PAX International WTCE 2019

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WTCE Hamburg


New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Going green From pillows to packaging, how the industry is embracing sustainability

ELEVATING THE INFLIGHT DINING EXPERIENCE By working together with our roster of world-class Michelin-starred chefs we are creating an unrivalled offering – there isn’t a group in our industry that compares.

Learn more at World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo Hamburg Messe Hall A4, Stands 4C10, 4C20, 4D20



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

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail:

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail:

CONTRIBUTORS Anne De Hauw Anne-Céline Donkersloot Heather Eason Mary Jane Pittilla Simon Ward Stathis Kefallonitis

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

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31

Above the earth – not beneath it


ince its introduction 100-something years ago, one of the defining characteristics of premium commercial air travel has been its desire to provide a standard of luxury that at least mirrors that found on the ground. After all, when soaring high above the earth, should one’s expectations not soar, too? Whether an airline has delivered a unanimously appreciated level of opulence is irrelevant; anyone on the supplier side of the trolley knows that pleasing every passenger is nearly next to impossible, and can be as dependent on the guest’s mood as the cabin in which they choose to fly. But what is certain is that convenience and comfort often come with a hefty price tag – not just monetarily, but environmentally as well. Though we didn’t enter into this issue with the intention of adhering to an “eco-friendly” theme, as we pieced together the articles and news items you will find herein, it quickly became apparent that was exactly what we were dealing with. Some suppliers, such as those in the tableware and serveware realm, told us they are experiencing a surge in interest in rotable products as well as merchandise made with recycled or compostable/reuseable materials; you can find out more about these enterprises on page 32. And we had no idea the overwhelming response we would receive when we reached out to industry suppliers across the foodservice, amenities and comfort sectors regarding the topic of eco-nomics, resulting in a staggering piece examining all these areas and more, found on page 46. Other contributors, like the women behind IN Air Travel Experience (page 42) and Galileo Watermark’s Johannes Kloess (page 68) also provided great insight on where the industry is going in this eco-driven time. Join us as we embark on a new, more earth-friendly era of air travel, one that is reliant not only on the participation of airlines and their partners but also the consumers they serve. As contributor after contributor expressed to us, the more passengers speak up – with their social media voices and, perhaps more importantly, their wallets – the more likely (and quickly) change will be enacted.

E-mail: PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times per year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, October, December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. March/ April 2019, Vol. 26 No. 3. Printed in Canada. All


rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

Rachel Debling Managing Editor PAX International

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International






A HOMEGROWN PARTNERSHIP Air France and Albéa Travel Designer are continuing their long-term relationship with a slew of projects hitting the skies in the first half of 2019


Premium Economy is not a new concept, but for many airlines it’s a brand-new product, as TravelPlus’ Simon Ward explains. He breaks down which airlines are proving their worth in this rapidly growing faction – and how their suppliers are differentiating their offerings from the classes immediately above and below



Panasonic Avionics has enlisted partners for a line of products that give airlines the chance to make the space around the passenger quieter, more attractive and even healthier through cutting-edge wellness-focused technologies




Brussels Airlines’ new long-haul cabin is set to debut in April, while its ongoing chefs program will continue bringing the distinct flavors of Belgium to passengers touching down in North America and Africa


Amenity and onboard comfort specialist Matrix is heading to this year’s WTCE with new products, a new digital image and, as Chief Commercial Officer Harry Zalk explains, a whole new outlook on how its retail experience will lend itself to the skies

WTCE Hamburg


New s and A naly sis for the passenger ser vices executive


Going green From pillows to packaging, how the industry is embracing sustainability


After thirty years, Malton Inflight’s founder and CEO, Gordon Oakley, knows a thing or to about what makes airlines tick – and he’s using that insight to further stake a claim in the industry as an onboard innovator


April 22 is Earth Day, when the international community shifts its eyes to environmental concerns. PAX International is showing support with its March/April issue, dedicated to the eco-efforts of the airline industry.

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE









FLYING WITH PRIDE Air Astana’s Vice President Inflight Services, Margaret Phelan, tells PAX International how the flag carrier of Kazakhstan is winning accolades for its cabin service


Galileo Watermark’s new Managing Director, Johannes Kloess, shares a glimpse of what his new role means for the company – and for his own workload



DIGGING IN No matter which class a passenger opts for, nor the distance they are traveling, one thing is certain: they will likely come face-to-face with a plate, glass, fork, knife, napkin or tray liner at some point over the course of their journey. What these pieces communicate to them, and the future of this onboard segment in general, is the focus of questions we posed to those who know the landscape best: tableware, serveware and dining linen suppliers


Suppliers of inflight cabin products are thinking big when it comes to the hot issue of sustainability. We take a look at what’s on offer, from cups to cosmetics

10 chopped parsley leaves

0.94 mg grated lemon zest

A drizzle of truffle oil

Juice of 1 lime slice

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

5 g of beef bacon crumbles

29.5 mg coconut flakes

7.3 ml of yoghurt

1 fennel frond

12 toasted pumpkin seeds

A smidgen of paprika

A hint of nutmeg

1 finely chopped scallion head

4 crushed black pepper grains

5 tiny square-cut pieces of smoked salmon

A dab of togarashi

8 drops of balsamic vinegar

A drizzle of truffle oil

A touch of cayenne pepper

A trickle of hoisin sauce

9 cilantro leaves

A dash of hot sauce

12 drops of fish sauce

15 g of crumbled feta

8 croutons

1 finely chopped jalapeno

5 finely chopped coriander leaves

Discover our appetite for perfection at At Emirates Flight Catering, we serve over 180,000 meals a day, each WYLWHYLK WYLJPZLS` [V [OL ]LY` OPNOLZ[ Z[HUKHYKZ >L VќLY H ]HYPLK international menu for customers to choose from, put together by the crème de la crème of chefs. So when it comes to making the world feel at home, the sky is not the limit for us.






SHIFTING THE FOCUS Anne De Hauw and Anne-Céline Donkersloot of IN Air Travel Experience explore the ways in which a spotlight on sustainability can help an airline improve its connection to customers RETHINKING THE PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE When Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D., Founder and President of, looks deep into an airline’s inflight product he sees both pitfalls and possibilities









SOLIDLY ALTERNATIVE Flying Food Group is continuing a years-long expansion effort as its best customers, foreign airlines operating into the U.S., add routes and competitive caterers follow the growth SUCCESS IN HAND After more than 15 years in business, Monty’s Bakehouse CEO, Matt Crane, is ready to let the world know his team specializes in much more than handheld snacks as the company widens its offerings to include health-oriented food and solutions for new security requirements SNACK ATTACK Companies looking to make a claim in the inflight snacking sector are coming out in full force for this April’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo. Here, PAX highlights a few names to seek out on the event floor FIVE-STAR SERVICE Catering giant Emirates Flight Catering is blazing a trail on the sustainability front as it propels its huge catering business forward REGIONAL ROADS The end of 2018 saw dnata complete some important acquisitions and enlarge their footprint in key aviation markets with more expansion planned for 2019



HISTORY IN THE MAKING Take a trip down memory lane – or, more accurately, the aircraft aisle – with archival images from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation that prove not only how far the industry has come but that hint at how far it can possibly go



SPIRITS SOAR At this year’s WTCE, companies that sell wine, spirits and beer will display their products at the Beverages Pavilion. Potential buyers anxious for new and unique ideas will find examples aplenty




SETTING SIGHTS ON SINGAPORE PAX correspondent Jeremy Clark took in Aviation Festival Asia 2019 on February 27 and 28 and walked away with a new appreciation for the digitization of the industry – and, naturally, some insider words of wisdom











Snackbox to-go invests in new packing lines The Elburg Foods plant that produces the Snackbox to-go range of products will be upgraded to include a fully automatic production and packing line over the course of the coming weeks, according to a release from the company. The new investment was made based on increased customer demand, said a statement from Snackbox to-go. It will allow the company to meet the increasing need for selection boxes and tapas-style products. The expansion will increase the capacity of the Netherlands-based facility by millions of units and will allow the company to pack four different products per box. The fully automated BRC/IFS certified production plant is also McDonald’s and Halal certified. The new plant will increase the capacity of the Netherlands-based facility by millions of units


Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks names Procurement and Logistics Director UK-based Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks has named Royston Scott its new Procurement and Logistics Director. Scott has been with the company since it was founded in 2010. Scott will oversee all procurement and logistical aspects of the business from the Royston Scott first stages of manufacturing to fulfillment. He will deal with factories and production suppliers across the UK, Europe and Asia and will monitor product safety legislation and scheduling. Scott commented in a statement from the company: “I’ve been part of the Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks journey since the start so this promotion means a lot – especially as I am now part of the executive management team so I will play a key role in fulfilling our objectives of driving the business on to the next level.” Zoe Telfer, the company’s Client Services Director, said: “Royston is an integral part of the business so his promotion is hugely deserved and recognizes the value he adds to our clients and team.” Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks has worked with companies such as the TUI Group, Oman Air and Etihad Airways.


