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DECEMBER 2018 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

SIAL Middle East — Abu Dhabi

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Flying in style


EDITOR’S LETTER

PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website: www.pax-intl.com

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan

An industry snapshot

E-mail: aijaz@globalmarketingcom.ca

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: rick@pax-intl.com Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: rachel@pax-intl.com Ash Khan, Editorial and Marketing Assistant Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: ash@pax-intl.com CONTRIBUTORS Jeremy Clark

A R T D E PA R T M E N T Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail: jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca PAX International and PAX Tech are published 10 times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, October, December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs

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little more than a year ago, a report on the airline catering industry by a well-known market analysis firm showed a robust business riding many of the same trends as any other business that supports commercial aviation. In April of 2017, Global Industry Analysts Inc. released its In-Flight Catering Services: A Global Strategic Business Report, a comprehensive analysis of the industry that pegged compound annual growth rates at 5.6% to 6.1% in some regions. At that rate, the analysis projected airline catering sales will exceed US$19 billion by 2022, “driven by the unprecedented rise in air passenger traffic and the resulting increase in demand for airline food.” The conclusion seems completely logical. Something that visitors to this year’s SIAL Middle East should also note is the way the report focuses on gourmet products: they are becoming not only a way to satisfy passengers, but also an important tool and part of the competitive strategy for airlines. Higher fuel costs may be putting the squeeze on some airline budgets, but they are offset by unprecedented demand for air travel in countries that are increasingly affluent. The report naturally cites China and its population of 385 million millennials as a prime target group for international airlines. The report also points to the rapid growth of infrastructure, increased aircraft movement, and passengers in the Middle East as key drivers of airline revenue, passed down to supporting industries. “Healthy growth is projected for the market in the coming years, driven by growing expectations of passengers (irrespective of class) to have healthy and nutritious food and increasing numbers of flyers,” said an introduction to the report. Walking the aisles of events such as SIAL Middle East and taking in the diverse food products from dozens of countries, it’s easy to see how the enjoyment of fine food binds the world and defines a culture. Populations that are more urbanized, affluent and sophisticated would naturally focus greater attention on the inflight food service of the airlines they choose for travel.

will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. December 2018, Vol. 25, No. 10. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International

PAX-INTL.COM  

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CONTENTS

Features FOOD AND BEVERAGE

14

THE CHALLENGE OF CATERING KUL The traditional in-house airline catering model is thriving in Southeast Asia, and as PAX contributor Jeremy Clark has discovered, Brahim’s latest joint venture with SATS is proving this approach has multiple benefits

20 CHANNELING WINE

20

A commitment to customer feedback and years of building relationships in the top wine producing regions have Emirates sitting on a vast inventory of wines

24

ALL IN THE DETAILS Raw material suppliers are the unsung heroes of onboard catering. PAX International takes a look at a few that hope to stand out at this year’s SIAL Middle East event

MIDDLE EAST REPORT

18

EXPANDING EASTWARD France’s Albéa Group is setting its sights on the Middle East with new alliances and contracts that will see its business expanding into this profitable inflight market

22 EMIRATES’ NEW 777 CABIN

LAUNCHES ON ROUTE TO VIE The launch of the new First and Business Class cabins on the airline’s fleet of 777-300ER aircraft is planned for December

26 THE LAP OF LUXURY

38 ON THE COVER

Middle Eastern airlines have long set the standard for inflight pampering and indulgence. PAX International picked the brains of amenity and comfort suppliers to determine how this region sets itself apart from the rest. PLUS: We examine the Asian market at large

EVENTS

32

PHOTO COURTESY ETIHAD AIRWAYS. Read our report on Middle Eastern airlines and their amenity offerings on page 26.

A LOOK AHEAD TO WTCE Though the northern hemisphere is preparing to slog through winter, spring is on the minds of planners at Reed Exhibitions who are working to bring the world of travel catering once again to Hamburg in April

34 THE PASSENGER IN FOCUS

Airline CEOs and the latest in-cabin gadgetry were some of the most conspicuous attendees at this year’s APEX/AIX shows in Boston

36 HELLO, BOSTON!

A look back at the sights, sounds and culinary stars that graced the 2018 IFSA Expo

SIAL MIDDLE EAST

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

6

WHAT’S HOT

44

ASSOCIATION NEWS

48

FACTS & FIGURES

50

4  DECEMBER 2018

38

42

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Abu Dhabi will once again host the food, beverage and hospitality industries at this year’s SIAL Middle East from December 10 to 12. Joanne Cook, Managing Director of SIAL Middle East, tells us about the buzz that’s generating around the event – and why airlines should be a part of the action THE MERCURYS 37: READY TO FLY Though it has been joined by others since its debut, the Mercury Awards has long entertained and fascinated the industry, delighting winners and showcasing outstanding products and services year after year. We take a peek behind the curtain of this year’s event


For 40 years, WESSCO has specialized in supplying a wide range of products for our airline customers worldwide. From amenities, to passenger comfort, to food & beverage service ware, we design and deliver the items you need to provide an exceptional experience for your passengers. We would love to see you at WTCE in Hamburg. Please email info@wessco.net to arrange a meeting.

www.wessco.net

info@wessco.net

+1 (310) 477-4272


NEWS

CATERING

3-star chef to consult for LSG Group LSG Group has entered into a partnership with renowned German 3-star chef Harald Wohlfahrt. “The partnership with Harald Wohlfahrt supports us to stay connected to the highest culinary standards and network,” said Jochen Müller, COO LSG Group, in the November announcement. “We look forward to working with him to refine and enhance our premium offering as well as our in-house culinary education.” The LSG Group will work with Wohlfahrt on several events including its Global Culinary Excellence Academy, the World Travel Catering and Onboard Retail Expo in April 2019, and its tailor-made premium offering. As a part of its product and service portfolio, the LSG Group provides in-house expertise through its Global Culinary Excellence Team. The team connects a companywide network of hundreds of chefs in 56 countries, introduces new culinary trends and fosters innovations in the industry, ranging from premium inflight meals to convenience retail and even food used in space. Wohlfahrt is often referred to as the pioneer of contemporary German gourmet cuisine. He is Chef de Cuisine of the Traube Tonbach restaurant in the Black Forest region and was awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide for 25 consecutive years as of 1992. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005.

Harald Wohlfahrt (in center with jacket) with the LSG team

COMPANY

Kimberly Neu

RMT Global Partners welcomes new Account Executive RMT Global Partners has appointed Kimberly Neu as its newest Account Executive in Sales for North and South America including the Caribbean and Latin America. Neu most recently owned a residential construction design company in Dallas, Texas, for 20 years. Over the course of her career she has held various positions, from National Sales and Marketing Vice President to company owner, with a strong background in sales and design work. RMT Global Partners hired Neu as it continues to grow, doubling the size of its team in one year’s time. The company specializes in onboard equipment including blankets, pillows, serviceware and onboard service amenities.

CATERING

gategroup to cater Alitalia at FCO Italian carrier Alitalia has signed a long-term catering contract with gategroup for its flights from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. The two companies have been working together since December 2017 on a unique catering model for flights departing from other Italian locations. This new contract will allow Alitalia to operate from five locations in the country – Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Catania and Palermo. Fiumicino, where the airline currently operates 16 long-haul and 189 short- and medium-haul outbound flights each day, will be host to a Gate Gourmet facility 8,000 square meters in size with approximately 300 staff. Federico Germani, gategroup’s Chief Commercial

6  DECEMBER 2018

Officer, commented in a statement: “Both our companies share a passion for enhancing and improving the customer experience, which is further amplified by the rich culinary heritage of Italy. The desire to develop and improve every aspect of the [service offering] was key to the successful, swift and seamless set-up of the new facility. We are honored to have been able to meet Alitalia’s high culinary standards as part of enhancing the customer experience.” Alitalia’s CPO Valerio Dal Monte added: “The choice of Gate Gourmet was based on its ability to support Alitalia achieve its strategic targets of increasing customer satisfaction and logistical efficiency. Their culinary excellence, innovative new concepts and retail experience enables us to accelerate the change process.”


10 chopped parsley leaves

0.94 mg grated lemon zest

A drizzle of truffle oil

Juice of 1 lime slice

16,000 soups a day. Each with the perfect finishing touch.

5 g of beef bacon crumbles

29.5 mg coconut flakes

7.3 ml of yoghurt

1 fennel frond

12 toasted pumpkin seeds

A smidgen of paprika

A hint of nutmeg

1 finely chopped scallion head

4 crushed black pepper grains

5 tiny square-cut pieces of smoked salmon

A dab of togarashi

8 drops of balsamic vinegar

A drizzle of truffle oil

A touch of cayenne pepper

A trickle of hoisin sauce

9 cilantro leaves

A dash of hot sauce

12 drops of fish sauce

15 g of crumbled feta

8 croutons

1 finely chopped jalapeno

5 finely chopped coriander leaves

Discover our appetite for perfection at emiratesflightcatering.com At Emirates Flight Catering, we serve over 180,000 meals a day, each prepared precisely to the very highest standards. We offer a varied international menu for customers to choose from, put together by the crème de la crème of chefs. So when it comes to making the world feel at home, the sky is not the limit for us.


