PAX International December 2020 - Bonus: PAX Tech FTE Viritual Expo Coverage

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New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Catering for change Passenger confidence at the forefront


P PEX A E FT l Expo a Virtu erage cov 9 p.2





At SATS, we place purpose at the heart of our business and into the hands of our people. Each one of us has a role to play in enabling SATS to grow with purpose. We adopt a technology-driven, people-led approach towards creating innovative food solutions that nourish communities. By combining decades of expertise with culinary innovation, we bring a taste of home to the skies, anywhere in the world. As Asia’s leading provider of food solutions and gateway services, we delight travellers with our signature dishes and ensure seamless connections across more than 60 locations and 13 countries. Find out how we feed and connect Asia at


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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: Jane Hobson, Editor Tel: (1 613) 894-9099 E-mail: Sabrina Pirillo, Deputy Editor E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla Jeremy Clark

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Teching out the passenger experience


y new iPhone 12 Mini that arrived in November has a facial recognition feature that is accurate and reliable whether I’m wearing glasses or not. Watching the whirling image on the screen that scans my facial features to log into a banking app takes handheld technology to a new level. My delight would likely bring a yawn from one group of people who love exploring the latest technology and a level of fear from another group prone to suspicion about evolving tech. However, it is plain to see that features like this and others will help in the future when jittery passengers start returning to travel. From reduced queues and touchless self-check-in at the airport to light-touch packaging food solutions and onboard retail purchases via personal devices in the cabin, the skepticism of technological advancement must at some point give way to practical use. At about the same time as my phone arrived, the travel industry IT powerhouse Amadeus released a survey of more than 6,000 travelers across France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and United States. The general finding, according to the survey, is that more than four in five travelers said technology would increase their confidence in travel over the next year by addressing concerns about crowds, social distancing and physical touchpoints. A few results: 42 percent of respondents of say mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications about virus outbreaks and government announcements would increase their confidence in travel. That same percentage favor contactless and mobile payment options such as Google Pay, Pay Pal and Venmo. More than a third say that biometrics like facial and voice recognition at boarding and security also make them more likely to travel. A third of the survey respondents said they are not jittery with a universal digital traveler identification on their phone that includes all necessary documentation and immunity status. Many more results that were broken down by age groups and countries of origin were part of the study. Suggestions by survey respondents were: Provide more flexibility for cancellations; limit the number of passengers on each flight; enable passengers to socially distance throughout their journey; assure cleanliness and hygiene solutions are available throughout the travel experience; and have effective virus testing, tracking and tracing programs. It is gratifying to see that many of the suggestions are now seeing broad implementation by airports and airlines. We’ll no doubt learn of more during the APEX FTE Virtual Expo. These tech advancements and awareness of travelers’ evolving needs, paired with medical advancements on the horizon, will hopefully lead to a year ahead where we can all meet again in person.

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

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International and PAX Tech






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EVERYONE NEEDS A BREAK After years evolving its Daily Break coffee shop concept in African airports, Newrest is seeking to make the brand a familiar fixture in other sectors COOL CAPABILITIES When a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed to the world, some unique abilities will be needed in the supply chain, and one of the companies, SATS, may play a part in ridding the world of a deadly pandemic DNATA’S YEAR IN REVIEW Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata Catering, highlights the caterer’s achievements in 2020, with some predictions for 2021 BOLSTERING BAC With tourism at a halt in Thailand, Bangkok Air Catering is focusing on its other core businesses and diversification strategy to come back stronger than ever CABIN SERVICE SUCCESS These solutions help ensure a successful passenger experience onboard



SNACK AND BEVERAGE REVIEW These snack and beverage solutions are adaptable for COVID-safe inflight indulging




PPE PLEASE! These suppliers are listening closely to airlines to provide comfort items that passengers need to get through the pandemic FOND 40 In this Q&A, Galileo Watermark Director Kenny Harmel shares insights on a major milestone for the company



New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Catering for change


Passenger confidence at the forefront

US h BON X Tec

PA EX FTE APExpo l Virtua ge covera9 p.2


Due to the events of 2020, Bangkok Air Catering has pivoted to focus on its other revenue generating units. The full story on page 16.



A CHANGE IS GONNA COME PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on what shifts are realistic for the industry in the years following the pandemic



EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE In this guest column, passenger engagement strategist, biometrics and neuroscience subject matter expert Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis examines the emotional effects of the pandemic that airlines must consider when rebuilding passenger confidence. Kefallonitis is Founder & President at LLC












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F&B GLEE The virtual F&B Networking Hub by SIAL Middle East – E-summit and Meetings served as an effective networking alternative for the food, beverage, hospitality and dates industry




36 32 Features


MRO, Interiors & IFEC



TO SIT BACK Interiors experts transform the cabin

With PA X Tec FTE AP h Virtua EX l Exp covera o ge inside !

ON THE COVER Cobalt Aerospace’s GLS-7 photoluminescent floor path marking. More on the future of cabin lighting on page 36

Departments NEWS






6  DECEMBER 2020


NO TIME TO SIT Demand for new aircraft seating continues to be strong and companies are stepping up in troubled times to fill airline requests with products of unique use


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THE FUTURISTIC CABIN In the third installment of PAX Panel sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Middle East, executives from Zephyr Aerospace, Jamco America and PriestmanGoode examine cabin interior design for the future CABIN GLOWS UP Cobalt Aerospace and STG Aerospace are helping light future aircraft cabins with photoluminescent offerings




gategroup rolls out digi- Etihad Airways and SITA tal retail solution trial trial facial biometric gategroup has launched a winter trial of its Epax digital crew check-in retail solution with easyJet, in partnership with analytics company Black Swan Data. Epax offers an intuitive and convenient way to access inflight retail services, allowing passengers to browse, order and buy from their personal mobile devices. It will be accessible via connection to an onboard wireless network through a browser. Epax will support more relevant choices, using machine learning and data driven innovation to offer a smarter inflight retail experience. Users will be presented with more of what they want, based on factors such as flight destination, flight duration and time of day, as well as insights generated by a wealth of inflight retail data. By removing the need for physical menus and brochures, the platform has the potential to reduce paper wastage from the cabin each year, while smarter loading of cabins based on retail data can be anticipated to reduce waste.

gategroup’s Epax digital retail solution allows passengers to browse, order and buy inflight from their personal mobile devices

Etihad Airways has partnered with information tech company SITA to trial the use of facial biometrics for cabin crew check-in at the Crew Briefing Centre at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The trial will continue until February 2021 and will use facial recognition technology to identify and authenticate crew members, allowing them to complete check-in procedures and mandatory pre-flight safety and security questions digitally In partnership with SITA, Etihad Airways is via their own mobile devices. trialing the use of facial The initiative will replace the biometrics for cabin crew check-in at Abu Dhabi current kiosk-based check-in International Airport process which requires crew to use their staff identity cards as a form of authentication, limiting physical touch points and maximizing social distancing measures. It is also expected to improve the airline’s operational efficiency by speeding up the existing check-in process and automating crew time, attendance management and access controls, according to the November press release.


Plane Talking Products to supply antimicrobial products to airlines Plane Talking Products has announced a worldwide exclusive deal with HeiQ for the Swiss-developed HeiQ V-Block in the aviation sector. HeiQ V-Block is a protective invisible layer that provides a continuous, long-lasting antimicrobial protection to the surface of a product. HeiQ V-Block technology inhibits the growth of microbes and prevents colonization on textiles. It can be applied to all fiber types. Unlike other products, HeiQ V-Block is active and remains effective for up to 30 washes for rotable products. Plane Talking is working with the The Medical Supply Company of Switzerland, along with airlines to develop products and surfaces used at every stage of the journey: from check-in, lounge and boarding through the onboard environment and cabin furnishings to cabin cleaning.

