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J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 1 | V O L . 1 5 , N O . 4

N E W S A N D A N A LY S I S F O R T H E PA S S E N G E R S E R V I C E S E X E C U T I V E

ARE YOU

BEING SERVED? Passenger feedback

in the electronic age

LATIN QUARTER Blessings and burdens in South America

THE TRIFECTA Three aviation events soon to hit Seattle

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GUESTLOGIX CONFERENCE

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DELTA IMPROVEMENTS

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ITCA AND REED EXPOS

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A taste of the world

53 destinations worldwide Servair brings you a taste of the world – a taste journey into four continents for our airline, company and group clients. What’s more, we prioritise great service and the respect of local specificity in order to better meet our clients’ needs. Finally, we offer our clients the highest possible quality professional restaurant and airport standards, see we meet their service expectations.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 | VOL. 12, NO. 6

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Contents REGIONAL REPORT 8 GUARDED GROWTH Several airlines in Latin America are involved in dynamic consolidation and fleet acquisition, but fuel prices in the region are an especially heavy burden

PASSENGER SURVEYS 10 CLOSING THE LOOP PAX International looks at different ways that airline passengers provide useful feedback and what must be done in order to find and make use of it efficiently

"IT BECAME OBVIOUS THAT WE AS AN ASSOCIATION COULD NOT HAVE CONTINUED FINANCIALLY FOREVER. THE BOARD HAD TO MAKE A STRATEGIC DECISION TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF THE TRADESHOW." ITCA President Steven White on Reed Expo's takeover of the association's annual European trade show. Page 18

AIRLINE PROFILE 12 BIG IMPROVEMENTS Delta rolls out the welcome mat for 45 million passengers this summer with the first steps of a $2 billion investment in the cabin and on the concourse

EVENT PREVIEW 14 TOGETHER, AGAIN Three events meet under one roof, as IFSA, APEX and AIX convene in the Emerald City

Q AND A 16 HITTING THE ROAD Jim Curry, General Manager of Flying Food Group’s LAX unit talks about the caterer’s unique service for British Airways in this issue’s Industry Q and A

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EDITOR’S COMMENTS

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NEWS

17 WHAT’S HOT! 18 ASSOCIATION NEWS 18 CALENDAR EVENTS www.pax-intl.com

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EDITOR’S LETTER

ANCILLARY REVENUE’S IMPORTANCE major study done over the last two years on the airline’s ancillary revenue of dozens of airlines shows that 2009 was a breakout year when a la carte programs and commission-based services netted airlines worldwide a revenue stream exceeding US$13.5 billion a 43 percent increase from the previous year. By the end of 2010 that figure had grown to more that $21.4 billion, nearly double what was raised in 2008. Those are some of the important findings from Amadeus Review of Ancillary Revenue Results at the end of May announced by Amadeus and a Shorewood, WI company called Ideaworks. “Many of these airlines are becoming savvy retailers,” says the report. The number of a la carte products and services are increasing and branding and pricing are becoming more sophisticated. Forty-seven airlines disclosed the information for the most recent Amadeus/Ideaworks study. Offering passengers products and services for sale is, obviously no longer the purview of low cost carriers. The top four airlines participating in the report, United/Continental, Delta Air Lines (see related story page 12), American Airlines and Qantas Airways took in more than US$8.3 billion. Naturally, services like baggage handling: commissions from hotel and car rental bookings, co-branded credit cards, and loyalty programs produced most of the yearly ancillary revenue. The report, which was released at the end of May, made no specific mention of the amount spent on products within the

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cabin. Amadeus promises a more comprehensive compilation of ancillary revenue by sometime this summer. Jay Sorenson, of Ideaworks was one of the people behind this report, and previous ones for Amadeus. He has some ideas for airlines that are looking to increase the amount passengers purchase. Some are bold, such as eliminating complimentary drinks to passengers. As long as the passenger can get a free beverage, the less likely they are to open their wallets for food. Another has been to add a pre-paid option such as the ones in place at several airlines. The latter, he says, still has a ways to go before it is adopted throughout the industry. This, he said would not only raise revenue, but would also allow the airline to better manage galley stock and cut back drastically on waste. Sorenson also produced some examples of per passenger food and beverage revenue, though figures are still hard to pin down. EasyJet reported a per-passenger spend of €1.98 for food, while Jetstar raised €1.73 and US Airways reported €2.6 per passenger last year. It’s been 10 years since Michael O’Leary the CEO of Ryannair floated the idea of bundled fees taking the place of airfare. While that is clearly not happening, ancillary revenues have been a bulwark for many airlines against rising fuel prices and have become a permanent part of the operating mix for both lowcost and legacy carriers.

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 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 Maryann Simson, Associate Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: maryann@pax-intl.com Chantelle Boyal, Associate Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: chantelle@pax-intl.com

A R T D E PA R T M E N T Patrick Balanquit, Art Director E-mail: patrick@globalmaketingcom.ca

ADVERTISING OFFICES Deepa J, Subscription & Conference Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x35 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 E-mail: deepa@globalmarketingcom.ca

PAX International is published six times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June/July/August, September/October, November/December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. June/August 2011, Vol. 15, No. 4. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief, PAX International

in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

LOVE IS IN THE AIR! The delicious olive treat, now at 30,000 feet! Visit: www.oloves.com or email: info@oloves.com

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NEWS AIRLINE

LSG Sky Chefs opens CSC at O’Hare LSG Sky Chefs announced in late May that they will re-enter the Chicago market this summer with a new Customer Service Center at O’Hare International Airport. The first customer for the caterer will be Alaska Airlines, which started 16. With the addition of ORD, the company now serves Alaska Airlines out of 20 Customer Service Centers across North America. "We are happy that LSG Sky Chefs will once again provide catering services in this key market," said Lisa Luchau, Director Onboard Food & Beverage at Alaska Airlines. In addition to catering, Luchau said that LSG Sky Chefs will support the carrier’s inflight recycling program through a process in Chicago to recover and recycle inbound products. The Customer Service Center at ORD is built for flexibility and can be adjusted to accomodate increasing demand and can supply first class meals, buy-on-board selections, main cabin frozen entrée options and regional jet offerings, said the caterer. "The return to this key market speaks to our desire to provide our customers with more opportunities to serve their growing needs," said Sondra Lehman, RCOO North America at LSG Sky Chefs. "We are confident that we will successfully build our position in this market." Chicago O’Hare is the second busiest airport in the United States, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. O’Hare also has a crowded field of caterers. It is the headquarters city of Flying Food Group. Gate Gourmet also operates three units that serve O’Hare and maintains a regional office. LSG Sky Chefs operated a unit at ORD until 2004, but vacated the airport when it learned that a planned expansion would have forced a relocation, which the caterer said would have led to a loss of its major customers.

CRUISE LINES

RCCL/SATS to team up on fly/cruise service SATS began its association with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in May, when the cruise line launched its inaugural summer season in Singapore with its Legend of the Seas ship. SATS will be working with passengers who book a fly/cruise vacation on seven airlines that operate into Singapore. A SATS customer service representative meets arriving passengers at the cruise terminal to take them to Marina Bay Sands where they can check-in for their return flight and deposit their luggage. The service is designed for returning cruise passengers who arrive during the day to catch an evening flight. The guests can check-in for the flight at their convenience and deposit their bags during a free day in the city. SATS also plans to continue offering the service when the Legend of the Seas returns in November and for Royal Caribbean’s.

