PAX International IFSA 2019

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IFSA Los Angeles

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Enhancing the passenger experience

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.


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, Managing Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Heather Eason Jeremy Clark Mary Jane Pittilla

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:

Three expos in one place


n the spring of 1997, PAX International brought its debut issue to the International Flight Services Association event in Vancouver. And last year was the first IFSA that I missed since its debut year. Oh, I was in the host city during the whole event, but with the APEX Expo and the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas taking place in another part of Boston, I was tied up there the whole time. I was relieved to know that we had plenty of qualified people who were able to carry the ball for me. This year, I’m happy that everything is in close proximity, under a beautiful California sun, and all is right with the world again. I can move freely from one event to another and I’ll be able to again meet and greet all the IFSA members, airlines and companies that have been part of our coverage from the start of the magazine. They were the first to supply us news and carried us through with loyal advertising and support. Having all these segments of the cabin services industry together, you learn how much they share the same passions and challenges. In the end, whether they’re an airline, a railroad (which we cover every fall in this issue) or any of the vast array of companies that supply all segments, their focus is still on the passenger. And there is still much to learn. Glancing over the schedule of events for all three expos reveals and long list of pertinent topics and industry experts that will fill out a week for anyone attending. Common threads of technology, sustainability and brand strategy run through the modern list of challenges, whether it’s inflight entertainment, amenities and cabin service products, or food service. The time for all of us is limited during events like this. It’s nice to now know that geography has made it easier to align our schedules once again.

PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, October, 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 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. September 2019. Printed in Canada. 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





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34 30

MOM, DAD, KIDS AND THE CAR Through enhancements to its increasingly popular Auto Train, Amtrak aims to improve the onboard experience for families traveling to Florida and for Floridians visiting the nation’s capital NOW BOARDING: SUSTAINABLE RAIL FARE Sustainability and vegetarian/vegan menus are hot topics for two major European rail operators, SBB Swiss Federal Railways and Eurostar



Virgin Voyages made some big announcements on its soon-to-be launched ship and its crew when Sir Richard Branson touched down in Toronto this spring



CATERING IN 3D SATS continues its emphasis on new technology solutions with its recent partnership with of Dassault Systèmes, giving its headquarters’ unit a “digital twin”


LATAM is paving the way for a more eco-friendly inflight future with its latest global initiative to manage onboard waste Inflight catering



IN Air Travel Experience is continuing to highlight the need for onboard sustainability with its latest airline catering release

IFSA Los Angeles


New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Enhancing the passenger experience

ON THE COVER PAX International covers rail food service, a varied airline catering industry and a fledgling cruise line with a famous name.

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE










THAI Airways has been following the industry’s lead when it comes to sustainability, while also striving to deliver on its reputation for high-quality service



Though the annual IFSA expo mainly focuses on North American aviation companies, our Asia correspondent Jeremy Clark nonetheless wonders what can be gained by excluding the rapidly expanding industry names to the east – not much, by his estimation



ONBOARD SERVICE Gispol, a family-owned Portuguese manufacturing company, began as many good things do – with an industrious person tinkering away in their garage. In time, the tinkering evolved into a company capable of offering stylish, innovative onboard service equipment from design to delivery












A FRESH NEW LOOK The staff and crew of Japan Airlines are going to be upping their style game with a new set of uniforms that will be landing on board next spring



The team at Albéa Travel Designer is abuzz with a new partnership and a recently launched line of premium but cost-effective cosmetics created with travelers in mind


We chatted with SPIRIANT about business and developments in sustainable aviation


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A cult American skincare line and an arachnid superhero have joined United in 2019 with the help of global design company Buzz


Petros Sakkis, Chief Marketing Officer at WESSCO International, looks out over the amenity-kit landscape and gives his take on the demand for more sustainable options and the growing trend of health- and well being-focused products



SIPPING IN THE SKY Making its debut at the IFSA expo this year, Bottega is eager to showcase its new organic and wellbeing-focused products created to meet rising consumer demands


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Heineken, two famous Dutch brands, have teamed several times, most recently in the airline’s birthday celebration



A look at the people and events that visitors can expect in Los Angeles


Visitors to this year’s APOT.Asia event in Shanghai watched as the city whisked by them from a bus window. Inside, they contemplated the future of a region filled with challenges and opportunities





AMI Group introduces Special Selections

DFMi hires new Business Development Manager

AMI has been working with its airline customers to add value and simplify operations by addressing obstacles they face, such as erratic volume of special meal orders; risk of non-compliant components being boarded; lack of product consistency; excessive waste from variable case packs, among other onboard items; and more. On that front, the company was recently challenged by a major carrier to offer a solution for the hurdles posed by special meals. Following a period of work and research with the airline and caterers, AMI introduced Special Selections. Based on IATA Special Meal codes and guidelines, AMI Group provides kits for meal code groups in which each single SKU kit contains an entrée, bread, butter/margarine or alternative, cheese and crackers or suitable alternatives, salad dressing and dessert. The company also offers a solution for second service which can be packed in the same box. As part of this program, AMI sources products that will freeze and provide the quality desired and attributes required by the airline. If a fresh component like green salad is desired, it is prepared and added by the caterer. The remaining items are simply removed from the kit and placed on the tray set-up or in the designated boarding location. The company closely analyzes data to develop a predictive model that allows it to produce as needed. AMI says this program improves speed-to-market for product changes and enhancements while ensuring a clear liability chain, and it is currently in the process of developing a range of kits that support the meals being offered by a majority of airlines. For more information, visit AMI at IFSA Los Angeles, stand 902.

DFMi has announced that Donna Fitzpatrick has been hired as Business Development Manager – United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East. Fitzpatrick is based in London and comes to DFMi with a wide range of experience in the travel retail sector. She worked for Alpha Retail airport shops and Inflight in the UK, and Abu Dhabi Duty Free in the UAE. Later, Fitzpatrick spent several years in a wholesale role for Travel Retail in the UK. Her work in the catering category first came with her role at Alpha LSG. During this time, she worked in Category Management for leisure airlines and most recently in Procurement and Supply Chain for British Airways. In her new role, Fitzpatrick will support all U.S. team efforts in the UK, Europe and Middle East, as well as Direct Sales expansions within these territories.

Donna Fitzpatrick


Marfo acquired by Fleury Michon Fleury Michon has announced the successful acquisition of Marfo Food Group, which will merge with Fleury Michon America and operate under its subsidiary Fleury Michon Airline Catering International. According to a statement from Fleury Michon, the merger will allow both companies to offer a uniform and global product to current and future customers. “This is the first step in a joint strategic master plan to serve our customers worldwide through various production sites including the Far East,” read the press release announcing the acquisition.

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Consistent quality on both sides of the Atlantic, including parts of South America, is one of the end goals of this move. The customers of the merged companies will be rewarded with a global product offering, efficiency and culinary workshop expertise. “In Marfo, Fleury Michon has found a partner [that] not only shares the same values in offering a superior customer experience, but also [that] believes in having a global presence for serving our clients,” the press release continued.



Norwegian Airlines flies Mr Lee’s Noodles

Mr Lee’s Noodles landed on Norwegian Airlines this June, covering all UK routes to the U.S. and Europe. Low in calories, sugar and saturated fats, the award-winning Coconut Chicken Laksa is the ideal “healthy and wholesome” inflight meal solution, according to the instant noodles company. Using cutting-edge food technologies, Mr Lee’s has created a range of six noodles with two vegan flavors, all of which are certified gluten-free, low Damien Lee in added sugars, and free of MSG and artificial ingredients. Its team uses the highest quality freeze-dried proteins and vegetables to “lock in” the original ingredients’ nutritional values. This is the third airline that has listed Mr Lee’s Noodles, making them available to passengers across Australia Pacific, Europe and now also the U.S. routes, with more airlines coming in Q4 2019.

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Lily O’Brien’s launches sharing bags Lily O’Brien’s has launched a new range of sharing bags in three flavors. The sharing range is available in bags from 110 to 120g in weight with approximately 12 chocolate discs per bag. The product launched in grocery retail trade in October 2018 and to date has delivered over £1 million (US$1.21 million) in UK retail sales. Due to the success of this ‘Share Bag’ format, which the company says is ideal for onboard and duty free sales, Lily O’ Brien’s has introduced new individually packed 10g discs for portion-controlled consumption. The individual discs come in a variety of flavors including 70% Dark Belgian chocolate, which is suitable for vegans; 40% Mega Milk chocolate, which has a 40% cocoa content chocolate; and a Creamy Sea Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate. The individual discs can be used in snack boxes, for tray set-up and in passenger self-service areas.

The new sharing bags are available in sizes of 110 to 120g



Buddy’s Kitchen announces new President and Vice President Food manufacturing company Buddy’s Kitchen, Inc. announced the retirement of Buddy’s CEO Dave Smith and the promotion of Chef Joseph Chiovera to President of the company. In addition, Buddy’s hired Chef Joshua Rappaport of LSG Sky Chefs/Alaska Airlines to lead its Culinary and Design team. Chiovera was promoted to President of Buddy’s Kitchen effective June 1. He holds a BA in Food Service Management and an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. “Becoming President is the next step in this journey,” said Chiovera in a statement. “I am extremely passionate about working closely with our customers, addressing their challenges in the ever-changing and evolving world of food service in today’s demanding ‘I want it my way and I want it now!’ atmosphere. We will continue to dig into understanding needs and required functionality before developing platforms for our customers. This is the most excited I’ve been about food in my career. There are no rules and with

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the migration of other cultures coming into our country, flavors are exciting and limitless. Let’s go!” Joshua Rappaport, Joseph the new VP Culinary Chiovera and Innovation for Buddy’s, is a graduate of Brown University as well as the New England Culinary Institute. In his new role at Buddy’s Kitchen, he will lead the Culinary and Design team serving multiple airline, convenience store, big box, grocery and restaurant customers. “From the moment I started working with Buddy’s as a customer, I have been continually impressed with the customer-driven approach and spirit of teamwork which infuses everything the organization does,” said Rappaport. “I thrive on open communication and collaboration, which makes Buddy’s a great fit for my own style of innovation and leadership. I look forward to bringing my culinary and airline experience to bear in such a positive and dynamic environment.”

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TravelPlus Gold Award Best Brand Collaboration



Bangkok Air Catering opens new CNX unit Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) has announced it opened a new catering unit at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). At the kitchen’s official opening on July 8, BAC’s Managing Director, Linus A.E. Knobel, noted that the location means “a significant upgrade to the inflight catering services currently on offer to international and regional carriers at Chiang Mai.” Since BAC’s opening in 2006, when it provided inflight catering for only two airlines at Suvarnabhumi, Knobel has helmed the company. The caterer now has over 20 international airline clients at the location. In another venture, BAC also signed a five-year deal to be the inflight service provider at Don Muang Airport (DMK) in alliance with its sister company Gourmet Primo, which delivers a range of culinary solutions to low-cost airlines, VIP and charter flights out of the airport. The major catering services contract commenced July 1. BAC also manages two units at Samui (USM) and Phuket (HKT). Its unit at USM mainly supplies Bangkok Airways and an assortment of charter flights; at HKT, it has been catering to international and regional carriers for over two years.


