PAX International | Tech December 2021

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DECEMBER 2021 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

IFSA Long Beach

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Starting fresh,

connecting countries


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EDITOR’S LETTER

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

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

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

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

PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times a year by

Looking back, looking forward

T

his issue of PAX International and PAX Tech has accounts of two startup airlines that will soon be flying; but the story of the industry’s efforts to get back on its feet doesn’t end with the launch of Northern Pacific Airways and David Neeleman’s newest baby, Breeze Airways. Just as we were completing the issue, another airline we have covered recently, Japan-based ZIPAIR Tokyo announced that on Christmas Day of this year, it will operate its first route between Narita Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. “Our mission is to define a new standard in the air travel industry by offering a unique low-cost business model on long-haul international routes. ZIPAIR features a NEW BASIC travel experience by offering personalized services during the flight, which will essentially shorten the sense of time. We are eager to welcome travelers in the US to personally experience this truly new concept in air travel,” said Shingo Nishida, President of ZIPAIR Tokyo, in the November 12 announcement. In a time when uncertainty is still very much the order of the day, it is gratifying to see people and companies willing to push forward. With these beginnings, we are also seeing the ending of an era. If the readers have an aviation geek on their Christmas list, look no further than Emirates and its partners for a unique take on a coffee table or clock made from aircraft parts. The airline that made the A380 famous announced in November it was retiring the first of the big jets and selling off pieces with the help of Wings Craft and Falcon Aircraft Recycling. Emirates is not alone in retiring the A380. Singapore Airlines announced last year that it would be eventually dismantling seven of the aircraft, and the process started recently. If there’s any more evidence needed that the industry is going to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a different look and feel, I can’t think of any. And if anyone wants a keepsake to mark the survival of air travel, a piece or two from A6-EDA, Emirates’ first A380, would be a reminder that the only thing that is constant in commercial aviation, is change.

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

publisher. © PAX International magazine

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CONTENTS

12 Features AIRLINE PROFILE

12

NEW IN THE NORTH Northern Pacific Airways is set to launch next year, connecting East Asia and North America at its hub in Alaska

CATERING

16

24

18

SWEET AND SUSTAINABLE Newrest’s commitment to the environment has the company teaming up with local beekeepers in two major cities, maintaining hives on airport property THE SMART LOAD Airlines in the Lufthansa Group are working to control the cost of wasted food through a digitally scientific approach developed by Retail inMotion

GUEST COLUMN

20 A CENTURY OF SUCCESS DECEMBER 2021 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

IFSA Long Beach

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Starting fresh,

connecting countries

ON THE COVER

Northern Pacific Airways will launch next year, with a fleet of 757-200s connecting East Asia and the US. More on this new airline’s bold livery inspired by Alaskan landscapes on page 12.

Hans Engels, Export Manager at Sola, looks back at the company’s success through the years on the eve of an important anniversary, and introduces three new cutlery designs

22

FOOD & BEVERAGE

24

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

8

WHAT’S HOT

40

4  DECEMBER 2021

THE ENVIRONMENTAL HERO In this guest column, Tomas Jämtander, Diskomat Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, looks back at more than a decades’ long partnership with Bangkok Air Catering and its “Environmental Hero” cart washer

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BRANDED BREW Porter Airlines has a lot on its plate with expanding routes and a new aircraft set to arrive, but this fall, it nailed down one important supplier and launched a catchy new product ALCOHOL REIMAGINED Heineken is set to launch its Pure Piraña seltzer brand with cruise and airlines throughout this year and next

AMENITIES

27

MAKING MOVES IN MANHATTAN FORMIA celebrates its achievements in the Americas with its new Manhattan-based office



CONTENTS

32 DECEMBER 2021 | www.pax-intl.com

MRO, Interiors & IFEC

SENSIBLE SEATING

SOLUTIONS

ON THE COVER

British Airways will enhance its 777 aircraft with seating from Collins Aerospace, upgrading Business Class passengers to the Club World experience. More on this seating project and an industry roundup on page 32.

SEATING

32

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

30

WHAT’S HOT

41

SPACIOUS AND SOPHISTICATED A look at seating projects rounding out the year, with makers eyeing comfort and durability for passengers of the future

PROFILE

34

APEX LONG BEACH

6  DECEMBER 2021

Features TAPPING TAPIS The interiors company shares updates from a project that recently became not-so-secret

INTERIORS

36

MORE THAN INTERIORS ABC International’s new Chief Commercial Officer tells PAX Tech how the company has positioned itself as more than a cabin branding specialist

EVENTS

38

GLOBAL ATTRACTION This year’s FTE Global event, running December 7 to 9, focuses on ‘New approaches for a new world’


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NEWS

SUPPLIER

FORMIA launches premium class Bvlgari bags for Emirates featuring exclusive fragrance Passengers flying Emirates’ premium classes expect an lotion and face cream – all in respective fragrances. exquisite experience at every step of their journey. Along FORMIA designed the eight bags for versatile uses, with delightful inflight food service and stunning cabin from cosmetic bags to travel pouches. The company details, Emirates’ premium class passengers will also receive also created essential and sustainable onboard comfort a classy aromatic experience thanks to a new amenities products to help ensure satisfied passengers: toothconcept between the airline and Italian luxury brand Bvlgari. brushes; combs and mirrors made of wheat straw; FORMIA joined forces with Emirates and Bvlgari and, a dental kit that comes wrapped in rice paper. to create a collection of eight bags for First and Busi“We are particularly proud of the results of this colness Class travelers. Each is embossed with the dislaboration. Not only does it ooze sophistication and oputinctive Bvlgari logo, has Bvlgari branded inner linlence, it also addresses the growing need for reusable ing and outer color palettes that complement the and long-lasting designs,” said Roland Grohmann, Chief exclusive 30 milliliter Bvlgari fragrance inside. Executive Officer and Managing Partner at FORMIA. The fragrances are part of the Bvlgari ‘Le Gemme’ collection, inspired by different gemstones. The ‘female First Class’ fragrance ‘Rubinia’ showcases ruby; the ‘male First Class’ fragrance ‘Tygar’ is named after the magnetic gem Tiger’s Eye. Both are presented in sleek black faux leather amenity bags, with red and tan trim respectively. For Business Class passengers, the ‘female’ bag features a gold faux leather finish with the fragrance ‘Omnia Crystalline.’ The scent is inspired by pure crystal. The ‘male’ bag comes in a two-tone fabric with a functional carry handle, featuring the fragrance ‘Aqva Pour Homme.’ Passengers also The FORMIA First Class kit receive Bvlgari luxury lip balm, body features the fragrance ‘Rubinia’

PEOPLE

RMT GLOBAL PARTNERS names Heissenbuttel as Director of Sales and Marketing Global passenger comfort products supplier RMT Global Partners tells PAX International it has welcomed a new team member. David Heissenbuttel joins the company as Director of Sales and Marketing. Heissenbuttel brings more than 25 years of experience in the aviation industry to the team. He has expertise in both airlines and aviation distributors. His focus will be on supporting existing customers, as well as developing the business in new and emerging markets.

8  DECEMBER 2021



NEWS

COMPANY

DFMi Pavilion to highlight food and product trends at IFSA EXPO 2021 DFMi, the premiere sales and marketing company that works with brands to bring their quality food items to airline customers, tells PAX International it is set to showcase the “best brands in flight” at the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) EXPO 2021. The DFMi Pavilion will showcase new products from its key supplier partners, including 88 Acres, Danone, Lesser Evil, Novel Foods, Nuttee Bean Co., Gourmet Nut, La Colombe, Revolution Foods, Wildway and more. Some popular airline snacks by these companies include Nuttee Bean Co.’s Favalicious fava bean snacks;

snacks with organic ingredients from Lesser Evil; trail mix and Simple Slices Apple Chips by Gourmet Nut; snack bars and seed butters from 88 Acres, #indulge savory products from Novel Foods; and ready-todrink beverages from La Colombe Coffee Roasters. “We are really excited to again participate in the most comprehensive industry marketplace EXPO,” says Kim Brown, Director of Marketing at Georgia-based DFMi. “At this year’s event, we’re providing a peek into the new food and product trends emerging.”

