NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 | VOL. 16, NO. 6 | w w w. p a x- i n t l . c o m
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
ITCA ABU DHABI + SIAL Regional airlines Halal: a growth industry
Caterers of the
MIDDLE EAST 12
AIRPORT UPDATE p.
SUPPLIERS IN FOCUS p.
SWEETS GALORE p.
EVENT REVIEWS p.
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.
world comes to Abu Dhabi nyone who marvels at the diversity and international flavors featured at this year’s ITCA/SIAL/Rice and Grains event in Abu Dhabi might be interested to know that this is the second largest food show in the Middle East. Twenty-one international pavilions, seven halls and 1,000 stands among four events will be featured in Abu Dhabi this year. This still places SIAL behind the yearly Gulfood event that will be held in February 2013 in Dubai. This by no means implies that the SIAL event cannot measure, up. Instead, it shows the immensity and potential that the region has to become a culinary center of its own right. The first year, organizers of SIAL Middle East had 300 stands. The following year, interest had increased to 470. This year the November 26-28 event will have more than 700 exhibitors. The Middle East will be buying imported food products in staggering numbers over the next 10 years. The Economist Intelligence United projects that demand for food imports will double in the next 10 years, reaching US$53.1 billion by 2020. A few more facts highlight the demands the region is creating for imports. The countries within the GCC produce only 10% of their yearly dairy needs and only in Saudi Arabia does it rise to 30%, “so the market is extremely receptive when it comes to partnerships with leading international producers,” said Chris Fountain, Managing Director of Turret Media, which organizes SIAL Middle East.
Those demands by a growing and affluent population attract beef producers from Brazil and cheese manufacturers from Bulgaria. When 56% of consumer demand for meat is met through imports the countries and kingdoms in the region need to look somewhere. Such demand for imports creates some interesting contradictions as well. Faadi Saad, Group Exhibition director of SIAL tells us that even though the UAE is the largest exporter of dates in the world it is also the world’s second-largest importer. Much of the demand for high-quality imported dates is supplied by Saudi Arabia, which has the reputation of producing the finest in the world. The transportation sector that will be in Abu Dhabi for the International Travel Catering event will find plenty of synergy with the SIAL event nearby and the Rice and Grains show that will also be conducted at the same time. They will also have the chance to see a group of new products that are making waves. This year, SIAL will be showing its Top 50 products that came to market in 2012. Launched at the SIAL event in Paris, this feature has proven to be a successful draw and will be part of the Middle East event every year. For centuries, the world’s culinary bounty has moved through the Middle East. Those making the visit to Abu Dhabi will find an international event well worth their time.
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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 21 | V O L . 1 62 , N O . 6
Contents AIRPORT REPORT 12 ahead of The sLump Passenger traffic continues to grow worldwide, but some regions are doing better than others
REGIONAL CATERER REPORT 14 frozen In The deserT Food Point Dubai goes “back to basics” in a sector which can easily become all about numbers
16 addIs InTernaTIonaL caTerIng weLcomes newesT cusTomer Latest contract win coincides with the unit’s fourth anniversary
18 a key To The kIngdom With a long awaited IPO now completed, Newrest-managed Saudi Airlines Catering Company is ending its year with a new CEO and opportunities in and out of the airline environment
REGIONAL AIRLINES 20 domesTIc dynamIcs RAK Airways may be smallest of the UAE’s flag carriers, but this year it recorded an industry first, with its new service between Ras Al Khaimah and its close neighbor Abu Dhabi
22 hIghLy defIned Since flydubai installed its Lumexis system in November 2010 a modest fee has not stood in the way of passengers taking advantage of its IFE selection
SUPPLIER REPORT 23 TradITIon and change Watermark Products is inspired by diversity in the Middle East
24 formIa and TurkIsh aIrLInes eXTend cooperaTIon Purpose-designed kit recognizes needs of Mecca pilgrims, inflight and at their destination
25 snack TIme With more than 25 years in business, Hunter Foods is keen to grow its footprint in airline catering as part of a larger plan boost exports
26 a worLdwIde awareness Asia and the Middle East may be the origins of Halal cooking, but awareness of the need to supply Muslim populations is taking shape everywhere
30 The meaT of The maTTer Sheikh Asif Pochi of Pexim Inc. and Abu Adnan Poultry discusses the Halal market and the challenges he faces as one of the largest Halal poultry suppliers in the USA
31 The sweeT spoT The Middle East is becoming a center for imported confectionery, but the region itself lays claim to an ancient and universal sweet snack of its own
INDUSTRY EVENTS 34 Ifsa/apeX brIngs more of IndusTry To Long beach 36 apeX eXpo draws LargesT crowd In 15 years Planning is already underway for next year’s APEX EXPO, to be held September 9-12 in Anaheim, California
37 saTIsfacTIon In The spoTLIghT Experts at AIX Seattle agree that passenger comfort and satisfaction cannot be achieved by a ‘one size fits all’ approach
38 The guesTLogIX 4Th annuaL user group conference The three-day event brought together roughly 150 representatives from the company’s global airline customers and technology partners
D E PA R T M E N T S 3 EDITOR’S NOTE 6 NEWS 11 PEOPLE 40 WHAT’S HOT 42 ASSOCIATION NEWS 42 CALENDAR
On the cover: Grilled Herb Chicken prepared at Food Point Dubai. Read story on page 16
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NEWS AIRLINE Aviation is a US$8 billion industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Aviation/tourism a force in Saudi economy Aviation supports 1.8% of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product equal to SAR 30.2 billion (US$8 billion) annually and provides work for 152,000 people in the country, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association. This fall, IATA presented the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a study quantifying the economic benefits of aviation the country’s economy. Other findings from the report show that “aviation-enabled tourism” in Saudi Arabia employs a further 139,000 people and supports some SAR 23.6 billion (US$6.2 billion) of economic activity annually. The study was commissioned by IATA and completed by Oxford Economics. It was presented to His Highness Prince Fahad Alabdullah, who is President of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabian Airlines, by Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO who visited Saudi Arabia in October. “Aviation is a force for good in our world. The industry has turned our planet into a global community by connecting people to business, bringing products to markets, facilitating journeys of discovery and uniting families and friends. This has a significant economic impact. Globally, aviation provides employment to some 57 million people and supports $2.2 trillion in business. And in Saudi Arabia, aviation and aviation-enabled tourism supports 3.2% of the Kingdom’s GDP and 3.0% of the workforce,” said Tyler. Saudi Arabia’s 27 airports handle more than 54 million passengers per year, and the numbers are growing at double-digit pace.
Air Arabia CEO earns accolades Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, has been named “CEO of the Year – Aviation” at the third edition of CEO Middle East Awards. Hosted by CEO Middle East, an ITP group publication, “CEO Middle East Awards” recognize and reward success, innovation and ethics. The awards honor CEOs from across several business sectors through appreciation of innovative business, business excellence and overall business success, plus acknowledge the vital contribution made by individuals and their companies to the vibrancy of business across the region. Ali, who collected the award during a ceremony held in Dubai, was recognized for the continued strength of Air Arabia’s strong business model. Ali was also recognized for being at the forefront of the development of modern aviation through his contributions to the Arab aviation sector. “I am extremely honored to have won this recognition and this award goes to the entire
staff members of Air Arabia. It is our ambition to make flying affordable for everybody, whilst making the process of flying a pleasant experience for our millions of passengers who chose to fly with Air Arabia,” Ali said.
In July this year, the airline was been ranked as the world’s second best performing airline in Aviation Week’s annual Top-Performing Airlines (TPA) Study, which ranks the top 10 performing airlines worldwide based on five different performance categories, including financial and operational performance.
Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, has been named “CEO of the Year – Aviation” at the third edition of CEO Middle East Awards
Emirates to outfit A380 with mobile phone service Emirates announced this fall that it would offer the world’s first in-flight mobile phone service onboard the A380 aircraft. The new service will work with standard phones in conjunction with OnAir - the company that currently provides Wi-Fi service for all Emirates’ aircraft. Using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider, the new system will simply allow passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages, just as they would on the ground. “Our goal on every flight is to exceed our passengers’ expectations. We believe that exceeding expectations should not only apply to our Cabin Crew’s award-winning in-flight service and our
Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airline In-flight Entertainment’ ice system, but also to our passenger’s desire to stay in touch while traveling,” said Khalid Bel Jaflah, Emirates Vice President for East Africa region in a statement. The first call using the new system was made on October 2 and was placed to China, Emirates said. In 1993 Emirates became the first airline to equip an entire Airbus fleet with in-flight phones and it was also the first airline to equip an entire Airbus fleet with in-flight fax machines in 1994. Emirates also installed personal in-seat email and SMS throughout the fleet and in all classes in 2006 and launched Wi-Fi Internet access on A380 in conjunction with OnAir in 2011.
Gulf Air brings Kid’s Meal Boxes to school The Bahrain News Agency reported October 24 on a workshop that teamed Gulf Air, and the airline’s Sky Nannies with students at the St. Christopher’s Junior and Infants School in Saar. The event marked the launch of a new selection of Kid’s Meal Boxes, which were recently introduced on Gulf Air’s international routes. The boxes are filled with healthy offerings, which were used to teach the children the importance of proper nutrition.
“All Gulf Air meals are designed to be equally healthy and appetizing,” said Marcus Bernhardt, Gulf Air’s Chief Services Officer in the October 24 story. “Parents should not feel that flying and healthy eating don’t mix but that the balanced meals your child eats at home are also available 30,000 feet high in the sky.” The new Kid’s Meal Boxes are now flying on Gulf Air Flights to London, Paris and Frankfurt, and will be on other routes starting next year.
IATA nudges ME airline profits slightly Middle East carriers are expected to post a US$0.7 billion profit, up US$0.3 billion from a previous forecast, according to the International Air Transport Association. The region has also shown the strongest passenger traffic growth with a 17.1% increase in demand outstripping a 13.2% increase in capacity. “The region’s carriers continue to expand their long-haul market share with connections through their expanding hubs,” said IATA. “To illustrate the region’s growth, the share of international passenger traffic held by its carriers has expanded from 4.8% in 2002 to 11.5% in August 2012.”
Gulf Air/United sign on with Servair
Servair announced in October that it has been awarded with the contract for United Airlines and renewed its contract for Gulf Air for the two carriers’ service out of Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport. The United contract, which takes effect January 1 will cover the airline’s daily service from CDG for two daily flights to New York and one daily flight to both Chicago and Washington, D.C. Servair will make use of its Halal certified CPA unit for the nine weekly flights Gulf Air operates from CDG to Bahrain. The contract renewal runs for three years.
Seatrade summit brings cruise execs to Dubai Participants from neighboring kingdoms and the United Arab Emirates talked cruise development across the region for the Seatrade Middle East gathering Oct. 16-17 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. Among the topics on the agenda were port development, border controls, security and immigration and marketing the region. Among the cruise lines attending were Costa Crociere, Silversea, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and TUI Cruises. Port Rashid in Dubai is expected to receive 115 ship calls this year, with 410,000 cruise tourists. “International cruise lines are looking for new destinations away from the traditional Caribbean
Hybrite containers part of Zodiac stand at ITCA
Abu Dhabi airports on pace for record year Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) released in November the traffic report for Abu Dhabi International Airport during the month of September 2012, where it recorded a 14.5% growth in passenger traffic compared with the same month in 2011, with 1.2 million passengers passing through its facilities. The top five routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport during September were Bangkok, London, Doha, Manila and Cairo. Aircraft movements also continued to grow by 8.4% for the month of September totaling 10,057 movements compared to the same period last year; this is mainly due to Etihad’s new services and the flight
and Mediterranean itineraries, and with its location between Asia and Europe, the Arabian Gulf is ideally positioned to capitalize on this requirement for the new and the exotic,” said Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade. DP World, which operates the Port Rashid cruise terminal is looking to expand its facilities to accommodate up to seven large cruise ships. A waterfront area known as Mina Rashid is targeted for development for a recreational area “to reflect Dubai’s strong cultural heritage,” said a release from DP World. In November TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 2 became the fourth cruise ship to homeport in Dubai. It is a 264-meter long vessel that can carry 1,900 passengers and approximately 800 crewmembers.
frequency increase by airlines operating at the Capital’s airport. Cargo volume recorded an increase of 24.9% this month compared to the same month last year registering 48,525 tonnes. “This consistent double digit growth in passenger traffic during the month of September indicates that 2012 will be another record year for Abu Dhabi International Airport,” said Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). “The increasing attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a trade and tourism destination is boosting inbound and outbound traffic, while the airport continues to offer efficient connectivity for transfer passengers across all continents.”