Plane Talking Products is working with HeiQ, The Medical Supply Company of Switzerland and airlines to develop antimicrobial products and surfaces for the aircraft cabin





The LSG Group goes virtual for product presentations The LSG Group will soon be introducing concepts and products to its clients using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Like in-person presentations, participants will be able to move freely and explore products but without the need to travel and in compliance with social distancing rules. To bring dishes, trays and inflight equipment into virtual reality, they are professionally illuminated and photographed. From an elaborate main course to a simple bread roll, every component is captured on a turntable up to 400 times in 10k resolution. The composite images create a detailed digital image that looks photorealistic in a virtual space. In addition to digitizing existing products, 3D prototypes of nonfood products that do not exist yet can be created. Customers can be provided with VR glasses, controllers and other equipment to help them navigate through the presentation room and immerse themselves completely in virtual reality, or tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom can be arranged. In VR, participants are given an avatar to

communicate with others. Avatars can carry things around, label whiteboards and sticky notes, and can interact with other participants, including private conversations. LSG Group will go virtual for production presentations, where participants can view high res imagery of products and converse with other participants

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needs a Break

After years evolving its Daily Break coffee shop concept in African airports, Newrest is seeking to make the brand a familiar fixture in other sectors


Daily Break is a coffee outlet built for both graband-go, and seated dining in many locations

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Newrest is rolling out its Daily Break concept from airports to institutional catering and remote locations


assengers by the millions moving through several North African airports over the past few years have passed by a coffee and snack outlet boasting a range of sit down and grab-and-go options and a design that evokes images of a distant metropolis that is said to never sleep. Though they may be too distracted or stressed to notice much as they pass by the Daily Break coffee shop, the French company that developed the concept has nonetheless gone to great pains to reproduce a traditional New York coffee shop experience in a faraway place. Intimacy is added with softened colors and brick and wood details designed to help passengers “enjoy your moment, suspended between comfort and frantic routine,” said a description of the shop. Since its launch in 2006, Newrest’s Daily Break has been a steadily growing in the airport environment, with outlets operating in Tunis, Algiers, Casablanca and Lagos. Two years ago, the company sought to revamp the concept. Now it is poised roll it out to retail shops, schools and universities and several industries, among them mining and offshore oil rigs. The changes for the Daily Break come at a critical time. Across the airline catering industry, watchers are predicting a shift in the post-COVID-19 world toward less traditional airline food service models, and an increased reliance on pre-ordering meals as well as working more closely with outlets in the airside concourses. Airline caterers are also looking opportunities outside the airport environment. Consumer preferences worldwide have also moved toward out-of-home dining and snacking. Newrest has developed the Daily Break to meet the needs of on-the-go people moving at various paces, says Marc Starké Vice President Communication, Marketing and Digital Transformation Newrest. “Airport outlets will definitely play a role in the recovery,” he tells PAX. “In the sense that we believe that there will be a strong shift in what airlines will be able to provide as a solution to their clients. I would say airlines would be keen on dropping some of their catering


In October and early November, Newrest’s catering operations in South Africa picked up two important customers as airlines began resuming operations after a long lull. On October 30, Newrest secured a catering contract with Air Namibia on its weekly flight from Johannesburg and twice weekly flights from Cape Town. The airline had been a customer with Newrest for seven years and the newest contract represents and extension of the previous agreement. Also from Johannesburg, Newrest began catering Air Seychelles in its weekly fight from Johannesburg. “Those results are welcomed in the COVID-19 affected market, albeit with a much-reduced schedule,” reads the release from Newrest. Also in October, Newrest South Africa began catering Virgin Atlantic Airways as the airline resumed service to Johannesburg. The airline operates 787 service in a three-cabin configuration five times per week on the route. In December, Newrest will be return catering Virgin Atlantic on its London – Cape Town route.

experience inside the aircraft knowing that inside the airport there will be some strong brands available.” The shift has brought more passengers opting to purchase meals in the airport, a trend that began 20 years ago in the United States and has moved to the rest of the world, Starké adds. In addition to the Daily Break, Newrest has a list of proprietary brands. Newrest Retail has designed a portfolio of internal brands such as Le RDV, Caffé Lindo, Sky Shop and The Lunch. It also works with local restaurants in various countries. Among them are Malinche in Costa Rica, Timgad Café in Algeria and Seagull in Croatia. The company has also forged ties with Italian coffee maker Illy. It also works with several well-known franchises around the world. Designs of the Daily Break run the gamut from small kiosks and portable carts to outlets that cover between 200 and 300 square meters, says Starké. Larger units have what Starké calls the “day side” which feature grab and go products and quick service and another side which welcomes customers to dine over a longer period. “It gives us great flexibility in how we implement the concept, especially in an airport environment, where with one concession space we can create two atmospheres and we can cater for multiple expectations, from a consumer point of view,” he says. To bring the concept up to date, Newrest has developed a smart phone app for the Daily Break. Users can pre-order and pay for anything on the Daily Break menu. While successful in the airport environment, Starké says that Newrest sees possibilities for a New York-style coffee concept with some of the more far-flung markets. “People are looking for experiences. They go to the same place day-in and day-out for 250 days a year. So, they want the caterer to animate and break their routine,” he adds. That desire extends to what he calls “extreme locations” such as mining and off-shore oil rigs. PAX-INTL.COM





12  DECEMBER 2020

When a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed to the world, some unique abilities will be needed in the supply chain, and one of the company, SATS, may play a part in ridding the world of a deadly pandemic by RICK LUNDSTROM

the SATS Coolport at Changi Airport was opened 10 years ago. It was Asia’s first on-airport perishable handling center and the world’s first facility to be awarded the CEIV Pharma certification from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Its purpose is the cold chain handling of perishable and pharmaceutical airfreight for import, export and transshipment. The Singapore Coolport has 18 rooms spread over 8,000 square meters. Four main temperature zones range from -18.4 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Carbon dioxide-based liquid nitrogen or dry ice slabs could also be required to handle certain vaccines, but the company says the procedures would be similar to other cargo that the Coolport has handled. In 2019, it processed 300,000

tonnes of perishable cargo. It has multi-level ULD storage for up to 250 pallets and more than 21,500 square feet of warehouse space. There is also the option of adding refrigerated trucks or active temperature-controlled containers on site to boost temporary storage. “In line with this, SATS is increasing its charging points in anticipation of having to accommodate such storage needs,” said the company. In addition to SATS in Singapore, other SATS joint venture coolports in Asia that are IATA or GDP certified include Beijing Aviation Ground Services in Beijing, AISATS Coolport in Bengaluru, SATS Saudi Arabia in Dammam, Asia Airfreight Terminal in Hong Kong, JAS Airport Services in Jakarta, and Transom SATS Cargo in Muscat.

SATS has 18 cold rooms with four main temperature zones ranging from -18.4 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in its Coolport in Singapore. Photo Courtesy SATS PHOTO COURTESY SATS


he year 2020 will be remembered in the world of commercial aviation suppliers as one where they were called on to quickly develop new solutions and adapt the businesses to find new sources of income. But not many will be able to lay claim to helping turn around the deadly COVID-19 virus in direct, concrete ways. However, one ground handler and airline caterer, Singapore-based SATS has the capability to handle major COVID-10 vaccines. Officials at the company were not able to comment directly on whether any parties had contacted SATS about possible vaccine transports in early December. However, a statement from the company indicates that SATS is seriously watching developments in the weeks and months ahead. “This would be of great importance to all of us at SATS as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of lives globally,” the statement reads. “SATS is merely playing a small part in a larger ecosystem to give those who need inoculation against the virus access to life-saving vaccines.” Located in a balmy city approximately 150 kilometers north of the Equator,

SATS Coolport received its CEIV Pharma certification from IATA in 2014. Photo Courtesy SATS


dnata’s year

in review Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata Catering, highlights the caterer’s achievements in 2020, with some predictions for 2021 by JANE HOBSON

dnata has launched a dedicated inflight retail unit which will deliver tailormade onboard retail programs and innovative solutions for airline customers


s most caterers across the industry have experienced, 2020 has been a year without much catering to be done for dnata. Instead, says Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, the company’s focus has been on supporting and creating value for its customers and local communities across its 63 units. It has adapted its operations and processes to the “new world,” enhanced existing services and launched new ones to meet changing demand, he says. These initiatives include serving health and aged care industries, selling bespoke meals directly to the consumer and supplying ingredients, meals and packaged goods to local support and community groups. The caterer has increased its capability to serve health and aged care industries to support relief efforts. Among the activities, dnata delivers meals for quarantined facilities and those in compulsory isolation in many countries. Padgett says dnata’s approximately 120 airline customers have been helpful, supporting the repackaging and distribution of meals that would have

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otherwise been served onboard. “The community and industry spirit remain strong,” Padgett says. Meanwhile in Australia, dnata is selling direct-to-consumer meals via its production business Snapfresh. The caterer is supplying more than 30 nutritious meals, similar to what would be served onboard and broadening the menu as customers give feedback and requests. The current menu includes vegetarian dishes, curries, breakfasts and desserts. Padgett says the company plans to grow its retail offer in the future through direct-toconsumer and other retail channels. In communities where its units operate, dnata is working with local support and community groups to get ingredients, meals and packaged goods to people in need. “This delivers great value to the community but also the pride our teams take from giving back is great,” Padgett says. “We’re seeing that across the dnata network, from Ireland down to Australia, and that’s really pleasing to see.” Despite the year, the caterer has also seen its share of achievements in 2020,

Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata Catering

including the opening of a new unit in Dublin, a pre-order inflight retail initiative in partnership with iFLEAT, and most recently a dedicated global inflight retail unit based in the UK. The latter, announced at the end of November, is a specialist retail unit delivering tailor-made inflight retail programs and innovative solutions for airlines. The initiative allows its customers to maximize onboard ancillary revenue and enhance the passenger experience. Padgett says the new unit cements the caterer’s credentials as a truly end-to-end inflight and airport service provider. Looking to the future, dnata aims to ensure its operations are nimble and able to deal with further flight service fluctuations. The caterer is working with its airline customers to develop menus and products in readiness for the new year. Padgett says the team is pleased to see an ongoing and gradual return to service as schedules expand.