DUXIANA bedding launches on Etihad’s The Residence WESSCO International has launched a new bedding program inspired by the colors and architecture of Abi Dhabi with Swedish luxury brand DUXIANA on Etihad Airways’ The Residence. Accessories for passengers in the airline’s First Class cabins were also included in the launch. The Residence is Etihad’s private three-room suite, available on its A380s flying from Abu Dhabi to London, Paris, New York and Sydney. Each cabin contains a living room, bedroom and shower as well as a butler and onboard chef to deliver a personalized inflight dining experience. DUXIANA provides high-quality linens and down products made with sustainable materials such as the ergonomic The DUX Bed. DUXIANA products can be found in luxury hotels around the world including the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers and The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue.

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Visit WESSCO International at the 2019 WTCE, stand 1B10. DUXIANA provides high-quality linens and down products made with sustainable materials





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



Pre-ordered meals now on SunExpress SunExpress Deutschland, Retail inMotion and the Berlin-based food delivery start-up company foodora have joined forces to allow passengers to order meals from selected local restaurants on SunExpress Deutschland flights departing from Düsseldorf. The trial period for the program started March 1. Passengers can choose between a variety of freshly prepared, healthy meals from well-known restaurants, all attractively presented and delivered in sustainable packaging. Restaurants currently involved in the trial are Greentrees, a healthy Australian food company, and An Bahn Mi, which specializes in Vietnamese street food. “foodora will be a front-facing brand for the partnership and will leverage their strong relationship with both customers and restaurants as the project progresses in the future,” said a release from Retail inMotion. The two companies will support SunExpress in the partnership through operations management, order fulfillment, logistics and analytics. “If you are smaller than the others, you have to be quicker! The cooperation with the start-up foodora is another proof point of how innovation can be brought to life in a leisure airline making the passenger inflight experience more enjoyable,” said Peter Glade, Chief Commercial Officer SunExpress. “We are proud that we have the agility and flexibility to be the first airline partner for Retail inMotion and LSG to trial this innovative concept.” “This is exactly the kind of innovative partnership that Retail inMotion is known for,” commented José Lirio Silva, Head of Onboard Retail Europe at Retail inMotion. “By combining the high street data of foodora with Retail inMotion’s specialized onboard retail expertise and powerful technology platform, we are able to create the ultimate product portfolio for our customers’ passengers.”


MEA partners with Albéa for Business Class kit Middle East Airlines’ new Business Class kit, designed and developed by Albéa Travel Designer, hits the skies this April, complete with cosmetics from Albéa Travel Designer’s exclusive partner Skin&Co Roma. Inside the modern, gray neoprene bag, passengers will find a dental kit, eye mask, earplugs, a “do not disturb” sticker, bicolor socks, an MEA-branded pen, a two-in-one brush and mirror with the airline’s logo, and hand cream, face cream and a lip balm from Skin&Co. In addition, passengers will also receive a coupon for 20% off Skin&Co products. The airline commented on the new amenity launch in a statement: “We are eager to launch the new kit because it is a fresh, modern addition to our state-of-the-art services on board. We love its sleek design and simple yet stylish look, mirroring the Lebanese elegant simplicity. The color combination of the kit is chic yet timeless.” Visit Albéa Travel Designer at the 2019 WTCE, stand 1A50.

The new kit will begin flying in April


AMI Group names new CEO AMI announced in February Joe Waller will be the new CEO of AMI Inflight Inc. and AMI Wines LLC. Waller will relocate to AMI’s Atlanta office and work alongside the current CEO, Denise Poole. During the remainder of 2019 they will work together to transition the leadership of both companies. “The integration of Joe is a result of Denise’s desire to take a step back,” said a release from AMI Group. Most recently, Waller was CEO of Pacific Gateway Concessions where he led a team of 450 people throughout the United States, as well as a team of executives at the company’s headquarters in northern California. He began his career as an attorney for National Car Rental

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before pursuing a career with airport concessions including positions at HMSHost and Westfield Airport Division. For Joe AMI, the addition of Waller further Waller diversifies the accumulated travel industry expertise within the group. His duties as he takes over will be to capitalize on and consolidate the growth AMI has experienced over the past few years. After the transition is complete, Poole will retain select sales leadership activities and continue to be a shareholder in AMI, where she will continue to be involved in the overall strategic planning of the group.



WK Thomas reveals new website Featuring the latest in travel and food service products, WK Thomas' (WKT) new and improved website showcases the latest product catalogs from WKT’s extensive range and examples of how WKT can help bring brands to life with customdesigned print and packaging. Visitors can also check out the WKT Studio to create their dream packaging and sign up to the company’s mailing list for regular news and updates. For more, visit WK Thomas’ new website is optimized for desktop, mobile and tablet


Flying Food Group earns Hawaiian Award for second straight year

SEA Certificate from Hawaiian

Flying Food Group’s Seattle kitchen (SEA) has been named Hawaiian Airlines’ 2018 Domestic Kitchen of the Year. The unit received the same award from Hawaiian for 2017, and this year also received a Certificate of Excellence. In announcing the awards, Paula Jansen, Hawaiian Airlines Senior Manager– Catering, cited “dedication to outstanding performance and excellent customer service in all areas of operation.” Flying Food Group also caters Hawaiian Airlines flights at Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix and San Francisco.



— solutions — DESIGNED TO

any need. Meet us at the WTCE 2019, Hall A1, LSG Group Booth 1E20 2–4 April, Hamburg, Germany

Evertaste_PAX-WTCE_188x134.indd 1


12.02.19  17:30 PAX-INTL.COM



Gate Gourmet signs with Delta and SWISS Gate Gourmet recently announced that it signed a new contract with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) which carries their relationship to 2022, and a new long term contract with Delta Air Lines for 45 locations on four continents. Gate Gourmet and SWISS introduced the SWISS Taste of Switzerland concept where top chefs create seasonal dishes from across the Swiss regions for First and Business Class guests. Menus are updated every three months. The two companies worked alongside the guest chefs to create dishes that taste the same in flight as they do when served in a gourmet restaurant. Because of this attention to detail, SWISS was awarded a Mercury Award for the SWISS Taste of Switzerland concept. Gate Gourmet will continue to design and develop meals for SWISS’ First, Business and Economy Classes on its 100-plus international routes from Zurich and Geneva. The long-term partnership between Gate Gourmet and Delta has been extended an additional five years, cementing the caterer as Delta’s exclusive service partner across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The partners have been working together for several years with the ultimate goal of creating a catering operation that “matches Delta’s industry-leading operational performance and distinctive culinary offerings,” according to a press release from gategroup. “You have to earn your seat at the table with a global carrier such as Delta,” said Xavier Rossinyol, CEO of gategroup. “We have partnered closely to design, develop and deliver a unique culinary and service offering that matches elevated operational excellence standards. We look forward to continuing our strong collaboration over the next five years and beyond as we work together to define the gold standard for airline catering.”

Gate Gourmet caters a SWISS International jet in Zurich

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LSG manages JAL lounges in Frankfurt

JAL’s lounge at Terminal 2

LSG Sky Chefs Lounge GmbH (LSG Lounge) announced in March that it has been awarded the management of Japan Airlines’ Sakura and First Class Lounges at Frankfurt Airport in Terminal 2. “The LSG Lounge team developed a new gastronomic concept, including the accompanying equipment, as well as the design of the facility,” said a release from the company. “Special attention was paid to ensuring that Japanese culture and the airline’s internationality are both clearly perceived by the guests.” Chef Takugo Kobayashi worked with a team to meet the airline’s strict requirements for Japanese cuisine. “It is very important for us to understand the airline’s heritage and brand values and reflect them in our concept,” explained Jean-Claude Dichtl, LSG Lounge Director Operations and Projects. JAL and LSG Lounge worked together at New York’s JFK Airport since early 2018. “We are delighted to now be able to also offer Japan Airlines’ guests an excellent stay at the Frankfurt lounges,” added Carsten Oellerich, Managing Director of LSG Lounge. LSG Lounge began managing the JAL lounges in Frankfurt in early February.

Come and see us at WTCE Hamburg 2nd - 4th April 2019 | Stand No. 1G80



AK-Service launches new amenity kits on S7, Aeroflot AK-Service has announced new amenity kit launches with two Russian airlines. For S7 Airlines, AK-Service created Business Class kits to match the carrier’s corporate image. Inside the textured fabric bag, passengers will find slippers, a sleep mask, earplugs and other comfort items, plus Natura Siberica cosmetics which contain wild-harvested herbs and exclusive native ingredients from Siberia. Tucked in Aeroflot’s new long-haul Business Class kits are sleep masks, cozy slippers and cosmetics from French company L’Occitane. Visit AK-Service at this year’s WTCE, hall A4, stand 4D94.

Natura Siberica cosmetics are included in S7 Airlines’ latest kit by AK-Service

Coffee machine in a CUP!