At ITCA Abu Dhabi, Zodiac Aerospace will exhibit its new Hybrite container, which boasts reduced weight and other attractive features. The company has already been asked to supply the Hybrite container to several VIP jets in the Gulf region, and Zodiac Aerospace has been awarded with multiple orders for the new product by carriers in both the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. The Hybrite container is a stylish and portable ‘design container’ intended for the transport and storage of temperature controlled food, beverages and condiments for flight catering. It was developed following the successful launch of its sister product, the innovative Hybrite trolley. A 10% weight reduction makes the container the lightest in the industry at 2.6 kilograms, says Zodiac. The Hybrite’s careful design results in easy stackability and storage. Its user-friendly handle and locking system are made of composites for better ergonomics. Zodiac is able to powder coat or print any artwork on the door of the Hybrite container and guarantees its longevity. These containers, used onboard in combination with the Hybrite trolleys, can create an enticing and sophisticated galley area consistent with airline branding.
Top destinations from Abu Dhabi Airport in September were Bangkok, London, Doha, Manila and Cairo
Zodiac Aerospace introduced The Hybrite container line earlier this year
Everybody deserves a Hybrite The wannahave equipment by Driessen
DRIESSEN CABIN INTERIORS Galleys & Equipment
INDUSTRY Q & A
ITCA Abu Dhabi The International Travel Catering Association has found partners in a major food service event, prominent airline and a region ripe for opportunity ccording to International Air Transport Association reports, the Middle East will process 400 million air travelers by 2020 as state-of-the-art airports come on line, major carriers expand their route networks and aircraft orders from the Gulf region further boost capacity. The UAE is also the single biggest market for Airbus, with total orders valued at $223.9 billion over the next 20 years. Against this backdrop, the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) joined forces with SIAL Middle East 2012 for the upcoming event that will be held November 26-28 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). PAX International posed a few questions about the region and the upcoming event in early November to ITCA President Stephen White for this issue’s Industry Q and A.
PAX International: Could I get some background on how the event came together? What were some alternatives and ideas you first considered when scheduling a new event and new location for ITCA Middle East? Stephen White, ITCA President: ITCA has always been interested in developing events in areas where growth exists within our industry and it is clear to all that the Middle East region is one such area. In fact it is by far and away the most booming region in the world and so we always wanted to have a major presence in the region. We have tried to develop something in the region before but there was always something lacking. Then we were approached by Etihad Airways. Etihad is an airline synonymous with a quality on board service and Etihad and Abu Dhabi through Government bodies seemed to be offering a huge amount of support to bring ITCA to Abu Dhabi. We have been able to introduce a hosted buyer package, discounted airfares and some beautiful locations for the social, networking events we have planned. At the same time we approached SIAL Middle East, a food show organized by the biggest food show organizers in the world and they too, were very keen to start something new with ITCA. PAX: How well known and attended was the SIAL Middle East event by the travel catering industry?
White: SIAL Middle East is in its third year and has been growing tremendously year on year. They now occupy five exhibition halls at the wonderful, state of the art exhibition center at ADNEC. Last year’s event saw SIAL Middle East bring together 466 exhibitors and more than 9,700 trade visitors from 71 countries. Exhibitors reported that they had signed at least US$350,000,000 worth of contracts. It is expected that more than 1,000 exhibitors will be at the show this year – so this is a very serious event in global terms. It is true to say that, in spite of the sizeable numbers involved in travel catering, it is still only a part of the global catering market and so it made sense for SIAL to include a section for travel catering hence the partnership with ITCA. Visitors to ITCA Abu Dhabi will also be able to visit without charge all halls and conference events being held at ITCA Abu Dhabi, SIAL Middle East, and the adjoining Rice and Grains and the International Date Palm festival all of which are being held at the same location at the same time. PAX: Could you update us on registration, exhibitor participation, airline and caterer interest and other general signup details thus far? White: At the end of October, there is still some time to go, and in today’s world everything is left until almost last minute. Among the exhibitors are companies like DeSter, Sola, Chatsford, Lily O’Brien’s, Driessen, Deeko Bahrain, D & F Marketing and John Horsfall. The visitors are now registering in their multitude and already include such airlines as Qatar Airways, Garuda, Kenya Airways, Tunisair, XPO Airlines, Air Canada, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Thai Airways, Caterers such as Newrest, Marfo, Gate Gourmet, Frankenberg, Bangkok Air Catering and Servair and also signed on. Not only are these companies being represented but also there are four other halls of food orientated exhibitors showing in the SIAL halls but also the ITCA exhibitors will benefit from the 10,000 plus visitors booked for the SIAL show. PAX: How effective has the Hosted Buyer Program been in attracting delegates? White: We still have not closed this program yet and as I speak there is still a month to go. But I can say that there are airlines attending
Stephen White, ITCA President
that probably would not be under other circumstances. It is relatively easy for airline executives to obtain travel concessions but hotel accommodation, dinners, lunches and so on are all normally required to receive budgetary approval – and in these difficult times this is not always straightforward. So we are able to provide hotel costs including breakfast and tax, we will provide lunches at the venue and also free tickets to the networking events such as the Etihad sponsored cocktail party on the Monday night and the Gala dinner and Mercury awards ceremony at the wonderful ShangriLa hotel on the Tuesday evening. This package has been extremely well received and will benefit our exhibitors as well as they will be getting to meet visitors from more airlines. We are looking at this event being the first annual event with Sial ME in Abu Dhabi and we hope to be making this a new home for ITCA. PAX: This will be the first time the Mercury Awards will be distributed outside the main conference. How has the signup been, and will we be seeing anything different in the years to come with Mercury? White: I can tell you that Kevin Cox is delighted with the 30 odd entries that he and his judges judged in September. He says that the quality and innovation displayed by the entries, which were received from all over the world was fantastic and we are all delighted to be taking the awards to our new event in the Middle East. It promises to be a wonderful evening and in a spectacular location. It is also wonderful that the winner of the food and beverage category at this year’s Mercury will also be immediately be entered into the SIAL Innovation program and will appear at a number of SIAL shows around the world without extra cost. We are really happy to be linked with the wonderful location that is Abu Dhabi. The level of support has been simply sensational, highlighted by the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. Everyone is really looking forward to this the latest and new trade show and networking event in the 32-year history of ITCA. I, for one, am looking forward to meeting a lot of old friends there next month.
Newrest names VP and regional managers Newrest has named a new Vice President and 10 new general managers for its worldwide operations. The changes took effect October 1. Olivier Laurac, “This will promote and structure Newrest's General Manger South Africa and Southern Africa Zones growth, both in France and internationally, and to prepare for the commercial and operational challenges that they will face over the next five years,” said a release from Newrest. On October 3, the company announced Carlos Antunes would be Newrest’s Vice President of Support Services – Remote Sites. Before joining Newrest, Antunes spent three years as Marketing Manager for the Sodexo account in Angola Nicolas Pauly, Olivier Laurac has been named as General General Manager Niger and West Africa Manager, South Africa and manager of the southern Africa Zones that includes South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Angola, Uganda and Madagascar. Laurac has been with the Newrest Group since 2008 and has held the positions as Newrest’s General Manager, Oman and Newrest General Manager, Angola. Nicolas Pauly, has been named as General Manager, Niger and Manager, Central and Western Africa Zone, which is composed of Niger, Congo, Cameroon, Guinea-Conakry, Senegal and Gabon. Pauly joined the Newrest Group in 2008 in the position of Manager, Remote Site Operations before becoming Newrest’s General Manager, Niger in 2011. Olivier Suarez has been named as General Manager, Morocco and North African Zone, which includes Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Tunisia. Suarez joined Catair in 1998 before it merged with Newrest in 2005. He has held the positions of Assistant General Manager, France; Operations Manager; and Newrest General Manager, Spain. Other positions involved the restructuring are: Frank Carpentier, named as General Manager, Tunisia. Carpentier has been Newrest’s Assistant General Manager, Tunisia since 2010. Marc Giraud has been named as Assistant General Manager, Morocco. Giraud has been Newrest’s General Manager, Tunisian Subsidiaries since 2010. Finally for Africa,Yvon Martinez has been named as General Manager, Angola. Martinez has worked for Newrest since 2008 and has held the positions of Operations Manager, Oman (remote site management); Newrest Sales Manager, Spain for inflight catering; and Newrest Operational Remote Site Manager, Angola. In the company’s European zone, Frédéric Gatteau has been named as General Manger of Spain. He was previously the company’s General Manager for Greece and Cyprus. Taking Gatteau’s place as general manager for Greece and Cyprus is Manuella Kapagiannidi, who was the company’s Financial Manager for the two countries. Olivier Suarez, In the American and Polynesian Zone, Emmanuel General manager Morocco and Northern Africa Leprêtre has been promoted from Assistant General Manager of General Manager of Polynesia. Jaime Rodriguez has been named general manager of Chile. He joined Newrest in June of this year. He has spent much of the past 20 years with Sodexo. “Sixty-eight percent of Newrest is employeeowned, and the company is staying true to its managerial policy by encouraging internal promotions,” said the release. Carlos Antunes,
Executive Chef named at D | F Marketing D | F Marketing GmbH, Germany has appointed Roland Hübl Sales & Market Development Executive Chef. Hübl is a long time member of the Congress of Chefs and of the international Masterchef association with nearly 27 years of inflight catering experience and many years in the Restaurant & Hotel business, as well as purchasing, finance and quality assurance around the globe. “Roland is a valuable addition to the D|F Marketing Team”, said Klaus Englisch Roland Hübl, von Stelzer, Managing Director of D|F Mar- Sales and Market keting GmbH. “His excellent food exper- Development Executive Chef tise, coupled with his knowledge of specific airline customer needs and wishes makes him ideally suited for his new challenge within D|F.”
Willen to take spot at First Catering Schweiz René Willen, currently Head Customer Service, will become new Managing Director of LSG Sky Chefs/First Catering Schweiz AG starting next year. Willen will replace Beat J. Gehrig, who plans to begin retirement by the end of 2012. “In René Willen, LSG Sky Chefs/First Catering Schweiz AG has a top executive with a proven industry track record and experience accumulated both domestically and abroad, most recently at LSG Sky Chefs Switzerland,” said a release from the caterer The Board of Directors at LSG Sky Chefs commended Gehrig for his efforts and achievements for First Catering Group, and completion of the integration of the two companies. “We wish Beat J. Gehrig only the best for the next stage of his life,” said the release.
Tastefully Yours claims first aviation nutritionist In a first for airline catering, Tastefully Yours has appointed a full time nutritionist to support and develop new menus for its aviation client base. Heather Hibbin will focus on enhancing the client offering from Tastefully Yours with the 15 strong catering team based at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta. Hibbin will be responsible for creating lighter versions of existing menus, providing qualified nutritional information about menu ingredients, creating menus for special dietary requests and devising menus that balance with the body’s circadian rhythms, for passenger and crew. Hibbin will also create menus that will support crew activity to ensure they can perform at optimum levels during flights, reducing fatigue and potential risk. Before joining Tastefully Yours, Hibbin worked at Cobb & Douglas (County) Public Health Nutrition Services where she was responsible for the assessment of clients for nutritional risk and provided motivational counseling to support clients’ lifestyle changes and food choices. She is also a frequent presenter at district meetings on the subject of nutrition.