Kaelis releases patented tray Responding to the growing use of personal electronic devices for inflight entertainment, Kaelis Group has developed and received a patent for Bassú, an innovative meal tray that also serves as a smartphone or tablet holder. This device allows passengers to dock their device while enjoying their food on board, providing a handsfree way for them to eat and view at the same time. Bassú is a light, ergonomic and useful tray, designed with a small slot that solves the lack-of-space problem that is often found with standard onboard folding trays. Devices can now be within arm’s reach and visible to the passenger, without taking up too much space. Kaelis can adapt Bassú to the needs, sizes and/or materials that each customer requests. By selecting this onboard solution, Kaelis says that airlines will be investing in their passengers’ comfort and improving their experience with a minimum required investment.

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16  SEPTEMBER 2019




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WK Thomas launches new sustainable cutlery packs WK Thomas has launched a new line of disposable cutlery kits available in a range of sustainable materials. Options manufactured with recycled content or made from renewable resources allow for a mix-and-match approach to ensure that these new disposable cutlery packs match an operator’s sustainability needs. Over the past six months, WK Thomas has been developing new ranges of cutlery and sealing films to address the need for more sustainable pre-packed cutlery in the onboard, travel and food service sectors. “We identified a clear need to source more environmentally friendly single-use cutlery and to ensure that the packaging film and contents were equally as sympathetic,” said David Ellis, WK Thomas’ Head of Design. “Given the variety of waste streams that our customers were using, offering customers both a recycled and a compostable option was imperative. “As leaders in our sector, we have worked with our suppliers to source the newest products on the market and are delighted to be first company in the UK to launch a range of recycled cutlery made from 97% recycled plastic – rPET.

That is plastic which has already been used, being used again, rather than being sent to landfill or incinerated.” Also available from WK Thomas are ranges made from renewable resources. Natural birch ply cutlery and a range of CPLA utensils are available for operators who wish to compost their cutlery with food waste. CPLA is a fully compostable material made from renewable cornstarch. Each of these cutlery options can be paired with a fully compostable paper or film wrapper, condiment kit and a sustainably sourced napkin. Des Thurgood, the company’s Sales Director, commented: “To help reduce our carbon footprint, a lot of our cutlery is packed in the UK, supporting local British communities and reducing the impact on the environment by having it travel very few miles to its final destination. “With our own UK packing operation, the overwhelming majority of the cutlery service packs WK Thomas supplies to the travel sector are packed and shipped in the UK which significantly reduces our carbon footprint whilst simultaneously allowing us a level of flexibility and service that is unrivaled in our market.”


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Mom, dad, kids

and the car

Through enhancements to its increasingly popular Auto Train, Amtrak aims to improve the onboard experience for families traveling to Florida and for Floridians visiting the nation’s capital by RICK LUNDSTROM

The Auto Train from Amtrak stops in Sanford, Florida, 25 miles north of Orlando

An average of 319 vehicles per day are loaded on the Auto Train


his past summer, as the highways of the U.S. East Coast filled with families taking a mind-numbing thousand-mile drive to visit Florida’s Magic Kingdom, the country’s national rail line announced plans to offer drivers and their vehicles a more attractive alternative to dodging semi-trucks on the road. By next year, Amtrak plans to carry the first group of travelers on its newly refurbished Auto Train – which at 40 cars is currently the longest passenger train in the world – across the 900 miles from Lorton, Virginia (just outside of Washington), to Sanford, Florida (near Orlando). Moving along with the passengers will be a long line of train cars devoted to hauling their vehicles – mostly automobiles, but occasionally a motorcycle, small boat or jet ski.

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Riding the wave of a strong economy with more disposable income for travel, 2018 saw a substantial increase in passengers opting to take a different route to Florida. Ridership for fiscal year 2018 on the Auto Train reached nearly 225,000 vehicles, up substantially from the train’s annual average of 117,000. The Auto Train averaged 319 vehicles per day in 2018, with 160 vehicles per departure. The method for loading vehicles onto the 40-car train will likely change little next year. What passengers will notice is a list of new amenities and comforts that were being planned over the summer. “Coach customers will be able purchase meals in-station at the food trucks and on board in the Cross Country Café,” says Kimberly Woods, a spokesperson for Amtrak. “Coach customers will receive the complimentary continental breakfast in the Cross Country Café prior to arrival in Lorton or Sanford.” The trip on either leg of the route takes 17.5 hours, while a drive down Interstate 95 can get a vehicle to Sanford, just north of Orlando, in about 12 hours. Those passengers opting for the Sleeping Car next year will be able to relax with high-quality towels and linens. A new menu in the dining car will include complimentary wine.

Renderings of the cabin design were not available when PAX International went to press in early August. These upgrades are planned to begin January 15, 2020, but other improvements are also slated for next year. Discounts available to groups of four or more could save passengers up to 70% off their trip. The train cars will be able to accommodate larger vehicles including minivans, full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs. Passengers signing up for the Amtrak rewards program will be eligible for a priority offload program as part of their benefits. Fares for the Auto Train generally run about US$95 one way for Coach seating (though a sale pushed them down to US$89 this past summer). Fees for vehicles generally start at US$200. For around US$60, passengers can get priority offloading of any vehicle they bring along. “Our continued success depends on increasing customer satisfaction by upgrading sleeping accommodations, keeping Coach as an affordable option and providing more choice in food options in the station and on board,” said Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson in the mid-July announcement of changes to the Auto Train.


Now boarding: Sustainable rail fare

The hearty goodness of minced beef with macaroni

Sustainability and vegetarian/vegan menus are hot topics for two major European rail operators, SBB Swiss Federal Railways and Eurostar by MARY JANE PITTILLA

S Ticino risotto is a Swiss classic dish

An appetizer of meat and cheeses SBB also offers antipasti

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wiss foodservice operator Elvetino and UK high-speed rail operator Eurostar are bringing sustainability to the fore and going meat-free in their latest menus. Research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that more than a third (34%) of British, French and Belgian consumers have a meat-free day or meal weekly. And nearly a fifth of French, British and Belgian people named sustainability as the most important factor when it comes to food. Since 2018, Elvetino, the catering company owned by SBB Swiss Federal Railways, has featured regional Swiss cuisine in its dining cars. As part of its food concept, it offers typical Swiss dishes as well as two seasonal dishes every two months. “It is important for us to offer our Elvetino passengers variety, following the example of good restaurants. The main menu is revised regularly and according to the season,” says Daniele Pallecchi, Media Spokesperson, SBB Swiss Federal Railways, adding: “Since April, we have only been serving Swiss wine in our dining cars, which is very much valued by our customers, as well as our selection of regional Swiss beers.” The current menu features appetizers, such as antipasti (olives), Swiss cheeses and meats, followed by a wide range of main dishes. They include: side salad with mixed seeds; Caesar salad with chicken strips, grated Parmesan and croutons; and seasonal soup. Hot Swiss classic dishes are highlighted such as Ticino risotto; minced beef with macaroni; beef with fried onions, applesauce and Sbrinz cheese (a vegetarian version of this dish is also available); and veal Zurich style, in a creamy mushroom sauce with spaetzli (pasta) and carrots. International dishes include Thai green curry with chicken and rice.






Desserts on the most recent menu are chocolate cake, panna cotta, and the local favorite, Grisons nut pastry. The latter is described as “a sweet slice of Swiss history.” As early as 1900, the first nut pastries were baked in the Engadin region, in the eastern Swiss Alps. Over the decades, this traditional dessert made from short pastry and caramelized walnuts has gained popularity in Switzerland. For Elvetino, the year 2020 is all about sustainability. “Our goal is to live sustainability more intensely in the dining cars and to guarantee a better sustainability throughout the whole company. Our passengers should feel how important this topic is for Elvetino. The first concepts are already being worked out and will be launched shortly. These will pave the way for a more conscious use of resources and the environment,” Pallecchi explains. In selecting the food, Elvetino tries to incorporate the wishes of its passengers as well as the overall feasibility into the procurement process. In addition, its employees are called on to provide input regarding the preferences of its passengers. “Of course, there is a steady stream of suppliers, which offers us also lots of new possibilities and products. Keeping to this process, we benefit from a mix of customer wishes

and supplier offers when it comes to food selection,” says Pallecchi. Trends play an important role in Elvetino’s food concept. For example, vegan food is an important topic and is now regularly on the menu. The company also tests other food trends, such as slow food. Thanks to such special tastings, it can get passenger feedback and react accordingly to upcoming trends. Looking forward to 2020, Elvetino will continue to focus strongly on regional favorites and sustainability. Among the initiatives are: improvements in the company’s Take Away offer; the introduction of reusable coffee cups; and the use of biodegradable materials, just to name a few. “We are currently testing a new service-at-the-seat offer in our First Class wagons. We are also developing a new branding for the all-new Take Away line. In our internal academy, our employees learn and improve their knowledge in order to guarantee our guests an even better service experience. But that’s not all by far; we are looking forward to the future and every new challenge,” enthuses Pallecchi.

Bespoke vegetarian menu on Eurostar

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland

Europe, is also responding to the consumer trend toward healthy eating and meat-free diets. In May, Eurostar turned vegetarian and transformed its menu to offer passengers a range of meat-free meals to celebrate National Vegetarian Week. From May 13 to 19, passengers traveling from London to Continental Europe in either Business Premier or Standard Premier classes were treated to new dishes “designed specially to hero the great taste of seasonal and sustainable vegetables,” according to the train operator. Eurostar worked with Michelinstarred chef and Eurostar Business Premier Culinary Director Raymond Blanc to design a bespoke vegetarian menu exclusively for Business Premier travelers. Using sustainable ingredients of local provenance, the French-born chef designed hot and cold dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to be served during National Vegetarian Week. Blanc said: “Each dish I have designed with Eurostar is created with sustainability and responsible sourcing in mind. I’ve worked closely with Eurostar to create a special menu for National Vegetarian Week that showcases the great taste of vegetables.”