NEWS

AIRLINE NEWS

ANZ adds vegetable patty to premium class Air New Zealand is serving up a smaller slider-sized version of the Impossible Burger, a high-tech plant-based patty, on its San Francisco to Auckland route. Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley food tech start-up and the creator of the Impossible Burger, first partnered with ANZ this past July, making the airline the first in the world to serve the meatless burger as part of its Business Premier menu on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. The burger is made with the iron-containing molecule heme – the same type found in animal meat – that has been sourced from the roots of soy plants. The result is a burger that cooks, smells and tastes like beef but does not contain any meat or animal byproducts. “The Impossible Burger has been a real favorite [with our customers],” says Air New Zealand’s Inflight Customer Experience Manager Niki Chave. “Given we’re heading into a seasonal menu change in Business Premier, we couldn’t resist sharing the experience with customers traveling on another of our North American routes while also giving it a bit of a twist.” She continues: “Our Impossible Burger is a really generously sized serving, so this time around we’re taking the

opportunity to make it a bit lighter by serving it as bite-sized sliders. The dish will include three Impossible Burger sliders accompanied by tomato jalapeno chutney, sun-dried tomato mayo with buttermilk slaw and vegetable crisps on the side.” The sliders will be included on ANZ’s Business Premier menu on flight NZ7 from San Francisco to Auckland until June 2019. The decision to include the Impossible Burger on its inflight menu has found the airline embroiled in homegrown controversy, with New Zealand’s beef industry speaking out about the airline’s move to include the meat-like product on board. The high-tech burger cooks, tastes and feels like beef, minus the meat

HOW WE

STACK UP As an onboard equipment supplier with international reach, RMT Global Partners provides a comprehensive array of services, including in-house research and design, with specialized expertise in: • Blankets and pillows • Tableware and service items • Comfort kits • And much more +1 (877) 252-2750 • RMTGlobalPartners.com

8  DECEMBER 2018


NEWS

AIRLINE NEWS

SUPPLIER

KLM upgrades Business Class meals on Cityhopper KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a new meal service for Business Class passengers on its KLM Cityhopper (KLC) flights for the winter schedule, which started October 28. More individual elements have been added to the meal box. Granola and jam are now served separately to the yogurt, and dressing and nuts separately to the salads, enabling passengers to determine how they would like to put their meals together. Until noon, passengers will receive a box containing a breakfast with fresh fruit and cold cuts of cheese and meat with a hot roll. During the rest of the day, the European Business Class (EBC) box will contain a salad and side dishes and a slice of apple pie in some instances. All of the products will be sustainable, and produced from local suppliers as much as possible. The meat and eggs will carry the “Beter Leven” certification and all products containing fish will bear the Marine Stewardship Council stamp of approval. The cardboard used for the boxes will also be sustainable and recyclable. On KLC’s six longest flights (Cagliari, Helsinki, Ibiza, Porto, Split and Valencia), Business Class passengers will be able to determine the time when they would like to eat. In addition to the meal box, passengers will be able to enjoy a second service: a Dutch croquette snack or a spinach-and-feta pastry. The meal format has also been adjusted, providing more space for drinks. The luxury box now also fits better onto the tray table of the Embraer aircraft. The new European Business Class box fits better on the tray tables of Embraer aircraft

East meets West in World Business Class on KLM

KLM and Albéa Travel Designer tap Dutch expertise for new kit Starting October 28, KLM’s latest amenity kits for men and women, designed by Jan Taminiau and realized by Albéa Travel Designer, will bring an “East meets West” feel to its World Business Class cabin. The airline has partnered with cosmetics manufacturer Rituals and Dutch designer Jan Taminiau for an onboard offering that is rooted in its homeland’s heritage. Albéa Travel Designer, a partner of KLM since 2015, has balanced Taminiau’s haute couture spirit and high perceived value with the carrier’s cost-effective approach, capitalizing on its 25 years of know-how in design and manufacturing dedicated to promotional activity in the perfume and cosmetics industry. World Business Class passengers will receive a comfort kit that includes a dental kit, an eye mask and socks, as well as a Rituals face moisturizer and lip balm. Exclusive Rituals products featuring the scents of tulips and Japanese yuzu will also be available in the lavatories. World Business Class customers will have access to hand foam, hand and body lotion, hair gel, and body mist, while Economy Class passengers will be supplied with hand foam.

SUPPLIER

EVA Air introduces new Premium Economy kit Galileo Watermark and fashion brand SPORT b. have teamed up for EVA Air’s latest Premium Economy amenity kit. The unisex kit features a monochrome design and includes a SPORT b. eye mask, dental kit, ear plugs and comb, plus a lip balm and face cream from British skincare brand Scaramouche + Fandango. It will be available in the Premium Economy cabin on all long-haul routes to Taiwan. A subsidiary of French fashion house agnés b., SPORT b. caters to “a more vibrant and modern lifestyle,” according to a statement from Galileo Watermark. The brand first launched in 1999 and has been well received ever since.

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The formulations of the Scaramouche + Fandango products are designed to combat skincare problems that are common while traveling. Both the lip balm and face cream were designed to fight the dry conditions found on board. EVA Air’s new Premium Economy kit


FEELING AT HOME ON BOARD MV Food & Services s.r.l. Via Veneto, 4 06072 Mercatello di Marsciano (Perugia) Italy Tel. +39 075 8783354 e-mail: info@mvfood.it www.mvfood.it


BAKING COMPANY


Better

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• Your high-volume needs covered • We service airline caterers and others in the catering industry • We work with schools and hospitals • On-time delivery available across Canada

www.ovenfreshbaking.ca | ordering@ovenfreshbaking.ca + 1-416-232-2113 Ext. 221 Oven Fresh Baking Company Ltd. 853 Kipling Ave Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5G9


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

The challenge of catering

KUL

Each day, up to 14,000 sticks of chicken and beef satay are prepared at Brahim’s SATS Food Services

The traditional in-house airline catering model is thriving in Southeast Asia, and as PAX contributor Jeremy Clark has discovered, Brahim’s latest joint venture with SATS is proving this approach has multiple benefits

F

or modern-day catering operations in hub locations, the challenges seem to be greater now than in the past. Twenty years ago most catering facilities were similar in design, but with the business model of supplying to airlines rapidly changing around the world, the global divergence is now very much pronounced. In the U.S./European model, a major proportion of uplifted product is produced offsite and coordinated by brokers or supply houses. However, locations in Southeast Asia have to be capable of managing it all with more traditional in-house catering. A visit to the large and impressive Brahim’s SATS Food Services (BSFS) operation at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) demonstrates this model in action better than anywhere else. Dealing with 33 international carriers, ranging from prestige long-haul to the low-cost short and domestic models,

14  DECEMBER 2018

BSFS has to be all things to all people. Its 1,300 staff, 300 of whom are involved directly in food production, prepare approximately 50,000 meals daily. To put it into perspective, that amount of meals can feed a person who eats three meals a day for nearly 50 years! The downward pressure on cost and the aforementioned change in models mean that many caterers are faced with a multifaceted problem of capacity versus profitability. The obvious answer is, where possible, to fill capacity with non-airline production, and this is something BSFS is actively looking to do. My first visit to this unit was for an airline presentation shortly after it opened. (The new KUL was completed back in 1998.) At that time, only half of the space had been fitted out and was in use; as a measure of growth, today 100 percent of the available space is operational. Graeme Pullen, Director of Culinary Excellence and

Graeme Pullen, the man responsible for the high quality of meals that leave the BSFS facili-ty every day

the man responsible for quality at BSFS, explains: “We are fully utilizing the unit. However, we thankfully still have the capacity to increase when it is necessary by adjusting aspects of the shifts and production flows.” BSFS’ association with other operators is open knowledge, and the current JV arrangement with Singapore’s SATS has delivered positive results with its new investment in infrastructure. This all supports the company’s growth, and the proof lies in its customer list – in fact, the prestigious Qatar Airways is the latest airline to join its portfolio. Singaporean Andrew Seow is the location’s General Manager and the man who represents SATS’ presence in the


for


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

facilities. “We are constantly looking for new opportunities and growth, not only with the airlines but for non-airline activity,” he says. This includes contracting product services to local restaurant chains and institutional caterers. “Flexibility in our production techniques is key to our ability to address various food service needs,” notes Pullen. Whether it is a VIP flight requiring bespoke cuisine or an order of one ton of beef rendang, this unit can step up to the plate. There are some things, however, that have remained the same at this operation for as long as its key airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), has been in existence – namely the famous Malaysian satay. Each day up to 14,000 sticks of chicken and beef satay are meticulously prepared and marinated by hand on small wooden skewers. From there they go into a specially constructed area where they are grilled in the traditional way – over charcoal that has been made from specific mangrove

We are constantly looking for new opportunities and growth, not only with the airlines but for non-airline activity.” – ANDREW SEOW, GENERAL MANAGER

plants from the Southeast Asian river deltas. It is this ancient cooking process, far removed from the highly technical methods found elsewhere, that gives the Malaysia Airlines’ satay its unique flavor. Various methods of automation or modernization have been attempted over the years, but as Graeme Pullen says: “Nothing beats the unique kampong (a small Malay village) flavor of the traditional hot charcoal method, so that’s what we do”.

The crew at BSFS, busy at work preparing the Malaysian satay that is a favorite among passengers

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Looking to the wider picture, Brahim’s signed a catering agreement with Malaysia Airlines in 2003 for the exclusive right to supply catering and cabin handling services at both KUL and Penang International Airport (PEN). The caterer’s current growth is due to passenger increases at the two airports as well as fleet expansion by several airlines including MAB, AirAsia, AirAsia X and Emirates. (MAB continues to be its main customer.) Founded in 1994, Brahim’s has had other JV experiences with LSG prior to SATS. “This strategic alliance allows us to tap into expertise from multiple of sources which would not be available to us here in KUL so easily without the association,” notes Seow. With the current market growth throughout Asia, in particular the Southeast Asia–Chinese markets, the upward trajectory looks set to continue. If or when the standard airline catering models change dramatically, the set-up at this facility is primed for the future.