Bolstering BAC T

With tourism at a halt in Thailand, Bangkok Air Catering is focusing on its other core businesses and diversification strategy to come back stronger than ever by JANE HOBSON

hailand has done well to manage COVID-19, with 3,962 total confirmed cases and 60 deaths, according to data from the country’s Department of Disease Control website on November 25, the day this article was written. On that day, the site reported only four new cases. This success is largely due to the limited number of foreign travelers permitted to enter the country, plus the mandatory 14-day quarantine as well as other measures set by the Ministry of Public Health, says Linus A.E. Knobel, Managing Director at Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) in an interview with PAX International. As Knobel explains, the required curbing of the virus means little to no business for BAC, for which 90 percent of its revenue is derived from air travel. The caterer is not alone; a fifth of the country’s economy depends on tourism and hospitality sectors. BAC operates at five airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang International, Phuket International, Samui International and Chiang Mai. The latter three have temporarily adjusted business models to prioritize the domestic market, such as HoReCa, food fairs and online sales, Knobel says.

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While some domestic flight catering resumed in mid-September, he says the average flight loading factor remains at a mere 40 percent and kitchens are running at twenty percent capacity. The company is concentrating on keeping its personnel safe with social distancing and in some cases moving workers to other businesses within the BAC group. It has reviewed its processes and employee training programs and is gearing up for ISO 9001 certification to enhance overall performance and efficiency. “We’re shifting the emphasis of our strategy, relying less on BAC as the lynchpin of our group,” Knobel says. “We want all the building blocks we started with to be polished and in place so we spring right back into business without missing a beat. We have tried to see the crisis as an opportunity.” BAC is bolstering its other revenue generating units; premium hospital catering (Gourmet House Culinary Care), its Gourmet House Group of Restaurants (Al Saray, Brasserie 9 and Ruen Noppagao) and food production (Gourmet Primo). Gourmet Primo recently opened its first “Gourmet Food to Go,” outlet at Foodland Supermarket and plans to open more

in 2021. Finding success in these areas proves that the diversification strategy is “on the right path,” Knobel says. Looking ahead, BAC will explore further the domestic market, targeting the business-to-consumer sector. It plans to launch ‘eatfit’, a health food delivery service, and an on-the-go airline meal box service called ‘Sky Deli’ in December. It will focus on building business in the Middle East, China, and eventually Hong Kong, starting with the Halal-accredited production of Thai meals and snacks for export. The caterer is hopeful that international and domestic operations will gradually increase by about 40 percent in 2021. With state-of-the-art kitchens and roster of professional personnel, Knobel says the company remains the region’s expert in Arabic, Asian and European cuisine. It maintains HACCP/ GMP standards and is certified as fully Halal and Kosher compliant. “We intend to make the most of these attributes with a new venture in value-added products for export,” he says. “We’ll continue to attract business from overseas – but according to a new model. Our aim has been clear and simple; we will be a better skilled and stronger team than before.”

ELEVATED END-TO-END SAFETY With the introduction of Air Canada CleanCare+, we’ve elevated the steps we’re taking to keep you safe throughout your travel with us. Learn more at


Cabin service success These solutions help ensure a successful passenger experience onboard by JANE HOBSON

Among its offerings, the most in-demand cabin service products from Global Inflight Products right now are plastic disposable hot and cold cups and trolley and galley trash bags


abin service remains an essential aspect of the in-cabin experience. It must satisfy expectations for the trip to be considered a success; but passenger expectations are constantly changing as the pandemic continues, making success especially challenging. Global Inflight Products, RMT Global Partners and Sola Netherlands tell PAX what products are available to support airlines in delivering outstanding service. “Onboard product suppliers right now need patience and to be there for their airline customers,” says Global Inflight Products (GIP) Chief Executive Officer Lisa Benzaoui. “We need to listen to our customers’ needs and be responsive.” For the Washington State-based company, this means developing cost-effective products that suit inflight food service during and post-pandemic. Benzaoui says the most in-demand cabin service products from airline customers now are plastic disposable hot and cold cups and trolley and galley trash bags. “The passenger experience is critical to the success of any airline. In order to deliver a high-quality inflight experience, airlines must stay abreast of trends that are important to passengers,” Benzaoui says. GIP recently designed a disposable replacement for First and Business Class meal service products, including

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First Class tray table linen and a napkin pouch for cutlery that can be customized with the airline’s logo. The Green Is Possible line has sustainable and compostable products made from bioplastics, vegetable starch, bamboo, birch, wheat straw, palm leaves and sugar cane fibers. “We are always working on new concepts or ideas we can offer our customers,” says Roland Standaert, Account Executive Europe/Middle East, RMT Global Partners. “Our sourcing team in China visits our partner factories on a regular basis to see if they have new designs, products or materials we can use for our airline customers.” Last month, RMT Global Partners told PAX about its all-in-one tool featuring a corkscrew, bottle opener and extendible foil cutter, designed with the help of crew feedback. The core, lever and corkscrew are stamped from 420 stainless steel with a handle made of sturdy polypropylene for a smooth, comfortable hold. Its doublehinged lever can manage long corks and extendable foil cutter adjusts to a variety of bottle tops for convenience. Four circular blades remove foils safely for a professional finish. Now, the company is developing carry bags with clear panels that allow the crew to easily identify and check service items without having to break security seals or waste sealed PPE. Standaert says

The ‘Oasis’ option of super lightweight steel cutlery by Sola

the company has noticed an increase in demand for rotable or disposable items for Premium cabin service. He says customers want products that can easily be sanitized. For Economy Class, customers are looking for disposable service items. Developed before the pandemic, Sola Netherlands has a range of super lightweight steel cutlery. “We have adapted a solution for the extreme challenges the industry is facing, with the pandemic and as the EU ban on single-use plastics is just around the corner,” Sola Netherlands Export Manager Hans Engels tells PAX International. “Despite the restrictions, distancing and other uncertainties, service is the one thing that passengers will always want and need.” The washable, recyclable ultralight range meets environmental restrictions and is offered in three patterns, Oasis, Palm and Manhattan, which makes it suitable for various service styles.

Professional In-flight PAPER Products Manufacturer As a professional in-flight products supplier, Zibo Rainbow has launched a series of environmental protection and epidemic prevention products for airlines and passengers. Email: Website:


Snack and beverage review These snack and beverage solutions are adaptable for COVIDsafe inflight indulging

Snackbox To-Go’s innovation center is still open for in-person client product presentations and collaborations as it’s spacious enough to adhere to social distancing guidelines


DHG cocktails will be shaken onboard the Mint cabin


hether its comfort food or a refreshing sparkling water, 2020 has brought many new snack and beverage options into the cabin. Here’s a look at some of them.

Snacktivity update

Snackbox To-Go is able to use its 300-square-meter Roosendaal, Netherlands-based innovation center during the pandemic. Clients can keep a safe social distance while tasting products from the modern airline oven and all presentation equipment is available for product demonstrations. The company’s offerings for safe onboard snacking include its renowned pre-packed fries, vegan pockets and sausage rolls and more. Its pre-packaged sandwiches are available fresh and frozen, and have a long shelf live with allergen info on the pack. At its FSSC22000 approved food safe environment,

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products can be packed, sealed and individually wrapped on four production lines, with an additional fully automatic line for packing boxes being installed. En Route International launched two new product ranges in late summer designed to build confidence for passengers in premium cabins. The product ranges are “ovenable” and individually flow-wrapped bakery items, and a “flip and peel” cheese platter. The flow-wrapped products include an array of both savory and sweet bakery items such as bread rolls and garlic bread, alongside croissants, Danish pastries and more. They can be presented as part of En Route’s existing Baker St. brand or designed with an airline’s branding on any packaging. The platter is made up of three cheeses and garnishes wrapped in newlydesigned packing, which is opened by the passenger. The packaging doubles up as a high-quality cardboard platter, minimizing cabin crew handling as part of the process. Cheeses are sourced from across the UK and Europe and with a focus on variety, quality and safety. Netherlands-based cheesemaker Beemster has developed four new cheese platter concepts based on ‘never touched before’ philosophy for less handling between caterer, crew and passenger. The solutions include: • a plastic four-compartment, flow wrapped tray, with the option to add a self-adhesive airline branded label • a four-compartment tray with transparent plastic lid and

branded banderole closure a platter in an enclosed box with printed information about the cheeses for a more premium experience a paper-based pouch that holds the platter. In the fourth concept, the cheese is not visible until the package is opened by the passenger but it uses less plastic

Thirst quenchers

Radnor Hills’ Tetra Pak juices come with a telescopic straw for passengers to tuck under the facemask when taking a sip, and then push back into the recyclable pack once finished. This eliminates removing masks and the need for crew to touch the straw. The company has also launched its Infusion zero-calorie drinks in canned format. The drinks are naturally infused with real fruit extracts with a “gentle sparkle,” ideal for passengers requesting a less sweet profile or a low-calorie option without sacrificing taste.