Vice President of Support Services, Remote Sites
Ahead of the slump
Passenger traffic continues to grow worldwide, but some regions are doing better than others by Andrew brooks t the end of September, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) turned in its global traffic figures for the month of August, which showed a continuing decline in demand for air transport, although with “significant regional variations.” As with the July figures, Ramadan exerted an influence on the traffic numbers, helping to drive a “positive distortion” that saw overall figures rise by 5.1%. When Ramadan is adjusted for, IATA says that the underlying numbers remain flat, and that since January the net expansion has only been 1.2%. Carriers were in a cautious mood, limiting capacity growth to 4.1%, which helped to drive load factors to 82.1%. “Passenger markets have not grown since June and global air freight volumes are below previous year levels,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler. “In the face of these adverse conditions, disciplined capacity management has kept load factors high. There are always opportunities and some parts of the world are growing. But, overall, trading conditions are tough.” In terms of international passenger traffic, Middle Eastern carriers were the strongest performers globally. IATA says that they are continuing to expand rapidly, especially on longhaul segments. The August growth rate was 16.7% compared with the same month last year, although IATA notes that the figure for August 2011 could have been artificially low as Ramadan covered the whole of that month. Capacity increases for August ran at 13.3%. Latin America was the second strongest region for August as demand rose 7.3% compared with August 2011. Europe also recorded strong growth in demand at 5.6%, a slight rise over July’s 4.7%. European carriers have continued to increase capacity on international
flights despite recessionary conditions in Europe. Demand in Africa rose 3.2%, the Asia-Pacific rate was 2.9% and North American carriers experienced a rise in demand of 0.5% over August 2011 (and over July of this year). IATA notes that airline industry fortunes tend to reflect the state of the global economy. “Sluggish growth in the US, the continuing sovereign debt crisis in Europe and concerns over the slowdown in the Chinese economy are taking their toll on both business and consumer confidence,” said Tyler. “Airlines have responded with, among other things, careful capacity management. While global passenger traffic was up 5.1% on the previous August, capacity increases trailed with a 4.1% expansion. Along
“There are always opportunities and some parts of the world are growing. But, overall, trading conditions are tough.” Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, IATA with this, conserving cash and controlling costs are the focus of most airlines as they await more favorable economic conditions.” Airports Council International (ACI) also released its August figures for passenger traffic, and also unsurprisingly found an overall upward trend of 5%. ACI’s more optimistic gloss on the numbers does point out that the bulk of the worldwide increase comes from the emerging markets. ACI’s focus is on airports, so its analysis gives a more specific idea of where growth is occurring, and where demand is falling behind. The major airports in Asia seem to have
Dubai International Airport saw traffic increase 20% in August
been the star performers in ACI’s analysis. Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore led the way, with double digit gains of 25.7%, 11.4% and 10.9% respectively. Dubai and Istanbul also turned in outstanding growth figures, both registering over 20% for August. “On the whole, growth in passenger traffic has remained relatively consistent from month to month with overall growth rates in the realm of 4% over the last twelve months,” said ACI Economics Director Rafael Echevarne. “Thus, air transport has been immune to the downside risks that have persisted in the global economy throughout 2011 and 2012. However, even with strong demand in emerging markets fueling this growth, this phenomenon is not indefinite.” Stepping back for a year-over-year view, ACI published its 2011 World Annual Traffic Report in October. The annual survey reinforces a certain degree of optimism, finding that the upward momentum that re-
established itself following the 2008-2009 recession continued through 2011, a year it describes as “plagued with economic uncertainty, natural disasters and sociopolitical upheaval.” Latin American airports led the way with 8.5% growth in traffic, and the Middle East came close behind at 7.7%. “The world’s airports served more than 5.4 billion passengers in 2011, growing by 5.3% from 2010,” said ACI World’s Director General, Angela Gittens. “This is ongoing evidence of the sheer size of the global aviation market as well as the perseverance of the industry as a whole.”
The destination for the aircraft interiors industry Aircraft Interiors Expo is the unrivalled launch pad for tomorrowâ€™s designs in cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment, connectivity and passenger services.
Save the Date 9-11 April 2013
If you are interested in exhibiting at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2013 contact Daniel Kazimierczak on +44(0) 208 910 7132
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services 9 â€“ 11 April 2013 Hamburg Messe , Germany
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REGIONAL CATERER REPORT
Customers of Food Point Dubai benefit from a large number of safety controls put into practice at every turn
The majority of the 150,000 frozen meal equivalents produced at Food Point each day go directly to the EKFC units at DXB
Food Point has always had the vision of producing hand crafted foods at machine made prices
Frozen in the desert
Food Point Dubai goes “back to basics” in a sector which can easily become all about numbers by MAryAnn siMson mirates Flight Catering (EKFC) is an undeniably large and influential organization in terms of airline catering in the Middle East. Owned by Emirates Group and by the Dubai Civil Aviation, each division of the company is continually striving for excellence. EKFC One as it is often referred to, caters its parent airline exclusively and has helped Emirate’s inflight services become something of a benchmark for volume, creativity and execution for caterers and airlines everywhere. EKFC Two, allows airlines transiting through Dubai to treat passengers to similar levels of culinary finesse. Coming soon is EKFC Three, which is currently being prepped to support the US$7.8 billion expansion of Dubai International airport as it aims to boost passenger traffic and solidify its designation as the region’s main hub for both passenger and cargo traffic. While most divisions of EKFC are located in the airport complex itself, one of its key operations – Food Point - is located in the Dubai Investment Park, one of the world's largest trading zones, just 30 minutes from DXB by
car. Food Point commenced operations in 2005 and plays a vital role in keeping its sister kitchens running smoothly and uplifting the quality passenger meals they are famous for. While the majority of the 150,000 frozen meal equivalents produced at Food Point each day go directly to the EKFC units at DXB airport, the balance of the hand-crafted frozen entrees, snacks, sauces and components go to other airline and land-based caterers, casual dining establishments and the retail market. “The creation of EKFC (including Linencraft, an industrial laundry facility also under the Emirates Group, which currently processes over 220,000 pieces of airline and hospitality linen per day) was based on the vision of turning Dubai into a world class hub for the transport of goods and people,” explains Robert Mizrahi, Senior Business Development Manager for Food Point and Linencraft. “We have a pretty unique position within EKFC in that we serve other airlines directly. We work closely with a number of regional airlines for frozen entrees and are developing a completely new range of snacks for them.” According to Mizrahi, most airlines oper-
ating in the region have their own catering facilities at or near regional airports, which handle their fresh food preparation. These caterers, he continues, have chosen to source frozen components from Food Point for a variety of reasons. “The major advantage of the product we develop is that it tends to fall into the area of quantity versus supply chain,” says Mizrahi. “Fortunately in Dubai we have the benefit of a good supply chain built over many years. This is fairly unique to the region as many other countries in the region don’t have the benefit of volumes transiting through their hubs. This is a prerequisite to producing high quality and cost effective recipes and meal components. A lot of work goes into developing products that exceed our customers’ expectations and we have a great team to make this happen time and time again. Our products are frozen very rapidly, which has a direct impact on quality in the sense that we can maintain that freshness and quality even though we are proceeding with supply chain deliveries.” Health and safety, a major concern for any facility handling or preparing food, is of
the utmost important at Food Point as well. The unit likes to consider itself a regional leader in this department and the reasons for this are clear. Customers benefit from a large number of safety controls put into practice at every turn. In addition to HACCP, ISO and ITCA guideline adherence, all food product entering or leaving the 10,000 square meter facility is thoroughly checked by the
n-house lab. All surfaces within the kitchen incorporate Microban technology, which provides continuous antimicrobial and antibacterial protection and the unit is a glass-free facility, featuring full segregation of raw and cooked products. Despite very modern facilities, complex and integrated management software and the latest food prep and fast-freezing technologies, Mizrahi was keen to place emphasis on another very important characteristic of daily operations at Food Point. “Our Senior Vice President, Jan Bijsterbosch, has always had the vision of producing hand crafted foods at machine made prices,” he tells PAX International. “Many catering companies outside of our region function on a different premise, often because the resources mix they have for production is different than ours. In Europe and the United States, a lot of airlines have divested themselves from catering and ancillary services they would provide in conjunction with pure air transport as cost centres are turned into revenue generating activities. In the Middle East the vision is completely different. We are offering a service which englobes not only the transport aspect but also the Arab
concept of hospitality.” This drive to make hand crafted foods has actually become cost-effective for Food Point, because the unit has an extraordinary set of circumstances in terms of large volume and willingness to create levels of service beyond expectation, in conjunction with a strong supply chain and a relatively low cost of labor. “This has allowed us to go ‘back to basics’, where it is not just about having machines depositing sauce or folding omelets,” Mizrahi explains. “Our sauce is hand-spooned onto meals and our omelets are made and folded entirely by hand. We like to keep in mind that we are talking about food, and not merely a ‘product’.” With this quality approach in mind, and a focus on innovation and flexibility, Food Point is now set on expanding the capacity of its current facility. The kitchen is looking to find regional partners in terms of airlines and airline catering facilities for which it can begin to develop and deliver products, or provide additional services. The 100% Halal facility is also focused on increasing production of frozen snack foods for the airline sector, having recently launched a range of hand-crafted pizzas with Emirates.
REGIONAL CATERER REPORT Lead by Executive chef Willie Riesen, ADDIS chefs are trained in international cuisine and follow strict hygiene and safety protocols
Addis International Catering welcomes newest customer by
Latest contract win coincides with the unit’s fourth anniversary n September, Addis International Catering began preparing and uplifting a range meals featuring international flavors, with an ‘African and Ethiopian twist’ to its sixth commercial airline customer, Kenya Airways. “We are delighted to be providing services for Kenya Airways, ‘The Pride of Africa’,” said Tomas Jämtander, Chief Operating Officer at Addis International. “The options were in discussion for quite some time and we are very happy for KQ to join the Addis family. We look forward to a long and successful relationship.” Kenya Airways operates 14 flights per week from Addis Ababa with connections to Nairobi and Djibouti, using Boeing 737’s and Embraer aircraft. The airline has both Business and Economy Class featuring different service levels, however some aircraft have purely economy seating and service. Passengers departing Addis Ababa in the morning can enjoy hot and cold breakfasts prepared by Addis International. The kitchen is also supplying lunch items for the carrier, as well as ‘hot light snacks’. Designed by ACE (African Catering Enterprises) and built to high European standards in cooperation with Swedish construction management firm Midroc AB, the 6,000 square foot ADDIS International Catering unit was completed in 2008 – making it now four years old. The unit sources many non-local ingredients from the Middle East and obtained Halal certification in February 2011. The in-house lab at ADDIS works diligently to maintain the highest possible standards of safety internally and also runs programs to educate other catering and hospitality business in the region. Inflair catering software and a highly experienced, management team (many with 20 plus years of relative experience) keep the stateof-the art kitchen running at optimal performance to serve its commercial and business aviation customers.
