Pax International - SIAL Middle East Abu Dhabi 2015

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VOL. 22, NO. 8




From catering to customer


Emirates Group’s service initiative




Middle East luxury in the air IFSA’S NEW p.26 PRESIDENT p.38


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PAX International 26 Pearl Street,



his issue of PAX International was being completed as the massive Dubai Air Show was just coming to an end. Browsing through the news of the event saw an eventful day two and headlines that have become commonplace at large aviation shows particularly in the Middle East. On November 12, orders from Dubai “flowed thick and fast” according to organizers. Nearly US$30 billion in deals were signed on the commercial and military aviation side. The one with the most interest to our readership came from one of two major carriers in the UAE. Jet Airways, the partner of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, secured a deal of US$8 billion for 75 737 MAX Aircraft that will be flying out of Jet Airway’s India-based operations. More and more, India is becoming the origin of traffic as people travel from the country for work around the world. The new aircraft will serve a growing customer base from India that is expected to swell from 30 million to approximately 140 million passengers over the next 10 years. Those regional carriers will form a nucleus of growth that will bring, by esitmates from Airbus, 1,000 new aircraft to the region by 2023. Those aircraft will be working an area that is spending US$86 billion on regional airports and expansion.

Attendees by the tens of thousands are planning visits to a second large event in December a couple hours down the road in Abu Dhabi. SIAL Middle East last year drew more than 17,000 attendees from 77 countries to take part in events and browse the more than 744 stands featuring cuisine from around the world. Also attending last year were caterers and airline buyers from carriers around the region, and from Europe and India. Catering for airlines will be a featured topic in several discussions planned for SIAL Middle East. Companies interested in gaining the notice of the service-oriented airlines of the region and seeing innovations in packaging, shelf life and safety will have the chance to get themselves up to speed during the event. SIAL is also recognizing continuity in the industry by taking up the task of organizing The Mercurys. PAX International plans a second visit to the Middle East early next year, when an issue will be distributed at the Aircraft Interiors Middle East/MRO Middle East exhibitions held on February 3-4 in Dubai, as we continue to expand our reach into new areas of the cabin experience.

Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344; Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website:

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail:

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: Melissa Silva, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D

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

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising Sales Executive Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: 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

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International

not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. September/October 2012, Vol. 16, No. 1. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

The October/November 2015 issue of PAX International, Page 18 incorrectly stated the full name of Aviation Business Consultants International as ‘Airline Business Consultants International.’ PAX International apologizes for the mistake, and any confusion it may have caused.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  3



VOL. 22, NO. 8






Passengers on a Kuwait-based carrier will have the first chance to experience the Rockwell Collins/Inmarsat IFEC product with a deal announced this fall, and scheduled for first installation at the end of next year


The service arm of Emirates Group will be joining its parent company in an effort to optimize information for increased revenue and better customer service


24 ON THE COVER: Fresh and wholesome catering at dnata. Photo courtesy dnata.

While keen on continuing an awards tradition, organizers at SIAL Middle East are keeping their sights set on building an event for airline caterers in the fast-growing region and beyond


A young fleet and new airport are two of the competitive advantages Qatar Airways and its catering unit can take into the New Year


A carefully paired menu with high-end Champaign and a well-known fashion house are among the improvements on Emirates this year


As passenger numbers continue to rise, so are the expectations of those onboard, leaving suppliers with the task of meeting the increased desire for luxury offerings inflight


Times are tough for Cairo Airport Duty Free, but there is light at the end of the tunnel with the planned opening of its stores in the new Cairo International Airport Terminal 2 in 2016
















Branding, emotions and brain science are at the forefront of change, says guest columnist Stathis Kefallonitis



After three decades and organizational changes, The Mercurys enter its 34th year with a refreshed approach and more to offer the travel catering industry


A review of the three-day event that included seminars, a trade show and the Americas version of the World Travel Catering Expo

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Dragonair adds authentic cuisine to premium classes Dragonair this fall launched its seasonal inflight menu, featuring crab roe dishes and hot pot rice with fusion ingredients. This fall and winter, Dragonair are serving exclusive hot pot dishes to First and Business Class passengers. The new hot pot menu was in the Business Class rotation between November 1 and February 29, and in First Class between December 16 and March 31 on selected flights between Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Based on Hong Kong’s classic hot pot dishes, the airline adds to the experience using Western ingredients such as black garlic, foie gras and truffle. Highlights of the hot pot rice menu include steamed rice with Berkshire pork and goose liver roulade with Chinese preserved sausages in hot pot casserole for First Class, and steamed rice with truffle paste, pork belly, conpoy and black garlic in hot pot casserole for Business Class. Thick soup with crab roe, tofu and seafood; Steamed dumpling with crab roe and lobster “The juxtaposition of French foie gras and Chinese preserved sausages, truffle paste mixed with black garlic on conpoy and pork belly are typical examples of the east meets west fusion style,” said a release from the airline. Dragonair has also taken passengers’ preference and the latest health trends into account. One of the ingredients used in the new menu is black garlic, a highly regarded super food. Black garlic has twice the antioxidant levels of fresh garlic, and is noted for its anti-aging benefits. Black garlic sweetens

Lufthansa Technik shows VIP jet expertise in Dubai Lufthansa Technik took the opportunity of this year’s Dubai Air Show to show visitors their latest cabin design features for the VIP and private jet market. Mercedes-Benz Style and Lufthansa Technik AG presented a new VIP cabin designs and conceptual floor plan to initial customers. The company also announced the latest contract to build two VIP 737s for an Abu Dhabi-based FBO. The two German companies have been working on the design since the announcement of the cooperation at EBACE in Geneva, Switzerland in May. The final design will be shown in a 3D-presentation in Dubai. The design team has added the cabin sections around the already presented lounge area in the middle of the aircraft. The front the entrance area features a welcoming, open foyer, a galley for live cooking and a private room as well as a VIP lavatory. In the aft part of the cabin, a separate entertainment zone has been combined with the en suite private area. The open design of the bathroom and bedroom is a distinct feature conceived around a freestanding

in taste after a fermentation process, making it an accompaniment to a traditional hot pot dish. In Business Class Dragonair is serving steamed rice with truffle paste, pork belly, conpoy and black garlic in hot pot casserole. The new crab roe menu will be served exclusively on First Class on flights from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai until December 15. Dishes on the menu include steamed dumpling with crab roe and lobster – introduced inflight for the very first time – the perfect combination to the thick soup with crab roe, tofu and seafood. The freshness of crab roe, lobster and seafood complements and enhances each other’s flavor.

Thick soup with crab roe, tofu and seafood; Steamed dumpling with crab roe and lobster

shower with transparent sidewalls. The king size bed is highlighted by the concave shaped and upholstered head wall. The helix structure, a dynamic spiral layout, is the central design theme extending throughout the aircraft from the entrance to the bedroom. The VIP aircraft, which could seat 150 passengers in airline configuration, is designed for 16 passengers. Lufthansa Technik AG and Royal Jet the same week jointly announced that they have recently signed an agreement for the completion of two 737-700 BBJs. The two projects will be completed at Lufthansa Technik’s VIP and Executive Jet Solutions site in Hamburg. The aircraft will be redelivered in third and fourth quarters of 2016. The cabin interior was done by the New York based designer Edése Doret. The VIP interior is composed of a private master bedroom together with a fully equipped master bathroom as well as a large lounge area, business and economy class areas. Each aircraft will accommodate 34 passengers. Lufthansa Technik´s Senior Vice President VIP and Executive Jet Solutions, Walter Heerdt, explained: “We are very proud that we have been selected by Royal Jet and also given the chance to materialize the spectacular design of Edése Doret.” Royal Jet is currently operating six BBJ’s and therefore already considered as the world’s largest independent BBJ operator. After completion the Abu Dhabi based charter operator will add those two aircraft to the existing fleet and Royal Jet’s customers will soon be able to experience this very exclusive product.

The Mercedes-Benz/Lufthansa Technik floor plan for the VIP jet market



JetBlue takes Mint cabin service to the islands JetBlue Airways launched its Mint cabin experience to Barbados taurant Saxon + Parole, fresh coffee from the first purposely-built and Aruba from John F. Kennedy International Airport in early cappuccino machine for a U.S. airline, amenity kits by Birchbox, and dessert from Blue Marble and Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery. Mint November. Barbados and Aruba mark the first new Mint destinations the aircraft include private suites, the widest seat and longest fully flat bed in the U.S. domestic market (a) and a 15-inch flat screen new since cabin launched in June 2014. JetBlue will operate weekly roundtrip Mint flights on Saturdays with complimentary entertainment options. JetBlue offers Mint on its new A321 aircraft, which features through April 30, 2016, to Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados (BGI) and Queen Beatrix International Airport in a completely redesigned onboard experience throughout the Aruba (AUA). Between December 19 and January 4, Mint flights entire cabin. Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television we be offered daily. Seasonal weekly Mint service between Boston Logan International Airport and Barbados launches March 2016. screens and power outlets accessible to all passengers. JetBlue’s With Mint, JetBlue says it is the only U.S. airline to operate regu- popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and lar service with lie-flat seating to the region. Mint’s northbound water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also availmenus from Aruba and Barbados will feature new regionally able throughout the flight. All A321 aircraft offer JetBlue’s free inspired small plates such as ginger marinated shrimp, Caribbean Fly-Fi high-speed broadband Internet service when flying over chicken curry and pan seared flying fish curated by a local culinary the continental U.S., access to JetBlue’s Hub content on personal team from Goddard Catering Enterprises. Mint customers on devices and first-run Hollywood movies. these flights will also be treated to a new welcome Mint food service offerings on JetBlue Airways drink featuring rum and island flavors. Southbound flights will offer the Mint menu created by New York-based Saxon + Parole. In 2016 JetBlue will operate up to 10 daily roundtrips between JFK and Los Angeles International Airport and up to six daily roundtrips between JFK and San Francisco International Airport. In March 2016, JetBlue will launch Mint service between Boston and San Francisco with up to three daily roundtrips. Mint service between Boston and Los Angeles will begin in fall 2016. Mint was recognized in Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation By Design Awards, which honors innovative and disruptive design that pushes boundaries and seeks to change the world. Favorite Mint features include a specialty cocktail, a tapas-style menu by New York City res-