The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bar from 88 Acres

PEOPLE

Kerry Mok new SATS President and CEO SATS Ltd. announced October 22 that Kerry Mok Tee Heong will succeed Alex Hungate as President and Chief Executive Officer effective December 15. Mok joined SATS in June 2018 as the Chief Executive Officer of the company’s Food Solutions group. Before that, he held various leadership positions such as CEO of YCH Group, acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Goodpack Limited, as well as senior roles at Accenture and DHL. “Based on our comprehensive succession planning process, Kerry has been chosen as the best candidate for the role of PCEO,” said SATS Chairperson Euleen Goh. “Kerry is a seasoned executive with more than two decades of experience in supply chain management and logistics.” “I am honored to be given this opportunity to lead the SATS Group as it reshapes and positions itself for new growth opportunities. I look forward to working closely with our board, customers, partners and our employees to drive new innovations and solutions, especially in the post-COVID world,” said Mok.

10  DECEMBER 2021

Kerry Mok has been CEO of SATS Food Solutions since 2018. PHOTO COURTESY SATS LTD


Cutlery Design Solutions For almost a century we are supplying cutlery solutions to the everyday need of our customers worldwide. With our team of design experts, we understand your business challenges and are fully equipped to provide a complete service to guide and deliver you with solutions that will exactly fit your needs and budget. Please check out our new website sola-cutlery.com

Today, served by Sola


AIRLINE PROFILE

New in the north

Starting late-2022, Northern Pacific Airways will offer flights connecting East Asia and the US via its main hub in Anchorage, Alaska

Northern Pacific Airways is set to launch next year, connecting East Asia and North America at its hub in Alaska by JANE HOBSON

Rob McKinney, CEO, Northern Pacific Airways

12  DECEMBER 2021

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he world at large has been watching patiently for some sign that the return to travel is really here. The rolling out of government travel passes and easing of entry provisions in the latter half of 2021 have pointed in the right direction. And IATA reported last month that overall, global demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers) in 2022 is expected to reach 61 percent of 2019 levels. While international demand is predicted to be slowest to recover, it is expected to reach 44 percent of pre-COVID levels. Domestic demand is expected to reach 93 percent. These are encouraging figures for a budding long-haul airline whose business strategy is based on connecting East Asia and the US via its main hub in Anchorage, Alaska. “We think there will be a pent-up demand for air travel once things open up, and we plan to be there with a first-mover advantage,” Northern Pacific Airways CEO Rob McKinney told PAX International on a cloudless October day in New Mexico. The first


Northern Pacific Airways will operate a fleet of six 757-200s, with a livery inspired by Alaskan landscapes

of the airline’s fleet of 757-200s was being transferred from New Mexico to San Bernardino, California for a C-level check and fresh paint job. Starting late-2022, Northern Pacific Airways will offer flights from select US cities (in New York, Florida, California, Texas, and Nevada) to Japan and Korea, with a required stopover in Anchorage. It will operate out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport’s North Terminal. It has eight gates and Industrial and Financial Systems (IFS) already in place. The goal is to offer “connection – a pleasant experience and a lower price point,” McKinney says. A lot has transpired on the project since he and business partner Tom Hsieh, now Northern Pacific President, pitched the idea to the investor group in April 2021.

Six 757s

In early stages, the airline is committed to operate six 757-200s, a narrow-body aircraft model from Boeing. It was last produced in 2004, but is still in service with leading global airlines such as

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. The 757-200 boasts lightweight performance abilities, 20 percent lower operating cost, speeds up to 609 miles per hour, and long-range capabilities up to 2,200 nautical miles, fully loaded with cargo and 200 passengers in a two-class configuration – still with plenty of fuel in reserve. The airline opted for the 757 because they are available immediately as other airlines move into next generation models. Plus, McKinney says, it is “doable” for Northern Pacific to fill a 757 based on its business strategy. Passengers have a choice of destinations after landing at Anchorage, helping increase passenger load per long-haul flight, he explains. They also receive primary access to Anchorage International and can bypass the typical congestion at security screening checkpoints at popular hubs such as LAX and San Francisco. “There is a window of opportunity. We’re talking about flying all the way from Anchorage to South Korea, Anchorage to Florida. The 757 can do it and they are available for us to get going,”

McKinney says, adding that newer aircraft may join the fleet in the future.

Anchored in Anchorage

The geographical position of Anchorage is the ideal stop for flights between the continents. “It falls within about a hundred miles of almost any routing between most cities in Asia and most cities in North America,” he says. “As you fly between those cities, even direct, they go right above Anchorage anyway. So, we’re not taking anything away.” The model largely draws on inspiration from Icelandair’s successful Reykjavík stopover program. The flag carrier allows passengers flying between North America and Europe to land in the country’s capital at no additional cost, encouraging them to explore the Nordic island. “We believe we can do the exact same thing on the other side of the planet,” says McKinney. “I told them, ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery,’ and they chuckled,” he says, recalling a recent PAX-INTL.COM

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AIRLINE PROFILE

visit with representatives at Icelandair. “They offered their help and support in getting us up and running, teaching us all the best practices and what they’ve learned over time.”

Land of opportunity

Alaska is about 14 times the size of Iceland and marks the United States’ northern-most state. It offers an enticing landscape for travelers from Asia and North America alike. The state is known for its culture, wildlife, mountains, glaciers, and local cuisine. “We really think Alaska is an untapped resource and people have only a concept of what it’s all about,” says McKinney, who moved to the state in 2021. McKinney and Hsieh have revived Ravn Alaska, the short-haul state airline. Ravn, also headquartered in Anchorage, has a fleet of de Havilland Dash 8s, available to transport Northern Pacific’s visitors from Anchorage to remote communities in Alaska. “You can think of it as one airline with two different brands,” McKinney says. The stopover in Alaska presents a unique opportunity for the state. Northern Pacific passengers who choose not to explore it will have a very similar trip time as flying direct, but those who stay for a couple days can spend time in a state that they would likely otherwise overlook. “While I think anecdotally there’s lots and lots of people that would love to see Alaska – maybe it’s on their bucket list – the thought of taking a whole week is probably difficult for some. But, if it’s a trip they’re taking anyway and all it does is take them an extra day or

two, I think a lot of people will avail themselves of that,” McKinney says. The Northern Pacific Airways’ brands are expected to create approximately 400 jobs and generate a booming economy with tourist dollars and airport fees, he adds. “We love the people here. We feel like we’ve done a really good job bringing the [Ravn] service back and connecting isolated communities that are not on the route system. We just want to take this to the next evolution, create more opportunity and a bigger company for the state,” he says.

Northern Pacific possibilities

When the airline takes to the skies next year, the aircraft livery will reflect the northern way of life with a nod to Alaskan landscapes. Designed by All Forward Media, the Northern Pacific livery is bold in color; a mix of white and black on the aircraft body, with grey and aqua blue on the wings and a distinctive blue ‘N’ on the tail; an intricate web of white lines placed throughout.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with how it’s come across. We think it’s a classy, clean look. And we can’t wait to see it at an airport,” McKinney says. Northern Pacific is in negotiations with IFEC providers, caterers, and cabin designers for all things passenger experience. And, the airline offers a loyalty program that sees passengers rewarded with cryptocurrency. It never expires, is tangible and is accepted as a medium of payment at Anchorage Airport North Terminal confectioners. “People who might be nervous or apprehensive about cryptocurrency, once you give it to them and it’s in their wallet and they’ve earned it just from flying, I think they’ll adopt it and appreciate it very quickly,” McKinney says. Looking back, he says it has been phenomenal to see the idea of connecting the east and the west come to fruition in less than a year’s time. “It is surreal that it’s all coming together like it is. We think this is just the beginning. The sky is the limit, pardon the pun.”