Swiss wines and beers are the order of the day on SBB Swiss Federal Railways

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Eurostar finds consumers are demanding healthy and meatfree meals while on the move

August 28, 2007: Eurostar carried its 100 millionth passenger October 2012: Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc joined Eurostar as the new Business Premier Culinary Director November 2014: Eurostar celebrated its 20th anniversary by unveiling its new fleet of stateof-the-art trains at London St. Pancras International station December 2016: onboard entertainment and Wi-Fi was introduced on trains

Eurostar’s National Vegetarian Week menu

BREAKFAST: Hot option: Spring onion and cheddar frittata, field mushrooms with paprika and soy sauce, spinach with hollandaise sauce, tomato Cold option: Avocado, egg and cream cheese with sunblush tomato on rye bread Cold option: Bircher muesli, apricots All served with the juice of the month, yogurt and pastries. LUNCH AND DINNER: Starter: Asparagus, pea and radish salad, pea puree, goat’s cheese, black olive crumb Hot option: Celeriac, spinach and lentil curry, cauliflower and courgette crumble; Light option: Quinoa with cauliflower, kale, raisins and seeds, yellow carrot and cucumber with egg, coriander and pomegranate seeds Dessert: Vanilla cream with rhubarb and ginger The introduction of the vegetarian menu marked almost seven years since Eurostar and Raymond Blanc joined forces to transform the onboard dining experience for Business Premier passengers. Blanc works with each of Eurostar’s kitchens to design seasonal menus combining the best of British,

26  SEPTEMBER 2019

French, Belgian and Dutch cuisine. Throughout National Vegetarian Week, Eurostar also offered passengers in Standard Premier a variety of vegetarian meals including: aubergine roll with goat’s cheese, spring onion and tomato; quinoa and bulgur salad with basil and lemon, and salsa verde; ciabatta sandwich with roasted red pepper, feta and hazelnuts; and apricot mousse. Eurostar was the first UK transport provider to receive Sustainable Restaurant Association accreditation as a Two-Star Sustainability Champion for its commitment to sourcing local and sustainably produced ingredients and for pursuing a socially and environmentally responsible approach.

Champagne served at your seat

The celebration of National Vegetarian Week wasn’t Eurostar’s only major initiative this year. In August 2019, marking 100 days to its 25th anniversary on November 14, Eurostar invited travelers to “Press for Champagne.” The specially designed Press for Champagne button is billed as a first for any UK transport provider. Travelers use the latest version of the Eurostar app to join in the celebrations and make their trip even more memorable. The first 25 passengers on selected trains could press the button, sit back

February 2017: a state-ofthe-art business lounge was unveiled in Paris

and relax as a complimentary glass of Champagne was served to their seat. The new feature was available on August 6 and then on peak Friday evening services from London to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam for the rest of the month. Marc Noaro, Chief Customer Officer, Eurostar, said: “For 25 years Eurostar has provided customers with a fast, comfortable and enjoyable way to travel. We’re trialing a new Press for Champagne button this summer to offer travelers a chance to join in the celebrations and make their trip even more special.” Eurostar customers will be given more ways to celebrate its 25 years of the international rail service when traveling over the coming months. Eurostar’s high-speed train service links London St. Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International (UK), Ashford International (UK), Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, the French Alps, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. From its early days, Eurostar has championed the environmental benefits of high-speed rail and the switch to sustainable modes of transport for shorthaul travel. A Eurostar journey from London to Amsterdam produces 80% less carbon than the equivalent shorthaul flight, according to the company.


In March 2019 Heineken® was awarded a 5 year contract with KLM and Air France as the exclusive premium beer offering on-board all flights. The deal creates visibility for Heineken® to a total of 86 million global passengers per year across both airlines.

This refreshing non-alcoholic lager is brewed with a unique recipe for a distinct balanced taste, enabling consumers to enjoy a Heineken® beer at any time of day and perfect for the in-flight market. The Heineken® Master Brewers used their expertise to brew the best possible zero alcohol beer using purely natural ingredients. Heineken® 0.0% is double brewed while the alcohol is removed and blended with natural flavours. The result is a 0.0% beer brewed for beer lovers, by beer lovers, and offers a perfectly balanced taste with refreshing fruity notes and soft malty body. Heineken® 0.0 is now available

2019 marks 100 years of KLM, and to celebrate the long partnership between the two iconic Dutch brands, passengers can now enjoy their refreshing Heineken® from an exclusive limited edition centenary celebration can. The can design celebrates KLM’s century of operation, with a graphic of the KLM global route map and Amsterdam, the home of both Heineken® and KLM, as the heart of its operations. The iconic Heineken® red star – a symbol of quality and consistency around the world - is centered on the can to express the Heineken® promise to guarantee the same great taste in all 192 countries where it is sold, the widest global footprint of any premium beer brand. From October 2019 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, a new dedicated Heineken® branded bar offers KLM and Sky Team Gold and Platinum passengers the chance to enjoy Heineken®, Heineken® 0.0 and a selected range of HEINEKEN’s international portfolio.


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Orchard Thieves® takes to the skies After a successful inflight launch with Ryanair, Orchard Thieves® is now flying through the skies above Europe. Originating in New Zealand and domesticated in Europe, Orchard Thieves® makes for a great cider, always stealing the best apples for the refreshing and crisp appley taste.





La Compagnie’s pouch features a pattern containing a croissant, representing France’s capital, and a donut, emblematic of NYC

A personal touch The team at Albéa Travel Designer is abuzz with a new partnership and a recently launched line of premium but cost-effective cosmetics created with travelers in mind


or more than 14 years, Albéa Travel Designer has been serving airlines from the briefing stage through to delivery of the resulting amenity kits, including but not limited to project management, supply chain coordination and the manufacturing of kits and comfort products, as well as logistics management and quality control checks. Their work, according to the company, plays an important role in the journeys of thousands of passengers around the world. “Airline amenity kits contribute to the wellbeing of long-haul passengers,” explains Corinne Brand, Director of Airlines Activity at Albéa Travel Designer. “They promote the brand image of both the airline and the associated beauty brands. At 11 kilometers up, the traveler experience should mean pleasure, comfort, wellbeing, excellence and authenticity – every detail matters! Our mission is to make travel a unique experience.” Albéa Travel Designer accomplishes this through its in-house “Studio 360,” which takes inspiration from fashion and lifestyle trends to create made-to-measure solutions that reflect each client’s unique DNA. In May, Albéa Travel Designer partnered with La Compagnie for

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an exclusive amenity kit project that highlighted the two destinations of the low-cost carrier: Paris and New York. The polycanvas two-pocketed pouch features a pattern containing a croissant, representing France’s capital, and a donut, emblematic of NYC. In the bag passengers will find Caudalie cosmetics, a dental kit (with toothbrush and Smile Care toothpaste), a metal pen featuring the airline’s logo, an eye mask, earplugs, bicolored socks with anti-slip airplane pattern, and a shoe bag. The amenity kit designer has also recently announced the launch of CosmoSkin, marketed by the company as a “brand designed by travelers, for travelers.” Brand explains that, as skincare is one of the most important parts of an amenity kit, Albéa Travel Designer wanted to offer something curated to the unique needs of airline passengers without the high price tag often associated with branded cosmetics. The range’s lower cost provides smaller airlines and the non-premium cabins of larger airlines an affordable way to pamper their guests. The line currently contains several hydrating unisex items that

are enriched with shea butter and the light scent of white grape and jojoba: a lip balm, face cream and hand cream. The size of each product can be adapted to a client’s needs, from 5ml to 30ml. “With CosmoSkin, we offer an efficient alternative to ‘no name’ skincare products,” explains Maxime Ridoux, Albéa Travel Designer’s Marketing and Brand Partnership Manager. “We work with one of the biggest French labs which also deals with prestigious brands.” All formulas are not tested on animals, and each product has been registered in the European portal as if it was a retail item, he adds. For more information, visit

CosmoSkin is Albéa Travel Designer’s “efficient alternative” to branded cosmetics


The Scarlet Lady, seen here in an artist’s rendering, will set sail next spring

Anchors Virgin Voyages made some big announcements regarding its soon-to-be launched ship and its crew when Sir Richard Branson touched down in Toronto this spring


his past June, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ President and CEO, announced the appointment of Captain Wendy Williams as Master of Scarlet Lady, the Virgin Voyages cruise ship set to launch in spring 2020. Williams will be the first Canadian woman to be named captain of a major cruise brand’s ship.

A wide variety of cabin types with yacht-style aesthetics will be available on the Scarlet Lady

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aweigh! McAlpin commented on Williams’ appointment in a statement: “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that make her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family.” Captain Williams has more than 28 years of experience working on ships at sea, including more more than a decade as a deckhand in commercial fishing off the western coast of Canada as well as working as a ferryboat captain. After spending more than 15 years working on the bridge of mega cruise ships, this will be her first promotion to Master of a cruise ship. “I have salt water in my veins, and nothing brings me more joy than being at sea,” said Williams. “It’s a dream come true to be working with Virgin Voyages, a company that is focused on creating an incredible experience not only for our sailors but for our crew as well, while also taking action to minimize our footprint on our oceans.” Virgin Voyages announced last year its Scarlet Squad program, intended to help increase the visibility and number of women in leadership roles in the maritime industry (women represent less than 3% of the workforce, according to a statement from Virgin Voyages). The program was designed to recruit and nurture female talent in shipboard roles, as well as improve opportunities in marine, technical and hotel management positions on board the company’s ships. Nearly a dozen other female officers have already been tapped for employment on board the Scarlet Lady, including Jill Anderson as hotel director, Christin Wenge as safety officer and Lindsay Kerber as environmental officer, alongside female engineers and second and third officers. Virgin Voyages has also developed a line-up of new itineraries featuring destinations that its sailors expressed interest in exploring while on a voyage aboard Scarlet Lady. The new itineraries will feature multiple late-night sail-aways, including a midnight departure on all new sailings. For more information on Scarlet Lady, visit










Catering in


n the past three years, SATS in Singapore plowed US$13 million into a new production line that has upped its catering capacity to more than 115,000 meals per day and opened its own technology center to automate key parts of its operations. The caterer now has the new technological capability with the help of a French company in a cloud-based solution that produces a virtual twin kitchen to give it further ability to see its operations in ways that will boost efficiency and minimize food waste, among other advantages. “With the virtual kitchen, SATS can test and simulate inflight catering operations when an order from an airline comes in for certain types of customized meals before actual production,” says Alfred Pozo, Chief Digital Officer at SATS Ltd. “This allows SATS to ensure adherence to the highest quality and safety standards for its inflight meals that will help airlines improve their customers’ experience.” The platform is now in place, and Pozo says SATS is using it as a tool to simulate scenarios within the kitchen. Historical data about the SATS unit’s operation is combined with current operations, and the caterer is now able to more accurately reduce food wastage and test the performance of new machinery it may add. “Our technical services team and catering production team are the primary users currently,” Pozo says. Production equipment layout is planned with the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE. The ability for the caterer to see its operations in three dimensions was

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SATS continues its emphasis on new technology solutions with its recent partnership with Dassault Systèmes, giving its headquarters’ unit a “digital twin” by RICK LUNDSTROM

a strong selling point for the investment and Pozo adds that the platform gives SATS an unconventional way of testing new concepts visually. Management though the system is in a centrally organized place where workers can view signature cooking recipes and processes to make consistent decisions with the large batches that make up SATS production. Dassault Systèmes officials confirm this is the first time an airline caterer has opted for the 3DEXPERIENCE from the company. The French giant has a customer base of more than a quarter of a million in 140 countries. And while the system is primarily used for operations, its application will benefit airline customers and, at the end of the line, their passengers. “In the ‘Age of Experience,’ consumers

are more discerning than ever before, underscoring the importance of excellence in the commercial operations that play an integral role in meeting airline passengers’ expectations,” said Guillaume Vendroux, CEO, DELMIA of Dassault Systèmes, in the announcement of the new platform sales to SATS. “Airline companies have become increasingly customer-centric,” Pozo adds, “and want to provide a better inflight customer experience. One way to improve the inflight experience is to offer a greater choice of inflight meals in terms of taste, dietary preferences and nutritional value. “By helping airlines in this area, the technological capabilities of the Virtual Kitchen have a positive impact on both SATS’ customers and passengers.”