VIP’s shuttle in style at AUH A limited edition Rolls Royce Phantom and a fleet of five BMW 7 Series sedans have been delivered to Abu Dhabi International Airport’s VIP terminal, to chauffer passengers between the luxury terminal and their flights. The cars are provided by provided by Abu Dhabi Motors, the official BMW Group importer in the capital. “Since its launch earlier this year, the VIP Terminal has offered our most discerning guests an unrivaled luxury travel experience. From a dedicated check-in point, baggage services and immigration counters, to the exquisite privacy and hospitality of the majlis, the VIP Terminal is fast becoming known as a haven of unsurpassed 8  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  DECEMBER 2015

luxury and exclusivity,” said Daniel Cappell, Acting Chief Commercial Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports. “The addition of the BMW 7 Series and a special limited edition Rolls Royce Phantom are emblematic of the very highest standards of amenities we offer our VIP travelers.” The VIP Terminal is located and directly adjacent to the commercial terminals at Abu Dhabi Airport making this service available for all passengers regardless to their class of travel. Other amenities offered at the VIP Terminal include a business center, transfer of luggage directly to and from aircraft, entertainment systems, a range of complimentary beverages and gastronomic offerings and spa-like washrooms


LSG Sky Chefs extends contracts with caterer and airline LSG Sky Chefs has extended its contract with Japan Airlines at Frankfurt, Bangkok, Shanghai-Pudong, Beijing and Vancouver airports. The contract also covers equipment, including cutlery and tableware for economy and business class. Additionally, LSG Sky Chefs has been supplying JAL with frozen Japanese meals in three European locations (Frankfurt, Paris and Helsinki) since September 1. Today, the airline has a fleet of 185 aircraft and serves 305 airports in 51 countries. LSG Sky Chefs’ relationship with JAL goes back to the early days of the airline, more than 40 years ago, and it has expanded throughout the years. In addition to the stations mentioned above, the company caters JAL in Guam and London-Heathrow. “LSG Sky Chefs is an important and indispensable partner in JAL’s aim to be the number one airline in terms of customer preferences. We highly appreciate LSG Sky Chefs’ help and support as

we work together towards this goal,” said Jun Kato, JAL’s Executive Officer of Managing Division Route Marketing, in today’s release. In other news Goddard Enterprises Ltd. and LSG South America, a division of LSG Sky Chefs will be renewing their existing joint-venture contract extending the agreement until September 30, 2035. The joint venture was started in 1995 on the basis of a 51% shareholding by Goddard and 49% by LSG Sky Chefs. Today, it includes 21 locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America and employs 3,380 people. “Our partnership with LSG Sky Chefs has always been trusting and sustainable,” said Stewart Massiah, Divisional General Manager of the Catering Division of Goddard, in today’s announcement. “Cooperating with the world’s leading inflight service provider gives us access to valuable resources and know-how, which are a great asset in staying at the forefront of our industry and further developing our business”

Revenue down, profit up at SATS for Q2 SATS recorded a 4.4% drop in revenue for the second quarter of its fiscal year, however the group delivered a healthy profit increase of 39.3% and announced its efforts to cut staffing, raw material and licensing costs have been successful. The Singapore-based company recorded SGD422.7 million (US$297.5 million) in second quarter for the year. With expenses pegged at SGD363.5 million (US$257.3 million), the group recorded an operating profit of SGD59.2 million (US$41.6 million). Revenue from the company’s Food Solutions division declined 9.2% to SGD243 million (US$171 million). SATS attributed the drop to the transfer of the company’s food distribution of a joint venture company called SATS BRF Food in the summer of this year. The company also divested from its Australian subsidiary Urangan Fishers and felt the affects of a weakened Japanese Yen. For the first half of the year, SATS has recorded revenue of SGD839.6 million (US$590 million) a 4.3% drop from the first half of last year. Operating profits for the first half of the year were SGD103.2 million (US$72.6 million). 10  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  DECEMBER 2015

In its outlook for the rest of the year, SATS said the company was raising productivity and adopting new technologies and driving economies of scale. “The operating environment for SATS continues to be challenging with slower regional economy growth, competitive pressures in aviation and increasing manpower costs,” said the outlook. “However, we remain confident in the long-term growth prospect for aviation and food solutions in Asia.” The company also said its was “growing into adjacent business and geographies. As an example, SATS used its offer to buy a 49% stake in Brahim’s Airline Catering Holdings in Malaysia. SATS announced at the end of October that it had made the offer. In November, Brahim’s was considering the terms of the offer. Brahim’s produces an average of 35,000 to 45,000 meals per day out of KLIA, which is 59,000 square meters. It is also one of the largest producers and providers of Halal meals The company also does cabin handling services, laundry and trolley stocking for inflight sales. It also handles headsets, newspapers and periodicals.


On Air Dining announces two new appointments

Boerma and Kim Veldman opened restaurant De Leest in Vaassen, the Netherlands, in 2002. The restaurant received its first Michelin Star in 2003, its second in 2007 and, in 2014 its third. De Leest serves French cuisine with cosmopolitan influences. Fresh elements are prominent and the restaurant stands out for its use of local, often organic produce. Soon, Boerma will open his own restaurant at Amsterdam’s newly renovated Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in 2016.

L-3 names new President and Chief Operating Officer Guillaume Pourquie

Lydia Steibl

On Air Dining, the culinary service for business aviation based in London has named Guillaume Pourquie Sales and Marketing Manager, Lydia Steibl Client Services Manager. Pourquie and Steibl will work to ensure they have a seamless experience from initial contact to client delivery. They will also support the expansion of the recently launched On Air Interiors product range. Pourquie has experience in sales and marketing for luxury kitchen surfaces company, Cosentino. He managed the flagship Knightsbridge store of luxury home appliance company Sub-Zero Wolf. He has a diploma in hospitality and sales management at the French Culinary School, Lycée Hotelier Saint Anne in St. Nazaire. Steibl brings a strong understanding of business aviation catering and client services to the role having most recently held the position of Senior Catering Co-ordinator at business aviation charter operator VistaJet. She also has worked as Global Marketing Assistant, and then Business Travel and Crew Manager, at Airfix Aviation Ltd. “I am extremely pleased to welcome both Lydia and Guillaume to the company. We are delighted to have them both on board at this particularly exciting time as On Air Dining continues to develop its business,” said Daniel Hulme, CEO On Air Dining. “With their collective skills and experience, I know they will further enhance the levels of service we provide to our clients and prove an asset to our company.”

KLM adds chef for one-year stint Starting in October KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began serving meals developed by the Dutch three-Michelinstar chef, Jacob Jan Boerma, on World Business Class flights. Boerma is the first chef to be called on to develop meals for KLM for an entire year. To start, he compiled four menu items for the service.

L-3 Communications has appointed Christopher E. Kubasik as President and Chief Operating Officer. In this newly created position, Kubasik will work closely with Chairman and CEO Michael T. Strianese to deliver value to customers and shareholders while further strengthening L-3’s organization, among other responsibilities. He will be based in the New York headquarters. Christopher E. Kubasik Kubasik joins L-3 from Seabury Advisory Group where he served as President and CEO for the past two years. Seabury is a professional services firm focused on the aviation, aerospace and defense markets. Before that, he was President and COO of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

SITA names new president for Americas SITA in November announced that Randy Pizzi has joined as President, Americas, responsible for developing and driving the strategic direction for SITA in the region. He will be based at SITA’s Americas headquarters in Atlanta. Pizzi joins SITA from Rockwell Collins/ARINC where he held a number of key roles including the establishment, as Managing Director, of the ASIA Pacific Division in Singapore. He then became Vice President of International Business, based in London, where he was instrumental in expanding the company’s international airline communications and airport IT businesses. “Randy brings extensive industry experience and a deep understanding of the competitive challenges facing airlines and airports today,” said Francesco Violante, SITA’s CEO. “I am confident he will be instrumental in driving growth for SITA in the region by helping our customers remain competitive, efficient and profitable.” “SITA’s focus on aviation and broad portfolio of IT solutions presents tremendous opportunity to help our customers manage the challenges posed by growing passenger loads, greater demand for mobile connectivity and increasing focus on safety and security,” said Pizzi. “I look forward to working with the Americas organization to grow our business and our positive impact on the air transport community.”

Jacob Jan Boerma  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  11


The PAVES™ Cabin Wireless system can be accessed with tablets, smart phones and laptops

Another early adopter Passengers on a Kuwait based carrier will have the first chance to experience the Rockwell Collins/Inmarsat IFEC product with a deal announced this fall, and scheduled for first installation at the end of next year by RICK LUNDSTROM


y the time next year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association and Aircraft Interiors Expos events are complete, another airline will be on the verge of taking its IFEC to a new level as airlines from the Middle East have done since the systems were first developed decades ago. The IFE front has long been one of the battlegrounds for competition among the region’s airlines. Carriers there have a long history of selecting the latest IFE options and expanding programming to levels rarely considered. This time the early adopter will be Kuwait City-based Jazeera Airways. The full-service regionally operating carrier will be the launch customer for the Rockwell Collins PAVES™ Cabin Wireless and Inmarsat’s Global Xpress high-speed connectivity that will be installed in December of 2016 on the airline’s fleet of seven A320s that fly a network of routes from Saudi Arabia to Istanbul. The announcement was made in early November at the Dubai Air Show. To access the system, which the airlines plans to offer complimentary, passenger make use of their own personal electronic devices for streaming content, Internet surfing and communication. The airline will be replacing its drop-down screens and shortsubject programming supplied locally with the Global Xpress system designed for mobile devices.