MSC adds flexibility to dining experience MSC Cruises is opening up its meal service, adding casual fare in a buffet style than can be accessed anytime. The cruise line announced the changes at the end of April. The line was touting the light fare that will be available such as pizza and kabobs. MSC is also enhancing its drink service, making coffee, tea and iced water available complimentary throughout the day. The changes will be rolling out across the MSC fleet through the spring.

Private Flight provides an innovative global online ordering and fulfilment platform for VIP inflight catering and passenger service operations

Gama picks Private Flight for business jet fleet Private Flight will cater 80 business aircraft operated by Gama Aviation in Europe, the Middle East and the United States, the operator announced last week. The announcement comes after a six-month trial with Private Flight following an initial contract signed last year. For Private Flight, Gama will be among its first customers in the United States. “Our offering provides Gama with access to a truly global catering solution,” said Shamir Samdjee, director of Europe and the Middle East for Private Flight, in the May 19 announcement. “Partnering with Private Flight will enable Gama to build on their premier passenger services, whilst at the same time provide a greater transparency in respect to catering costs.” Private Flight sources its food products from highend hotels and boutique restaurants. Gama is a United Kingdom based company that works in more than 30 bases. It has offices at Farnborough Airport, Stratford, Connecticut and Sharjah, UAE.

SUPPLIER NEWS

Quantum Trolley rolls aboard Lufthansa flights this summer This summer, Lufthansa German Airlines will start replacement of more than 30,000 service trolleys with the Quantum Light Weight Trolley from Norduyn. Lufthansa estimates the lightweight trolleys will save the airline 9,000 tonnes of fuel and 28,350 tonnes of CO2 annually. The Quantum has gone through extensive inflight testing and will be phased in through mid-2014. The composite trolley was developed with the help of LSG Sky Chefs, which is Montreal-based Norduyn’s exclusive partner.

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NEWS CRUISE LINES

Soda solution sets sail Back in the year 2000, a major cruise line came to its drink ware supplier, Whirley DrinkWorks, with a problem that needed a smart solution. The cruise line was looking for an effective way to stop certain guests from abusing soda refills. People were taking advantage of self-serve soda programs and it was affecting bottom lines. Pete Dorney, an inventor of sorts and sales representative for Whirley DrinkWorks, took up the challenge and set to work designing a machine that he thought would eventually put this practice to an end. His idea was to create a self-service machine that intrigued passengers, saved money for the cruise line and used cutting edge technology to ensure that only those guests who had paid for soft drinks were able to pour them. Four years later, in 2004, the first application was submitted to patent Dorney’s groundbreaking ValidFill Solution comprised of special souvenir mugs embedded with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, a cup programming station and a self-serve soda machine outfitted with RFID tag readers. “Whirley DrinkWorks actually funded the prototype as a way to expand their offering,” said Greg Edelson, President of ValidFill LLC, a sister company to Whirley DrinkWorks created specifically to make and market ValidFill. “In 2004 they filed all the patent work and then waited for the RFID technology to progress and for prices to reach a point that made the solution economically attractive to the cruise lines and other potential customers.” The idea was to have vacationers pay a set amount per day for almost unlimited access

to the soda fountain. The fountain would be able to read the RFID tag in the “validated” cup and dispense the desired amount of beverage. When the paid time period expired, the cup would no longer work unless the guest brought it to a staff mem- Shown here is the ValidFill Solution onboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the ber and paid the fee to Seas. The concept has come a long way from inception and now features a monitor that can be used for advertising or other promotional media have it re-programmed. To control sharing, the machine can be also drinks and not to be dependent on a server programmed to not dispense additional bev- or a bartender,” Bob Midyette, director of erage within a certain time frame of the last fleet beverage operations for Royal Caribbean full pour. International and Azamara Club Cruises told In the beginning Dorney had his naysay- the Cruise Industry News. “It is quite simply ers. Many experts believed that it was sim- faster – for them and for us.” ply not possible to reliably use RFID tags In addition to helping Royal Caribbean near carbonated beverages, as they are known bolster sales significantly and speed up bar to alter electrical signals. Dorney and his service on the pool deck, Whirley DrinkWorks team prevailed in the end though, finally work- has created yet another machine that has ing out the system’s bugs and securing a cut down on time and labor in the galley. The partnership with soft-drink giant Coca-Cola. RFID souvenir mugs that activate the soda In August 2010, Royal Caribbean Inter- fountain now arrive at the ship pre-sanitized national became the first cruise line to test the and ready for sale, thanks to an innovate ValidFill System. After a positive reaction from new UV light tunnel at the Whirley DrinkWorks guests on Freedom of the Seas, Royal factory. Sanitized by lights of varying waveCaribbean tested the system out on Majesty lengths, the cups no longer need to be opened, of the Seas, which at the time was operating cleaned, and re-assembled by staff onboard. a very different itinerary. The system went Installation is simple, says Edelson, as over well with customers and crew, proving long as the desired location has water, electhat it could be suitable for all demographics. trical and the ability to drain to the appropriAs a result of the testing, the cruise line has ate waste area. “After that, launching the now committed to roll out the solution fleet- program is just an extension of an existing soda wide, a process that is already underway. program. The freedom to avoid the service bar “Guests absolutely prefer self-service soft leads to exceptional sales growth.”

PEOPLE NEWS

Alpha names GM of Flight Management Services Alan Hayes is the new General Manager of Alpha Flight Management Services. He joins the company from Thomson Airways, where he was responsible for the commercial performance of the retail range. He was involved in development, marketing, space planning and inflight entertainment. He was instrumental in integrating the inflight retail business between Thomsonfly and First Choice after the merger of TUI AG and First Choice Holidays PLC in 2008. He was successful in growing inflight sales performance for three consecutive years with the rollout of end-to-end inflight sales technology. At Alpha, Hayes will be responsible for the overall management of the company’s contract with Monarch Airlines. Alan Hayes comes to Alpha Flight Management Services from Thomsonfly

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Scorpio Distributors head joins GuestLogix Inc. GuestLogix, Inc., a leading global provider of onboard store technology to the airline industry, has announced that Stuart McGuire will join the company as a Non-Executive Director. McGuire is the Founder and Managing Director of Scorpio Distributors Ltd., a global duty free distributor that operates with more than 180 airlines and most major duty free shopping groups. The global duty free retailer Gebr Heinemann took a 51 percent ownership of Scorpio in 2007. Scorpio sold and an exclusive line of luxury watches and fashion accessories to the travel retail market.

Stuart McGuire’s Scorpio Distributors supplies duty free products to 180 airlines


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NEWS GuestLogix Gears up for Third Annual User Group Conference n September 2009, Toronto-based global provider of onboard store technology and merchandising held its first annual User Group Conference in Toronto. Even at this, the company’s first event, attendees numbered in the hundreds and were made up of senior level representatives and cabin crew from dozens of GuestLogix’ airline customers. As fall approaches once more, the rapidly growing Canadian firm is preparing to host its third User Group Conference in Ontario’s capital and the excitement is growing amongst those involved. Though the conference has become larger (350-400 delegates are expected in 2011) and the discussion topics have also expanded to keep in line topical industry subjects and challenges, GuestLogix maintains that the catalyst for the first event still holds as the single most important mission going into the 2011 conference: the creation of a connected network of the world’s travel operators. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Dan Thompson, Director of Marketing and Communications at GuestLogix.