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REGIONAL CATERER REPORT
Newrest operates more than 20 restaurants at the massive Princess Noura University in Saudi Arabia
A key to
Newrest Co-CEO Jonathan Stent-Torriani
With a long awaited IPO now completed, Newrest-managed Saudi Airlines Catering Company is ending its year with a new CEO and opportunities in and out of the airline environment by Rick LundstRom n early November, Newrest announced that a new Chief Executive Officer would be taking the helm of Saudi Catering with the departure of Christophe Parent who has accepted a position with Qatar Airways. Waiting ahead for new CEO, Gerhard Marschitz, is an operation deeply involved in a kingdom with a rapidly growing flag carrier, improving airport infrastructure and tourism and opportunities inside and outside of airline catering. Saudi Catering is now a publicly held company, after a long and often-delayed initial public offering that concluded in July of this year with an initial market capitalization of US$1.18 billion, 30% of which was successfully offered to the public. By November 2012, the value of the company had increased to US$1.7 billion. Newrest with their consortium partners in Strategic Catering Company Ltd (SCCL) remain the second largest shareholder in the company after Saudi Airlines, and are the strategic partner in charge of management of the company. After an extensive internal & external international recruiting process, the company settled on Marschitz who has extensive experience in food and beverage, logistics and supply. Most recently, he worked as
MD Foodservice of Supreme Group, a US$7 Billion Dubai-based company that operates logistics for the United States Army and NATO among many others. He also worked for a period with Compass Group the food service and support company based in the United Kingdom. Logistics experience is an important asset in a country as vast as Saudi Arabia, with two large pilgrimages taking place each year, said Jonathan Stent-Torriani, Co-CEO of Newrest. Saudi Catering has four units in Saudi Arabia and an additional unit in Cairo. From the four central units, Saudi Catering additionally operates back-catering service to 22 domestic airports within the country To handle the needs of pilgrims for Hajj and Umrah, SACC opened a central production unit in Riyadh in May of 2011. The unit supplies frozen meals for economy class service and was the source of all the inflight meals for the most recent Hajj pilgrimage. In June of this year, production capacity was ramped up at the CPU to 54,000 meals per day. In the years to come, Newrest & Saudi Catering wish to play an important part in the development of inflight service on Saudi Airlines. The carrier is moving ahead with a fleet expansion of 32 new aircraft and bold plans to compete with the service oriented carriers in
the GCC region. In addition to catering, SACC is also responsible for procurement of all catering equipment, including chinaware, glassware and cutlery, on behalf of Saudi Airlines. “Their fleet is expanding at an impressive pace, and so is their service offering. You can see they are modernizing and improving customer services at a rate that is quite exceptional,” said Stent-Torriani. Saudi Airlines’ successful Skysales business resulted in SAR26 million (US$33.3 million) in sales in 2011 and is again growing by almost 25% in 2012. Newrest supplies guidance and operational support and synergies through its own inflight sales division, Airshop, which provides duty free and BOB solutions to more than 30 airlines worldwide. Saudi Catering’s non-airline business is growing at a rate of 30% to 40% per year in the country, said Stent-Torriani. SAAC handles food service for the Aramco Cafeteria the SABB-HSBC bank in Riyah and Maadhen Phosphate project center in Dammam. At the Islamic Development Bank, ‘The Lunch’ by Newrest serves breakfast and lunch to 1,500 employees. Most recently, Saudi Catering was picked to handle foodservice for Princess Noura University, a US$10 billion investment by the Saudi Arabian Government in a women’s only college for 60,000 students opened in September 2011. SACC already operates more than 20 restaurants on a campus so large that the faculties are linked by metro rail service and the university has two Olympic swimming pools and sports stadiums. Finally, the company recently opened industrial laundry operations in Jeddah and Riyadh (with an output capacity of more than 24 tons of laundry per day) that will supply airlines, hotels and hospitals in the region.
REGIONAL REPORT RAK Airways CEO John Brayford (center) cuts a welcome cake with Abu Dhabi Airports Company CEO James Bennett and Etihad Airways Vice President of Network Operations Chris Youlten
Domestic dynamics RAK Airways may be smallest of the UAE’s flag carriers, but this year it recorded an industry first, with its new service between Ras Al Khaimah and its close neighbor Abu Dhabi by
he United Arab Emirates fits between Austria and the Czech Republic in total area, but few would argue that its many operating scheduled airlines make the seven states a competitive aviation environment well outside its geographical footprint. In early October of this year, the world’s aviation press – gathering in Abu Dhabi was treated to a respite from the normally business-oriented World Route Development Forum. On October 3, an A320 operated by RAK Airways touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport, marking the first domestic flight within the UAE. The event was also another signal of the return of Ras Al Khaimah’s flag carrier, resurrected and broughtback into scheduled service less than three years ago. RAK Airways operates a fleet of four A320s to nine destinations. In the years ahead, RAK Airways has plans to grow its aircraft fleet and add new destinations to capitalize on the burgeoning tourism industry in its back yard. Also, a new code-sharing agreement with Etihad Airways is another key aspect of this strategy.
RAK Airways may be smallest of the UAE’s flag carriers, but this year it recorded an industry first, with its new service between Ras Al Khaimah and its close neighbor Abu Dhabi
“The Emirates are growing so quickly, and people see that if they get in here quickly there’s a golden opportunity to be part of the expansion, which is of course, what we want to be,” said John Brayford, RAK Airways’ Chief Executive Officer. Brayford comes to RAK Airways with more than 30 years experience in airline operations that have taken him around the world. For 15 years he worked in overseas locations for British Airways. He later worked with the forerunner of Flybe, British European. He also has worked at Qatar Airways and Arik Air in Nigeria. In June of 2011, he joined RAK Airways as the airline was newly emerged and shaking off the affects of the property and busi-
ness crashes that halted scheduled service. After 2008, RAK Airways operated as a charter and wet-leasing business before returning to scheduled operations in the spring of 2010. Now, RAK Airways operates scheduled service from Ras Al Khaimah (RKT) to Cairo, Jeddah and Doha in the west, Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan, the Bangladesh cities of Chittagong, and Dhaka and Calicut in the Kerala state of India. The airline also has a partner in Etihad Airways, for which RAK shares the airline’s code on four weekly flights between RKT and AUH. Brayford said he surprised officials at the airline when he first proposed the idea of a domestic route.
“No one had ever thought of it before, but their answer was very encouraging,” he said. Once the two sides agreed to go ahead with the arrangement, RAK began the lengthy process of adapting and testing its computer reservation system to adapt to Etihad’s. This occurred at the time the larger carrier was also changing its own CRS from the SITA system to Sabre. Work is still continuing, and Etihad plans a switchover to Sabre next year. Brayford and RAK Airways were not the only ones excited at the new partnership. “This is the first time Etihad Airways will have its EY code on a domestic UAE flight which is an exciting milestone for us,” said the airline’s CEO James Hogan, on the October 3 inauguration of the flight. “We look forward to welcoming travelers through Abu Dhabi and onto international flights across the Etihad Airways network.” Once Etihad completed an operational audit on RAK, the task was then to convince passengers to forego the freeway linking the two emirates by about three hours drive and opting for a flight that is scheduled for 45 minutes, but is often completed in 25 minutes, said Brayford.
But as it turns out, Brayford said many residents of the Emirates might find that an easier choice than one would think. Commuting the busy freeways in a fast growing region has brought increased traffic to the UAE’s highway system. Brayford says delays on the Emirates’ main thoroughfares have become more frequent. Soon when RAK Airways expands the service to daily flights, and later to flights twice daily, the frequency will be a vital selling tool. “Once we have a scheduled morning and evening flight next spring that will be a very serious alternative to people taking their cars,” he said. In the early fall, Brayford said many of the passengers in the RKT-AUH route were using the flight and its short, one hour connection time to the Etihad Airways flight to Bangkok. Passengers departing the RAK Airways to AUH have also been boarding the Etihad flight to Manila. On such a short flight, as RKT-AUH, cabin service is limited to a sandwich box with a muffin, juice and water. RAK Airways’ caterer out of RKT is Rakabela, part of the Albert Abela group that operates catering and restau-
rant business in the UAE and Lebanon. Rakabela is also under a 15-year concession contract to operate restaurants and coffee shops at the airport. But if plans work out and the promising tourist industry in the emirate continues to grow, a new Rakabela airline-catering kitchen has received approvals from the government and could be built in the near future. In the shadow of the scenic Hajar mountains, Ras Al Khaimah has a climate and tourism dynamic different from much of the rest of the UAE. Its slower pace and unspoiled beaches have been beckoning development in recent years. Among the notable properties that have located in the emirate, Brayford listed the Banyan Tree Wadi Hotel and the Hilton Resort or Cove Rotana among seven to eight major properties. In the first quarter of next year, Brayford added that the Waldorf Astoria will open “a most amazing looking property” that will bring a clientele that RAK Airways is planning to cater to. “We are gearing up for that, because we believe the sort of people who stay at the Waldorf will not be coming in on charter flights, but coming here as premium travelers on scheduled service,” he said.
Cleaned for take-off
Take hygiene and safety on board and enjoy a clean flight with MEIKO. MEIKO, your global partner in airline catering and wash-up systems.
CEO of flydubai, Ghaith al Ghaith
Since flydubai installed its Lumexis system in November 2010, a modest fee has not stood in the way of passengers taking advantage of its IFE selection by rick LundstroM
rom the days of early distributed video, the airlines of the Middle East have been among the pioneers of inflight entertainment, being early adopters of some of the newest systems. And two years ago, flydubai became the launch customer for the Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) system from Lumexis that promised high-definition technology for the first time in the cabin of a scheduled airline. The carrier took the innovation one step further, betting the passengers would be willing to pay for high-quality inflight entertainment. Two years from the launch, flydubai has upgraded the system adding more content and creating a second tier payment category that can give passenger freedom to roam the more than 800 hours of programming now available on the system for about the price of a sandwich at one of the airport restaurants. The IFE system earned the airline a “Budgie Award” for Best Ancillary Revenue Innovation or Strategy at this fall’s World Low Cost Airline’s Congress, held in London. “Since we upgraded our IFE system in February of this year, we have built a film selection to offer more Hollywood movies than any other airline in the world,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai. “We also have the top ten highest grossing movies of all time.” Hollywood, Bollywood, Russian and Arabic titles make up an extensive multi-cultural mix that the airline developed with the help of major international studios. The airline works with all the major Hollywood studios as well as regional centers and distributors to make up its selection. The airline also has an ongoing relationships with AMP International which handles logistics of getting the titles from the distributors onto the aircraft.
Among the airline’s routes, the flight from Dubai to Beirut has been a top producer of revenue for inflight entertainment. “We also have very strong demand on our flights to and from Russia and Ukraine destinations, in addition to Istanbul and Belgrade,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith. For AED10 (US$2.70) passengers have access to a base package of 154 television shows, and 300 musical compact disks and a selection of games. For AED30 (US$8.15) passengers have access to the entire selection of IFE, which adds 190 movie titles. Route maps, airline information and news and daily newspapers are always available free of charge.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance the flight experience and offer our passengers more choice of optional extras,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith in the February announcement that flydubai had won the Budgie. “We also want to pioneer new standards in aviation, and we have done it again with these developments put our IFE ahead of all other low cost carriers around the world.”
FREEJ™ safety video in second year on flydubai
If airlines have a difficult time getting passengers to listen to the safety video with flight attendants, could a group of grandmothers get their attention? That’s the approach flydubai has been taking since December of 2011 when it launched a new animated safety video featuring characters from FREEJ™ a popular cartoon series in the region. The approach was done to capture the interest of passenger of all ages, said flydubai. It is shown in every seatback of the airlines 737-800 NG aircraft. The airline worked with the General Civil Aviation Authority to make sure it met all the standards of a safety video. “There is great compatibility between FREEJ™ and flydubai,” said the creator Mohammed Saeed Harib. “As we are both young and inventive brands that have become household names very quickly.” FREEJ™ celebrates the culture and traditions of the UAE through the eyes of four grandmothers
Most popular films on flydubai Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol The Avengers Contraband Men in Black 3 The Hunger Games
flydubai has 800 hours of entertainment on its Lumexis system
Tradition and change
Watermark Products is inspired by diversity in the Middle East
eeking insight on what it’s like doing business in the booming Middle Eastern airline supply market, PAX International needed to look no further that one of our favorite sources of commentary on a number of topics. David Young is the President and CEO of Watermark Products, a leading creative product agency specialising in end-to-end solutions for the travel, leisure and retail industries. Young is also former President of the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA), which is hosting the ITCA Abu Dhabi 2012 November 26-28, the region’s only event dedicated to the world of travel catering. “The Middle East region continues to be one of the powerhouses of global aviation and the opportunity to spend time with current and potential customers in the region is always a pleasure,” he said of the forthcoming event. “As a new location, Abu Dhabi is a different direction from previous shows, but
I am really excited to see Mercury back in full swing.” The Mercury Awards, established by the late Willie Seeman, ITCA’s founder and lifelong advocate of the travel catering industry, were last held in 2010. Watermark Products hopes to take one home this year, having entered several innovations. According to Young, the luxury airlines of the region constantly challenge suppliers such as Watermark to test their creative boundaries and resourcefulness. This, combined with a near-constant stream of tender activity and a uniquely diverse demographic mix of cabin crew and passengers, means that the Watermark design team is kept hoping in an effort to bring forth cabin products that will impress discerning buyers. “Price is always a given, but the luxury airlines are also looking for things that make them stand out,” says Young. “Whether it’s a brand association, the materials used in a
product’s design and construction or the way it is delivered to the customer, each facet of the process is important. Designs tend to be classic with leathers, faux leathers, browns, gold and blacks. The customer base here, in many ways, appears to prefer more conservative designs and materials that are closely aligned with the luxury brands we sell in the region.” Watermark sources its products globally. While many items and materials come from China, a popular point of supply for many, the company is actively pursuing new purchasing opportunities in other Asian countries, Europe and the Middle East through different partnerships. “We see real growth opportunities in America, Australasia and, of course, the Middle East,” says Young. “We have recruited new talent in these areas and are spending more time on business development. We are in a very healthy position.”
