PAX International Asia-Pacific Issue 2018

Page 1

Asia-Pacific Issue


New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

The evolution of Perth Inflight Catering

Reinventing the onboard




Delivering a personalised service, and multi-award winning dishes to your passengers. 2 Newton Road Perth Domestic Airport Western Australia 6105 p +61 8 9477 0777 e


PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website:

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail:

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: Ash Khan, Editorial and Marketing Assistant Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Jeremy Clark

A R T D E PA R T M E N T Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail:

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: PAX International is published seven times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs

Prime Time Perth


person often cannot say these days why a certain piece of unrequested e-mail ends up in their inbox, so I don’t know if someone tipped off Tourism Western Australia that I would soon be leaving for the country when they alerted me on June 6th to the state’s upcoming truffle season. It seems Western Australia is the largest producer of black truffles in the Southern Hemisphere and, according to the group, the world is starting to take notice. Truffle hunts and truffle hunting dogs are part of the scene as well as the annual Truffle Kerfuffle, held in a place called Manjimup at (sadly) almost exactly the same time as this year’s APOT.Asia event. I know little about truffles but spend a good deal of time around foodies who do. However, there is probably no way in the world I would be allowed to bring back products from the Truffle Kerfuffle for them. Those hardworking beagles I occasionally see sniffing around baggage claim in my home airport of Minneapolis/St. Paul would undoubtedly spot me violating quarantine laws and their human law enforcement partners would be forced to fine me in the same way they fined the woman who tried to pass through customs with an apple she kept from the food service on her flight from Paris. The June 2018 edition of Just Another Day in Western Australia I received in the aforementioned e-mail contains a lengthy list of the area’s attractions and activities. A movie is being shot this month in a Western Australia town called, strangely enough, Denmark (that’s confusing). A new Westin Hotel property opened in Perth this spring and, to add a bit more confusion, a 19th century hotel named after Melbourne was recently revamped with Bluetooth door entry and complimentary smartphone capabilities. Luxury accommodations are also being built on Rottnest Island. On the transportation front, Princess Cruises will home port the Sun Princess in Fremantle, the main port in Perth. Fremantle recently underwent a AUD$3 million upgrade while the cruise industry will inject AUD$32 million into the state’s economy. And of course, there’s a route that made recent headlines: Qantas’ first nonstop flight between London Heathrow and Perth. I know several attendees of APOT who made that route this year. As Salim Hazife of Perth Inflight Catering told me, everything is far from his home town. But it appears there’s plenty happening to bring the world to Perth.

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 publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International






RAISING A GLASS DOWN UNDER Portavin has made a name for itself in the inflight wine sector – here’s why







Asia-Pacific Issue


New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

The evolution of Perth Inflight Catering

of Perth Inflight Catering

Reinventing the onboard





Mandurah Blue Manna Crab, Gin Gin Quail Egg and Compressed Watermelon Salad from Perth Inflight Catering’s Seasons of Western Australia Seafood entry in the Mercury Awards

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE




4  JUNE 2018

MAKING THE MILES MANAGEABLE The longest of long-haul flights are no match for the relaxation offered at Qantas’ new Perth lounge

NO GOING BACK The story of how Perth Inflight Catering earned its airline-supplier wings SOURCE FOR SOUS-VIDE The team at Cuisine Solutions Thailand showed PAX’s Jeremy Clark around their latest facilities




CHINA’S NEXT CHAPTER CTCE and SIAL China have a lot to offer the industry – and a long way to go, as Jeremy Clark discovers ALL EYES ON PERTH The events, people and ideas to look out for at this year’s APOT.Asia forum



HONORING INNOVATION A rundown of the suppliers and airlines who were recognized at the 2018 PAX Awards

10 chopped parsley leaves

0.94 mg grated lemon zest

A drizzle of truffle oil

Juice of 1 lime slice

16,000 soups a day. Each with the perfect finishing touch.

5 g of beef bacon crumbles

29.5 mg coconut flakes

7.3 ml of yoghurt

1 fennel frond

12 toasted pumpkin seeds

A smidgen of paprika

A hint of nutmeg

1 finely chopped scallion head

4 crushed black pepper grains

A dab of togarashi

8 drops of balsamic vinegar

A drizzle of truffle oil

A touch of cayenne pepper

A trickle of hoisin sauce

9 cilantro leaves

A dash of hot sauce

12 drops of fish sauce

15 g of crumbled feta

8 croutons

1 finely chopped jalapeno

5 finely chopped coriander leaves

Discover our appetite for perfection at At Emirates Flight Catering, we serve over 180,000 meals a day, each prepared precisely to the very highest standards. We offer a varied international menu for customers to choose from, put together by the crème de la crème of chefs. So when it comes to making the world feel at home, the sky is not the limit for us.

5 tiny square-cut pieces of smoked salmon



dnata appoints Global Head of Culinary dnata announced in June Chef Stephen Templeton has been named to the newly created post of Global Head of Culinary for its international catering division. Templeton will be responsible for managing all aspects of food presentation, hospitality, and kitchen design and product development. He brings more than 30 years of hospitality and culinary experience to dnata, most recently leading rhubarb Food Design, one of the UK’s leading hospitality groups, as its Director of Culinary. He previously held executive roles in high-profile resorts and hotels, including the world-renowned Mount Nelson Hotel, the Sun City Resort and Casino, Spier Wine Estate and Resort in South Africa, Harrods of London and The Great Eastern Hotel in the United Kingdom. ”We pride ourselves on our culinary capability across the globe and our ability to deliver authentic cuisine for our customers and their customers. Stephen’s experience is second-to-none and his unwavering focus on perfection will undoubtedly flow through to the product our customers receive,” said David Loft, Chief Commercial Officer for dnata’s catering division.