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“The industry is certainly evolving and travel operators are becoming more and more savvy as retailers. GuestLogix continues to strengthen its solution with new functionality and new features that will increase the performance of each of our clients’ operations.” Product launches have also become a main attraction at the yearly GuestLogix User Group Conference. In 2010 the company revealed its AVATA-m handheld device and the Analytics Platform, a scalable and easily integrated technology allowing users to constantly monitor trends in performance and access new and existing information to guide onboard retail operations. The company expects equally powerful product launches to take centre stage at this year’s event. As of publication date, 25 airlines from around the world had committed to attend the 2011 event and keynote speakers had yet to be announced. For more information please visit www.guestlogix.com or contact Dan Thompson, Director of Marketing and Communications for GuestLogix dthompson@guestlogix.com.

“And thus, the User Group acts as collaboration between the largest players in onboard retailing. GuestLogix’ portfolio of customers is what drove the initiative to gather these minds together in the first place, to enhance the current GuestLogix solution, share the best practices, and drive new business efforts.” The conference is to be held from October 3-5 2011 at the Hilton Toronto and will feature sessions, keynotes and several channel partner exhibitors. There will be a strong focus placed on operational processes, technology developments and new tools to enhance business efficiencies, improve customer experiences and increase sales opportunities. Time will be devoted to discussions about specific trial and implementations currently happening with clients and there will be a focus on the extension of traditional onboard retailing (via POS devices) into new distribution channels such as IFE, eCommerce and mobile. “The evolution of the conference is driven by both the evolution of the industry as well as GuestLogix as a company,” said Thompson.

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REGIONAL REPORT Lamb rack with rosemary-scented olive oil, along with creamy polenta and tomato a la Provence on TAM. Photo by Gladstone Campos.

Guarded growth

Several airlines in Latin America are involved in dynamic consolidation and fleet acquisition, but fuel prices in the region are an especially heavy burden By Rick Lundstrom

he story of Latin American airline growth and profits over the rest of this year can often, like anywhere else in the world, be tied directly to nearly constant fluctuations in the price of fuel. This fact may even hold the greatest truth in Central and South America where carriers are in a state of merger flux and organizations such as the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) spend much of their time dealing with thorny issues such as safety, efficiencies and infrastructure, environment and government policies for a group of dozens of nations, nearly all with their own flag carriers and long lists of challenges. Still growth and profits are keeping airlines in business and reaching out more and more to destinations in the United States. Managers in the inflight services keep a keen eye on the inflight products of competition from Europe, which is increasing rapidly from several nations with strong ties to Latin America. As spring wore on into summer, ALTA member airlines were staying ahead of the

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forces that challenge them every year. Yearto-date traffic statistics were showing a 5.4 percent increase in passengers and a 6.6 percent increase in revenue passenger kilometers. But what was also growing, and concerning people like Yvette Batalia, communications director for ALTA, was the June 6-10 average fuel price of $3.1 per gallon, a 50 percent increase from a year ago. Average costs for the rest of the year should be approximately $3 per gallon, said Batalia. "It is important to mention that gas prices in Latin America are higher than any other region of the world, about 5 percent higher than the worldwide average," she tells PAX International. This places carriers in the region at a significant disadvantage. For Latin American carriers, in 2010, fuel was 30 to 38 percent of their operating costs, she adds. "Considering the already low margins that these companies operate in, the increase in fuel prices will be apparent in their bottom line." How apparent remains to be seen. But in the ever-changing forecasts by the Interna-

tional Air Transport Association (IATA), the end of the year will look profitable, but not nearly like the previous year. Latin America is poised to be the only region in the world to deliver profits for a third consecutive year, reports IATA. Regional economies have continued to grow and countries have opened up important trade links with the United States and Asia. Consolidations completed or in the works show promise for continued growth. But the US$100 million region wide profit projected by IATA the first week of June is down from the US$900 million Latin American carriers reported in 2010. Some of that outreach to the United States occurred recently. In mid-April, Colombian airline Avianca announced that it would operate four flights per week from Bogota to Orlando, the fifth U.S. city in its route system. Avianca plans to operate a 120 passenger A319 to the Florida city. The new gateway destination will not only give passengers from Orlando convenient travel operations to several South American cities, but also to Colombian destinations such as Cali, Medellin, Cartagena and Bucaramanga. "This new opportunity also seeks to capitalize synergies with our partner airline, El Salvador-based TACA, which has been serving this destination for a couple years," said Rolando Damas, Managing Director North America and Asia for the AviancaTaca partnership. "Together we provide comprehensive travel solutions towards the growing Latin American markets." The partnership between the two airlines is still only a partnership and not a complete merger. “So far we’re still working like two different companies,” said Ximena Páez On Board Service Manager for South America and Europe at AviancaTACA. “And our on board service experience is different.” Before the end of the year, another city pair from Latin America to the U.S. will open up. In mid-June, the Panamanian airline Copa announced that it would begin daily 737-700 service (12 in First Class and 112 in the main cabin) between Panama and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. It will be the sixth destination in the United States served by Copa and the service will start December 15. On-board meal service for Copa will include complimentary meals and beverages, including wines and spirits. The airline has a 12-channel inflight entertainment system in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Also in June, Copa began service to Canada with its new route to Toronto.


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REGIONAL REPORT Brazil opening up The economic powerhouse of Latin and South America is still Brazil. To build to the inevitable demand for air travel in a nation that will soon bring the Summer Olympics and other attractions to its cities, the Brazilian carrier TAM announced this year that it will order US$3.2 billion in new 777-300s and A320s; 34 aircraft in all to strengthen its domestic and international markets. The aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2018. Two 777s will be added to the fleet while the airline plans 32 aircraft in the A320 family, including the A320neo, which it outfitted with aerodynamic wingtips and fuel and carbon saving feature. Tam’s proposed merger with the Chilean carrier LAN was under anti-trust review at press time. At the June 7 meeting of the OneWorld Alliance airlines, LAN’s CEO Enrique Cueto told reporters that he hoped to have the regulatory hurdles cleared up by the end of July, however he admitted that the process could continue to the end of the year. TAM is also one of the few airlines in the region to report a number of important changes to its food service operations. This

year, TAM signed on two new culinary consultants in Chefs Javier and Sergio Torres. This year, the chefs selected a European culinary theme of "Flavors of the Mediterranean." The previous year, the airline used chef Helena Rizzo of the Sao Paulo restaurant Mani. Throughout the year the new service will add more than 500 dishes in a selection of entrees, main courses and desserts that will be developed for all classes. The sampling of the entrees is familiar to any Mediterranean foodie. In First Class shrimp in pesto sauce will be served with lime and radicchio; filet mignon will be combined with bread crust and herbs, complimented by an emulsion of mustard and vegetables. A rack of lamb with rosemary scented olive oil will be served with creamy polenta and tomato a la Provence. From Spain, a crema Catalana will be served for dessert. In Business Class, sea bass will be served with zucchini marinated in basil-scented olive oil and mushroom risotto; chicken fillet are made with a crust of black olive and pine nuts; hake fillet is seasoned with tarragonscented olive oil, served with wild and white rice and string beans. Dessert is a yogurt rasp-