my bag of southern fried chicken poppers
my cheese and tomato bloomer
my bag of fries
FORMIA and Turkish Airlines by
Purpose-designed kit recognizes needs of Mecca pilgrims, inflight and at their destination
ituated roughly 50 miles inland from the city of Jeddah and the western shores of the Red Sea, lies the city of Mecca (Makkah in Arabic) in Saudi Arabia. Mecca is inhabited by almost two million people, a number which is more than quadrupled by annual visitors. During the days of Hajj (meaning pilgrimage), which vary from year to year, millions of Muslims will make the journey to this Holy City, the birthplace of their Prophet, Muhammed and the site of composition of the Holy Quran. This pilgrimage is considered the fifth pillar of Islam and is a religious duty, which must be carried out
by all Muslims at least once in their lifetime, provided that they of able body and can afford the journey. In mutual recognition of Mecca pilgrim’s fundamental needs and with a desire to exceed them, FORMIA and Turkish Airlines have announced an extension to their existing commercial relationship with the development of specialty amenity bags for presentation to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims en route to Mecca. “It gives us particular pride to have developed these special kits for Turkish Airlines,” said Roland Grohmann, Managing Director at FORMIA. “The thoughtfulness of Turkish Airlines in catering for the comfort and
convenience of its pilgrim passengers has been matched by the care with which we have designed these kits. We hope they will add to the convenience and enjoyments of everyone as they undertake their pilgrimage.” During their flight, each passenger will receive a bag containing an extensive range of items designed to heighten their enjoyment of both the flight itself, in addition to serving them at their end destination. The bags can be worn comfortably over the shoulder or across the chest for added security. Many of the quality products found within are specifically designed to enable pilgrims to perform sacred rituals in comfort.
With more than 25 years in business, Hunter Foods is keen to grow its footprint in airline catering as part of a larger plan boost exports by MAryAnn siMson heck in to a five-star hotel in Dubai, open up the mini bar, and there is an excellent chance that you will find a snack developed, manufactured and packaged by Hunter Foods there for your enjoyment. Of course, as a major private label supplier to hotels, restaurants and catering companies in the UAE and around the world, Hunter Foods often won’t have its own company name on the packaging. Yet with a unique product portfolio boasting exotic flavors and healthy ingredients, snacks from Hunter Foods have proven that they are special enough to bear the names of top-tier hotels like Intercontinental, Kempinski, Yas Viceroy, St Regis, Sofitel, and even prestigious airlines such as Emirates and Oman Air. Established in 1985 by an Indian businessman named Bharat Narayan, Hunter Foods was the first factory to begin production in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, and since has become one of the UAE’s leading snack food manufacturing and distribution companies. In the retail market, Hunter Foods’ products are sold under various brand names including Hunter’s Gourmet, Hunter, Safari and Shikar. They enjoy a high level of consumer recognition in the UAE and in countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. Beyond the Middle East, one can find Hunter Foods signature snacks like the bitesize Lentil Poppadums, Corn Poppatillas, Ice Lollies and kettle style hand-cooked chips
in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America as well. “Interestingly enough, what is popular here in the UAE is also popular in other parts of the world,” reveals Jaykrishna, Director of Business Operations for Hunter Foods. “In the overseas markets, our Lentil Poppadums are a unique product. We are one of the few snack companies with truly ethnic flavors, and so we are actually focusing on that characteristic as opposed to making typical snack food products which are being produced everywhere.” More than 10 years ago, Hunter Foods got a foot in the door of the airline catering sector when Emirates Flight Catering became the first customer for their then-newly developed product. Ready-to-eat Fried Onions are available in cans and catering packs. They are easy to use, time saving, cut down on oil wastage, and are an ideal product for airline catering. “The Fried Onions are used by Emirates Flight Catering to prepare and garnish various foods,” says Jaykrishna. “We do a considerable volume each year to them, and also to Abu Dhabi In-flight Catering. Since those associations started, we have definitely recognized that airline catering is a very important segment of the business that we should be looking at. As a result we decided to go one step further and develop kettle-style, hand-cooked chips.” Emirates has been serving its own private label version of these chips to passengers in the Business Class section of its A380’s for roughly two years.
Hunter Foods’ Hand Cooked Potato Chips can be found in Oman Air’s executive lounges
Emirates Flight Catering became the first customer use Hunter Foods’ Ready-to-eat Fried Onions in food preparation
Last year, Hunter Foods began supplying the kettle-style potato chips under the Oman Air private label. The product can be found in the airline’s executive lounges in Muscat and elsewhere. “We see in the years to come that the airline catering segment would be a very high growth segment for us. The airline industry here in the Middle East is quite vibrant and new alliances are being formed that will foster additional growth,” Jaykrishna explains. “Qatar has joined oneworld, Etihad is signing a code share with KLM/Air France and Emirates has signed on with Qantas. Dubai will become an even larger hub than it is now.” A HACCP certified, 7500 square foot production unit complete with four high capacity fryers, composite canister manufacturing area (capable of producing 2000 canisters per hour) and packaging section, Hunter Foods has established a strong sales team, warehousing and distribution network. The medium size of the company allows it to be flexible, something that is very important when working with airlines and flight kitchens. “We are not large, nor small,” says Jaykrishna. “Because we are not too large, like some other manufacturers, we can be more flexible and move quickly in a given direction. This is exactly what airlines are looking for. We can respond quickly to a private label order in any pack size, even if it’s only one pallet. At the same time, we are big enough to provide the volume and economy of scale should the customers require. We are constantly developing idea and evolving and are open to new or custom suggestions from airline customers.” Most of Hunter Food’s products enjoy a shelf life of nine to 12 months and the company has also begun trading in other healthy, shelf-stable snack foods and ingredients such as granola and dried fruits. They have presented several of these items to various airlines and caterers in the region.
Asia and the Middle East may be the origins of Halal cooking, but awareness of the need to supply Muslim populations is taking shape everywhere by rick LundstroM
Production of Halal dairy products at PRAN in Bangladesh
isitors browsing the aisles and walking the many halls of this year’s SIAL and International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) events in Abu Dhabi will find themselves in the heart of a region that has for centuries accommodated the dietary needs of followers of Islam. However, radiating from every direction from the Islamic population centers in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia is a newly mobile and sophisticated consumer that is traveling and settling in every corner of the world. Companies, like those in the travel industry, are realizing that catering to this population will be their responsibility and challenge, now and in the foreseeable future. The market is huge and growing quickly. Recent research done by the Canadian Government has pegged worldwide Halal food sales at US$632 billion per year. Millions of Muslims now make their home in China, Russia, the Philippines, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Populations with busy middle class lifestyles
and disposable income are creating demand for ready-to-eat Halal products that are perceived as healthy and nutritious. However, with the growth brings important challenges. Talk with companies involved in supplying Halal products and words like “faith” and “assurance” will come up again and again. In crowded airline cabins, where food is transported from multiple sources along complex supply chains, a consumer needs faith that the product is compliant to religious codes, as much as he may
need the nourishment the product itself provides. Suppliers, caterers and food manufacturing companies are turning to trusted sources, whether they are government and religious certification bodies or firms designed to help make the process of certification one that is complete and trustworthy. ARAlimentare Halal pizza products are certified by IHSRAM
Such a need is part of what drives people like Murtaza “Ali” Alarakhia, Director of Malaysia Halal Consulting and Training (MHCT). In work with Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways, he has been involved in making airline-catering units Halal compliant since 1996. Now, his firm has teamed with Atlanta-based Clear Quality Group to offer airline-catering units an important combination of services that include Halal auditing and food safety and hygiene. The two companies began offering the joint services to caterers this fall. What the synergy between the two companies is offering to the airline caterer’s customers and their passengers, says Ali, is peace of mind. “The need is growing with a (Muslim) population that is more savvy and is asking more questions,” he said. At one time, Ali said it might have been acceptable for airline catering units to adopt a simple stance to prepare meals without using pork or alcohol. Now, he said, demand has been raised several notches, and he stresses to customers that strict compliance with Halal practices is really the only option. A Halal compliant audit of the variety carried out by MHCT can take approximately three days. The company conducts a pre-assessment and makes recommendations, much of which is devoted to ways a unit can conduct day-today operations with separate portion of operation devoted to handling, storing and preparing Halal products. A second audit is conducted to ensure the operations are in place, and a final debriefing of the staff takes place before it is certified. In all the steps along the way, Ali said that MHCT’s task is as much educational as it is compliance related. “We will actually impart knowledge to the staff to ensure they are aware and there is more of an understanding as to why they are not supposed to do something,” he said. Within airline catering units, the task of maintaining the Halal integrity often falls on people who work in quality assurance. “Halal means clean,” said Lin Holcomb, founder of Clear Quality Group. “We want to make sure it is clean from a Halal standpoint and clean from a hygiene standpoint.”
Taking Halal international Its newest product may have the flavors of the old southern United States in some of its spices, and coatings, but the new Southern
Fried Chicken Poppers now developed by Green Gourmet has another group of consumers that it can satisfy. At this year’s ITCA/SIAL event, the U.K.-based company will be showing passersby the latest offering in the “it’s just…” line. Rob White, International Business Development Manager at Green Gourmet said to make the product Halal compliant, the firm banked on its experience supplying schools throughout the United Kingdom with Halal compliant products. The company’s customers in France and Germany have also prevailed upon Green Gourmet to supply
Green Gourmet used its experience in education food service to develop a Halal compliant product in the company’s “it’s just…” line
produced in an airline environment without a fryer. Its first trip into the airline-catering segment took place at last year’s World Travel Catering Expo in Hamburg. The company is now in the process of development a number of follow on products. Another food product with nearly universal appeal is pizza, consumed in some shape, form or interpretation in countries far and wide. From two plants in Italy, ARAlimentare produces pizzas of natural ingredients that meet British Retail Council and International Featured Standard specifications. But on many of the pizza products, passengers may see the IHSRAM logo certifying the product is Halal compliant. “Basically, the passenger is able to recognize that they are consuming a meal that meets their cultural standards,” said Giuseppe Grossi, Sales and Marketing Director for ARAlimentare. ARAlimentare’s two plants each have different missions. One plant produces products for the retail market and the other makes pizzas that require a more hands-on look and appeal. It is from the latter plant that many of the pizzas for the company’s airline customers use as a second service on long-haul flights. Some of the customization requires more than changing the look. In the past, ARAlimentare
“The need is growing with a (Muslim) population that is more savvy and is asking more questions.” Murtaza “Ali” Alarakhia Director of Malaysia Halal Consulting and Training modified products for their Muslim customers. Ham toastinis and croque-monsieurs can be made with turkey and Halal compliant chicken. “Because we have experience of Halal we can source a product and turn it around reasonably quickly,” said White. The company also expects to spend more and more time in the Middle East. The “it’s just… my bag of fries” is now part of a second service in Diamond Class on Etihad Airways. It achieved the sales with an innovative approach allowing products such as French Fries and, now, Southern Fried Chicken to be
has made a chicken tikka pizza for an Indian airline and a prawn and coriander pizza for a Thai customer. ARAlimentare products have made their way into the airline cabin on nearly all the service-oriented carriers in the Middle East. Grossi attributes the company’s success in the transportation sector to its selection of all natural ingredients sourced mainly form Italy, and the company’s ability to meet stringent airline specification not just for dietary needs, but the flexibility of production that can place a product of just about any weight and size to suit the confines of an airline cabin.
