VOL. 18, NO. 7
NN E W S A N D AANNAALYL YSSI SI S F OF OR RT HT EH EP AI SF SE EC N &G E IRN ST E R VI OI CRESS EE X E C U T I V EE
ONBOARD CATERING AT SIAL ABU DHABI
Etihad’s Butler Service Delights on Turkish Airlines Emirates Service Scores Big
DNATA’S ROBIN p. PADGETT
QATAR AIRWAYS p. CATERING
AIX/WTCE COVERAGE p.
From “ready-to-wear” to “made-to-measure”, discover our collection of services.
t was hard to tell how many in the audience were surprised when Mark Krolick, Managing Director of Marketing and Product Development at United Airlines, told a group at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas event in Seattle that his airline has not beckoned people to “fly the friendly skies” in commercials or print for close to 15 years now. Still, the slogan has worked its way into the public lexicon, at least in the U.S. and still shows up often in online and offline discussions involving the airline. The new phrase at United is Flyer Friendly, which has references to the “user friendly” phrase that often accompanies technology developments. United used to have another slogan that circulated in and out of the aviation industry, which read: “Beluga, Godiva and Dom” in reference to the high-end caviar, chocolates and Champagne that was served in First Class around the same time the “Friendly Skies” was being used in the airline’s marketing material.
Such luxury is now uncommon among airlines in the U.S. and Europe. However, in the Middle East, where this issue is going, it is not only embraced among airlines, but is also obviously growing and evolving. A look at this issue’s regional report covers several ways that is taking place from one corner of the region to another Granted, circumstances and dynamics shape airline activities in the Middle East in different ways than other parts of the world. But few can deny after looking at the new onboard butlers at Etihad, the fine service that won awards on Emirates and the plans for Qatar Airways, that the airlines that will be gathering in Abu Dhabi this month for the Onboard Catering at SIAL show are pushing airlines around the world in new directions. Let’s hope this year’s event is well attended. The insights gained from airlines in the region could very well be used anywhere in the world. Rick Lundstrom Editor-In-Chief, PAX International
Sue Gin: 1941-2014
Sue Gin, Founder and CEO of Chicago-based Flying Food Group passed away September 26, after suffering a stroke three days earlier. She founded Flying Food Group in 1983 with one domestic airline customer and one catering kitchen, located at Chicago’s Midway International Airport. Today, Flying Food Group produces airline passenger and private label meals from a network of 20 U.S. production kitchens stretching from Honolulu to New York. A partial listing of customers includes Air France, Air India, Alitalia, British Airways, China Airlines, EVA Air, Etihad Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Qantas Airways and Qatar Airways. “Sue was an inspirational leader who will be missed by all,” said Milt Liu, Flying Food Group President and COO. “She was an energetic entrepreneur who had a great impact via Flying Food Group and her philanthropic activities. “We are honoring her legacy by continuing to provide industry-leading products and services that meet and exceed the expectations of our company’s valued customers.” Gin was on the board of the French caterer Servair. She was on the board of Exelon, for which she chaired the audit committee. She served on the boards of the Chicago Botanic Gardens, DePaul University, The Field Museum and Rush University Medical Center. She was also on the board of The Foundation for the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Gin also headed the board of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, which advances the legacy of her late husband.
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ADVERTISING OFFICES Monica Kucharski, Circulation & Subscription Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x35 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PAX International is published six times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June/July/August, September/October, November/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. Novemeber/December 2014, Vol. 18, No. 7. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
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www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 3
VOL. 18, NO. 7
Contents MIDDLE EAST REPORT
12 TAKING UP RESIDENCE
When Etihad takes delivery of its A380 in December, a nattily dressed butler will be among the cabin staff, devoted to catering to the needs of two very important passengers
15 PADGETT’S PASSION
dnata’s new head of its catering division brings years of experience in the UAE and a love for the company’s product to a growing network of kitchens he now oversees
20 LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
The State of Qatar’s aviation industry has finished a busy year, and the sole caterer in Doha opened its new unit this spring at the new Hamad International Airport
24 SAVORING WINS
Emirates adds to its trophy case two important awards for its food service, with its tableware and extensive wine list cited as some of the keys to its victory
28 PALATE PLEASER Turkish Airlines has made strides when it comes to passenger numbers, and its inflight catering efforts are not far behind
24 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
VOL. 18, NO. 7
18 ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
NN E W S A N D AANNAALYL YSSI SI S F OF OR RT HT EH EP AI SF SE EC N &G E IRN ST E R VI OI CRESS EE X E C U T I V EE
ONBOARD CATERING AT SIAL ABU DHABI
ON THE COVER: Photo coutesy of Turkish Airlines
Joanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East, plans to provide visitors with a variety of products, and exhibitors with maximum return on investment at this year’s Onboard Catering at SIAL trade show
23 REBOOTING MERCURY
The yearly awards that were part of the International Travel Catering Association have been given new life, and will be handed out at this year’s SIAL event during another glittering evening
30 EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT Etihad’s Butler Service Delights on Turkish Airlines Emirates service scores big
DNATA’S ROBIN p. PADGETT
QATAR AIRWAYS p. CATERING
AIX/WTCE COVERAGE p.
4 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
PAX International lists a few of the companies that will have stands at this year’s Onboard Catering at SIAL trade show in Abu Dhabi
32 PRODUCTS WITH PURPOSE
Hamburg’s smaller cousin, the AIX/WTCE Americas, contained no shortage of products under development and pertinent discussion of the fast changing passenger experience
22 MEETING HER NEEDS
TravelPlus looks at those exclusive First and Business Class amenity bags to discover just how airlines are indulging their discerning female passengers onboard.
26 QUALITY CONTROL Known for its food safety and quality management systems, Medina Quality’s overall quality and safety program is improving the health and well-being of consumers, one provider at a time
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NEWS AIRLINE NEWS
Airline ancillary earnings pegged at nearly US$50 billion Before the end of this year, airlines around the world 2014 CARTRAWLER WORLDWIDE ESTIMATE OF ANCILLARY REVENUE (USD) will earn US$49.9 billion in ancillary revenue, said an Airline Category Total Ancillary Frequent Flier and À la Carte Sales annual survey by two industry watchers. Revenue Commission Based The earnings are an increase of US$7.3 billion from Traditional Airlines $17.5 billion $10.5 Billion $7.0 Billion 2013 and amount to 6.7% of the airline industry’s total U.S. Major Airlines $15.4 Billion $10 Billion $5.4 Billion revenue for 2014, said the CrawTrawler Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue compiled by DublinAncillary Revenue $9.3 Billion $0.5 Billion $8.8 Billion based CarTrawler and Shorewood, Wisconsin-based Champs IdeaWorks. Last year, the survey estimated airlines Low-Cost Carriers $7.7 Billion $0.4 Billion $7.3 Billion earned US$42.6 billion in ancillary revenue and this Worldwide Totals $49.9 Billion $21.4 Billion $28.5 Billion year’s estimate is 17.2% above 2013’s. Revenue from onboard services such as food and beverage, checked baggage, premium seat assignments and early pricing and improved marketing as well, accounting for 29% of the boarding, amounted to US$28.5 billion, while $21.4 billion came from increase, said the report. “non-fee activity,” such as the sale of frequent flier miles to program Jay Sorensen, President of IdeaWorks said one of the significant partners and commissions earned on the sale of services to travelers, developments is the increase of nearly US$3 billion by airlines in the such as hotel accommodations and rental cars. Traditional category. The report divides airlines into four categories: Traditional Airlines “That’s a meaningful result for reasons beyond the economic bencharge fees for extra baggage or heavy bags and seating with extra efit these airlines value so highly,” he said in the report. “It indicates legroom. U.S. Major Airlines also charge similar fees and earn fretraditional carriers are becoming more assertive and aggressive in quent flier revenue. The “Ancillary Revenue Champs,” such as AirAsia the search for new revenue.” X, Allegiant, Pegasus and Wizz Air generate the highest percentage Those airlines face a risk, he said, when additional fees and of operating revenue from additional charges. Low-Cost Carriers like charges are not tied to a tangible improvement in the passenger IndiGo, Jazeera, Norwegian and JetBlue rely on a mix of à la carte experience. activity to generate revenue. “Consumers are best served when choice is accompanied with The survey attributed 30% of the increase to additional revenue better value,” he says. “Merely charging a fee for a service that was passengers in 2014. Airlines identified as Ancillary Revenue Champs once free may quickly degrade the brand of a traditional airline and and Low-Cost Carriers also added à la carte services, modified alienate their core customer base.”
Survey: Wearable tech fine with PAX Passengers have no problem with airline or airport staff using wearable technology, such as smart watches and Google glass. This was revealed in the SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Survey, which reported that nearly 77% of the 6,277 passengers surveyed would be comfortable with the use of wearable tech to help them on their journey. The annual global survey, which sampled passengers traveling through the world’s top 30 airports, highlights the growing importance of the tech-savvy passenger. Among the passengers interviewed, almost every passenger (97%) carries a smartphone, tablet or laptop when they fly, and one in five travels with all three. Passengers want to be able to use technology at every point of the journey, and many already do. The survey reports that 76% are using airline apps, and 43% say this has made a definite improvement to their travel. More than half (53%) want personalized alerts about any delays sent directly to their phones, and 57% want airport maps and directions. Half would like to use their smartphone for boarding. “Travel is better with technology,” said Francesco Violante, Chief Executive Officer, SITA. “And tech-savvy passengers expect more personalized apps and services consistently delivered on the Web, to their phone or tablet. As new technologies such as wearable tech, NFC and iBeacons become commonplace, they present a great opportunity for airlines and airports to engage directly with their passengers to provide efficient services throughout the journey.” 6 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
With the vast majority of passengers surveyed carrying a mobile device or computer, the demand for services inflight is also changing. An increasing number of passengers (56%) want connectivity so that they can use their smartphone, tablet or laptop for inflight entertainment. A total of 54% want the ability to send and receive e-mails and text messages and make and receive phone calls inflight, and 45% would use their connected device to purchase food and drinks or browse a virtual duty free shop. Where once passengers were unwilling to share personal or location information with service providers, 72% are now willing to do so in order to get more personalized services. There is still a reluctance to share information to receive commercial offers, with less than a third of passengers showing interest. But when it comes to improving their experience, for example to reduce queues at the airport, some 40% said they were willing to share their location information. The ninth annual SITA-ATW Passenger Survey was conducted across 15 countries with nearly 6,300 participants. The 15 countries involved in the survey represent 76% of total global passenger traffic. Japan Airlines front-line staff now use smart watches to check flight status, make calls and attend to business activities
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Alternativ e Ener gy
NEWS AIRLINE NEWS
GuestLogix exec sees NFC advancement around the corner September’s news that Apple had joined the major smartphone manufacturers to include a near field communications (NFC) feature with its new iPhones had GuestLogix officials hopeful that a corner had been turned, and the first steps to wider acceptance of the technology in the travel environment would be more common in the future. The giant company’s decision to launch Apple Pay on both versions of the new iPhone 6 next year gives the devices the capability of use in an NFC environment. Apple Pay will allow users to make purchases by tapping or merely moving the phone in close proximity to a point-of-sale terminal or reader. “Apple will certainly tip the sales in terms of retailers now taking it seriously,” Dan Thompson Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Investor Relations at GuestLogix, tells PAX International. Currently, GuestLogix supplies NFC equipment and software to US Airways. The company makes end-to-end solutions for the for the travel industry, among them its Transaction Processing Engine, Global Payment Gateway and products for smartphone and tablet use. GuestLogix implemented its first NFC ready devices in the third quarter of 2012. The company currently has approximately 30,000 point of sale devices onboard aircraft, and is working on an extensive program involving POS terminals with Cathay Pacific Airways.