Fryers and woks with automated stirrers handle the duties of employees for such menu items as noodles


One of SATS’ most recent acquisitions is a rice line system that requires fewer employees


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U.S. airlines cite Middle Eastern carriers like Qatar, Etihad (seen here) and Emirates as companies that receive unfair government support, according to Clark


Though the annual IFSA expo mainly focuses on North American aviation companies, our Asia correspondent Jeremy Clark nonetheless wonders what can be gained by excluding the rapidly expanding industry names to the east – not much, by his estimation

ice, Emirates’ IFE system, offers more than 4,500 channels to keep passengers entertained


s we rapidly head toward the 2019 IFSA conference – or maybe you are already reading this from sunny Los Angeles – the anticipation to hear from the impressive line-up grows. With BBC’s hyperventilating and well-known aviation enthusiast Aaron Heslehurst (he won’t mind my saying that – I have been on the show, so I know what he’s like!) firing the questions, we can expect to get a global approach to the issues under discussion. However, I note that the line-up only has one representative from Asia, in the form of Xiamen Airlines. An appropriate addition – but where are the others?

Fast growth

Asia is by far the fastest growing and most turbulent market in aviation. Twenty years ago, this was expected to occur by today, and the numbers have so far exceeded the predictions. Let’s look at China: 29 Chinese airlines now operate international services, compared to 12 in 2014. Collectively, Chinese airlines have seven times more seat capacity in the domestic market, and a staggering 14 of these 29 airlines have launched international services in the past three years alone. The three largest airlines in China (Air China, China Eastern and China Southern) account for 61% of international seat capacity and 33% of total international seat capacity (when foreign airlines are also included). Each of these airlines has well over 100 international routes and they are relatively similar in size.

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Jeremy Clark enjoying Qatar Airways’ onboard lounge

Emirates always aims to please with its First and Business Class meals, such as this selection from its summer 2019 menu

Where do they go?

Whilst arguments and inertia in the industry prevail – such as at Heathrow over a single new runway and the dozens of U.S. airports in a sorry state of repair – the Civil Aviation Administration of China aims to construct 216 new airports by 2035 to meet the demand. As widely reported online in late 2019, China had a total of 234 civil airports in 2018, and this number is likely to hit 450 by 2035. In addition, data shows that demand for passenger air transportation in China will surpass the U.S. by 2035, representing almost one-quarter of the world’s total flights. Airports in China managed 552 million travelers last year, which is expected to grow to 720 million by 2020. It isn’t just China experiencing growth. Nepal has begun development on the terminal buildings at its planned new Pokhara International Airport, which is set to replace the city’s existing gateway in 2021. India continues to upgrade aviation infrastructure despite glitches in the airline sustainability markets, and further investment at Singapore’s Changi is working to ensure its place as the world’s most popular airport.

Clouds ahead?

However, it is not necessarily all sunshine and flowers. The big growth in Asian aviation markets has been largely due to low-cost operators like AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, IndiGo and others. From a service and quality perspective, this isn’t the best situation; from a revenue and sustainability point of view, it also comes with issues. The “stand-alone” low-cost carriers like AirAsia succeed mainly because they stick rigidly to the typical LCC model. Cash is king and service is an

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incidental, as was demonstrated by the appalling queues I witnessed at Penang, my home airport, this past summer. When I made public my concerns (tweeted from @trayset), I actually received a response from AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes placing the blame squarely on Penang Airport. This situation opens up another side of Asian aviation growth: the wafer-thin margins, the cost cutting, the inability of airports in regional locations to cope and the lack of awareness by governments as to what is actually happening in aviation in their own backyards. Reporting from Malaysia, I get to see first-hand how Asian market growth is causing problems in reality due to a lack of preparedness.

Legacy versus new

Let’s quickly look at the plight for the legacy carriers. Singapore Airlines is surviving as a result of a very carefully planned and risk-averse growth strategy and the luxury of hubbing through Changi. Meanwhile, Thai Airways struggles, reporting 2018 losses of US$365 million, up from a loss of US$66 million in the previous year, and is not expected to be in the black before 2022. Next door, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has a completely different problem. Whilst some would suggest Singapore Airlines is a private company (it isn’t when you study the politics), it does have this advantage over state-run MAS. The Malaysian government, according to current reports from ch-aviation, is prepared to sell a majority stake in Malaysia Airlines if it continues to have influence in how the airline is run.


This is what I mean about lack of awareness. Who in their right mind is going to buy into a failing business where the cause of the failure insists on “having a say” in its operation? The government says that while they’ll listen to proposals, the prospective investor would have to fulfil conditions that include no staff reductions and no injected cash into the carrier; Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad additionally said they do not want to “lose control” of it. Seems the Malaysian taxpayers will be bailing MAS out for some time, or it will go. The younger economies are faring better. Vietnam Airlines, for example, reported 30% higher profits in July than expected, reflecting a robust performance from the airline amidst a slowdown in purchasing power growth and a saturation of the domestic market, not to mention a surge in fuel price and wayward currency fluctuations. They have introduced Premium Economy Class on the Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh route, offering passengers economical Business Class seats. The service quality on its international flights has also been further enhanced since they put twin-aisle A350s and 787s into service. The airline has introduced in-town check-ins at Hanoi and Danang, and the proportion of online check-ins has grown year-over-year, reaching nearly 50% at all three major domestic airports (Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat). For the LCC market, the seat growth is thick and fast. Malindo Air (Lion Group), VietJet Air, Tigerair, Jetstar, Scoot and others are all vying to muscle in on AirAsia’s dominance of the region. Interestingly, these are split into two groups: the stand-alone LCCs like Lion Group, and the “siblings” of the legacy carriers like Singapore Airlines and HK Airlines, which was recently acquired by Cathay Pacific. The history of legacy-owned LCCs isn’t great when you look at the mature markets – I’m thinking of TED (United), Go (British Airways) and recently Air France’s Joon, all of which failed because of their relationships with their motherships and the complexities that brings.

Meat and gravy

All Asian airlines are affected by fuel costs. They cannot escape it, as few are in oil-producing economies. How they compete is, like everyone else, on service and price. This is both good and bad. Asian airlines are known for excellent service levels – at least once they are in the air – and competing is easier as the costs of service provisioning are lower than in the Western Hemisphere. However, the lower purchasing power of the passenger market means prices must be kept low in order to keep up the volume – great for high-earning visitors zipping about the place, hard for

the airlines who can’t only rely on that source of income. India in particular has badly misread the markets at all levels and we have seen the subsequent fallout. The service issue is, I believe, also at the heart of recent arguments between the U.S. and the Middle East, the latter of which is accused of unfair support from governments who, according to U.S. airlines, prop-up the likes of Qatar, Etihad and Emirates. Well, support comes in many shapes and sizes. In September 2005, four of the U.S.’s six major airlines had filed for bankruptcy but were still permitted to be fully operational. If that isn’t a form of governmental support, what is? So how else to compete? The U.S. airlines get bad press for their inflight service, although most of the big three Business Class products, whilst not on par with, say Singapore Airlines or Qatar Airways, are good. In the back it’s another story, with only Delta really making any effort to improve things. In Asia, LCCs are slowly dumbing it down, but the natural expectation of Asia’s service culture drives competition upward in this area. Airlines like Bangkok Airways set the bar high by offering a “boutique” service while still managing to sell tickets at prices similar to LCCs. As this market grows, it will be interesting to watch how service levels compete and become a determining factor of success or failure compared to pricing, routing and timing. This may be the case in regional Asia – and we are beginning to see this happen as even LCCs up the service game to stand out.

Made in China

In China, it’s altogether different. Here we are basically starting with a blank page. The glitzy new airports hide a new problem – look very closely at some and you’ll see shortcuts in materials and bad finishing or poor workmanship. The growth is so fast they can barely keep up. Onboard service is dire on many of the regional carriers, with only Hainan Airlines and maybe China Eastern making any inroads to the levels found throughout the rest of Asia. The vast majority of the flying public has no previous experience from which to judge. This is it! When you think of Asian aviation markets, I suggest you split them into two clear sectors: China and the rest. According to the BBC, China is building eight new international-sized airports per year, and by 2024 it will be the world’s largest civil aviation market. In addition, by 2025 one in five flights from or to anywhere will be within or from/to China. But it is also the most insular, self-regulated and self-contained of all aviation markets – especially in the area of service and F&B. These numbers should get Aaron stimulated for his IFSA talk, but I wonder how much of it we’ll be discussing come September. Singapore Airlines recently invested more than US$36.8 million into lounges in Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 to further cater to its most loyal passengers

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Waste not, want not

Ignacio Cueto, President of LATAM Airlines Group (left), at the July 17 launch of the program

LATAM is paving the way for a more eco-friendly inflight future with its latest global initiative to manage onboard waste


n July 17, LATAM Airlines revealed it is setting its sights on reducing the large amounts of onboard waste accumulated on its aircraft every year with a program titled “Recycle Your Journey.” The program hit the skies the same day as the announcement, and the airline anticipates that from August to December 2019 the efforts will result in the recycling of more than 20 tons of waste on domestic flights in Chile. The initiative is part of the airline’s larger “Together, More Sustainable” strategy which has been in place for more than 10 years. The focus of the program will be the recycling of waste from Mercado LATAM, the carrier’s buy-on-board food service, and will be gradually rolled out through LATAM’s Latin America operations. In it, aluminium, glass and

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plastic will be segregated and funneled into the proper post-flight channels. Ignacio Cueto, President of LATAM Airlines Group, said in the July press release announcing the initiative: “As one of the three most sustainable airline groups in the world, we are committed to bringing about change and leading by example. Today’s launch of our ‘Recycle your Journey’ program on domestic flights in Chile represents just the first step towards the introduction of onboard recycling across our network.” Collaboration and cooperation are key aspects of the program, he added. “Without the support and willingness of our passengers and the commitment of our cabin crew, onboard recycling is not possible,” he said. This is the first stage of the company’s onboard recycling program, with the eventual goal of recycling all

packaging waste created by Mercado LATAM. By the end of 2020, LATAM expects it will recycle more than 55 tons of onboard waste each year. Several stages will occur to bring “Recycle Your Journey” to life. Following the onboard Mercado LATAM service, the cabin crew will collect the waste from passengers, separating it into aluminium, glass and plastic. On arrival at the aircraft’s domestic destination, LATAM’s partner LSG Sky Chefs will receive the segregated waste and transport it to local recycling centers. “Recycle Your Journey” was in development for more than a year prior to its launch and underwent four trial programs to define and perfect the processes. Currently, aluminium, glass and plastics are being recycled.