Cateringpor welcomes Emirates with Halal compliant unit When Lisbon-based Catering de Portugal SA (known as Cateringpor) learned at the beginning of this year that it would be supplying meals for Emirates’ daily service to Dubai, the company began a process in the spring to not only meet the food service requirements of its new customer, but to make its unit ready for the possibility of other Middle East carriers that may be eyeing the Portuguese capital as a destination. In March, Cateringpor took the first steps to modify its units, in order to meet the needs of Emirates’ daily 777 service to Dubai. To begin the process, Cateringpor looked to the Halal Excellence Center of LSG Sky Chefs, which has been in the business of certifying the caterer’s units around the world since its launch in Kuala Lumpur. The caterer also relied heavily on the Muslim community in the Portuguese capital, which gave the company direction to appropriate suppliers for meat and dry goods. Now, Luís de Sousa, General Manager and Cateringpor tells PAX International that the unit has several dedicated Halal area that are completely segregated from the rest of the operation. Halal products are stored in a separate 55 cubic meter section of the unit. There is also a dedicated loading dock where products are accepted for delivery. “It was very hard, because we had a short time to do the changes to the kitchen,” said Sousa. “But we finished all the work two weeks before we started the operation with Emirates.”
At this year’s SIAL fair, a Bangladesh based company called PRAN will be treating visitors to its line of fruit juices and beverage products as well as its line of confectionary and culinary products that are all Halal compliant. The company has exported its products to 88 countries. Exports make their way to global hotel
chains and hypermarkets around the world. Many of the company’s manufactured products make the way to domestic and international airline service where caterers and airlines value them for taste, affordability and a long stable shelf life. “The Halal market is growing well in the
past years,” said Arifur Rahman, Brand Manager at PRAN. “People are getting conscious about what they are (eating) and companies are also focusing on meeting the consumer’s demand efficiently.” Like many companies, PRAN turns to regulators in Malaysia for its certification process. Jakim Halal does regular evaluations of the company’s facilities and production areas. One of the primary drivers of the advancement of Halal compliant meals has been Malaysia Airlines, which employs specialists to evaluate all potential caterers. “Now, a lot of people are traveling by air and some of them want assurance of Halal before consuming anything,” said Rahman. “We value their priority and we encourage Halal products on board.” Assurance is also one of the watchwords that Ali Alarakhia takes into his work as a Halal auditor for MHCT. As much as he is a regulator, he says he is also an ambassador for the faith. Airlines and caterers may be his customers, but he says, the end consumer is always on his mind and drives his work. “At the end of the day, its all about the faith for me and to try to ensure that people can eat all kinds of food and be sure that it is Halal.”
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HALAL Strict rules and regulations
Sheikh Asif Pochi of Pexim Inc. and Abu Adnan Poultry discusses the Halal market and the challenges he faces as one of the largest Halal poultry suppliers in the USA n recent years, suppliers from around the globe have witnessed a steady growth in the fast-paced, billion dollar Halal industry. For Sheikh Asif Pochi, Vice President of Pexim Inc. (brand owners of Abu Adnan Poultry), business is quite simply booming; after only only two years in business, Pexim Inc. has become one of top three suppliers in the Halal Hand Cut Poultry industry within the United States and now, the company is expanding their network into the overseas market. A family-operated organization which was founded in 2010, Pexim Inc. offers several different types of raw poultry products, including whole chicken grillers, chicken leg quarters, boneless skinless breast, boneless skinless thighs and drumsticks. According to Sheikh Asif, the Halal market is growing on a daily basis, and in the past couple of years he has specifically seen an increase in the demand for Halal products which use the ‘Hand-Cut method,’ involving each chicken being blessed and killed individually by hand in accordance with Islamic principles. “There was a time where no one knew what this process was but after many educational programs and lectures, the awareness is being built up,” he said. On top of their poultry products being vegetarian fed and having no added hormones or antibiotics, the Hand-Cut method is a strong advantage that Abu Adnan products have against their competition. “Our main concern has always been to provide the consumer with true Authentic Halal,” he explains. “This makes us very different to our competitors because, unlike us, they use a mechanical slaughter method which many of the Islamic religious scholars do not accept to be Halal.”
When it comes to the Halal certification process, Abu Adnan’s Halal certifier, HFSAA has strict policies and guidelines to follow. “There are many certifiers out there who will compromise for any method of Halal but with HFSAA, they make our life and the life of the average consumer a lot easier,” said Sheikh Asif. For example, one of HFSAA’s policies is that they have the right to inspect the area at any day and time without notice to ensure hand slaughtering is actually taking place at the facility. HFSAA can also evaluate the whole Halal process - from birth of the bird, to the products going to the distributor - to ensure there is no mixing or cross contamination taking place.
The bottom line For any airline carrier who offers a Halal option onboard, the reality is that these meals need to be prepared, stored and transported separately in order to comply with Muslim dietary rules – making them more expensive in the long run. But on top of this, if an airline chooses to serve Halal Hand Cut products, it can cost even more. “One of the biggest challenges that we face in our industry is the price factor. By doing the Halal Hand Cut products our cost increases about 15%-20%,” Sheikh Asif told PAX International. “This makes it more challenging for us to sell the product. It is sad to say that when it comes to the matters of our stomach we are ready to give up our belief for only 20 cents.” In the past, Pexim Inc. has been contacted by LSG Sky Chefs, but according to Sheikh Asif, “we have not come to any terms just yet,” he said. Looking for more exposure in the airline catering sector, Pexim Inc. will be exhibiting at SIAL Abu Dhabi for the second year in a row. “We hope that many airlines will understand what our process is and to perhaps bring this method into their flights. We can only hope that one day all major producers will switch over to Hand Cut.”
“In this industry the word Halal has been labeled as a very general and easy to achieve process.” Sheikh Asif Pochi, Vice President of Pexim Inc.
Eye-catching displays and promotions are part of the drive by confectionery manufacturers to increase impulse buys
The Middle East is becoming a center for imported confectionery, but the region itself lays claim to an ancient and universal sweet snack of its own by rick LundstroM ome ancient products, traded in centuries long before air travel, are making their way in and out of the Middle East in greater numbers now more than ever. At the bustling airports and the shops and boutiques in United Arab Emirates, visitors are being tempted and won over by one of the world’s oldest enticements — sweets. The products of worldwide companies, and smaller, gourmet producers are finding more consumers year after year. In 2010 the United Arab Emirates imported 36,844 tons of chocolate, a 21.5% increase from the previous year according to a report for the National Confectioners Association, reported in Euromonitor International. In Saudi Arabia, chocolate confectionery sales were projected to grow by 5% in real volume over 2010. From 2010 to 2015, confectionery sales in the Middle East and Africa are projected to grow 20%. This growing market of mobile consumers is catching the attention of large companies that recently displayed products at the Tax Free World Association annual event in Cannes. There, Kraft Foods World Travel Retail (KFWTR) sent a buzz through the halls with its plan to grow the confectionery market in travel retail by US$3 billion over the next three years. Using data it gleaned from an extensive survey of 70,000 travelers Anna Szentivanyi, Manager of Customer Marketing at KFWTR called for partnerships among industry stakeholders. Increased visibility, cross-category purchases and more cash-till
purchases will help move consumers into the shopping environments. Once there, confectionery companies can count on the impulses of consumers for sweets. Another industry giant, Mars, exhibited in the Bay Village at Cannes. The company brought along several of its new products, exclusively designed for buy-on-board sales. Mars is developing a line of inflight exclusive gift packs of M & M’s candies that will be available in March of next year. The M&M's Tablet Case comes along with 90 grams M&M's - and the M&M's Speaker Case will include 45 grams of M&M's chocolate. Lieke Duijmelings, a development manager for Mars’ travel retail division said airlines might also see success by combining confectionery with hot or colddrinks. “We see that times (confectionery) is linked with hot or cold drinks, we are increasing the average passenger spend by at least 10 to 15 percent,” she said. Mars has also introduced two new pocketsize Extra Mints 33-gram tins into two varieties: Peppermint and Forrest Fruit. “Airlines hardly sell any chewing gum on board,” said Duijmelings. “We believe this is a great alternative for our consumers in the air, as these Mints are refreshing, scrub and clean your tongue, helps against ear-blocking; and they are sugar free and have a great taste. What else do you want?”
Palm dates and pralines In the final weeks of November, the Middle East will be a crossroads for the sweets and confectionery industry. In mid-November, Dubai will be hosting the annual Sweets and Snacks Middle East. Then, the yearly SIAL Middle East (co-located this year with the International Travel Dates in every form will be sampled and debated during the Sixth International Date Palm Festival in alongside the SIAL/ITCA/Rice and Grains event in Abu Dhabi
Catering Association) will have two adjoining halls dedicated to the annual Emirates International Date Palm Festival. Two hundred exhibitors from 17 countries will be treating passersby to 500 varieties of dates. During the holy month of Ramadan, dates are an important part of the snack service on airlines in the region. It is during that time that Bateel date products have been part of the service on Emirates Airways. Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Kenya Airways have also been customers. Bateel has been in business since 1992 when growers in Saudi Arabia sought to market their meticulously produced dates to consumers seeking gourmet tasting treats. Since then, the business has expanded to more than 50 boutiques and cafes. Harrod’s in London and Kuala Lumpur now sell Bateel products. The company is keen to grow further outside its home region. The Persian Gulf area is said to be the birthplace of dates, says Vivek Sharma, Deputy Managing Director at Bateel. The company has greatly expanded its line to include sweet and savory products. Bateel products are combined with chocolate and nuts. They are made into date mustard, pesto and olive tapenade. From a factory in Italy, Bateel makes a date balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. “Dhibs is a date syrup extracted from the finest fully ripened pressed fruit,” Sharma tells PAX International. “Dark and delicious, Bateel dhibs is offered alone or as creamy dhibs when combined with creamed honey.” One of the companies following the local trends is Le Chocolat LLC of Dubai, which has exhibited in previous years at the ITCA Middle East Trade Show. Le Chocolat is one of the retail store brands of Chantilly Chocolatier. Part of the Le Chocolat line has been supplied to Emirates and Emirates Flight Catering for the past seven years. Le Chocolat products are sold in Dubai Duty Free and soon will be on the shelves at King Power Duty Free in Bangkok. A portion of the company’s sales are chocolate products made with flavors such as saffron, cardamom, halawa and Turkish coffee. The
Le Chocolat products are part of the Chantilly Chocolatier company
company also does well packaging a chocolate wrapped date selection, which is sold during holidays in the UAE. “Although customers are always interested in new products and tastes, fillings, such as Ganduia, almond praline and mixed nuts remain a favorite,” said Gordana Nikolic, Sales and Marketing Manager at Le Chocolat. One of the company’s making the trip to this year’s ITCA Middle East event will be Lily O’Brien’s, which as been supplying Middle Eastern Airlines with in-flight service chocolates from the European departure points for more than 10 years. The company has now expanded its distribution capabilities to supply out of the Middle East and
adapted its product line to suite a travel market for buy-on-board and duty free sales. “The company’s chocolate recipe and product range have been entirely re-developed in 2012 to cater to passengers’ changing tastes and we have the pleasure in showcasing the newly developed Halal approved section,” said Caroline Thompson Food Service Manager at Lily O’Brien’s. Among the products now found in the Lily O’Brien’s line is a 12-chocolate box weighing in at 185 grams designed to fit neatly into airline trolleys. In the last 18 months the Irish company has kept ear to the ground, developing a line of products to meet changing consumer tastes. Some of the products that will
Lily O’Brien’s is adapting a line of chocolates for easy use in an airline environment
be featured at ITCA/SIAL will be a new zesty orange chocolate, a praline chocolate, and chocolates carrying the flavors of classic sticky toffee and lemon meringue pie.
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The search for the Best Airline Signature Cocktail is on! TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards 2012 Regarded as the industry’s pre-eminent event, the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards 2012 will be celebrated in Hamburg at the Radisson Blu Hotel Marseller Strasse next year, coinciding with the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo. The dictionary definition of Amenity is “… a useful, attractive or enjoyable feature; anything that adds to a person’s comfort and convenience; …” This is just what our industry is all about, so put yourself forward - this is your time to shine.