“Purpose built devices will stay for quite some time, but it will be augmented and extended with many other retail channels that can exist within in the inflight experience,” Thompson said. GuestLogix is clearly looking to the days when providing POS devices to airlines will give way to passengers using their own devices to make onboard purchases, with a much wider selection of products for sale. In the future, Thompson said that the Toronto-based GuestLogix would be focusing much of its attention on software products that integrate with the tablets and smartphones carried Dan Thompson, by passengers, used by Senior Vice President of flight attendants and by Global Strategy airport employees. at GuestLogix
Bahrain Airport gauging passenger satisfaction Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) has introduced a series of HappyOrNot kiosks at Bahrain International Airport’s departure and arrival halls, designed to gauge passenger satisfaction with the facilities and services provided at the terminal. The kiosks, which collect feedback on a daily basis, allow people to press the relative bottoms to indicate whether they are happy or unhappy with their experience within the airport. The continuous feedback will allow BAC to monitor performance levels across key areas and benchmark it against industry standards. The satisfaction surveys will focus on areas such as shopping, food and beverage, efficiency of check-in, and immigration services, with an emphasis also placed on general cleanliness and the upkeep of communal areas. “This new technology is a first of its kind for the Kingdom of Bahrain,” explained Mohamed Thamir Al Kaabi, Chief Airport Operating Officer, Bahrain Airport Company. “Through this solution, we hope to capture maximum passenger feedback that would ultimately provide us with more accurate results than the manual survey tools.” 8 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
Plaza Premium Lounge opens at AUH Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), in cooperation with Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited (PPLML), opened the new Al Reem lounge Terminal 1 at the end of October. “Al Reem lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport will focus on catering to business class passengers and in the coming months, our capital city’s airport will also announce the opening of its all new first class Al Dhabi Lounge,” said Mohammed Al Bulooki, Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports. Last year, Abu Dhabi Airports entered into a partnership with Plaza Premium Lounge for the renovation, management and operation of all of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s hotels and lounges in Terminals 1 and 3. “The reopening of Al Reem by Plaza Premium Lounge brings a world-class experience to the airport in design, function and efficiency—with our lounges in Abu Dhabi, you are promised a travel experience that is first class,” said Song Hoi-see, Founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Lounge Management Limited. The 4,500-square-foot lounge is based on the concept of providing comfort and convenience to travelers and aims to deliver an ambience of luxury while providing a ‘home away from home.’ Designed by Kinney Chan of KCA Associates, the PPLML team introduces its signature detailed touches to the airport lounge, which is highlighted by the Plaza Premium Lounge signature chandelier, designed eight times the original size. The lounge is on three floors and offers a wide spread of Arabic, Asian and Continental cuisines made daily. The lounge offers free Wi-Fi connection and laptops upon request for those wanting to catch up on some work in between destinations. A fully-serviced shower room and a variety of International TV Channels are available, as well as international newspapers and magazines.
NEWS IFE AND CONNECTIVITY
Etihad completes connectivity, mobile and broadband on 777s Etihad Airways announced in October that it deployed mobile and Internet connectivity on its entire fleet of 777 passenger aircraft. The airline has a fleet of 24 777s and is on the way to outfitting all 89 passenger aircraft with the features. The passenger fleet includes 28, A320s, 26 A330s, 11 A340s and the 24 Boeing 777. The full suite of inflight connectivity services on the fleet includes Wi-Fi, mobile services and Live TV. The services combine the “Etihad Wi-Fly” solution, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite, and OnAir’s inflight connectivity solution. “The roll out of our state-of-the-art connectivity solution will give our modern connected guests a seamless, robust experience at 35,000 feet, similar to what they expect at home or work,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer in the announcement. The airline offers high-speed broadband services on Wi-Fi enabled passenger-owned devices. Guests using their mobile phones can access the mobile connectivity service and smart-
phones to make and receive phone-calls, send and receive text messages and e-mails, and use mobile data services. The Live TV onboard service allows guests to watch live news and major sporting events from BBC World News, CNBC, CNN, euronews, Japan’s NHK World Premium, Sky News Arabia, and Sport 24. Cabin crew and flight deck operations also utilize Wi-Fi connections to handle medical emergencies. The crew is empowered to manage inflight guest issues by phone or email in real-time with the airline’s ground teams based in Abu Dhabi. Connectivity is also paving the way for the airline to enhance the guest experience through increased onboard retail opportunities, with the added benefit of real-time credit card transactions. Packages to access the Internet start at US$5 and can be purchased using credit cards, PayPal and a range of other convenient payment methods. Mobile telephone usage will be billed by the guest’s mobile service providers based on the international roaming rates levied by the service providers. Etihad has a fleet of 24 777-300s now all outfitted with broadband connectivity
Popular reality show now on Emirates
Fans of Arab Idol can view season three in the air on the ice Digital Widescreen on Emirates’ A380 and 777s. A special team will update ice the day after the live show so that the latest episodes will always available on board. Arab Idol, the reality show watched by Arab audiences all around the world, is Emirates’ latest sponsorship. The show is aired on TV stations MBC1 and MBC MASR every Friday and Saturday. To watch the latest episodes of Arab Idol, season three, fans should tune into channel 1360 on ice Digital Widescreen. “By offering compelling and current content on our ice system, Emirates connects fans with their passion for music. We work hard to provide a wide variety of entertainment choices and the best viewing experience for our passengers,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, 10 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre. “Our aim is to let our customers get the very most out of their Emirates journey, and that is why we invest so heavily in our on board experience, which includes inflight entertainment. The fact that we have won Skytrax’s best inflight entertainment award for the last 10 consecutive years speaks to our success in this regard, and we will not rest on our laurels.” Emirates offers more than 1,800 channels of entertainment and information. The entertainment system is packed with music channels and carries a wide selection of classical Arabic music as well as the latest songs from the most popular Arab singers including three of the judging panel of Arab Idol—Wael Kfoury, Nancy Ajram and Ahlam.
Two appointed to EVP spots at HMSHost
HMSHost announced that Stephanie Havard has been appointed Executive Vice President of Restaurant Development and Derryl Benton is the new Executive Vice President of Business Development. Havard will oversee strategic investment, concept development and design construction; and Benton will concentrate on winning and extending of industry contracts. Havard has held various financial roles during her tenure at HMSHost, most recently as Vice President of Business Development Finance. Benton joined HMSHost after holding leading business development roles in the industry, most recently with Hudson Group, where he was responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities in North America. Previously, he was with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
Weishaupt is Servair’s new Purchasing Director Servair announced in September that Bruno Weishaupt would be the new Purchasing Director. As Purchasing Director, Weishaupt will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer. A graduate of the ESTP engineering school and IAE Paris postgraduate business school, Weishaupt began his career at UTA Airlines in 1986. He contributed to restructuring Flight Operations when UTA merged with Air France in 1991 and held various positions in that business unit before becoming head of the Operational Effectiveness department in 2000. When Air France reorganized in 2013, his responsibilities were increased to encompass the operational effectiveness of three additional departments, including pilots and cabin crew.
Heineken names account managers for cruise and ferry Heineken Global Duty Free has named Koos Vrijlandt as Global Account Manager with overall responsibility for cruise lines, and Onno Huyghe Global Account Manager Northwest Europe and Ferries. Vrijlandt was previously managing the European ferry sector. Based in Amsterdam, he will focus on Heineken’s portfolio ambitions for the growing cruise market. Huyghe was previously Export Manager for the Baltic States and Finland. With Heineken since 2008, his expertise is in key account management, seeding and growing brands both directly and through agents. “Having dedicated teams that are focused fully on the cruise lines and ferries allows us to work with customers and distributors to implement category driving solutions such as Brewlock One Way Keg, Monteith’s Craft Beer range and Amstel 0.0% alcohol beer,” said Sean McNaughten, Manager Heineken Global Duty Free.
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 11
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: ETIHAD AIRWAYS
Savoy smart: Etihad’s first crew of butlers pose clad in uniforms by Rome’s Ettore Bilotta
Taking up residence
When Etihad takes delivery of its A380 in December a nattily dressed butler will be among the cabin staff, devoted to catering to the needs of two very important passengers by RICK LUNDSTROM
hen an airline decides to add the largest passenger aircraft in history to its fleet, a list of what could probably be considered desirable challenges comes with the delivery. One of those challenges can be found in the forward part of the upper deck on the left side. “I think every operator is trying to think ‘what to do with it,’” said Abrey Tiedt, Vice President of Guest Services at Etihad Airways. Last May, six months before the airline was set to take delivery of its first A380, Etihad announced what it planned to do with the space; and the announcement started a wave of media coverage that has only recently subsided. That coverage will probably start anew when the airline takes its first A380 into passenger service in late December. The addition that attracted all the attention is called The Residence by Etihad —one hundred twenty five square feet of luxury that includes a private bath, living room and bedroom for two well-heeled travelers for the six-to-seven-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to London. Others will be fortunate enough to experience The Residence as Etihad takes delivery of its order of 10 A380s, three more of which will arrive next year. Among the selected destinations for the big jet next year are flights from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and New York.