The livery features a mix of white and black, with grey and blue accents and a distinctive blue ‘N’ on the tail

14  DECEMBER 2021



CATERING

Sweet and

sustainable by RICK LUNDSTROM

Brooke Vacovsky of Southeast Beescapes was picked by Newrest to maintain their two hives

Newrest’s commitment to the environment has the company teaming up with local beekeepers in two major cities, maintaining hives on airport property

Newrest maintains two beehives near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta

16  DECEMBER 2021

I

n a small area of green, adorned with eastern redbud trees, flowering shrubs and butterfly bushes near the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta (ATL) are two beehives that airline caterer Newrest maintains with the help of a local company. The honeybees travel for miles a day in search of nectar and pollen. By next spring Newrest hopes to harvest an average of 40 pounds of honey from each of the hives – depending on weather and other factors. Newrest has a similar project going in Canada with the help of a beekeeping business in Montreal. While the honey harvested will not satisfy much of the company’s catering needs, Newrest has a different goal in mind with the hive maintenance. Urban beekeeping operations benefit the ecosystems by supporting the growth of trees, flowers and plants in the area. The practice has been growing over the past several years as the movement toward buying and sourcing local food has become popular; and bee populations have become threatened. Nicolette Golde, Key Account Manager at Newrest, frequently joins up with Brooke Vacovsky of a company called Southeast Beescapes. Every couple of weeks the hives are inspected, and a few employees are invited to view the process. The hives are opened to check the wellbeing of the queen bee and how much honey is being


Newrest hopes to harvest an average of 40 pounds of honey from each hive by next spring

produced. The hives were installed on airport property last April and join other hives installed around the facility by Delta that are maintained by another company. “We actually did take out one frame of honey which weighed about five pounds. We took it into our cafeteria and shared it with our staff and did a bit of a taste testing,” says Golde. So far, the caterer plans to share the honey harvest in the spring by distributing small jars to employees and also with Delta, its main customer in Atlanta. During the sessions, Vacovsky says she assures visitors that they are perfectly safe around tens of thousands of buzzing bees. Interest has been high among company employees. “I am very grateful for them,” Vacovsky says of the interest she’s seen from Newrest employees. A similar scene is taking place at Newrest’s operation near Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL). There, Newrest is working with a company called Alvéole in a similar way. The first harvest of honey in Montreal took place in early September. Newrest gave visitors to the Air France lounge the opportunity to taste some of the honey, and jars were also donated to a foundation formed by Air Canada. Beekeeping is part of Newrest’s long-term sustainability goals spelled out in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Charter with objectives reaching out to 2025.

Among the company’s emphasis over the next four years are: fighting food waste, waste reduction and recovery, responsible purchasing, reducing its carbon footprint and strengthening commitment to employees. “We are taking action in the areas that matter, with the humility and efficiency that characterize us. To this end, we have adopted strong and concrete commitments that will make a real-life impact, extending well beyond our already ambitious business and objectives,” said Olivier Sadran and Jonathan Stent-Torriani Co-CEOs of Newrest, in the introduction to the 26-page outline of the company’s plans. In addition to firming up its corporate responsibility goals, Newrest is moving quickly into the airline catering industry in the United States since it set up its first operations in 2018. Starting in November, it began serving United Airlines at the carrier’s Houston hub. Newrest is operating the former Chelsea Catering kitchen that was part of United’s operations for many years. The company is also catering Delta Air Lines’ vast domestic operations at its headquarters city in Atlanta. The France-based company has operations at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport.

PAX-INTL.COM

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CATERING

The smart load

Manuel Hübschmann, Retail Director at Retail inMotion

by RICK LUNDSTROM

Retail inMotion’s vLPS system helps reduce waste for buy-onboard and complimentary meals

Airlines in the Lufthansa Group are working to control the cost of wasted food through a digitally scientific approach developed by Retail inMotion

T

he nagging bane of airline catering — how to predict and minimize waste — has airlines in the Lufthansa Group talking and listening. But in this case planners are listening to an intelligent application that is helping them make the best use of fresh products both served complimentary and offered for sale. Buy-on-board food service has been growing, and growing more sophisticated over the last 20 years. As the industry moves through the COVID-19 pandemic, this section of ancillary revenue is poised to take on an even more important role as technology expands the selection of products and methods of delivery, shortens the time that is required for specialized orders and adds more freshly prepared premium meals. But try as they might, the problem of onboard waste will be with the industry for a while. It will attract the attention of regulators and consumer groups, so any amount is certainly not in the interest of airlines or the caterers that supply them. But partial help is on the way with new technology developed by LSG Group’s Retail inMotion and its vLPS

18  DECEMBER 2021

load planning system. Retail inMotion introduced an upgraded version in late summer that the company says is more efficient, flexible and requires less hands-on work by the users. The vLPS is powered by a “decision tree algorithm” that the company says resembles the human thinking process. The algorithm processes large amounts of data and generates consumption projections on the right amount of food to board each flight. With it, airlines can better manage waste and sell-out rates and adjust predictions. Most of the calculations are done in the background and adjusted around the clock. “The new system enables users to run the predictions at 3 a.m. and reduce the time between the moment we receive the flight data from the airline, which usually occurs around 2 a.m. and the actual production, thus further improving the accuracy of the prediction,” said a description of vLPS from Retail inMotion. Five airlines are currently using vLPS; Lufthansa, SWISS International, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, and Eurowings Discover, the new leisure

airline in the group. A sixth airline that’s outside the Lufthansa Group will soon be taking the technology, says Manuel Hübschmann, Retail Director at Retail inMotion. The airlines range in size from three aircraft to a fleet of more than 250. So far, the waste generated from airlines in the group has dropped precipitously since the implementation of vLPS. Hübschmann said that before implementation waste rates ran from 30-40 products per 100 passengers on flights that had complimentary catering, while short flights with food for sale could see a waste rate of 10 to 15 products per 100 passengers. Now, with the implementation of vLPS, Hübschmann says that even buy-on-board flights with up to 10 fresh products available, waste has dropped to around two products per 100 passengers. One of the important factors of vLPS is the user-friendliness, says Hübschmann. The main users are not data scientists, but instead a community of operations managers readily exchanging information across the different airlines. New trends and best practices are discovered, and suggestions regularly move between the users. vLPS prediction capability expands among the developer community at the rate of five to seven new features added to the system each month.