Stephen Templeton


Tech investments, productivity drive SATS profits in last fiscal Officials at SATS in Singapore said the company remained “resilient” through its investments in technology and improvements in productivity as it announced a net profit of SGD$261.5 million (US$195 million) on sales of SGD$1.725 billion (US$1.29 billion) in the 2017/2018 fiscal year. The company announced its unaudited financial results May 30. It showed revenue for the period falling marginally by SGD$4.8 million (US$3.58 million) while operating profits dropped 4.2% to SGD$226.4 million (US$168.78 million). The company’s financial year ended March 31. Revenue from its Food Solutions division decreased 2.7% to SGD$946.6 million (US$705.68 million). However, its Gateway Services Division saw an increase of 2.9% to SGD$776.5 million (US$578.5 million), which the company attributed to strong cargo tonnage and flights handled. “At Changi, the deployment of technology has enabled us to handle the growing traffic with increased productivity and helped to offset ongoing price pressure,” said the outlook. In the outlook for the year ahead, SATS said despite margin pressures, growth has occurred through “overseas associates.” The company said it is also streamlining aviation and non-aviation food solutions with a single supply chain and shared culinary innovation and technology across its catering units. “The Group has gained ground this year despite a challenging operating environment,” said Alex Hungate, President and CEO of SATS. “Our investment in new technologies helped us to alleviate prices pressures, as we handled higher operating volumes with better productivity, and enhance our reputation for service and innovation.” A story on some of the technology solutions at SATS can be found on page 13 of the July 2017 issue of PAX International.


LSG to cater Cathay Dragon through 2025 LSG Sky Chefs announced in early June that it has extended its catering agreement with Cathay Dragon at the airline’s Hong Kong hub for seven years, through 2025. LSG Sky Chefs has been catering Cathay Dragon in Hong Kong since July 1985, when the airline’s first 737-200A took off. Cathay Dragon is LSG’s largest customer in Hong Kong with more than 80 flights per day. It also serves the carrier at eight other locations in the Asia-Pacific region. The airline is wholly owned by Cathay Pacific Airways. It has a fleet of 24 A330-300s, eight A321s and 15 A320s covering 53 destinations across Asia-Pacific, including 23 in Mainland China, where it operates about 400 flights a week. “Cathay Dragon is very pleased with the extension of our

6  JUNE 2018

agreement with LSG Sky Chefs in Hong Kong. Since the very early days of our partnership, LSG Sky Chefs has played a key role in supporting the growth of our airline over the years,” said Algernon Yau, Director Service Delivery Cathay Pacific and CEO of Cathay Dragon, in the June announcement. “We look forward to further working together to deliver a best-in-class catering experience to our customers.” “This business extension is great evidence of the trust and quality of our decade-long partnership with Cathay Dragon,” added HK Cheung, Head of LSG Group Asia-Pacific region. “We are highly committed to further leveraging our inflight service expertise to support our valued customer in maintaining its outstanding service levels.”




Singapore Airlines showcases artists with special needs Singapore Airlines (SIA), SG Enable and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) have formed a partnership that will have the works of artists with special needs displayed on SIA’s inflight products, starting with snack boxes coming to the airline in June 2018. This program marks the first initiative of SG Enable’s “i’mable” campaign, a marketplace for goods and products created by persons with disabilities. The work of artists with special needs will be displayed on SIA’s network to help promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities globally. The first products being introduced as part of this campaign are Economy Class snack boxes featuring artwork by artists with autism from the Artist Development Programme (ADP) which is an initiative under Pathlight School, a program under ARC. More inflight products with such artwork will be released as the program continues. Aaron Yap will be the first ADP artist to have work featured on the snack boxes – a design called “Local Food” that features local cuisine such as satay, claypot rice and kueh lapis. Customers can learn how to play a part in promoting inclusiveness with information and suggestions on each box, such as visiting the Enabling Village, an inclusive community space in Singapore.


New app asks, “How was your inflight meal?” Aeroplate, a new food review app created by an Australian team, is encouraging frequently flying airline passengers to sound off on what foods they like – and don’t like – when eating before, during and after a flight. The app measures the leading 100 airlines and 318 frequent flyer programs and lounges via its users’ reviews, which are captured via images and text. Internet connectivity is not needed to access the app and it is free to download on both iOS and Android. Aeroplate’s users can build a “trophy” collection, based on the amount of reviews they have left. Leading reviewers will receive rewards and can become eligible for invite-only airline tasting sessions. “Put simply, we showcase airlines and lounge food on-trend around the world,” Aeroplate told PAX International in an email.

Rudy Agudelo

Clip welcomes new Director of Sales Clip has announced that it is strengthening its sales team with the appointment of Rudy Agudelo as Director of Sales. In his new role, Agudelo will spearhead Clip’s sales, marketing, customer service and business development with a focus on North and South America. Agudelo is an airline industry professional with over 20 years in the onboard service and products industries. His career has spanned Mexico, the Dominican Republic, United States and Canada, including time in operations management at LSG Sky Chefs and most recently at Global Inflight Products in regional sales for the Americas. “We are confident that Rudy will be a great asset to our growing team,” the Clip team noted in an email to PAX International.