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April 2 - 4 Booth 1E45

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Two chic amenity bag options are currently flying in Air France’s La Première cabin on long-haul flights

A homegrown partnership Air France and Albéa Travel Designer are continuing their long-term relationship with a slew of projects hitting the skies in the first half of 2019


rance’s national carrier has been working closely with amenity specialist Albéa Travel Designer, a company that also calls France “home,” on an assortment of projects, some currently flying and others slated to enter service in the coming months. In February, two versions of a new comfort kit debuted for passengers flying in Air France’s La Première cabin. Each variation – one in “Iced Mocha” and the other in “French Grey” – contains Carita skincare and cosmetics in an imitation leather-finish, magnetic-clasped bag. Other items contained in the kit include a comb, eye mask, earplugs, earphone covers and a pen adorned with Air France’s emblem, the winged seahorse. Passengers will also receive an offer for a haircare treatment with styling, free with any purchase of a 90-minute face treatment and valid at La Maison de Beauté Carita Faubourg Saint-Honoré. To help the airline celebrate its momentous 85th anniversary this year, Albéa Travel Designer also created a series of special commemorative kits that will be flying until July. A total of six models – four for Business Class and two for Premium Economy – with a sporty, geometric and avant-garde

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design inspired by the carrier’s cultural heritage, were released in January. Business Class passengers will receive a Clarins moisturizer and hand cream, a dental kit with Signal toothpaste, an Air France logo pen and an adjustable eye mask that matches the amenity bag’s color (either orange, blue or turquoise), among other essentials. The contents of the Premium Economy kit are equally well curated, with items such as headphone protectors, socks, a dental kit and special-edition mask tucked inside. A penguin-themed infant comfort kit also landed on the airline’s La Première, Business and Premium Economy Class cabins late last year, providing traveling caregivers with a plastic bib, spoon, baby wipes and Nivea moisturizing cream for face and body along with, naturally, a diaper for inflight use. These examples are by no means the first times the airline and supplier have worked together since their story began 14 years ago. Recently, in January 2018, Albéa created a limited-edition kit for Air France’s long-haul Business Class passengers together with Air France’s design agency BrandImage. Released in four colors – yellow, green, red and blue – the kits contained items such

as Clarins moisturizer and lip balm, a night mask, an Air France-branded pen, a disinfectant wipe and toothpick sachet. A toothbrush, comb and shoehorn made of biodegradable corn starch were also included. In the latter half of 2017, guests in Premium Class received kits with a mirror-like finish, designed by Albéa and awarded by TravelPlus. Passengers could simply slide off the elastic band bearing the symbol of Air France to reveal the contents inside. For these and other projects from the Albéa team, visit their booth at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, stand 1A50. The bold design of the kit produced by Albéa Travel Designer for Air France’s 85th anniversary draws inspiration from the avant-garde movement



From design to complete solution AlbĂŠa Travel Designer has been serving leading airlines since 2006 Designing, manufacturing and delivering amenity kits from Business to First class We make the perfect made-to-measure airline kits for your travelers Because we understand what makes you unique Because we deliver the most complex projects


Active Noise Cancellation surrounds the passenger with soothing “white noise”

The holistic passenger by RICK LUNDSTROM

Panasonic Avionics has enlisted partners for a line of solutions that give airlines the chance to make the cabin environment quieter, more attractive and even healthier through cuttingedge wellness-focused technologies

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n the world of commercial aviation, Panasonic Avionics has built its reputation around inflight entertainment products and the capability to bring high-speed Internet to every passenger in the cabin. As important as those services and capabilities are, there is a growing need among the company’s most important airline customers to not only keep their passengers occupied and entertained but also to make their journey as refreshing and healthy as possible. With

Bayart Innovations team would be pleased to welcome you at the World Travel Catering and Onboard services Expo 2019 in Hamburg from April 2nd to 4th. Our designers imagine and constantly seek to figure out projects linking esthetic, functional and economical aspects. Please contact us to set an appointment during the show at


+33 (0)3 20 61 25 50


Panasonic’s nanoe™ solution is found in automobiles and hotel rooms

airlines pushing the envelope with ultra-long-distance routes that can take a toll on any human body, no matter how healthy, that challenge is growing – and the people paying the fares know it. “It is more than being fed, hydrated and entertained,” says Andrew Mohr, Head of Innovation at Panasonic Avionics. Panasonic Corporation makes devices for dental care, blood pressure monitoring and air purification. Bringing some aspects of wellness technology to the aircraft cabin is a natural fit, Mohr explains. After enlisting the help of some innovative partners that have been monitoring the wellbeing of cabin crew and modifying ambient sound, Panasonic announced at last year’s APEX event in Boston the launch of Wellness, a passenger experience solution that addresses inflight health and comfort, as part of the company’s NEXT platform of airline services. Working with teams from Panasonic Corporation in Japan, Panasonic Avionics has developed a solution that includes Active Noise Control, Premium Seat Lighting and a process called ‘nanoe™’ that can fill the space around the passenger with low-voltage moisture to neutralize odor and zap viruses and bacteria. Many of Wellness’ features are the result of a consumer marketplace that is

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Screens like this could one day help passengers en route from London to Boston maintain a healthy balance and ease jet lag

becoming attuned to health issues and more comfortable with technology that monitor and warn of impending risks. At the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually in Las Vegas there is now a dedicated Wellness Pavilion with the latest developments in wearable tech and other devices that aid in the monitoring and maintenance of health. Apps designed to help users meditate or sleep better such as Calm,

a relaxation aid, are becoming popular on the West Coast, and hardware from Fitbits to the Apple Watch are on the wrists of more and more consumers. Some of the solutions in the line such as Active Noise Control and Premium Seat Lighting are designed for the premium cabin. Active Noise Control is a well-known feature in high-end headsets, but the technology used in Wellness is designed to reduce noise


without bulky hardware and minimize the ambient sound around the passenger by up to 15 decibels as they relax in their seat. The effect is achieved with the use of speakers and microphones, along with in-seat controls for background sound to create what Mohr says is a “calming white noise” that can reduce passenger fatigue. To do so, Panasonic worked with Mimi Hearing Technologies, a Berlin-based company specializing in high-quality audio that will also help Panasonic enhance the sound in its embedded and streaming entertainment. The Premium Seat Lighting component follows the flight through its transitions from day to night and changes as passengers sleep and wake. A range of accent lights can reduce eyestrain from reading and improve the presentation and appearance of a passenger’s meal through enhanced color saturation of the food. Both the lighting and the sound technology are designed for the premium cabin, and can be incorporated into products from any supplier. The power needed is provided to the cabin for other activities such as IFE and seat control. But where the entire cabin could see an improved experience is through the use of nanoe™ which is used in Japanese hotel rooms as well

The premium lighting solution in Panasonic’s Wellness selection of products

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as the interiors of Lexus, Land Rover and MINI Cooper automobiles. With the use of nanoe™, the cabin and the passenger seating areas are sprayed with bursts of billions of nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles. “It captures elements in the air,” says Mohr. “Anything from elements that create odors to allergens and pathogens that may be out there, and surrounds them with ionized water. And that prevents them from creating an irritation or attaching to a human.” After the Wellness announcement in Boston last year, Mohr said interest was high among airline customers. Panasonic has secured launch customers for each of the features, which Mohr said could not be announced at the time of publication. Panasonic also sought expertise from a company that is seeking to improve the work life of airline crew to bring elements of its app to the airline passenger. Detalytics has been studying fatigue in pre- and post-flight and developing cabin crew management and resource optimization, and pilot and crew shift scheduling integration. It has also developed a “personal lifestyle analytics app” called 42 that can supply data on sleep, physical activity and heart rate. Much of the information gleaned from the company’s research could one day

be deployed to help airline passengers eat better, rest better and combat the plague of long-distance travel: jet lag. With an IFE component that stores flight information and combines it with knowledge gained about the wellbeing of the passenger, Mohr said a system using “devices that understand what you are going through to travel” could advise passengers on meal selection and give them health recommendations such as cues when to move or advice on stretching. Some of that is taking place already in another form on one of Panasonic’s most important customers, Singapore Airlines. The airline has teamed with Canyon Ranch spas, using the airline’s IFE for health guidance. Mohr said the Wellness suite of solutions could best be thought of as less of an add-on or a feature and more of a way to round out a passenger’s flight experience. “Within the seat environment, we have got the entertainment,” he said. “How can that entertainment be tied into lighting and how does the lighting get tied into meal service to make the food more attractive? “They are not just bolt-ons to the seat, but really part of a holistic system that we try to tie into the overall experience, which includes the entertainment.”

PROFILE The Intercontinental Business Class on Brussels Airlines’ A330s holds 30 passengers


Belgian brand Brussels Airlines’ new longhaul cabin is set to debut in April, while its ongoing chefs program will continue bringing the distinct flavors of Belgium to passengers touching down in North America and Africa



Chef Thierry Theys of the Nuance restaurant in Antwerp is Brussels Airlines’ Star Chef for 2019

y the time the industry gathers in Hamburg for this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, Brussels Airlines’ A330, home of Europe’s newest long-haul cabin retrofit, will be taking its first passengers aboard where they will savor meals made with underused seasonal ingredients and prepared with Michelin-starred inspiration.