GUEST COLUMN

The Amsterdam design from Sola

A century of success W

hen Bernd Koperdraad, Export Manager Airline and Railway Europe & Africa, started with Sola his first project was to attend the 2019 International Flight Services Association (IFSA) EXPO in Los Angeles, California. Immediately he could see the immense scale of the inflight catering industry. Little did we know at the time, the COVID-19 crisis was coming our way. Still as of today, the pandemic is seriously affecting our daily business. But we have used the time to push two major projects forward. In this time, Bernd has been part of the development of our single-use plastic cutlery replacement and the complete re-brand of Sola that saw the launch of the new website, logo and brand colors in early-June. The rebrand encompasses all Sola divisions unified under the same brand image to bring attention to the overall success of the company since our foundations in 1922. Our customers can find all Sola entities on the same webpage: Sola Hospitality Cutlery,

20  DECEMBER 2021

Hans Engels, Export Manager at Sola, looks back at the company’s success through the years on the eve of an important anniversary, and introduces three new cutlery designs

Sola Airline Cutlery, Sola Railway Cutlery and Sola Cruiseline Cutlery. Through this downtime we have introduced three new cutlery designs, suitable for First and Business Class; Amsterdam, Aura and Nordica. Unlike any of our other existing cutlery, these three designs be changed in size and weight to match the airline’s inflight food service. With our cutlery range for Premium and Economy, the ultralightweight steel cutlery as a single-use plastic replacement, and our introduction of coffee and tea pots, thermos flasks and bread baskets, our range is complete and can fulfill all airline needs. As our industry moves toward a restart, we are already seeing a steady increase in demand and we hope that everyone will experience this in the year ahead. We are so proud to be part of this industry that has seen many crises in the past and has always been able to recover. New challenges undoubtably await us, some that we’re already tackling, such as the demand for a more sustainable way of production.

The Aura design from Sola

We are excited to reconnect with everyone at the 2022 trade shows, when Sola will celebrate its 100th anniversary. We will continue what we have been doing since the beginning; designing, manufacturing and supplying innovative cutlery designs and steel onboard products to meet passenger demands and trends of the future. It is in our Sola-DNA.



GUEST COLUMN

The Environmental

Hero The Environmental Hero is has washed nearly nine million airline carts for Bangkok Air Catering in its 15 years in use

In this guest column, Tomas Jämtander, Diskomat Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, looks back at more than a decades’ long partnership with Bangkok Air Catering and its “Environmental Hero” cart washer by TOMAS JÄMTANDER, Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, Diskomat

22  DECEMBER 2021

F

ifteen years ago when Suvarnabhumi Airport started its operations, Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) opened its doors to provide exquisite cuisine and services to Bangkok Airways and the international airline community. Since 2006, BAC has grown and established itself as the undisputed airline catering market leader in Thailand, with flight catering units in Don Mueang, Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai aside from its main base at Suvarnabhumi. Adapting a strategy of expansion, BAC has evolved into the BAC Group. Today it is known as a leading food provider in Thailand through its four business units; hospital catering, fine dining restaurants, retail and supplier to VIP lounges, and the HORECA sector.


Wexiödisk’s WD-18 cart washer – the Environmental Hero –washes up to 90 full size airline carts per hour on a floor area of 4.5 square meters

During BAC’s inception, Sweden-based companies Diskomat and Wexiödisk, already then with a strong presence in neighboring Southeast Asia countries, were nominated to design and equip the caterer’s dishwashing facilities. The first delivery included a variety of flight-type washers, pot and pan washers and one cart washer – which eventually came to be known as ‘the Environmental Hero.’ It was the start of a long and mutually beneficial business partnership based on trust and confidence, which has progressed through BAC’s expansion over the years.

Hero through and through

It is dubbed the Environmental Hero for its similar qualities to the heroes in fairytales and storybooks; it is quiet but efficient, flexible and high-performing, reliable and attested. BAC decided to use Wexiödisk’s WD-18 cart washer – the Environmental Hero – due to its unique spin-dry technology, with the smallest floor space requirement and with the lowest energy consumption of all cart washers in the industry. After 15 years of almost around the clock hard work and having washed nearly nine million airline carts for BAC, our Hero remains strong, fulfilling its duties. Compared to other cart washers in the market, our Hero offers unparalleled energy saving performance and measures up on all critical criteria and comparative studies of environmental key performance indicators.

Take for example the spin-dry technology. This unique method does not require energy consuming heating elements and large fans to dry the carts. The benefit is that there is no ambient heat omission – which oftentimes leads to a higher requirement for air conditioning in the facility, increasing the electricity bill. And speaking of electricity consumption, our Hero is best in class measuring consumed energy per washed cart. It uses only 1.4 kilowatt hours for the complete washing cycle. Our Hero washes up to 90 full size airline carts per hour on a floor area of merely 4.5 square meters. It is true heroism in an airline catering dishwashing room! As if this is not enough, our Hero uses the equivalent amount of water used in a five-minute shower to rinse 30 carts. With a rinse volume of two-liters of fresh water per cart, it goes without saying that the chemical consumption is significantly lower than most comparable chamber cart washers and tunnel washers. Like a true hero, our Hero doesn’t make much noise. It emits a sound level of a modest 65 decibels. For context, people speaking in whisper emit 30 decibels; a normal conversation, 60 decibels. This is in stark contrast to traditional, old fashioned cart washers with the dull rumbling sound emission from the fan blowers, familiar to all. It uses spin-dry centrifugal technique and does not have noisy fans to get the carts or trolleys dry. And yet, with a better drying result in a shorter time. The Hero is flexible too. Large sized kitchen trolleys, storage bins, or other bulk items will be clean and dry in a matter of 120 seconds – like magic. Reliable and quiet, this is a well trusted machine from our customers. Its measured performance ratings are consistently 95 percent and above. For service, the local technician can, in most cases, maintain our Hero with a selection of consumable spare parts on hand.

For years to come

Since the late 1990s, the Environmental Hero has been successfully installed at flight-catering units in Australia, Southeast Asia, China, Europe and Africa. In northern Europe and Scandinavia, our Hero is a household brand in many hospitals where the most rigorous hygiene standards, just like in airline catering, are uncompromised. Diskomat, with its in-depth experience in dishwashing room design, logistics and waste handling exclusively offers Wexiödisk’s wide range of robust, reliable, economic, and ergonomic dishwashers and automatic cutlery sorters to the global flight catering industry. Meanwhile, at Wexiödisk’s R&D department in the deep forests of Småland, Sweden, the tireless work continues. There is full focus on challenging our Hero’s environmental performance to even greater heights, true to the company’s vision: “Offering the market’s most innovative, effective, and resource-efficient dishwashing processes.” And at Bangkok Air Catering, with its mission of “Protecting the environment by adhering to best practice in energy conservation, waste treatment and air emissions,” the team are gearing up for Thailand’s post-COVID opening, with new opportunities and many more million carts to wash with minimum energy consumption.

PAX-INTL.COM

23


FOOD & BEVERAGE

The new beer on Porter Airlines is served in 473 milliliter cans

Branded brew Porter Airlines has a lot on its plate with expanding routes and a new aircraft set to arrive, but this fall, it nailed down one important supplier and launched a catchy new product by RICK LUNDSTROM Porter Porter began flying shortly after the relaunch of Porter Airlines in September

24  DECEMBER 2021

F

or someone who may have a tendency toward optimism, the move by Porter Airlines in Canada to launch a new onboard product that isn’t hand sanitizer or personal protective equipment is a clear sign that air travel is moving toward something closer to normalcy. The sign can be seen in the form of Mr. Porter, the airline’s raccoon mascot relaxing on the wing of aircraft hoisting a glass of Porter Porter. That’s not a typographical error, but a malty dark ale “with notes of espresso, chocolate and vanilla” and a “slightly dry finish.” Porter Airlines offers the new beer in a 473 milliliter (16-ounce) can. The new beer was onboard soon after Porter Airlines relaunched service after shutting down operations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a transition of phasing in operations, the airline is set to embark on a rapid expansion in the second half of next year, with the deliveries of its first Embraer 195-E2s and a launch of service out of Toronto’s main airport to major cities in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The requirements for additional cabin service on the longer routes will be handled in due time, says Brad