Make it simple, but significant.



ONBOARD SERVICE Gispol, a family-owned Portuguese manufacturing company, began as many good things do – with an industrious person tinkering away in their garage. In time, the tinkerings evolved into a company capable of offering stylish, innovative onboard service equipment from design to delivery by HEATHER EASON

Raw material like this has been made into useful serviceware at the Gispol plant in Lisbon since the 1990s


ispol, a full-service manufacturing company based in Lisbon, started out as a manufacturing partner to international brands. In the 1990s, it leveraged its years of manufacturing and product development experience to expand into the aviation and food service industries directly with carriers. José Godinho, an inventive engineer with a pioneering spirit, was already producing products for well-known brands like Chicco and Johnson & Johnson. “The Portuguese tooling and manufacturing expertise are part of our history,” Ricardo Alves, Gispol’s General Manager, told PAX International. Godinho decided to expand into the aviation industry, so he invested in injection molding and thermoforming equipment. This helped him land his first airline client, TAP Air Portugal, a partnership has flourished over the past 26 years. Once Gispol expanded into the aviation sphere, it drew the attention of European design- and service-centric

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companies. “What started in Godinho’s garage grew to be a full-size, full-service manufacturing company of premium airline catering and service products,” said Alves. Gispol counts international carriers including Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific among its clients. Gispol has now evolved into a company with approximately 80 employees in its main factory. Its location in Lisbon is extremely strategic; not only is it the closest large European city to North America, it has extensive road and water access to the rest of Europe, as well as Africa and the Middle East. Lisbon’s proximity to an industry hub has also come in handy. “Marinha Grande, the Silicon Valley of the mold-making industry, happened to be just next door,” explained Alves. The area’s more than 300 mold-making companies have decades of experience serving demanding markets. As such, they can provide flexible delivery



times and competitive pricing that serves Gispol well. Gispol prides itself on producing both leading-edge disposables and rotable service items. They aim to set themselves apart from the competition through short response times and complete supply chain management. Gispol has a balanced product and production mix that has enabled the company to weather changes in market demand. Alves noted that after the tragic events on September 11, 2001, airlines removed most of their stainless-steel products and rotable plastics in favor of single-use plastics. Now, environmentally conscious airlines are reversing course and trying to cut out single-use plastic items and reintroduce rotables across all classes of service. “Our strength is having a balanced approach and innovating towards the market trends,” said Alves. One of Gispol’s continuing missions has been to support airlines in their efforts to become more environmentally friendly. “At Gispol, sustainability is not a new item on the table,” affirmed Alves. “Gispol has been investing in the last 20 years in the overall efficiency and environmental impact of the business. We are the first Portuguese company to be ECOSENSE Certified.” The design team at Gispol is currently working to provide a variety of sustainable options for clients, including products made from recycled materials, biodegradable options and extremely durable rotables. As injection molding specialists, Gispol is developing sustainable materials that can be processed with the same molding equipment as their plastic-based products.

With new regulations on the use of disposable plastic looming in the EU, rotable and sustainable products, like those made by Gispol, will play an important role in future food service

The Gispol team is also hard at work developing new service concepts. Through new crew equipment development, they aim to create a more sustainable service that will also increase crew efficiency. In addition to product innovation, Gispol hopes to improve the strength of its brand. Although Gispol has been serving the retail and aviation industry for decades, it only recently made its debut as an independent supplier of inflight products in 2018 at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg. “As a leader in the development and advancement of the travel and food service packaging industry, we have yet to achieve the appropriate brand recognition,” admitted Alves. “We as a team hope to achieve that recognition and continue to be a game changer.” As Gispol grows to better serve its clients and stay ahead of market trends, it still values its past. The company’s mantra is to “stay true to your craft and continuously improve and evolve.” However high it flies, Gispol’s team is committed to remembering its beginnings as a single innovator producing quality products out of a humble garage.

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Sustainable Solutions

SPIRIANT joined forces with PaperWise to create a new brand portfolio made from 100% agri-waste

We chatted with SPIRIANT about business and developments in sustainable aviation


PIRIANT, a company that develops innovative inflight concepts, recently joined forces with PaperWise to create a new brand portfolio of solutions made from 100% agri-waste (plant leaves and stems that would normally be burned), for airlines looking to incorporate sustainable solutions. We chatted with SPIRIANTs Product Manager of Leisure and Smart Solutions Vladislav Voron about business and sustainable solutions in aviation: PAX International: We have been talking a lot recently about sustainability and how it applies to the inflight experience. Do you feel as though this shift in focus has come on rapidly or has it been a long time coming? Voron: Through the last couple of decades, there were some developments of ecofriendly solutions. However, due to the higher cost and usually low availability of these solutions, there was no real thought within the airline industry to invest in sustainable inflight equipment. In the last one to five years, there has been considerable interest in sustainable solutions, which is mostly due to new regulations for single-use plastics. Passenger are also more concerned about the sustainability of the products they are using. Especially after the announcement of the EU Commission’s Directive Proposal on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment in May 2018. Within the first three months, after the EU Commission’s proposal was published, multiple airlines worldwide asked us for the products which would be compliant to the directive.

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PAX: What brought on your PaperWise collaboration? What products have you thus far created with their material, and are the products currently with any airlines? A: During our search for sustainable solutions, we found a great one. The overall approach of upcycling agricultural waste, the care for the short transportation distances, the CO2 neutral production and the great end-of-life possibilities of the material make this one flagship of the possible paper-related solutions. We use it for many applications like various meal boxes, cups, wrappers, carry-on bags and stickers. Nearly all the packaged products in the Munich Airport lounge are using our products made of PaperWise. PAX: Do you think there are aspects of the onboard experience that, though they may not be eco-friendly, will always be a part of the industry, simply due to logistics or cost involved? Voron: The limiting factors won’t be logistics, costs or passenger expectations, but rather existing regulations. Their implications make sense for the non-airline industry, but they do not for the airline industry. For example, due to regulations, in the future it will not be possible to use oil-based plastic or bio-plastic for cutlery. The main driver behind this regulation is marine plastic waste. However, this fear is irrelevant for the airline industry because unlike brick and mortar retailers, the waste will always be collected on board by the crew. When the recycling infrastructure is broadly available someday, it will generally be more sustainable to use bio-based plastic which, will then be recycled compared to stainless steel which because of its higher

Vladislav Voron

weight ,would increase the fuel usage of the carrier and by that would also increase the overall carbon emissions. PAX: How quickly is your catalog of sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable options growing? Voron: Last year we were able to switch the strategy of many product groups within the area of Leisure & Smart Solutions to completely sustainable portfolio development. Just within this product category, there are 24 product groups. For each of them, we have developed between five and 15 alternatives. Only the best value ones were chosen to be real options, suitable for placement on the market. Multiple projects, consultant advisory, cooperation with chosen trusted sustainable partners and airline associations, as well as discussions with EU Commissions representatives were accomplished. PAX: It’s often said that many of the ecofriendly materials available have a higher cost associated than their traditional counterparts. Do you think the difference in price will eventually level out? Voron: Due to growing requests for renewable materials, new factories are currently being built, and there will be even more in the future. It recently became possible to process some of the materials automatically instead of a manual production method. Together with higher volumes, these are the main drivers to level out the costs for many materials.

GENERAL INFORMATION IFSA REGISTRATION DESK Registration is located in the South Hall Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, California 90015.

THE REGISTRATION DESK WILL BE OPEN: Sunday 8 September ...................................15:00-17:00 Monday 9 September ................................... 8:00-17:00 Tuesday 10 September.................................8:00-18:00 Wednesday 11 September ...........................9:00-16:00 Neck wallets are required for admission to all events including the Thought Leadership Conference and Networking events.

Press Attendees will also have access to Monday’s Thought Leadership Conference. IFSA Exhibitors and Guests may attend the Thought Leadership Conference with the proper registration. SECURITY There will be a security team at the Exhibit Hall for the duration of the IFSA EXPO. Neck wallets must be worn at all times. MEALS To accommodate your busy IFSA EXPO schedule and allow additional flexibility in your day, lunch will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday. South Hall G. Please refer to the EXPO App for details.

IFSA EXPO The IFSA EXPO will be held in South Hall G at the Los Angeles Convention Center and is open to delegates during these following hours: Tuesday 10 September............................... 10:00-18:00 Wednesday 11 September ......................... 10:00-18:00 CO-LOCATION IFSA Airline Attendees, Exhibitors, Guests, and Press Attendees will have access to the APEX and AIX show floors Tuesday through Thursday. IFSA Airline Attendees and IFSA

*Please note all times are in local PDT.


EXPO hall lunch, Sponsored by: Michael J. Devine & Associates

Dessert Sponsored by: Eli’s Cheesecake Company; The Hershey Company

IFSA EXPO INNOVATION PAVILION New to the 2019 EXPO floor is the Innovation Pavilion! This dedicated area is intended to provide valuable content and resources for attends on budding trends, and pertinent industry topics. This showcase, series of sessions, and interactive presentations will focus on pressing and unique issues such as zero waste, mixology, healthy menu options, and more!

2019 EXPO THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Join IFSA for an all-encompassing event, bringing the scope of the passenger experience and the future of travel to one city. Slated for this event is our Thought Leadership Conference that begins with keynotes from CEOs from leading global airlines, followed by general sessions that explore key topics and issues focused on the advancement of the airline industry.

SESSION LINE-UP: Tuesday 10 September

Wednesday 11 September

What is Innovation? 11:00 – 11:15

Flavor In Altitude 11:30 – 11:50

Delivering Brand Vision Through Food 11:30 – 11:50

Creating a Zero Waste and Making a Commitment to Earth Friendly Packaging 12:15 – 12:35

Wine Around the Globe and Global Wine Trends 12:15 – 12:35 The Cheese Board Explosion 13:00 – 13:20

Royal Encounters: Premium Class Passenger Drinks 13:00 – 13:20

08:45 – 16:00 LACC Main Level Concourse Hall Morning Sessions Sponsored by: Panasonic Avionics Corporation Breaks Sponsored by: Encore Inflight Limited Emcee Sponsored by: BBC World News NextGen IFEC Track Sponsored by: Inmarsat Global Ltd

For a complete, up-to-date schedule download the APEX/ IFSA EXPO app. Sponsored by DFMi

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SUSTAINABILITY The IN.bowl achieves 55 to 100% reduction of singleuse plastics, according to IN Air Travel Experience

Bowled over IN Air Travel Experience is continuing to highlight the need for onboard sustainability with its latest airline catering release


ollowing IN Air Travel Experience’s recent launch of susta.IN, the company is presenting IN.bowl, a development founder Anne De Hauw calls a genuinely sustainable game-changer for airline catering. As the company tells PAX International, evolving passenger demands and impending legislation are paving the way for a radical change in the way passengers eat on board. “The scale of inflight catering today is astounding, as is its waste problem,” De Hauw says. Half-eaten meals, discarded packaging and empty plastic water bottles contribute greatly to the mountains of waste taken from aircraft around the world every day. De Hauw cites statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which show airlines produced 5.2 million tons of waste in 2016 and are predicted to produce more than 10 million tons annually by 2030. While the statistics include all variety of disposable products, a large chunk is directly related to food service, which creates waste that typically ends up in landfills around the world. Airlines are investing in pre-ordering food, data science, predictive analysis and farm-to-fork initiatives, and are starting to experiment with recycling tools and alternative packaging. Costs remain a key concern, De Hauw cautions, and in many cases plastics are actually very effective and may even be the best material to use.