Frequently flying passengers can leave a review of inflight meals for 100 different airlines




Raising a glass Down Under

Ian Matthews shows off the 187ml PET bottles that made Portavin famous

Since opening in 1989, Portavin has evolved into an Australiaspanning wine business that addresses the vino needs of multiple industries. PAX takes a peek at how they grew from humble beginnings to a brand that has become known for Australian wine in the sky by RACHEL DEBLING


One of the bottling lines at Portavin’s Western Australia plant

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ne of the most anticipated moments of air travel is the first pass-by of the beverage trolley. Though hydration is important when sky-bound, many passengers decide to celebrate takeoff not with a tall glass of water but something a bit more colorful – red or white, to be precise. And if you have enjoyed a glass of Merlot or Chardonnay on a Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Tiger Air, British Airways or United Airlines flight, you likely have Portavin to thank. The company was founded almost 30 years ago in Western Australia and at the time focused exclusively on mobile wine bottling services; demand was so great that another location opened in Victoria the next year. Growth continued until, in 2002, Portavin reached a size sufficient enough to occupy large sites across the continent, complete with centrally located bottling lines. “It was once we had reached that critical mass that we could offer a service relevant to the airline industry,” explains Ian Matthews,


All Portavin laboratory divisions provide technical support for pre- and post-bottling analysis

Several Australian companies tried to copy what Portavin had started, but by 2010 Portavin had demonstrated to Qantas the value of its service.”

State Manager for Portavin Victoria. Since then, the company has been at the helm of several industrychanging projects. In 2004, Portavin’s Melbourne location became the first in Australia to bottle wine with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for use on commercial flights, thanks to a trial they conducted for Qantas in conjunction with Amcor Packaging, during which they tested the suitability of Amcor’s 187ml single-serve PET wine bottle for use in Economy Class inflight service. The trial, as you may have guessed, was a success, and by 2006 Qantas had replaced all glass wine bottles with plastic. With success came the expected copycats, but Portavin took their miming as the sincerest form of flattery. “Several Australian companies tried to copy what Portavin had started, but by 2010 Portavin had demonstrated to Qantas the value of its service,” Matthews notes. This strong relationship resulted in a contract to supply all of the airline’s

Economy Class wine in 187mL PET, sourced and bottled by Portavin. “Over time, all other Australian airlines followed such that today Portavin dominates the supply of Australian wine in 187mL PET,” Matthews adds. Portavin has also invested heavily in technology that benefits not only its bottom line but the bottom line of its airline customers. By adding a special oxygen scavenger to the normally permeable PET bottle during manufacturing, the company is able to significantly extend a finished product’s shelf life. As Matthews points out: “The best before date is very valuable to airlines with a domestic and international footprint, as the wine stays fresh for 15 months.” Coming from a country that has such a rich history of viticulture, Portavin predicts a promising future in the winemaking business. Following the harsh 2017 growing season, it is expected that wine volume will drop slightly. However,

the industry as a whole will recover and flourish, estimates Matthews, and company hopes are high as well. “Any reduction in the foreign exchange rate also opens up new export opportunities for Australian wine, which includes overseas airlines,” he added. The airline industry will certainly gain from the explosive wine culture as well – Matthews foresees local wine industries championed in the air, and those countries without traditional wine cultures may move from pouring 750ml bottles in flight to the single-serve sizing that Portavin is known for. All in all, Portavin’s 300 employees, 10 of which are winemakers themselves, have a lot to look forward to. As Matthews puts it: “Our culture is to be the best we can to our client base, responsive to their bottling needs and making sure we have fun alongside the serious nature of our work.” And let’s be honest – who isn’t going to be having fun with a variety of the best vino one’s country has to offer within reach? PAX-INTL.COM



Making the miles


The Transit Lounge is located in an integrated domestic and international hub at Perth Airport


Qantas worked with Aurora Spa to develop a line of products for the bathrooms

Australians are among the hardiest travelers in the world, and much of their experience no doubt played a role in developing Qantas’ longhaul product as well as a new lounge in Perth designed to help ease the long journey to Europe


he home city of this year’s APOT.Asia event basked in the spotlight of aviation history earlier this year as the first planeload of passengers boarded the first non-stop flight that linked Europe with Australia. At 17 hours, 20 minutes long and nearly 14,500 kilometers in distance, Qantas Flight 9 from Perth to London Heathrow clocks in among the top half-dozen lengthiest flights. Operated with a 787-900 and a cockpit crew of four pilots who work in shifts, it is currently the longest Dreamliner flight in the world. However, Singapore Airlines will soon once again be the sole owner of this honor when it inaugurates an A350 flight between Changi Airport and Newark’s Liberty Airport. That flight is estimated at approximately 19 hours. It begs the question: once longer than 17 hours, does the actual time of a flight really matter anymore? As daunting as these flights might be to passengers, they are actually an efficient way to travel. The PER-LHR flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of favorable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point stop in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight plan. And passengers can always take comfort in the fact that the original flight between Europe and Australia in the 1940s took four days with seven stops, earning it the name the Kangaroo Route. To help travelers prepare for their flight, Qantas has employed designers and meal planners in Perth, installed mood lighting and opened an International Transit Lounge where passenger can, with the help of an instructor, stretch away their stress under a canopy of therapeutic lights, shower and refresh with hydrating products, and dine outdoors on a terrace with

