kits we have witnessed in our 10-year history. It goes without saying I have read numerous articles and have had discussions with airlines and suppliers over the past 12 months about the future of the amenity kit; design, functionality and purpose. Airlines continue to reduce stockpiles of sleep suits, amenity kits and numerous other onboard items as a result of the pandemic, with some selling items online to develop new revenue streams whilst reducing stock. However, I’m not sure how I feel about selling the exclusive award-winning First Class Lalique amenity kit for just $74 that is currently listed on Singapore Airlines’ online store. My view


WESSCO International supplied this line of products for JetBlue

is that unlike offering other cabin class products for sale the selling of exclusive First Class amenities devalues First Class passenger gifts. Given the current state of the industry, I fully accept the reasons why airlines are exploring this avenue. Suppliers were quick to pivot at the start of the pandemic to meet the demands for PPE for passengers and cabin crew. I applaud the industry for showing outstanding initiative and innovation as we witnessed the birth of PPE kits. FORMIA launched the Clean Kit range; WESSCO International introduced the TravelShield brand; Matrix the BeCleanCo brand. Linstol teamed up with Aerocare and household brand Dettol was introduced onboard by both SAUDIA and British Airways. A major shift of focus away from sustainability has inevitably occurred as more plastics are used in PPE kits and we are yet to witness the full impact of this. This is not purely a product of this industry but a global problem that must be urgently addressed.

Hygiene, wellness and sustainability

Today’s key focus for onboard passenger amenities is hygiene, wellness and sustainability. Interestingly a TravelPlus Insight survey carried out in 2019 found that more than 80 percent of Business Class kits contained plastic items from packaging to combs and toothbrushes. I am confident airlines will quickly change to using more sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as recycled paper packaging, bamboo and corn starch along with other new materials coming to the market. For the near future I expect PPE kits to continue being provided alongside an existing amenity kit.

Lost luxuries

The future is both exciting and challenging for suppliers as airlines release new tenders and the green shoots of recovery strengthen. A big question is how to incorporate PPE products like hand sanitizers, antiseptic wipes and face PAX-INTL.COM

17


GUEST COLUMN

PPE kit on Saudia has contents from Dettol, a wellknown cleaning supplies company

The TravelShield line of PPE and amenities on American Airlines

masks together with luxury brand cosmetics, socks, eye masks and dental kits all within a desirable and functional bag. Airlines need to play their part in this circular economy by ensuring the amenity kit bag has a secondary use and/or is collectable. Increasing the rotation of designs, in Business and Premium Economy Class, would encourage passengers to take them when they leave the aircraft rather than recycling or disposing of them. Consideration also has to be given to airline and supplier Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. These programs are seen as key market differentiators for business as more consumers look for products from responsible companies. It comes as little surprise that significant efforts are underway to incorporate sustainability within the supply chain. Add to this the desire to include more passenger wellness products such as aromatherapy balms, oxygen mists with rehydration powders and tablets. The supplier will be tested to the limit. I certainly do not see airlines investing more at this time, but neither is it sustainable for suppliers to have margins continually squeezed. I believe now is the time for airlines to truly evaluate their passenger amenity offering across all classes and be unafraid of change. At the same time, suppliers must educate airlines on new materials and products. As for the future of luxury brand partnerships, the jury is out as airlines must focus on restoring passenger confidence based on safety and wellness. I see airlines offering a more tailored approach. It is not out of the realm of possibility that they could offer passengers a personal choice of amenities prior to boarding, using similar technology in place for onboard meals and I’m sure logistics could be overcome. A number of items, like dental kits, could be placed in lavatories with other items such as socks, eye-masks and hairbrushes, made available only on request.