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Yet more and more authorities, including the European Union (EU), are responding by taking ambitious steps, introducing concrete measures to reduce or eradicate single-use plastics. This legislation severely impacts the airline industry, according to De Hauw, as airline catering often relies heavily on single-use plastics and expensive waste management. ‘’One of the key solutions in moving towards a more environmentally friendly inflight experience is reducing cabin waste,” De Hauw notes. “We are strong ambassadors of simplifying the onboard service: do less, but do it better! It almost seems too simple; removing excess items whilst improving the quality of service undoubtedly increases passenger satisfaction.’’ Making the onboard product and service less complex but better in quality will accomplish three goals, she explained: 1. A solution for the EU singleuse plastic ban. 2. An increase in customer satisfaction scores. 3. A reduction in cost for product, cabin waste and waste management. Anne-Céline Donkersloot, Strategy and Experience Design Director at IN Air Travel Experience, agrees. “When was the last time you ate a four-course meal on-the-go or, in fact, at home?” she asks. “Buddha bowls, protein

bowls, poke bowls, yoghurt and granola bowls – bowls are the new plates! “The IN.bowl is our solution for airlines that offers better-quality food, a larger meal and a holistic sustainable concept that reduces catering, handling and waste management costs substantially.’’ The IN.bowl is designed to remove all unnecessary elements and put the value where it matters: in the food. Quality in food is the major passenger satisfaction driver, not the complexity of a multicourse meal and disposable packaging. In addition, the IN.bowl achieves 55 to 100% reduction of single-use plastics. “Besides significant cabin waste savings, the IN.bowl also generates space, weight and cost savings. Additionally, the IN.bowl is easier and faster to serve and more efficient to clear for flight attendants,” Donkersloot continues. “The service flow benefits, combined with the yummy food, creates a positive engagement for the crew with their passengers.’’ Finally, the intangible value generated by the IN.bowl is significant: the airline’s brand perception improves, as passengers increasingly want sustainable products from sustainable companies. “We’re accelerating the development of sustainable initiatives that simultaneously boost customer satisfaction and generate smart savings,” says De Hauw. “This means scrutinizing current business models. This is the direction that our airline customers need us to take. The IN.bowl is only the beginning!’’



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A fresh

new look The staff and crew of Japan Airlines are going to be upping their style game with a new set of uniforms that will be landing on board next spring


apan Airlines (JAL) has revealed its new uniforms for cabin crew, ground staff, pilots and other uniformed representatives, slated to launch in April 2020. The collection was designed by Yasutoshi Ezumi, a renowned name in Japanese fashion. The process began in early 2019 when the airline tapped passengers and fans for comment and opinions on the uniforms its representatives donned at the time. The airline

used this feedback to work with Ezumi to improve on the functionality of each type of uniform, and a committee of JAL uniformed staff were tasked with the selection process, during which time they not only considered the basic concept but also the cost, according to a press release from the airline. The airline is also shifting its attention to sustainability by using recycled materials in the making of these garments.

Cabin Crew

Two concepts – “Refined Hybrid Beauty” and “Hybrid Modern Beauty” – were brought to life by Creative Director Ezumi. Different materials were combined in the design, and the airline’s corporate logo and signature red color were also incorporated into the new styles. The airline notes that the silhouette of the one-piece uniform represents the curve of a crane’s neck, part of the JAL logo, which was paired with a balloon-shaped sleeve, a rarity in the airline industry. Scarfs and aprons of different styles will be featured on each JAL Group airline, with a new trouser option now available to cabin crew.

Ground Staff

This series of uniforms was designed with movement in mind, with the corporate logo and color used in the same manner as in the cabin crew versions. A longer scarf featuring flowers drawn by Ezumi in more than 20 colors is included as an option. JAL lounge staff will don a pink-beige colored jacket that represents the sense of formality found in the lounge. The reception staff ’s uniform includes a highly visual cream-beige colored jacket.

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Engineering Staff

Descente Japan Ltd. designed the coveralls for this segment of the JAL uniforms. Emblazoned with the airline’s logo, the uniform was designed with sportswear in mind give it a functional yet stylish look. The outer coat, designed by mont-bell, protects the wearer from severe weather conditions such as heavy rain and winter conditions.

Flight Crew

Movement was also a focus in this unisex uniform design; the previous version was updated slightly to enhance functionality, the airline says. A jacket has been introduced specifically for female pilots, a first for the airline, featuring a single-button style and a scarf in place of the necktie. The scarf displays a motif of an origami crane designed by Ezumi.

Ground Handling Staff

Similar to the engineering staff uniform and also designed by Descente Japan Ltd., the airline opted for several different versions of the ground handling staff attire to correspond with a variety of work demands. Polo shirt uniforms were also introduced to help stave off the heat during the summer. The outer coat was designed by mont-bell.

Kariyushi (traditional wear in Okinawa)

This segment of the new uniform series is meant to be worn during the summer in Okinawa. Designed by Ezumi, the motif includes five Okinawan flowers in a design that represents the Omotenashi (hospitality) of Okinawa. The Kariyushi style will also be introduced as an option for pilots for the first time. All Kariyushis are made in Okinawa.

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The Spider-Man kit was introduced on board ahead of the July theatrical release of Spider-Man: Far From Home

United’s latest


A cult American skincare line and an arachnid superhero have joined United in 2019 with the help of global design company Buzz by RACHEL DEBLING


Sunday Riley, United and Buzz’s partnership was announced at the 2019 World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo

Sunday Riley developed travelsized products specifically for the release

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igh-performance skincare brand Sunday Riley has been brought on board United’s Polaris and Premium cabins, in United Polaris lounges and in United Club showers thanks to a partnership made possible by Buzz. Originally launched on board in April 2019, the amenity kits were a result of a cooperation between Buzz, United and the popular skincare company. Mark Krolick, United’s Vice President of Marketing, said in a statement when the kits first launched: “Sunday and her team really took the time to understand how travel and the aircraft environment affects our customers and formulated an inflight remedy that complements their journey with United from beginning to end. By elevating the skincare products offered on our planes and in our lounges, we can continue to lift the experience customers have when traveling with United. We are thrilled to be working with a trailblazing businesswoman and entrepreneur who is making a global impact from our Houston hub.” Sunday Riley, founder and CEO of the eponymous brand, also commented: “Being a part of the United experience gives us the opportunity to be with our customers wherever they go. We love being able to elevate the amenity offering and connect with an entirely new audience as they get to pamper themselves in the air. With these new exclusive products, customers around the world can feel and look their best while on their journey.”

With Buzz’s help, Spider-Man landed on board United this spring

The United Polaris Business Class kit featured four exclusive Sunday Riley products: a pomegranate seed oil and shea butter lip balm, a botanical face cream, a hand cream containing shea butter, cocoa butter and rose hip seed oil, and a facial cleansing cloth with peppermint extract. United Premium Plus passengers receive the lip balm and hand cream, while United Premium transcontinental passengers receive an amenity kit with the lip balm. Lounge and club products – also exclusive to United – feature a hand wash containing cucumber and green tea extract, a shampoo with cucumber extract and rose hip oil, a conditioner with green tea extract and pomegranate seed oil, a refreshing body wash with cucumber and green tea extracts, and a shea and cocoa seed butter

moisturizer for body and hands. Buzz first partnered with United for its United Polaris cabin launch in 2016. “With the focus for United Polaris on delivering a superior sleep and rest experience, Buzz was tasked with creating the soft, sleep-enticing pajamas to help passengers arrive at their destination feeling relaxed,” Simon Yaffe, Director Client Relationships at Buzz tells PAX. The two companies have since worked together on multiple projects, collaborating recently on a Spider-Man kit for the airline’s Business Class passengers. On the superhero-themed promotion, Alison Espley, United’s MD Product Development and Brand Management, told PAX: “Just as SpiderMan symbolizes a powerful commitment to public safety, United’s top priority is keeping our customers and crew

safe on board while they are traveling ‘far from home’. The Spider-Man: Far From Home partnership allowed us to engage customers and employees in new innovative ways. Some of the ways we delighted customers and introduced a bit of fun into their travel experience was by tying in Spider-Man to different customer touchpoints such as our safety video, amenity kits and signage at airports. The partnership also enabled us to showcase our brand and products via the organic in-film integration around Peter Parker’s trip to Europe.” Yaffe also notes: “Whilst Buzz are renowned for delivering design-led, innovative brand collaborations to the onboard industry, we are also responsible for putting smiles on the faces of millions of children worldwide with our kids’ amenity creations. This combined expertise has allowed us to create the fun Spider-Man themed kits, giving every Polaris passenger the chance to fullfil their superhero dreams.” Buzz are working on more innovative releases with United, but Yaffe teases that industry insiders will have to “stay tuned” for more details.

Putting global food and beverage solutions on board for 30 years

A lot has changed in 30 years. For AMI one thing has not—our enthusiasm for bringing


solutions to our customers in an ever-changing landscape. We take this opportunity to thank you: our customers, suppliers, and team members for your support during the past 30 years. Global Solutions

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PAX-INTL.COM    AM 2/4/19 10:46



in the sky

Making its debut at the IFSA expo this year, Bottega is eager to showcase its new organic and wellbeing-focused products created to meet rising consumer demands

Bottega Gin “Bacûr” features ingredients like fragrant natural botanicals and pure Alpine water Limoncino Bio is the fully organic version of Bottega’s most popular liqueur


This organic “Il Vino dei Poeti” Prosecco DOC Biologico is an Extra Dry sparkling wine vinified from organic grapes

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n a move meant to reinforce its reputation in the American inflight food and beverage industry, Bottega SpA will be exhibiting for the first time at the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) expo from September 9 to 11 in Los Angeles. The company explains that, aside from raising brand awareness and providing their team with an opportunity to meet new clients, the show will allow them to better cement relationships with the North and South American airlines in attendance. Their booth will showcase products specifically designed for onboard enjoyment as well as those that meet the growing demand for healthier products. Valentina Dalle Mule, Bottega’s Area Manager Airlines, explained in a statement from the Italian company: “Over the past year, I have noted increased interest and demand for craft, vegan and organic options. Surveys run by main airlines show that customers would like to see more of these [health-focused] products on board the flights; we already have the perfect ones for these clients and we are working to further enhance our offering.” Alitalia has recently brought on board its aircraft Limoncino Bio, the fully organic version of Bottega’s most popular liqueur, produced with certified organic ingredients including organic Femminello Siracusano lemons, organic alcohol, organic sugar and organic essential oil of lemons. The company notes that other major airlines have asked it to develop new products in

specialty sizes as well, such as a mini 20 cl bottle of the organic “Il Vino dei Poeti” Prosecco DOC Biologico (organic), an Extra Dry sparkling wine vinified from organic grapes. Other organic products in Bottega’s range includes Bottega Ginger, an organic liqueur created in response to the consumer “superfood” ingredients trend, and its organic extra-virgin olive oil. At IFSA, the company will also present the miniature bottle and the spray version of Italy-distilled Bottega Gin “Bacûr” which features ingredients like fragrant and natural botanicals (juniper berries from Tuscany, sage from the Veneto countryside, and Sicilian lemon zest) and pure Alpine water. “This product reflects Bottega’s experience with grappa and brandy, and represents the high level of distillation techniques achieved by Italian distillers,” Dalle Mule noted. “This gin hit all the right notes synonymous with Italy: authenticity, taste and of course, style.” Bottega has aggressively invested in expanding its global presence also through the travel retail and duty free channel over the past 15 years, and its products are currently listed in the catalogs of 60 airlines and are globally present in duty free shops. In 2015, Bottega was awarded “Best Supplier Of The Year” at the Frontier Awards in Cannes, and “Produttore dell’Anno” (“Producer of the Year”) by ATRI (Italian Association of Travel Retail) in Milan. The company’s products will be available for tasting at IFSA, stand 619.