The Belgian Star Chef program

In 2019, Chef Thierry Theys’ creations will be center stage in the aircraft’s Intercontinental Business Class, making him the 11th Michelin Star Chef whose menu will be featured in the onboard program. Theys operates a two-Michelin star restaurant in Antwerp called Nuance, which he opened with his wife Sofie Willemarck in 2008. Through this year, Theys’ creations will be served out of Brussels Airport (BRU) on the airline’s intercontinental routes to North America and to 23 destinations in Africa. Brussels Airlines works with LSG Sky Chefs out of Belgium’s capital city and New York Kennedy; out of Toronto, Newrest is the airline’s caterer. Brussels Airlines also operates seasonal service to Washington, D.C. Though the Star Chef program has been running for some time, since 2013, there’s little chance that Brussels Airlines’ yearly selection will run out of potential successors in the future. The small country has a deep concentration of fine dining; the website Elite Traveler notes that throughout Belgium, there are more than 120 Michelin-starred restaurants, giving the airline plenty of choice in the future. The cuisine brought to Brussels’ front cabin may be like no other flying today, thanks to its selection of ingredients, sourced from all of the provinces in the country. The menus are seasonal and heavy with local ingredients. Theys’ menu contributions to Star Chef will be changed every three months, tied to the seasons. “We have asparagus and we have endive and a lot of the forgotten vegetables,” said Johan Duwijn, who is in charge of the

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long-haul product at Brussels Airlines. While a feuilleté made with Jerusalem artichoke, silver skin onion and plum with Cabernet vinegar was flying at press time, future passengers may enjoy parsnips, palm cabbage, kohlrabi and parsley root; sauces will be prepared using the country’s distinctive beer. Chocolate, another national cuisine specialty, is supplied by Neuhaus. From the trolley, passengers typically have a choice of up to eight Belgian beers, plus a featured beer by the Star Chef. For the first two months of this year, Theys chose François Grand Cru Beer and 888 Trepel Eight. Brussels Airlines also offers a choice of five red and white wines and a sparkling wine.

Boutique Belgium

At the end of February, the airline introduced its new intercontinental Business Class cabin to the world, displaying the new seat in a stylish hotel mockup. The intimate Business Class cabin on the first retrofitted A330 – one of 10 A330s in airline’s total fleet of 52 aircraft, which make up to 250 flights each day – will be flying sometime in April. A Lufthansa Group airline, Brussels Airlines has invested more than €10 million (US$11.3 million) per aircraft, from front to back, on a look that



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it describes as a “boutique hotel in the air.” The airline worked with JPA Design on the look of the new Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. In Business Class, wood and leather were used to create an Art Nouveau style with a nod to Belgian architect and designer Victor Pierre Horta. The seats are made with threedimensional textured fabric inspired by Belgian designers like Dries Van Noten. With a Business Class cabin seating 30 passengers, Brussels Airlines has added a unique staggered configuration. Entertainment is viewed on 15.6-inch screens. With the new layout, Brussels Airlines now has a full Premium Economy product. Seating is at a 38-inch pitch and 40-degree recline. The seats are outfitted with a 13.6-inch screen and a table with AC and USB power. In Economy Class, the airline has selected a color scheme inspired by sunrise on the North Sea. The seating has an ergonomic headrest and adjustable neck support for comfort, plus a 10.1-inch screen and USB port for each passenger. “We want to be the most personal airline, give a personal service to every guest and offer everyone the warm hospitality Belgium is known for,” said the airline’s CEO Christina Foerster in the announcement of the new cabin. “And that is exactly the essence of a boutique hotel, offering a world-class service in a small-scale environment.”

Beef cheek a l'orange with carrot, spinach and garlic, as served in Brussels Airlines’ intercontinental Business Class


Some of the colors available in Matrix’s Hydra Active line for Emirates First Class

From high streets to high-flyer Amenity and onboard comfort specialist Matrix is heading to this year’s WTCE with new products, a new digital image and, as Chief Commercial Officer Harry Zalk explains, a whole new outlook on how its retail experience will lend itself to the skies by HEATHER EASON

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ith a fresh look and feel, Matrix presents itself as anything but a traditional airline supplier. Founded in 1996 by Charlie Bradshaw, the company initially focused on beauty design and manufacturing for large UK retailers such as Boots and Superdrug. After a decade of cutting its teeth in retail, Matrix turned its sights on the airline market. Skincare products were the first goods Matrix took to the skies. Thanks to the company’s experience in retail manufacturing, it was able to produce its own amenities instead of simply repackaging other products. Word spread, and the firm became known as an airline skincare specialist. Chief Commercial Officer Harry Zalk, formerly a sales director specializing in sleepwear, joined the team seven years ago to launch a retail clothing division. But he wasn’t confined to retail for long. “It struck me that we had all of this retail clothing experience, and then on the other side we were doing all

of these incredible skincare and beauty products, particularly to moisturize passengers’ skin while they’re flying,” Zalk recalled during a phone conversation with PAX International in February. Zalk set out to hybridize the company’s clothing offerings with its airline beauty products — thus blurring the division between Matrix’s retail and airline teams. Face and hand creams are a luxury on dry, long haul flights, but they only cover a fraction of the body. Through a microencapsulation manufacturing technique that Matrix holds exclusive rights to, the company infused fabric with moisturizing ingredients such as sea kelp. This innovation led to the Hydra Active™ sleepsuit for Emirates First Class passengers, which is still flying today.

The firm is now extending this moisturizing fabric’s use into the retail sector with face masks, an example of how Matrix capitalizes on its position between the shops and the skies. In fact, Matrix is taking steps to further blend together the two sides of its business. In February they launched a new, fashion-forward website that did away with any divisions between retail and airline. “We’ve really tried to not narrow ourselves,” Zalk said. Zalk noted that when it comes to airline products, there usually isn’t a buying decision involved. Meanwhile, retail products have to stand on their merits, such as quality, design and affordability. When Matrix broke into the airline industry, it never stopped creating products with retail value, despite the fact that its items weren’t for sale. “We probably are a little bit different. We didn’t grow up in the airline world … [retail] is very trend-based and consumer intelligence-based. Ultimately, in the retail side of our business, we’re only as good as the sales that our products generate,” Zalk said. As simple as it may sound, gifting airline passengers products that would have been worth buying has enabled Matrix to carve out its place in the industry — and expand to a company with 100 employees in its headquarters in London and regional offices in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Dubai. As it considers itself a leader in consumer intelligence, Matrix is excited to showcase its bi-annual trend magazine

at the 2019 World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg. It will also be exhibiting its latest sleepsuit, which is made with Celliant technology designed to harness the wearer’s electromagnetic light energy and reflect it back into the body. This improves blood circulation in order to boost sleep, wellbeing and overall skin health. Currently used in retail, Matrix is proud to be bringing this newly FDA-approved technology to the airline market. In addition to its dedication to customer wellness, Matrix has committed to improving wellbeing throughout its supply chain. The company is a leader member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which helps members implement a Base Code of labor practice in their factories. In this role, Matrix has worked with retailers such as Zara and H&M to improve working conditions in Chinese factories. A slew of major brands are members, but Matrix is the only product supplier on the ETI board. Many retailers make the mistake of thinking that improving factory conditions would be too costly. “Here is the very clever part,” Zalk revealed. “If you do it properly, it should not have a cost implication.” He explained that hiring passionate people to improve factory conditions may be an investment up front, but it should result in a more sustainable pricing structure down the line. “A lot of the work that we do is about making a happier workforce. The beauty of this, of course, is that a happier workforce is a more productive workforce.”

The Hydra Active™ sleepsuit for Emirates First Class helped Matrix blur the lines between its retail and airline divisions

We probably are a little bit different. We didn’t grow up in the airline world.”

Harry Zalk, CCO of Matrix





Digging in by RACHEL DEBLING

The Octoline set-up by Gispol

No matter which class a passenger opts for, nor the distance they are traveling, one thing is certain: they will likely come face-to-face with a plate, glass, fork, knife, napkin or tray liner at some point over the course of their journey. What these pieces communicate to them, and the future of this onboard segment in general, is the focus of questions we posed to those who know the landscape best: tableware, serveware and dining linen suppliers Sola Airline Cutlery b.v.’s Durban series, winner of a 2018 Mercury Award


Gispol made their debut as an independent supplier of inflight products at the 2018 World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo. Though a new name on the scene, Gispol has been serving the retail and aviation industry for a quarter of a century, with an expertise that lies in its years of manufacturing and product development. Gispol's General Manager, Ricardo Alves, affirms the company's passion: “Having state-of-the-art injection molding machines, thermoforming machines and fully automatic cutlery-pack machines means Gispol can beat any budget, offering direct connection, efficient supply chain management and superb quality.” He also feels the company is a leader in the inflight realm when it comes to sustainability. “We are the first inflight service producer that is Ecosense certified, and our focus is on the bigger picture of environmentally conscious production, processes and products," declared Alves. Gispol’s customer base is made up of well-known European retail stores who turn to its team for the production of catering equipment. In the skies, directly and through its supply chain partners, Gispol has served leading airlines including Emirates, SAUDIA, British Airways, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, TAP, LATAM, Cathay Pacific, LOT and more. On their ability to deliver to many facets of the hospitality industry, Alves says, “Gispol understands the needs of hospitality, offering you our full service, from shaping to shipping, and everything in between.”