The Residence is evidence of the competitive marketplace for high-end travelers taking shape in the Middle East. Etihad Airways is in the thick of the fray, looking for an edge by employing a planning process that officials say relies more on the trends taking place in hotels and resorts, than on standard airline service. The A380 from Etihad will have a standard crew of 23, all of which are charged with the priorities of safety procedure that are stressed to flight attendants at the beginning of their training. However, part of the crew of flight attendants are a food and beverage manager, and onboard chef and a nanny, all of whom could be called on to carry out the primary duties of cabin safety, security and passenger health. Joining the specialized group of cabin service crew for the A380 is a butler, dedicated to serving the needs of one to two passengers who have purchased a flight in The Residence. So far, 13 butlers have been picked from the ranks of Etihad’s crew of food and beverage and inflight chefs for duty. Two women are part of the first group of butlers that are from 11 countries. The butlers are trained for the new duties for the first two weeks at the London School of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of West London and completed on-the-job training during a week at the Savoy Hotel, also in London. The group recently posed for a
12 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
picture beneath the Savoy Hotel’s entrance clad in a uniform designed by Rome-based fashionista, Ettore Bilotta. Etihad said the butlers have the skills of a concierge and the maître d’hôtel, rolled into an environment that the airline likens to a private jet, a place where many of the passengers of The Residence are likely to have some experience. However, the passengers’ interaction with the onboard butler starts well before the flight. At that time, the airline and the staff will make use of other skills and experience, among them international protocol and etiquette, VIP guest care, valet skills, luxury food and wine knowledge and the ability to organize travel arrangements. The passengers will be briefed by butlers on the safety features of cabin and will be kept abreast of flight status and changes during their trip. Passengers in The Residence also have a unique call service that can bring the butler at any time with a specialized call button that is different from the standard found in every seat of the aircraft. For now, the 13 butlers are all based in Abu Dhabi. They work out of the head office of the airline’s Service Delivery Department. When a booking arrives for The Residence, the butler will begin his or her liaison with the passenger, building a profile to share information and needs and desires, including food and beverage
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: ETIHAD AIRWAYS service and the language skills required. “Everything is bespoke for the guest,” said Tiedt. “And the butler will be introduced to the guest by telephone or e-mail and will take on any additional requirements the guest might need.” Even as the airline seeks to bring back an era of travel where service ruled the skies and every air journey was designed to be memorable, Teidt said Etihad was care-
ful to make the butlers approachable and as current as possible. A modern airline butler should be tech-savvy, said Tiedt, so all 13 will be equipped with iPads and trained in a legendary hotel that is well known for its butler service. “The Savoy is part of the old world, but it also modern and we are trying to bring back that old world, but with a modern kick,” she added.
Inside The Residence by Etihad
Such an approach is also taking place in the boardrooms and planning at Etihad Airways. For the airline, The Residence is another way that Etihad is aligning its service strategy not with other airlines, but with the broader hospitality industry. “We go way outside the box and say, ‘what are we capable of delivering onboard the aircraft?’” said Tiedt.
Lounge area in the Residence by Etihad
Much has been written—and much will be written—about Etihad’s three room private cabin that will be taking its first passengers before the end of this year on the airline’s launch of A380 service between Abu Dhabi and London. Three rooms: A living area, double bedroom and a separate in-suite shower make up the 125 square feet of space. Inside The Residence are details that include the finest in leathers and fabrics, two LCD televisions, (because, of course, two people can disagree on what they want to watch), and gourmet à la carte meals for the same reason. The atmosphere is reminiscent of private jets that regularly fly in and out of Abu Dhabi. “This is the culmination of five years of intensive effort and research into how Etihad Airways provides an unparalleled VIP experience,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s Chief Commercial Officer in the May announcement of The Residence. “Without a doubt, we are ushering in a new era of luxury travel in commercial aviation.” Etihad selected a number of designer names for the modern Arabian look of The Residence. The reclining sofa and bed are upholstered with Poltrona Frau leather, which is also found in the first class cabins of Singapore Airlines and the new Alitalia Magnifica Class seats. The airline’s Etihad Design Consortium worked with Poltrona Frau and B/E Aerospace in the United Kingdom to finish the
With a bedroom, lounge and bath area, The Residence is 125 square feet
14 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
cabin and bring it up to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards for a dual occupancy cabin. The inflight entertainment system is the Panasonic eX3 used in a 32-inch and 27-inch screen. The communications suite on the inflight entertainment system includes broadband Internet mobile and data capability. Power needs are met with HDMI, AC outlets and USB ports. The look of The Residence is rounded out with the help of a touchscreen control unit that the passenger can use to change the mood lighting, window shading and adjust the furniture for position and firmness, as well as activate the in-seat massage functions.
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: INDUSTRY Q&A
t the end of the summer, Emirates’ Vice President of Aircraft Catering, Robin Padgett joined one of Robin Padgett the carrier’s primary subsidiaries as a Divisional Senior Vice President of dnata’s catering division, much of which is encompassed by Alpha Flight Services. Padgett’s duties now include catering units in 12 countries and 62 airports. With an education as an economist, PAX_subform_halfad:Layout 1 31/03/10 11:29 AM Page 1 but with a lifelong passion for aviation and food, he now has plenty of activities to satisfy his vocational training and primary interests. Padgett talked about both in a Q&A for PAX International.
dnata’s new head of its catering division brings years of experience in the UAE and a love for the company’s product to a growing network of kitchens he now oversees
PAX International: Airline catering currently accounts for approximately 21% of dnata’s revenue stream. Where do you expect that figure to be in the years to come? Robin Padgett: For dnata, catering is a vital part of our growth strategy—both organically and through acquisition opportunities. There is no doubt that we expect our international catering division to continue to grow in the coming years.
PAX: Do you see catering growth expanding by gaining customers within the current network of kitchens, or will there be new acquisition or construction? Bringing aboard any new personnel? Padgett: While we don’t comment on any future acquisition plans, I expect future growth to develop in a similar way to dnata’s recent growth—through a combination of new customers joining our existing network, expanding our existing facilities and possibly opening or acquiring new catering units. With the growth our international catering division has experienced recently, we are regularly looking for new personnel to enhance our reputation and grow our expertise. Indeed, we are re-organizing and growing our senior team to make sure we have the strongest possible talent to lead the business. We certainly plan to build new facilities to accommodate our expansion and customer needs. These new facilities will ensure dnata remains ahead of industry standards and expectations.
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MIDDLE EAST REPORT: INDUSTRY Q&A “No one had ever thought of it before, but their encouraging,” said. PAX: answer Do youwas seevery partnerships withheother Once companies the two sides to go ahead catering as agreed a possibility, like with the arrangement, began the lengthy other networks in theRAK industry? process of We adapting andhave testing its computer Padgett: already several partnerreservation to adapt This ships aroundsystem the world, and to areEtihad’s. prepared to occurred the timethat the larger also work withatpartners sharecarrier dnata’swas vision changing its own CRSour from the of SITA system and can complement areas expertise. to Working Sabre. Work is still continuing, and Etihad with highly localized partners plans a switchover to Sabre next year. in particular has been a successful strategy andyears. RAK Airways were not the for Brayford us over the dnata brings global only onesand excited at the new partnership. expertise experience, whilst they bring “This is the first time Airways will specialized regional andEtihad local knowledge. have its EY a domestic UAE flight Building oncode bothoncompetencies ensures which iscustomer an excitingrelationships milestone for us,” said the strong and conairline’sgrowth. CEO James Hogan, on the October tinued 3 inauguration of the flight. “We look forward to welcoming Abu Dhabi and PAX: What istravelers dnata’s through involvement in other onto international flightsfood acrossand the Etihad Airareas, such as airport beverage. network.” Iways understand there are also retail services. Once completed an operational What doesEtihad that entail? audit on RAK, task was then to convince Padgett: Ourthe international catering divipassengers to foregoalltheaspects freewayoflinking the sion encompasses aviation two emirates by about threeretail hours drive and catering, including inflight and airport optingand for abeverage flight thatservices. is scheduled forinflight 45 minfood Our utes, but is often completed in 25 minutes, said retail operations provide customers with a Brayford. of premium products and serbroad-range vices, including food and beverage options and boutique and brand name products.
But as it turns out, Brayford said many residents of theAlpha Emirates might findwethat an Through Flight Group, opereasierfood choice one would Comated andthan beverage outletsthink. at airports muting the busy freeways a fast growing in the UAE, Jordan, Italy,in Bulgaria and region hasWebrought increased traffic to the Romania. offer licensing to international UAE’s highway Brayford says delays brands that wantsystem. to operate within airports on the Emirates’ around the world.main thoroughfares have become more frequent. Soon when RAK Airways expands the service to dailyinflights, and PAX: Does dnata coordinate any way later Emirates to flights twice the frequency will with Flightdaily, Catering? be a vital selling tool.are separate entities, Padgett: No. We we have a scheduled morning and with“Once independent boards, management evening flight next spring that will be a very and strategies. serious alternative to people taking their cars,” he said.is the current business relaPAX: What In the with early En fall,Route? BrayfordWhat said many of the tionship portion is passengers in the RKT-AUH route were using owned by dnata? the flight and its short, one has houra connection Padgett: Although dnata significant time tointhe flight to Bangkok. stake EnEtihad Route,Airways it operates completely Passengers departing thehas RAK Airways to independently. En Route a great reputaAUHforhave alsoinnovative, been boarding the Etihad tion being agile and ahead flight to Manila. of trends—important characteristics for its On suchand a short as RKT-AUH, cabin customers keyflight, differentiators from its service is limited to a sandwich box with a competitors. muffin, juice and water. RAK Airways’ caterer out ofIsRKT is Rakabela, of the Albert PAX: working in the part airline catering Abelasomething group that operates cateringwanted and restauend you always to do? By working the airline side, what did see that you felt could be changed or
rant business in the UAE and Lebanon. Rakabela is alsoAnd, underwhat a 15-year concession improved? can the airlinescondo tract to operate restaurants and coffee to enhance their relationship with shops their at the airport. But if plans work out and the caterer suppliers? promisingI’ve tourist industry the emirate conPadgett: always beenin passionate about tinuesmy to grow, a new Rakabela airline-caterfood; grandmother was a chef and an ing kitchen has received approvals fromWhile the govimportant influence on my life. I ernment andacould in the near future. didn’t have desirebetobuilt become a chef she In theinshadow of the scenic Hajar mouninstilled me a passion for food. This role Ras Almarriage Khaimahbetween has a climate istains, the perfect my loveand for tourism dynamic different from much of the the culinary arts and aviation. restThe of the Its slower pace and unspoiled keyUAE. to any customer-supplier relabeaches have been beckoning development in tionship is communication and openness. recent notable properties years. The more theAmong airlinesthe clearly outline their that have located the emirate, expectations, the in better we can Brayford support listedon thedelivering Banyan Tree Hotel and the them theirWadi vision. Hilton Resort or Cove Rotana among seven to eight major properties. In been the first quarPAX: Something we’ve just curious ter of next year,does Brayford addeddnata that thecome Walabout: where the name dorf Astoria open “a of most amazing from? Is it anwill acronym some kind?looking property” that will bring a clientele that Padgett: Great question! dnata has a long RAK Airways is planning to cater to. Air heritage. It stands for Dubai National “We are gearing up for that, because we Travel Agency. The company was established believe sort of people who stay at the in 1959 tothe provide ground handling at Dubai Waldorf will not be coming on charter International Airport, and in soon began flights, tickets but coming here as premium travelselling for airlines, such as BOAC. ers onwould scheduled said. Who have service,” thought he back then that it would be a global payer in aviation services and offer catering across four continents?