MIDDLE EAST REPORT

Sabatino’s Truffle Zest seasoning are sized ready for the inflight market

Expanding

eastward

A

lbéa Travel Designer, a subsidiary of Albéa Group, has partnered with SKIN&CO to bring the brand to airlines around the world. SKIN&CO’s botanical-based skin and body care lines are infused with fragrances by master French perfumers and truffle extract harvested from the brand’s farms in Italy. The products will be soon available in First and Business Class as well as in lounges and lavatories worldwide through Albéa Travel Designer. Both companies are building the road map for distribution in the Middle East region, where the brand and Albéa have already been awarded tenders beginning in 2019. SKIN&CO Travel comes from the family that brought the world Sabatino Truffles, an Italian gourmet truffle brand that recently partnered with Oprah Winfrey and The Kraft Heinz Company. Sabatino’s products are currently available to airlines with

18  DECEMBER 2018

France’s Albéa Group is setting its sights on the Middle East with new alliances and contracts that will see its business expanding into this profitable inflight market

Truffle Zest truffle seasoning, and with the SKIN&CO branch focusing solely on amenity distribution around the world, the brand is working to expand its business of travel-sized products. “A true meeting of people sharing a common vision and acting with the same passion to leverage new business opportunities,” said Corinne Brand, Director of Airline Activities for Albéa Group, in a statement. “A smart collaboration between experts: SKIN&CO being a booming selective cosmetics [brand]; Albéa, the leader in primary packaging for the cosmetics, perfumes and oral care industries; and Albèa Travel Designer, a true player in the airlines market.” Albéa Travel Designer has previously developed kits for Clarins, Givenchy and Carita, and has signed with four new airlines this year. SKIN&CO, a family owned and operated beauty company from Italy

with offices in the United States and Asia, has recently expanded into the travel industry, partnering with duty free outlets in Europe and expanding its deluxe and travel-sized product distribution into the hotel and resort category with a custom collection. Sabatino, its sister company, is well-known in the world as a supplier of raw ingredients and specialty foods with manufacturing plants in North America and Italy. Third-generation entrepreneur Gabriel Balestra, Executive Director for SKIN&CO, has brought back his family’s formulas into the modern era with the skincare brand, providing fresh products while preserving and respecting the ancient Umbrian lands they came from. Using time-tested recipes, rigorously selected ingredients and a passion for Italian raw materials, SKIN&CO balances nature and tradition with science and modernity. Balestra commented on the new partnership: “Together with Albéa Travel Designer, we can bring the Mediterranean handcrafted experience in the air and around the globe. The synergies between our two organizations will allows us customize products for airlines and offer the very best to their passengers. Passengers will be pleased to find those products at duty free stores or at their favorite beauty stores in the US or abroad.”

Travel-sized SKIN&CO products are coming to cabins with the help of Albéa Travel Designer


FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Channeling Emirates sources wine from 12 regions in the world but is committed to Bordeaux because of its quantity and quality

wine

A commitment to customer feedback and years of building relationships in the top wine producing regions have Emirates sitting on a vast inventory of wines by RICK LUNDSTROM

S

omewhere in Burgundy, France, there is warehouse space filled with the equivalent of seven million bottles of wine waiting in dim silence. Some may be laid down until the perfect time decades in the future when they will be uncorked in an aircraft yet to be built. Emirates has invested heavily in these wines. Though French wines – particularly those from Bordeaux – are the priorities of the airline’s extensive First and Business Class wine offering, its products are selected from 12 of the world’s wine producing regions. Various estimates place the total worth of the investment at more than US$780 million. Some bottles will not be opened until 2035. The airline has a vast amount of wines in storage, a large selection of wine in the air, and it now features its wines on ice – ice, Emirates’ inflight entertainment system, that is. Among the more than 3,500 channels of content are new channels devoted to the airline’s food and beverage operations. One channel is devoted to food while another channel features wine programming; both were launched in September of this year. The first two episodes on its food offering took viewers to Umbria, Italy, where Emirates purchases its olive oil from longtime airline supplier Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, while the second episode featured Dilmah Tea from Sri Lanka. The channels serve as more than a travelogue; they also educate viewers, giving them a look at the preparation of their meals, their choice of wines and some of the airline’s strategies and practices. “We created the channels because our food and wine program has garnered a lot of interest, given the fact that we serve different cuisines on every route and create regional and seasonal menus,” says Joost Heymeijer, Senior Vice President – Catering at Emirates. “We constantly

20  DECEMBER 2018

receive questions on what it takes to serve 110 million meals each year and curate a wine program that has received the attention and praise of many wine experts.” Many of those experts would immediately recognize the names and history behind the May launch of the airline’s Vintage Collection, selected from the Burgundy cellars and served for a limited time in First Class. The wines were bought en primeur, or still in the barrel, and stored for up to 15 years before the collection’s launch during the summer travel season. The Vintage Collection this year included Château Cheval Blanc 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004, Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Château Margaux 1998. The four wines will be served at various times this year on routes throughout the Emirates worldwide system. With such an exclusive selection flying, Emirates endeavored to present the wines in the best possible light. Cabin crew were trained, glassware was redesigned and a new selection of food that paired favorably with the wines was served. Among the offering was grass-fed Irish beef fillet, potato dauphinoise, creamed leek and spinach, baby carrots and shallot jus, served with Château Cheval Blanc 2004 on the airline’s route to Dublin. The same wine was paired with a seared venison with thyme jus, blanched kohlrabi, baby carrots and broccolini on Emirates flights to Geneva. At the time of the announcement, the airline said the Vintage Collection was testament to Emirates’ continued investment in Bordeaux wines, a staple on its wine lists. Emirates furthered its dedication to its curated collection when in 2017 the airline purchased US$56 million in wine and Champagne from France. “Bordeaux is and always will be the backbone of our First and Business Class wine lists,” says Heymeijer.


Dining in First Class

Emirates launched its food and wine channels on its ice entertainment system in September

“We buy copious amounts from all other regions, but the Bordeaux stalwarts are what our passengers look forward to. The big names are represented, even the first growths. “The advantage of Bordeaux is that there is volume as well as quality, a combination which is often hard to find.” The advantages and the strategies behind the airline’s wine buying are discussed in part on the wine channel in ice. Much of the channel is devoted to wine tutorials and the elements that give each wine its flavor. When the channel was launched in September there were 10 episodes and more were in the offing. The programming features the insights of Oliver Dixon, Head of Fine Wine at MMI, an Emirates Group company. MMI is a wine and spirits specialist, but a full buying team takes part in the process, with a special nod to the passengers. “Recognition from customers is key,” explains Heymeijer. “The wine procurements team works with some of the most recognized wine producers in the world. Building long-term relationships with the wine owners is key to this strategy as it helps us gain access to wines that cannot be found anywhere else. Our buying teams are experts in the wines we source and offer, and they choose some of the best and most exclusive wine in the world.” The decisions also seem to come from the very top of Emirates’ executive chain. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Sir Tim Clark, is “a serious wine aficionado,” says Heymeijer. Away from the aficionados and the First Class cabin sits the area where Emirates still pours nearly 60% of its wine served in flight. In Economy Class, Emirates offers a red and a white, which are served complimentarily. Among the recent selections are a Domaine Baron de Rothschild Chateau d’Aussieres Merlot from the Languedoc in France and Kilikanoon Mulga Shiraz from South Australia.

While some wines are selected for the many passengers that fill the back cabin, others are only selected for a specific route. Emirates puts together six wine lists that are split geographically. Wines from some of the world’s smaller producers can find a home on one of these specific lists. “There are instances when the parcels of wine we receive are too small to put on all routes, given our large scale of operations,” said Heymeijer. “So we put them on specific routes for a limited time so our frequent flyers know there might always be something new on their next flight.” PAX-INTL.COM  

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MIDDLE EAST REPORT

Emirates’ new 777 cabin launches on route to VIE

The launch of the new First and Business Class cabins on the airline’s fleet of 777-300ER aircraft is planned for December

The First Class suites on Emirates’ 777-300ER are approximately 40 square feet each

E

mirates’ 777-300ER aircraft fitted with its new First Class product was scheduled to start operations between Dubai and Vienna on December 1. “Austria will be one of the first few countries in the world to be served by Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft with fully enclosed private suites inspired by Mercedes-Benz,” said a November release from Emirates. Emirates flies to Vienna twice daily with its A380 and 777 products. The airline has operated flights to the city since 2004. Emirates’ new private suites on the 777 offer up to 40 square feet of personal space in a 1-1-1 configuration. The new suites have a fully flat bed inspired by NASA technology that can be placed in a “zero gravity” position, giving a feeling of relaxation and weightlessness, said Emirates. The aircraft also has “virtual windows” for suites in the middle aisle. These windows project the view from outside the aircraft using a real-time camera. In the other suites, binoculars are available for passengers who want to explore the sky outside their windows. Passengers in each suite can easily communicate with the cabin crew or request room service through a new video call function. From First Class through to the Business and Economy Class cabins, the latest Emirates 777 aircraft

22  DECEMBER 2018

by RICK LUNDSTROM

is outfitted with newly designed seats and upgraded inflight entertainment systems, giving customers an unmatched travel experience regardless of which cabin they are in. The Business Class seats are inspired by the interior of a modern sports car and feature an ergonomically designed headrest with a sleek overall look and feel. There are touchscreen controls for the seat and inflight entertainment system, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats, a shoe stowage area, footrest and a personal minibar. The Economy Class cabin features a color palette of soft greys and blues. The ergonomically designed seats come

Emirates turned to carmaker Mercedes-Benz for inspiration in its new Business Class cabin

with full leather headrests that have flexible side panels and can also be adjusted vertically for optimum support. Operating one of the two daily flights from Dubai to Vienna, EK125 departs Dubai at 16:50hrs, arriving in Vienna at 20:00hrs. The return flight, EK126, leaves Vienna at 21:55hrs, arriving back at Dubai International Airport at 06:35hrs the following day. Emirates is the largest operator of the 777 aircraft. The airline has 164 777s in its fleet and a further 151 on firm order, including 150 of the next-generation 777X aircraft. Today, Emirates operates the 777 to more than 130 passenger and cargo destinations from its hub in Dubai.