Lug Tread lagered ale from Beau’s All Natural Brewing in eastern Ontario

Cicero, a Spokesperson for Porter Airlines. Now, he says passengers are enjoying the new offering from an eastern Ontario craft brewer called Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “It is a good seasonal beer in the porter style and obviously an opportunity for us to co-brand a product with our new partner in Beau’s,” Cicero says. Porter Porter also adds to the brewer’s Lug Tread lagered ale as part of the onboard offering. Porter Airlines has a long-time wine supplier in Niagara-based Jackson-Triggs which has a red and white offering. Porter

serves all the products complimentary in glassware etched with the airline’s logo. While an exclusive beer offering teamed with an airline is not new, the partnership extends beyond the travel environment. The tall cans of Porter Porter are also sold in outlets of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), The Beer Store and grocery dépanneurs in Quebec. Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company has been working with Porter Airlines for about a year, deciding on the flavor and style. Beau’s Brewing CEO Steve Beauchesne tells PAX International that

Take your trolley handling to greater heights with

the company prepared approximately 20 small batches with different flavor profiles and variations before settling on a final taste that is now flying. Beauchesne called the final product a “robust porter” brewed in a distinctive style found in the United Kingdom in the 1800s. Porters and stouts are malt-heavy beers, with the grains roasted to a dark color and flavored with various earthy sweet and bitter components. They are popular in the fall and winter; but with retail sales part of the program, Beau’s is confident that consumers will like Porter Porter. “We kind of expect a fair bit of seasonality with it, but we do have pretty high hopes for this,” he adds. “We think this sort of brand connection is really strong and the beer is really tasty so we’re putting a lot of marketing efforts behind this.” As a bonus, sometimes the marketing creates itself, and Beauchesne noted the obvious possibility early in the company’s association with Porter Airlines. “Working with a company called Porter and not making a porter just seemed wrong,” he says.

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25


FOOD & BEVERAGE

Alcohol reimagined

Heineken is set to launch its Pure Piraña seltzer brand with cruise and airlines throughout this year and next by JANE HOBSON

Heineken’s global hard seltzer brand Pure Piraña is crafted with carbonated purified water and natural flavorings. It is 4.5 percent alcohol and has 92 calories per 330 milliliters

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ith airlines bringing food & beverage service back in full swing after a long-awaited period, Heineken is poised to join the hard seltzer category with a new offering. The company will launch its global hard seltzer brand Pure Piraña into the duty free cruise and airline markets in 2022. This follows domestic market launches in Mexico and New Zealand last year, and the gradual rollout in Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, with other markets, such as

26  DECEMBER 2021

the UK, joining the hard seltzer trend throughout this year and into next. “Pure Piraña is alcohol reimagined,” Niek Vonk, Heineken Commercial Manager Global Duty Free, tells PAX International in November. “Just like its namesake, Pure Piraña is a social animal with a zest for life – which makes it perfect for a modern generation of consumers who swim against the current in their endeavor for change.” Pure represents the simplicity of hard seltzer, crafted with carbonated purified water and natural flavor-

ings, and 4.5 percent alcohol. It has 92 calories per 330 milliliters. “The hard seltzer category is growing and Heineken has big ambitions for Pure Piraña as part of our ‘beyond beer’ diversification strategy that caters to different consumer needs and drinking occasions. We are confident that this presents a growth opportunity for our customers in cruise and inflight,” Vonk says. In Europe, the “fruity-but-not-sweet” alcoholic alternative is available in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Red Berries and Grapefruit.


AMENITIES

Making moves in Manhattan The reusable amenity kit by FORMIA for JetBlue Core (Economy) experience

FORMIA celebrates its achievements in the Americas with its new Manhattan-based office

W

hen it comes to travel, onboard passenger comfort and amenities are the details that bring a refined and thoughtful tone to the passenger experience. Amenities suppliers are shifting focus from vital COVID-related offerings to new and more expected partnerships and projects returning to the news headlines. FORMIA shared the launch of its reusable amenity kits for New York airline JetBlue in August. The kits for JetBlue’s Core (Economy) experience are available on the airline’s new transatlantic flights, between New York JFK and London Heathrow (LHR), and JFK and London Gatwick (LGW). In September, Roland Grohmann, CEO & Managing Partner at FORMIA, told PAX International the partnership is a result of its global reputation as market leader and strategic focus on the North American market, as well as its recently opened Manhattan-based office. “New York City is a vibrant district known for its prominent arts and culture scene, providing an energizing and inspiring backdrop for innovation and creativity,” Grohmann says. “The FORMIA Americas team is experiencing a surge of activity in the market, and following the recent

by JANE HOBSON

JetBlue Core kits launch, we are excited to be in the process of developing further concepts and collaborations with new airline customers to be introduced over the coming months.” Hong Kong-based FORMIA began its venture into the North American market in 2017 and established the New York City office last year, with a dedicated team to further accelerate growth and support airline customers and brand partners in the region. Along with JetBlue, its other airline customers include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Canada’s WestJet, Aeromexico and Ohio-based private jet company NetJets. In May, FORMIA announced it would supply American with amenity kits for premium cabin transcontinental and international long-haul passengers in partnership with Detroit luxury design brand Shinola and Brooklynbased perfumers D.S. & Durga. For WestJet, FORMIA curated an onboard experience alongside the airline’s Dreamliner launch in 2019 for flights from Calgary to London, Paris and Dublin. It included a boarding and disembarkation playlist and amenity kits from Montreal-based cruelty-free and vegan brand Matt & Nat featuring products from Canadian brands including Province Apothecary based in Toronto.

The New York office is the regional hub for many of the company’s brand partners, giving FORMIA the opportunity to communicate in real-time. It also brings FORMIA closer to its US-based sustainability partners, a major importance to FORMIA as part of its sustainability strategy launched in 2020. The New York City team consists of Niklas Sandor, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director Americas and Michele Ragonesi, Director North America Sales & Business Development covering client sales, customer service and business development for the region. In addition, Florencia Pascual, Brand & Business Development Director represents FORMIA for marketing and brands as well as business development for Latin America. It brings the opportunity to host, meet and inspire customers and brand partners in person – a rarity in a world now dominated by virtual meetings, Grohmann says. “Our aim is to curate exclusive branded products and experiences with added value to better serve our Americas customers and the differing needs of their passengers,” Sandor tells PAX. “Looking to the future, we are developing ways to continuously evolve in this fast growing and important region for FORMIA.” PAX-INTL.COM

27


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SENSIBLE SEATING

SOLUTIONS APEX LONG BEACH


NEWS

PEOPLE

AIRLINE NEWS

ABC International appoints Rodolfo Baldascino as CCO Rodolfo Baldascino has been named Chief Commercial Officer of ABC International. Baldascino will head up coordination of whole sales and business development, including customer portfolio development, sales campaigns, airline contract negotiations, leasing companies, aircraft OEMs, MROs, and completion centers. He will also lead the marketing team, in charge of market analysis, business development, preparation of business plans, communication and media relations. Baldascino will provide support on all management decisions, with aims to further develop and consolidate products and services offered, helping to position the company as a reliable and reputable partner for cabin modification and refurbishment services, with special focus to the aircraft leasing industry needs.

Rodolfo Baldascino, CCO, ABC International

Air Belgium selects Anuvu’s Iris for IFE

Air Belgium has chosen Anuvu’s Iris for its inflight entertainment over the next three years

Air Belgium has tapped Anuvu as IFE provider under a confirmed three-year contract for the Iris platform. Iris, a paymonthly service, brings movies and entertainment onboard and helps airlines have a fixed pricing structure. Passengers have access to Hollywood and international movies, award-winning TV and next-generation featured content. In addition to Iris’ core channels, Anuvu will provide Air Belgium with French movies and destination documentaries from Belgium to Curaçao, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, and will soon be adding Mauritius and Reunion islands. Air Belgium’s main priority is to provide its customers with efficient, modern, and high-quality services. Iris enables the airline to choose from a variety of core and add-on channels curated to suit global tastes and budgets while delivering a superior passenger experience.