berry and almond cake served with pistachio. In Economy Class, TAM is offering a lettuce pumpkin and zucchini and olive salad; beef casserole with carrots and rosemary, served with mashed potatoes and zucchini or a chicken fillet and demi-glace sauce with thyme served with sesame rice and vegetables; and milk pudding with spices served with a caramel syrup. TAM is also spicing up its beverage service with a specially developed tea by blender Carla Saueressig. The tea, colored TAM-red was made with a combination of herb and fruit flavors from the Amazon, accented by vanilla and floral flavorings. "It translates the coziness, comfort and pleasure of flying TAM," said a release from the airline. Other changes on board are distinctly more high-tech. In February, the airline announced a successful pilot project with Internet connectivity OnAir's system will be on 26 aircraft, giving passengers the chance to browse the Internet and send e-mail and text messages on Blackberry and other smart phones. The newly connected aircraft are scheduled to start flying in the second half of this year.

Chicken filet with demi-glaze sauce with thyme, served with sesame rice and vegetables; and milk pudding with spices, served with caramel syrup on TAM

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TRACKING PASSENGERS

Closing the loop PAX International looks at different ways that airline passengers provide useful feedback and what must be done in order to find and make use of it efficiently By Maryann Simson he struggle to communicate effectively with customers and staff is not a new one for airlines. As air travel becomes more accessible to men and women around the world, and new routes continue to open up, passenger demographics on airlines across the board are filling out a broader spectrum than ever before. There is no longer such thing as an ‘average’ passenger with ‘common’ needs or likes or expectations. Diversity is everywhere and this does not exclude airline staff, which are on the front lines when it comes to passenger interaction. Complaints, comments, ideas and valuable suggestions on how to improve airline service from booking through to baggage claim abound in this rant-friendly era of blogs and forums and mobile apps. The real question is: how are airlines taking advantage of passenger surveys, social media and internal feedback to make the skies a friendlier place? According to a report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in December 2010, many airlines, especially mature carriers, already have a plethora of passenger statistics at their fingertips that, if organized and analyzed efficiently, could give them incredibly accurate insight into their own customers. “The most accessible information

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“THE CUSTOMER REALLY WANTS TO BE HEARD AND HE WANTS TO COMMUNICATE IN A MANNER THAT HE IS USED TO” Shashank Nigam, Instructor of Commercial Strategy for IATA, Brand Strategy Leader at Airline Capital Associate Inc. and Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying

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resides within the databases of frequent flier programs (FFPs),” says the report. “Further data is m 597 airlines photos of food fro held in other operational ntly hosts 21,975 rre cu t .ne als me airline divisions of the airline, especially central reservation systems (CRSs), people at a time, and our response rate is anycustomer management systems (CMSs) and where between thirty to forty percent.” In order to collect the most tangible data customer feedback systems (CFSs).” The article goes on to say that “Properly from passengers, Americas Airlines and Key managed, these resources can be used to pro- Survey develop questions that ask passenvide airlines with an intimate understanding gers only whether a specific service or proof their customers. Data can be used to seg- tocol was fulfilled, as opposed to asking them ment passengers, observe their behavioral pat- how they felt about the experience. Questerns and reach out to them with relevant, tions like “were you greeted promptly by an targeted promotions,” with the effect of enhanc- agent at the time of check in?” illicit simple ing loyalty and revenue through improved positive or negative responses, making it customer service. Most airlines, however, have much easier to group and interpret the resultIT systems that were simply not set up to per- ing data. The human resources department form these kinds of tasks. They were developed at American also uses Key Survey to moniinstead to track tickets, coupons and flights. tor employee satisfaction and determine the This means that the data with useful customer effectiveness of ongoing performance disservice applications is often ignored or sim- cussions with management. Leveraging the prevalence of mobile phones ply lost in a stream of information more critand the use of wireless Internet connections ical to operational functions. Of course, many companies have developed amongst its group of frequent fliers, Air France solutions that offer this sort of data manage- has recently launched Air France Connect, a ment at a cost to airlines, but during time of market instability it may be difficult for airlines to invest in a long-term IT solution that is still a relatively passive means of collecting feedback and doesn’t guarantee any clear short term benefit. Key Survey Enterprise Data Management is a Boston-based technology leader in online forms and survey software. For several years, American Airlines has contracted with Key Surveys to help gather customer feedback and conduct employee performance management processes. “We pull a couple of random samples each month – who have flown in the last week or two,” William Mitchell, AA’s Managing Director of Customer Research said in a case study on the Key Surveys website “And we invite them to do a survey about their most recent flight; we tell them which flight, which section, we want them to evaluate. These samples are up to 25,000


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TRACKING PASSENGERS

And how was your meal? PAX International readers may well be familiar with the website airAnd fun it is. The site is indexed by several criteria making it easy to linemeals.net. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the site was cre- find photos and comments by airline, class of service, time of meal flight ated in 2001 by a man named Marco Hart who happened to be number and more. Hart guesses that the popularity of his site has sometraveling a lot between his home in Amsterdam and Istanbul. His thing to do with the fact that human beings, and seemingly aviation enthumother asked him what he was eating on the plane and the cam- siasts in particular, take great pleasure in sharing their photo and opinera-happy Hart took pictures to show her. Those photos and a bit ions, and yes, complaining. of spare time soon led to what is now the biggest online collecThough he doesn’t know for sure if airlines watch his website and use tion of airline food photos anywhere in the world. As of June 13, it as a means of collecting feedback, Hart does recall learning that Conti2011, the website hosted 21,975 photos of food from 597 airlines. nental Airlines once took images posted on airlinemeals.net of its own food “I never expected it to be this popular,” he recently told PAX International. “I didn’t start it to become popular, I started it for fun.”

proactive free service designed to keep passengers informed of any factors that might influence their trip. The service allows Air France to get in front of potentially upsetting disturbances such as a delay, change of boarding gate or even delayed baggage delivery by obtaining a mobile number from passengers at time of booking and using it for calling, texting or emailing up to date information to them as it becomes available. Rolled out February 1 in eight languages, the courtesy updates have been touted as a success by the carrier, which says that text messages are perceived by customers as a communication channel well adapted to their needs. Air France also recently allowed its Facebook ‘friends’ to vote for their favorite movies on the social networking site. Four winners were chosen to and will be shown onboard in September. Like Air France, Alaska Airlines is currently using a questionnaire application on Facebook to learn which of its many meal box varieties (supplied by Oakfield Farms Solutions) they like best. PAX International recently caught up with Shashank Nigam Instructor of Commercial Strategy for IATA, Brand Strategy Leader at Airline Capital Associate Inc. and Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying – an airline brand consulting company, with headquarters in Singapore and offices in Toronto and New York. “The customer really wants to be heard and he wants to communicate in a manner

and published them in an internal manual for employees to show them where they were going wrong in the preparation meals and tray set-ups.