NEW AWARD CATEGORIES FOR 2012 Best Airline Signature Cocktail: The drink designed to bring a bit of fun to the passenger experience. Cocktail mixologists will judge this category and the winning cocktail will be served at our Awards Ceremony. So let the search begin! Best In-flight Amenity or Gift: This category is for those airlines that go the extra mile but may not provide passengers with an Amenity Bag. However they might provide loungewear or sleep suit, slippers, pillows, blankets or the in-flight entertainment system, headphones and onboard Wi-Fi offering. Or perhaps a specially blended tea, cupcakes, a box of after dinner chocolates or that special little gift that says “thank you.” We are delighted to have Onboard Hospitality as the official trade media partner for the third year running and welcome the support of PAX International as a media associate and category sponsor of Best Airline Signature Cocktail this year. Entries need to be submitted by Friday 4th January 2013 and the winners will be unveiled on the 9th April 2013, when they will be presented with their awards at an Awards Reception at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Full details of how to enter together with a full list of categories can be found on our website www.travelplus.co.uk. To attend the TravelPlus Awards Ceremony and Evening Reception on the 9th April 2013, take advantage of our early bird ticket offer. Book your tickets online at www.travelplus.co.uk before 31st December 2012 and save £12.50 per ticket. Numbers are limited so don’t miss out.
brings more of industry to Long Beach by
One of the many exhibits with fresh natural ingredients at this year’s IFSA Conference and Exhibition
Chef Sara Lawson of LSG Sky Chefs works the stove for the Chef’s Competition
ide by side for another year, the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) (see related story page 36) gave the cabin services industry a onetwo punch for networking, learning and camaraderie the week September 17 at the Long Beach Convention Center. In the main hall, the IFSA trade floor was home for two days to the 860 attendees with stands taking up a total of 164 exhibition spaces. On stage, chefs from the world’s major airline caterers busied themselves efficiently in a full-day competition under the watchful eye of judges and the competition organizer Bob Rosar of Gate Gourmet. In the end, Chef Ravi Nage, of Gate Gourmet was the competition winner. The three-judge panel gave Chef Ravi high marks for taste, presentation and originality, as well as his overall kitchen techniques, organization, professionalism, cleanliness and timing. “We are extremely proud of Chef Ravi and his contributions to our culinary success as a company,” said Damien Flynn, Chief Commercial Officer – North America Division at Gate Gourmet. “Chef Ravi’s win was a highlight of the entire IFSA conference for all of us representing gategroup.”
Chef Ravi is based in Reston, Virginia, and serves Gate Gourmet North America as the Executive Chef of Culinary Training. Elsewhere, delegates spent an hour in a lively session discussing buy-on-board, green initiatives and the effects of back catering, food safety, and quality assurance in a Hot Topics session where participants moved from table to table. They were also entertained by the insights on human nature by Mimi Donaldson of MimiSpeaks! After a brief surprise, when an animalrights protester was escorted from the stage after a disruption of events, Dave Hilfman, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for United Airlines filled in the gathering on the future of the newly merged carrier and the role it will play in a U.S. airline industry that has consolidated and adapted to the ever-changing environment. In his brief discussion, Hilfman painted a picture of an airline that was searching for ways to match capacity with supply. United is also looking to maximize its ancillary revenue by unbundling fares and creating value added services and improving passenger satisfaction by investing US$550 million in improvements to aircraft cabins with everything from lie-flat seats to the latest in Wi-Fi technology. But even in the face of consolidations, high fuel costs and razor-thin profit margins
Chef Ravi Nave’s Tour of Tastes Appetizer: Asparagus and Almond Shooter Endive and Green Tomato Salad Sea Bass with Chipotle Honey. Main Course: Thyme and Garlic Veal Chops Peppercorn Sauce & Cheddar Fondue Potato and Mushrooms Confit with Tiny Vegetables.
Dave Hilfman, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for United Airlines was the IFSA keynote speaker
Harvey Alpert and Company were the winners of this year’s Best of Show, for the most attractive stand
compared to other industries, Hilfman told the group that “things are getting dramatically better.” Ancillary revenue per passenger segment flown has increased 54% in the last four years to $9.73. In the same four years, pre-tax earnings by the airlines have gone from red to black, with the International Air Transport Association anticipating a modest profit across the airline industry of $1.1 billion in
2012. Since IFSA, IATA has modified its outlook stating that improved airline performance could see industry wide profits climb to US$4.1 billion. Does the modest profit and increased attendance at this year’s IFSA event indicate a significant change in industry fortunes? The jury seemed out among some of the companies vying for airline business. Some were encouraged by the airline’s approach to improving the experience for the passengers. “I think it’s fifty-fifty. Every year, airlines have a different need,” said Adeline Tran, Sales and Service Manager at the caterer Air Fayre in Los Angeles.
IFSA President David Loft said he was impressed with the buzz and the excitement of this year’s event, which drew approximately 100 more people than last year’s Conference and Exhibition, which was held jointly with APEX and Aircraft Interiors Americas in Seattle. Airline attendance increased approximately 12% from the previous year, and 21 new exhibitors set up shop for the two-day trade show. “There is an effort in the industry to improve the quality of everything they’re doing,” Loft said, of the airlines recent activities. The two associations will again be together next year the week of September 9 in Anaheim, California.
APEX EXPO draws largest crowd in 15 years
Planning is already underway for next year’s APEX EXPO, to be held September 9-12 in Anaheim, California by MAryAnn siMson eld September 17-20, alongside IFSA’s exhibition at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in California, the 2012 APEX EXPO attracted 2,462 visitors, the most bodies to attend the event in 15 years. “We knew going into this event that our full agenda would draw in a huge crowd of passenger experience professionals, and we are thrilled by the level of enthusiasm this year,” said Chris Babb, APEX Immediate Past President in a post-show release. “Our efforts to revamp the popular educational sessions paid off, as our speakers addressed rooms packed with attendees eager to learn more about WiFi, onboard gaming, connectivity and new technologies that are changing our industry.” During the four day event, new APEX board members were announced, education opportunities abounded, a wide variety of
exhibitors vied for the attention of buyers from airlines large and small from around the globe. Another high point during the show, the APEX Awards ceremony, recognized the airlines and industry giants who are improving the passenger experience and reshaping the industry. Big winners at the awards included Emirates, which took home the award for ‘Best Overall Passenger Experience’ for airlines with more than 50 IFE-equipped aircraft in a fleet, and Virgin America, which won ‘Best Overall Passenger Experience’ out of a field of many with under 50 IFE-equipped aircraft in a fleet. Virgin America was also recognized for its exceptional user-interface and cabin ambiance. Presented in conjunction with IFSA, the award for ‘Best Food & Beverage’ went to Singapore Airlines. The awards ceremony was hosted by Joel Connable, an Emmy Award-winning travel
journalist and news anchor hailed for his in-depth reporting in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Although planning is already underway for next year’s APEX EXPO, to be held September 9-12 in Anaheim, California, November proved to be another busy month for the association. APEX expanded its international outreach by hosting an educational event in Santiago, Chile, November 7-8. Attendees of this event were treated to more than a dozen keynote sessions with topics ranging from an overview of the Latin American market, wireless IFE and portable devices, Latin American content trends and in-seat power, among others. Keynote speakers included Fernanda Toro, Travel Experience Director for LAN (the airline also invited delegates to tour its new 787 Dreamliner), Mohssine Lahlou, Head of Latin America at OnAir and Roberto Schiattino, Editorial Director for Spafax Chile as well as Editor-in-Chief of DirecTV’s Access magazine. Back in California, APEX also held a Technology Committee meeting in Irvine from November 13-14, to help delegates evaluate industry-wide quality and compatibility standards as well as new technologies through sessions and vendor displays.
Delegates gather at the popular Zodiac Aerospace booth for a presentation during Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas 2012
Satisfaction in the spotlight
Experts at AIX Seattle agree that passenger comfort and satisfaction cannot be achieved by a ‘one size fits all’ approach elighting passengers, driving revenues, improving comfort and bringing innovations to fruition; these are goals that any sensible airline is constantly striving to achieve. For those that attended the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Seattle September 25-27, these common objectives were also among the topics of the numerous keynote presentations and interactive forums which took place in the seminar area of the Washington Convention Centre tradeshow floor. Over the three days in September, distinguished speakers such as Blake Emery, Director of Differentiation Strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Chris Pride, Business Development Director at Teague, Claire Nurcombe, Aircraft Interiors Marketing Manager for Airbus and Jami Counter, Senior Director of Seatguru, plus many more took their turn addressing those of the delegates who sat to listen. A key theory debated was one suggesting that passenger comfort and satisfaction within economy cannot be achieved by a ‘one size fits all’ approach, that there must be some level of individualisation built into an airline’s strategy, regardless of whether it is an ultra low
Submission closes for
Crystal Cabin Awards At press time for this edition of PAX International, the submission period had just closed for the many companies vying for a shot at becoming one of the next to possess a prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards. From October 8 until November 13, companies in the aircraft interiors sector (and University students studying the field) had a chance to enter concepts and product innovations. Some categories have been redefined since last year’s awards, they are now as follows: 1. Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment 2. Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts 3. Material & Components 4. Passenger Comfort Hardware 5. Passenger Comfort Systems 6. Premium Class & VIP 7. University - Student submissions should fulfill the requirements of one of the six categories listed above An expert international Judging Panel will narrow the field, selecting the best submissions in each category and inviting these entrants to the final round of the competition in Hamburg, where they can then present their products in person for the final round of judging. The official announcement of the winners and the presentation of the seven trophies will take place at a formal dinner as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg April 9-11, 2013.
Taisha Fernandez, Marketing and Sales Associate for BUCHER demonstrates the company’s IFE Deployment Arm
cost carrier or a network operator. Jami Counter of Seatguru stressed that comfort is defined and perceived in many different ways, explaining that over the last 10 years, airlines have realised this and incorporated different product attributes to help differentiate and persuade customers to fly with them. As another part of the seminar schedule, Vern Alg, former Project Manager for Continental Airlines, respected industry consultant and “Voyageur Extraordinaire” asked a panel of industry experts which airlines, in their view, were winning the battle of persuasion highlighted by Counter. Jenny Ruegamer, Associate Creative Director of Teague (a global industrial design consultancy headquartered in Seattle) expressed her view that the best airlines are the ones with a clear brand and strategy for onboard services. If IFE is not available on a flight and the passenger is aware of this when booking, she said, then their expectations have been managed. However, if a passenger has not been given these details and walks onboard expecting IFE, then their satisfaction levels are reduced. “The seminar program has been a great success and we were really encouraged by a number of sessions being standing room only,” said Katie Murphy, Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas Exhibition Director. “The diverse range of topics that were debated highlights just how complex the interiors sector is.” As per usual, Zodiac Aerospace Group was no wallflower at this event. The entity, composed of leading-edge companies like seating manufacturer Weber, galley insert suppliers Monogram Systems and Sell, galley and trolley expert Driessen and many more, had the largest and busiest stand at the show, which boasted roughly 150 exhibitors in total. C&D Zodiac, part of Zodiac Aerospace, used the exhibition to showcase ZEO, its groundbreaking design and innovation studio. The company says that ZEO’s philosophy is simple: great design is about the product and the process. Also in Seattle, EADS Sogerma announced the signing of a contract with Boeing to offer Equinox, its fully flat business class seat, on the all-new 787 Dreamliner. This contract signals the first EADS Sogerma product to be included in the 787 catalogue and is also indicative of the France-based company’s desire to break further into the North American market. In other news from the show, which final figures indicate was attended by more than 60 airlines, Aim Aerospace presented its new passenger bar concept, designed to promote a social area in the business cabin without infringing on precious real estate. BUCHER’s IFE Deployment Arm, developed in collaboration with Thales, also drew much attention, thanks to its double jointed articulation and The Dynamo Drink Cart Company presented its version of the automated drink trolley.