PEOPLE

Burrana appoints seasoned CEO CATERING Burrana has announced the appointment of Graham Macdonald as Chief Executive Officer. He brings 30 years of aerospace experience with 15 years in the IFE industry. Macdonald’s experience managing multisite, multi-national operations and background integrating acquisitions provide a strong foundation for leading Burrana through the industry recovery. For the past 18 months, Neal Nordstrom, Operating Partner for JW Hill Capital, led the business through the challenges created by the global pandemic. He will now transition back to his board role where he will continue to support Macdonald, who came on board as acting Chief of Staff two months ago to begin his onboarding process.

30  DECEMBER 2021

Graham Macdonald, CEO, Burrana


NEWS

SUPPLIER

Ava Airways selects Moment for wireless IFE Moment has announced that it will provide wireless inflight entertainment (W-IFE) for Ava Airways passengers flying across the Caribbean in 2022. The Francebased digital inflight services specialist will provide its 360-degree wireless IFE solution Flymingo Box across Ava Airways’s fleet of A220s. The Flymingo Box is a compact

W-IFE device stored in overhead bins and allows more than 100 passengers to watch videos simultaneously. Along with inflight entertainment, it also provides real-time travel information and an e-commerce platform. The contract also includes content sourcing and licensing for Ava Airways’ A220 and A330 aircraft.

The Flymingo Box is a compact W-IFE device stored in overhead bins

IFE

Middle East Airlines trials live TV

Middle East Airlines installed Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service on nine aircraft

Middle East Airlines (MEA) has started a twomonth trial of Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service. The service rolled out on MEA’s fleet of nine A321neoLR aircraft in October. Travelers can watch news channels including BBC World and CNN International, along with live sporting action in partnership with Sport 24. Some of the channels include the NFL, NBA, NHL, all four Tennis Grand Slams, all four Golf Majors, the NRL, the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, and more. Service is powered by Panasonic Avionics’ inflight connectivity services and broadcast through its eX1 inflight entertainment platform.

PAX-INTL.COM

31


SEATING

SPACIOUS AND SOPHISTICATED

A look at seating projects rounding out the year, with makers eyeing comfort and durability for passengers of the future by JAYSON KOBLUN

British Airways is upgrading its Business Class passengers to the Club World experience, installing the popular Club Suite seat with help from Collins Aerospace

Markus Höllerer, Head of Strategy and Products, Recaro Aircraft Seating

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ith signs of an industry recovery comes a push from seating companies to complete retrofits, bring new products to market and confirm airline customers. Since September, Recaro and Geven have announced seating orders from major airlines Air China and Air Dolimiti, respectively. These are just the latest in a string of projects from the two companies making headlines throughout 2021.

Launch customer for Recaro Asia Pacific is expected to be an important contributor to industry recovery and airlines seem to be preparing for the uptick. IATA reported that airlines in the region showed the

32  DECEMBER 2021

most significant capacity recovery in September compared to other regions – and this can be “largely attributed” to the partial return of China domestic capacity following the lifting of several travel restrictions that had been implemented due to outbreaks in August. In September, Recaro Aircraft Seating announced that Air China would be its launch customer for the CL6720 seat. The airline has an order of 10 shipsets for its A350 aircraft. The CL6720 Business Class seat was first introduced to the market in 2019. The mini-suite feel of the seat is created through the smooth sliding doors, high-quality finish and ambient lighting. Ergonomic features include numerous comfort positions, a six-way adjustable headrest, premium foam technology and a 1.98-meter bed length. Sustainability was at the forefront of the design process for the Business Class seat, which resulted in the CL6720 being the lightest seat in its class by 10 to 20 percent and can help lower CO2 emissions. By finding innovative ways to lengthen the seat’s life cycle with the use of high-quality and

durable materials, the CL6720 supports airlines in their pursuit of reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Recaro received the Focus Open Special Mention Award for the seat in July. “Lightweight design is not just a matter of using sophisticated materials. Lightweight starts with the concept,” Markus Höllerer, Head of Strategy and Products at Recaro Aircraft Seating, told PAX Tech in a September Q&A. The company collaborates closely with research institutes and suppliers to develop new materials and processes. The CL6720 seat is the “consequent way to invest into the development of high tensile strength aluminum alloy accompanied by reduced costs by respecting the ‘green footprint’ and also in the development of usable and suitable magnesium alloys,” Höllerer says. Air China and Recaro collaborated to customize the seat to enhance comfort and functions. It is designed from the perspective of passenger demand and experience, reads the September release from Recaro. In addition to the CL6720 Business Class, Air China has selected


BRITISH AIRWAYS UPGRADES CLUB SUITE WITH COLLINS AEROSPACE

Recaro CL6720 seat

Air Dolomiti has tapped Geven for Essenza seats to be installed from December 2021 to March 2022

Recaro Premium Economy seat PL3530 and the Economy Class Seat CL3710 for the A350. Qatar Airways tapped Recaro for its new CL3810 Economy Class seat. Starting at the end of 2022, 20 shipsets of the seat will be installed on the A321neo fleet. And, the seating company is equipping Aeroflot’s Airbus fleet with more than 50 shipsets of the BL3710 Economy Class seat and CL4710 for Business Class. Recaro also unveiled in September its new building complex in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany. The €50million (US$59 million) investment was designed with a KfW-Effizienzhaus 55 standard and was constructed with sustainable materials. From energy-efficient solar shades to district heating integration, the facility was built to improve the end-use of energy.

Geven Essenza for Air Dolomiti retrofit

Air Dolomiti, the Italian Airline of Lufthansa Group, announced October 7 that it has selected the Geven Essenza seat model for its retrofit program on 15 Embraer aircraft. The order is for 15 shipsets on the E195 fleet. The seats will feature exclusive and dedicated trim and finish matching

the design scheme of Air Dolomiti. In blue and turquoise eco leather dress cover, high literature pocket, recline up to three-inches and ergonomic seat cushion, Essenza will “represent the perfect and sophisticated solution for enhanced passenger comfort,” reads the release. The Economy Class seat design maximizes living space and comfort for passengers while minimizing maintenance costs for airlines. Seats will be installed starting December 2021 until March 2022. The primary structure design maximizes shin and knee clearance and optimizes weight, at 10.4 kilograms for a fully dressed seat. It offers generous arm-to-arm width greater than 18.3 inches. The seat also incorporates two innovations in its main structure on the backrest and the bottom cushion. The backrest is made of a single piece of carbon fiber with both structural and aesthetic functions. There are no additional fairing or plastic shrouds, so only the foam and the cover are added, resulting in fewer parts to be managed and reduced weight to be carried. The same philosophy has inspired the bottom cushion that is installed directly on the seat beams via

British Airways announced at the end of October plans to enhance its 777 aircraft with seating from Collins Aerospace. The agreement upgrades Business Class passengers to the Club World experience, including installation of the popular Club Suite seat, Club Kitchen updates and new cabin configuration. Club Suite was first rolled out in July 2019 on the airline’s first A350 and since then has been installed on the 787-10 aircraft. The seat offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy, and flat-bed seats. The seat also features storage, a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, 18.5inch inflight entertainment screens, high-definition gate-to-gate programming, and PC/USB power. “When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers,” said Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product for British Airways, in the release. “We are focused on the rollout of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style, and comfort.” Collins will perform full-cabin integration work, engineering design, test and approval – along with program management and third-party supplier approvals. Some of the modified aircraft are already flying, with the upgrades expected to be complete by the end of 2022. The retrofitted 777s will operate from London Heathrow. As part of the upgrade, the airline’s Club Kitchen is also getting a makeover with new Club chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks, and other refreshments, allowing passengers to help themselves.