that he is used to,” Nigam said in an interview. “It is very important when customer feedback mechanisms are in place and visible to the customer.” Nigam points out that a gesture as seemingly small as making a manager’s business card available at the check-in desk (a common practice at Virgin America) can go a long way towards enhancing the passenger’s perception of the airline and its willingness to listen. “It means that that they are openly suggesting for you to take a card and feel comfortable sharing feedback. At the same time, even if this person doesn’t end up giving any feedback he still gets the impression that the airline is taking responsibility by naming people who are in charge. Twitter, Facebook and the multitudes of active aviation blogs and forums online have created a new way for airlines to gain insight into their public image as well as to respond to passenger comments. eezeer.com is fastbecoming a popular web destination for serious aviation critics. The website is a self-proclaimed web and mobile social network featuring tweets and location-verified reviews related to travel. The eezeer mobile applications is a free download for iPhones and android devices and allows travel critics to post mediated real-time reviews of airlines airports and hotels. Mobile app users can rate a flight, airline, hotel or other aspect of travel anywhere from -5 (very poor) to +5 (excel-

lent) and those tweeting on eezeer can rate the same things, but are allowed a smaller scale or just -1 (poor) 0 (neutral) or +1 (good). Unlike many other forum environments, airlines, airports and hotels can use eezeer as a new customer service platform where they are encouraged to improve their reputation and address concerns. Brands that are eezeer members may “flag” a suspicious review for investigation if they believe it to be false. Overall, when it comes to enhancing airline brand through good customer service, Nigam stresses the importance of what he calls “closing the feedback loop”. Essentially, he says, the first thing that an airline must do is promptly collect any feedback to avoid loss of relevance with passage of time. When feedback is negative they must rectify the situation and then, most importantly of all, they must “close the feedback loop.” To illustrate this point he references a Virgin Atlantic passenger who complained about the food, was challenged by Sir Richard Branson to improve it and turned out to be a culinary expert, who did just that. Virgin used the example brilliantly as a public relations project and successfully enhanced their position as a very customer service oriented carrier. “I think that airlines need to embrace these accidental spokespeople as their own. If you are taking the feedback seriously then make sure that the complainant knows it has been acted upon, make sure the world knows it.”

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INFLIGHT SERVICE

Big improvements

Delta rolls out the welcome mat for 45 million passengers this summer with the first steps of a $2 billion investment in the cabin and on the concourse By Rick Lundstrom

D

elta Air Lines, which now carries more passengers than any other airline in the world, has set about trying to please as many as possible wigth long list of improvements completed and in the works. Less than two years into its complete merger with Northwest Airlines it is in the midst of a US$2 billion investment that is already taking shape. The airline is preparing for a summer filled chockablock with passenger bookings, operational updates and customer service features that will be visible throughout the airline’s extensive hub system. Since last summer, Delta has been at work enhancing its aircraft cabins with a number of changes. Twenty-five percent of its international 777s and 767-400s now have flat-bed seats. In June, its new Economy Comfort Class could be found on 160 aircraft adding four additional inches to the seat pitch. More than 2,000 premium seats have been added to the airline’s fleet of regional aircraft. Delta is betting that a few of the enhancements will pay off in ancillary revenue. The Economy Comfort Class section is priced at between US$80 and US$160 per seat based on the length of the flight. Many of the world’s airlines are taking the same approach as tight economies have forced business travelers out of the front cabin, but some companies have been willing to compromise by allowing them to declare an upgrade to a premium economy seat on their regular expenses. One of the most recent applications of the newly enhanced cabins took flight in early June, when Delta re-launched its nonstop service between Atlanta and one of the world’s most important business markets -Shanghai, using a 269-passenger 777. Delta originally launched the flight in 2008, but suspended the service due to economic conditions. This summer, Delta will operate 47 flights per week out of locations in China. Other opportunities for Delta will soon be presenting themselves. On June 10, the United States Department of Transportation approved a “Trans-Pacific Alliance” between Delta and Virgin Australia. The new agreement will allow the airline to develop routes linking thousands of cities in the United States with

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Pacific destinations in and out of Australia. The two airlines pledged to have the partnership fully up and running by the end of the year. On the technology side, wireless Internet is now the norm on 2,200 flights. Passengers have the chance to plug in personal electronics on one of more than 8,100 power outlets. Mobile apps are now available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android units. The airline also has the first online baggage tracking capabilities for airline customers. In the past year, Delta has opened two new premium Sky Club lounges in Indianapolis and Philadelphia and renovated Sky Clubs in its important hubs at New YorkLaGuardia, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul and its home city of Atlanta.

Good to EAT Finally, but not least comes the changes in its food service offerings on the ground and in the air. Over the summer, the airline announced a number of changes to its buyon-board EATS program and a significant plans to upgrade the food serving at an important concourse at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (see related sidebar). “We work hard to keep our menu items fresh and stay current with what our customers expect,” Megan Ireland, General Manager of Inflight Service at Delta, tells PAX International. “At Delta we regularly test new items to gauge customer response. From time to time we also host customer surveys on the delta.com blog. All this direct customer feedback is incredibly important to us.” That feedback has put a number of name-brand products in the Delta cabin for sale this summer. Delta is working closely with suppliers like premium meats manufacturer Boar’s Head, Ben and Jerry’s Delta is $1 for every snack box sold to the American Cancer society in May

An egg salad wrap, part of Delta’s EATS program

ice cream and confectionery supplier Wrigley’s. The additions are selling for between US$2 for Wrigley’s gum products and $2.50 for Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla and Cherry Garcia brand ice cream. In addition, Delta has added a children’s plate with fruit and celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing for US$4.50 and two alcohol offerings -- a Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and honey blend and a Margaritaville Margarita Mix, both retailing for US$7. The additions take their place among the regular full meal offerings that Delta has been incorporating into its EATS program since its inception. Morning flights this summer will have a BLT wrap sandwich, snack bar and yogurt and a fruit and cheese plate. On lunch and dinner flights there will be a chicken salad sandwich, Black Forest turkey sliders using Boar’s Head meat products and a fruit and cheese plate. Delta also offers a selection of snack boxes for sale. During the Month of May, the airline has pledged a US$1 donation to the to the American Cancer Society for each snack box sold.