A cold Heineken was poured to passengers on a KLM flight to Curaçao in 2016

Beer buddies I

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Heineken, two famous Dutch brands, have been teamed several times, most recently in the airline’s birthday celebration

n the summer of 2016, KLM flight 735 from Amsterdam to Curaçao had on its World Business Class menu a special Indonesian rijsttafel (Dutch for rice table from Heineken®) and for the first time, a beverage that perfectly matched its menu’s hearty flavors, served fresh and cold. The airline was up to the challenge of serving draught beer in flight with a specially developed beer delivered cold to the aircraft in kegs enclosed in highly insulated shells. Cabin staff were trained to pour the beer at cruising altitude, though the airline admitted that beer flows as well at 36,000 feet as it does on the ground. However, any visitor to Amsterdam will recall the special flair that the bars in the capital city dispense the foamy drink with a signature swipe of a spatula to finish off the pour. The “BrewLock” service on KLM worked on air pressure instead of CO2. This is because air pressure in an aircraft cabin is very different from air pressure on the ground. The air

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pressure brings the “BrewLock” up to the right pressure, compensates for the low pressure on board, and builds up the pressure at the tap. The trolley is still in use for special flights. And continuing the close relationship between the brewer and the airline, Heineken this summer launched an exclusive limited-edition inflight can with 25cl of beer celebrating the Dutch airline’s 100th anniversary. The can’s design celebrates KLM’s century of operation, featuring a graphic of the global route map showing KLM’s connections across the world with Amsterdam. The Heineken red star has been a part of the beer for 155 years. The brand has also found a home around the world and served in 192 countries. “These two iconic brands, born in Amsterdam, have combined their strengths to create memorable moments for travelers on KLM flights in this exceptional year for the flag carrier of the Netherlands,” said Veroniek van Duren-Meijer, Senior Brand Manager

Heineken® Global Duty Free, in the announcement of the new can design. The can will be on board KLM aircraft until the end of the year but was introduced on June 31, exactly 100 days before the airline’s centenary on October 7. In March 2019, Heineken Global Duty Free was awarded a five-year contract extension with KLM and Air France with Heineken as the exclusive premium beer offering on board all flights and at a new dedicated Heineken-branded bar in the KLM Crown Lounge (non-Schengen) at Amsterdam.




WELCOME ONBOARD. Defining the future of the global passenger experience industry. Four leading events, one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail offerings and software technology to create the ultimate passenger experience.

30 MARCH 2020


Organised by:

In co-operation with:


The Thai Way THAI Airways has been following the industry’s lead when it comes to sustainability, while also striving to deliver on its reputation for high-quality service



cross the aviation and onboard passenger service industries, companies are feeling a communal belt-tightening, thanks much in part to the rising cost of raw materials. Like its international counterparts, THAI Airways, and by extension THAI Airways Catering, is not exempt from this pinch. Still, THAI is moving ahead with expansion plans and projects to offset the economic downturn. As the company tells PAX International, the airline is maintaining its business operations by adjusting its policies and pressing further into areas of growth, such as its Puff & Pie bakery operations, located at the carrier’s headquarters in Bangkok, as well as its continued efforts to deliver what it is perhaps known best for: authentic Thai cuisine, served thousands of feet above the Earth. THAI’s team of chefs accomplish this by using locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes, resulting in a “wow” factor

that consistently impresses passengers the world over. This is especially seen in its dessert selection, which includes several time-honored dishes beloved in the airline’s home country. “With locally grown material and inspiration from Thai culture for its design and decoration, THAI onboard desserts reflect Thai with modern twist,” THAI explains. One example is its garland-shaped Sung Yod rice Thai pudding with coconut topping, which was featured on its limited-edition Mother’s Day menu earlier this year. (Sung Yod rice ice cream was available in Royal First Class on international flights.) Other examples include mango sticky rice and tub tim krob, both of which were dessert types included on a list of best international desserts compiled by CNN International. Perhaps not coincidentally, its move to chip away at operational costs is also having a positive impact on its expenditure. THAI is attempting to

Sung Yod rice pudding and mango sticky rice served in Royal First and Royal Silk Class on THAI Airways

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make adjustments to its water supply and electricity consumption, PAX is told, as well as shifting to lean management to reduce material losses. “The result: decreased overall expenses and restructuring costs for competitiveness, allowing us to maintain profits more sustainably,” the company says. Keeping its menu fresh and exciting is of the utmost importance to the airline, as it recognizes this facet as one of the drivers in customer satisfaction and therefore retention. From July to August of this year, its Royal First Class and Royal Silk Class cabins on select Bangkok departures to European destinations featured a menu created in cooperation with Lebua Hotels & Resorts, and from August to October, THAI passengers in these classes on flights from Bangkok to Japan will be served traditional Japanese ramen noodles; that service was the brainchild of THAI and Menya Itto Bangkok, a Thai branch of the popular Japanese restaurant. More inflight culinary news will come when the airline launches thrice-weekly roundtrip flights from Bangkok to Sendai, Japan, on its 777-200 aircraft, beginning October 29.




Petros Sakkis

Petros Sakkis, Chief Marketing Officer at WESSCO International, looks out over the amenity-kit landscape and gives his take on the demand for more sustainable options and the growing trend of health- and wellbeing-focused products PAX International: The industry has been abuzz recently regarding sustainability and how it applies to the inflight experience. Do you feel as though this shift in focus has come on rapidly, or has it been a long time coming? Petros Sakkis: Airlines have been adapting to new demands and regulations for quite some time with WESSCO leading the way in sustainable amenities since the mid-90s. With the environment currently at the top of the agenda worldwide, we can expect to see a lot more sustainable options onboard. PAX: How do you think WESSCO fares when compared to competitors in terms of sustainability? How quickly is your catalog of sustainable, biodegradable or recyclable options growing? Sakkis: WESSCO has been at the forefront of sustainable amenities with eco-friendly items and collections such as Eco Zen. Furthermore, our range of green options through collaborations with organic brands and sustainable products is growing at a fast pace. PAX: It’s often said that many of the eco-friendly materials available have a higher cost than their more traditional counterparts. Do you think the difference in price will eventually level out? Do you have any specific examples? Sakkis: It depends on the product, but the main challenge is in introducing alternative materials such as wheat straw and compostable plastics. As these materials and products are gradually being introduced, demand for them will grow until they become the norm. PAX: The health and wellbeing of the passenger is also an area in which we are seeing more attention. Can you provide some examples of projects WESSCO has worked on that have put the airline customer’s wellbeing at the forefront? Sakkis: We recently launched a soft goods program for American Airlines in collaboration with Casper. Sleep engineers experimented with prototypes for more than a year to create soft goods

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Passenger wellness was at the forefront of WESSCO’s recent partnership with bedding company Casper and American Airlines

tailored to American Airlines’ long-haul cabin environment. We complemented the program with high-quality breathable cotton loungewear to bring the comforts of home to the cabin. Our multiple award-winning collaboration with Neal’s Yard Remedies for All Nippon Airways is focused on organic skincare for optimal skin nourishment and hydration. Similarly, our recently launched Icelandair amenity kit features natural Icelandic skincare by Hannes Dóttir for optimal skin nourishment and regeneration. PAX: The amenity kit is a pretty standard format, and has been for years. Are there simple, creative ways that WESSCO’s designers have found to disrupt this formula and make it more attractive to airline guests who appreciate products that address their health and wellbeing – for example, partnering with “clean” beauty brands or holistic companies? Sakkis: Over the years we have been replacing traditional fabrics with smart materials like Tyvek or vegan leather. We have also partnered with selected beauty brands that follow strict eco-friendly, sustainable methods and use the finest organic and natural ingredients. Our program for All Nippon Airways with Neal’s Yard Remedies, a certified carbon-neutral, organic skincare brand, would be such an example. Fortunately, the demand for such “clean” solutions is being driven by the demand generated by increasingly eco-conscious travelers. Be sure to check out our new collaborations at the APEX 2019 show. PAX: As a mainstay of the industry for many years, do you find that your team is more often than not approached by customers as opposed to having to actively source them? Sakkis: 2019 marks our 40th year in the industry. We cater to the travel industry worldwide, including hotels and cruise lines, with a wide range of product categories. We meet at trade shows and other industry events to go over current projects whilst exploring other opportunities in other product categories.