Velcro and performs both structural comfort functions allowing easy inspection and maintenance activities. “The lower weight of Essenza RJ will allow to reduce fuel consumption with a benefit on costs and environmental impact,” said Marzio Caneva, Vice President Technical Operations at Air Dolomiti. The cooperation between the companies started in 2017 with Deutsche Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines. PAX-INTL.COM

33


PROFILE

Tapis Tapping

Low-cost carrier Breeze Airways has selected Tapis to customize its seating

The interiors company shares updates from a project that has recently become not-so-secret by JAYSON KOBLUN

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ith air travel expected to increase in the post-pandemic world, airlines old and new are teaming up with interiors companies such as Tapis Corporation to make the cabin experience as pleasant as possible. In February, JetBlue kicked off the year with the delivery of its first order of A220s, featuring Ultraleather PromessaAV from Ultrafabrics distributed by Tapis. Through the summer, Tapis touted its latest contracts with a supersonic aircraft concept and a new airline. Currently in R&D, seating for the Exosonic supersonic aircraft will feature Tapis’ Ultraleather and Ultrasuede products. A new low-cost carrier Breeze Airways, tapped the company for a

34  DECEMBER 2021

blend of Ultrafabrics’ PromessaAV seat cover textiles. In October, PAX Tech spoke to Jason Estes, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Tapis, about the project following the public reveal of Breeze’s first A220.

The birth of Breeze

David Neeleman founded Breeze Airways secretly in 2018 under the codename Moxy. Neeleman, a notable name in the realm of airline startups, also founded JetBlue, WestJet, Azul Airlines, and Morris Air – which was eventually sold to Southwest Airlines. Tapis became involved with Breeze when representatives from the airline approached the company at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg in 2018.

“Originally we thought it might be a JetBlue project. Then we thought it might be an Azul project. And then we realized this was something new,” Estes tells PAX. “They were very tight-lipped.” The identity of Moxy was revealed in the following months. Offices in Darien, Connecticut, became a shared workspace for collaboration. It was here that Estes learned that Breeze had selected Safran’s Z600 and Z110i seats for its fleet of A220-300 aircraft – and it would be tasked with customizing the materials. “It was a very different and extremely fun project. I’ve been in the industry for about 15 years, and it was unique being able to work with a team that early on when it wasn’t even public what the name of the airline was going to be,” Estes says.

Nice, Nicer, or Nicest

Breeze has a purchase agreement with Airbus for 80 A220-300s. The October A220 reveal is but a kick-off for the next six and a half years, as Breeze is


Jason Estes, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Tapis

set to receive one aircraft per month from October 2021 onward. The aircraft will be introduced to existing routes in the coming months, but Breeze said in a release that they will add transcontinental flights in early 2022. “The A220-300 is a game-changer for us as we add long-haul flights that can average five hours, including transcontinental service,” Neeleman said in the press release. “By the end of 2022, Breeze will have 15 A220s in service.” The aircraft features 36 premium seats in a two-by-two configuration, 10 extralegroom seats, and 80 standard legroom seats in a two-by-three configuration. When booking a flight with Breeze, passengers can select from Nice, Nicer, or Nicest classes. ‘Nice’ is similar to standard Economy; ‘Nicer’ fare includes a complimentary carry-on, checked bag, and seat with extra legroom; and, ‘Nicest’ includes a premium front-of-cabin seat with a 39-inch seat pitch, 20.5-inch seat width and a footrest for added comfort.

The premium seat available in ‘Nicest’ fare provides a comfortable and attainable Business Class experience at an affordable price, according to Breeze. Safran’s Z600 Business Class seat for short- and medium-haul flights offers comfort and living space for passengers with its “unique cradling motion kinematic,” privacy features and weight optimization. The Z110i Economy Class seat is “versatile and efficient,” ideal for flights six to eight hours and convenient for single-aisle aircraft including A220s. All seats are fitted with in-seat power and USB ports. The airline said it plans to announce its high-speed connectivity and inflight entertainment partners soon. All A220-300 aircraft will have the technology for passengers to stream TV or movies, check email, browse the internet and stay connected via social media or messaging apps while inflight.

A comfortable pairing

Estes says Breeze wanted their seats to have a two-product automotive look and feel, resembling a highperformance fabric combined with durable leather. The airline selected textures and finishes from Ultrafabrics’ Promessa AV product line. Breeze has chosen Promessa AV Apex, Ultrafabrics engineered synthetic leather, and a custom Promessa AV with a technical, matte grain texture, called Nitrotech. This specific seating fabric was designed for commercial seating. “Nitrotech and Promessa AV is the perfect combination of comfort and durability,” Estes says. “The Nitrotech has a fabric look and feel, but all of the

attributes of a performance synthetic leather. The Breeze team really emphasized the importance of comfort and durability and we were really impressed with their insistence on comfort for the best passenger experience.” Ultrafabrics engineered synthetic leather and Nitrotech may look different but are actually identical in construction. “They visually look and feel different but aesthetically they’re going to perform the same,” he says. “In this case, we were able to build a product that covers all the specification requirements they had for the seat while giving it two totally different looks. Here is a product that’s built to mimic all the great things about leather but is also built to outperform it in certain areas.” Tapis explained that in the past having two fabrics in one seat could prove difficult to clean. In this case, the custom material for Breeze can be spot cleaned and disinfected, without the need for dry cleaning. “You don’t always get that with a lowcost carrier. Breeze cares so much about small details and brand loyalty. Putting in those little extra steps to create a special experience, even if it is a cost-affordable ticket, was important,” Estes says.

Sustainable and COVID friendly

Estes says Ultrafabrics is better for the environment, light weight, more cost-controlled, and could also be considered more humane as it is synthetic and not made from animal hide. It eliminates the challenges of choosing between durability or comfort. “I think we brought it all together into something great for the passenger experience and comfort. Our product is built around comfort,” Estes says. The Promessa product line does is inherently anti-microbial. Estes says that the technology has always been in the product and that it is not something that was a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s an added benefit that became much more important to airlines after COVID hit, but this technology is built into the products. It’s not an after-finish, it’s not a second thought, it’s built into the resin technology of the product. It doesn’t mean that it kills COVID, but if it helps bring down the viral load and kill germs, it’s something to help keep the skies safe.” PAX-INTL.COM

35


INTERIORS

MORE THAN INTERIORS Rodolfo Baldascino, Chief Commercial Officer at ABC International

ABC International’s new Chief Commercial Officer tells PAX Tech how the company has positioned itself as more than a cabin branding specialist by JANE HOBSON

H

aving one company operate all services an airline needs goes beyond basic convenience. It brings resourcefulness and collaboration, not to mention helps reduce issues with interruptions in supply chain which have been exacerbated by COVID. But even before the onset of the pandemic, ABC International began to pivot from exclusively a cabin branding specialist to become a global player in the world of cabin interior and refurbishment services. Established in Naples, Italy in 2008, the company began with a major focus