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EVENT COVERAGE: INDUSTRY Q&A SIAL’s Middle East food show, 2013
Onwards and upwards by
Joanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East, plans to provide visitors with a variety of products, and exhibitors with maximum return on investment at this year’s OnBoard Catering at SIAL
Cook: The Middle East is such an important aviation market, which has seen massive growth over the past decade. There is a huge potential for suppliers to breakthrough into this market and gain recognition. Also, considering we have an existing food and beverage event running at the same time, there is a natural synergy and exhibitors at OnBoard Catering will be in the presence of more than 17,000 interested buyers.
PAX: Do you think the changes regarding ITCA’s status will affect the show in any way? Cook: I don’t think that this will affect the show very much. Suppliers to the travel catering industry recognize the importance of this region and will return to exhibit. With the aviation market growing significantly, there are opportunities that suppliers cannot afford to ignore.
oanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East, has witnessed the growth of the Middle East aviation industry over the last few years, and experienced similar growth with SIAL since its launch in 2010. Cook talks at length about the vast potential for suppliers to break through into the Middle East aviation market, and what they can look forward to at this year’s OnBoard Catering at SIAL in a Q&A with PAX International.
PAX International: How long have you been with SIAL Middle East? Joanne Cook: I have been with SIAL Middle East right from its launch in 2010. It has been an exciting journey, and the show has grown leaps and bounds since then. PAX: What factors were involved in the decision to pick up where the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) left off and continue hosting an airline catering trade show during SIAL’s Middle East food show?
PAX: What are some of your goals and expectations for this year’s show? Cook: The goal is exactly the same as always, and that is to drive maximum return on investment for the exhibitors and provide visitors a variety of products to source from. We have number of airlines in attendance, as well as visitors and hosted buyers who have massive buying power, and it is something that the exhibitors at the event will appreciate. PAX: What can visitors/exhibitors expect from this year’s show? Any specifics you wish to share?
18 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
Cook: Visitors can expect a massive variety of products on display not just from a travel catering point of view, but also from that of food and beverage. With more than 1,000 exhibitors expected at SIAL Middle East, visitors will have a number of sourcing options. In addition, we have also launched Middle East Pack, a new event dedicated to the packaging sector. Airline industry visitors will be able to look at packaging products on display at this new event. As mentioned earlier, we have confirmed attendance from a number of airlines who are major buyers for OnBoard Catering exhibitors. Exhibitors can expect excellent return on investment with the right buyers coming to meet them during the event. PAX: Can you share any details about the dedicated Airlines VIP Lounge? How did SIAL arrive at the decision to create this lounge? Cook: I think it goes without saying that the airlines are prime visitors to our event. It is important that we recognize this and create an atmosphere where these top buyers can conduct meetings in a relaxed manner. PAX: Can you share your thoughts on the strength of the Middle East market with regards to both aircraft and cruise passengers? Cook: Boeing estimates that airlines in the Middle East will need 2,610 new aircraft over the next 20 years, worth an astounding US$550 billion. While around a third of the new jets will be slated to replace aging aircraft, the rest will be used to expand the various carriers’ reach across the world. Dubai air traffic has been consistently growing between 5% and 7% annually, higher than the global average of 3.5%, according to Dubai Air Navigation Services (Dans). Dubai airport is already the second busiest in the world in terms of international passengers, and hopes to overtake London’s Heathrow by 2015.
Joanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East
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MIDDLE EAST REPORT: QATAR AIRCRAFT CATERING COMANY
Passenger terminal complex and car park at the new Hamad International Airport
groundwork by RICK LUNDSTROM
The State of Qatar’s aviation industry has enjoyed a busy year, as did the sole caterer at the newly opened Hamad International Airport
he opening of a new international airport is a rare and exciting occurrence, but when it is teamed with the launch of a new aircraft in a country that will soon have the attention of the world, the events become part of a story that is unfolding. That is what will be happening in a few short years, when the State of Qatar hosts the World Cup football championships. In the meantime, plenty is happening in the state’s world of aviation. Beautiful airports and state of the art aircraft may capture the headlines. But along with the hoopla was the initial opening of a new unit for Qatar Aircraft Catering Company (QACC), which coincided with the open-
ing of Hamad International Airport (HIA) and signaled the start of a new chapter in airline food service. In June, Qatar Airways’ first A380 went into service between Doha and London. The aircraft has since been moved around the airline’s system, serving Paris and again, London Heathrow. Early next year, Qatar Airways will operate the A380 on a route to Bangkok. When the first production A350XWB goes into service early next year, Qatar Airways plans to operate the aircraft on its route to Frankfurt. When the switch was thrown on at Hamad International Airport at the end of April of this year, QACC was there with its new catering unit.
Full halal compliance can be found throughout the new QACC unit
20 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
“It has been a significant undertaking to move our operations while still delivering our five-star service,” said Thomas Frans-Josef Grieser Senior Vice President at QACC. “I am pleased to say that all Business Class and First Class cuisine is now being provided by the facility. At 69,000 square meters, the unit immediately takes its place among the largest self-contained airline catering units in the world. It currently has the capacity to produce 90,000 meals per day. Operating at full capacity, QACC would have an output of 150,000 meals per day. QACC will have a staff of 1,800 employees, among them 350 trained chefs. When the unit is at full capacity, meals and supplies will move in and out at 46 loading bays and 22 off-loading bays. QACC is the sole catering unit at Hamad International Airport. As passenger traffic grows in the years to come, the unit will be pushed to capacity. At the initial opening last May, projections stated that approximately 30 million passengers would pass through the airport per year with totals expecting to surpass 50 million in the next few years. HIA saw a 10% passenger increase in September compared to September 2013. A total of 2,201,271 travelers departed from, transferred through and arrived in Qatar during the month. In addition to handling the airline catering duties, QACC expects to be an important provider of products and services for the 16 lounges that span 80,000 square meters at the airport. QACC cur-
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: QATAR AIRCRAFT CATERING COMANY rently handles all the lounge food service at HIA. There are other airline customers now as well, said Sarkis. “We are flexible in terms of operational capacity to meet demand,” Grieser said. “In terms of customers, we currently provide services to a number of airlines on a fixed basis. These are airlines that operate from Doha to a range of global destinations. “QACC also provides service to other private jets and charter flights, together with any airlines who may encounter problems with delivery.” The delivery of the A350XWB will no doubt be making the headlines as the year comes to a close. However, it is one aircraft in a rapidly expanding fleet for the flag carrier. In a single day at the end of October, Qatar Airways took delivery of three additional aircraft: two 787s and a 777. At HIA, Qatar Duty Free added four new boutiques to the airport’s shopping experience. Coach, Montblanc, Almotahajiba and Hugo Boss, joined the more than 70 retail outlets that are already available within the 25,000 square meters of retail space at the airport.
QACC is part of a group of companies within the flag carrier that cover every aspect of the passenger and airline experience. Qatar Duty free is a fast growing travel retailer with sales on the airline and at Hamad International Airport. Al Maha Services is a meet-and-assist service for
passengers arriving and departing HIA. Other companies under the Qatar Airways logo are an Internal Media Service responsible for advertising and Qatar Executive, a private jet service. Other companies in the group are responsible for air cargo and ground handling.