10  JUNE 2018

gourmet barbecue. The lounge is located in the new T3/T4 integrated domestic and international passenger hub at PER. Passengers transiting in Perth on flights that continue on to Melbourne and passengers beginning the QF9 flight to London are allowed access to the lounge. They must be traveling in Business, be Gold or Platinum/Platinum One frequent flyers, be oneworld Emerald or Sapphire cardholders, or be Qantas Club members and their guests. What awaits the fortunate 141 people the lounge holds is a product of research, development and design created in a process that brought together sleep experts, industrial designers and an airline committed to what it says is a “whole new approach to long-haul travel.” “We have brought together some of Australia’s best culinary and scientific minds to create a lounge experience that will help set our customers up to feel better throughout their journey,” said Philip Capps, Qantas’ Head of Customer Product and Service, at the March 23 opening of the Perth International Transit Lounge. Sofitel, an Accor property, handles food service in the transit lounge. Among the bill of fare are Western Australian companies such as gourmet sausage maker Princi Smallgoods, German bread specialist Little Home Bakery and Valley View Orchard of Pickering Brook, a suburb of Perth, which supplies fruit for the lounge. Every 15 minutes, stretching classes for pre- and post-flight passengers take place in the Wellbeing Studio. Yoga instructors from Bodhi J Wellness Spa retreats take passengers through a series of exercises. Qantas also worked with Aurora Spa to develop a facial cleanser,



Local products from several companies are catered by Sofitel at the Qantas Transit Lounge

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was one of the first passengers on the airline’s inaugural flight from Perth to London

hydrating face mist and moisturizer for weary guests. “This sophisticated lounge is an ideal space for customers to unwind between flights,” Capps adds. “The design reflects the natural beauty of the Western Australian landscape through natural light and color choices, and offers some the best local food and wine.” The look of the lounge was the work of Australian industrial designer David Caon who has been tapped for a number of aircraft interior projects for Qantas over the years, including the design of the 787 cabin. The airline also used a company called SUMU design and consulted with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre. Because the 787 and the Perth International Transit Lounge are very much linked from a customer perspective, planners said it made sense to have Caon involved along with SUMU design. Both worked on international lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong. Once the passengers step aboard the PER-LHR flight, making their trip as comfortable as it can be involves a timed effort. Dinner service is a few hours into the flight because the airline discovered that this change makes it easier for passengers to adjust to the time at their final destination, and cabin lights are dimmed and turned on a few hours out from London. Flights into Perth from the rest of Australia give travelers at least an hour in the lounge. Qantas estimates that approximately 40% of the passengers boarding flights are connecting to or from the east coast of Australia. The airline says that it is also seeing passengers from cities like Adelaide and Darwin using PER as a one-stop flight to London.

Qantas took another step this month to help passengers relax. A 10-minute guided meditation set to aerial footage of scenic Australian landscapes began flying on Qantas flights in June. Passengers can take in soothing meditative instruction in a series of videos shot in deserts, bush lands, coasts, forests and locations at twilight. The meditation video series is available now on YouTube and an immersive virtual reality (VR) version can be downloaded before traveling via the Qantas VR app. Qantas has also signed with Apple Music and Audible and extended its existing partner content with programming provider Stan to give passengers complimentary access to more TV programs, movies, songs and digital audiobooks both in flight and on the ground. While Apple Music, Audible and Stan are all paid subscription services, Qantas offers free access to their guests. Passengers in the Qantas network can download content before their flight via the Qantas app or stream it in flight on selected domestic Wi-Fi aircraft. Qantas guests can take advantage of the following offers: • Up to four month of free subscription to Apple Music for access to songs and Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station. • One free audiobook each month for three months from the full library of downloadable audiobooks for new Audible customers. • Stan, currently available on Qantas’ Wi-Fi enabled aircraft, will now offer three months of unlimited access to TV shows and movies to new customers of the service on all Qantas flights.

Fifteen-minute stretching and relaxation classes help prepare passengers for the 17-hour flight





Local, seasonal ingredients earned Perth Inflight Catering the Mercury Award for its Seasons of Western Australia Seafood offering

In its evolution from airport lunch counter to food supplier for mining operations, Perth Inflight Catering has established itself as another source for current and future airlines looking to the city as a destination

We are making sure we are front and center, with a broad skill set that can deal with real, authentic flavors, wherever they may be in the world.”