JetBlue unveils Mint® service update

JetBlue has revealed the first major refresh of its JetBlue Mint® service with food and beverage input from SoHo-based Delicious Hospitality Group (DHG). The menu will feature small plates, meals with seasonal ingredients and a selection of international wines and craft cocktails. To complete the experience, DHG redesigned tableware to resemble New York City tabletops and shared access to their music playlists.

! e s a e l p E PP


Bayart Innovations’ PPE catalog includes disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer and gels, hand wipes, face masks and more

The Clean Is Possible kit by Global Inflight Products features a fresh blue and white reusable pouch with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, face mask and more inside

These suppliers are listening closely to airlines to provide comfort items that passengers need to get through the pandemic by JANE HOBSON


s travelers’ perception of comfort continues to evolve through the pandemic, so too do suppliers’ offerings. While some airlines have reduced traditional amenity kit offerings and temporarily suspended some onboard services, the demand for comfort products remains strong. Global Inflight Products, RMT Global Partners and Bayart Innovations are updating their offerings to keep pace amid the uncertain future. Lisa Benzaoui, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Global Inflight Products (GIP), tells PAX International that among its most popular offerings are personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, wipes, masks, gloves and cabin and lavatory cleaning kits. “Airlines must focus on passengers’ health and well-being onboard,” she says. “Airlines must adapt to the

current situation in order to stay competitive by developing new, unique ways to reassure their passengers that their health is a top priority.” The customizable passenger PPE kits from GIP include sanitizing hand wipes, hand spray, masks and more. The Clean Is Possible kit features a fresh blue and white reusable pouch with PPE inside. Kits made specifically for crew are also available, as well as cockpit cleaning kits and lavatory and cabin cleaning kits. Among demands from RMT Global Partners’ airline customers are disposable items from its sustainable range, galley wipes and PPE, including RMT’s best-seller sanitizing wipe. It provides reassurance to travelers at a competitive price for customers, CEO Richard Tuttle says. Airlines are also requesting RMT’s textiles, including rPET blankets and polyester woven blankets that are designed to withstand high temperature sanitizing laundry cycles. Tuttle says it is difficult yet to make predictions about the future of cabin products, but the company’s customers have as of late expressed interest for “choice-based service.” He says these are products ideal for providing choice to passengers for the items they want inflight. “The biggest issue for us as a supplier right now is the uncertainty about what will happen to airline travel in the next six months as well as what long-term effects the pandemic may

have,” Tuttle says. “Thanks to the good relationships we have built up over the years with our partners, we feel we are in a good position to continue to provide a good service to our customers.” All efforts on behalf of airlines is to prove the safety and cleanliness of flights, says Albert Facques, CEO of Bayart Innovations. He predicts amenity kits will continue to see the effects of this for years to come, such as individually packaged products, hygiene certificates and personal protective equipment. The supplier is now offering sustainable hygiene products, which Facques says, will be majorly important in years to come due to passenger priorities and the cost advantage for airlines. While 2020 has been challenging, the biggest challenge for suppliers is the uncertain future that lies ahead, he says. “Airline decision makers reassess their flight network on a weekly basis. If you cannot forecast passenger numbers, you cannot manage any inflight product tenders because you cannot calculate [how much will be needed],” he says, adding that the full affect this may have on supply chains and pricing strategies remains to be seen. Now the supplier is focused on its ongoing projects and confirming tenders with airlines. Bayart plans to continue launching innovative rotable inflight products, amenity kits and headsets, similar to the PPE catalog it launched in May.




Galileo Watermark introduced an rPET kit into the skies with Cathay Pacific in 2012


40 In this Q&A, Galileo Watermark Director Kenny Harmel shares insights on a major milestone for the company by JANE HOBSON

Kenny Harmel, Director, Galileo Watermark


f 2020 has been a reminder of anything, it is the importance of focusing on success. Celebrating four decades is no small triumph for onboard product supplier Galileo Watermark. In this Industry Q&A, PAX International talks to Director Kenny Harmel about the anniversary and what is next for the company. PAX INTERNATIONAL: What does 2020 represent for Galileo Watermark? KENNY HARMEL: 2020 is significant! Not only does it mark Watermark’s 40th anniversary, but in December, we are also celebrating four years since Galileo’s acquisition of Watermark. The merger was a hugely exciting moment in the company’s history and helped re-establish ourselves as a competitive player in the industry. The newly merged team integrated Watermark’s years of experience and comprehensive portfolio and the fresh, disruptive approach of Galileo Products. From its humble beginnings, what has been achieved is incredible when you take a moment to reflect on all the changes and everything that the company has succeeded in doing. PAX: What are some of the biggest achievements for the company throughout the years? HARMEL: We recently won a number of high-profile projects in new cabins and territories, following many months of development but sadly the launches have been placed on hold due to COVID.

22  DECEMBER 2020

That said, we still have a lot of recent successes to celebrate and notably our award-winning sustainable kit program with Virgin Atlantic is something we are incredibly proud of. It is the first time we have worked with Virgin as Galileo Watermark and it was truly inspiring to be a part of such a considered project. Whilst sustainability is undoubtedly key for us all now, it has always been important to us. We were the first company to introduce an rPET kit into the skies with Cathay Pacific in 2012 and since then have continually worked towards ensuring that we minimize our impact on the environment and are as sustainable as possible. This is something we are committed to across all categories and our innovative service tray design for United for example offered weight savings of 800 grams contributing both to crew happiness and reduced fuel consumption. In textiles we also continued our trend for sustainable industry firsts when we introduced Tencel onboard in our collaboration with Sheridan to deliver the finest sleep experience in the sky onboard for Qantas.

believe it is often in times of hardship that real connections are made. In addition, this situation has afforded us the time to evaluate our position, what has worked, what hasn’t and plan for the future. With remote working necessary in certain parts of the world we have put our systems to the test and continue to work without interruptions. We have also found new ways of working and are currently in the midst of an exciting new design project with a leading airline to reevaluate and redesign their entire meal service concept. The project has been commissioned in this way so that we can work in partnership with the airline and truly understand their pressure points, hopes and aspirations in order to develop a fully bespoke solution. We are thrilled to be working in this collaborative way rather than the tender approach as we really are able to get to the heart of the project by working with all the relevant stakeholders. We have favored and encouraged this approach in the past and are thrilled that it is something we can replicate across other customers and categories.

PAX: Why is it important to Galileo Watermark to celebrate its successes? HARMEL: Over the past 40 years we have had the opportunity to work with countless airlines and have seen the industry ebb and flow. COVID has undoubtedly challenged us all like never before but the airline industry is incredibly resilient having dealt with many crises in the past. Whilst it doesn’t seem like the natural time to celebrate our anniversary, we didn’t want the occasion to go unnoticed. Working with our customers in these unprecedented times, we have further strengthened our relationships and I

PAX: What does Galileo Watermark hope for in the next 40 years? HARMEL: Our team is also working on a new brand identity. We felt that as we look ahead to the next four decades it would be good to approach the future with a new fresh outlook. We are not through the thick of the pandemic yet and we will continue to show agility, flexibility and resilience but are confident that we will emerge stronger than before. We very much believe that GW has shown its strength and staying power over the past 40 years and whilst we will all need to adapt; we are looking ahead with positivity and a number of innovative projects on the way!