First and Business Class meals are catered out of the new QACC unit, including a number of ethnic dishes
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www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 21
CABIN SERVICE: TRAVELPLUS GUEST COLUMN
Meeting her needs
Malaysia Airlines provides products from Italian luxury goods house Bvlgari including, Lotion pour le Corps Body Lotion, Nourishing Hand Cream and a Lip Balm
TravelPlus looks at those exclusive First and Business Class amenity bags to discover just how airlines are indulging their discerning female passengers onboard
urrent regulations that limit what can be carried in hand luggage, can create difficulties for a female passenger to feel totally comfortable whilst on board an aircraft. Have airlines identified this opportunity, and provided their First and Business Class female passengers with an amenity kit packed with a range of cosmetics, lotions and creams that will enhance their onboard experience? With the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards now in its fifth year, we decided to explore the exclusive First and Business Class designer bags to see how airlines indulge their discerning female passengers, with cosmetics, lotions and creams. The majority of bags in First and Business class have been designed with the help of some of the world’s top designers, including Kate Spade, Viktor & Rolf, Ray Eames, Christian Dior, Swarovski, and Rimowa. This has made them highly collectable, with many finding their way onto the global marketplace. A recent search on eBay, found that an unopened Rimowa amenity kit could fetch upwards of $200. Upon opening the bags, it is apparent that there is a recurring theme, with the majority of airlines aligning themselves with the world’s most prestigious cosmetic and skincare brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Bvlgari, L’Occitane, Amouage, La Prairie and Kiehls. However, taking a closer look at the lotions and creams that are included, it soon becomes apparent that there is little differentiation. Common items included within the kits are hand and body lotion, facial moisturizer, eye gel, and lip balm. It was refreshing to see that some airlines had provided something other than the standard sample size, making them useful after the journey is over. It is the little details like this that can make airlines stand out in a very competitive market. TravelPlus recently spoke to the founder of skincare company Air Repair, Denise Spanek who commented, “while it is nice to have the prestigious well known brands included, it does not help the traveler with their needs
if they cannot use them to help get through their flight and beyond.” Spanek goes on to say “some of the ‘basics’ that I believe women would love to have included are: an all-purpose salve that can be used on everything including lips, hands and cuticles, a rich, non-greasy moisturizer for all skin types and a facial mist that is loaded with moisturizing properties and botanicals (not just water).” Needless to say, the skincare industry is interested in having the thirsty, dehydrated skin on millions of airline passengers, quenched by their brands. It is also an opportunity for them to advertise their products to their most valued demographic —women with high disposable incomes, and a taste for the finer things in life. Spanek, however, said she was concerned with the content of some of the cosmetics offered within the bags, “many of the products are loaded with perfumes, parabens, petroleum and mineral oils which can be irritants when applied to compromised skin, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions.” A few airlines are starting to respond by offering their female passengers more niche “natural” products and aromatherapy brands that provide energizing lotions, cleansing foam, moisturizing emulsion. Actress, model and frequent flyer, Louise Linton, told TravelPlus in a recent interview, “Facial cleansing wipes along with facial, hand and lip moisturizers” are necessities on her regular long haul flights between Scotland and Los Angeles and she depends on the contents of the amenity kit to keep her feeling her best, so she can ‘hit the ground running’ with her busy work schedule when she arrives at her destination. As an avid traveler and licensed aesthetician, Denise Spanek commented, “most airlines are not yet incorporating specialized products such as Air Repair as
22 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
standard” and added that more airlines should be embracing new market trends, and seeking naturally inspired and effective products, rather than “purely focus on big name or prestigious brands.” So it appears that in the pursuit to fight the main signs of travel fatigue, including dryness, dehydration, redness, dullness and irritation, most of the airlines are providing the right types of hydration products for their passengers, whilst still managing to align themselves with high end luxury cosmetic brands. Although some of the products on offer may not suit every skin type, it appears airlines are already in tune with their most of their passenger’s needs. Simon Ward Founder of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards comments that, “co-branding is good for the airline, good for the cosmetic brands and, most importantly, it is good for the high flying female passenger.’’ Editor’s Note: The closing date for entries to the 2014 TravelPlus Airline Amenity bag Awards is December 20, 2014. Entry forms can be found on the awards website www. travelplusawards.com. The winners will be announced at an Awards reception on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg. Singapore Airlines teams up with Salvatore Ferragamo to provide an Eau de Parfum 30 milliliter, Lip balm, Hand cream and cleansing towel
EVENT COVERAGE: MERCURY AWARDS Winners gather for a picture at last year’s Mercury Awards in Abu Dhabi
Mercury by RICK LUNDSTROM
ercury will fly again. Just as it appeared that the yearly presentation of the Mercury Awards statues would be gone with the demise of the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA), organizers for the SIAL Middle East moved in this year to save the competition; and plans are in the offing for Mercury to travel the globe as a regular part of the massive SIAL Group food show network that spans five continents and hosts tens of thousands of delegates and companies. But for this year, much will be the same as previous decades. SIAL Group only recently acquired the rights to organize the yearly awards. This will be the 33rd year for the Mercury Awards, and SIAL has planned a gala dinner and awards event for the evening of November 24 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The Mercury event moved to Abu Dhabi after Reed Exhibitions purchased ITCA’s annual trade show and relocated it to Hamburg as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo. ITCA retained a smaller event located adjacent the massive SIAL show. This year, SIAL organizers decided to continue the annual airline catering trade show, renaming the event Onboard Catering at SIAL. “The awards that had run alongside
The yearly awards that were part of the International Travel Catering Association have been given new life, and will be handed out at this year’s SIAL event during another glittering evening
SIAL for the last two years had been very popular and very successful and something that had added value for the companies participating at the exhibition,” said Joanne Cook, Managing Director of SIAL Middle East and Regional Director for SIAL ASEAN. Support for continuing the awards also came from the host airline, Etihad Airways, said Cook. The airline will be involved in judging this year, and the awards will remain much the same as the past. At press time, Cook said that entries were arriving at much the same numbers as previous years. Securing the rights for the awards consumed much of the planning and promotional time this year. However, in the near term, Cook said SIAL Group was “planning on a reboot” of the Mercury Awards that could, in the future, mean award presentation at any one of the SIAL events around the world. The Mercury Awards may also be conducted with the annual SIAL Innovation Awards, which are judged by an independent group that looks at entries of recently introduced food and beverage products. Last year, the SIAL Innovation Awards had 70 entries from around the world. Winning products from the awards are showcased at other SIAL events.
SIAL Group holds the world’s largest food show every two years in Paris. Other events that are part of the SIAL portfolio take place in China, Canada the Middle East (held yearly in Abu Dhabi), and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. SIAL has also recently added a SIAL ASEAN event that will alternate between Manila and Jakarta. In the future, Cook said the Mercury Awards could be held at any one of the SIAL venues. However, for now, an award for travel catering is perfectly suited for the Middle East, due to the region’s growing travel and transportation industries, and because of the emphasis that travel modes place on hospitality and food service. Airlines are quickly expanding routes and adding aircraft. Meal service is a part of even the shortest flights. In the next few years the infrastructure will expand with additional rail service that will also require food and beverage operations.
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 23
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: EMIRATES
Joost Heymeijer Vice President of Catering and Service Delivery at Emirates
Emirates adds to its trophy case two important awards for its food service, with its tableware and extensive wine list cited as some of the keys to its victory by RICK LUNDSTROM
oost Heymeijer has spent the last nine years of his long career in the culinary and hospitality industry developing and designing the services at a resort owned by Emirates Airline in the Wolgan Valley of the Blue Mountains in Australia. When the opportunity came to move from an exclusive resort to the roughand-tumble world of airline catering, the opening at Emirates headquarters in Dubai looked like a perfect fit to the Dutchman. One of the biggest challenges as Senior Vice President of Catering and Service Delivery is getting his head around the fact he is now overseeing a department responsible for more than 50 million airline meals served per year. Luckily, Heymeijer said, he has stepped aboard a division of the airline that had been superbly organized by his predecessor Robin Padgett (see related story, page 15) and six days into the new position, he was “enjoying the fruits of his labor.” He still often communicates with Padgett, the new head of catering for the Emirates subsidiary, dnata, as Padgett’s office is only one floor above the Service Delivery department at the headquarters of Emirates in Dubai. “With the platform we built over time, we will be able to bring some exciting additions to what we do with food and how it will be presented,” he said. As an operator of a young fleet, and one known for its large fleet of A380s, Emirates’ culinary achievements onboard have been well known throughout the aviation
industry. Shortly before Heymeijer took over the new position, it earned one more. At the end of October, Saveur magazine gave Emirates the Culinary Travel Award for Best In-flight Dining: First and Business Class for the second consecutive year. The honor carries a special weight, as Saveur is a respected publication in the culinary world, said Terry Daly Divisional Senior Vice President of Service Delivery in the October 23rd announcement. “The quality of our cuisine reflects Emirates’ commitments to providing our passenger with the world’s best flying experience.” Though he says that he would like to have rounded out the win with the award for best Economy Class food service (a distinction that went to Singapore Airlines), Heymeijer said the win was “an incredible recognition.” Two of the areas that impressed Saveur judges were Emirates’ selection of fine bone china tableware by Royal Doulton and the airline’s extensive wine list. The service in the airline’s A380 lounge located in the upper deck of the aircraft was also a
24 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
favorite by the judges. Emirates has both its First and Business Class cabins in the upper deck of the A380. The airline is a few years into the current Royal Doulton tableware setting. With a route network and aircraft that carries up to 90 passengers in First and Business class, outfitting a fleet that is large and growing constantly is an enormous exercise. According to Heymeijer, the last time the airline changed out tableware to a new design, the old designs were sent out for exchange in 21 containers, each 40 feet long. Still, at some point, the decision will be made and the airline will tender out for a new look. Heymeijer said Emirates tries to look out three to four years to see where food service trends are going, and presentation is a vital element to any changes the airline makes in its culinary component. “Food never sits alone,” he said “You can engineer and design it all you like, but it has to look good.” When it does reconsider new tableware products, a number of factors will be
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: EMIRATES involved in the selection, including logistics, galley planning, waste distribution, storage and the ability of the product to stand up to the rigors of airline caterers. The caterers themselves are also evaluated on the their ability to effectively handle the airline’s property. In addition to all the departments and divisions that are involved in the decisionmaking process, Emirates’ loyal passengers, who flood social media, are never reluctant to give the carrier feedback or scrutinize any decision. On a given day, Emirates aircraft could be flying with more than 60 wines in service throughout its network. Resting in the carrier’s holding facilities around the world could be vintages that will sit for the next 10 years before they are put into service. “It is a full time job just managing the logistics of our wine, and the creating of the list,” said Heymeijer. Due to the regularity of change outs, he said crew are constantly kept on their toes and challenged to familiarize themselves with the airline’s selection of wines that move in and out of the system. A look at the airline’s selection in First and Business Class shows a Champagne
and Port along with a selection of two red wines and two white wines. Wines are often tailored to the destination, though French vintages from Bordeaux are still favored by passengers in the Asia Pacific region. A dessert wine is added for passengers in First Class on flights to Europe and Africa. Emirates was also praised by Saveur magazine for its selection of healthy meals. Fresh ingredients are added to entrées that are grilled, poached, stewed, boiled and backed, and prepared sous vide. A typical menu in First Class includes four appetizer selections, a salad, four entrée selections, two desserts and a selection of cheese and fruit. Business Class passengers are offered a selection of two appetizers, soup, three entrée selections, two desserts and a cheese and fruit service.
In addition to First and Business Class, the Emirates Lounge is in the upper deck of the A380
This is the second year Emirates has won the award from Saveur for its First Class food service
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www.mkn.eu www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 25
COMPANY PROFILE: MEDINA QUALITY
Medina Quality develops, implements, and manages user-friendly and results-driven food safety and quality management systems
QUALITY CONTROL Known for its food safety and quality management systems, Medina Quality’s overall quality and safety program is improving the health and wellbeing of consumers, one provider at a time
ealth, well-being and food safety are a few topics that have gained increasing attention over the last several years. From food providers and manufactures avoiding the use of preservatives, additives, hormones and artificial ingredients, to ensuring food is sourced and prepared in a safe and regulated manner, it’s arguable that food providers and producers have never been more healthand safety-conscious than they are today. This mindset has made its way into countless industries worldwide, including inflight catering. Montreal-based Medina Quality (MQ), which specializes in food safety and quality management programs for food providers, catering units, food manufacturers and food buyers, knows this mindset—and the inflight catering industry—all too well. Working with its clients, MQ develops, implements, and manages user-friendly and results-driven food safety and quality management systems. “We are able to step in at any stage and provide our clients with services at any level, whether they have their own in-house
quality assurance team and need assistance with a specific problem, or if they require a complete food safety and quality management program,” says Kate Richardson, Client Manager at MQ. Of its many services, MQ’s quality and safety program is most indicative of the company’s expertise. The premise of the program essentially involves MQ taking care of a client’s entire quality and safety program from A to Z. “Whether the client is looking for an entire food safety and quality management program or a partner to complement systems that are already in place, we are able to fill the gap and ensure their business has diligent systems in place to oversee and promote safe, high quality foods,” explains Richardson. Richardson says partnering with MQ is comparable to a company having its very own quality assurance team on site, complete with the necessary departments, including: research and development to ensure that the most up-to-date, scientific knowledge and legislative requirements are incorporated into every audit and food safety and quality management program; auditor management to ensure audits are scheduled and conducted hassle free; an audit team to conduct thorough and consistent audits/investigations; information technologists to ensure results and findings are communicated using easy-tounderstand tools; legal compliance officers to ensure the company is legislatively compliant in its target markets; and lastly, a dedicated Client Manager to make sure the company’s needs are always met.