Claude Alber (right), Vice President and Managing Director EMEA at Rockwell Collins celebrates the new partnership with Abdulla-Al-Hudiad, Chief Operating Officer of Jazeera Airways


Though available now, Jazeera will be installing the system at a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility somewhere in the Middle East as the aircraft are pulled from service for scheduled maintenance. But despite the wait, officials at Rockwell Collins were excited to have the company’s system flying next year and a chance for the traveling public and the industry to see it put to the test. “It says a couple of important things,” said Richard Nordstrom, Senior Director for Global Marketing of Cabin Solutions at Rockwell Collins. “One is I think it says that GX is real. It is here and now. We have been waiting a long time for it. And I think it says Rockwell Collins is here and you are going to be seeing a lot more of these in the future.” With the selection, Jazeera Airways gets access to a network of advanced capabilities and a replacement for the current screendrop system that are flying on the A320 fleet, which is in a two-cabin configuration. The airline has been in service since 2005 and currently operates from Kuwait City to 14 popular destinations. The PAVES™ Wireless and Global Xpress can stream content to up to 500 passengers simultaneously and works with an opensoftware architecture for applications and

services. Rockwell Collins is also a value added reseller of GX Aviation services from Inmarsat. The system promises new options for passengers traveling on Jazeera. With its present route structure, flights are often too short for passengers to complete viewing full-length feature films. With Jazeera opting out of installing seatback IFE, the combination of Rockwell Collins PAVES and Global Xpress means the possibility of fast, reliable Internet service at speeds that they would experience on the ground delivered through the Global Xpress satellite constellation. “The key here is the fact that the next generation is Global Xpress, because of its focus on access for the mobile segment of the market instead of just being a general broadcast, and is really designed for twoway mobile applications. It brings a much more consistent and higher performance level for the aircraft,” Nordstrom added. In a region that is growing and developing low-cost carriers alongside full-service airlines, Jazeera Airways is holding fast to the latter model. Abdulla Al-Hudiad, Chief Operating Officer at Jazeera tells PAX International that that the airline offers a number of premium cabin services, including complimentary baggage check

for up to 40 kilograms. Jazeera also has complimentary food and beverage services and a frequent flyer booking system. The airline is carving out a niche among a list of destinations both popular and off the beaten path. Jazeera flies throughout the GCC, with stops in Iran, Iraq, UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Jazeera began operations in 2005 and had its first listing on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 2008 At the end of July, Jazeera announced its second quarter report. In the quarter, it registered a net profit of KWD3.2 million (US$10.52 million), an increase of 14.2% from the same quarter the previous year. For the first half of the year Jazeera had a net profit to KWD6.2 million (US$20.4 million), a 27.1% increase from the same period last year. For the third quarter of this year, Jazeera announced in early November a 2.4% increase in net profit for the quarter, bringing its nine-month net profit to KWD14.5 million (US$47.6 million). “The continued strong growth was driven by an increase in demand and higher load factor, which was up 4.1% compared to the same period last year,” said a report from the airline.

Rockwell Collins opens new excellence center in U.K. Rockwell Collins in November mark its 60th anniversary in the United Kingdom with the official opening of a new center of excellence in Winnersh, Wokingham, to support its commercial and military customers five miles from its previous facility in Reading. “The opening of this brand new facility in conjunction with celebrating our 60th anniversary is a demonstration of our continuous investment in the U.K.,” said Colin Mahoney, Senior Vice President, International and Service Solutions for Rockwell Collins in the November 4 announcement. “From this new center of excellence, we’ll respond to customer demand by bringing to the market innovative capabilities in areas such as satellite navigation and networking.” The new building has 40,000 square feet of laboratory facilities with research and development space, plus 30,000 square feet of office space over three floors. It has been specially designed to host high-value engineering, business development, program management and shared service functions. With three main sites at Winnersh, Burgess Hill and Crawley, Rockwell Collins currently employs over 480 people in the U.K. with exports representing more than 75% of its revenues. Since 1955, Rockwell Collins has expanded its presence in the U.K. to provide a


comprehensive range of aviation electronics, communications, and simulation and training solutions to governments, aircraft manufacturers and OEMs in the United Kingdom, Europe and around the world. Rockwell Collins is an approved British defense contractor and works closely with all facets of the defense industry, from small and medium enterprises to large multinational defense firms. Past successes such as the company’s involvement in the U.K. Bowman program and the U.K. Defense HF Communication Service have come through partnerships and collaborations. Rockwell Collins works with defense and commercial aviation customers out of the new facility in Winnersh


Deciphering the data by RICK LUNDSTROM

Qatar Airways’ A350 gets attention by dnata at Changi Airport in Singapore

The service arm of Emirates Group will be joining its parent company in an effort to optimize information for increased revenue and better customer service


ven though the parent airline of the Emirates Group and its airline service arm, dnata are posting profit and growth in the double digits for the first half of its fiscal year, management still feels there are areas for improvement and this fall announced an initiative to make better use of the information it has gathered about its operations and use it for the betterment of customers and future revenue. In October, Emirates Group announced plans for what it calls and “enterprise-wide transformation initiative” making use of technology from online ticket booking to back office to create what it calls a “customer driven travel experience enterprise.” For the airline, the program promises a comprehensive look at its operations in a variety of ways. Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates said in a October announcement that the airline would seek incremental improvements with changes in the airline’s business model. The use of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and crowd sourcing would be some of its methods. To make the process work, Emirates Group will bring together senior executives in an Enterprise Change Management team.

segment of dnata. In the previous year, the company boarded more than 41 million meals, which was a 44% increase from the previous fiscal year. In the company’s yearend report, dnata noted a 25% increase in total revenue to US$478 million. Much of the increase was attributed to consolidation of dnata operations in Italy and growth in its U.K. and Australian businesses. In the group’s second quarter announcement, signs pointed to a continued increase in meal uplift of approximately 4%. Padgett attributed much of the growth to the company’s core of existing customers. However, he said dnata’s catering operations have seen an encouraging shift in airline attitudes as well. “Airlines have again recognized the important link of their onboard product to the customer experience and have started to reinvest in this vital part of their customer’s experience,” he said. “What we see today is a healthy trend of airline’s using food to differentiate themselves from the competition.”

Much the same search for solutions will be taking place in the operations of dnata, which now spans 74 countries. “As an aviation and travel business in the 21st century, we have greater access to data than ever before,” Robin Padgett Division Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice PresidentSenior Vice President Catering at dnata tells – Catering at dnata PAX International. “The goal of our enterprisewide initiative is to better capture and analyze data, and then use it to predict the needs of our customers and exceed their expectations.” Padgett said his department and others are reviewing information technology needs on a global scale to learn how to best use the data to improve products and service. In his case, that search will take place among operations in the company’s catering business which has expanded to 60 airports in 12 countries. The goal, of the program is simple, says Padgett, “improve customer service, increase revenue optimization and expand back-ofhouse functionality.” The new program comes amid a busy year for the airline catering  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  15

DNATA The catering division of dnata operates in some competitive environments. One of the areas that receive particular attention is Changi Airport in Singapore, where the catering division finds itself fighting for customers with a hometown player in SATS. In the past year, dnata has picked up China Southern Airlines as a customer. As PAX International was going to press, dnata also announced the opening of a second passenger lounge in Changi Airport, this time in Terminal 1. For the lounge, dnata has selected a pan-Asian theme, focusing on the city-state’s rich history and culture. To satisfy a city of people who pride themselves on diverse cuisine, the catering operation at dnata will supply a sample of local dishes such as laksa, satay and chicken rice. Also in the partnership will be Hudson’s Coffee that will bring in new café-grade coffee machines and baristas. The dnata lounge is opened nearly around the clock seven days a week and is expected to accommodate more than 250,000 passengers each year. The company operates another lounge in Terminal 3, which was recently voted ‘World’s Best

Independent Airport Lounge’ at the Skytrax Awards 2015. Airline customers that offer lounge access to their passengers at dnata’s Terminal 1 lounge include: Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, Air Asia, Air Mauritius, Bangkok Airways, Drukair, and Myanmar Airways International. Another market that has been important for dnata has been its operations in Italy. Recently, the company opened a new Halal-compliant unit in Bologna designed to support Emirates’ operations in the country. Bologna is the fourth Italian destination for Emirates in Italy. In September of this year, dnata completed a 30% acquisition of the Italian company, Airport Handling SPA. With the acquisition, dnata has a majority representation on the company’s board of directors and will have a call option to acquire an addition 40% of the operation. “We continue to grow dnata’s international operations where we find the right opportunities and the right partners,” said Stewart Angus, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President of International

Airport Operations, in the September 30 announcement of the buy. Ground handling operations, such as the one in Italy are the largest contributor of dnata’s revenue. The company’s airport operations have been aligned with its cargo handling divisions. In the first half of the 2015-16 fiscal year, dnata logged AED 2.4 billion (US$ 645 million) for the segment. The numbers represent a 21% increase. The company derived more than US$469 million in sales from its Travel Services for the first half of its fiscal year. There, the company recently acquired the Stella Group. “In the first six months of the year, Emirates and dnata grew in terms of capacity, capability and global reach — organically, and for dnata through strategic acquisitions as well,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group. “Looking ahead, we will continue to build on our core strengths by investing in new ways to improve efficiencies and deliver the best customer outcomes.”