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FOOD AND BEVERAGE

All in the details

Waffle mix is one of the products that LC Maize specializes in

Raw material suppliers are the unsung heroes of onboard catering. PAX International takes a look at a few that hope to stand out at this year’s SIAL Middle East event by RACHEL DEBLING

T

his year at the SIAL Middle East expo, visitors from all walks of the hospitality and food services industries – including those from international airlines and their caterers – will discover thousands of ingredients, supplies and products from dozens upon dozens of global manufacturers, all in one location. From coffee and beverage enterprises to cashew and fig producers, hundreds of exhibitors will line the halls of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre with their best faces forward, hoping to impress the men and women who hold their future contracts in their hands. Among the throngs are suppliers of raw materials such as flours, oils, fruits and vegetables – the ingredients that make their way into meals served aboard aircraft or are packaged for onboard à la carte use, as with single-serve snacks. LC Maize Manufacturing is one such business. As its name suggests, they produce corn-based foods and ingredients that can be found in many of the products and meals that are familiar to the masses. The first-time exhibitor is one of the largest producers in Malaysia and holds Halal, GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005, FDA and Kosher certifications for its high-quality fresh and frozen sweet whole-kernel corn. “We offer products up to highest quality standards at competitive prices and [provide an] effective traceability system to ensure the complete safety of our product,” LC Maize tells PAX, adding that they aim to stay on pace in the global market with the help of its advanced technology. “Our unique technique of extracting the whole kernel, which is not severed from the corncob, ensures that the taste remains fresh, crunchy and juicy,” the company explains. Its process lies in a high-tech freezing system, which occurs within hours of the corn being harvested. “We manage and maintain the whole process, from farming, processing, packaging and quick-freeze storage to distribution of the finished products, and are therefore able to ensure consistency and maintain a continuous supply throughout the year.”

24  DECEMBER 2018

LC Maize also has a variety of ancillary products such as cheese tarts, seasoning powder, waffle and cake mix, and jams. Their global export network spans the UAE, Asia and Europe, with customers in a variety of industries – movie theatres, schools, restaurants, hotels, food service, frozen food distributors and, of course, airlines. Its product line is designed so that clients simply steam or microwave the item before serving – no messy prep. Over in SIAL’s Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, Jana Dates, also attending SIAL for the first time, aims to attract the attention of wholesalers looking for a reputable company that specializes in the farming, production, packaging and exporting of high-quality medjool (majhool) dates. Founded in 2008, the company owns more than 900,000 square meters of land (around 222 acres) in the Jordan Valley with an annual yield of around 350 tons of dates – a number that it plans to multiply to 650 tons in the future. They produce six categories of medjool dates (also known as the “King of dates,” Jana says): Super Jumbo, Jumbo, Large, Medium, Small and Delight – enough variety to satisfy the needs of their worldwide customers, with products currently being exported around the world to Western Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East. As for its expectations of the show, Jana notes that the date-growing industry is quickly expanding and it is eager to take a larger share of the market with its attendance at SIAL. Company reps say Jana plans to use the event as an entry point into new industries, including onboard hospitality. “We are looking forward to establishing a link with airline caterers and the companies that supply them,” it told PAX. Forging new business relationships, whether on land or in the air, will be the end goal for most companies taking a spot on this year’s busy expo floor. Now it’s up to those on the exhibitors list to provide a standout offering that will catch the eyes – and wallets – of the decision-makers who peruse their stands.


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MIDDLE EAST REPORT

The lap of

luxury

A selection of FORMIA’s work with Turkish Airlines (left and center) and Qatar Airways (right)

Middle Eastern airlines have long set the standard for inflight pampering and indulgence. PAX International picked the brains of amenity and comfort suppliers to determine how this region sets itself apart from the rest. PLUS: We examine the Asian market at large by RACHEL DEBLING

I

n the airline industry, the mention of the Middle East brings to mind a level of opulence and luxury often reserved for celebrities and the uber wealthy. Carriers of the region – Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Saudi Arabian Airlines, for example – have elevated the meaning of “first class” with onboard offerings and upgrades at price points that resolutely separate the classes and make those flying at a lower, standard fare green with envy. From their partnerships with world-class chefs to suites decked with accessories fit for a Tribeca penthouse, these airlines pride themselves on delivering the best of the best. This same level of care and quality is extended to the amenities that are provided to passengers flying within (or out of, or to) the region. Cosmetic companies and amenity kit designers would likely consider themselves fortunate to land one of these lucrative contracts – the prestige that comes with such a partnership would be enough to make an onboard supplier salivate with creative anticipation.

High stakes, high value

“The key word in terms of Middle East airlines is ‘premium,’” Zoe Telfer, Client Services Director at Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks, told PAX this fall. She said she believes this particular geographical market is focused on quality above all. “That unwavering commitment to being the very best runs throughout the whole passenger experience; from check-in, to the aircraft, to service, the food and all onboard amenities, including children’s activity kits. Every major airline would probably claim the

26  DECEMBER 2018

same, but many Middle East airlines often go the extra mile.” The high but fair standards of the region are apparent in programs across all cabins and passenger demographics, though as Roland Grohmann, FORMIA’s CEO and Managing Partner, points out, First Class is where this attention to detail is often felt the most. “Middle East airlines often focus on providing unparalleled comfort with a generous amenity kit, filled with a complete offering of relevant travel products,” he explains. “Our experiences with Saudi, Qatar, Emirates or Turkish Airlines and the overnight kit designed for their First Class passengers offer a more bespoke curation which we feel tailors to the genre and taste of travelers that are to be expected.” But big expectations aren’t something to be feared, according to Grohmann; if anything, they motivate suppliers to be better. Working with Middle Eastern airlines “is an opportunity to really challenge ourselves and to push the limits as far as providing the best,” he says. “These airlines are excited to incorporate the latest and highest quality products to best reflect their top-class services.” Furthermore, FORMIA’s experience has shown that Middle East carriers are generally eager to have established global luxury brands whereas Asian carriers tend to consider skincare or regional brands for their kits. It’s true that attention isn’t only paid to the perceived value of the amenities they distribute – Middle Eastern airlines may carefully consider not only the brand names of the companies they work with Zoe Telfer but their brand stories and longevity. Petros Sakkis, Chief Marketing Officer at WESSCO International, has witnessed this firsthand. “We tend to see brand prefer-


Galileo Watermark worked with Scaramouche + Fandango on an exclusive amenities range for Etihad which has since flown on additional airlines

Cosmetic companies and amenity kit designers would likely consider themselves fortunate to land one of these lucrative contracts

ences differ across regions; in the Middle East there is a general preference for established luxury brands,” he told PAX. “In contrast, North American airlines are increasingly interested in up-and-coming millennial brands.” That means passengers flying with Middle Eastern airlines may be more likely to receive international label products and designs with their inflight amenities, rather than cutting-edge start-up alternatives. Still, as with our other experts, Sakkis concedes that each major airline has its own identity and therefore its own unique needs. The deep pockets of Middle Eastern airlines do play into a reflected in their offerings is of high importance to these company’s eagerness to work with them. “It is worth mentionMiddle Eastern airlines, she continues, and it’s a must-have ing that these airlines have higher budgets for onboard service that extends across the landscape of the inflight industry. products, which allows them to offer something original,” adds “Many airlines are now putting more and more Fernanda Veiga, Chief Marketing Officer at Kaelis Group. emphasis on their own national histories as well as And she speaks from experience. Her company recently the natural beauty of their homelands,” Telfer adds. worked with Royal Air Maroc to create a kit commemorat“Children’s kits provide the perfect way to drive brand ing a significant milestone – the airline’s 60th anniversary recognition, educate an airline’s future passengers and – which landed them a PAX Award earlier this year. excite them about their travels to the region ahead.” Veiga says that the kit was designed specifically to FORMIA’s work with Turkish Airlines is another great reflect Moroccan culture. “Not only did the pouch inhabit illustration of geographic and cultural representation for a traditional textures, the cosmetics included an argan oil hand cream and a facial mist with a tangy Moroccan fragrance specially developed for the airline,” she explains. BYREDO and Buzz

Close to home

created a series of unique skincare products for Emirates’ First Class guests

Seeking representation of, or inspiration from, their region is a deciding factor when airlines look to partner with onboard providers, especially in the amenity sector. As Telfer explains: “The Middle East is, of course, a melting pot of different cultures with an incredibly rich and diverse heritage which individual countries are quite rightly proud of.” Having local culture, flavors and history