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A change is gonna come PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on what shifts are realistic for the industry in the years following the pandemic

24  DECEMBER 2020


change is going to come…or is it? Isn’t it interesting how in times of unprecedented chaos, we believe that this will be the catalyst for change? And then, it seldom is. Around this time, we would have all been at IFSA in San Diego and readying ourselves for WTCE Hamburg in April. Instead, we are looking at yet another virtual expo. In my opinion, a virtual expo is like flying a simulator. It looks sort of real – but it just isn’t. The workarounds we’re currently experiencing in food service and onboard service are either touted as the “new norm,” a term I particularly dislike as this is anything but normal, or temporary situations in anticipation of a return to the real normal. Whilst a few companies have had some wonderful ideas for products and alternatives for their output – I’m thinking Monty’s Bakehouse, FORMIA, dnata, Kaelis – and others have innovated in anticipation of volumes returning to some semblance of normality. As far as embracing change, my prediction is that a few of these changes will stick but eventually the industry – or what’s left of it – will revert. That may sound gloomy but the truth is that we will emerge leaner and more expensive and… pretty much the same. This is unfortunate because there is much that needs change, not least, relationships between airlines and suppliers.

Let’s first look at technology. A lot has been said about how it will reshape ticketing-boarding-serving processes. The much-hyped facial recognition and seamless systems for self-check-in as well as agentless boarding are hailed as the way forward. I don’t think so. Not for a long while. It’s not that the technology can’t do it (of course it can, most of the time), but there are other factors at work which many ignore or pretend are not there in order to promote this “New World.” Firstly, the pandemic put an end to people confidently using touch-screen check in. They aren’t great even in the best of times. They frequently need human intervention to work. And they’re bacteria spreaders (they could position a flu-ridden sneezing child in its place to equal effect). The whole face-recognition-one-stop-shop and easy boarding thing is, for the vast majority of the world, a pipedream at most. Aside from multiple software integration problems, there is increasing suspicion of this technology. However, the biggest problem, is the buy-in from agencies. For example: From entering the airport to taking my seat on a short domestic flight here in Asia, I need to show passport and boarding pass no less than eight times. Actually, nine now with the added COVID-tracking and temperature check. Everyone, including airport security, check-in subcontractor, airline, customs, immigration, airport police, crew, ground security, all want to have their little peek at my passport and boarding pass. Why is it necessary? Well, most of it isn’t but that’s the set-up and it’s not going change anytime soon until you can get all agencies to agree on a uniform ID check. Good luck with that. Looking at foodservice, I see little scope for major change – with perhaps one exception which I’ll get to later. Some airlines will cut back further on onboard offerings but the plain fact is that on long-haul flights, you have to do it. The design and process of uplifting and serving food to

passengers has hardly changed since the 1950s, and neither can it. Smarter cups, lighter cutlery, cleverer packaging and innovative food combinations will not eliminate the fact that we still need hi-loaders, meal carts, onboard galleys and crew. The major change I’m hoping for is that the cooperative nature between caterer/suppliers and its customers improves. With Temasek (SATS/gategroup/Servair and maybe LSG?), dnata and Newrest being pretty much the only players, the choice for airlines in many cases is ‘take it or leave it’. Since the day American Airlines famously took the olive from the FC Salad, the battle has waged. The result is that nobody wins, least of all the passenger. None of the global alliances, or even our own industry associations, could improve it. When airlines emerge from the settling dust of the pandemic, I think we might realize the true value of service and of those who deliver it. The survivors will initially be chasing a nervous market. To woo them, they will be offering not cheap fares (except for those low-cost carriers that have nothing else to offer) but better service. Legacy carriers that are gambling on the long-game will be the winners. New LCCs will emerge too but, in time. The volumes will return and the capacity will be playing catch-up. Until it matches or exceeds demand, competition will be more service oriented. That can only be a good thing for suppliers and caterers – and hopefully a catalyst for a change to the dynamics of pricing and service to something more humane and realistic. But let’s not hold our breath. If history teaches us one thing, particularly in this business, it’s that we don’t learn from it. New generations of would-be game-changers come along believing they can re-invent the wheel and pretty soon, we’re back to where we were. Unless, unless we look seriously at all the problems that were in play up to March 2020… and do our level best to avoid them in the future. Here’s hoping.

Catering’s evolution is a series of slow forward steps. Here, Qantas Empire Airways takes the first steps in passenger food service




One airline that has stepped up to the challenges of COVID19 is Delta Air Lines, which keeps the middle seat vacant

EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE In this guest column, passenger engagement strategist, biometrics and neuroscience subject matter expert Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis examines the emotional effects of the pandemic that airlines must consider when rebuilding passenger confidence. Kefallonitis is Founder & President at LLC


ince the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has been written about safety, security, and our collective response. Besides the obvious health impact of the virus, the emotional well-being and mental state of airline employees and passengers has been top-of-mind for airlines. Effective communication lessens these psychological and psychosocial effects by maintaining an informed public. It eliminates stress and increases the comfort level in flying. Among top airlines that successfully handled information about the pandemic are North American carriers such as Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.

26  DECEMBER 2020

Emirates and Qatar Airways have also been adept in disseminating information to employees and passengers alike. The COVID-19 pandemic is dictating a close cooperation and collaboration among airlines, airports, regulators and air transport organizations. Yet there has been very little evidence of collective actions. Leading airlines have shown a big interest in cooperation, while little real evidence of achieving this is absent. The threat of the disease may be global, but prevention and treatment are much of a personal matter for each passenger. Passengers’ social behaviors will change after such global traumatic events. Fundamental hygiene rules, such as hand

Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President,

washing, and disinfecting are here to stay and will slowly fade away as we build more confidence in the systems in place. Security and protection, love and feeling free and able to travel again become very important. Attention to detail is becoming increasingly important. Translating experience into hard and soft product features is something that will drive the industry over the next few years.

COVID-19 behaviors & fatigue Psychological effects of the pandemic include, but are not limited to anxiety, depression, loneliness, frustration, and fear of uncertainty. Symptoms may appear and increase gradually during the continued outbreak of COVID-19. Other effects may include social isolation, boredom, and despair. Intense anxiety and exhaustion from worrying has led to “COVID fatigue.” This fatigue does not only refer to the virus itself but also to the plethora of information about it. Communicating too much information (or unnecessary details) about the virus has the potential of reverse effects, such as terrifying people instead of informing them. Passengers experience the constant need to change their normal behavior to stop the spread of the virus, see the economic impact of unemployment in a society without a strong social security network. They become weary, isolated, and just exhausted from it. The duration of the pandemic also plays a

role in the passenger response. When enough time has passed, our brain must try to find a way to deal with this, and fatigue leads to cognitive dissonance.

Post-pandemic behavior

After a period of denial (“it will not happen to me”, “I will not get sick”, etc.) and the obvious transmittable fears, relief and an attempt to forget and return to a ‘normality’ will be witnessed. New ‘normality’ will certainly not be the same because we are not going to be the same. Yet a large percentage of frequent fliers will have the tendency of restarting their flying habits. Traveling and spending money for travel generates positive emotions as travel is associated with freedom of movement, holidays and other enjoyments. Airlines must develop new products and service bundles that will make flying even more fun and enjoyable. The bundles will correspond to a new set of passenger values to ensure sustainable business growth. Airport check-in

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Can you imagine how much more painful our forced confinement would be if we did not have telecommunications that allow us to maintain our social relations? The introduction of every new technology in everyday life creates challenges. Adaptability is the ultimate sign of intelligence and the airline industry has the capabilities of adapting continuously. A fine example comes from Singapore Airlines that turned one of its A380s into a restaurant. Addressing passengers’ real needs and offering more (not fewer) options may be the key forward. Passengers are likely to be more selective, expect more for their loyalty and be more flexible with their travel plans. Airlines need to intensify their efforts to provide an elevated passenger experience, otherwise passenger numbers may not return as soon as anticipated.

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Qatar Airways upgrades IFE monitors on 777s Panasonic Avionics Corporation announced in mid-November Qatar Airways as the launch customer for its new EcoFW 10-inch inflight entertainment upgrade program. The seatback IFE monitors on 37 of the airline’s 777s will be updated with Panasonic’s new EcoFW, creating a nextgeneration HD passenger experience while extending the life of the fleet’s IFE system and reducing operational costs. Panasonic’s IFE upgrade program, which can be achieved during routine overnight maintenance, includes the installation of a new passenger entertainment server. The IFE upgrade helps modernize the airline’s offering and stay up-to-date with changing consumer preferences – all without any increase in weight and with improved reliability. “We are delighted to work with Panasonic to bring the next generation EcoFW HD screens to our award-winning Oryx One inflight entertainment system, enabling our passengers to enjoy an enhanced journey on board our fleet as part of the airline’s exceptional five-star service,” said Salam Al Shawa, the airline’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, in the press release. Qatar named Panasonic Avionics launch partner for EcoFW upgrade program


Airbus gears up for FTE APEX Virtual Expo

At Virtual Expo, Airbus will give an Airspace update on the A320neo Family and the Airspace experience across Airbus products

At FTE APEX Virtual Expo, platinum event sponsor Airbus will discuss problem-solving and future developments and showcase its cabin products and innovations in its virtual booths. “A topic of particular importance to us is the ‘Clean Cabin’. We would like to use the Virtual Expo to make our insights about this and our overall product offer transparent to everyone,” Vice President, Cabin Marketing, Ingo Wuggetzer tells PAX. “This will help us to support the airlines’ operations, build trust with regards to hygienic aircraft cabins, and help for a quick recovery.” Airbus executives are poised to participate in many Expo events; Jeff Knittel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Airbus Americas will deliver a Keynote speech about sustainability and clean and safe air travel. And, there will be a panel discussion with Mark Cousin, CEO of Airbus’ Silicon Valley-based innovation center. The Airbus booth will showcase the company’s ‘Keep Trust in Air Travel,’ initiative, an Airspace update on the A320neo Family and the Airspace experience across Airbus products, plus the Airspace Cabin Vision 2030.