Frontier took home the POSie for Most Innovative Use of a POS Solution
The POSie for Best Onboard Merchandising Strategy went to WestJet Airlines, which had a large group on-hand to accept the award
The POSie for Highest Revenue per Flight for a Buy on Board Program was won by Alaska Airlines
GuestLogix’ 4th annual User Group
Conference deemed a success
The three-day event brought together roughly 150 representatives from the company’s global airline customers and technology partners by MAryAnn siMson t the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel in Ontario’s booming capital and home of its head offices, GuestLogix recently hosted its 4th annual User Group Conference The theme of this year’s gathering was “Innovation through Collaboration” – and that theme could not have been more fitting. In the weeks leading up to the conference, GuestLogix announced that it had acquired long-time competitor Initium Onboard, thus acquiring a host of new international customers, and partnered with Panasonic Avionics to integrate its payment solutions into Panasonic’s seatback IFE systems The three-day event brought together roughly 150 representatives from GuestLogix' global airline customers and technology partners to discuss both the challenges and opportunities impacting their industry today, and to share their strategies for success in overcoming those challenges. The conference featured keynote and breakout sessions with industry analysts and experts including Al Voels of KPMG, who discussed Big Data and its impact on travel retail while Seth Friedman of Visa looked at ancillary data considerations. William Giles of MasterCard took a deep dive into the burgeoning world of mobile payment and wallet services, while Scott Scheer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation explored the monetization of IFEC systems – a recurring theme throughout the conference. After a networking breakfast on October 2, GuestLogix' President and CEO Brett Proud welcomed a packed conference room, noting that ancillary revenue activities, especially onboard retailing, have reached a “critical mass”. He added that his company had made significant investments in infrastructure and taken all necessary steps to ensure that communication channels remain open and that its global expansion is well supported. He assured the group that the company’s Dallas offices were “firing on all cylinders” and that the firm’s successful North American business formula was being implemented in other regions. He also added that all of GuestLogix’s North American customers had recently extended their contracts and that Europe and Asia showed exciting growth.
“Ancillary revenue for airlines is achieving astounding annual compounded growth,” said Proud. According to recent data, it has gone from US $2.45 billion in 2007 to US $22.64 billion in 2012, a 920% increase. Proud also noted that this trend is projected to accelerate in the next five years, creating an exciting landscape for the future. According to GuestLogix, airlines must now leverage new technologies such as consumer devices in order to better engage with travelers, as well as begin to better manage data as ancillaries widen. Airlines must also be prepared to support new payment types, but cannot ignore standard payments that passengers need during transition. Proud stressed that with travelers set for higher spending and greater connectivity through social media, airlines must be able to offer products and services that enhance a passenger’s trip and ensure revenue gain through a positive travel experience. Analytics was also a key focus of the conference. One of the featured sessions, Analytics: Harnessing the Power of Your Data, demonstrated how data management relates to both payment security along with entertainment and retail opportunities and how OnTouch Analytics – the company’s hosted and fully automated data and business intelligence framework tailored specifically for onboard retailers actually works. The presentation detailed that by further monetizing IFE, average transactions per flight will grow from 10 to 60 (a 500% increase), and that average transaction value could jump 29%. The event was rounded out with demonstrations of GuestLogix' new OnTouch® Destination Deals and Mobile Concierge Applications, plus real-time feedback from a panel of airline operators who discussed their strategies for improving buy-on-board store performance, reducing onboard payment strategy risk and capturing new Kiosk sales. Ample networking opportunities were also enjoyed by delegates. Most notably, the annual POSie Awards were presented at Toronto’s famed Second City comedy club and theatre. Airline were recognized in three critical categories: Highest Revenue per Flight for a Buy on Board Program, won by Alaska Airlines, Most Innovative Use of a POS Solution, won by Frontier Airlines, and Best Onboard Merchandising Strategy, which went to WestJet Airlines.
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services 9 â€“ 11 April 2013 Hamburg Messe , Germany
The event for travel catering & onboard services Save the Date 9 â€“ 11 April 2013 World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo provides a dedicated business platform for those responsible for catering operations, passenger comfort and buy-onboard items during air and rail travel. To book a stand contact: Daniel Kazimierczak Tel + 44 (0) 208 910 7132 Email email@example.com Enquire about visiting at: www.worldtravelcateringexpo.com/enquiry
Contact us now to book your stand 9-11 April 2013 Hamburg Messe, Germany www.worldtravelcateringexpo.com/pax
Modern porcelain set
The real joe
Company Name: Global Inflight Products Company Location: Redmond, WA Description: Global Inflight Products’ new porcelain set called Ava, offers a modern and sleek design that every passenger will enjoy. Made from a combination of mineral soil and bone powder, these new pieces will allow you to bring the beauty and style of fine restaurant dining to the air. Ava is also lightweight, stackable and chip resistant.
Company Name: Mother Parker’s Company Location: Ontario, Canada Description: Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee is proud to introduce Martinson’s single serve instant coffee sticks. For over 100 years, Martinson coffee has been crafted with a dedication to quality; back then Joe Martinson would wait at the dock to personally select only the finest beans. He’d then fire roast them in small batches to bring out the best coffee flavor. Mother Parker’s single serve instant coffee sticks now offer the same commitment to taste and quality in a single serve.
Turkish Airlines’ economy class blankets Company Name: SZIC Industrial Company Ltd. Company Location: Shanghai, China Description: SZIC Industrial Company Ltd., a Shanghai based company which has been supplying global airlines for over twenty years, has recently been awarded a three year contract with Turkish Airlines to supply their Economy class blankets. The new contract was won with a fresh, new design that uses only the highest quality materials. SZIC’s woven textile selections are comprised of both luxury and economy options. The textiles can also be personalized with a design to complement the interior of the cabin.
Inflight catering disposables New amenity kit for Comfort Class Company Name: Skysupply Company Location: Munich, Germany Description: Condor’s new desirable Amenity Kit for Comfort Class is designed by Skysupply. The company composed the new concept to fit Condor’s standard of well-being and comfort onboard. The new amenity kit features a tin box, earplugs, socks, eyeshades and dental set. Additionally, passengers will be handed an iPad bag, which will become a great collector's item and can also be used after travelling, for use at home.
Unisex amenity kits Company Name: FORMIA Company Location: Hong Kong Description: FORMIA has announced an extension to its existing commercial relationship with Air Astana by launching a specially developed unisex kit containing products from the wellknown global luxury brand, Chopard. Each item in the exclusive kit is created using traditional craftsmanship with the same meticulous care, attention to detail and drive for perfection as Chopard’s famous watches and jewelry.
Company Name: Deeko Bahrain W.L.L Company Location: Bahrain Description: Deeko’s assortment of inflight catering disposables are extremely versatile for use inside the cabin. Options on size, with or without lacquer and printing are also available. All materials used in the production process are chosen specifically for their food use requirements and as a BRC certified company, Deeko Bahrain guarantees hygiene and safety of the highest standard for each of their products. Visit Deeko Bahrain at ITCA Abu Dhabi: Stand #14 (Hall 1)
Delicious cannelloni of prawns Company Name: Achenbach Company Location: Sulzbach, Germany Description: Offering an innovative interpretation of the Italian classic, Achenbach's Cannelloni of Prawns with Purée of Mint Flavored Peas replaces pasta dough with thinly sliced fish farce and embedded prawns. It is hand wrapped around a soft purée of green peas with finely sliced leaves of fresh mint, and then formed into a small roll. The combination of fish, seafood and the mint-pea-purée offers passengers a delicious and tasteful starter that they will thoroughly enjoy.
Herb roll with confit of tomato Company Name: Gut Springenheide Company Location: Ochtrup, Germany Description: Gut Springenheide is bringing several creative innovations to ITCA Abu Dhabi this year. The “Herb roll with confit of tomato” is one of their new products – and all lovers of Mediterranean cuisine will be delighted. It is characterised by its hearty flavour and appetizing appearance. These egg-rolls allow for flexible consumption, whether as a snack, a menu item or for presentation at a buffet. Visit Gut Springenheide at ITCA Abu Dhabi: Stand #C12
Unique bone chinaware Company Name: ZIBO Rainbow Company Location: Shandong, China Description: ZIBO Rainbow presents a unique type of soft-paste porcelain called bone chinaware, which is made from clay, feldspar and quartz. Bone chinaware offers several advantages for inflight cabin use, such as a superior strength, low weight, clarity and brightness. This unique chinaware is also well known and widely used in airlines all over the world, benefitting from its good quality in weight and high grade. Visit Zibo Rainbow at ITCA Abu Dhabi: Stand #C10
ASSOCIATION NEWS Vicky Stennes IFSA Chairperson (left) and Denise Poole of AMI Group Present the AMI Scholarship award to Todd Traynor-Corey, a student at Roosevelt University
10 receive scholarships from IFSA
Foundation rganizers of the International Flight Services Association Foundation scholarship program hailed this year’s distribution of 10 scholarships in September as the yearly program’s most successful. “In 2012, the IFSA Foundation experienced its most successful year to date,” said Keith McGrath, IFSA Foundation President and Regional Sales Director, The Americas with deSter. “This year was the first time the Foundation offered the scholarship awards exclusively to IFSA members and their families, which provided additional value for IFSA membership. We received 179 scholarship applications, compared to 41 in 2011, and awarded nearly $40,000 in scholarship funds, the largest amount since the Foundation’s inception.”
Several new scholarships were added this year. The following is a list of recipients, underwriters and participating universities: ■ Harvey and Laura Alpert Award, $5,000 to Taryn Bierhuizen to attend Michigan State University. ■ AMI Scholarship Award of $4,500 to Todd Traynor-Corey to attend Roosevelt University, ■ DHL Airline Business Solutions Scholarship Award of $2,500 to Mandi Roan to attend Pfieffer University. ■ Flying Food Group Scholarship Award of $2,500 to Haben Ghebergergish to attend the University of Chicago. ■ The Hoffman Group Scholarship Award of $2,000 to Eric Troilo, to attend Drexel University. ■ The IFSA Foundation Scholarship of $4,500 to Gabriella Imeri to attend Loyola University. ■ The IFSA Foundation Scholarship of $4,500 to Grace Gimensky to attend Central Michigan University. ■ The John and Ginnie Long Scholarship of $2,500 to Vivian Do to attend Carleton College. ■ The John Louis Foundation Scholarship Award of $5,000 to Evelyn Vasquez to attend University of California, Los Angeles. ■ The Oakfield Farms Solutions Scholarship Award of $5,000 to Lauren Martinez to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
UPCOMING EVENTS 2012 International Travel Catering Association/SIAL Middle East Trade Show and Networking Forum, November 26-28, Abu Dhabi. For more information, go to itcanet.com.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) cruise3sixty, June 19 – 23, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For more information, contact Nicole Dunbar, at (949) 457-1545, extension 113 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org International Flight Services Association Annual Conference and Exhibition, September 9-11, Anaheim, California, For more information Contact IFSA at (404) 252-3663, e-mail email@example.com
Aircraft Interiors Expo/World Travel Catering and On Board Services Expo, April 9-11, Hamburg. For more information, contact Reed Exhibitions at http://www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com/en/Forms/ Enquiries/
Airline Passenger Experience Association 2012 Annual Expo, September 9-12, Anaheim, California. For more information contact APEX at (212) 297 – 2177, firstname.lastname@example.org
28th Annual Marine Hotel Association Conference & Trade Show, April 21-23, The Peabody Hotel, Orlando. For more information, contact email@example.com or call (415) 332-1903.
Marine Hotel Association European Conference & Trade Show, November 5-7, Hotel Arts Barcelona. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 332-1903.
ADVERTISER’S INDEX Castello Monte Vibiano .............p. 7 Clearwater Seafoods...............p. 29 Cuisine Solutions ....................p. 28 D|F Marketing GmbH ..............p. 32 Driessen....................................p. 9 Dubai Duty Free ......................p. 43 Etihad .....................................p. 44 FORMIA ...................................p.15 G.I.P........................................p. 16 Gem Air Supply.......................p. 36 Green Gourmet .......................p. 23 Gut Springenheide ...................p.17 Mallaghan ...............................p. 24 Massey’s Production ................p.19 Meiko.......................................p.21 Servair .......................................p.3 Watermark Products ................p.35 WESSCO ..................................p. 5 Zibo Rainbow..........................p. 41
PAX International is published six times a year(January/February, March/April, May, June/July/August, September/October, November/December)...
Published on Nov 16, 2012
PAX International is published six times a year(January/February, March/April, May, June/July/August, September/October, November/December)...