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As thorough as MQ is, that isn’t to say it doesn’t encounter challenges. Working with airlines and food businesses across the globe in different jurisdictions presents the challenge of abiding by different legal and diligence requirements. Likewise, promoting the same standard worldwide also presents a challenge. MQ however has managed to overcome such challenges with one simple solution: providing clients with confidence. “Confidence in food safety and quality that can only come from a clear understanding of a client’s food supply chain; an experienced expert’s assessment of that supply chain’s associated food quality and safety risks, as well as having and following robust food safety management policies, practices and procedures that limit risks and ultimately improve the chances of receiving and providing the food consumer with the ‘safest’ food that meets quality expectations,” says Richardson. “We want our clients to know that we are experts in the field. If we want our clients to partner with us than they have to trust us and trust comes from giving confidence,” she adds. Instilling confidence will help MQ continually achieve its overall goal—that is to improve the health and well-being of food consumers by working with food providers worldwide. With so many different food safety standards and legislation in place today, MQ is able to sift through the various requirements to make sure that its clients are aware of what is most important: devoting their team’s time and resources to where they are needed most.
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: TURKISH AIRLINES
Palate pleaser Turkish Airlines has made strides when it comes to passenger numbers, and its inflight catering efforts are not far behind by
One of Turkish Airlines’ many offerings is a selection of specially developed herbal teas
he world of airline catering appears to always be re-inventing itself in new and creative ways, all in the name of pleasing the passenger. As new food trends gain popularity, airlines and catering companies alike are in the process of incorporating the most popular into their menus, and Turkish Airlines is making strides in this department. But before outlining its catering initiatives, it is important to note that in the last 10 years or so, Turkish Airlines has been actively working towards achieving aggressive passenger growth targets. For example, in 2004 the airline was carrying 12 million passengers annually. Now, Turkish Airlines is reaching that exact figure, but in nearly every two and a half months. As a result, the airline has quadrupled its fleet of aircraft and seat capacity. With a vast increase in passenger numbers under its belt, Turkish Airlines shifted its sights to its inflight catering offering, and has been actively working on renewing its current dishes and service style, which began with the launch of a new catering concept on its Extended Range routes— flights that exceed eight hours of flight time—including New York, Cape Town,
Tokyo and Sao Paulo, last November. Then, in January of this year, the airline expanded this new concept network-wide. Currently Turkish Airlines is focusing its efforts on introducing new menu ingredients. “We are always making small touches in order to enhance the inflight meal experience, such as serving freshly prepared orange juice, lemonade, berry juice and ayran (yoghurt drink), as well as a specially developed herbal tea selection and children’s drinks for both Business Class and Economy Class passengers,” says Dr. Ali Genç, Senior Vice President, Media Relations for Turkish Airlines. Part of the new catering concept on its Extended Range flights involves offering freshly brewed tea served from a “samovar” in traditional Turkish style, a service that is quite special to the airline. “Since we are the flag carrier of Turkey, it is a very special priority for us to represent our country not just by food and beverage, but in all aspects. Serving tea in a traditional way is a part of that whole package,” says Genç. Genç adds that several factors are involved when developing a new menu concept, including global design trends,
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material weight and most importantly, the passenger profile of each route. According to Genç, in the following months, passengers departing from Southeast Asia can expect more meal options on board Turkish Airlines, including local offerings.
A unique approach
Having won the award for ‘Best Business Class Catering’ at both the 2013 and 2014 Skytrax World Airline Awards, it comes as no surprise that the airline pays very close attention to its inflight catering offering and routinely revisits its menus with its longtime catering partner, Turkish DO&CO, making changes when necessary. Many changes were made this year when Turkish Airlines decided to renew its onboard catering concept, leaving not one aspect untouched. For instance, the tableware was changed to include new design elements, such as individual salt and pepper mills and a small dessert glass for each passenger. In Business Class, passengers are now offered elegant glass carafes, a porcelain cheese platter, new cutlery and elegant napkins, featuring Ottoman and Seljuq motifs, which are both native to Turkey.
MIDDLE EAST REPORT: TURKISH AIRLINES As part of the airline’s onboard catering concept renewal, passengers on Extended Range flights are offered individual dessert glasses
In addition Flying Chefs were also employed on international flights operated by A321s in 2012. Last year, the service was available on a few special routes, including London, Paris and Frankfurt. Currently there are more than 700 Flying Chefs on Turkish Airlines flights. “We try our best to allow our passengers to experience authentic tastes and create cheerful memories from their first step onto the aircraft until the final goodbye from our crew,” says Genç.
Genç says that from an inflight catering point of view, Turkish Airlines strives to serve a unique service to each of its classes — Business, Comfort and Economy, depending on the route profile. “We equally value all of our passengers in all classes, which is demonstrated in the quality and taste of the respective meals; however the variety and presentation of the meals differ depending on each class,” explain Genç. For example, in Business Class, the idea is to present passengers with an atmosphere comparable to that of a fine dining restaurant. But rather than just offering restaurant-style service, the airline’s “Flying Chefs” aim to make passengers feel like royalty by offering Turkish Hospitality via à la carte service. Turkish Airlines’ Flying Chef service was first introduced with the help of Turkish DO&CO in 2010 on flights from Istanbul to New York. The objective was to have specially educated staff —recruited and trained by Turkish DO&CO—on board to prepare meals for Business Class passengers. After receiving positive feedback, the airline extended the service to all of its Extended Routes flights.
Although the airline’s accolades speak for themselves, this is not to say Turkish Airlines hasn’t encountered any challenges with its efforts to provide service akin to that of a five-star restaurant at 40,000 feet in the air. “First of all, there is really a very small space for both storing and preparing catering onboard, so we have to make sure space usage onboard is always optimized,” says Genç. Turkish Airlines does not consider onboard catering service just a “food service,” but an opportunity to demonstrate true Turkish hospitality. “This is why we need adequate space on board for our variety of meal selections; however, because of this challenge, we try
to choose unique selections for our guests,” Genç adds. Another challenge is the production process itself. The catering unit in Istanbul produces close to 150,000 meals daily, so it is imperative that each step of this vast operation proceeds smoothly. “We follow the most strict hygiene rules and regulations in our units to prevent our meals from any hazards. We try our best to keep our catering service quality at the highest level. Our flying chefs onboard help us to improve the quality of our offerings by encouraging feedback from our guests,” says Genç. This feedback is collected in various forms, from conducting surveys with passengers, to routinely collecting feedback via cabin chief reports, flying chef reports, observation flights and routine meal tests, as well as following leading social media channels. Looking ahead, Turkish Airlines plans to continue bringing something different to its passengers’ tray tables. This entails routinely investing its time and resources into revisiting its menus and making adjustments where needed to please its passengers’ palates. “In today’s commercial aviation, differentiation is one of the main pillars leading the way to success, and we, as Turkish Airlines, surely know that inflight food and beverage is a very direct and effective way of doing this,” says Genç. “Therefore, as a trend setting airline, Turkish Airlines will continue to invest in its catering service in order to appeal to our passengers’ tastes.”
Tea is served from a “samovar” in traditional Turkish style on Extended Range flights
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EVENT COVERAGE: ONBOARD CATERING AT SIAL EXHIBITORS
BIRDS CAGE 4 FOOD SPREADS ITS WINGS One of the largest private food manufacturing and exporting companies in Egypt, Birds Cage 4 Food products (BCF), exports a vast range of products, including jam, juice and bouillon cubes to the U.S., Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, the UAE, Lebanon and Madagascar. Using state-of-the-art technologies in food production and packaging, with ISO 22000, FDA and BSC certifications, the company currently produces its own brands of jam and bouillon cubes, ‘ZAZIO’ and ‘NERO’ respectively, and can produce the same for other companies by request. New from the company is its ZAZIO Jam (fancy style). Birds Cage 4 Foods products recently launched a new website, a big step in further establishing itself in the food manufacturing and export industry. As a first time exhibitor at this year’s Onboard Catering show, Birds Cage 4 Food will be exhibiting its jam and low-fat bouillon cubes. Visit Birds Cage 4 Food at booth #D57
Birds Cage 4 Food’s new ZAZIO Jam (fancy style)
MÜHLDORFER STAYS FOCUSED ON QUALITY Family-owned since 1920, Mühldorfer is a market leader in manufacturing fine bedding. Based in Germany and Bavaria, Mühldorfer supplies to top hotels worldwide in more than 60 countries, incuding: Burj Al Arab, Armani Hotel Burj Khalifa, The Emirates Palace Kempinski Abu Dhabi, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Abu Dhabi, Ritz Carlton Riyadh, The Savoy London, The Peninsula Paris, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo and Raffles Seychelles among others. New from the company is Bio-Nature, its ecological organic line. Produced only with carefully selected 100% cotton, Bio-Nature bedding is manufactured in a gentle manner, without the use of bleach or dyes, and no chemicals are used for yarning. In addition to its new Bio-Nature line, Mühldorfer’s Feather Mattress Topper and its Non-Allergy collection, Imprima, are currently reigning supreme as the company’s bestsellers.
Mühldorfer’s down pillows and comforters
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In order to stay current, Mühldorfer makes routine upgrades and is currently looking into new filling machineries. Just two years ago, the company also invested into a larger facility for washing its down feathers. “Our only aim is to deliver the best quality bedding made in Germany and provide the best service to our customers,” says Eva-Maria Casagrande, Customer Service Management for Mühldorfer. At this year’s Onboard Catering at SIAL, Mühldorfer will be presenting its down comforters, down pillows, mattress toppers, mattress pads and its hypoallergenic bedding items. Having exhibited at the show for the last two years, Mühldorfer sees great value in exhibiting. “Even though it is predominantly a food show, it is worth taking part. We meet our existing partners and also make new contacts,” adds Casagrande. Visit Mühldorfer GmbH & Co. at booth #B191
EVENT COVERAGE: ONBOARD CATERING AT SIAL EXHIBITORS
SHAWARMA TIME MAKES ITS SAVORY DEBUT Shawarma Time Franchising is an investment opportunity designed for people who have a passion for quality Shawarma food and are interested in growing a new brand that will change the way people perceive buying and consuming Shawarma. Meeting the needs of a growing market that is more health conscious, Shawarma Time offers competitive return on investment and a convenient food supply system for Abu Dhabi investors. In addition to offering Shawarma—slowly grilled meat in a turning spit, sliced and stuffed in bread with potatoes, vegetables and sauce—Shawarma Time has introduced for the first time, deer Shawarma. Prepared with fresh venison sourced from the local market in Al Ain, Shawarma Time’s deer Shawarma is offered alongside the company’s other inventive Shawarma options, such as camel, shark, turkey and buffalo, among others. Shawarma Time is currently negotiating with investors from around the world and more specifically, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to increase the visibility and exposure of its healthy and innovative Shawarma. At this year’s Onboard Catering at SIAL, first-time exhibitor Shawarma Time will showcase its healthy beef Shawarma prepared with fresh topside beef filets from Australia and New Zealand, as well as its chicken Shawarma that is prepared with 80% chicken breast and 20% whole chicken.