West Entertainment, Qloo partner to introduce Jetset AI West Entertainment has announced that it has formed a partnership with cultural artificial intelligence (AI) company Qloo to offer Jetset AI, which the companies will showcase at the FTE APEX Virtual Expo. West will use the new offering to provide its airline customers with a variety of new revenue generating initiatives while strengthening customer satisfaction scores. Qloo’s AI has mapped more than 750 billion cultural correlations across a catalog of 150 million cultural entities and 4 billion individual opinions. The AI partnership and machine

30  DECEMBER 2020

learning solution will predict consumer preferences across more than a dozen major categories, including music, film, television, podcasts, dining, nightlife, fashion, consumer products, books and travel. Jetset AI will offer completely anonymized insights and recommendations adhering to the strictest regulatory standards in data processing. The solution will enable airlines to build a 360-degree view of its passengers, opening up new brand partnerships, and through deeper engagement, offer personalization such as trip planning and destination recommendations.



Burrana to showcase RISE at Virtual Expo Burrana, platinum sponsor at this month’s Virtual Expo, will use the digital event to highlights its IFE platform RISE that launched in June. It is a flexible, scalable, and configurable IFE platform that consists of hardware, software, apps and services delivering seatback, wireless and overhead entertainment, as well as in-seat power, for narrow and wide body aircraft covering line fit and retrofit installations. Powered by a single software stack, shared hardware, and common power backbone, RISE can easily be scaled up or down depending on business need. Burrana will demonstrate the platform’s seatback, wireless and overhead entertainment options, as well as in-seat power, giving airlines the ability to change the user experience themselves, without costly ATPs or FSATs. “RISE was created to solves airlines’ most challenging issues regarding inflight entertainment, while providing passengers with an experience unlike any others,” said David Pook, Vice President of Marketing and Sales Support at Burrana. “The name of it comes from the fact that we want to approach the traditional IFE issues in a different way.” Visitors can join the LIVE session, hosted by Pook, at the Burrana booth.


LSG Group’s SCIS brand introduces UVC sanitizing The LSG Group has revealed that its security, sanitization and mobile device management brand SCIS now offers a complete germicidal ultraviolet light (UVC) sanitizing solution. With partner SteriFlight, SCIS has adopted a technology that has been used in hospitals for more than 20 years. It is chemical-free, performs within 15 minutes and is highly effective at sanitizing cabin surfaces, such as overhead bins, galleys and lavatories. It also effectively sanitizes cabin air and fights odors and airborne viruses, deactivating 99.9 percent of multiple variations of coronavirus, according to the press release. “We are excited to be partnered with SteriFlight and to offer unique, effective, efficient, safe and affordable sanitizing solutions that help protect our customers’ passengers and crew members,” said Randy Barnard, President of SCIS.

RISE overhead entertainment

SCIS Air Security introduces UVC sanitizing for use against coronaviruses


Safran and 3M to develop cabin cleaning solutions Safran Cabin and 3M have teamed up to supply multiplatform technologies and efforts to fight against COVID-19. 3M will provide technologies to help design cleaner aircraft cabin interiors for ‘Travel Safe’ – the joint initiative with Safran. Safran will certify 3M technology that enhances cleaning and protection features of aircraft cabin equipment and provides the capability to mitigate or improve the removal of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The solutions can be permanently embedded into aircraft interior surfaces during the manufacturing process, or they can be applied to upgrade existing interiors.

Safran will certify 3M technology that enhances cleaning and protection features for aircraft cabin equipment




NO TIME TO SIT Demand for new aircraft seating continues to be strong and companies are stepping up in troubled times to fill airline requests with products of unique use



busy Thanksgiving travel season was taking shape in the United States in late November, as passengers shunned warnings and moved through the airports by the millions, according to a report from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). What they encountered were airlines that have been taking great pains to ensure travel is as safe as possible, by innovating cabins for hygiene and cleanliness. Also, a spate of news and announcements this fall show that development of new cabin solutions continues. Some are tied to the delivery of new aircraft. Others are a response to the same pressing requirements that have dogged the industry throughout the year. One such solution was announced October 1 in the form of a new long-range Business Class seat for single-aisle aircraft by STELIA Aerospace. Though the OPERA seat is available in the Airbus catalog for all the aircraft in the A320 family, its most efficient use will be for one specific member of that family launched in the summer of 2019, says Emmanuel Regnier, Head of Sales and Marketing of Cabin Interior at STELIA. “Following the release of the game-changing A321XLR, we started to reflect on a long-haul comfort seat for singleaisle platforms,” Regnier tells PAX Tech. This emerging trend on the business travel market was well taken into account during the design of OPERA — increased privacy for each passenger (separation between the passenger and their environment - crew, other passengers), independence

32  DECEMBER 2020

Two looks at the OPERA seat from STELIA Aerospace launched in October

(direct aisle access) and enhanced comfort (full flat bed, latest IFE embodiment with up to 20 inches screen) — are now proving to be even more important in the light of the COVID crisis with the promised increased used of long-haul narrow body aircraft by the airlines, he adds. STELIA also sees an important need for secured and reduced delivery lead times. OPERA design is built to accommodate narrow bodied aircraft high production rates. The OPERA is built for a long-range narrow body aircraft that STELIA expects to average roughly 12 seats in Business Class. Priorities from the beginning was developing the widest seat with a full-flat bed, a fully integrated door and ample storage areas. Adjustable armrests and ambient lighting were also in the design. OPERA’s overall weight makes it suitable for long distance flights and a simple design makes for easy integration in the cabin. “Particular attention has been given to the interior trimmings of each seat with soft and warm materials, smooth mechanism and smart ergonomics, for a tailored and interactive passenger experience,” said a description of OPERA. So far, Regnier says that the seat has had good feedback from potential airline customers, OEMs like Airbus and regular Business Class travelers. “The Airbus order book gives a good indication of what this market can become tomorrow,” says Regnier. “OPERA is a product addressing the needs of the A321XLR and narrow-body and long-range platforms.”

Creating cargo solutions

HAECO’s line of cargo solutions for the aircraft cabin launched in April of this year

An additional 13,500 pounds of cargo can be stored in Alaska Airlines 737 cabins with the cargo product from HAECO Americas

The SL3710 from Recaro Aircraft Seating

While there is certainly a future awaiting long-range narrow body aircraft, another seating manufacturer is addressing more current and pressing needs of an airline on the West Coast of the United States. At the end of November, Alaska Air Cargo began boarding a new in-seat stowage system developed by HAECO Cabin Solutions in Greensboro, North Carolina. With the new product, a narrowbody aircraft will now be capable of holding up to 13,500 pounds of cargo in the main cabin. The stowage system was one of the early developments by HAECO when the pandemic began demanding new solutions from suppliers. Alaska Air Cargo operates three 737-700s and flies more than 200 million pounds of cargo per year, more than 30 million pounds of that uplift is time-sensitive seafood. Alaska Air Cargo operates to 21 stations in Alaska, but only three that are connected by road. Many are in urgent need of additional service during a public health crisis. Crew for the flights are two pilots and two cargo load agents. The agents oversee loading, ensure proper tagging, and provide fire suppression and safety of cargo within the in-seat package stowage system. HAECO has been Alaska Airlines’ provider of heavy maintenance and reconfiguration work for more than a decade, says Doug Rasmussen President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions. HAECO’s new cargo solutions were announced in April. The company quickly developed four products that allow airlines to carry cargo. They optimize passenger and cargo yield and maintain proper weight and balance requirements. The products moved from concept to offerability in less than a month. The palletized variant can hold 1,000 pounds, the all-in-one seat frame can hold 500 pounds, and the seat and floor storage systems can each hold up to 240 pounds. Other more conventional plans are in the works, Rasmussen tells PAX Tech. “HAECO will be announcing more details about our Vector Light seat soon,” says Rasmussen. “This will be a fully featured Economy Seat which will start at less than eight kilograms per passenger. Living space and comfort are the best in class, without increasing weight or sacrificing reliability.”