Asia on the

Visitors to this year’s APOT.Asia event in Shanghai watched as the city whisked by them from a bus window. Inside, they contemplated the future of a region filled with challenges and opportunities

GO by RICK LUNDSTROM, reporting on location

F APOT CEO and PAX International contributor Jeremy Clark gategroup Chief Commercial Officer for Asia Pacific Franck Bouat, and Diskomat’s Area Sales Manager Sven Hedell at the Robot.He restaurant

One event not to be missed was an evening cruise on the Huangpu River to view the skyscrapers of Pudong in their fully lit glory

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rom June 16 to 18, an intimate, casual gathering of industry figures toured the teeming city of Shanghai as part of the Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT.Asia) group, sampling cuisine, seeing the sights and pondering the future of one of the world’s most important aviation centers. A fast-moving three days unfolded, mostly on the busy streets and highways of the city amongst its population of more than 26 million. During the second day, the group took to the road, and attendees spoke about their company histories and plans for future business in China and beyond. At the close of last year’s event in Perth, Australia, APOT founder Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya announced Shanghai as the next venue. Organizers were faced with the challenges of a totally new and different environment and host country from the usual APOT networking gatherings. The meeting drew delegates from Europe, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the U.S. and China, and representatives from caterers in Asia and India, as well as the Chief Commercial Officer of gategroup Asia Pacific, Franck Bouat. This year the concept was a “conference on-the-go” with a bus replacing the traditional conference venue and


Discussion was lively and interesting as delegates from APOT.Asia rolled through the streets of Shanghai Tony Mesiano (center, standing) gave APOT delegates a tour of the Tender Plus meat processing plant in Shanghai. The company has supplied meat products to Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia

a moving scene outside to keep the interest alive. APOT is as much about understanding and learning about the location of the forum as it is an opportunity to converse with industry peers. The first evening rounded out with a wonderful dinner at a well-known Shanghai restaurant near The Bund section of the city, hosted by Tomoko Fujisaki, Director of Sales Asia at WESSCO International. On the second day of the gathering, after APOT CEO Jeremy Clark welcomed all aboard the mobile boardroom, PAX International’s Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom kicked off the on-the-go presentations with some insights into China’s aviation growth and forecasts supported by some astounding figures. The presentation revealed that 29 airlines are in service in the country and 216 airports are currently under construction within its borders. While still not operating under an Open Skies agreement, air travel between the U.S. and China (the world’s two largest economies) has grown considerably in the last five years. At the end of 2018, three U.S. airlines – Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines – and five Chinese carriers – Air China, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines – operated between the two countries. The number of nonstop routes between the two countries increased from only 10 in 2006 to 28 five years ago. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that by 2022 U.S.-China air traffic will carry nearly 10 million passengers.

Joanne Cook, Managing Director of SIAL Middle East, and APOT Founder Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya at an evening out in the amazing city of Shanghai

However, after several booming years, the National Travel and Tourism office in the United States reported that for the first time since 2003 the number of tourists from China to U.S. dropped by 5.7% last year. A strong U.S. dollar and trade tensions have been some of the reasons cited for the reduction. After the delegates gathered at the Intercontinental Shanghai Expo Hotel, the first stop on the day trip was the Tender Plus meat processing plant. Chief Operating Officer Antonio Mesiano talked about the company’s imported meat products, which he said are favored by the Chinese, often over locally produced goods. In the past, Tender Plus has supplied meat products to Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia. Lunch was at the fascinating Robot.He restaurant, operated by the country’s e-commerce, retail and tech retail giant Alibaba and where food is ordered and managed using an app. While the visit revealed that the future of robotized hospitality still has a way to go, it was nonetheless an insight into the direction China is moving. During an afternoon drive through the city, passengers heard from gategroup’s Chief Commercial Officer for Asia Pacific, Franck Bouat, on the industry’s ambitions and challenges in the region. Vietnam Airlines Caterers’ Bert Dinkel talked about the growth and changes in Vietnam. (For instance, he revealed that one Chinese airline is now the caterer’s second biggest customer after Vietnam Airlines.) The crowd also heard from IT specialist Mohan Mathew, Director of AeroChef, on the advantages that the better use of data and information is making in an ever more competitive business. Onboard amenity specialists Ansen Wang of WESSCO International and Vanessa Xu of FORMIA both talked about their challenges working in China compared to the rest of the APOT regions and how Chinese airlines compare to other well-established regional carriers around the world. An evening cruise on the Huangpu River offered delegates a look at the skyline of Shanghai, with its massive skyscrapers bathed in ever-changing light. The group was joined by the Chairman of Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, Lorenzo Fasola Bologna. APOT organizers are busy at work and plan to host another event next year at a to-be-determined Asian destination. PAX-INTL.COM




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What’s Hot!

 Sustainable comfort products – John Horsfall: John Horsfall is a 150-year-old family business that focuses on enhancing the inflight passenger experience with solutions that aim to elevate the journey. At this year’s IFSA Los Angeles Expo, the company will be showcasing creative and sustainable comfort products and collaborative brand design opportunities. Visit John Horsfall at IFSA, stands 923 and 1022.

 Nature’s Basics – HACO: Nature’s Basics nuts and snacks contain heart-healthy, plant-based protein for onthe-go snacking with simple, clean ingredients and eco-conscious packaging made with 40% post-consumer recycled material. Available in five varieties including Sea Salt Nut Mix and Roasted Chickpeas, the snacks are gluten-free, vegan, kosher and non-GMO. Visit HACO at IFSA, stand 539.

 88 Acres – DFMi: 88 Acres is seeding a vision of better snacking with its seed bars, seed butters, and seed‘nolas. Every product contains healthy fat, complete protein and a spectrum of body-boosting minerals and antioxidants. Its products are made in a bakery free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame. Visit the DFMi pavilion at IFSA, stand 719.

 Coconut Chicken Laksa – Mr Lee’s Noodles: Mr Lee’s Pure Foods has entered an ongoing partnership with Norwegian Airlines to supply its Coconut Chicken Laksa noodle flavor to passengers on UK routes to the U.S. and Europe. Coconut Chicken Laksa was the winner of of the Great Taste Awards 2019 and the Best of Health Awards 2018. The meal consists of fragrant chicken curry rice noodles with chunks of 100% chicken breast, creamy coconut, tasty cauliflower, green beans and turmeric. Certified gluten-free and low in sugar. Find out more at

 40% Mega Milk Chocolate Share Bag/ Discs – Lily O’Brien’s: Ideal for use in airline catering, Lily O’Brien’s 40% Mega Milk Chocolate Share Bag (110g) and 40% Mega Milk Chocolate Egg with seven chocolate discs (290g) contain high cocoa content milk chocolate, which makes the chocolate more intense, but retains the creaminess of milk chocolate. Find out more at

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 Real egg products – Gut Springenheide: Gut Springenheide offers real eggshells decorated with vibrant colors and patterns that can be filled with savory or sweet surprises. Egg specialties made by Gut Springenheide are prepared using natural untreated ingredients – without any artificial flavorings and preserving agents. The company also manufactures a range of frozen egg products for savory and sweet breakfasts, snacks or a side dish for a main course.



The Mercury Award Flex-e-Bag Waste System Serving Airlines and Distributors for the past 15 Years  The Barista Cup – Freshorize: Imagine being able to offer your passengers a delicious brew of coffee in flight. With the Barista Cup you will not only be able to do this, but also offer a selection of blends, flavors and roasts. From the first sip, passengers will feel they have their very own barista onboard. Visit Freshorize at IFSA, stands 537 and 636.

From Flex-e-Drawer and Flex-e-Friends HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 Earbuds model ID-72JC – InflightDirect: InflightDirect has started production of an improved economical, sound isolating earbud (model ID-72JC). With a small eartip, the new device is designed to provide a comfortable fit into passengers’ ears. The 10mm speaker and the angle of the earpiece provide outside noise reduction and enhanced sound quality that projects directly into the ear canals. Airlines can customize the product with brand color combinations, including eartip color with company logo displayed on each earpiece. Find out more at

See you in 2020 at the WTCE. Stand no 3C45 Beside the Taste of Travel. PAX-INTL.COM



 Aeroflot infant amenity kit – AK-Service: During the summer months, Aeroflot rolled out an amenity kit for parents traveling with infants under two years old. The purpose of the kit is to make the flying experience more comfortable and enjoyable for parents. Everything in this kit is brightly colored and made of safe materials. Traveling children will enjoy the soft books and toys that are included, while parents will have access to wipes and a comfortable bag. Find out more at

 Green Is Possible – Global Inflight Products: Global Inflight Products (G.I.P.) designs and manufactures environmentally-friendly onboard products focused on the passenger experience. Its Green Is Possible line includes natural, biodegradable and recyclable products such as birch and bamboo stir-sticks, napkins, cups and trash bags. Visit Global Inflight Products at IFSA, stands 611, 613, 710 and 712.

 All Nippon Airways amenity kits – WESSCO International: All Nippon Airways (ANA) partnered with American clothing retailer Fred Segal and airline amenities supplier WESSCO International to create a Business Class amenity kit for the airline’s new Tokyo to Honolulu route. The kit has Fred Segal’s branding as well as a design that celebrates ANA’s Honolulu route. The pouch includes an ANA-branded Tyvek tote and comes with a Fred Segal romance card, eyeshade, earplugs and dental kit. Visit WESSCO International at APEX, stand 1122.

 Original Italian craft beers – Group SOI: Original Italian craft beers are made using carefully selected hops, pure saffron and other locally sourced ingredients. The Saffron Golden Ale is a refreshing light-bodied and naturally carbonated beverage and the Triple A.P.A is the company’s original red beer, which is finely made with American hops combined with fennel seeds for a full-bodied taste and a spicy finish. Find out more at

 Eco-friendly products – Kaelis Group: Airlines can provide greener onboard products in partnership with Kaelis. The independent provider of onboard products, services and solutions has devoted a section of its website to eco-friendly products such as bamboo fiber disposable cutlery and bagasse plates, bowls and cups. Find out more at

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 Wildway Coconut Cashew Granola – DFMi: Wildway Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola is a soft and chewy blend of organic fruit, nuts and seeds. This product is great by itself as a snack or it can be used as a topping for yogurt. Delivering on many major food trends, Wildway is certified gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo and vegan, and made with zero added sugar. Visit the DFMi pavilion at IFSA, stand 719.

GOURMET S E L D o o N 0,000FT at 4

 Chum Fruit Bites – AMI Group: AMI is now offering Chum Fruit Bites, which are available in single servings (about 50 calories each) and in a variety of flavors. The products are 100% natural, gluten-free, vegan and kosher, and the company donates 15% of its profits to WildAid. Visit the AMI pavilion at IFSA, stands 902.



 SpaceCombi Compact – MKN: SpaceCombi is a professional combi steamer made for kitchens with limited space or for front cooking and serving stations, ideal for use in airline catering. It is only 55cm wide, yet still comparably equipped to larger models. The automatic cleaning system and the consumption display are just a few examples of user-friendly features. Find out more at

Only Mr Lee’s noodles use the FINEST Freeze-dried INGREDIENTS to create amazing tastes, GIVING YOU A Healthier on-board meal, with absolutely no nasties!





Heading to La-La Land Sunny California is welcoming the biggest names in the onboard amenities, catering, comfort, interiors and IFE categories this September, and international visitors have a lot to be dazzled by



Year Los Angeles was officially deemed a city, becoming the capital of Mexican California

MILLION Number of tourists who visit Los Angeles each year

655.8 miles Length of the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs along California’s shoreline, making it the longest route in the state

4,800 YEARS


Age of a bristlecone pine tree in California, thought to be the oldest in North America

First film that was completed in Hollywood, in 1908

October 1,


Fiftieth anniversary of LAX, which opened in 1928 as Los Angeles Municipal Airport

50 feet

Height of the famous Hollywood sign, which originally read “Hollywoodland” 74  SEPTEMBER 2019

4 million

Approximate population of Los Angeles (the city, not the county) as of 2018. Compare that to 1830, when only 750 people called it home

$21,000 Cost of the Hollywood sign at the time it was built




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



— solutions — DESIGNED TO

any need. Meet us at the IFSA 2019, Booth #539 9–11 September in Los Angeles, CA

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