Professional wash-up systems for Inflight Catering

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Making way for change


SIAL Middle East Exhibition 2014, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE

While keen on continuing an awards tradition, organizers at SIAL Middle East are keeping their sights set on building an event for airline caterers in the fast-growing region and beyond


ow that a year has passed since SIAL decided to pick up where the former International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) left off and continue hosting an airline catering trade show during the annual SIAL Middle East food show, change is in the air and ambitions are high for Joanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East. With several leading airlines in attendance this year, including Etihad Airways, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Oman Air and Gulf Air, Cook explains how SIAL’s new initiatives are placing OnBoard Catering in the running to become the largest gathering of catering professions from the Middle East region and beyond in this issue’s Industry Q&A: PAX International: Now that a year has passed since SIAL took over ITCA’s activities, how are things progressing? Has the transition been smooth, challenging? Joanne Cook: OnBoard Catering (previously ITCA Abu Dhabi) continues to bring the travel catering suppliers to the Middle East region. The transition from ITCA Abu Dhabi to OnBoard Catering has been fairly smooth, as the stakeholders understand the reasoning behind it. We have now made The Mercurys an integral part of the event to ensure airlines and catering companies visit and make sourcing decisions on site. A number of changes have been made to the format and delivery of OnBoard Catering and The Mercurys to ensure that the three days become an ideal platform for networking.


In addition, for the first time, the event will feature a culinary competition as part of La Cuisine by SIAL, and day two of the event will feature a dedicated conference stream on airline and mass catering sectors. PAX: Can you talk about La Cuisine by SIAL? Cook: La Cuisine by SIAL is organized by the Emirates Culinary Guild of Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the World Association of Chefs’ Societies and is a favorite meeting point for foodservice professionals. Emirates Culinary Guild works with chefs from across the UAE to ensure their participation at La Cuisine by SIAL to compete for four exclusive awards, including: Best Arabian Cuisiner, Best Pastry Chef, Best Kitchen Artist and Best Cuisinier. Visitors to SIAL Middle East and OnBoard Catering can expect a display of culinary excellence as competitions run on all three days of the event. PAX: What can visitors and exhibitors expect from this year’s show? Any specifics you wish to share? Cook: Exhibitors can expect a significant increase in number of airline and catering buyers at this year’s event. Visitors can expect to see dedicated suppliers for the travel catering industry and at the same time, meet more than 900 other exhibitors. The event will be an excellent opportunity for visitors and buyers to source from such a varied range of products. PAX: I understand that Etihad Airways will host exclusive sessions for exhibitors

to share and discuss food, beverage and equipment sourcing requirements. How did the idea for these sessions come to be? Cook: The idea came into being in 2013. Airlines are major buyers of food and beverage products, which come with certain specifications. The exhibitors will benefit significantly from discussing sourcing requirements with airlines from all over the region and beyond. PAX: What can visitors and exhibitors look forward to with regards to the industry sessions this year? Cook: This is the first time that SIAL Middle East will be hosting World Summit by SIAL, with a dedicated stream for airline and mass catering. Topics in this stream will focus on issues, challenges and opportunities within the sector, including: • Why food matters: understanding the true value of onboard hospitality. • Panel discussion: trends and innovations in mass food production; exploring mass catering security, safety and the value chain. • Panel discussion: the future of airline catering – working with world leading chefs to create new menus and enhance the overall inflight dining experience • Suppliers panel discussion: breaking into the airline industry – how to get your product noticed. • Innovations in airline and hotel food packaging, shelf life and food safety for the mass markets. • Exploring the next generation of innovations in airline food. “A number of changes have been made to the format and delivery of OnBoard Catering and The Mercurys to ensure that the three days become an ideal platform for networking.” – Joanne Cook, Managing Director for SIAL Middle East


Qatar Airways grows up by RICK LUNDSTROM

The 24th and 25th Dreamliner in the Qatar Airways fleet


f it was a human, and not a fast growing Middle Eastern airline, Qatar Airways would be in its first year of adulthood this year, reaching the ripe age of 18. The airline’s relative youth can be found in other, more industry-specific ways, however. It has recently taken delivery of its 25th 787 Dreamliner from Boeing. The past year has also seen the delivery of its first A380 and Qatar Airways’distinction as the launch customer for the A350 XWB. If that is not enough, the airline is operating out of a new airport in the capital city of Doha, and its catering unit, Qatar Airways Catering Company, is undertaking the final transitions in a sparkling unit that is averaging 90,000 meals per day. “Qatar Airways continues to grow and the airline’s catering capabilities will grow to match this so that we can continue to provide a five-star service to our customers,” said Paul Thomson, Senior Vice President of Qatar Airways Catering Company. Full meal production and laundry facilities were among the last items in transition in November. Thomson said both should up to speed by the summer schedule in 2016. As the sole caterer in Doha, QACC sees to the needs of a growing number of airlines seeking out the new Hamad International Airport (HIA). Among the carriers recently starting service to Doha


A young fleet and new airport are two of the competitive advantages Qatar Airways and its catering unit can take into the New Year are Cebu Pacific, TNT Airways, a cargo carrier, Air Arabia Egypt, and Royal Air Maroc. QACC is also busy with Qatar Airways’ expansion. In 2016 Qatar Airways will be adding new routes to Sydney and Adelaide in Australia and Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Qatar Airways has earned rewards for inflight service and dependability recently

Qatar’s gateway to the world, Hamad International Airport, completed a year of operations in the spring of last year and in that time saw 28 million passengers move through its glittering corridors, which is a 23.6% increase from the old facility. More than one million metric tonnes of cargo


also moved out of the airport during the first year, which also was a 12% increase from the previous year at Doha International Airport. “This successful transition was a testimony to the to the intensive planning efforts by the airport management, Qatar Airways and all its subsidiaries, and HIA has now matured into a globally-recognized airport,” said Thomson. At the time the switch was thrown on the new airport, QACC was ready to cater the First and Business Class service for its customers. Since then, the unit’s bakery has opened and its 69,000 square meter space places makes it among the largest self- contained catering units in the world. The unit’s staff at the time topped 1,800, among them 350 chefs. At full capacity, QACC has 46 loading bays and 22 off-loading bays. It did not take long after the opening for Qatar Airways to put its best foot forward. In June of last year, the airline launched a unique service with an all-premium class A319 that operates up to 21 flights per week between HIA and Jeddah. The aircraft was outfitted with a single aisle 2-2 configuration seating up to 40 passengers. Among the features on the aircraft were a full recline seat and an Oryx One inflight entertainment system. Passengers on the route have full use of the airline’s Business Class lounge in Doha. Qatar Airways in the last year has also completed a re-launch of several elements in its onboard products and services with an effort heavy on branding. The airline became the first carrier to carry the luxury brands Georgio Armani Frangrances & Beauty and Missoni. The former is supplier of amenity kit products while the latter supplies sleeper suits for Qatar Airways’ Premium Class. In the QACC kitchen Thomson and his staff meet regularly with a group of several high-profile celebrity chefs that the carrier works with to develop meals. “The external chefs are often in Doha working with us developing dishes for use onboard and also supporting local events which are sponsored by Qatar Airways, such as the Qatar International Food Festival,” said Thomson. The unit is also a supplier for raw materials and part- and fully-prepared items to the upper class lounges at the airport. When the FIFA World Cup Football is held in Qatar in 2018, Thomson said QACC may be called on to supplying catering support for the event. 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.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  21


Passenger engagement

Branding, emotions and brain science at the forefront of change

by STATHIS KEFALLONITIS, PH.D. Founder and President at


he airline industry is highly competitive. Airlines aim to realize three goals: fulfill passengers’ needs and wants; follow the organization’s objectives or, in other words, create profit that satisfies the shareholders, and maintain product and brand differentiation against competition. Meeting passenger needs is not enough to increase revenue and attract new business. An airline that wants to excel in passenger service ought to go beyond the minimum passenger expectations. Small things matter. Branding matters. Creating a branded experience that passengers love and remember is what differentiates an airline from its competitors. Well-known brands have been utilized by airlines to compliment onboard food and beverage service. As an example, the use of premium brands is often part of an airline’s meal and drink service. In premium cabins this may translate to top-tier branded drinks, food items and snacks prepared by well-known chefs, to attractive silverware, tableware and linens. Equally, in economy cabins (coach and premium economy), collaboration with well-known brands may translate to buy-on-board boxes or food items that include premium brands. The pairing of such branded items in a box provides value to the passenger and return-on-investment (ROI) for airlines. Brands have also been used to create a complete co-branded experience such as the well-known pairing of EVA Air and with the Hello Kitty brand of children’s toys and accessories. Such approaches help create a stronger affinity between the airline and the passenger. Using branded experiences, the airline communicates a sense of care, as well as creates a differentiated service. In recent years, airline branding has 22  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  DECEMBER 2015

promoted what passengers value most. This is evident both in the tangible and intangible characteristics of the airline product. Examples include aircraft exterior markings, onboard product and services (such as amenity and comfort items as well as mobile applications and advertisements). This brand shift follows the mainstream marketing trend that focuses on human-tohuman (h2h) interaction.

Authenticity of the experience

Airlines are expected to demonstrate genuine interest in what they do and in the interactions with passengers by offering USPs (Unique Selling Propositions). Passengers do not passively observe what airlines choose to present. They often show preference to airline brands that embrace values similar to theirs. Addressing this may create a significant impact on future revenue streams. Passengers are aware of what is happening behind the scenes of an airline, particularly of what is willingly made public and whether airlines are true to their promises. Judging by the load factor of the Hello Kitty jets of EVA Air, the co-branding approach has been very popular and a sustainable practice. One needs to pay attention to the passenger needs from a cultural and functional perspective. Cobranding is not a one-size-fits-all approach. One approach that proved successful for one airline, may not be so for another. North American, European, Asian, Middle Eastern passengers may have different and distinct needs that a co-branding approach may not be able to meet. Some examples of recent co-branded attempts include Voss water service on Emirates and the Savoy Hotel-trained but-

lers now working the Residence by Etihad™ cabin on Etihad Airways. Over the last five years, airlines have been exploring ways that they can understand passengers better by employing sensory branding and, most recently, neuromarketing techniques. This area of marketing examines brain activity and provides insight into what passengers like and how comfortable they feel. Passenger-airline interactions that rely on sensorial cues are usually stronger and more meaningful. The more senses a passenger involves in experiencing an airline brand, the more meaningful the connection. Consistent use of visual, auditory, olfactory and gustatory characteristics can enhance the passenger experience. As an example, the use of brand colors, shapes, and patterns help passengers remember the airline. Fragrances and aromas such as cabin air-fresheners, crew cologne and the smell of food and beverages make an airline brand memorable. Specific snacks or beverages offered onboard can generate a unique association between the airline brand and that snack item. Jetblue Airways has created such an association with Terra blue chips. In the case of Eva Air — Hello Kitty, everything speaks the brand from food to seat covers, to uniforms to amenity kits.