Launch customer

In the middle of November, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines came through with a massive order for the SL3710 Economy Class seat for its Embraer and Boeing aircraft. More than 5,500 copies of the SL3710 will be line fitted on the 737800s and retrofitted on a number of Embraer E190s. The SL3710 is the newest addition to Recaro’s Economy Class line. Weighing in at eight kilograms, the seat is designed for short- and medium-haul flights of the type operated by KLM Cityhopper. The airline has selected a version of the SL3710 with an adjustable headrest. “Not only is this our first step into the regional aviation sector, but it’s also the first time Recaro has outfitted Embraer aircraft,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “This is not an opportunity we take lightly, and we look forward to continue pursuing our vision of ‘driving comfort in the sky.’” PAX-INTL.COM





In the third installment of PAX Panel sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Middle East, executives from Zephyr Aerospace, Jamco America and PriestmanGoode examine cabin interior design for the future

ublished at the start of November, PAX Panel Episode Three, entitled ‘Examining cabin interior design for the future,’ covers interior design trends emerging in the industry. Sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) and featuring AIME Event Organizer Helen Nagle as guest host, the panelists include Jeffrey O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer, Zephyr Aerospace; Jeremy Hunter, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, Jamco America; and Nigel Goode, Designer, Director, PriestmanGoode. Alongside Nagle, PAX Tech’s Rick Lundstrom and Jane Hobson learn why minimal touch solutions are becoming commonplace and an interesting double-decker seating configuration is catching the eye of the industry. Jamco has developed a tab toilet lid on the 787 that allows the

34  DECEMBER 2020

lid to be opened/closed with a single finger, explains Hunter. It is part of the company’s collaborative clean cabin Project Blue Sky initiative announced in late-summer, which focuses on developing and producing “minimal touch,” hygienic cabin interior products. PriestmanGoode also launched a targeted program in response to the pandemic. Pure Skies is a design initiative that focuses on future growth and passenger satisfaction in the aviation industry. It includes a complete review of Business and Economy Class cabins while addressing consumer, business and environmental concerns, according to the press release. “We really wanted to look at this a bit more long-term and we wanted to get the ball rolling as quick as we can because the important thing is to get the airlines to start to thinking about what

their passengers are going to need when things start to turn around,” Goode says. Along with mitigated touch and touchless solutions throughout the cabin, unique seating configuration trends have also caught the eye of the industry since early-2020, especially the Zephyr Seat. Zephyr Aerospace’s lie-flat seat, designed for long-haul Premium Economy Class cabins, was already in development before the pandemic hit as a means to off an affordable lie-flat option. The patent-pending design also supports socially distancing in the cabin. “The product post-COVID will look very similar to what business class looked like when British Airways introduced the first lie-flat seat in 1998,” he says. “That was groundbreaking but still very new and we hope to become the standard for premium economy class travel.”


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Cabin glows up Cobalt Aerospace and STG Aerospace are helping light future aircraft cabins with photoluminescent offerings by SABRINA PIRILLO

The GLS-7 joins Cobalt’s popular LED cabin lighting which creates mood colors and soothing scenes


ntroduced in October, Cobalt Aerospace’s GLS-7 photoluminescent floor path marking is undergoing certification and is set to fly in early-2021. Joining its popular LED cabin lighting which creates mood colors and soothing scenes, the GLS-7 photoluminescent floor path marking system utilizes the kind of processes often used in the automotive and fast-moving consumer goods industries to produce a high quality product and a new value proposition for the sector. Guiding passengers to the exits in the event of an emergency, GLS-7 is a low cost, lightweight system that will keep shining bright if the cabin lights fail. GLS-7 uses no electronics, relying instead on a photoluminescent polymer that is non-toxic, non-radioactive and requires very little charging time under normal cabin lighting. GLS-7 is fully immune to liquid ingress. Not only is the protective polycarbonate housing hard-wearing and literally bullet proof, but the product itself benefits from the added security of completely waterproof pigment. “Going forward, a greater focus will be on the passenger experience,” says Gary Girard, President of Cobalt Aerospace. “To make people as visually comfortable as possible while flying is a key component of that experi-

36  DECEMBER 2020

Lighting characteristics are controlled to have the maximum disinfecting effect in all conditions

ence. Having the highest quality and truest lighting inside the aircraft to enhance that experience is what Cobalt Aerospace is dedicated to providing.”

Built for hygiene

With decades of cabin lighting design experience, STG Aerospace has developed an additional function that fights biological agents to its market leading liTeMood® LED cabin lighting. A germicidal light cleaning mode using 405 nanometer LEDs is used for enhanced cleaning of aircraft cabin surfaces quickly and easily, especially when combined with appropriate coatings. The research and development team at STG Aerospace have been quick to help customers respond to the COVID-19 threat. The photoluminescent

products (saf-Tglo® floor path marking and saf-Tsign® signage) are now available with ISO 22196 compliant anti-microbial finishes for long term surface contamination protection. The saf-Tglo range services more than 300 airlines operating more than 12,000 aircraft worldwide. The silver-ion technology can also be applied to clear, self-adhesive polymeric surface covers for convenient retrofit to cabin components such as tray tables, work surfaces and seat arm rests “With new challenges in passenger and crew safety, it was important to us that we used our agility, innovative thinking and lighting know-how to design solutions that help our customers be safe in the post-COVID world,” says Chief Operating Officer, Grant Bennett.

T H E M I D D L E E A S T ’ S O N LY A I R C R A F T I N T E R I O R S E V E N T

It’s what’s inside that counts


2-3 March 2021

Za’abeel Hall 2–3 Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE


W W W. A I M E . A E R O





turbulence Fabio Gamba shares an update on The Airline Catering Association’s industry advocacy and some upcoming events by JANE HOBSON

38  DECEMBER 2020


he search for solutions to help build passenger confidence seems to frequently include a conversation about food safety. Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that food cannot transmit the virus soon after the pandemic began. “There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food,” reads the August 2020 Food safety and nutrition news release from the WHO. In a mid-November interview with PAX International, the Airline Catering Association’s (ACA) Managing Director Fabio Gamba said the WHO finding is what the Association wants to be sure the industry, and future travelers, understand. “It is easy to understand why. But I want to get this straight up front: The COVID-19 virus doesn’t impact food safety,” he says. “Food isn’t a vector of the virus.” The Brussels-based Association published the COVID-19 ACA Guidelines Edition 1 in June 2020 to offer the industry what Members considered best practices for onboard caterers to navigate safely throughout the pandemic. “In order to do that, we considered a variablegeometry guidance that any interested company could lean on, depending on the national legislation it is subject to, and given varying risk assessments it is called to undertake in function of the epidemiological situation of the stations and countries it operates at,” Gamba explains. Now, ACA is working with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) on a second edition of the document. Expected to published in the near future, Gamba says it will provide more information on how to implement the ‘4Ps’ – People, Premises, Policies, Processes & Procedures, and Procurement – and will integrate what has been learned from the auditing processes. The revised document should act as a “turnkey solution” for any type of inflight catering activities, Gamba says. It will be available free of charge on both Association’s websites by January 2021. As the Association continues championing for the industry restart, Gamba says it is working on guidelines for what it considers a growing practice: back-catering. While airlines have used the strategy of loading enough food onboard for several flights since the inception of inflight catering, the Association predicts a significant increase in back-catering practice. This could present a challenge to caterers when paired with substantial differences in international legislation and the absence of accepted Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs). “This is not strictly related to a restart of the industry, but it is – or rather, it can be – an issue that most catering companies have been faced with, and coming up with another guidance document will most certainly help allay the concerns of airlines and caterers when faced with issues, for instance, of overnight cooling or other similar topics,” Gamba says. Its industry advocacy also includes the recent publication of an open letter to Ursula Von der Leyen, President, of the European Commission, in September stating its support of the EU coordination framework for travel restrictions. The letter was signed by the ACA, Airport Council International, the European Travel Commission and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), among others.