Sola Airline Cutlery b.v.

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1922, the Gerritsen family began producing stainless steel cutlery under the Sola name, later adding cruise line, hotel/restaurant and retail divisions to its scope. Fast forward to about 25 years ago, when Sola Airline

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Cutlery b.v. was created as part of the Sola family of businesses to cater specifically to the airline industry. This decision was made, according to Hans Engels, the company’s Export Manager, because “the airline business is very different from the other divisions in terms of design, material, volume, prices, audience and logistics.” Today the company supplies to more than 80 airlines worldwide. Sola’s work in the industry has been heralded by its peers and customers, most notably with its 2018 Mercury Award win in the category of Equipment - Passenger for its hollow handle cutlery design, Durban. It’s a set that works equally as well in Business Class and First Class, and its lightweight design delivers a “phenomenal weight savings,” Engels explains. Though it is endeavoring into disposable options, due much in part to its stainless-steel history rotable cutlery is the company’s main focus — and with good reason, says Engel. “Overall, plastic/disposable cutlery is seen as cheap and difficult to distinguish yourself from your competition,” he notes. “With Sola, you can benefit [from the best] at the best price. “The focus has not changed over the years,” Engels continues. “We want

to be a reliable supplier for the long term. We offer, develop and supply custom-made products for our clients.” Another aspect that hasn’t changed are the ways in which the company’s stainless-steel options are contributing to a more sustainable inflight atmosphere. “There is hardly any waste, and what there is, is collected and recycled.” Looking ahead, Sola will continue on its quest to deliver bespoke options to its airline clientele and work to offer new techniques and styles. “We believe the industry will grow into a more unique experience per airline or group of airlines,” Engel says. “[We’ll develop] a range of products that are aligned with each other and express a certain style or image. Sola was already doing this and will continue to excel in that.”


Though gategroup member deSter began operations in 1936 as a general trading house, it didn’t set foot into utensils until nearly 40 years later, in 1973, when it produced its “humble yet famous” Belgian fries fork. “Today, we are the world’s number-one supplier to all major airlines and are growing steadily in the on-the-ground foodservice market” explains Ruud Vanderheyden,

Chief Design Officer of deSter. “With over 1,000 dedicated employees and a worldwide supply chain, we’re a trusted partner for the design, production and daily delivery of travel and foodservice concepts across the globe.” After amassing decades of experience designing and manufacturing rotable and disposable tableware, deSter considers itself an expert in both product types. Which of the two options its clients decide upon is dependent on many factors. “To help our customers decide which model, disposable or rotable, will have the lowest environmental impact when implemented in their operations, we have developed Product Assessment and Lifecycle Support (PALS),” says Vanderheyden. “PALS is an assessment tool developed in collaboration with various universities and helps our customers to become more sustainable based on factual decisions.” Looking to their current customer line-up, deSter recently redesigned Cathay Pacific’s Business Class serviceware, made to give the airline’s passengers a restaurant-style dining experience. Vanderheyden notes the equipment features individually designed shapes and colors for each onboard signature

Cathay Pacific’s new Business Class tableware was created by deSter to give passengers a restaurant-style dining experience

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Providing more eco-friendly replacements for traditional glassware and plastics, like the materials in this polycarbonate glass, is part of RMT Global Partner’s plans for 2019

dish. Additionally, the non-skid tray in a mat finish is an industry first and does not require a traditional cloth. As he explains, “This next-level inflight hospitality concept does not only provide a distinct restaurant look and feel, its different tray setting options also offer the ultimate service flexibility and differentiation, making Cathay Pacific’s premium on-demand meal service one to remember.”

RMT Global Partners

Jane Bernier-Tran, Vice President Global Sales and Marketing at RMT Global Partners, credits founder Richard M. Tuttle with instilling his passion and dedication into the fabric of the company. Since its inception in 2011, RMT and its team has branched out into serving additional airlines, cruise lines and rail operators, plus the service and hospitality industries, and has grown magnitudes in the process. As is the case with many airline suppliers, the earth’s longevity is of the utmost importance to RMT. Straddling the line between disposable and rotable equipment,

RMT places “a lot of emphasis on high-quality items and timely deliveries,” Bernier-Tran says. Recent projects include eco-friendly items and alternative products to the traditional glassware and dishes. “We are making products such as dishes and glasses in polycarbonates, bamboo stir sticks and disposable straws in PLA material as a biodegradable option,” she explains. Blankets made with 100% recycled bottles are also on their product roster. Though eco-conscious options sometimes come with a higher price tag, RMT works tirelessly to provide its airline clients with what they need, within their tight budgets. Alternative materials such as melamine or polycarbonate in lieu of glass can give projects a “First Class appearance” with enhanced durability. “This allows savings to the airlines or hospitality company so that they can reinvest in the product,” Bernier-Tran says. In the months and years to come, RMT is looking to face challenges such as tariff increases head-on by examining alternative manufacturers

that can produce the high-quality items of equal value to help offset these cost increases. The company is also actively working to redefine its branding strategy in 2019 to put its best face forward. Bernier-Tran notes, “We may be classified as a small-size company; however, we like to call ourselves a ‘niche company’ that continues to think bigger. We’re working on our campaign to be the provider of eco-friendly material as we care as a company to be doing what is best for the environment and our customers.”

WK Thomas

WK Thomas’ history in the leisure and travel industry began back in 1930 with founder Wynnifred Katherine Thomas, explains company Sales Director Des Thurgood. It first supplied packaging products to the military, including the U.S. Air Force bases in East Anglia, UK, a move that began its relationship with American manufacturers for single-use food and drink products, a facet that “remains an important aspect of the business today,” Thurgood says.

We believe that avoiding landfill waste is a crucial first step for the airline industry.”


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By listening to your everyday challenges, our creative minds develop perfectly tailored products with a real point of difference. Our agile logistics approach and global reach mean we can deliver a highly responsive and reliable network-wide service. We believe that everything is possible.


creating new dining experiences and new opportunities for innovation. Our role is to reflect and lead changing attitudes to the environment, as well as constantly evolving our ranges so that we are pioneering the market in terms of the solutions we offer.” Investments in its sales and support staff, as well as its design team, will continue over the course of 2019 and beyond.

John Horsfall WKT's expertise is disposable products, but the company is increasingly providing ranges of reusable product solutions for clients

“As one of the first wholesalers of clingfilm and one of the earliest pioneers of disposable products such as paper cones for water coolers, WK Thomas can claim to have started the ‘convenience age,’ changing the look and language of packaging forever,” he continues. “Over the years, our focus has continually shifted to reflect changing consumer trends and market influences on both the travel and foodservice sectors.” Today, WK Thomas operates from a 7,000-pallet center based in Chessington, Surrey, complete with an in-house design studio and showroom. Its expertise remains in disposable products, but the company has increasingly turned its sights on the sustainability agenda by providing ranges of reusable product solutions for clients looking to move in this direction. One of WK Thomas’ major carrier clients has struck up discussions regarding a reusable bamboo hot cup for

crew use, intended to replace disposable cups with conventional plastic linings. “We have also agreed preliminary orders for a train operating company in the UK to use our exclusive pokito reusable cup to incentivize customers to purchase a reusable cup in exchange for discounted hot beverages,” Thurgood shares. This unique option, which reduces from a 16oz/450ml capacity to a size that fits easily into a pocket or bag, will be launched this year. A compostable bagasse step tray, a potential replacement for a rotable plastic half-atlas tray, is also on the horizon. Above all, WK Thomas will continue to listen to its airline clients, and by extension their passengers, on what concerns they should focus on and what features they need to produce. Thurgood says, “The travel sector is growing and will continue to grow as a new generation of travelers emerge with their own expectations and identity,

When it was established in 1863 in Yorkshire, UK, John Horsfall began simply as a woolen blanket manufacturer. More than 100 years later, the company made the move into the airline industry, supplying made-to-order comfort items to its 50-plus international airline customers. “Expansion of our overseas facilities enabled us to offer a wide range of beautifully designed products from blankets and bedding, to table linens, sleepsuits and beyond,” explains Ellie Parkes, Business Development Manager at John Horsfall. “Our main focus is aviation; when it comes to airlines, we know our stuff, we think creatively and we obsess over detail.” The year 2019 brings with it a whole new look for the 156-year-old company, starting with a refreshed website. “The re-brand consolidates and communicates our company story and values which our clients already know and admire; we just needed our brand image to reflect what we have been doing for years,” notes Parkes. Also ahead for John Horsfall is a shift in focus to its Premium Economy offering. Parkes says, “We’re proud to supply product in several of the highest Skytrax-

The collapsible pokito cup from WK Thomas is a reusable alternative to single use hot cups and ideal for the travel sector

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rated PEY cabins and we understand how design and innovation in this area can transform experiences and create added value for our airline clients.” The linens that accompany the sophisticated, high-quality onboard utensils provided by many of the companies quoted here are equally important for the passenger experience. As Parkes notes, “Beautifully designed table linens can really elevate the inflight meal service, creating a luxurious restaurant-style experience. John Horsfall’s creative use of pattern, texture and color can help to enhance the appearance of the tableware and the food itself.” The textiles they have provided for the trolleys and trays of customers such as British Airways, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Air Mauritius and Finnair are an immense source of pride for the company. As in the tableware sector, the environmental cost for onboard textiles is also a concern for suppliers, airlines and passengers alike. “There are two sides to this issue, but we believe that

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John Horsfall’s elegantly designed table linens help to elevate the look and appeal of onboard tableware

avoiding landfill waste is a crucial first step for the airline industry,” said Parkes. Rotable options obviously have less of a landfill impact and also offer greater levels of comfort to passengers while subtly lifting the cabin’s design. When designing new products, John Horsfall’s team tries to use Global Recycle Standard-certified materials where and when it can, and are looking to alternatives to single-use plastic items to add to its already growing line-up

of plastic-free packaging solutions. The company will be showcasing a new exhibition space at WTCE this April, filled with textile products that will make its customers’ customers “feel at home every time they travel, whatever the destination, whatever the cabin, whatever the budget,” Parkes reveals. New products from John Horsfall will also be launched this year on board Finnair, Air Mauritius and British Airways.