The role of differentiated services

A passenger that experiences a better service is more likely to form greater futureservice expectations. Style and comfort interpreted into concrete product and brand features is an answer to what passengers want. This helps create a stronger bond between airline and passenger. Passengers show resistance to massproduced products. Custom-made, unique airline products give passengers the feel of uniqueness they often desire. This translates into exclusive food and beverage on-board choices, custom amenity kits and new product introductions. Great importance lies between passengers and airline trust and the meaning in their minds. A positive and consistent experience makes an airline brand trustworthy. This trust makes passengers want to re-experience moments of their flight over and over again; thus increasing loyalty. What matters are a strong brand and the way this gets translated into differential advantages that helps an airline stand out in competition.



its own After three decades and organizational changes, The Mercurys enter its 34th year with a refreshed approach and more to offer the travel catering industry




here is an old adage that says if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. While such adage has merit, that isn’t to say tweaking or revising is a bad idea. On the contrary, if a process or procedure is set to benefit from revision, why not follow through? Such might have been the mindset behind SIAL Group’s decision to refresh The Mercurys, which the organization took over from the now defunct International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) a little more than a year ago. The Mercurys have been in existence for 34 years — this year marking the 34th — and Daniel Mesfin, Sales Manager for SIAL Middle East, can appreciate the effort that has gone into making the awards happen year after year, something he says SIAL Group hopes to build on in the years to

come. “We recognize the experience and hard work that has gone into The Mercurys for the past 34 years and we’re not trying to change the concept; we’re just enhancing it, which is why we refreshed the brand to give it a new lease on life,” says Mesfin. While this year the trophy will follow the same design, look and feel and the venue will remain the same, two aspects that have changed are the categories and the judges. “What we did earlier this year was actually speak to a number of airlines, some of the people that were previously organizing ITCA and some industry experts — a few of which are now on our judging panel — in order to refresh the categories, which is the first thing that needed to be done,” explains Mesfin. Mesfin says the reason behind refreshing the categories was for inclusionary purposes. “In previous years, the categories were very specific to the airline catering industry, which made sense then,” he explains. “The language used wasn’t as understandable as some of the language that members of the ground hospitality industry are familiar with. We want to open up the door to food, beverage, equipment and packaging producers. This will provide airlines and catering companies with more choice, a win-win situation for everyone.” Wasting no time, the first category was changed, now called the ‘Airline Meal’, which has been divided into Economy Class, Business Class and First Class and provides airlines with an opportunity to receive recognition for the meals they offer onboard. This simple category change has

“We recognize the experience and hard work that has gone into The Mercurys for the past 34 years and we’re not trying to change the concept; we’re just trying to enhance it, which is why we refreshed the brand to give it a new lease on life.”

– Daniel Mesfin, Sales Manager for SIAL Middle East

directly impacted and improved the number of airline entrants, says Mesfin. “It’s going to be key to have people from the airlines come together — not just suppliers — and have a good time, because there’s also a social element to it and we recognize that,” he adds. “After the knowledge and experience sharing, the next most important thing for us is the networking and bringing the industry together to celebrate the excellence on both the airline and supplier side.” In terms of the actual judging, Mesfin said he feels The Mercurys’ method is something that sets it apart from some of the other awards, since the judging is done in person in Abu Dhabi. “Entries are submitted online through a form. Entrants that are shortlisted are then invited to officially present their product to the panel, where the judges will be given the opportunity to scrutinize the entries. This will all take place in Abu Dhabi on December 6th, a day before the awards and exhibition,” explains Mesfin. The list of this year’s judges includes: Jeremy Clark, Chef, Airline Catering Consultant, V.P. Inflair, V.P. African Catering Enterprises, Writer/Columnist; Mirko Brenzinger, Senior Manager Catering Commercial Planning, Etihad Airways; Nelly Baron, Communications Director, SIAL Group/Comexposium; Werner Kimmeringer, Managing Director Global Catering Services and Logistics - Culinary Master Chef and Inflight Service Management Specialist and Simon Heppner Founder and Director, The Sustainable Restaurant Association. “Our judges will be able to accept entries from suppliers that do not have their products onboard yet, which is exactly what we want to achieve — we want The Mercurys to be a platform to help new companies understand the stringent requirements and eventually launch their products onboard,” explains Mesfin. Looking ahead, Mesfin says there is a good chance that the Mercury Awards may move to one of SIAL’s other shows in the future, possibly SIAL Paris — SIAL’s flagship event — which is moving into its 52nd year next October. “We understand how specific and demanding the airline catering industry is,” says Mesfin. “For that reason, we feel that The Mercurys need to hold its own kind of page in our book, not be something that can be merged into our other awards, because it is its own special thing and it needs to be kept that way.”  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  23


The Indulgence collection of Business Class kits for men and women

A total of 16 designs will provide collection opportunities for First Class (shown here) and Business Class passengers on Emirates

Luxury indulged E by


mirates Airline is taking a number of its inflight services even further upmarket with recently announced enhancements onboard the leading Dubai-based carrier. Over the past several months Emirates has introduced a Dom Pérignon Champaign pairing menu, with six carefully designed canapés, intended to complement and enhance the experience of the Dom Pérignon Vintage Rosé 2003 served onboard, and enhanced the airline’s luxurious Shower Spa and Lounge, with amenities for amenities from the Bvlgari fashion house. Earlier, in October, Emirates unveiled a new set of amenity kits for its First and Business Class customers, boasting some 16 designs. The bags were designed in close collaboration with Bvlgari and are available onboard all flights. The Emirates Private Collection by Bvlgari for First Class passengers is composed of eight designs for men and women. The Emirates Indulgence by Bvlgari for Busi-


A carefully paired menu with highend Champaign and a well-known fashion house are among the improvements on Emirates this year

ness Class customers features another eight designs for both men and women. The set of 16 designer kit bags will be refreshed every nine months, with the aim of giving frequent travelers something new to look forward to on their flights. Emirates tapped gategroup to supply the kits. “We’re pleased to be able to bring even more options to our customers with the revamped kits,” enthused Terry Daly, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery. “We put emphasis on the details of our products to match the comfort and luxury of traveling on Emirates. Bvlgari and our team worked very closely on the designs to develop bags that were stylish without compromising on functionality.” The variations will be available on different sectors, giving passengers traveling on connecting flights a chance to collect all four bags. The new kits feature bespoke designs for men and women inspired by Bvlgari’s latest collection. The men’s First Class bags are made of leather for a

premium feel, while the women’s bags for both First and Business Class come in a satin finish. Each kit contains Italian-made Bvlgari products exclusive to Emirates, including body lotion and the brand’s signature Red Tea miniature spray. The men’s kits also include a Bvlgari After Shave Balm, while the women will receive the Bvlgari Nourishing Face Emulsion, amongst other travel essentials. A new fragrance will be introduced with each set, beginning with Bvlgari Red Tea. In the coming collections, Black Tea, White Tea and Green Tea fragrances will be launched to represent the colors of the United Arab Emirates flag. Emirates added that as part of its commitment to continuous product development and an “exceptional” travel experience, the carrier would also be launching a new collection of amenity kits for Economy Class in the coming months.

EMIRATES AIRLINE The contents of each First and Business Class amenity kit are as follows: Emirates Private Collection by Bvlgari for Men (First Class) Drawstring bag Foldable hairbrush Dental set pouch with Colgate toothpaste Tissue pack AXE deodorant Bvlgari 40ml Body Lotion, Red Tea Bvlgari 40ml After Shave Balm, Red Tea

AWARD Bvlgari 5ml Miniature spray, Red Tea, WINNING packed WINE in a Bvlgari gift box in 2013 shaving foam Gillette

T&H Razor Emirates Private Collection by Bvlgari for Women (First Class) Drawstring bag Foldable hairbrush Dental set pouch with Colgate toothpaste Female mirror Tissue pack Bvlgari 40ml Body Lotion, Red Tea Bvlgari 40ml Nourishing Face Emulsion, Red Tea Bvlgari 15ml Vapo spray Jewel, Red Tea packed in Bvlgari drawstring pouch Bvlgari 12g refreshing towel, Oshibori Emirates Indulgence by Bvlgari for Men (Business Class) Drawstring bag Foldable hairbrush Dental set pouch with Colgate toothpaste Tissue pack Rexona deodorant Bvlgari 40ml Body Lotion, Red Tea Bvlgari 40ml After Shave Balm, Red Tea Bvlgari 5ml Miniature spray, Red Tea, packed in a Bvlgari gift box Gillette shaving foam T&H Razor Emirates Indulgence by Bvlgari for Women (Business Class) Drawstring bag Foldable hairbrush Dental set pouch with Colgate toothpaste Female mirror Tissue pack Bvlgari 40ml Body Lotion, Red Tea Bvlgari 40ml Nourishing Face Emulsion, Red Tea tel : + 39 0758783001 e-mail :

Bvlgari 5ml Miniature spray, Red Tea Bvlgari 12g refreshing towel, Oshibori

Dan Esc. Pagina Intera.indd 1  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL   |  25 21-01-2013 21:30:35