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f commercial aviation is seen by many as a rough-and-tumble industry of cutthroat competition and tight margins, they might want to imagine the lives and livelihoods of some of the hardworking people who have dined on meals supplied by Perth Inflight Catering over the last two decades. They board a Fokker 100 for a two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off stint in the broiling heat of the desert hunting for iron ore, gold, nickel and copper along with oil and natural gas. The nimble Dutch aircraft was designed to thrive in extreme conditions such as takeoffs in the heat and high altitudes. However (and conveniently for Perth Inflight Catering), the Fokker 100s and BAe 146s that leave Perth Airport are also well-suited for inflight service. Salim Hazife, Managing Director at Perth Inflight Catering, tells PAX International that as the mining industry grew in the region, the company’s operations also grew. What started as a lunch counter at Perth Airport quickly expanded to a 1,600-square-meter catering operation that still counts regional airlines as its key customers,


Perth Inflight Catering averages 5,000 to 6,000 meals per day, but production has run as high as 10,000

Perth Airline Catering has as 1,600-square-meter production area and 1,000-square-meter bonded warehouse

with names like Cobham, Alliance, Network, Skippers, Maroomba and a dozen others. Full meals and snack boxes are among its inflight fare, and back catering for the return trip is often part of the catering company’s services. Salim is the second generation of management in the family-run operation, which was started by his father Ismail and mother Maria in 1998 at the peak of the Australian mining expansion. Since then, the caterer has expanded with an additional 1,000 square meters of bonded warehouse space and added two long-haul carriers to its list of customers: Etihad Airways and South African Airways. Now the company finds itself averaging between 5,000 and 6,000 meals per day, much of it for demanding airline customers seeking high-end cuisine. Expanding its operations into airline catering had been a long-term company plan, says Salim, so as mining in the region slowed down and Etihad Airways signaled its intention to start a route from Abu Dhabi to Perth, Perth Inflight Catering jumped at the chance. “We knew we needed another revenue stream for the business, and we had dreamed about doing international airlines for a long time,” he says. “We could see the main caterers – Alpha, as it was called at the time, and Q Catering – were running at capacity.” Plans were hatched. Experts were brought in for consultation. Trucks and equipment were purchased in a

substantial capital expenditure. In the end, its efforts were rewarded with the contract for Etihad, marking the first chapter in the airline catering history of Perth Inflight Catering. The five-star Middle Eastern airline alternates between a 787-900 and an A330-200 on the AUH-PER route. South African Airways departs Johannesburg with an A340-300 or -600 on its service. Both offer a two-class service with a second meal and snacks on the 10- to 11-hour flights. With its additional warehouse space, Salim says the company now can act as a single, flexible source for airline customers flying into Perth. “Fully bonded storage has allowed us to service the international airlines and allowed them to bring in the stock that they require to service flights,” Salim says, “which means we are not using third-party warehouses and we are not relying on another party to make sure the stock is there. “It is our own staff running it, so it means we can have stock available at any time.” Being a small operation provides the flexibility that Perth Inflight Catering needs to live up to its slogan of “Personal Service” through close working relationships with its customers. An in-house team of chefs can work with airlines to quickly design meals to specifications and keep the end product within cost parameters. Such agility is also helpful when

an industry goes through the inevitable peaks and valleys. It happened with the mining industry in Western Australia, and it also happened recently as Perth Inflight Catering was poised to sign a three-year extension contract with Etihad: the Abu Dhabi-based airline had to make some hard decisions regarding its international network and will be leaving the Perth market next fall. While the loss of its first airline customer will be felt within the company, Salim says additional business was recently inked with Virgin Australia. Starting about the time the industry gathers in Perth for APOT.Asia, Perth Inflight Catering will be supplying Business Class and crew meals to the carrier, adding approximately 2,500 meals per week to its production. Salim says the company also derives income from off-airport business, supplying hospitals and sporting events. Though he says “every place is far from Perth,” Salim’s home city is nonetheless making headlines and getting noticed as a travel stop. Qantas Airways recently launched its first non-stop service from London with a 17-hour junket made possible by the range and comfort of the Dreamliner. Salim added that planners at the airport are working hard to woo Japanese and Chinese airlines to the city. “We are making sure we are front and center, with a broad skill set that can deal with real, authentic flavors, wherever they may be in the world,” he says. Perth Inflight Catering has also been working hard to call attention to its operations by entering awards competitions for its culinary expertise – and winning. In 2015, it claimed its first Mercury Award with an Australian salmon and smoked trout brick with grilled Shark Bay prawn and green pea puree. In 2016, Perth Inflight Catering won an Onboard Hospitality Award for its Croque Madame onboard snack. And at last December’s Mercury Awards, the company impressed judges with its “Seasons of Western Australian Seafood,” a locally sourced, healthy provenance prepared with traditional recipes. Among the offerings were fish and chips with stuffed potato and pea puree. PAX-INTL.COM



China’s next chapter Jeremy Clark gives a firsthand look at what two of Asia’s airline catering trade shows have to offer industry pros from other parts of the globe


early everyone will agree that as China continues to develop it is becoming a very different place – not only from what it used to be, but also from most other places one visits. This evolution is extremely evident when experiencing the country’s trade shows, as I recently discovered when I checked into Shanghai’s CTCE and SIAL China, Asia’s largest food show, this past May.