PAX-INTL.COM  

27


MIDDLE EAST REPORT

Hong Kong Airlines is now flying the second set of Clip and Ricebowl Republic’s amenity kit designs

juvenile audience. Earlier this year, the company helped reimagine the airline’s Captain Kangal, who is based on the guardian dog of protection that originates from the Sivas province of the airline’s home country – an Paul Hunter example of local history in action. Leonard Hamersfeld, Director at Buzz, agrees that tailoring projects to an airline’s unique region is paramount in representing it authentically and thoroughly to its international passengers. “Some of our clients like to offer passengers a taste of the local heritage by incorporating local brands,” he says. “Others like to bring the best of the world to their passengers, and this is based on the airline’s vision.” When working with

EYES ON THE EAST

A few more notable collaborations with Middle East and Asian airlines that have satisfied supplier, carrier and guests alike: • Qatar Airways’ Oryx Kids Club program, which includes plush toys, activity packs and specially designed meal boxes • EgyptAir’s Business Class amenity kit by SPIRIANT featuring a Cerruti bag and Aigner cosmetics • EVA Air’s Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class kits, the outcome of an alliance between design brand Georg Jensen and Buzz, contains 3LAB skincare products

28  DECEMBER 2018

its clients, Buzz embraces diversity to deliver unique solutions, whether the carrier hails from the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, Asia or Australia. “Being a global business ourselves, we are very experienced in working alongside partners from all corners of the globe,” Hamersfeld adds. Buzz has provided bespoke amenity kits and products to a variety of airlines from the region. Case in point: their recent partnership with BYREDO Skincare for Emirates’ First Class passengers which resulted in an exclusive series of products meant to help lull them to sleep on long overseas journeys. Chamomile sleep oil in a convenient roll-on applicator and a calming pillow mist were among the skincare solutions offered as part of the program. The company’s work with Italian fragrance brand Acqua di Parma for Etihad yielded similarly luxurious results in the airline’s The Residence, First Class and Business Class cabins as well as at its flagship First Class Lounge and Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Paul Hunter, Global Sales Director at Galileo Watermark, notes that the rich history and vibrant traditions of the Middle East provide unique opportunities for interesting projects that are accessible and attractive to a global audience. “With the Middle Eastern airlines’ geographic location and reach, the demographic and cultural diversity of passengers on board the airlines is extremely broad,” Hunter explains. “This lends itself to developing concepts with a plethora of cultural influences and preferences in mind, which is always an interesting challenge.” For Etihad’s Business Class kit, for example, Galileo Watermark brought the East and West together by tapping British skincare company Scaramouche + Fandango to create an exclusive


WESSCO collaborated with ETRO for Japan Airlines’ First Class kit, complete with heritage textile paisley design and ETRO’s ‘Shantung’ Eau de Parfum

selection of content inserts as well as a new amenities range which has flown on additional airlines since its debut.

Amenities across Asia

Of course, the Middle East isn’t the only vibrant market within Asia. The airline industry is booming across the continent – in fact, in its 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, the IATA predicts that Asia Pacific will be the largest aviation market in the coming years with more than half of all new passengers hailing from this region. There are some similarities between how these regions handle their onboard projects. Veiga notes that gender-specific kits are very popular in both the Asian and Middle Eastern markets and airlines from each go out of their way to enhance the travel experience. She points to Kaelis’ recent children’s kit series that is flying on Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, as an example of improving the inflight environment. Through these kits, children are encouraged to learn and dream about potential careers such as a veterinarian, architect, explorer and, for the more ambitious, even a superhero. Notable differences, however, include available budget and perceived value. “Asia on average spends less on their kits in premium cabins which leads to a more value-driven thought process conscious of budget,” FORMIA’s Grohmann notes.

Still, that’s a guideline, not the rule, and care is always taken no matter what needs and demands the customer brings to the table. He notes: “No matter the scale or region, airlines globally share the same primary concern: to deliver the best service for their passengers, with the best value, in the most cost efficient way. The budget constraints vary from airline to airline which, with obvious reason, influences the outcome.” Hunter has noticed the same sentiments at Galileo Watermark. “Every airline differs in their passenger approach,” he says. “However, with customer satisfaction always the key focus, most have the same high standards as Middle Eastern carriers. The market is changing, and more Asian carriers have introduced Premium Economy Class cabins in recent years, compared to Middle Eastern airlines. This creates an additional opportunity to develop exciting brand and product collaboration opportunities for a different demographic in this growing class.” His company’s work with EVA Air for their Premium Economy kits, featuring exclusive collaborations with Erno Laszlo and French fashion brand SPORT b., and its project with Cathay Pacific Airways, which resulted in an amenity kit manufactured from recycled plastic bottles, are examples of this flourishing trend. WESSCO’s Sakkis notes that the company’s collaboration with ETRO for Japan Airlines’ First Class kit, complete with heritage textile paisley design and ETRO’s ‘Shantung’ Eau de

Galileo Watermark have previously created an amenity kit for Cathay Pacific that featured materials made from recycled bottles

PAX-INTL.COM  

29


Parfum, is an example of the high quality that Asian airlines insist upon. “Another example is Garuda Indonesia’s First Class program for which we designed an Indonesian-themed pouch that comes with Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte skincare,” he adds. Clip Onboard is a young company that knows the Asian market well, as their headquarters are based in Hong Kong. Clip’s collectible series of kits for Hong Kong Airlines, now in its second edition, taps into local trends thanks to their collaboration with design house Ricebowl Republic, and its clients were impressed with the results. “We are proud to call Hong Kong our home and to provide our Business Class customers on long-haul flights an amenity kit which, through the eight designs in total created by Ricebowl Republic, represents something uniquely Hong Kong,” said Chris Birt, Deputy Director Service Delivery at Hong Kong Airlines, in a statement. The kits, made from thick cotton canvas and contrasting lining, were made to reflect the airline’s commitment to representing regional culture with a witty homespun caption – “faan-tastic” (faan means “rice” in Chinese). In the end, whether an airline hails from the Middle East or middle America, suppliers and designers pride themselves on working within the cost constraints and creative desires of their clients. From Economy Class right up to the suites, one thing is for certain: it’s painstaking attention to detail that passengers notice – and appreciate – above all. The chef-themed children’s kit created by Kaelis for Air Astana

Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks has worked with several international airlines including Etihad Airways

30  DECEMBER 2018


EVENTS

A look ahead to

WTCE Though the northern hemisphere is preparing to slog through winter, spring is on the minds of planners at Reed Exhibitions who are working to bring the world of travel catering once again to Hamburg in April

Archana Sharma

T

he end of 2018 saw organizers deep in planning for next year’s World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), now a key component of Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg. The April event, being held from the 2nd to the 4th next year, will feature a comprehensive look at the travel catering industry and the dominant role it plays in shaping the travel experience. For this issue, Archana Sharma, Event Director at WTCE, gave PAX International a brief recap of last year’s show and what delegates can expect in April.

PAX: How many exhibitors have you confirmed so far for the 2019 show? Sharma: With more than 200 suppliers already confirmed to exhibit – 28 of which will be appearing at the show for the first time – booking for the show is on track, with 80% of the hall space already sold to date. We are confident that those responsible for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort will meet a host of innovative new suppliers during their trip to WTCE 2019.

PAX International: Can you provide an overview of attendance last year? Archana Sharma: In 2018, WTCE expanded to four halls from the traditional two seen in previous years. This made it the largest event to date, with more exhibitors trying to attract buyers from the aviation, rail and cruise sectors than ever before. As airlines, rail businesses and cruise lines continue to focus on delivering the very best passenger experience, we are seeing more visitors take advantage of WTCE’s co-location with Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and the renowned Passenger Experience Conference (PEC). Together, the Passenger Experience Week events provide an unrivaled opportunity to source the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment, onboard catering, retail offerings and software technology. As a result, 4,000 industry professionals attended WTCE in 2018, including representatives from more than 250 airlines.

32  DECEMBER 2018

We encourage any brand looking to enter the onboard hospitality market to consider the opportunities WTCE provides.”

PAX: What were some of the significant highlights from last year? Sharma: The year 2018 was a great one for the industry and WTCE. There was a great atmosphere and buzz at the show across the four halls, and feedback on the innovative

products, new features and free educational content was overwhelmingly positive. It is great to see so many exhibitors using the show as a platform to announce new launches – Korita Aviation launched its JetBlue inflight trolleys, while En Route International announced it had partnered with Nando’s to reveal its first-ever range of snacks for the travel catering market. It’s also great to see so many new companies joining us for the first time. In 2018, 125 companies took stands in the New Exhibitor Villages including brands such as Twinings, Manomasa and Thistly Cross Cider. We’re excited to welcome a number of new exhibitors to the 2019 event and encourage any brand looking to enter the onboard hospitality market to consider the opportunities WTCE provides. There really is no better place to engage with those responsible for improving the passenger experience. PAX: Are you incorporating any new features into the event? If so, can we get some hints of what is to come? Sharma: Many of our popular features will return, such as the Taste of Travel program run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine, providing opportunities to learn from the industry’s foremost experts. The WTCE What’s New Onboard showcase will also deliver a platform for brands to highlight new products launched in the 12 months leading up to the show, while our Focus on World Travel Retail will promote merchandise and services available for inflight purchases. New features and updates on the 2019 edition of the show will be announced in the coming months, so watch this space!