Moving from

strength to strength by


Key acquisitions, product lines and partnerships help Agthia Group carve a niche in the Middle East region’s aviation food service market


gthia Group, one the UAE’s leading food and beverage companies, has spent the last year making inroads in commercial aviation supply through an important partnership with a well-known producer from the United Kingdom. Now, the company has added new facilities and a beverage company to its list of acquisitions. Agthia offers a complete portfolio of integrated businesses providing high quality and trusted food and beverage products for customers and consumers across the UAE, GCC, Turkey and the wider Middle East. The company manufactures or distributes well-known brands including Al Ain water, Grand Mills flour and Agrivita animal feed, as well as Capri-Sun juices and Yoplait yogurts. Agthia recently acquired the water business of Al Bayan Group of Companies, a player in the five-gallon bulk water segment in the UAE that also has a presence in Oman. This year, Agthia also opened its first purpose-built bakery at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, bringing in European bakery technology. In February of this year, Agthia announced its partnership with Monty’s Bakehouse (UK) Ltd., a global supplier of bakery and snack items. Among the company’s airline customers are Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Oman Air. Monty’s Bakehouse has now added the Agthia Al Wathba bakery facility to its global airline supply chain and is able to cost-effectively distribute its snack items, bakery products, water, juices and dairy products to its warehouses and distribution centers in the GCC and across Asia. “Our partnership with Monty’s Bakehouse will not only add a popular name to


Agthia distributes Al Ain water among its other well-known brands

ucts. In Egypt, its portfolio is composed of Al Ain Pure Natural tomato and chilli paste, and fruit puree; and in Turkey, Alpin natural spring bottled water. The Agri Business unit is responsible for manufacturing, distribution and marketing of Grand Mills flour and Agrivita animal feed products in the UAE. Established in 2004, the company is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange; 51% of the company’s shares are held by Senaat (General Holding Corporation), an Abu Dhabi Government entity, with the balance held by retail and institutional investors. Agthia Group is a sizeable — and profitable — company. According to its latest financial figures, published in October, the group’s nine-month net profit jumped 19% to AED179 million (US$48.7 million), driven by a growth in sales of 12% to AED1.4 billion (US$381.2 million), as well as improved gross margins. The Consumer Business net profit surged by 52% to AED 61 million (US$16.6 million), with net sales of AED 544 million (US$148 million) for the period, up 21% year-on-year. Hamzah said that performance had been “solid” “We have seen our core businesses continue to grow year-on-year, with water and beverages and flour categories in particular driving the results,” he added. “The recent acquisition of Al Bayan water will further strengthen our leading position in the water category. Our business and financial position is strong and we have the right strategy in place to remain on our growth trajectory creating value to our shareholders.”

our portfolio, but will leverage its relationships with airlines to facilitate the promotion of our brands to airline passengers around the world,” said Iqbal Hamzah, CEO of Agthia Group. “Our strategy for 2015 focuses on diversifying our product portfolio and widening our distribution reach, and this agreement satisfies both objectives.” Matt Crane, CEO of Monty’s Bakehouse, added: “We have worked closely with Agthia for the past two years and we have aligned the strategic objectives of both our businesses. Our partnership with Agthia Group will allow us at Monty’s Bakehouse to broaden both our product range and our geographical reach east towards Asia, whilst providing additional support to our core clients within the GCC region. These are exciting times for our business and we now look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with the Agthia Group.” Adding his voice, Fasahat Beg, Executive Vice President - Consumer Business at Agthia Group, said: “As we look to further strengthen our product portfolio, Monty’s Bakehouse is an ideal partner to take our business forward. This partnership in effect helps us tap into new synergistic distribution channels.” Agthia employs more than 2,000 people and has two business divisions: the Consumer Business, which in the UAE manufactures, distributes and markets several brands including Al Ain Water, a leading The partnership between bottled drinking water; Agthia and Monty’s Bakehouse gives the U.K. Capri-Sun juices; and company an important Yoplait fresh dairy prodsupply chain network in the Middle East

Delicious egg specialities exquisitely prepared.

Gut Springenheide GmbH • Weiner 152 • 48607 Ochtrup • Germany Tel. +49 (0) 25 53/10 22 • fax 10 25 • E-Mail:


Great expectations

Seared Beef Short Ribs from Cuisine Solutions


As passenger numbers continue to rise, so are the expectations of those onboard, leaving suppliers with the task of meeting the increased desire for luxury offerings inflight


ith more and more people flying today and the number only expected to rise in the years ahead, it is understandable why passenger expectations have risen along with it. As passengers develop a better understanding of what is consumed on the ground — where the products come from, what ingredients are used — that knowledge is inevitably carried along onboard. The result: a greater demand for similar culinary and amenity offerings. “People are traveling a lot more now than they were 10 years ago, and air travel is expected to double over the next two decades with over 1 trillion passengers by 2032,” says Chef Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer for Cuisine Solutions and Chef J. Hemmer, Director of Sales Onboard Services U.S. for Cuisine Solutions. “Expectations have changed. This explosion in air travel creates increased competition between airlines, and passengers are expecting a luxurious restaurant-quality dining experience during their flight.” Cuisine Solutions was among the first to recognize the precision of the sous-vide process and apply it to travel catering. Since 1971, its chefs have developed recipes that allow professional chefs to present restaurant-quality dishes faster and with consistently excellent results. Both chefs have noticed airlines becoming more focused on innovating the dining experi-


ence by bringing restaurant trends and quality onboard. “Today’s luxury diners are very food savvy,” says Bertholon and Hemmer. “Modern plating styles, unusual flavor combinations, and full and rich flavors like umami, spicy and sour have been incredibly popular recently.” With luxury restaurants putting more emphasis on cooking what is in season and using local and sustainable products — as well as reducing food waste — there is more pressure to do the same onboard. “We have made efforts to minimize food waste with our cooking process, and provide traceability of our ingredients,” explains Bertholon and Hemmer. “Diners want to know where their food came from, who raised it, or how it was grown.” A certified manufacturer of Halal products, Cuisine Solutions will soon launch Halal Beef Short Ribs, Halal Seared Duck Foie Gras, and Truffle Macaroni and Cheese. Of its many luxurious offerings, Bertholon and Hemmer take a particular liking to their poached salmon. “With the precision of sous-vide, our poached salmon comes out perfectly tender and with a flavor that is sure to impress,” says Bertholon and Hemmer. “When eating a great meal, we don’t think it should matter if you’re in a restaurant on the ground, or in a jetliner 30,000 feet in the air.”

A savory shift

With airlines appearing to be following the hospitality industry more closely lately, the culinary experience onboard has become a point of difference. Major airlines are commonly adding top chefs to their roster as a means of demonstrating to passengers that a culinary change is taking place. “Food is a focus for all passengers,” says Alan Riney, National Account Manager SugarCreek. Approaching its 50th year in business, SugarCreek began in the raw bacon business and in the last 25 years, has transitioned from its raw roots to fully cooked protein, and has expanded with a new state-of-the-art facility in Cambridge City, Indiana and a strong focus on sous vide. According to Riney, airlines are willing to spend a few extra dollars on a meal to drive a better customer experience and achieve higher customer retention, but that isn’t to say they will always have to. “Cost of servings is always a hurdle,” Riney continues. “The misnomer of sousvide prepared food is ‘high cost,’ but with the capacity that SugarCreek has added in its new facility in Cambridge City, proteins can be sous-vide cooked and ready to eat at lower than expected cost.” SugarCreek’s partner, Chicago-based James Calvetti Meats believes elements of luxury can and should be implemented throughout all cabins, not just reserved for First and Business classes, and is seeing


Chopard amenity kits for Gulf Air

evidence of this already happening. “I don’t think that luxury service should necessarily be reserved for First and Business Class,” says James Calvetti, President of James Calvetti Meats. “We are seeing the expectations of the coach customer evolving.” James Calvetti Meats and SugarCreek have teamed to offer sous-vide Halal lamb and beef products currently undergoing evaluations in Dubai, which are looking promising. In addition, SugarCreek has recently launched its new slow cooked 24-hour sous-vide prime short rib, which it anticipates will be flying in the coming months. While luxury appears to be something that has more recently become important onboard an aircraft, it is important to note, that in the Golden Age of flying, luxury was a top priority for airlines. “Luxury onboard, particularly in First Class has always been a priority, if we look back to the first days of commercial airliners we can see passengers being treated to top-end champagnes and caviar, receiving a restaurant-style service in the air, something which still very much exists today,” says James Duff, Foodservice Account Manager for Lily O’Brien’s, the well-known Irish chocolatier. Lily O’Brien’s currently supplies a range of Halal-certified desserts to Etihad Airways, which were designed and developed alongside the Etihad culinary team to ensure the product would meet its customers’ expectations. The chocolatier is currently reinvigorating its existing product offering and has been working on some exciting developments for introduction in early 2016. “Our focus will be on choice and sustainability, allowing our customers to tailor their requirements to suit their individual needs,” says Duff. “From a dessert perspective this means working together to design and develop new recipes and product concepts that will enhance the airline’s overall offering, a collaborative process we first introduced last year when working to introduce the new Halal-certified Etihad desserts.” Duff says culinary luxury has become synonymous with simplicity, provenance

and exceptional ingredients — less processing and more taste. “Whether it’s comfort food with a high-end twist, perfect imperfection or mini morsels of indulgence, it’s about delivering an outstanding taste experience every time and creating theatre from the onboard experience.”