Fabio Gamba, Managing Director, Airline Catering Association

“We thought that the EU coordination framework was long overdue, and we wanted to encourage those still reluctant Member States to adopt and implement it,” Gamba said in an interview with PAX last month. It is also finalizing a new standard agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that can serve as a pre-existing and pre-approved template for airlines and inflight caterers. The template includes the commonly acceptable standards related to Nominated Products, sub-contracting, auditing, liability, termination and more. “I cannot stress enough how important that could be for the entire industry, which every year spends a baffling amount of resources reinventing the wheel each time a new contract is discussed,” Gamba tells PAX, adding that the standards template should be available by about May of next year. Come February, the ACA plans to host a virtual onboard catering workshop that will address essential elements of inflight catering, for which registration is now open. The event is the second edition after a successful in-person February 2020 ‘Inflight Catering “Farm to Fork” Workshop’ that was held in Brussels before the pandemic. Gamba says the Association is doing its best to stay the course despite turbulences. It has streamlined communication to its members via daily COVID-19 briefings and relevant social media updates, at the request of its membership. “An interesting aspect, which I believe is a good testimony of the incredible resilience of this industry and of its faith in a not-so-distant return to normal, is the insistence of our members to have their association keep up with its work on longer-term projects,” he says. “They feel it is important that, at a time when they re-prioritize and adapt to a contracting market, someone out there continues to pave the way for the future of this industry.”






The virtual F&B Networking Hub by SIAL Middle East – E-summit and Meetings served as an effective networking alternative for the food, beverage, hospitality and dates industry


he food and beverage sector gathered at the end of November for a one-day virtual business event organized to bring the industry together for networking and conferencing opportunities despite the pandemic. The F&B Networking Hub by SIAL Middle East – E-summit and Meetings was a major success on November 23, with more than 700 total attendees from 65 countries and 57 local and international media outlets participating in both e-sessions and the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Virtual Platform. The event was designed and developed by Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC) in collaboration with the Comexposium Group and the event’s strategic partners, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) and the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation. Abu Dhabi Chamber was the host sponsor, IMLO International was the diamond sponsor, and Lulu Group International was the event’s retail partner. According to the November 24 ADNEC press release, the event attracted twice the number of sellers anticipated, buyers increased by 438 percent compared to expectations, and more than 900 virtual meetings were organized as a result. In the Virtual Platform there were more than 120 sellers from 20 countries, and 377 buyers from 45 countries. Buyers predominately came from the UAE, Israel, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and

40  DECEMBER 2020

India. Sellers included representatives from Canada, Cameroon, Singapore, Malaysia, Palestine, South Korea, France, Afghanistan, Poland, Tunisia, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, Italy, Mauritania and the UAE. The event included nine sessions with 19 speakers, each focused on the challenges facing the global food, beverage, hospitality, and dates industry following the pandemic, as well as the opportunities for the sector over the upcoming two years. Ongoing strategies and policies to meet the priorities of the National Food Security Strategy 2051 took center stage during the discussions. Some highlighted topics include the role of UAE in supporting the food security sector, food control and ADAFSA’s strategy, agri-food investment in the Arab world, the role of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development in supporting the agriculture and food international investors. “The success in the launch of this virtual platform, which has attracted an

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb AlMheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, delivered a welcoming speech, discussing ‘The Role of UAE in Supporting the Food Security Sector’

exceptional number of sellers, buyers, and global experts, demonstrates the strategic position of the UAE,” said Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of ADNEC. “It particularly underlines Abu Dhabi as an international destination for entrepreneurs and investors. It further reinforces ADNEC’s pioneering role, given our innovative technological infrastructure and our wide range of flexible facilities.” The virtual platform, specialized in the food, beverage, and hospitality sectors has established today its position: a leading strategic contributor to enhancing global cooperation and enabling thought leader discussion and debate. Through this event, the sector is able to plan for the post COVID-19 phase, supporting the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy, and contributing to its strategic objectives in transferring and localizing knowledge and attracting international expertise.”

The F&B Networking Hub was a major success on November 23, with more than 700 total attendees from 65 countries and 57 local and international media outlets participating in both e-sessions and the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Virtual Platform


What’s Hot!

 Mask and snood range- FORMIA: FORMIA has developed a textiles solution using anti-bacterial technology for textile masks and snood range. The solution involves application of an advanced fabric treatment for lasting and continual germresistant protection for passengers. Fabrics can be washed up to 30 times while retaining anti-bacterial effectiveness.

 Air Astana Economy Class Kits – AK-Service: The “ECO concept” kits by AK-Service for Air Astana’s Economy Class include neck pillow, non-woven shopping bag, shoe horn, hair comb and other essentials for a comfortable journey. Some components such as toothbrush, shoe horn, hair comb, and ballpoint pen are made of biodegradable wheat straw-based material. It also features a cardboard phone holder. AK-Service produces kits in its factory on home turf in St. Petersburg, Russia, making quality control a guarantee.

 Antimicrobial protection – Kaelis: Kaelis and biocide technology expert COPPTECH have partnered to create onboard products (pajamas, blankets, pillows, socks, pouches, trays, jugs, ice buckets, masks for the crew, galley equipment) with antimicrobial protection against infectious diseases, pathogenic microbes, bacteria, viruses and fungi. The technology is validated by the University of Southampton. LATAM is currently offering blankets with this protection.

 International Water-Guard – IWG-UVL1: This water disinfection unit uses germicidal LEDs that emit UV light in the UV-C spectrum to render pathogens that may be in the aircraft water supply harmless, ensuring the aircraft’s drinking water is free of bacteria and viruses. The device can be installed quickly in the water line, at the spigot or faucet.

42  DECEMBER 2020

 Scented cabins – Mirandy: Super Vinall, Supple, Rug-Eeze, and Air Brite Cones by Mirandy enhance the customer experience by providing clean and pleasantly scented cabins. These products can be used to clean the interior of the cabin, including leather surfaces, carpeting and rugs, and for general deodorizing.


 Mobile kiosk – Collins Aerospace: Collins Aerospace has developed a kiosk for check-in and baggage drop. Using mobile phones, passengers scan a QR code which connects them to a common-use kiosk, with no app download necessary. Users then complete the check-in process and produce boarding passes and bag tags without ever touching the kiosk screen.

 Cobalt Unplugged – Cobalt Aerospace: Cobalt Unplugged is a 5-watt tri-coil wireless charging unit. Compatible with all Qi enabled devices, it blends into interior surfaces, enhancing cabin appearance and reducing cable clutter. It is durable and withstands damage such as spills.

 Open IT Platform – AERQ: AERQ’s Open IT Platform consists of onboard touchpoints, a software architecture and data solutions that allow for control and customization for the airline. From hardware to software to data, the IT platform connects the dots between passengers, crew and developers. Airlines gain control of all digital touchpoints and get a choice in look and feel, use cases and applications to create a competitive edge.

 vetch booth – Neutral Digital: At Virtual Expo, Neutral Digital is hosting a vetch booth and tech enhanced virtual workshop. The 3D booth will showcase an extension of what is available during a virtual conference show, plus a sales and marketing approach. Visitors can engage with 3D elements, deconstruct an aircraft engine and take an in-depth look at a British Airways seat suite.

 3D moving map – FlightPath3D: FlightPath3D supplies its interactive 3D moving map to more than 70 airline customers. With a native 4K (UHD) resolution, it provides optimum sharpness in the moving map, and window and cockpit views. The latest ‘geotainment’ additions includes a Flying Over Places feature that provides information on locations below, as well as descriptions of more than 50,000 points of interest, cities and landmarks.




A cyber solution The FTE APEX Virtual Expo is established as the air transport industry’s first major digital trade show. Running from December 8 to 9, the event, organized by the Future Travel Experience (FTE) in partnership with the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and Onboard Hospitality, serves as a space for the industry to meet, network and innovate through the challenges presented by the pandemic

8,000+ ATTENDEES More than 4,000 people have registered to participate in the Virtual Expo, which is expected to attract more than 8,000 attendees


THE AGENDA The Virtual Expo will feature an OnDemand Speaker Zone, an exclusive FTE APEX Business Model Transformation Think Tank, airline and airport case studies, a Trailblazer Showcase and more

44  DECEMBER 2020

TWO DAYS The Virtual Expo runs for two days and can be accessed around the clock, and revisited for a month afterwards

Ten CEO Keynote Speakers are lined up, including Delta Air Lines, Airbus, Star Alliance, ACI World, IATA, Alaska Airlines, Los Angeles World Airport, Munich Airport, Air France-KLM, Salt Lake City International Airport


The number of exhibitors, including industry players such as Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Burrana Inmarsat and Intelsat


- Galley - Cockpit - Crew

Face Masks | Gloves | Hand Sanitizer | Cabin Sanitizer Spray | Hand Wipes

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

5 tiny square-cut pieces of smoked salmon

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 WYLWHYLK WYLJPZLS` [V [OL ]LY` OPNOLZ[ Z[HUKHYKZ >L VќLY H ]HYPLK 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.

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