EVENTS

The passenger

in focus by RICK LUNDSTROM

Airline CEOs and the latest in-cabin gadgetry were some of the most conspicuous attendees at this year’s APEX/AIX shows in Boston

F

or years, airlines and their suppliers have occupied time and resources developing products for passengers who demand an experience in the airline cabin that resembles their day-to-day lives on the ground. Roaming the halls of this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) events in Boston, it was evident that companies were listening to the voice of the consumer. Many of the products found in the stands could easily be seen, in some form, at consumer electronics shows like the one held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Wireless chargers, virtual reality headsets, online shopping solutions, Internet streaming and innovations in biometrics are just some of the technological marvels that are working their way, year by year, into airline service. The talk of improving the passenger experience in such high-tech ways stands in stark contrast to 10 years ago when events such as APEX/ AIX would be filled with airlines concerned with cutting costs and simply surviving a severe economic downturn. These products and more were shown to the high-end airline executives who came out in record numbers to attend this year’s expo from September 24th to the 27th. Of the 4,000-plus who attended the event, more than 500 were airline delegates from 100 airlines. Among the CEOs who took to the microphone on September 24, the opening day of the event, were those from American Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, LATAM, Air Canada and Spirit Airlines. Each had stories to tell about the steps they were taking to improve air travel in a passenger-centric way:

34  DECEMBER 2018

Calin Rovinescu, right, CEO of Air Canada, receives the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award from APEX CEO Joe Leader

• American Airlines CEO Doug Parker announced a new association with food service supplier Zoës Kitchen and outlined the way the airline would improve its IFE with headsets from Bang & Olufsen. • Aer Lingus’ Stephen Kavanagh (who has since left the carrier) talked about the airline’s move to offer passengers free Wi-Fi and complimentary alcoholic beverages as well as the rollout of Thompson Aero seating, which he called “a very successful product in our operation.” • Air Canada has outfitted crew with new uniforms and enhanced its food and beverage offering. This year, the airline’s CEO, Calin Rovinescu, received the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award. • In addition to its expanding route network, LATAM Brasil CEO Claudia Sender talked about the group’s new cabin experience product. • Low-cost carrier Spirit, once adamant about not adding IFE, is discussing ways to provide the service, along with other ways to enhance the guest experience. These airlines and many more were honored with four- and five-star designations in the APEX Official Airline Ratings™, based on passenger feedback. Information for the designations was collected by the association in partnership with the travel organizing app Triplet® from Concur®. Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, passengers rated airline performance on a fivestar scale. They could also rate airlines from one to five stars on


Astronics demonstrated new technologies at APEX Expo, including its new Intelligent Bin Solution

• Viasat Inc. announced that Aeromexico will deploy its inflight Internet platform on 18 new 737 MAX aircraft, with an option to extend to In the future, airlines will move from wired to wireless with the help of products like this up to 60 aircraft. seatback charger shown at the stand of IFPL (The first line-fit installations of Viasat’s subcategories of seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, equipment have already begun.) Viasat will give entertainment, and Wi-Fi. Airlines were divided into three catAeromexico passengers Internet streaming and web egories: global airlines, major regionals and low-cost carriers. browsing capabilities, the airline’s flight crews the Airlines and supplier companies also timed a number opportunity to stay connected to enhance passenger of announcements to be released at the event. Here are services, and its operations teams on the ground the ability a few of the many that took place during APEX/AIX: to perform maintenance while the aircraft is in flight. • Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics announced a 10-year collaboration to offer broadband inflight connectivity paired with a number of solutions. Under the agreement, Inmarsat will become Panasonic’s exclusive provider of Ka-band IFC for commercial aviation. Panasonic will now be able to offer Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband connectivity service, GX Aviation, powered by Global Xpress.

• Alaska Airlines became the first carrier to bring SkyLights’ new Allosky Cinematic VR entertainment to North American airspace. With the headsets, passengers can view 2D, 3D and forward-facing 360° films on a full HD cinema screen. Alaska Airlines will first distribute the headsets as a pilot program on Alaska Airlines’ Seattle-Boston and Boston-San Diego routes.

• New customers for Panasonic products that were announced in Boston include EgyptAir for inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions in the airline’s fleet of 15 A320neo aircraft, and Uzbekistan Airways, which has signed on for solutions on three 787-8 and two A320neo aircraft. Panasonic’s X-Series IFEC platform will be line-fit on the new EgyptAir narrow-body aircraft, with the first due to enter service in 2020. EgyptAir also selected OneMedia, Panasonic’s advertising platform, which will allow the targeting of onboard advertising campaigns by categories such as seat class, flight destination, origin city, content categories and languages.

• SkyLights also announced a partnership with InSeat Solutions and STELIA Aerospace. The new product, which combines SkyLights’ Allosky headset, STELIA Aerospace’s new Opal Business Class seat and InSeat Solutions’ interactive massage system, offers a 4D experience and simplifies the logistics of SkyLights’ entertainment.

• Panasonic also announced the launch of Wellness, the latest solution set available as part of its NEXT platform. Wellness has been developed in conjunction with Panasonic Corporation to improve the comfort, health and wellbeing of passengers inflight. • American Airlines inked an agreement to outfit its 787-8 aircraft with Thales’s AVANT inflight entertainment solution; the first of the next 22 Dreamliners with the system will enter service in early 2020. Thales officials met with media for a lunch session in Boston and conducted tours of its stand. The company has three IFE solutions for airlines: its Core system, a value solution offering essential features and quick roll out; AVANT, the company’s flagship product with a wide selection of features and applications; and its newly launched Prestige IFE, an exclusive custom build with features that include the ability for passengers to use their personal electronic devices and “ultra-HD” displays.

• Spafax announced a selection new features on its Spafax Profile, a program that helps passengers plan their entertainment before they fly. Among the features now on Spafax Profile are a passenger login; an easy-to-use chatbot available in more than 20 languages; personalized movie, TV and music recommendations; a collaborative filtering feature offering content recommendations based on what other passengers have viewed; and a favorites “watch list.” • Cabin solutions provider digEcor made several announcements in Boston, most significantly the news that the Australian company would acquire the PAVES embedded IFE business of Rockwell Collins, which has both dropdown and seat-centric systems. digEcor also announced a new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) in the company’s portfolio for installation on A320s and 737s, as well as the introduction of a new cabin management interface for crew. The new interface comes with embedded IFE, lighting and passenger service systems and can be controlled from anywhere in the cabin with the remote control from the crew device. Finally, the company has improved its GLIDE NV seatback screen, making it thinner, lighter and easier to install in seatbacks and bulkheads.

PAX-INTL.COM  

35


EVENTS

Hello,

Boston! A look back at the sights, sounds and culinary stars that graced the 2018 IFSA Expo

T

he floor of the 2018 International Flight Services Association Expo was abuzz with the expected meet and greets between business contacts and the effervescent energy host city Boston is known for. With airline suppliers traveling from all corners of the globe to participate and showcase their latest releases, the event clocked big numbers with more than 200 companies, 150 airline representatives and 800 attendees calling Beantown home from September 24th to the 26th. Aside from exciting new snacks being handed out by onboard food specialists DFMi, AMI Group, McGuire & Associates, AirlineMporium and many others, expo delegates were dazzled by the scents, flavors and personalities of the Live Chef Demos which featured presentations from Hawaiian Airlines’ Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong and American Airlines’ Chef Sam Choy. Judging by the number of samples attendees walked the floor with, hundreds of suitcases bursting with chips, cookies and prepackaged meals were being brought back to various headquarters for consideration following the expo. The IFSA expo also provided opportunities for onboard specialists to announce their latest endeavors to a captive airline audience. One noteworthy announcement shared during the three-day affair was Buzz’s “Join the Movement,” a program created to inspire its partners to help create a more sustainable travel industry and one that follows the growing trend of airlines looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, hopefully improving their customers’ opinion of them in the long run. Next year’s event, held in tandem with the APEX and AIX expos at the Los Angeles Convention Center from September 9th to 11th, is already accepting applications from interested exhibitors. For further information, including how to book space, visit ifsa.aero.

36  DECEMBER 2018

An initial look at Buzz’s “Join the Movement” campaign was shared at IFSA 2018


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SIAL MIDDLE EAST

Food for thought Abu Dhabi will once again host the food, beverage and hospitality industries at this year’s SIAL Middle East from December 10 to 12. Joanne Cook, Managing Director of SIAL Middle East, tells us about the buzz that’s generating around the event – and why airlines should be a part of the action by RACHEL DEBLING Samples were plentiful at SIAL Middle East 2017

The place to be

Long regarded as a burgeoning region for airlines and airline suppliers, the Middle East continues to grow as an area of focus for the inflight industry, especially in its premium divisions. “The Middle East is the fastest growing aviation hub as three of the top airlines are based out of this region,” says Cook. “Considering the strategic location of this region, it is certainly beneficial for airlines and caterers to establish their regional operations here.” The area’s growing affluent class also brings with it a spending power and thirst for travel that is multiplying year on year, she notes.

Air-bound accolades

Though the talking points and exhibitors at SIAL Middle East span the entire food service and HoReCa industries, with delegates from all corners of hospitality and catering – schools, restaurants, hotels and more – expected to attend, airlines have been especially attracted to the Abu Dhabi event year after year due for one specific reason: The Mercurys, considered the “Oscars of the airline catering sector.” As Cook explains: “SIAL Middle East considers The Mercury Awards an anchor point for airlines, airline catering companies, manufacturers and suppliers to come together and network.” The awards, of which PAX is an exclusive media partner, are seeing an influx of nominations from pillars of the airline catering industry as well as companies looking to break into this niche but lucrative sector. These businesses and their nominated products will be revealed at The Mercurys gala on December 10 at Shangri-La Abu Dhabi. (For more about The Mercurys, turn to our preview on page 42.) The organizers of the show also strive to ensure that participants and exhibitors are prepared and eager to work with airlines, and Cook says this year’s edition is no different. She

38  DECEMBER 2018

The Roaming Chefs program brings culinary talent and exhibitors together

estimates that 65% of the products at the 2018 event will be new to the region, another reason why the expo is a must-attend for companies, carriers included, hailing from around the world.