The amenity angle

Aside from inflight catering, another area of onboard service that has always been associated with luxury is the inflight amenity kit. Luxury travel amenities company FORMIA has long understood the importance of having luxury offerings onboard, especially from a regional perspective. “The luxury amenity offer definitely varies per region for various reasons,” says Roland Grohmann, Managing Director of FORMIA. “Luxury itself is interpreted and perceived in different ways across different cultures, and the luxury environments that travelers are exposed to when not flying

are also different. Hence the perception and expectations of a premium traveler in Asia, the Middle East and North America are consequently diverse.” Of all the regions, The Middle East is key for FORMIA’s development plans, which is why it is opening a regional company and operations in Dubai from 2016. FORMIA already supplies several airlines in the territory, such as Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Egyptair, Oman Air and Gulf Air. Grohmann says the amenity kit is an important part of the overall perception of an airline and airlines have come a long way to realize that it is a key contributor to building the onboard experience. “It is natural therefore that airline amenities are evolving in conjunction with the whole cabin and offering, and have a heavy role in the overall upgrade of the travel experience.” Like many others in the industry, Grohmann feels there is still a long way to go before we experience a truly upgraded onboard experience. “There exists a world of opportunities to enrich the travel experience, and there is no doubt this will further develop in line with hospitality trends, passengers’ evolution and future traveling rituals.”

Grilled Beef Tenderloin from SugarCreek and James Calvetti Meats

Zesty Orange Chocolate from Lily O’Brien’s, featuring rich chocolate ganache infused with Brazilian orange oil and smothered in milk and white chocolate  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  29


Preparing the ground Times are tough for Cairo Airport Duty Free, but there is light at the end of the tunnel with the planned opening of its stores in the new Cairo International Airport Terminal 2 in 2016 by



airo Airport Duty Free is living through a difficult period as tourist numbers flag, but a big opportunity lies ahead as it plans for its allocated retail space in the new Cairo International Airport Terminal 2, scheduled to open officially in March 2016. But before that happens, growing sales are proving to be a difficult task. According to Cairo Airport Duty Free General Manager Magued Mounir, “Sales are quite challenging at the moment. We have seen that there has been a drop in the number of tourists visiting Cairo and that passenger spend is not at the same levels as previously. We expect that passenger numbers and sales will increase in the near future as the Egyptian economy improves.” Despite the current challenges, Cairo Airport Duty Free’s turnover for the first six months of 2015 is above the sales


Cairo Airport Duty Free’s Valentine’s Day 2015 promotion in the T1 perfume shop aims to appeal to the terminal’s mainly Middle Eastern passengers

Passengers at Cairo International Airport are buying lower priced items and items that are on promotion, but traffic and sales at CADF are expected to improve in the near future

achieved for the same period in 2014, though Mounir does not reveal the percentage figure. And, for the first seven months of 2015, passenger levels have climbed by double digits. Cairo International Airport passenger figures for both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 for January through the end of July 2015 are 13.5% above 2014 for the same period, reports Mounir. The best-selling categories for Cairo Airport Duty Free are cigarettes, alcohol, gifts and accessories, and electronics. In T3, most people shopping at the operator’s stores are European, while the traveler make-up in T1 is mostly Middle Eastern. In terms of trends in customer shopping behavior, the company has observed that passengers are buying lower priced items and items that are on promotion. Promotions play an important part in its marketing strategy and they are reviewed regularly to ensure that the offers remain attractive for passengers.

“We have a comprehensive promotional calendar covering all categories and this is very popular with passengers,” says Mounir. “This is conducted throughout the year and we target specific events such as summer, Ramadan, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. These offers are communicated to passengers by in-store signage and brochures.” Turning to brands, the purchasing team are constantly looking for fresh brands that will appeal to the customer profile and introduce new brands and product lines regularly. They have recently added Versace, Michael Kors and Maybelline in the beauty category. Roberto Cavalli leather goods and APM accessories have been listed in the gift shop. Sunglasses are selling well following the opening of the Eye Zone Sunglasses specialty shop last year, which offers highend Luxottica eyewear. “The Eye Zone Sunglasses shop has performed well since it opened and is proving to be one of the


Regular and comprehensive promotional offers are communicated to passengers by in-store signage and brochures, which has proved a highly successful strategy

Love hearts adorn Cairo Airport Duty Free’s perfume shop for Valentine’s Day 2015 in T3, catering to a European clientele

Always seeking out fresh products, CADF’s buying team have added Versace, Michael Kors and Maybelline in the beauty category this year

Design plans move ahead for new Istanbul airport

best performing sunglasses shops in Egypt. Cairo Airport Duty Free received a certificate recently in appreciation of the sales levels achieved since the shop opening,” enthuses Mounir. The operator renovates its stores on a regular basis, but does not have any specific plans for the current stores for now, and no new shops are planned for Terminal 1 or 3. But big retail plans lie ahead. Cairo Airport Duty Free has been allocated space in the new T2 — set to open officially in March 2016 — and is currently working on the layout and designs for the shops. According to local media reports, the expansion of T2 is expected to add 7.5 million passengers to its annual capacity, increasing total capacity to approximately 30 million passengers per year. The path forward is clear for the airport’s ambitious duty free retailer. “We are concentrating on our current operations and planning for the opening of Terminal 2,” asserts Mounir.

GA Havalimanı İşletmesi A.Ş. (IGA) has appointed London-based The Design Solution to carry out the retail planning for Istanbul’s new airport, which is due to open in 2018. The €10.2 billion (US$10.9 billion) airport, located in Amavutköv district 35 kilometers northwest of Istanbul, will replace Ataturk Airport as Turkey’s major gateway and will have a capacity of 90 million passengers per year on opening, and grow in phases to accommodate more than 150 million passengers. IGA has determined that the retail experience will have approximately 53,000 square meters of retail footprint. Earlier this year, UNIFREE DutyFree İşletmeciliği A.Ş. — in which Gebr. Heinemann has a majority stake — secured a 25-year contract to operate all of the international airside retail space and The Design Solution will be working closely with these retail and supply partners to develop the optimum overall commercial plan. “It is both challenging and humbling to be working with the biggest new airport on the planet — a gateway to one of the world’s greatest and most unique cities,” said Robbie Gill, Managing Director of The Design Solution, in a November release on the contract. “We are immensely proud to have been selected to support IGA’s astonishing vision where we can apply our extensive global experience to the project including, most recently, the commercial planning of the new Midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi, but the scale of Istanbul’s new airport adds an extraordinary new dimension to the challenge. “IGA have a clear focus on creating what they describe as ‘the world’s best shopping environment in worldwide travel retail’, ranging from a new interpretation of contemporary luxury to a traditional bazaar concept, and we look forward to being part of delivering this unique and authentic vision. Istanbul itself provides a unique inspiration for how an authentic sense of place can be delivered, ensuring that every passenger enjoys the retail space to the fullest and feels intrinsically connected to the city at the bridge of Asia and Europe.” Construction on the first of the four-phase project began May 1 and includes an earthworks program to provide a foundation for the infrastructure development. Ultimately the new airport, with an area of 76 square kilometers, will accommodate six runways when it opens in 2018. Ataturk Airport will then be closed. The Design Solution has done work on other major airport projects, including Muscat, Doha, Mumbai, Delhi, Malta, Salalah, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Antalya.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  31

EVENT COVERAGE Italian seatmaker Aviointeriors brought several new products, among them its Columbus 3 seat and its new sky bed

AIX Americas

Clean, quiet and well-integrated cabins were among the concerns of delegates and presenters at this year’s November 4-5 Expo in Seattle


his year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas played host to the largest dedicated display of aircraft interior products and services within the U.S., welcoming more than 1,500 attendees (pre-audit figure) on November 4-5 in Seattle. SmartTray International demonstrated the company’s new passenger devicefriendly aircraft tray table solutions that facilitate hands-free use of portable electronic devices. “We feel tray tables by SmartTray can help in that endeavor. The tray tables offer air travelers superior ergonomics, better space management, and improved comfort and convenience over conventional tray tables,” said Nick Pajic, President and CEO of SmartTray. “Our exclusive licensing partnership with Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, allows us to team up with them to deliver our patented solutions to airlines and seat manufacturers globally.” Airlines are increasingly concerned about cabin cleanliness as load factors continue to climb. Arthur Kreitenberg, inventor of the GermFalcon, had a miniaturized 3D printed model in Seattle. The GermFalcon robot approximately the size of a flight attendant’s trolley. Equipped with Ultraviolet ‘C’ lights, it disinfects all commonly touched surfaces of the passenger cabin in 20 minutes with a proven 99.99% germ kill rate. This year’s seminar program attracted more than 200 delegates. The opening panel discussion focused on ‘Insights on Testing’. The session offered delegates an industry led insight into the key issues and 32  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  DECEMBER 2015

details associated with certification and testing. Jamie Lutkus, Senior Engineering Manager, Research and Development at Astronics Armstrong Aerospace highlighted, “The key to success is to build and maintain relationships with the regulatory bodies and authorities.” Vern Alg, Consultant for Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas and Moderator for the opening panel added, “This is a very important topic to discuss and is the key to success within our industry. Safety is paramount. Certification and the testing associated with it ensure you maintain a high standard and reach new heights of safety.” ‘Quieter Cabins – How do you reduce noise levels onboard?’ was then addressed on the seminar floor followed by a ‘Case Study on passenger-centric design and the global impact of the European LowCost Carrier Model’ presented by Acro Aircraft Seating. During the afternoon sessions, Jason Lazich of Virgin Americas and Adam Taylor from Air Serv joined Kreitenberg from GermFalcon to discuss the topic of More than 1,500 attendees browsed the stands at the Seattle Convention Center