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The Minnesota mix The locavore movement will take shape

The Minnesota Beer Hall will have more than 40 brands on tap

working with local restaurateurs on more than a dozen “chef-driven restaurants.” In addition OTG is planning to offer the OTG Media Bar, an outlet where travelers can rent iPad’s loaded with content for their trip. in a big way with planned enhancements “Our investment will be substantive, as to ensure the quality of the at an important Delta Concourse at concepts and fulfill the potential of the opportunity,” said Rick Blatstein, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport CEO of OTG Management in New York. Though the area’s reputation as a culinary center may not have the cache Work on Concourse G is scheduled to begin in January of next year of coastal cities, passengers passing through or leaving from Min- and will be completed in 12 to 18 months. “However, noticeable neapolis/St. Paul International Airport will be able to sample food ser- improvements will be seen as each phase is completed,” said Blatstein. vice offerings with a local flare as plans for Concourse G move ahead Like the restaurant concepts and features launched recently at San as planned. Francisco International Airport, Delta’s experience at MSP will be built Some approvals by the airport’s management the Metropolitan Air- around flavors of the region. Ingredients will be sourced from the same port Commission were still to be done at presstime. local suppliers and farms that the concept chefs are using. “The atmosphere at MSP will be distinct from any other airport,” Delta One eatery that is sure to stand out is the Minni Bar™. The easypromises in a May 16 announcement of the improvements. “Inspired going cafe offering a menu of globally inspired sandwiches will be put by local flavors and Minnesota’s vibrant culture.” together with the help of Chef Andrew Zimmern. The Chef, who has his Making it work will be Delta Air Lines and its concessionaire OTG own television show Bizarre Foods on The Food Network, is respected Management, which the airline is working with on improvements in New for his knowledge of world cuisine. He will oversee a menu that features York Kennedy and LaGuardia. Over the past year, the partners have been authentic global flavors combined with locally inspired ingredients. Mimosa will have a brasserie style and Provencal cuisine

Restaurants planned for Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Mill City Tavern™: This offering will feature products from Midwestern farms and artisan purveyors. Chef Russo is a James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef. Mimosa: A raw bar and brasserie inspired by Provencal cuisine. Chef Russell Klein's Meritage is one of the most well-known French restaurants in Minneapolis - St. Paul. Minnesota Beer Hall™: OTG Management has teamed with Chef Erick Harcey of Victory 44 on a pub offering 48 beers on tap, a selection of signature cocktails, and classic food staples any time of the day. Twinburger™: It is the home of the Jucy Lucy, a famous South Minneapolis cheeseburger that features cheese stuffed inside the meat patty. Shoyu™: A concept of Chef Koshiki Yonemura Smith, Shoyu, is a modern Japanese restaurant with fresh ingredients and traditional technique. The noodles and dumpling wrappers will be prepared fresh daily in front of travelers moving through the concourse. Vero™: Vero features thin-crust, artisanal pizzas. The individually sized pies will be baked at nearly 700 degrees with a fresh twist on toppings and combinations. Volante™: A modern Italian restaurant, Volante, is overseen by Chef Doug Flicker the outlet will feature three seasonal menus. Chef Flicker's owns Piccolo restaurant in the Twin Cities.

Cibo Express Gourmet Food Halls Cibo Express® Gourmet Markets offers freshly prepared products and bottled beverages for before or during flight. Chef Michelle Gayer, owner of the Salty Tart Bakery has developed a line of "black label" sandwiches that feature artisanal meats and cheeses, combined with products from a local bakery, Rustica. Custom Burger™: Custom Burger uses farm-sourced meats with a menu composed by Chef Erick Harcey. Lucy's Asian Kitchen®: An Asian offering with products made to order by wok in front of guests. Tagliare®: Offers pizza by the slice or by the pie using fresh ingredients. World Bean®: The Twin-Cities based Dogwood Coffee Company will be the purveyor of coffee for Worldbean and the restaurants in the group. Worldbean will also feature a seasonal assortment of whole-leaf teas.

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EVENT PREVIEW

Together, again W

ith registration for this year’s International Flight Services Association Conference and Exhibition just days away in June, organizers were tallying exhibitor sales and preparing to share the Seattle Convention Center with two partner events for the second straight year. “Exhibit sales are a key indicator of how brisk registration sales will be,” said IFSA President Vicky Stennes. “Given that we are currently 15 percent ahead in exhibitor sales, we anticipate very robust registration numbers.” Together with the fall Aircraft Interiors Expo, and Airline Passenger Experience Association Convention, this year’s IFSA event is a “one-stop shop” industry show, said Stennes. When the three groups meeting together for the first time last fall in Long Beach, California there was a 65 percent increase in airline atten-

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Three events meet under one roof, as IFSA, APEX and AIX convene this fall in the Emerald City

dees, a longstanding priority for show organizers. The three events will kick off September 11 with the first day of APEX, which will run through September 15. The two other events will be held September 12-14. The IFSA exhibition hall activity will be accompanied by a number of seminars and educational sessions and speakers from the airlines and culinary world. This year, the chef’s competition will put contestants through their paces directly on the exhibition floor. During the two days, there will also be several product demonstrations now in the works. “The excitement of a live competition will ensure that the chefs will receive heightened exposure and provide a memorable experience for attendees,” said Stennes. Keynote speakers for the three days are: Brad Tilden, President of Seattle’s home town carrier, Alaska Airlines, set for September 12,

By Rick Lundstrom

Dr. Victor Gielisse, Vice President of the Culinary Institute of America, who is set for September 13 and Simon Talling-Smith, Executive Vice President of British Airways will take to the stage September 14. Also taking shape were two other new features: an Asia Educational Track set for the afternoon of September 12 and an Educational Session set for the morning of September 13. The Asia session is developed for attendees that currently do business in the region and are looking to expand their reach. “Attendees will experience a sample of what IFSA’s 2012 Asia Pacific Conference in South Korea will have to offer,” added Stennes. The education sessions are a joint effort with APEX. The sessions offer time with a cross-section the inflight food service and inflight entertainment and connectivity industries. Several presentations are in the works for the event.


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Simon Talling-Smith of British Airways

Dr. Victor Gielisse of the Culinary Institute

Brad Tilde of Alaska Airlines

Keynote speakers set for IFSA fall Conference and Exhibition The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) kicked off the New Year with an announcement that it has secured Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden as one of three keynote speakers set for its fall Conference September 12-14 in Seattle. Tilden – who will give the keynote September 12 -- has been with Alaska Airlines since 1991 and was previously the Alaska Air Group’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance. Alaska Airlines is the eighth-largest carrier in the United States, with a fleet of 117 aircraft and sales of approximately US$3 billion. On September 13, the keynote

speaker will be Dr. Victor Gielisse, the Associate Vice President of Business Development at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Gielisse comes with a long list of credentials. He has worked in culinary endeavors in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and South Africa before touching down at the CIA. He has owned an award winning restaurant Actuelle in Dallas and has served as chairman of the American Culinary Federation. He was coach and advisor to the American Culinary Federation Culinary team USA and judged culinary events around the world. He is the author of Cuisine

Actuelle and In Good Taste, A Contemporary Approach to Cooking and Modern Batch Cookery. He has been recognized as one of The 50 New Tastemakers in the United States and was named Best Seafood Chef in America by Restaurant and Business magazine. In addition to being one of the most important training grounds for restaurant cooks in the country, the Culinary Institute of America is a partner with United Airlines. Chef Gielisse worked for several years with United after forming his consulting firm, Culinary Fast Trac and Associates collaborating with the carrier’s former corporate executive chef Eric Kopelow

on the carrier’s menu and products. An airline man will be the Keynote speaker September 14. Simon Talling-Smith, the Executive Vice President of the Americas for British Airways will bring his extensive commercial and customer service experience to the podium. When he was based in London, Talling-Smith was in charge of handling the operations of the airline’s 14,000 flight attendants and its catering services. He has also managed British Airways’ brand and products portfolio and was involved in a series of customer service improvement programs and had a hand in developing the company’s website.