“Shawarma meat spits hold less saturated fat, hence it is a healthier meat option,” says Lilian Joumah, Managing Director at Shawarma Time. “To sweeten the atmosphere, visitors will be able to sample the unique Shawarma Candy, an idea that was created by Shawarma Time to demonstrate that Shawarma can also be sweet.” Visit Shawarma Time at booth #F141
One of Shawarma Time’s freshly prepared Shawarma dishes
GREEN FIELDS OIL FACTORY MIXES THE OLD WITH THE NEW Beginning as an oil press in 2005, Green Fields Oil Factory began studying the market and discovered that a variety of products were being sold as pure and natural herbal oils, but were actually either chemically manufactured or made by soaking seeds and herbs in refined oils. As a result of this discovery, Green Fields Oil Factory decided to create and market its own pure and natural oil products. Today, Green Fields Oil Factory manufactures steam distilled oils, hydrosols, Dead Sea salts with herbal extracts for food and
Green Fields Oil Factory’s herbal sea salt can be used when cooking or garnishing food to add a Mediterranean flavor
bath use, as well as natural soaps without the use of solvents, chemicals, preservatives, animal products, or GMO seeds and plants. The company also manufactures gluten-free flour, such as coconut and almond flour, and exports its products to the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Korea. “Our products are like natural food additives —the cardamom oil can be used in tea to add flavor, our gluten-free almond flour can be used when baking, and our black seed oil can be taken as a health supplement to enhance the immune system,” says Barbara Amina Al Ramadna, Owner and Managing Director of Green Fields Oil Factory. New from Green Fields Oil Factory is its herbal sea salt, which can be used when cooking or garnishing food to add a Mediterranean flavor. At this year’s Onboard Catering at SIAL, first-time exhibitor—and the only Jordanian company to exhibit—Green Fields Oil Factory will be presenting mostly all of its products, including its rose-flavored and black seed-flavored salts. “This is the first time we’ve participated in such an event, and from seeing the pictures and videos of the past years, we are excited. We want to show at this event that you can mix old products that have been around for thousands of years with new products. We hope to act as a link to carry these products into the future,” says Al Ramadna. Visit Green Fields Oil Factory at booth #E166
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EVENT COVERAGE: AIX/WTCE AMERICAS REVIEW
Not far from the PAX International stand, Gem Enterprises of China was showing visitors its newly developed glass racks. Shown here is Samantha Tao, Sales Manager with the new products found on Air China
roduct development and the latest in products for the aircraft cabin were on display in full glory as the doors opened for the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, teamed this year for the first time with a travel catering event at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle on October 14-16. Under threatening but generally dry skies outside, delegates made their way through the aisles lined with more than 100 stands through the week. A number of companies highlighted new airline seating, components and cabin interior products, some of which reflected the growing response to the public concern over the spread of the Ebola virus. This is the first year that Reed Exhibitions had co-located the event in the U.S. with the company’s World Travel Catering
Lufthansa Technik has modified its floor path lighting product for use in newer cabins that have more curves and monuments. Wolfgang Sutter, manager for the product manned the Technik stand in Seattle
Products with purpose Hamburg’s smaller cousin, the AIX/WTCE Americas contained no shortage of products under development and pertinent discussion of the fast changing passenger experience by RICK LUNDSTROM and Onboard Service Expo. This year, the hall featured a handful of companies specializing in food service and food service products. On Monday, arriving delegates had the chance to spend the day with industry figures delving into such subjects as the sciences of branding product and airline services, inflight entertainment and connectivity, seating, food service and ancillary revenue with some of the most well-known names in and out of the cabin services industry. On the trade show floor there was no shortage of product development and news. The interior space of the cabin, particularly passenger comfort in a densely seated and crowded aircraft, is a lingering issue among the airlines and the companies that supply them. Slim-line seats, changes to design and ways to maintain revenue in an industry of tight margins was discussed in Monday’s Passenger Experience Conference and in the stands and presentations at the daily Cabin Space Live forum where some of the latest seating products could be found to answer the needs. One of the first announcements of the week came from Zodiac Aerospace. The airline supply giant brought prototypes of its new Z500 seat for premium economy class. The seat is designed for a pitch of 38 inches that Zodiac Aerospace says can deliver the comfort of a 40-inch pitch. Among the other features of the Z500 is a pocket to hold tablets and small laptop computers, headrest-mounted reading lights and up to 15.4 inches of space where passengers can add inflight entertainment. Other seating manufacturers are making quick inroads in the U.S. U.K.- based Acro Aircraft Seating is in the process of supplying new U.S. customers Frontier Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines with two of its products. At the company’s stand in Seattle, Marc Westcott, Strategic Project Buyer for Acro, took visitors through the fine points of the company’s two slim seating products, the Ultra XC Series. The installations come on the heels of other company successes in the U.S. Acro is supplying Spirit Airlines with seating
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products and the latest contract calls for 20 aircraft to be outfitted in both Frontier and Hawaiian. The company plans to open a new office in the United States early next year. Other new products were on full demonstration in the Cabin Space Live presentations that took place throughout the day. Seattle-based Global Inflight Products, through partner microGREEN, showed visitors a new inflight drink cup that is environmentally friendly and is finding its way to several airline cabins. The company is even challenging the traditional design of the decades-old airsickness bag with a new model built for better hygiene and longer life. Global Inflight’s Chairman and President Zine Badissy told a gathering at the Cabin Space Live that the new Easy Open airsickness bag, which features a folded space to insert fingers, will help flight attendants avoid contamination. The leakproof bag was an in-house development by Global Inflight Products. The InCycle Hot Cup is a strong plastic product made from recycled water bottles in an additive-free process. The cup is heat-tolerant up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Thomas Malone, President and CEO of Arlington, Washington-based microGREEN demonstrated the product’s strength by turning it inside out for the assembled viewers at Cabin Space Live. It is currently flying on five North American airlines. Three other new products are now part of the Global Inflight range. Badissy
Celeste Industries has found itself in the middle of the nationwide concern over the spread of Ebola. The company makes a cleaning product called Sani-Cide that is an effective treatment for outbreaks such as Poliovirus and Rotovirus. Shown here, left to right are Gene DeJackome, General Manager, Stephanie Cleary, Marketing Manger and Dan Montgomery, Account Manager
EVENT COVERAGE: AIX/WTCE AMERICAS REVIEW said the company has developed with microGREEN a new hot meal casserole also made from recycled material. Global Inflight has developed a new line of customizable tableware in organic shapes that can be combined in several unique designs resembling flowers. Finally, a new cleaning product called Briotech HOCL will be part of the company’s line. Briotech is a “electrolyzed saline biocide” that fights bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi, while being safe for humans, animals and the environment. The cleaner is also safe on human skin and may be used repeatedly throughout the day.
Bringing home the brand
Delegates from across the international travel sector gathered and took part in the daylong Passenger Experience Conference on October 14th. The conference presented expertise from the market’s leading players on methods to identify and enhance the holistic experience of passengers, from browsing for trips to boarding planes and collecting luggage. Proceedings began with Event Director, Katie Murphy, who paid tribute to the innovation and expertise of the audience, as well as to the speaker panels, before introducing the opening plenary session entitled, Tomorrow’s World in Air Travel. In one session Mark Krolick, Managing Director of Marketing and Product Development at United Airlines, took the gathering through the airline’s brand strategy in the period after the merger with Continental Airlines. The still and oft-repeated slogan, United’s “Fly the Friendly Skies” campaign actually ended in the late 1990s, said Krolick. In its place, United is using a new slogan called Flyer Friendly, is a phrase that has hammered home to the extent that it is part of the vocabulary of all the airline’s employees. The challenge for the airline and suppliers, said Krolick is to work together to create a look that is fresh, appealing to professionals and sets the airline apart from low-cost competition, as well as to gain loyalty by “creating an experience that people can connect with.” Using the evocative ‘paradox of the chocolate chip cookie,’ Jeremy White, Head of Transport at the design company, Seymourpowell, highlighted the fundamental significance of “emotional ergonomics” when appealing to consumers. Recounting how the former regional carrier, Midwest Airlines served free inflight cookies to the delight of its passengers, White
emphasized the importance for brands to differentiate themselves by “trying to create an emotional response to (what the customer) is using, interacting with or directly experiencing.” This involves tapping into the anthropology of what people subconsciously feel by tweaking their environments to create a “positive reinforcement (of a brand) in the emotional psyche.” One of White’s examples was the ‘theatre lighting’ of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner designed to simulate dawn, naturally triggering an emotional—and physical— response. Similarly, the smell of baked cookies invokes happy memories for airline passengers, a ‘feel good’ factor that, combined with unexpected generosity, he argues, will motivate them to choose that service again. With many years of experience working with airlines and travel agencies, James Seidman, Senior Account Executive, Google Travel, provided delegates with a unique insight how developments in the digital domain and connectivity will help people engage more easily with the wider world, especially when traveling. This, he argues, is due to three main trends: first, the accessibility of information. It was not so long ago that Internet browsing primarily took place on computers, however the number of airline bookings made on personal mobile devices doubled in 2013 and doubled again this year. Seidman forecasts similar figures for 2015, meaning that passengers have
Marc Westcott, of Acro Aircraft Seating with the company’s XC and Superlight Series seating line. With recent sales to Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, the U.K. company is opening a sales office in the U.S.
more connectivity and can actively reach information wherever they are. The shift from the passive consumption of data to almost unrestricted connectivity, also provides increasing opportunities for engaging with customers and enhancing passenger experience. Inflight entertainment, for example, can be streamed through a United Airlines app, providing passengers with the familiarity of their own device and ease of use throughout their journey. Also, the ability for the industry to connect with its customers in an expedient, more intimate way, further enables it to develop the content that meets specific “passion points” and proactively addresses particular passenger concerns. British Airways, Seidman explained, uses Google Glass technology to store client histories including any past complaints or preferences, providing passengers with seamless, united service through check-in, gate and boarding. Lastly, the ongoing digital evolution has provided the travel sector with ‘cues’ or insights into passenger needs based on data. Speaking of the future, Seidman suggests that “there is still quite a bit of runway between this point onwards,” but with the rapid pace of developments, each passenger will soon become accustomed to receiving an increasingly integrated and personal experience. Editor’s Note: Thanks to Reed Exhibitions for their contributions to this report.