‘Protecting the Brand: Getting smarter about cabin cleaning and maintenance.’ The panel agreed that it is fundamental for all airlines to set minimum cleaning standards, but Taylor highlighted that it is important to note that each airline has a different definition of ‘clean.’ The concluding presentation on Wednesday looked into ‘Improving galleys and galley modules’ and Diehl Aerosystems imparted its knowledge on the subject. On Thursday, November 5 the Seminar Program opened with BAE Systems addressing ‘Next Generation Cabin Systems – Connecting and controlling all things electric in the cabin’. Delegates could then sit in on a presentation by Zodiac Aerospace focusing on ‘Taking a holistic approach to cabin lighting’. The previous morning’s debate on ‘Insights on Testing’ was continued and Jacques Debouchaud of Stelia Aerospace picked up the subject of life cycle testing verses quality testing. Debouchaud highlighted that even though quality testing isn’t part of the certification process, if a company is going to have a viable product it still needs to go through high-quality testing. The concluding seminar focused on an ever-present topic within the aircraft interiors sector, ‘Integration: Seating and IFE’. Essentially “less is more”, this was the main line of thought from both Thales Avionics and Panasonic Avionics Corporation. The best way forward is the minimal approach as this helps reduce weight, making the aircraft more economical. This approach will also be more available to the low-cost carrier as well. An audience member asked whether seating and IFE life cycles could be synced together, but Thales reiterated that typically the IFE system needs to be upgraded before the seating system. EDITOR’S NOTE – Thanks to Reed Exhibitions for submitting this report



HOT! Halal hand-held hot snacks

Company Name: Group SOI Company Location: Rome, Italy Description: Group SOI has introduced eight new Halal hand-held hot snacks that are easy to heat and serve. Made in Italy following artisan baking methods, the Halal snacks feature local ingredients, naturally leavened pizza dough and are baked using a traditional stone oven. Currently flying on Saudi Arabian Airlines, the new range includes: Panfutello with chicken and cheese, Panzerotto with mozzarella and black olives, Treccia with spinach and cheese and Pizza Margherita with Italian mozzarella cheese and fresh pomodoro from San Marzano. Company Name: Gut Springenheide GmbH Company Location: Ochtrup, Germany Description: Gut Springenheide is pleased to present its Peace Egg, a natural eggshell filled with praline chocolate. A symbol of life, an egg contains what is needed for a life to grow and flourish, but such can only happen in a peaceful environment. It was from this the idea that Gut Springenheide developed the Peace Egg. A message of peace accompanies each package.

Rituals Comfort Kit

Company Name: Rituals Cosmetics Company Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands Description: Rituals Cosmetics is pleased to present male, female and unisex products for traveler comfort kits, ble part of the brand’s airline product range. Rituals supplies customized amenity packs with a combination of products, including: a range of lip balms, facial creams, hand creams, shaving creams, body moisturizers, eye treatments, Rituals QI Relaxing Serum, and EDTs and deodorants in 10 ml Ware Series. and 20 ml. Currently flying on a number of international airlines including Qatar Airways and Thomson Airways, and china products for First Class service. with Virgin Atlantic and Saudi Arabian Airlines beginning white ware for Business Class service. January 2106, Rituals demonstrates its 360-degree product relevance at every key touch point between the airline and passengers, in the air and on the ground.

ne Appliance Co.,Ltd ing,No.146 West Gongqingtuan Road,Zhangdian,Zibo,Shandong,China.


Fax: 0086-533-6217967 Http://


Linstol Amenity Kit

Company Name: Linstol Company Location: United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China Description: Linstol is redefining the traditional onboard amenity kit by combining fashion-inspired details with luxurious cosmetic brands and elegant accents. Together with airlines, Linstol customizes kits to suit both brand and budget requirements.

Plastic Container with Lid & Atlas Tray Biodegradable food catering equipment Heat-resistant, water-proof and oil-proof Odorless,deep-freezable,stackable and microwavable Customized shape,color,pattern and logo.

Bone China,Durable Porcelain and White Ware Series. Fashionable and elegant,translucent and silvery bone china products for First Class service. Low permeability,high resistance to chemical attack white ware for Business Class service. Customized shape,pattern and logo.

Zibo Rainbow Airline Appliance Co.,Ltd Add: 4 Floor,Tiandu Business Buildning,No.146 West Gongqingtuan Road,Zhangdian,Zibo,Shandong,China. Tel: 0086-533-6217968



Fax: 0086-533-6217967 Http://

WHAT’S HOT! Melomakarona Biscuits

Company Name: Navarino Icons Company Location: Athens, Greece Description: Melomakarona are strongly associated with the centuriesold Christmas traditions of the historic land of Messinia in Greece. The oblong biscuits are soaked in a special syrup made from quality wildflower honey and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. Prepared following an old-fashioned, authentic recipe, the melomakarona are baked at a local workshop, without the addition of any artificial flavorings or preservatives. To ensure the right ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture, the biscuits are individually molded and commonly served to guests with coffee.

Trayless Container

Company Name: Global Inflight Products (GIP) Company Location: Redmond, Washington Description: GIP recently introduced a new innovative trayless container, presenting airlines with an opportunity to deliver a compact meal service with a sleek design. Designed to expedite inflight service and reduce expenses, the trayless container is rotable, lightweight, is available in several colors and features a customizable lid to hold any casserole.



At IFSA’s helm November found the new President of the International Flight Services Association working with members and eyeing opportunities for the group as it plans its 2016 event in the aviation hub city of Chicago

Jane Bernier-Tran


n industry veteran, United Airlines’ Jane Bernier-Tran is the new President of the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). Planning for the 2016 IFSA event was well underway when PAX International caught up with Bernier-Tran, who is United Airlines’ Managing Director of Food Service Operations for the airline’s Food Service Division. In addition, expanded outreach, educational programs and a new wrinkle to the annual Chef ’s Competition are on the agenda for the years ahead. PAX International: First, let’s hear your thoughts on the recent event in Portland. How was attendance and participation this year? Jane Bernier-Tran: The IFSA 2015 Conference and Expo in Portland was certainly a success. The turnout was great and this year we had more airline attendees than ever, which was exceptional. The feedback received thus far regarding Portland has been excellent from both attendees and


exhibitors. IFSA had a terrific show all around, and now we’re looking forward to stepping it up a notch for 2016 in Chicago. PAX: Your predecessor, Pam Suder-Smith enacted a number of initiatives: Education, Communications and an Ideation Task Force focusing on innovation among them. What will you be doing to build upon those efforts? Bernier-Tran: Pam will be a hard act to follow! I look forward to the challenge of building on these initiatives. We are significantly expanding the educational programs and offerings at the 2016 Conference and Expo in Chicago around the updates to the World Food Safety Guidelines (WFSG), which are in the works and almost finalized. We will be adding more regional events to our agenda — the next one being February 2016 in Atlanta at the Coca-Cola Museum. This will be another wonderful networking opportunity for our members. IFSA’s Government Affairs and Education Committee (GAEC) will significantly expand as we build a greater presence in Europe and beyond, with a focus on leading and educating the onboard hospitality industry on the newest regulations. The Ideation Committee is reworking our mentorship program and recruiting new mentors, with plans to relaunch the program in 2016. PAX: You’ll be without your main partner, the Airline Passenger Experience Association for next year’s event in Chicago. What plans are in the works to bring as much of the industry as possible to the city? Bernier-Tran: This will be an opportunity that IFSA will take advantage of fully. Many doors are open for IFSA to expand the conference and expo and grow the organization as a whole. Chicago is the perfect city for IFSA because it is a hub city and we can expect an increased airline presence. We are already in full-fledge planning mode for the 2016 Conference and Expo. Some of these plans include bringing in brand new exhibitors in our New Members Pavilion, adding a new product showcase section, continuing the networking events and receptions and many other added benefits. The Chef ’s Competition is always a crowd pleaser, and in Chicago we are amping up the concept by adding a cocktail competition. I’m also personally thrilled about the keynote speaker we have lined up — which I cannot reveal yet — and I’m very much looking forward to making the announcement. At the same time, IFSA and APEX still

C A L E N D A R SIAL Middle East Trade Show and Networking Forum and Airline Catering, Event, December 7-9, Abu Dhabi. For more information, contact SIAL Middle East FZ LL at or call +971 (0) 2 401 2949

2 016 Aircraft Interiors Middle East and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, February 3-4, Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information, contact F&E Aerospace Dubai Tel: +971 (0) 4 603 3300 or fill out enquiry form at Aircraft Interiors Expo/World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, April 5-7, Hamburg, Germany. For general inquiries contact AIX at aixhamburg. or call +44 208 271 2174 Marine Hotel Association 31st Anniversary Conference and Trade Show, April 10-12 Hyatt Place/Orlando Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact MHA at or call 415 332-1903 APEX MultiMedia Market, April 13-15 Istanbul. For more information contact APEX at or call 212 297–2177 International Flight Services Association Conference and Exhibition, September 19-21, Chicago. IFSA at or call 404 252-3663 APEX EXPO 2016/Future Travel Experience Asia, October 24-27, Singapore. For more information, APEX at or call 212 297–2177

have a strong partnership and both associations are focused on maximizing the benefits available to our members. IFSA will have speaker slots on APEX programs in 2016 and vice versa, and we look forward to hosting co-located shows with APEX in the years to come. PAX: The Presidency of IFSA is back in the hands of an airline person. Are there any special perspectives you bring to the job as a result of that? Bernier-Tran: I am excited to serve all of our members. I have 34 years in the airline catering industry in many different capacities — operations, kitchen operator, food and beverage planning and design. As an airline member, I believe I have insight into what carriers, suppliers and catering partners need, as we strive to run successful businesses in this highly regulated and ever-changing environment that requires us to find logistical solutions quickly and easily. I hope to add value as we make strategic decisions on where the board will focus our efforts, and I welcome feedback from our members.

SPIRIANT says Hola now in Latin America! After a successful launch in the Middle-East, SPIRIANT continues its journey to Latin America. With a dedicated team, we work with you to design and create the inflight process that can make your life easier and reduce complexity.

Explore the SPIRIANT world on or contact us for unique solutions at to learn more about SPIRIANT and our award-winning solutions.

Discover the art of satisfying travelers' wishes. Besides offering tasty meals, exciting equipment, smart logistics and innovative retail concepts, LSG Sky Chefs also provides valuable consumer insight based on thorough studies about global food trends and lifestyles. Discover our advanced approach to creating in-flight concepts that truly meet your passengers' individual needs and explore smart ideas about how to satisfy them.

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