18  APRIL 2021

Supplier looking at change

FORMIA launched a sustainability strategy last year committed to ensuring that all inflight socks and eye masks will be made from 100 percent recycled PET. Virgin polyester will be changed to recycled PET that will carry the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification. To drive the initiative forward, FORMIA is absorbing the additional cost of the material, rendering the move cost neutral for airlines and in turn supporting their sustainability efforts. JetBlue has refreshed Mint Business Class with amenity offerings in collaboration with WESSCO International focused on passenger health and wellbeing. The amenities are unlike any other currently in the skies. WESSCO collaborated with JetBlue and Wanderfuel to design, produce and execute the launch of four route specific kits: Flow, Renewal, Awake and Sleep. Each feature a variety of wellness brands and products. The brands included in each kit will be rotated every quarter ensuring that frequent flyers receive a wide variety of products. This is an industry first, and takes amenity kits to a totally new level helping to ensure passenger wellness. I’m confident that others will be taking a close look at the success of this exciting amenity program.

Optimistic and excited

I am very optimistic and excited about what is to come in this new chapter of onboard passenger amenities, particularly the cherished amenity kit. I’m confident that suppliers will rise to the challenges that lie ahead and airlines will adapt to the demands of their guests. As we all embrace change, I look forward to continuing playing my part and welcoming the day we bring back the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards and are together again.


ASSOCIATION NEWS

Association updates APEX IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader updates PAX International on industry recovery, the Biden relief bill and the APEX Health Safety standard

W

ith the industry conscious that a full recovery is still a couple years away, how it will manage until then is something still being figured out. Last month, US President Joe Biden signed off on legislation that includes US$14 billion for airlines, plus $8 billion for airports and $1 billion for contractors. This offers some solace for the industry, including reversing furloughs issued to some 27,000 American Airlines and United Airlines employees in early 2021. In April, Dr. Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA), told PAX International the Associations are optimistic this will be the last of government funding through to the end of the pandemic. “I think this will get us back to when we’re in real recovery mode,” Leader says. “The speed of vaccinations in the US has been going at such a great clip that we really should have a wonderful summer. I believe as long as the boarders are opened and there’s no

by JANE HOBSON

mandatory quarantine that people will be wanting to take those international trips because they have two years of pent-up desire to travel,” he explains. As the world returns to normal there are some unknown factors, Leader says, such as how long it will take for longhaul international flights to return, and when passengers will feel comfortable booking and taking these flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) indicates that traveler throughput in 2021 is at approximately two-thirds of what it was historically in 2019. “What we can’t afford for our world is a roller coaster ride. We need to be told, ‘This is the plan,’” Leader says, adding that people need more certainty. “They want to know that they can travel this summer, when they can travel this summer and hopefully where they can travel this summer.”

Update on APEX Health Safety

APEX launched the APEX Health Safety standard powered by SimpliFlying in January. The program is a customer-

centric health safety COVID-19 certification for airlines globally. Eighteen airlines are now certified, ranging from ultra-low-cost carriers to global airlines covering six continents. The Association has recently made updates to the standard, including a review by the medical board recommending airlines worldwide to include notifications for travelers not to remove masks in airline restrooms and public restrooms. COVID-19 can remain in the digestive system for up to 14 days, Leader explains. The certification has changed the significance of aerosol transmission, which according to the Association’s latest peer reviewed information, has more weight than transmission by touch, Leader says. The other major change is introducing a fully automated certification system at AirlineHealthSafety.com for quarterly airline updates. The system indicates where scores increased and decreased and what airlines can do to improve safety for passengers.

PAX-INTL.COM

19


JOIN PAX PANEL

The industry’s best virtual roundtable discussion series, featuring senior executives and representatives from the industry’s most iconic companies Share key insights, learnings and experiences from your sector in the PAX Panel: All episodes available online Featured in digital editions of PAX International and PAX Tech magazines Share on your website and social channels Attract new clients PREVIOUS PANELISTS INCLUDE:

ALL PAX PANEL EPISODES ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE SO THAT EVERYONE CAN WATCH AND SHARE EPISODE 1

EPISODE 2

EPISODE 3

EPISODE 4

The PAX Panel concept is created and hosted entirely by PAX International and PAX Tech magazines. Contact jane@pax-intl.com or rick@pax-intl.com to become a panelist