Also at IFSA: IFSA Chef’s Competition gets a new twist GoPicnic makes fourth IFSA appearance

The Chef’s Competition held each year during the International Flight Services Association’s annual conference and trade show has long been a prestigious occasion for the association, airline caterers, their star chefs and judges alike. Unfortunately though, the afore-mentioned participants were often the only individuals able to witness the exciting spectacle of the ingredients being revealed, the chefs’ almost frantic preparations and the final presentations before judging. This year the event will be different and much more of the action will take place right on the tradeshow floor as a new man takes the helm of the contest planning. “Diego DeAstis has many years of experience both as an invaluable member of IFSA and providing inflight food products as Vice President of Direct Food Services, Inc.” said Mike Fishburn, Chair of the 2011 IFSA Conference Planning Committee and Procurement Manager at British Airways. “He has served on the IFSA Planning Conference Committee for the last two years and has been playing an integral role in the planning of the competition and marketing of the event.” By necessity, the 2011 Chef’s Competition will still have elements that cannot be watched by tradeshow attendees. Certain aspects will be carried out at the LSG Sky Chefs’ Seattle kitchen, but final preparations and judging will take place live on the IFSA main stage and should allow for a far more engaging experience for attendees. “I have had the opportunity to watch the competition before and the chefs really did a wonderful job. I was intrigued by how they worked and thought to myself, why don’t we let the show attendees see the great things these chefs do on the floor?” DeAstis told PAX International. “People like to see a chef be creative and cut and cook and plate the food and run around the kitchen. I think people like that and I think they are going to like what they see at IFSA.”

GoPicnic will showcase great new items from its brokered manufacturers, plus GoPicnic's new Hickory Farms co-branded meal and an allergen-free meal that is free of the top eight most common allergens. “GoPicnic is expecting to see the natural and organic products to play an even bigger role at IFSA in 2011,” says GoPicnic President Julia Stamberger. “Airlines are looking to use grocery and retail data to see what sells rather than using the judgment of one or two decision makers.” GoPicnic says that over the years IFSA has helped them to build stronger relationships with clients and caterers, stay up-to-date on current trends and showcase its many capabilities.

Sous-vide is here to stay Exhibiting at IFSA for the 15th time in Seattle will be Cuisine Solutions. The New-Jersey-based supplier will be showcasing some of its sliced cooked proteins. The sous vide method allows for Cuisine solutions to slice meat (beef, turkey and chicken) while raw and then cook under vacuum so there is no handling after the meat is cooked until the customer opens the pouch. With this method, the meat retains more natural juices and flavor since it is sliced before it is cooked. The company anticipates that its booth will be a favorite and that IFSA will generate leads and provide a forum to communicate with customers in both airline and rail catering.

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INDUSTRY Q AND A

Hitting the road

Jim Curry, General Manager of Flying Food Group’s LAX unit talks about the caterer’s unique service for British Airways in this issue’s Industry Q and A lying Food Group’s longtime customer, British Airways, began daily service from San Diego to London Heathrow June 1. The caterer and the airline will continue that long association, but with a new added service – daily catering from the FFG kitchen at LAX -- more than 120 miles from the San Diego airport.

F

Jim Curry, General Manager of the LAX unit of Flying Food Group and his team had less than two months to plan and execute the new service. He talks about how it was done in this issue’s Industry Q and A. repeated from intro PAX International: Could you give us a rundown on how you are serving British Airways for their new service out of San Diego to London Heathrow? Jim Curry: San Diego is a new location for Flying Food Group, and we are currently trucking down the food and the beverage — everything that pertains to this flight from our kitchen at LAX. That’s a 125-mile trip and it’s roughly three hours going down. We’ve had experience doing this over-theroad catering since I’ve been here, but not to the extent that it was a customer who had a daily flight out of a remote location like San Diego. We’ve dealt with military charters for Omni, World, and North American in Riverside, California, Victorville, and Point Magu and also down in Miramar and North Island. PAX: Was it difficult to convince British Airways that service like this could be started and maintained? Curry: This was after we began servicing Hawaiian Airlines out of SFO in September of last year. We currently truck from SFO to Oakland and San Jose and Sacramento. Sacramento is around 20 miles shorter than our trip to San Diego. During the tender process, British Airways asked if we would care if they contacted Hawaiian to get their recommendation on how we’re doing out of San Francisco for the Sacramento market and they got rave reviews out of San Francisco — that it was working perfectly. So that

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model that we put in San Francisco is currently down here in Los Angeles. PAX: What did Flying Food do to successfully prepare for the first day of service? Curry: This was a real challenge, because we were given less than six weeks to make sure that we got all our paperwork in order, all our licenses all of our permits for the airport and all of our employees decaled and authorized through U.S. Customs and U.S. Border Patrol. So it was a six-week process and during that process what we did was to take multiple dry runs down to San Diego to see how long it would take us to get down there and what the pitfalls were, what our alternate routes were going down there and what are own risks were. Our trucks have to hit scales near San Clemente and we have immigration check points coming back from San Diego. We also have to deal with Customs and Border Patrol and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. British Airways is an international flight and it has international trash and we had to come up with Standard Operating Procedures and sign a 20-page compliance agreement to ensure that we secured this international trash from San Diego County all the way back to our kitchen at LAX. PAX: California has earned a reputation for terrible traffic. Curry:We had four alternate routes leaving LAX to get back to San Diego. We’ve tried them all and given ourselves enough time.

We’ve had to do some precision timing for when we produced the food, when we loaded it into the truck for transport to San Diego. Once there, we transfer it into our two catering trucks already stationed in San Diego. That came into play the first day, when we faced some challenges but still were ready two hours before the aircraft came in. So all of our hard work and preparation worked out perfectly. PAX: Did British Airways come to Flying Food Group with any particular requirements? Curry: In Los Angeles we always had very high quality and our standards are very high for BA. In 2010 we won the award for airline caterer of the year for British Airways worldwide. Another thing we had to draw from is we had no facility in San Diego. British Airways felt so comfortable with our plan and how we proceeded with the plan and all our backups. That’s how we won the business. It’s a 250-mile roundtrip. We have an overthe-road 24-foot refrigerated truck. We follow all the HACCP requirements involving British Airways. The food must stay in temperature from the time it leaves the kitchen to the time it’s put in the aircraft. And we have to take temperatures all through the process. That’s part of the standard operating procedures. We treat this flight separately from any other flight we do out of LAX. After we transfer it down to the airport, we have two catering trucks stationed there and it’s transferred from the refrigerated truck to the two catering trucks. The security company seals it, and then we cater the aircraft from there. It’s two and a half meal services for an 11-hour flight to London. PAX: Who worked on the project from Flying Food Group? Curry: It was my job to make sure this was done, and my Operations Manager Alfredo Castellanos and my Account Manager Jim Roberts headed this up for me. And obviously they did a great job in getting this done. You have to step out of the box. People don’t want to step out of the box and say ‘yes we can do this.’ A lot of people thought we were crazy — ‘you’re driving 125 miles.’ But this innovation gives Flying Food Group a presence in San Diego going forward and creative forward progress is what Flying Food Group is all about.


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WHAT’S HOT!