Shifting the focus Anne De Hauw and Anne-Céline Donkersloot of IN Air Travel Experience explore the ways in which a spotlight on sustainability can help an airline improve its connection to customers

Anne De Hauw (right) and Anne-Céline Donkersloot

Critics might argue that some airlines are guilty of ‘green-washing’ and can do a great deal more to respect and preserve the environment for future generations.”

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o one said it better than Mademoiselle Coco Chanel: “Less is more.” Her ethos of rejecting consumer habits can be applied not just to crimes against fashion but also to those against the environment. In 2018, we saw record heat waves on four continents, wildfires in the Arctic Circle, and perilous water shortages in South Africa, Australia and India. Scientists now talk of a “sixth mass extinction” of animal, bird, insect and marine life. As governments struggle to keep the fragile Paris Agreement on track, businesses have an opportunity to play a decisive role in a sustainable future. Thanks to changing consumer attitudes, every company is forced to pursue sustainable practices. Emissions from aviation account for about 2% of global greenhouse

gas pollution. A return flight from London to New York generates the same emissions as the average European does heating their home for a year. Airlines are scrambling to minimize the negative effects of flying on the environment. Some of the top sustainability practices in aviation include: • Carbon offsetting: A program that allows passengers to invest in offsetting their carbon footprint. • Fuel efficiency: The newer the fleet, the more fuel-efficient it will be, and the more fuel-efficient it is, the less pollution and emissions it will produce while lowering costs. • Investing in biofuels: Biofuel technology reduces the use of fossil fuels and overall carbon emissions. • Recycling programs: Airlines are working toward reducing waste – some better than others.

Biodegradable Compostable







Reduce Plastic Waste

Reinforces CSR


One might say, “Large or small, each initiative counts.” Critics might argue that some airlines are guilty of “green-washing” and can do a great deal more to respect and preserve the environment for future generations, including generation Z and millennials, who genuinely care about the planet and worry about climate change. Airlines have been focusing on providing passengers with more products related to the class they are flying while being restricted by the cost implications they face. A large tray of food in Economy Class. More leg space and recline in Economy. Flat beds, branded amenity kits and comfort items in Business Class. The five-star treatment in First Class. Paradoxically, not all of these initiatives prove to boost Net Promotor Scores (NPS). On the contrary, with sustainability on the minds of today’s consumer, some of these services can be seen as unnecessary, disposable and useless as opposed to well curated.

What is the NPS impact of disposable socks that either slide down your leg in flight, or are way too tight? Who wants lip balm that dries your lips faster than harsh weather? What frequent Business Class passenger keeps all of the amenity bags they collect in a lifetime? Who said all these items really add value to the passenger journey and customer experience? And that is without taking into consideration the excess post-flight wastage the non-used products generate. How about the plastic meal service tray with all those disposable, plastic-wrapped items? Who eats a three-course meal nowadays – and why should we when we fly? Who said that passengers would be less satisfied if they got simpler service with better food and a significant reduction in waste and single-use plastic? An airline flying 150 stations with one exclusive water brand means that the water is bottled at "the source," shipped globally and, finally, trucked to

every airport by road. They are offering the same branded water on all flights at an enormous carbon footprint cost, as bottles made from PET often end up in landfills or our oceans. And with generation Z and millennials carrying around their Klean Kanteen insulated bottles, filled with tap water, one can argue that offering branded plastic water bottles these days can hurt a brand image more than it helps. Why don’t we simply curate the inflight experience, reducing the number of products on board and decreasing the cost of operations whilst increasing customer satisfaction scores? Less, but better. It’s pretty obvious that the current model is not necessarily improving the passenger experience and is actually helping to exhaust our planet. Fortunately, there is a growing awareness among passengers and industry leaders that the air travel industry needs smart, sustainable and meaningful experiences.

Ideas and impulses transformed into efficient creative solutions.

Driven by insight and passion, we innovate to meet consumer needs and offer thoughtful and progressive food solutions, globally from travel to retail. Meet us at the WTCE 2019, Hall A1, LSG Group Booth 1E20 2–4 April, Hamburg, Germany

44Evertaste_PAX-WTCE_188x134.indd   MARCH/APRIL 2019


11.02.19 18:29






This amenity kit for Air Tahiti Nui by Galileo Watermark was made with wheat straw, corn starch and bamboo

Steeped in

sustainability Suppliers of inflight cabin products are thinking big when it comes to the hot issue of sustainability. We take a look at what’s on offer, from cups to cosmetics by MARY JANE PITTILLA

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eveloping food service and packaging solutions is no longer just about optimizing functionality and looks, it’s also about designing environmentally conscious products that contribute to preserving our world for future generations. That’s according to Philippe De Naeyer, Director Sustainable Product Development at deSter, whose view is echoed by the many different cabin products suppliers we contacted for this feature. deSter pursues what it calls its ECD philosophy. ECD stands for Environmentally Conscious Design and encompasses all of its actions towards developing sustainable products. To explain its approach, deSter has developed a microsite (www. For both the main cabin as well as the front cabin, deSter is committed to offering its customers sustainable alternatives where possible. In the main cabin, the focus remains on developing functional, user-friendly and sustainable rotable or single-use serviceware in line with the circular economy principle such as closed loop recycling and composting opportunities. A good example of this is its new 100% biodegradable coffee cup. In the front cabin, it’s all about optimizing the passenger experience. As weight reduction is a critical factor towards reducing an airline’s carbon footprint, the company has developed E-Lite Bone china, 30% lighter than traditional porcelain. Now, deSter is in the final stretch of developing a “new revolutionary material” for use in disposables on behalf of one of its foodservice customers. Though he can’t disclose the details, as the company is currently in the final testing stages, De Naeyer says he believes it has the potential to be a

game changer on a global level. Not only that, deSter’s designers keep the emphasis on environmental costs at the forefront of their product development. “As a leading producer of food serviceware and packaging, we believe good business should be good for people and gentle on the environment,” he concludes. “This is why every new product we design is assessed from an environmental point of view, taking into consideration its life-cycle and recycling options.” In a similar move to deSter, Buzz recently launched a sustainability program entitled “Join the Movement” that aims to inspire its partners to join the company in its sustainability efforts. Join the Movement aims to enhance both the environmental and social impact of its programs encompassing a range of touchpoints, including plastics reduction, waste minimization, and closing the loop by maximizing usability of materials and componentry. For example, Buzz is on track to divert 95 million bottles from landfill by the end of 2019, transforming them

into its versatile, certified ecoTHREAD luxury blanket. The blanket has been certified with the Green Leaf Mark by certification body Intertek and recognized with a Good Design Awards Selection for Social Innovation. Additionally, by working with its clients to reduce polybag use, it is on target to have saved 96,000 pounds of plastic from being created by the end of 2019 – plastic that could otherwise have ended up in landfill or our oceans. For example, its new sleeper suits for Virgin Australia come packed in a functional, reusable mesh pouch, ideal for storage and eliminating the need for polybags. The company’s Chief Sustainability Officer is at the forefront of technology and sourcing new materials. Buzz is also aware that being sustainable needs to be commercially viable. A key element of its design and manufacturing process is ensuring that sustainable products are competitive in terms of quality and unit price, according to Simon Yaffe, Buzz’s Director, Client Relationships. Global Inflight Products launched its sustainable/eco-friendly product line

Buzz is on track to divert 95 million bottles from landfill by the end of the year with its certified ecoTHREAD luxury blanket, seen here for Emirates (Photo courtesy Buzz)





Products made with sustainable materials such as palm leaves can be found in Global Inflight Product’s portfolio

“Green Is Possible” in 2010. Nine years ago, this was a relatively new concept – even for the retail consumer market. Today, Global Inflight Products offers a broad range, spanning eco-friendly cups (hot and cold), cutlery, dishware, napkins, blankets (made with recycled bottles – rPET), towels and amenity kits. These modern and practical products incorporate sustainable materials, such as sugar cane, vegetable starch (corn/potato), bamboo, birch, wheat straw and palm leaves. Examples include its birch and bamboo stir sticks and its newest blanket, which is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles that are transformed into a fine thread which is then woven into a soft blanket. Global Inflight Products not only manufactures products using ecofriendly materials, but also generates new, innovative concepts to reduce waste on board – for example, by eliminating the plastic bag for a cutlery pack and replacing it with a clever, pocket-fold WK Thomas has developed a new, 100% compostable, ultra-lightweight stepped meal tray, made from bagasse fiber