Bigger and better

The quality of the show’s attendees is another key factor that sets the event apart from others – one that is “massively appreciated” by its exhibitors, according to Cook. Getting close to these attendees is made possible by SIAL Middle East’s format, which allows delegates to conduct meetings in a trade business-friendly environment rather than with the standard handshake and business card exchange. “Events and activities like the Hosted Buyer Introduction Suite and Roaming Chefs make SIAL Middle East a unique event when it comes to food, beverage and hospitality events in the region,” she explains. Last year’s event saw a 16% increase in attendance over 2016’s edition, and this year is poised to once again smash those numbers. “We are certainly looking forward to yet


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SIAL MIDDLE EAST

Face-to-face time with prospects can be achieved in the Hosted Buyer Introduction Suites

another record year; all the signs have been certainly pointing in this direction,” Cook says. And expectations are high. “Our visitor pre-registration numbers are looking very strong and we are hoping to achieve a minimum of 10% increase in visitor registration and eventually close to a 20% increase in final visitor turnout over three days,” she notes.

Up to date(s)

Curious about the region’s “fruitful” trades? Look no further than the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition. This special event has been co-located with SIAL Middle East since 2015 and provides visitors with an opportunity to peruse the wares of producers of a popular Middle East export. “Date palm fruit is of course synonymous with this region, and the event is hosted at a perfect time, when the fruit is fresh from harvest,” explains Cook. The versatility and numerous applications of dates and its byproducts – for example, it can be made into pastes and syrups, which are natural substitutes for refined sugar – make them attractive, healthier options for airline caterers and suppliers around the world. There is also a cultural reason as to why SIAL organizers feel the program is a perfect fit for co-location. Cook says: “Dates are also a staple product used for the Islamic month of Ramadan across the world and hence there is demand for the fruit wherever there is significant Muslim population.”

Safety first

One of the activities at SIAL Middle East that may pique the interest of airline attendees is the Abu Dhabi Food Security STAY CONNECTED AT SIAL Official hashtag: #sialme @SIALintheMiddleEast @SIALMiddleEast @sial_me

40  DECEMBER 2018

The 2018 edition is expected to smash previous attendance records

Roundtables. “We work very closely with Food Security Center Abu Dhabi, whose remit is to ensure food security in the country,” Cook says of the two panels that are slated for this year’s event. “The UAE has taken a number of steps to address the challenges of arid land, harsh climate and scarce water resources by forming a body that essentially is responsible for looking into these factors.” Over the past few years, she continues, Food Security Center Abu Dhabi has gathered experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding food security in the region. These talks will be a valuable addition to any attendee’s agenda, whether their company is from the region or interested in expanding into it.

Ooh la La Cuisine

Delegates can also follow their nose to a couple of mouthwatering events meant to tantalize the taste buds: La Cuisine, the largest gathering of foodservice professionals in the region, and Roaming Chefs, where pros are taken on guided tours to meet a select group of exhibitors. “While the [La Cuisine ] competitions are certainly ‘spectator sports,’ the number of fascinating displays add to the overall vibe of culinary extravaganza,” Cook shares, adding: “We are also hosting nine young chef teams who will be cooking three-course meals that will be served as part of the VIP restaurant.” From sweet to savoury and from raw materials to full meals, the floor of SIAL Middle East will provide plenty of opportunities for airline suppliers to build valuable relationships while expanding their reach into the region.

The high status of attendees is one of the benefits of exhibiting, say organizers


SIAL MIDDLE EAST

The Mercurys 37:

Attendees enjoy a mild winter’s eve at the Mercury Awards in Abu Dhabi

Ready to fly Though it has been joined by others since its debut, the Mercury Awards has long entertained and fascinated the industry, delighting winners and showcasing outstanding products and services year after year. We take a peek behind the curtain of this year’s event by JEREMY CLARK

B

elieve it or not, this December 10th will see the presentation of the 37th Mercury Awards when we celebrate with a gala dinner at the sumptuous Shangri La Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Earlier this year, I wrote a short online piece about the value of awards in general. There are those who contend there are too many, and similarly there are many who relish the opportunities that participating affords. From my fortunate perspective, I can vouch for the fact that rewarding excellence or achievement and providing an alternative platform for new and existing products or concepts to be broadcast to a wider audience is both popular and highly valued. The International Flight Services Association recently concluded its annual exhibition in Boston, and there we judged and presented the newly created Compass Awards. To see the

excitement and pride generated by winning entrants is all the motivation needed to justify the events. Whilst other awards are respected and have plenty of value, the Mercury Awards have long been the most coveted – and under recent ownership is probably the hardest to compete for. Entrants must attend one of the judging sessions, which now have been split into three international locations to afford maximum opportunity at lower cost, and there are no affiliated institutions, periodicals or events that entrants have to comply with or attend in order to participate. The panel is drawn from a wide independent source of international expertise, and the Mercurys do not shy away from withdrawing a category or awarding no statues if the points don’t add up. The criteria of judging has been finely tuned and balanced to be fully

representative of what is important in today’s world with particular emphasis on innovation, practicality and, of course, environmental awareness. Maintaining the value and credibility of the Mercury Awards is paramount. This means that for those who are shortlisted, make it to the finals or win, the acknowledgement of their contribution is genuine and deserved. They are truly a “worthy winner.” The spin-off is the publicity, exposure and ability for finalists and winners to proudly display achievements to their clients, prospects and employees. Nothing says “success” on your stand or office like one or two of those magnificent gold statues displayed – and yes, they are really fully gold-plated. You, your product and your employees deserve the opportunity to be recognized for the effort and work you do. Mark this with a Mercury Award!

Mercury winners who brought home the gold in 2017

42  DECEMBER 2018

The criteria of judging has been finely tuned and balanced to be fully representative of what is important in today’s world


READERSHIP AWARDS 2019

HELP US HONOR THE BEST IN THE BIZ From onboard caterers to amenity programs, and from connectivity to the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX International Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that stand out from the crowd. The award winners will be announced on April 3rd, 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Deadline to vote is March 1, 2019. Award winners will be featured in a special spread in PAX International, as well as in our e-Newsletter.

Don’t miss your chance. Make your voice heard.

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AT PAX-INTL.COM


WHAT’S HOT

What’s Hot!  Shrewd Food Protein Crisps – Shrewd Food: These protein crisps are packed with taste but without the calories, fat, carbs and artificial ingredients of similar crunchy snacks. Offered in Baked Cheddar, Brick Oven Pizza and Sriracha Cheddar flavors, Shrewd Food Protein Crisps contain 14g of protein per serving with only 90 calories, 3g of fat, 2g of carbohydrates and 1g of sugar. shrewdfood.com

 Economy Class amenity kits – Bayart Innovations: Bayart has introduced its new collection of Economy Class amenity kits. The compact pouches are designed to contain all the necessary travel essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, eye shades, socks and earplugs. The collectability of the bags also encourages passengers to keep them after the flight. bayart-innovations.com

 Award-winning premium instant noodles – Mr Lee’s Noodles: Finalists of the WTCE Onboard Hospitality Awards 2018 for the “Best Onboard Snack - Premium Economy/ Economy/LCC” and finalists of The Mercurys Awards 2018 for “Food Product: Snack,” Mr Lee’s are the most innovative instant noodle product on the market. Its six gluten-free, nutritious flavors include two vegan options with absolutely no animal byproducts. Sold in two cup sizes: 16oz and 14oz. mrleesnoodles.com

 WKT Green Collection

 Air Astana educational kids’ kits

– WK Thomas: Developed by travel industry specialists WK Thomas, the WKT Green Collection is a new range of sustainable onboard service solutions. Made from lightweight and ethically sourced materials, it caters to rotable and disposable meal services while delivering a unique ecoconscious passenger experience. wkthomas.com

– Kaelis Group: Kaelis has developed a range of six kids’ kit concepts that will fly with Air Astana. Each concept corresponds with a specific character and is separated into one of two age groups: Junior for kids between three and six (Super Chef, Smashing Superhero and Voluntary Vet) and Senior for those aged seven to 11 (Amazing Architect, Dangerous Detective and Extreme Explorer). The series was designed based on the belief that imagination is an inherent quality of children. kaelisgroup.com

44  DECEMBER 2018


WHAT’S HOT

 Olympos Pitted Greek Olive Mix – Encore Foods: This olive mix is a best-seller to hotels, restaurants, airlines and other first-class customers looking for full flavor and the convenience of olives without the pits. The Greeks take their time when curing their olives, using only sea salt and water. The natural curing process takes three to four months. Perfect curing is the result; Greek olives are sweet, with excellent, fruity olive flavor. Available in convenient 30g packs. encorefoods.com

 United Airlines service trays – Galileo Watermark: Galileo Watermark has developed and manufactured new full- and half-size service trays for United Airlines that will revolutionize crew service onboard. The ABS and polycarbonate chrome trays deliver weight savings of over 800g compared to those previously flying while maintaining quality and performance. These sophisticated silver and black trays, designed to look like stainless steel, have a high-quality finish that is perfectly aligned with the Polaris cabin environment. galileowatermark.com  Mexican omelets – Gut Springenheide: Gut Springenheide has added a new variety of omelets to its range. Available in sizes from 35g to 250g, the company’s Mexican omelet combines kidney beans, peppers and carrots in a light and fluffy egg base. Other hand-cooked egg products from Gut Springenheide’s line include Italian frittatas, filled egg rolls, crepes, tortillas, fried eggs and egg pancakes, and the company notes that it is always happy to adjust orders to a customer’s needs.