There is ample potential for CTCE China, but the organization needs to understand the mindset of this branch of the business to succeed, notes Jeremy


In our world of global transportation hospitality, we tend to assume that as airlines vie for a global passenger share, competition will become fiercer and the products in various inter-industry markets will become similar, only distinguishable by subtle cultural differences. Not so. In some ways, China is leading the way in airline hospitality and service, but there is still a huge way to go. The question is whether they want (or need) to follow the “rest of the world,” or will appeasing the home market be enough? The China International Aviation, Cruise, Railway Food and Beverage Exhibition & Hotel Catering Suppliers Purchasing Fair, as CTCE China’s full and one-size-fits-all title suggests, was marketed as some sort of Chinese WTCE or IFSA show. It wasn’t. It actually turned out to be a show within a show, within a show. Hidden behind stands touting everything from complete aircraft to landing lights and fan blades, which in turn seemed to be part of a bigger show featuring food manufacturing (very confusing), one could find the airline catering section. Sola from the Netherlands and the UK’s Malton Inflight, companies that manufacture British design in China, lent an

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SIAL China, held across town from CTCE China, is Asia’s largest food show, filling 14 halls each twice the size of WTCE. The organizers, Comexposium and their Chinese JV, run a massive logistical miracle with military-like efficiency and control. This is the kind of show that airline buyers should visit, but I can understand why they don’t. There is just too much stuff! Access to the show is strictly controlled but it still generates massive numbers. There is no question that our highly developed but very insular world misses out on a lot of innovation and new ideas when visiting this show, but who has the time to trawl through miles of products? SIAL is looking into this issue, however, so watch this space. As this travel market develops so will the trade shows and networking experiences that support it. It is interesting to note that when asked if a more structured international networking event involving participants from outside China would be of interest, suppliers and airlines alike all appeared extremely keen. So, there is clearly opportunity.

air of recognition to the show area, but the rest was made up of snack, drink and food producers with a limited range. No airline would re-invent its cabin service from what was on offer here, beyond the foreign representatives who attracted interest. There was a buyers’ session attended by half a dozen local airlines including Hainan, Shenzhen and Shanghai Airlines as well as OKAir and other national newbies. People queued up with their packs of wet wipes or snack boxes for the speed-dating style sessions. To be fair, this was not marketed as an international expo, and there was business to be done, but product and supplier selection for Chinese carriers was limited and international suppliers were missing a beat. As the day wore on it seemed everyone had access to the event – probably to help make up numbers – which only diluted the value of it for the exhibitors and was likely self-defeating for the organizers. Ready-meal producers were in evidence with some interesting and usable products displayed on sizable professional stands; however, without an interpreter on hand, attempts to communicate were limited. Many Asian companies fail to understand that if they are really interested in selling internationally in the airline industry (and many are), like it or not, English is what you need.

The interest of international airlines could be captured at SIAL China, as long as a concentration of suppliers and buyers and a suitable networking event are introduced, says Jeremy




Source for

sous-vide T Tasty Tom Ka coconut soup was among the starters presented to the group

This cooking style has expanded its influence to Southeast Asia, where Jeremy Clark found Cuisine Solutions’ Thailand operations on the cusp of a regional culinary evolution 16  JUNE 2018

here’s nothing I like more after a busy day than a long, hot soak in the bath. We all know just how good that feels – immersed in a tank of warm water, just letting the magic take its course. I rather like to think that this is the ethic that Monsieur (now Doctor) Bruno Goussault had in mind when discovering the sous-vide method of cooking – now perfected by Cuisine Solutions. A couple of years or so ago, I was fortunate enough to visit the Cuisine Solutions plant near Washington, DC, where I met CEO Stanislas Vilgrain and his team, and was treated to an amazing lunch prepared by Chef Bruno Bertin. So when the invitation came to look at its newly opened facility near Bangkok (actually a 90-minute drive southeast from the city into the Chonburi province), I was delighted. Our hosts – Chef Olivier Boinet, Director of Operations for Asia


Left: Sous-vide creations were served with flair at Cuisine Solutions

Below: A group recently gathered in Thailand for a tour and meal at Cuisine Solutions. Left to right: Stephanie Boinet, Quality Assurance Manager at Cuisine Solutions; Cuisine Solutions’ Culinary Development Manager Asia Pacific Olivier Boinet; Cuisine Solutions’ Director of Operations Asia Antoine Grelet; Marika Clark of JC Consulting; Bruno and Anette Guillon, Proprietors of Two Frenchies Cafe Bistrot in George Town, Penang, Malaysia; Chocolatier Oliver Clark; Cuisine Solutions’ Chief Financial Officer Mark Kujawa; and PAX International’s Jeremy Clark of JC Consulting

Antoine Grelet and, over from the U.S., CFO Mark Kujawa – treated us to a sous-vide-inspired lunch featuring a delicately flavored Tom Ka coconut soup, their famed 72-hour braised ribs and a super-creamy, award-winning porridge of coconut, oats, quinoa and chia. Over lunch I asked about the plant’s location, which appeared to be very remote. It is literally in the middle of agricultural fields – but there are very good reasons, I was told. “This is a fast-developing area supported by government initiatives as well as improving infrastructure,” explained Kujawa. Easy access to the main port of Laem Chabang helps support current and future expanding exports for Cuisine Solutions products, and the plant is well-located for the supply of high-quality raw materials, both imported and locally sourced. Arriving at Cuisine Solutions Asia is an Alice Through the Looking Glass

moment as you are immediately transported to an almost-exact duplicate of its similar operations around the world. The design, setup and operations are a mirror of the successful plants in France and the U.S., albeit on a different scale. Though the plant has only been open since December 2017, production is estimated to reach its capacity within the next eight to 12 months. Adherence to all levels of E.U. and U.S. quality regulatory requirements is achievable at this Thailand unit and the international acceptance of Thailand’s own regulatory standards makes the location choice easy to understand. Part of the tour took us through the usual highly efficient and thorough decontamination process and, dressed like NASA researchers, we made the rounds. The plant is built to Cuisine Solutions’ proprietary designs, and whilst I could say more, I am reliably