Trolley ice bucket

Liquid concentrated bases Company Name: Unilever Food Solutions Company Location: Nutley, NJ Description: Unilever Food Solutions introduces new KNORR liquid concentrated bases for every cooking solution. Created with high-quality ingredients for great flavor, color and aroma, the product has earned the Master Chefs’ Institute™ Seal of Excellence. It is gluten-free, containing no artificial colors or flavors and is shelf stable, even after opening. Easy to dispense and measure, the delicious liquid base dissolves in water, no mixing required.

Electronic cigarettes Company Name: SkyMax Company Location: Isernhagen, Germany Description: SkyMax offers a safe and satisfying alternative to smoking traditional, tobaccofilled cigarettes. Fumidus looks and tastes like a cigarette, but it does not ignite or burn tobacco. Instead, it produces a vapor that looks like cigarette smoke and mimics the taste, and can be inhaled like a conventional cigarette. Fumidus contains no toxic tars, chemical compounds or carcinogens.

Company Name: Asian Pioneer Company Location: Madrid, Spain Description: Conveniently fitted for standard trolleys and galleys, this ice bucket by Asian Pioneer can sit conveniently on the top of trolleys during service. When the lid is open, it provides additional space to carry napkins and sliced lemon. It has a capacity of three litrers of ice and can be stored easily inside airplanes’ standard units.

Miller Genuine Draft 64 Lemonade Company Name: Miller Brewing Company Company Location: Milwaukee, WI Description: Miller Brewing Co. launches MGD 64 Lemonade, a light, crisp refreshing beer with natural lemon flavors and only 64 calories. The thirst-quenching beer is a limited summer release and fits perfectly into the consumer needs categories of super light beer and lemon flavored beverages. It has only 2.4 grams of carbohydrates and is available in 12oz cans and bottles.

Refreshing ginger ale Company Name: GoPicnic Company Location: Chicago, IL Description: GoPicnic is launching its new beverage ‘Q Ginger’ ginger ale for adults in June this year. Made with lots of real ginger, the refreshing drink is lightly sweetened with organic agave, rather thansugar or high fructose corn syrup. The beverage is launching this summer at Williams Sonoma nationwide as well as select restaurants and cocktail lounges.

Headphone products Company Name: Asian Pioneer Global Merchandising Company Location: Madrid, Spain Description: Asian Pioneer offers a wide range of headphone products to suit every airline customers’ needs. They provide in-ear, clip on, noise canceling, single pin, double pin foldable and more. With its own headphone factory in China, the company guarantees quality and delivery time.

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ASSOCIATION NEWS

ITCA PREPARES FOR NEW CHAPTER IN ANNUAL EXHIBITION

T

he International Travel Catering Association’s (ITCA) announcement in early June that it has sold its annual European event to the company that each year holds the Aircraft Interiors Expo came after a spring of reassessment that looked at participation levels and financial realities. ITCA and Reed Exhibitions announced jointly June 7 that the new event – called the World Travel Catering Expo, incorporating the ITCA name would be held March 27-29 in Hamburg in conjunction with the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo. The re-branded event marks a new direction for ITCA that began in 1980 when the International Flight Catering Association first organized in London. Since then, yearly events have taken place in European locations from Sweden to Italy and Portugal to Germany. For organizers, the move comes after several exhibitions that ended in financial losses. ITCA President Stephen White and other organizers were also caught in a period of belt tightening by the industry and continued losses of important exhibitors. “It became obvious that we as an association could not have continued financially forever,” White tells PAX International. “The Board had to make a strategic decision to ensure the survival of the tradeshow.” White praised Reed Exhibitions, the new organizers of the event, which specializes in trade shows across many industries. With

UPCOMING

Cruise Shipping Asia November 16-18, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. For more information info@cruiseshippingmiami.com. Or call 609-759-4700.

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PAX INTERNATIONAL

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the company’s marketing skills and a single European show incorporating the ITCA name into the event, he said visitors would see much the same as in year’s past.

A spring decision After the most recent ITCA Exhibition in Nice, White said he learned that a number of larger companies would be exhibiting at AIX in 2012. At a March strategic workshop with senior executives from airlines, railroads, caterers and suppliers, the group concluded that ITCA and AIX was overlapping in many ways and participants could be saved time and expense by visiting both events, held concurrently. Other aspects of ITCA’s operation will also remain the same. The group will continue to hold its yearly Middle East exhibition in Dubai, its HACCP workshops and the Mercury Awards. “This will now enable the ITCA Board to concentrate on revamping the Association and I am determined that a new vibrant Association will emerge offering value and support to our members,” White said. ITCA and the International Flight Services Association both work with Reed Exhibitions on annual events. This fall, IFSA’s yearly Conference and Exhibition will be co-located with the Airline Passenger Experience Association Convention and another Aircraft Interiors Expo held each year in the United States. “IFSA has continued to explore strategic partnership opportunities with ITCA during

this past year with a joint task force.” said IFSA President Vicky Stennes. “While the acquisition of the ITCA European event by Reed adds an additional layer to the landscape, IFSA will continue to seek mutually beneficial synergies with organizations such as ITCA and others.” Scheduling and planning for next year’s event in Hamburg was already taking place at Reed Exhibitions, which yearly holds 460 events around the world. John Hyde, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, said plans call for an additional 2,900 square meters of space over three halls to be devoted to the World Travel Catering Expo. With the acquisition, Hyde said the AIX now would now able to tout the event as a one-stop shop “offering the complete passenger experience.” So, far, Hyde and White said response to the announcement has been heavy and positive. “We were inundated with messages either from previous exhibitors from the ITCA event, or people who had been interested in wanting to come to the ITCA event in the past, or actually, companies not yet exhibiting within ITCA or were not yet providing services to airlines,” Hyde added. “Many changes have been made in the last fourteen months and they will continue for probably another fourteen,” said White. “ITCA as an Association has been hugely successful over the last 30 years, but times do change and we are reacting to those changes as fast as we can.”

EVENTS

2011 International Flight Services Conference and Exhibition September 12-14, Airline Passenger Experience Association September 11-15, Aircraft Interiors Expo/Americas September 12-14, All are at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. For more information Contact IFSA at (404) 252-3663, e-mail ifsa@kellencompany.com, for APEX call (212)297-2177, e-mail info@apex.aero, for Aircraft Interiors Expo call 44 (0)208 910 7126 or e-mail michele.footitt@reedexpo.co.uk.

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By Rick Lundstrom

JULY/AUGUST 2011

GuestLogix User Group Conference October 3-5 at the the Hilton Hotel in Toronto 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more information email Dan Thompson, Director of Marketing and Communications for GuestLogix: dthompson@guestlogix.com or contact Melissa Paquin at melissa@elasticevents.com or 905-281-0555 ext. 114 ITCA Dubai Exhibition 2011, October 25-27, Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre for more information, contact ITCA at +44(0)1483 419449

2012 Cruise Shipping Miami, March 12-15, Miami Beach Convention Center. For more information info@cruiseshippingmiami.com. Or call 609-759-4700. Aircraft Interiors Expo, and World Travel Catering Expo, March 27-29, Hamburg. For more information call 44 (0) 208 910 7126 or e-mail michele.footitt@reedexpo.co.uk. Marine Hotel Association Conference & Trade Show, April 15-17, Peabody Hotel, Orlando. For more information, contact the association at (415) 332-1903.


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PAX July/August VOL 15. NO. 4