 TASKI AERO® vacuum cleaner – Diversey: Do you hear that? If your answer is “No,” you might be listening to a new TASKI AERO® vacuum cleaner from Diversey, including the patented “whisper technology” that virtually eliminates the noise concerns of daytime vacuuming. Consider that these highly efficient vacuums in the Eco mode are 65% quieter than a conventional hair dryer. The TASKI AERO is also good for the environment, reducing both energy costs and CO2 emissions by about 60%. diversey.com

  JetBlue Mint HAYWARD and HOPPER kits – Clip Onboard: For the 2018 holiday season – and to bring HAYWARD and HOPPER’s amenity kit partnership with JetBlue Mint even closer – the HAYWARD and HOPPER kits are bringing golden luster on board. Clip notes that HAYWARD, born during the Golden Age of Hollywood, dazzles with its opulence and luminescence, while HOPPER, which came to life when the culture, movies and the country itself had changed, is the perfect counterbalance, radiating cool clarity. cliponboard.com

PAX-INTL.COM  

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WHAT’S HOT

 Air Tahiti Nui amenity kits – FORMIA: FORMIA has announced a partnership with Air Tahiti Nui on a new set of amenity kits for the French airline’s Business Class and Premium Economy passengers. The new range was designed to complement the airline’s personality and further enhance the authentic French Polynesian experience on board. Items in the kit are thoughtfully curated to meet the needs of passengers, and Business Class guests can indulge in signature products from Tahitian natural cosmetics brand Heiva. formia.com

  Black bagasse tray – WK Thomas: This exclusive matte black bagasse tray has been designed for the eco-conscious premium-service passenger. Made from lightweight, 100% compostable sugar cane residue, this unique product is a stylish, modern and sturdy single-use serving solution that slides effortlessly onto cabin-trolley runners for easy delivery and storage. wkthomas.com

 SWISS First Class pajamas – Clip Onboard: First Class passengers on Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) will receive a new and exclusive pajama set created by Clip Onboard in partnership with a luxury brand from Switzerland. The nightwear is made with natural cotton fibers that are processed to ensure maximum comfort, according to a press release from Clip, and will be provided to First Class customers in a convenient pouch. cliponboard.com

 Eco-Friendly products – Global Inflight Products: Global Inflight Products (GIP) designs environmentally friendly products for airlines and their passengers. From bamboo stir sticks and skewers, to paper and hay straws, to pocket fold napkins, GIP has options that are biodegradable, recyclable and compostable – no more plastic waste to help you go green! GIP: Helping save the planet, one earth-friendly item at a time. gipusa.com

 Pretzel Pete – Mini Twist Pretzels: Pretzel Pete Mini Twist Pretzel snacks offer a delicious better-foryou option for your customers. Produced using only non-GMO ingredients without any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, Pretzel Pete Mini Twists are low in calories, have no saturated- or trans-fats and are offered in three flavors: Salted Caramel, Cheese Pizza and Smoky Barbecue. pretzelpete.com

46  DECEMBER 2018


WHAT’S HOT

 BoxBag – WK Thomas: The Boxbag from WK Thomas is a unique onboard disposable solution. The design comes in a range of sizes and is completely recyclable. Bespoke print and finish options are also available. Fill the bag with items and fold down the specially designed gussets to create a compact BoxBag that saves time and space during service. wkthomas.com

 EgyptAir Business Class kit – SPIRIANT: SPIRIANT announced it is supplying EgyptAir with a Business Class amenity kit combining a Cerruti bag with Aigner cosmetics. “EgyptAir was looking to bring an internationally well-known brand on board for their new amenity kits,” said Roxanne Radwanski, Sales Manager at SPIRIANT. “We used our relationship brokering expertise to co-brand with Cerruti and Aigner, two names that embody the luxurious and classic qualities that are synonymous with EgyptAir.” spiriant.com

 Truly Yours Granola & Yoghurt – Snackbox To-Go: Snackbox To-Go has introduced the Truly Yours Granola & Yoghurt combination to provide a healthy solution for breakfast and snacking. Each tray of low-sugar granola and low-fat yogurt is produced with a minimum shelf life of nine months. The ambient product is the only one of its kind on the market, resulting in little or no waste as the tray and cardboard spoon are fully recyclable. snackboxtogo.com

 Italian bruschetta – MV Food & Services: Bruschetta (from the Italian bruscare, which means “to roast over coals”) is a popular food that has seen its share of creative modifications (not just in pronunciation) since crossing the Atlantic. One would take thick slices of good country bread, toast it, rub it with cloves of garlic and drizzle some good olive oil on top – good oil, since bruschetta was also served in commemoration of the olive harvest in Umbria, where Monte Vibiano is located. mvfood.it

 2018 Luxury Collection – Group SOI: This year, the saffron harvest is top class in every sense of the word, with all flowers picked by hand and slowly dried at low temperatures. Group SOI is pleased to announce that Zafferano di Nepi is now available in elegant glass packaging in multi-sized units: 1g, 3g and 5g. Chefs and consumers alike will appreciate the quality of these aromatic pistils. zafferanodinepi.com, groupsoi.com

PAX-INTL.COM  

47


ASSOCIATION NEWS

Compass Awards 2018 Celebrity Chef Sam Choy entertained IFSA attendees and gave them a look at his famous poke dish

For the second year, airlines, suppliers and caterers were honored for programs and services at IFSA’s Compass Awards, presented September 24 in Boston

F

or the second year, the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) judged and presented awards to airlines, caterers and suppliers at the group’s annual event in Boston. The awards ceremony was held the evening of September 24. One company, Buddy’s Kitchen in Burnsville, Minnesota, claimed two awards. The first was the award for Best Inflight Food for its breakfast taco entry. The second award was for Supplier of the Year. Three airlines also earned awards. Delta Air Lines’ entry for its “Reshaping the Travel Experience” program earned it the Airline of the Year designation. JetBlue Airways’ selection of wines earned it the Best Beverage Award. The Best Onboard Amenity Award went to American Airlines for its range

of comfort items by Casper. Beginning in December 2017, passengers seated in long-haul international and transcontinental First, Business and Premium Economy Classes were introduced to the new bedding. The Casper line of sleep products for American include a mattress pad, duvet, pillow, day blanket, lumbar pillow, pajamas and slippers. The Bests Catering/Foodservice/ Galley Equipment Award went to Australia-based Buzz Products for the Alessi serviceware it supplied to Delta Air Lines. The Alessi collection for Delta is made up of 86 pieces. The collection was put together by six of the company’s designers. This year’s Caterer of the Year was Singapore-based SATS Catering Pte. Limited. For its entry, the caterer showed judges its “SATS

Winners of the IFSA Compass Awards pose for a picture with group President Paul Platamone (left)

48  DECEMBER 2018

IFSA President Paul Platamone at the group’s Compass Awards

Inflight Catering 2.1” presentation. In addition to the Compass Awards, IFSA hosted several features on technology and two chef demonstrations during the Boston event. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy from American Airlines conducted a cooking demonstration of his famous poke, and Hawaiian Airlines Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong, a Bravo’s Top Chef alum, took the stage to showcase her modern global fusion cuisine. In 2019, IFSA EXPO will be in Los Angeles from September 9th to 11th and will continue its annual tradition of co-locating with APEX EXPO and AIX Americas, combining three shows into one incredible event. It was announced shortly after this year’s expo that Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian will be the 2019 featured keynote speaker.


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FACTS & FIGURES

Fruits of their labor A look at the facts and numbers behind some of the Middle East’s biggest edible exports

Big date? The countries that produce the most dates per year, according to worldatlas.com: 1. Egypt 2. Iran 3. Saudi Arabia 4. Iraq 5. Pakistan

7,000 BC

The cultivation of dates is believed to have begun around this time in Iraq

96,037 tons

The amount of dates that Abu Dhabi produced in 2016

2,000 to 3,000 BC Domesticated almond trees cropped up in Jordan during this millenium

145

The purported age of a Ficus benghalensis, sometimes called a “Strangler’s Fig” or Banyan tree, that was brought from India to Maui during the 19th century

410°F

The smoke point for extra virgin olive oil. Compare that to refined, lighter olive oils which begin to smoke at around 468°F or unrefined flaxseed oil which begins to burn at only 225°F

Evergreen

The class that olive trees belong to, as they maintain their foliage throughout the winter

50  DECEMBER 2018

60-70% Percentage of the world’s coffee supply that is of the Arabica variety (also known as Coffea arabica or Arabic coffee)

Lodoicea Another name for sea coconut (“coco de mer”), this fruit boasts the largest seed in the plant kingdom, weighing up to 66 pounds


Functional + Beautiful You can have both – that’s the #SpiritOfSPIRIANT

Our premium experience designers create products that are in a class of their own, such as this modular shape from our six new ‘mix and match’ dining series. Whether developing luxurious items using sustainable materials or customizing high-end products to meet limited budgets, we balance performance with inspiration so that you needn’t compromise. That’s the Spirit of SPIRIANT. www.spiriant.com


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customer’s journey Stand out in the market and give your end-consumers a memorable experience with the LSG Group’s integrated solutions. We bring valuable expertise in catering, packaged products, onboard retail and equipment together to smoothly and efficiently create powerful concepts for our customers in the airline, train and convenience retail markets. With our extensive network, you can also enjoy a smooth global rollout. Follow us on:

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PAX International SIAL 2018  

PAX International SIAL 2018