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cutlery pouch. This can be used for reusable stainless steel or disposable cutlery. The cost-effectiveness of sustainable products is definitely improving, according to the firm. As the materials and products become more mainstream, prices are dropping. But one “priceless” factor in going green is demonstrating the importance of environmental awareness to passengers, it says. Similarly to Global Inflight Products, U.S.-based WESSCO International has launched and marketed a sustainable products collection every year since 2008. Over the last few years it has seen interest in such ideas grow significantly, to the point where the discussion is now being driven by its customers, and touches almost every project it works on. Sustainable products do not have to cost more. The company says there are creative ways to look at product and packaging design that can actually reduce the overall cost to its customers, by changing the nature of what and how these products are delivered to passengers. A simple example is the use of recycled materials in textile products, which can often be less expensive than the virgin materials they replace or supplement. WESSCO also notes that airlines need to keep their fingers on the pulse of passenger expectations to stay ahead of the curve. “Airlines are driven to provide a great experience to their passengers first and foremost, and a key aspect of that is aligning with the values of those passengers in order to connect on an emotional level,” WESSCO told PAX. “As public awareness of sustainability

United Airlines recently announced it is the first airline to partner with Clean the World, an organization that works to prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year. Clean the World diverts airline and hotel waste from landfills and repurposes the plastic, metal and soap to service those in need. Millions of children in developing countries are dying from diseases due to lack of water and hygiene amenities, according to the organization. The partnership with United came about in 2014, when the airline’s manager of Environmental Strategy and Sustainability wanted to know how it could eliminate a majority of its waste. Clean the World’s solution involves shipping the waste back to a Clean the World recycling facility to be recycled and redistributed to those in need, through hygiene kits. “Since then, our partnership has blossomed into a relationship,” enthuses Clean the World. United has hosted a number of Clean the World Hygiene Kit Builds all around the world. United continues to partner with the nonprofit and devise new ways to eliminate waste from the airline. In 2018, Clean the World assembled and distributed more than 150,000 hygiene kits to those affected by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael. By Q3, Clean the World distributed more than 48 million bars of soap and diverted more than 18 million pounds of hotel waste from landfills. Its goal is to eliminate a majority of this type of litter from landfills by 2030.


DEKU, Kaelis’ recyclable polar fleece blanket, is described as a soft, warm and ecofriendly way to feel comfortable while flying

increases, airlines are focused more and more on showing what they are doing in this area. Consumers are increasingly vocal about sustainable options and airlines are paying attention.” Another key player, Galileo Watermark, has introduced a number of initiatives and products aimed at delivering sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. These have included amenity kits in rPET for Cathay Pacific Airways, locally manufacturing rotable tableware for British Airways (reducing the emissions produced during transport), manufacturing an amenity kit for Air Tahiti Nui with wheat straw, corn starch and bamboo, as well as delivering the lightest and purest glassware in the world for Qantas Airways. The company says that consumers are looking to airlines to offer sustainable alternatives, but in many cases the airline buyers’ hands are tied due to certain regulations, including those that pertain to the contamination of disposable

FORMIA’s Qantas Economy Class kit is made out of rPET, a material spun from recycled plastic bottles into a felt-like fabric

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products. Galileo Watermark is working on a number of initiatives with its airline partners to find ways around these regulations and close the loop, giving each product at least one more lifecycle. Galileo Watermark is also working closely with a number of airlines to deliver an on-demand model for their next amenity kit. It wouldn’t cost any more or less, but would lead to an increased choice for the passenger, an improved experience and, most importantly, less waste of material. “We are working on a number of projects which will launch in coming months as well as continuing our efforts in bringing ocean recycled plastic packaging to market with our airline customers,” the company says. Niklas Sandor, Chief Marketing Officer of amenity kit supplier FORMIA, says sustainable fabrics can often mean higher labor costs or alternative logistical solutions, but he says, “What is important is that we do our best to find the balance so that we can deliver at the highest possible standard whilst minimizing our eco-footprint.” FORMIA’s Qantas amenity kit for Economy Class passengers is made out of rPET, a material spun from recycled plastic bottles into a felt-like fabric. FORMIA has also developed skincare products, either natural or sustainable, that do not use chemicals, parabens and other ingredients that are harmful to the skin. “We are also currently working on bringing the very first vegan bag and lifestyle brand onboard an airline,” Sandor says. “We truly believe in what this company has to offer, being able to push the use of materials that do not negatively

affect our environment or its inhabitants, yet still provides high-quality products.” Sandor believes that sustainability is the responsibility of all related stakeholders. “As an industry and with a concerted effort, we can focus more logistics and our supply chain solutions to practise reducing, reusing and recycling in unison.” AK-Service is also on the sustainability path, creating individually designed, eco-friendly amenity kits produced with biological polymer, paper bags or renewable raw material. The company supplies various eco-friendly materials to fit into every client’s budget. Recently, AK-Service received the TravelPlus Award for its S7 Airlines eco-friendly amenity kit. Furthermore, rather than packaging the kits in plastic bags, they are supplied in reusable fabrics which can be used later as a travel accessory bag. “We are convinced that innovationbased competitive advantages (use of eco-friendly materials, implementation of new technologies) will result in more long-term sustainable competitiveness than traditional cost-based competitiveness,” says the firm. “That is why, for example, we reject polluting products and materials and use environmentally friendly and recycled products. We have already implemented the principles of waste-free production cycle to reduce our environmental impact.” Meanwhile, Kaelis is betting on its new rPET blanket. DEKU is the name of the firm’s recyclable polar fleece blanket, which is described as a soft, warm and eco-friendly way to feel comfortable while flying. The blanket, made from plastic bottles, has

a Compliance Certificate that verifies the Global Recycled Standard and complies with all onboard requirements. A recycled rPET blanket needs around 45 plastic bottles to produce. The rPET production process generates 75% fewer CO2 emissions than in traditional polyester manufacturing, leading to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint. And, by using recycled PET material, plastic waste is reduced. In terms of quality, there are no differences between rPET plastic and traditional polyester, according to Kaelis. Sustainable materials and products that can be recycled or are made of recycled components are areas in which Kaelis will continue to expand over the coming years. “Kaelis is conscious of the importance of the subject and we have definitely seen a growing trend to request sustainable options on behalf of the airlines,” says company CEO Federico Heitz. “This is why we invest time and resources in developing eco-friendly products to keep ahead of the trend. Our sales team will usually understand what alternatives each client is willing to look at and

we then provide a range of choices.” UK-based WK Thomas (WKT) also supplies a number of environmentally friendly product innovations. Following the success of last year’s award-winning black bagasse tray, WKT has developed a new, ultralightweight stepped meal tray, made from the same compostable plant-based bagasse fibers. Designed in-house, the space-saving tray is more than 300% lighter than other plastic trays. WKT also offers a new range of disposable bamboo cups made from natural pulp fiber. Lighter than a conventional paper cup, it is designed for hot and cold drinks in 8, 12 and 16oz sizes. Another innovation is the pokito pop-up cup. Described as collapsible and compact, pokito is lightweight, robust, safe and easy to use. When fully open, it holds 475ml, but can be collapsed to 350ml or 230ml (8oz) sizes. When closed, it is 4.5cm for portability. Pokito is customizable and can be washed in a dishwasher more than 6,000 times. Over at RMT Global Partners, recent projects have included developing eco-friendly items or alternative

products to traditional glassware and dishes. It involves products such as dishes and glasses in polycarbonates, bamboo stir sticks and disposable straws in PLA material as a biodegradable option. RMT’s earth-conscious decisions have led them to design blankets using certified materials made from 100% recycled bottles. Jane Bernier-Tran, Vice President Global Sales and Marketing, says that its recent “green” campaign was implemented to let its customers know ecologically sound options such as recycled bottle blankets, bamboo straws and PLA disposable glasses are part of the company’s product portfolio. Still, she admits it won’t necessarily be a smooth transition for all involved. “The challenge is going to be the changes in eco-friendly versus non-eco-friendly, their advantages versus disadvantages, and what will legislation and regulations do to shift the trends of our business. “We are providing earth-friendly alternatives to give options to our customers as trends change, in addition to believing it’s the right thing to do for our environment.”