informed by my good friend Olivier that I might not make it back to my hotel should I consider doing so! Joking aside, the well-known success of this company’s sous-vide process, supported by the famed CREA Academy (which has trained numerous Michelin Star chefs around the world), is grounded in its carefully guarded cooking techniques and its uniquely custom-built technology. This particular operation supplies products to a number of Asian airlines and caterers including Cathay Pacific and Thai Catering. However, it is no relation to flight kitchens of the bygone era, as a large proportion of product is not for airline consumption – it also supplies contract catering clients, restaurant chains and retail. This is the future of airline catering exemplified, where airline menu designers now have the benefit of sourcing not just from the traditional producers, but also from pretty much anyone, anywhere. What Cuisine Solutions offers is a unique portfolio of ideally suited products but it is certainly not restricted to the premium end of the market. The increasing demands for consistency, uncompromised hygiene standards, nutrition trends, innovation in recipes and high quality are all met with operations such as this. Its expansion into Asia makes absolute sense as this region is not only the fastest-growing but it is also adopting and refining its business models to match those set further west. For the airline catering market, the business model has changed way beyond anything that existed when I entered the industry 40 years ago. And yet, we still think of ourselves as “different” from other food consumption markets. Actually, we aren’t that different. Cuisine Solutions understands this and has successfully built itself a model that is accepted by a wide range of B-to-B consumers. It is a credit not only to them for making this leap to a new region but to Thailand for its foresight in creating more local employment away from the big cities and in the right environment for such an investment. After our long day of touring, it was certainly time for that soak, and as I treated myself to my own bit of bodily sous-vide I pondered that this new unit is very likely just the beginning. PAX-INTL.COM


Honoring innovation Airlines, caterers and suppliers alike were given due credit at the 2018 PAX Readership Awards in Hamburg. Join us in congratulating the winners!


crowd of more than 100 gathered at the Radisson Blu in Hamburg this past April to recognize the efforts of dozens of companies in the onboard services, amenities and interiors industries, as selected by PAX International readers. “Each year this event keeps getting bigger and better,” says Aijaz Khan, publisher of PAX. “We were ecstatic with the turnout and the record number of entries we received this year, and I can promise that next year’s event will be more illustrious than ever before.” On the following pages you will find the winners of the 2018 Food Service/Catering and Supplier categories; for coverage of the 2018 amenities recipients, consult our May 2018 amenities digital issue.

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – NORTH AMERICA WINNER: Aeromexico Antonio Fernández Ojeda, S.V.P. On Board Products at Aeromexico, with PAX publisher Aijaz Khan

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – SOUTH AMERICA WINNER: LATAM Airlines LATAM’s Eduardo Costa, Senior Director of Communication & Customer Experience; Estela Espinoza, Onboard Development Director; and Tomás Montero, Senior Manager Catering, Procurement and Duty Free

18  JUNE 2018

The PAX International team, moments before the awards were handed out

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – CENTRAL AMERICA WINNER: Copa Airlines Copa Airline’s Fernando Tristán, On Board Supplies Manager (center), and María Alejandra Jaén, Senior Director (right)

AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – NORTH AMERICA WINNER: Flying Food Group Flying Food Group’s Henri Alcade, VP Research and Development; Nicolas Rondeau, Executive Vice President (Sales and Marketing); and Tom Biland, President and COO


AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – SOUTH AMERICA WINNER: Gate Gourmet gategroup’s Rodrigo Decerega, Chief Commercial Officer, Latin America, with Aijaz Khan

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – ASIA WINNER: Korean Air Korean Air’s Jinho Jang, Hojin Cha and Janwon Lee with Aijaz Khan

AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – ASIA WINNERS: dnata Singapore and SATS Ltd dnata’s David Loft, Chief Commercial Officer(left); Lee Farrelly, Chief Operating Officer The PAX International team, moments before the awards were handed out; and Robin Padgett, Chief Executive Officer (right)

BEST INFLIGHT DUTY FREE PROGRAM – ASIA WINNER: Korean Air Janwon Lee, Hojin Cha and Jinho Jang of Korean Air

AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – EUROPE WINNER: LSG Sky Chefs LSG Sky Chef’s Mauro Viti, Key Account Manager; Stefan Siever, Project Director Catering Transformation; Pinar Meitzner, Head of International Sales and Key Account Management Europe; and Peter Deubler, Director of Sales for Europe

Siang Han Goh, Senior Vice President Inflight Catering for SATS Ltd., with Aijaz Khan

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – EUROPE WINNER: TAP Air Portugal Joel Fragata, Head of In-Flight & On-Ground Product, TAP Air Portugal, with Aijaz Khan

OUTSTANDING FOOD SERVICE BY A CARRIER – AFRICA WINNER: Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines’ Aklilu Habtu, Director In Flight Catering, with Aijaz Khan




AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – AFRICA WINNER: Servair (gategroup) Alexis Frantz, Corporate Secretary of Servair, and Michel Emeyriat, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

AIRLINE CATERER OF THE YEAR – MIDDLE EAST WINNER: Emirates Flight Catering Emirates Flight Catering’s Sylvia Samuel, Customer Service Manager, and Faysal Moufarrej, Chief Operating Officer