Sogerma was in the midst of modifications on its Comet Business Class seating range in October. Shown here in one of the company’s products is Stéphane Lancesseur
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HOT! Wine from a pouch
Company Name: Squash Stix Company Location: Bristol, United Kingdom Description: Squash Stix, single portions of liquid squash concentrate in a stick form, have recently been added to the Flybe crew offering. Crew is now given a 500-milliliter bottle of water along with a Squash Stix to make a refreshing drink. With no artificial colors or flavorings and no added sugar, this low calorie drink offers an alternative to bottled water and takes up to 90% less space and weight than bottled drinks. Already well established within the travel sector, Squash Stix has recently been added to the Virgin Trains first class passenger snack box.
Company: Miravante Brands and Kretek International Company Location: Moorpark, California Description: Nuvino is a new line of premium single serve wines in a 187-milliliter pouch. The wine is made from vineyards around the world. The packaging is light, portable, unbreakable and re-sealable. PreservPak is Nuvino’s packaging process that preserves the four distinct wines for up to 18 months. The wine is available in Red Blend from Australia, Malbec from Argentina, Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, and Chardonnay from South Africa.
Company Name: Linstol Company Location: Naples, Florida & London, United Kingdom Description: In conjunction with its design partner, KVB and premium skincare and spa lifestyle brand, Temple Spa, Linstol creates intriguing amenity kits that offer quality, style and a flourish of creativity. Linstol provides creative design coupled with premium cosmetic offerings to engage the interest of today’s premium traveler and to create the “wow” factor.
Home town chocolate on display
A little bite of goodness
Company Name: Donsuemor, Inc. Company Location: Alameda, California Description: The latest creation from Donsuemor is Nonnettes Meyer Lemon bites featuring a light citrus glaze. Donsuemor recently joined the portfolio of Sky Cuisine and exhibited for the first time at the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Americas in Seattle.
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Company: LINDT & Sprüngli Company Location: Zurich, Switzerland Description: Passengers passing through Zurich airport earlier last month were given the chance to taste a selection of high-quality pralines, courtesy of the LINDT Master Chocolatiers. Over four days in October, staff from the LINDT & Sprüngli Global Duty Free team at its Zurich headquarters handed out samples at six key point of sale locations across the airport. Airport patrons could also purchase several LINDT treats at a special promotional price, such as LINDT Praline Masterpieces in a 430-gram box
WHAT’S HOT! Pleated top airsickness bag
Company Name: Global Inflight Products Company Location: Redmond, Washington Description: At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, Global Inflight Products showed visitors the newly developed airsickness bag which opens easily allowing fingers to stay on the outside, protecting passengers and flight attendants from contamination. Leak-proof and available in a square or pinched bottom, the airsickness bags can be customized with an airline’s logo.
Lobster made simple
Company Name: Clearwater Seafoods Company Location: Bedford, Nova Scotia Description: Delivering the same quality and taste as live lobster, Clearwater’s Nova Scotia Prime Lobster Meat offers the versatility to prepare lobster using a wide temperature range and cooking methods. Designed for frozen storage, the Prime Lobster Meat can be enjoyed year-round, with guaranteed supply throughout the seasons.
Pink Passion Pop-up Porridge
Company Name: En Route International Ltd. Company Location: Berkshire, United Kingdom Description: En Route International added its support to Breast Cancer Awareness Month this past October by supplying Pink Passion Pop-up Porridge for crew on board Emirates. The initiative underlines the work of U.K. charity Breast Cancer Care, which provides women with information and support to promote early detection. The pots of the all-natural, pink porridge were created with En Route’s new partner, Grasshopper Foods. Each pot contains raisins and cranberries, with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and a hint of natural beetroot powder, which when stirred into the porridge, renders it pink. The dish is delivered in a hot-pink compressible “Hopper Pot®,” which pops up to its full height when hot water is added.
Company Name: Gut Springenheide GmbH Company Location: Ochtrup, Germany Description: Gut Springenheide has expanded its range of Frittatas with its new tasty Pumpkin Frittata. Handmade with quality ingredients, cut in wedge shapes and offered in different sizes, this delicacy can be served on its own, with a side salad, or garnished with fresh vegetables.
Disposable Headrest Covers
Company Name: Sorkin Headrests Company Location: Los Angeles, California Description: Sorkin has developed a disposable headrest cover measuring 8.5 by 11 inches. Designed to sit in a carton box on top of each airline seat, a tear-off piece allows flight attendants or cleaning crew to remove used ones and pull down a new disposable headrest cover for the next flight. Attached to the top of the seats is a piece of double Velcro so crew can secure the carton box to the top of the seat and take it off when the 40 disposable headrest covers run out. The company can also customize logos and colors for airline cabins.
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WHAT’S HOT! Dipins
Company Name: The Hoffman Group, LLC Company Location: Seattle, Washington Description: The Hoffman Group is pleased to introduce Dipins from Milas Foods. These shelf stable dips and spreads with a Mediterranean twist are available in three flavors: Traditional Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Bruschetta, and Black Olive Tapenade. Each flavor pairs well with chips, crackers or crudités. Available in individual portion cups (1.42 ounces), Dipins’ dips and spreads are gluten free, kosher certified and are all natural, made with no preservatives.
Company Name: Vitalit Laboratories Company Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands Description: Adding to its range of healthy onboard snacks, Vitalit Laboratories has introduced FlyFit’s Healthy Yoghurt. Along with containing no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, FlyFit’s yoghurt is halal certified, vegetarian friendly, low in fat, gluten free and available in raspberry, strawberry, mango and peach flavors. Designed to have a shelf life of six months when stored at ambient temperature, FlyFit’s yoghurt fits easily on a tray or in a snack box, and is also available with a cup of granola, making it ideal for breakfast.
Inflight Tidy Kit
Company Name: RMT Global Partners Company Location: Atlanta, Munich, Singapore Description: RMT Global Partners has launched the Inflight Tidy Kit, its first cleaning/sanitation tool line for cabin crew in the case of lavatory mishaps and other messy situations onboard. The kit consists of a PVC carry-all bag with a nylon strap and metal hook, a mop (59 cm when collapsed and 100 cm when expanded) that securely fits any type of cleaning/disinfectant wipe, and a dustpan with sweeper. Designed for easy storage onboard, the Tidy Kit has pocket space for additional items, such as gloves and trash bags. Components can be individually replenished based on actual requirements.
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We Make it Happen! www.RMTGlobalPartners.com
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 37
APEX finds demanding passengers in survey result Airline passengers want more Internet access inflight and named connectivity as the top area for improvement to the inflight experience, according to the first of a new series of global surveys of passengers conducted by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). The first APEX Global Passenger Experience Survey collected feedback from more than 1,500 passengers from eight countries. The group found a strong desire worldwide for a passenger experience that is customizable, from selection of inflight reading materials to availability of food and drink. Thirty six percent of the respondents strongly wanted connectivity improvements and 28% wanted expanded inflight entertainment options. “The industry has greatly improved the comfort, ambience, connectivity and entertainment onboard aircraft, and this data underscores that passengers are embracing those improvements,” said Russell Lemieux, APEX executive director in the October release on the survey. “At the same time, passengers are demanding more from their air travel experiences, which will drive more innovations touching all aspects of the journey,” he noted. APEX is periodically surveying passenger expectations as they relate to the overall passenger experience. Surveys were conducted during the summer, with initial findings reported at the APEX/IFSA Expo in Anaheim, California.
Among other findings from the passenger survey: •
Thirty-eight percent of respondents listed comfortable seating as the top priority for improvements
Twenty-nine percent of male respondents said they want quieter cabins
Twenty-six percent of women respondents prioritized upgraded lavatories
Women are 30% more likely than men to pay to check extra bags, even if overhead luggage space is no concern
SIAL Middle East Trade Show and Networking Forum, November 24-26, Abu Dhabi, UAE. For more information, contact SIAL Middle East FZ LL at email@example.com or call+971 (0)2 401 2949.
2015 Aircraft Interiors Middle East, February 2-3 Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE. For more information, contact Adam Whitnall, Marketing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 971 40 603 3300. APEX Middle East Conference, March 16-17, Abu Dhabi, UAE. For more information, contact APEX at email@example.com or call (212) 297–2177. Marine Hotel Association 30th Anniversary Conference and Trade Show, April 12-14, Naples Grand Beach Resort, Naples, Florida. For more information, contact MHA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415 332-1903.
Sixty-two percent of passengers bought food prior to boarding, even if 70% are satisfied with inflight food
Being on time is the biggest concern for passengers on the ground prior to the flight, followed by seat selection and legroom
Aircraft Interiors Expo/World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo April 14-16, Hamburg, Germany. For general inquiries contact AIX at email@example.com or call 44 208 271 2174.
Passengers under 34 are the most active in social connectivity, but travelers between 35 and 54 also are highly active online, with 43% who said they engaged in inflight social connectivity at least once in a three-month span of flying.
APEX Multi Media Market, April 20-22, Prague, Czech Republic. For more information, contact APEX at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 297–2177.
The International Flight Services Association Foundation this year administered more than US$60,000 to students and current onboard services professionals to further their education. The Foundation Scholarships cover tuition, books, living expenses and associated costs with college. Last year, the IFSA Foundation awarded US$40,000 in scholarships. BELOW ARE THE WINNERS FOR EACH SCHOLARSHIP
Emma Kautz Mekhrali Khurishanov Virgilio Jimenez Elizabeth Sivitos Grace Gimesky
38 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014
APEX Technology Conference, May 12-13 Universal City, California. For more information, contact APEX at email@example.com or call (212) 297–2177. APOT.Asia Forum 2015, June 3-5, Colombo, Sri Lanka. For more information, contact APOT at firstname.lastname@example.org. International Flight Services Association/Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo, September 28-October 1 Portland, Oregon. For more information, contact IFSA at ifsa@kellencompany. com or call (404) 252-3663. Contact APEX at email@example.com or call (212) 297–2177.
tops US$60K in donations
John Lewis Foundation
IFSA Scholarship Foundation
Harvey and Laura Alpert
C A L E N D A R
Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Americas, October 14-16, Seattle, Washington. For more information, contact Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-840-5680.
Oakfield Farms Solutions
King Nut Companies
John and Ginnie Long
The Hoffman Group
Flying Food Group
IFSA Member Family Scholarship Award
spiriant goes global Inspiring inflight equipment solutions now in the Middle East We design, create and deliver smart onboard equipment concepts while optimizing the entire supply chain through state-of-the-art logistics. Celebrating creativity beyond borders, SPIRIANT is taking its design expertise global - with a brand new office now open in Dubai. Â Discover how we can make your life easier, reduce complexity and inspire your passengers by visiting www.spiriant.com