36  DECEMBER 2021

on the strategic importance of cabin branding and its effect on passenger retention for its airline customers. As the airlines became more successful and passenger expectations evolved, ABC embraced the realization that differentiation in the marketplace would give it the competitive edge needed to succeed. Now ABC is bringing a range of interiors products and services to the market, with a new Chief Commercial Officer at the lead. Rodolfo Baldascino joined the company in October 2021, previously holding the position of Marketing & Sales Manager at GEVEN SpA. “During our branding elements discussions, we receive additional requests to complete the cabin customization in line with the brand identity strategy,” Baldascino tells PAX Tech. This makes us not only aware of the unlimited opportunities in the cabin refurbishment market but also of the daily challenges that airlines professionals are facing to maintain a high-quality cabin standard and find ‘off the shelf ’ solutions.” Operating as a one-stop shop, ABC provides quick turnaround and turnkey solutions for airlines, MROs and lessors by including EASA minor mod approval, design, certification and production. The company supplies curtains, carpet and seat cover kits efficiently from its warehouse, and produces bespoke cabin interiors parts such as windscreens, class dividers and closets in a timely and cost-efficient manner by relying on its network of suppliers and DO-PO agreements. With 21J privileges, it

can approve new LOPA (layout of passenger accommodations), PSU (passenger service unit) rearrangement and installation of provided parts. Recently, Baldascino says, three Movable Class Dividers for an A320 were ready in 60 days. A320 or 737 curtain kits can be delivered in 14 days including production, form one and change approval; an A330 can be ready in 21; and a few more days are needed for a complete carpet kit. “Our clients tell us what they need in the cabin, and we deliver the readyto-install solutions, saving them the stress of sourcing parts and handling several suppliers at once,” he explains. ABC has opened a new office in Dublin to support its growth. The engineering department operates under distinct divisions including R&D, design, approval and certification. Here, specialists manage tailor-made products along mandatory engineering milestones: initial design review, design freeze, production and certification, first article inspection and installation. “Every single department of our organization plays a specific role in each project,” says Baldascino. “The skills and background of our people deeply come from both airlines and aviation industry. We have a deep awareness of the business model process of airlines, MRO and leasing companies, thus we know where and what to offer to them across their value chain to bring a simple but concrete contribution to their added value creation.”


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EVENTS

FTE Global is hosted in Las Vegas, billed as the entertainment capital of the world

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Global attraction This year’s FTE Global event, running December 7 to 9, focuses on ‘New approaches for a new world’ by JANE HOBSON

he December 7 to 9 Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global show in Las Vegas marks the 15th anniversary of the event. US borders recently reopened for vaccinated travelers and Daniel Coleman, Founder and CEO of FTE, tells PAX Tech how FTE Global is shaping up to be a memorable experience. “Las Vegas is where it all began for us. Everybody there has a real purpose, and passion for innovation, which we are really proud to facilitate. We’re extremely happy that we would be able to celebrate our 15th anniversary show with our partners, colleagues and friends from across the industry,” he tells PAX. In the past five years, FTE Global has grown to have a “very unique ‘future’ focus,” highlighting the innovation efforts inside and outside the industry, revealing what can be leveraged when pushing the boundaries of technology, design and collaboration, Coleman says. The theme of FTE Global 2021 is ‘New approaches for a new world.’ “There is a window here to reimagine how the air transport industry operates, taking advantage of the momentum of collaboration across departments and between stakeholders,” Coleman says. The expo will provide progressive insights from industry leaders,

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technology giants, disruptors, parallel industries, academia and startups. Attendees will have access to the exhibition, co-creation workshops, tours, TSA and US CBP briefings, Think Tank unveilings and startup showcases. Coleman says FTE is taking its networking at FTE Global to the next level with a Welcome Reception in the exhibition hall and an Opening Night Mixer & Bar Games Olympics at Beerhaus on December 7. A performance by Las Vegas’ leading Elton John Tribute act will take place outside on the Ironwood Terrace at the ARIA Resort on December 8. The show is expected to gather close to 1,000 executives. Some of the speakers include Matt Muta, Vice President Innovation, Delta Air Lines; Michael Leskinen, President, United Airlines Ventures & Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations, United Airlines; Brian Loo, Senior Director of Operations Development, Meow Wolf; Charles Duncan President, Swoop & Executive Vice President, WestJet; and Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer, American Airlines. There are more than 55 confirmed exhibitors, with many more expected to join as the date approaches – especially with eased border restrictions, Coleman says.

FTE Global will feature unique conference tracks, such as ‘Future Airports’ with sessions on how airports should look and operate in the post-COVID-19 world. The ‘FTE Air MobilityX Summit’ will help stakeholders understand the developments in this space and how they should adapt their strategies, infrastructure and systems to take advantage of the major change in transportation. There will be interactive workshops on topics from virtual queuing and mobility of the future to establishing hyperloop pilot projects and cybersecurity mitigation strategies. McCarran International Airport and the TSA will jointly lead guided tours and deliver briefings on the iteration of the future security checkpoint site at LAS. The US CBP will lead technical workshops on the best approaches to rolling out a biometrics programme. Pre- and post-show webinars will be available online for free to look at future industry trends beforehand and further into some of the key topics from the event. Partners for the event include the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), the FTE Advisory Board and host McCarran International Airport.


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WHAT’S HOT

What’s Hot!  rPET Recycled Classes – Plane Talking Products: The rPET drinking glasses are made in the EU from 100 percent recycled post-consumer PET plastic waste. Production requires no additional natural resource, including water. Has no carbon emission and PET can be processed again and again. Available in a range of sizes. Can be printed or embossed with message or logo. www.planetalking.net

 Trail mix snacks – FlyFit: FlyFit offers nutritious trail mixes for airline customers as inflight snacks. They are vegan, gluten-free and available in Antioxidant Nut Mix, Protein Mix and Keto Nut Mix. www.flyfit.com

 Snack and breakfast box in one – Snackbox To Go: Together with GreenCityTrip, Snackbox To Go has introduced a snack and breakfast box in one. The box will be served on a night train to several destinations across Europe. It includes snacks, juice, water and more. www.snackboxtogo.com

 Experience Center – Meiko: The Experience Center has officially opened at Warewashing and hygiene specialist MEIKO’s headquarters in Offenburg, Germany. It will serve as a place for innovations, meetings and project presentations. www.meiko.de

 Bagasse meal items – RMT Global Partners: RMT Global Partners has introduced a range of bagasse meal items in response to the demand for eco-friendly products, such as ovenable dishes and cutlery. The cutlery is strong, 100 percent biodegradable and an alternative to traditional or wooden cutlery. The ovenable dishes can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. www.rmtglobalpartners.com

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WHAT’S HOT

 Healthy Lav – International Water-Guard: Healthy Lav brings touchless disinfection technology to airlines and business jet lavatories. Suitable for line-fit and aftermarket, the product range includes a touchless faucet, flush, trash, soap dispenser, LED UV water disinfection unit, and water heater. Designed to effectively increase lavatory hygiene and inspire passenger confidence. www.water.aero.com

 eOne video games – Anuvu: Anuvu and eOne bring four new inflight games into the cabin, geared toward younger passengers. The games include PJ Masks Robot Raid, Cupcake & Dino Big Balloon Adventure, Peppa Pig’s Memory Match, and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom Spot the Difference. Available on Anuvu’s inflight gaming service. www.anuvu.com

 AERENA – AERQ: The AERENA platform by AERQ provides insight into travelers’ inflight behaviors through passenger engagement, creating new revenue opportunities for airlines and selected partners. It operates by fully digitalized cabin touchpoints such as in-seat system and OLED-powered digital signage screens. Travelers can use their electronic devices to interact with the system and airlines have more control of the digital cabin experience. www.aerq.com

 Lilac-UV – Collins Aerospace: Ultraviolet light solution Lilac-UV disinfects and sanitizes in seconds to minutes, depending on lamp configuration and specific pathogen. Can be applied in lavatories, galleys, flight decks, cargo bays, and throughout the cabin, or used for scheduled cleanings or manual application between flights. Uses technology developed by the Boeing Company. www.collinsaerospace.com

 Soft Divider – Jamco America: The leather-wrapped soft divider designed for narrow-body single-aisle aircraft allows for more division between cabin classes. Creating more legroom, the divider is easily installed and integrates well with existing header provisions certified for 737 divider systems. It can be branded, including the use of color and embossed logos. www.jamco-america.com

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