BEST FIRST CLASS AIRPORT LOUNGE MIDDLE EAST WINNER: Emirates Flight Catering Sylvia Samuel, Customer Service Manager, and Faysal Moufarrej, Chief Operating Officer, both of Emirates Flight Catering

BEST CABIN INTERIOR PASSENGER EXPERIENCE WINNER: Airbus Interior Services Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus’ Vice President Cabin Marketing, with Aijaz Khan

20  JUNE 2018


BEST IN-FLIGHT DUTY FREE PROGRAM MIDDLE EAST WINNER: Qatar Airways Frédéric Gossot, Country Manager, Qatar Airways, with Aijaz Khan

BEST IFE AND CONNECTIVITY WINNER: digEcor – USB Seat Modification Kit digEcor’s William Raggett, Mechanical Design Engineer; Jorge C. Mompó, Director of Sales – The Americas; Stuart Ketchion, VP Global Engineering; and David Withers, Chief Executive Officer

BEST SEATING WINNER: ACRO Aircraft Seating ACRO’s Alan McInnes, Senior Vice President Sales; Chris Brady, Chief Executive Officer; and Henry Chen, Group Chairman

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) is a 50-year old organization dedicated to the advancement of the multi-billion dollar inflight and railway onboard services industry worldwide.

Choose IFSA Because We... ADVOCATE for our industry with regulatory agencies within the US and globally.

PROVIDE SOLUTIONS by recognizing and celebrating industry leaders who bring innovative solutions to market at IFSA’s annual Expo.

ENGAGE influencers through our one-of-akind events designed to provide networking opportunities with the leading executives in onboard hospitality.

GIVE BACK to our community by developing our future leaders and helping them achieve their educational goals. To date, more than $825,000 in scholarships have been granted to nearly 170 students.

Celebrate excellence and innovation in the onboard services industry with the new IFSA Compass Awards Network with a wide group of colleagues and industry leaders Explore the Expo floor featuring the latest in inflight passenger experience Register today at

Join hundreds of airline, caterer and supplier executives from around the globe committed to elevating the onboard passenger experience at this year’s Annual Conference & Expo.

Co-located with:


All eyes on Perth The APOT.Asia forum lands Down Under June 24 through 26. “Happy” Keerthi Hapugasdeniya gives PAX a sneak peek at what to expect this year at the organization’s annual networking event

HIGHLIGHTS OF APOT PERTH 2018 • PERTH is the most isolated city in the world – the next big metropolitan area is Adelaide, over 3,000 kilometers away. • ACCORDING TO HAPPY, the event has a unique and relaxed networking structure with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. • PREJUDGING FOR THE MERCURY AWARDS will be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth on June 23, the day prior to the first official day of the forum • ALL BUSINESSES RELATED TO TOURISM are welcome, and this year there has been a push for more hotel- and tourism-related delegates. (“Without them, airlines would not be able to sustain their businesses,” explains Happy.)

The event at a glance Saturday, June 23 Mercury Awards judging Sunday, June 24

Golf tournament at The Links Kennedy Bay Optional tours: Yanchep National Park, Cave and Hillarys (full day) or Perth, Kings Park, Swan River and Fremantle (half day)

Monday, June 25

Education day with gala dinner by dnata

Tuesday, June 26

Networking event: A tour of the Swan River with wine tasting and lunch, concluding with a gourmet bush tucker dinner

• THE ORGANIZATION recently welcomed a new chairman, Bambang Sujatmiko, as well as Jeremy Clark as its new CEO. Both have been with APOT from day one. • MOST OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS who will be featured at the event will not be presenting inflight-only speeches, says Happy. “We like delegates to be able to listen to speakers from the wider industry as opposed to the narrow inflight product areas,” he notes. • HOTEL SPECIAL RATES have been extended so that delegates can stay and experience the beauty of Australia following the event.

Confirmed speakers include:


Jeremy Clark, CEO of APOT

Ms. Vy, celebrity chef and

Bambang Sujatmiko, President and Director, Aerowisata Hotels & Resort Services

owner of Taste Vietnam Group

Udaya Indrarathna, CEO and Chief Advisor of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority Dr. Ian Lyons, Developer of the Bio Disc Michael Wahl, CEO of miCHOICE Paul Papalia, Tourism Minister of Western Australia Professor Hj. Rafek Saleh, Halal Speaker & Advisor Vindex Tengker, Vice President Inflight Services at Garuda Indonesia

22  JUNE 2018

Rick Lundstrom, Editor-inchief of PAX International Julie Baxter, Editor at Onboard Hospitality Pat Osborne, Head of Sales at Alpha Flight Services Pty. Ltd.

For the complete and official event itinerary, visit APOT’s website.

We believe understanding regional values is the best way to develop good business relationships.” “HAPPY”



Aircraft Interiors Expo in Boston is the only fall event dedicated to the cabin interiors industry. Showcasing a wide range of cabin interior products such as seating, galleys, lighting, lavatories, cabin management systems and passenger services. Making it the perfect opportunity to conduct business and network with key industry decision makers from around the world.

Register your interest today


25 -27

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Co-located with:


The leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort Don’t miss the opportunity to source the latest products and services from over 350 international suppliers. Network with 4,000 onboard professionals including 800 airline and rail buyers and be inspired by thought provoking presentations and demonstrations.

SAVE THE DATE 2-4 April 2019 Co-Located with:

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