The new world of innovative food-to-go solutions • Brand and Packaging Design • Culinary Innovation • Global Manufacturing • Worldwide Logistics


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Flying with pride

Kazakh-style dishes are featured mainly on Air Astana’s domestic route menus, and local produce, includes specialty chocolates, fruit bars, cheeses and honey, is used on all flights

Air Astana’s Vice President Inflight Services, Margaret Phelan, tells PAX International how the flag carrier of Kazakhstan is winning accolades for its cabin service by MARY JANE PITTILLA


ir Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, has been an aviation success story since its creation in 2001. The airline operates flights to more than 60 domestic and international routes from hubs in Astana and Almaty. In less than two decades, it has built up a 34-strong fleet consisting of 767, 757, and A320 family aircraft, including the new-generation A320neo and A321neo, and Embraer E190/E190-E2 aircraft. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded a four-star rating by Skytrax at its World Airline Awards 2012 and was also named Best Airline in Central Asia and India that year. Both achievements were repeated for the next six years, from 2016 to 2018. Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%. Air Astana was named Winner in the coveted TripAdvisor 2018 Travellers’ Choice Awards, voted by members of the public. In an interview with PAX International, Margaret Phelan, Vice President Inflight Services, highlights the attention to detail and sense of place that has helped propel the airline to international recognition in a competitive market.

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Margaret Phelan, Vice President Inflight Services, Air Astana

“We are very conscious and proud of our regional heritage here in Kazakhstan and this is reflected in the design of both our Business and Economy Class range of tableware and cabin dressing items. Along with our equipment supplier, deSter, we introduced a totally new look early last year, specifically to promote a homely feel onboard our aircraft, with strong Kazakh design influences across the range.” This elegant look has proven to be a tremendous success, she continues, and many compliments have been received from its frequent flyers, as well as from new passengers experiencing Air Astana service and hospitality for the first time. “This is very much supported by our cabin crew in an elegant uniform, featuring traditional Kazakh ornaments and also our boarding music, created by the famous Kazakhstani composer and musician Assylbek Yensepov, played on the national instrument [the dombra].” Phelan’s Inflight Services department has been reaping the rewards of its dedication, with many awards to its name. In addition to the above-mentioned Skytrax accolades for seven consecutive years, they include Five Star Major Regional Air-

Air Astana’s 767 Business Class cabin interior evokes Kazakhstan’s regional heritage, reflected in the design of its cabin dressing items

line (Airline Passenger Experience Association); gold awards for its Economy Class and Business Class amenity kits (Europe/ Africa) from Travel Plus; and a PAX International Readership Award in 2018 for its Business Class Amenity Kit (Asia). Although Air Astana does not have any official collaboration with a celebrity chef, it boasts a very experienced catering management team, permanently based in Almaty. They, together with its many international catering service providers and those based in Kazakhstan, plan menus according to the specific routing and destinations. This approach helps to ensure that the varied ethnic or religious requirements of its passengers are best provided for, both to and from every location. Kazakh-style dishes feature mainly on its domestic route menus, and local produce, including specialty chocolates, natural fruit bars, cheeses, honey and other fresh fruit and vegetables, is used on all flights. In a sample menu shared by the airline, a domestic flight meal is comprised of a bakery selection including warm garlic bread, followed by a salad course with rocket lettuce, beetroot, feta and orange; a main course selection of herbed chicken galantine with rosemary-garlic sauce, paprika-spiced baked potato and steamed zucchini; or traditional Kazakh beef and lamb manti with a fresh tomato and herb sauce, steamed greens and baked pumpkin; and for dessert, honey layer cake. On the international flight from London to Almaty, the sample menu starts with a bakery selection; an appetizer of duck pâté, brioche toast, spiced pear chutney, sun-blushed tomato, orange segments and fresh fig; a salad course of mixed leaves with fresh mozzarella and sundried tomato; and wild mushroom soup. The four-option main course selection consists of chicken tikka masala, fragrant coriander basmati rice, fried okra in tomato basil sauce and naan bread; spaghetti beef Bolognaise, oregano-scented cherry tomato and mushrooms, and shaved parmesan cheese; pan-seared salmon with pink grapefruit and Béarnaise sauce, pak choy, pea and potato mash; or a vegetarian option of aubergine, mozzarella and roasted tomato ravioli with mild

arrabbiata sauce, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Dessert options are coconut berry panna cotta, chocolate opera cake or seasonal fresh fruit. The international cheese selection comprises mature cheddar, Blacksticks Blue, French Brie, grapes and medjoul dates, and Miller’s Harvest Crackers. Turning to inflight entertainment, Air Astana offers a wide range of IFE onboard in cooperation with its content supplier Aerogroup, which works with major Hollywood studios as well as international producers to provide high-quality and diverse programs, including 85 movies and 90 TV series, as well as advertising. The extensive music collection covers a wide variety of styles within its library of 300 albums. Because of its mixed fleet of Boeing, Airbus and Embraer, there are different IFE systems onboard. On its 757/767 and Airbus neo fleets, the in-seat IFE features high-resolution touchscreens. The vast majority of the remaining aircraft are equipped with new highspeed wireless multimedia streaming systems. Now, thanks to Bluebox, which supplies the Bluebox Wow IFE system, passengers can connect to a local wireless network with their own personal devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops using Wi-Fi to enjoy its latest selection of movies and music. Air Astana has also installed an Inmarsat GX Aviation system, a global satellite network of high-speed broadband access on its 767 fleet. Passengers can enjoy a 2Mbps internet connection and surf the internet, send emails, interact on social media, listen to music and upload photos. Air Astana is currently working on an inflight shopping project and plans to introduce it by the end of this year. “We are very excited by this prospect and believe that it will meet with the satisfaction of our passengers and enhance our product,” enthuses Phelan.

Air Astana’s cabin crew wear an elegant uniform, featuring traditional Kazakh ornaments




Impact in the in-between

Air France by Albéa Travel Designer

Premium Economy is not a new concept, but for many airlines it’s a brand new product, as TravelPlus’ Simon Ward explains. He breaks down which airlines are proving their worth in this rapidly growing faction – and how their suppliers are differentiating their offerings from the classes immediately above and below


Austrian Airlines by skysupply

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s major airlines seek to compete with low-cost carriers by densifying Economy Class cabins — often by making margins in the back borderline unbearable — the cabin in between the pointy end and the rear has become increasingly hallowed ground, and for travelers, a better value than ever. Many airlines launched “true” Premium Economy cabins in 2018, but it was during the late ‘70s that airlines first began to experiment with another option to full-fare tickets and discounted Economy Class. In 1977, El Al announced plans to reconfigure its aircraft with a small First Class cabin and larger Business Class cabin on the assumption that most transatlantic First Class passengers would shift their business to the Concorde. A year later British Airways introduced “Club Class,” a separate premium cabin

with numerous amenities, as a means of further distinguishing full-fare business travelers from tourists flying on discounted fares. However, it is Qantas that claims to have launched the world’s first Business Class in 1979. It took another 15 years before we saw the Taiwanese carrier EVA Air and Virgin Atlantic Airways introducing Premium Economy Class within months of each other. I remember traveling for business during the ‘90s, an era when airlines served free liquor and complimentary meals in Economy Class and the seats were fitted with phones – this was pre-mobile, remember. In 1992 EVA Air introduced “Evergreen Class” (later renamed “Elite Class”), spreading passengers across four cabins for the first time. Evergreen sat ahead of Economy but behind “Super Business,” making EVA the first airline in the world to offer this class of service.

Eva Air – Furla by FORMIA

Economy amenity kit. The exact kits offered to passengers traveling with EVA Air are determined by their direction of travel. For example, passengers aboard long-haul flights departing Taiwan will be presented with blue and gray Furla kits. This EVA Elite Class kit features a skincare set from the internationally known French cosmetics brand Payot, an eye mask, comb, dental kit and ear plugs, as well as flight socks.

Austrian Airlines by skysupply

One of EVA Air’s early Premium Economy kits

In short, as Business Class cabins evolved (think lie-flat seats becoming the norm) and airlines felt a growing pressure to accommodate more and more paying passengers in Economy, a void of good-value comfort opened in between. The growing number of prestigious airlines adopting this emerging class, including Air New Zealand, British Airways, KLM and Qantas, is evidence of the longevity and acceptability of Premium Economy, a class in which passengers can normally expect roomier seats, better meals, larger entertainment screens and more personalized service without an extravagant price tag. Oh, and I nearly forgot – “free” drinks and amenity kits. With the A350 and 787 Dreamliner, we have seen a new era of long-haul travel ushered in, with Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Qantas all introducing 17 hour-plus flights and providing more Premium Economy seating than in Business Class. Premium Economy is a cabin whose time has really come. What that might mean for the class system is not yet clear, but what is clear that this “fourth class” is here to stay.

This is good news for suppliers of onboard passenger amenities because as seat numbers increase over the coming years, Premium Economy will provide an increasingly lucrative volume sector for airlines competing to offer the bestin-class passenger experience, including offering the much-loved amenity kit. Back in the 1990s you might have received a small plastic wallet with a toothbrush and toothpaste, but oh boy, how things have changed. I recognized the growing importance of Premium Economy kits back in 2013 when I introduced the first separate TravelPlus Awards category for the class. Today, the Premium Economy category, along with our regional Business Class division, is the most fiercely contested category, with entries increasing year over year.

Today’s Premium Economy Eva Air – Furla by FORMIA

EVA Air’s Premium Economy amenity kits were developed by FORMIA in collaboration with Italian fashion label Furla, marking the first time this respected fashion label has collaborated with an airline to design a Premium

Austrian Airlines Premium Economy passengers are treated to both an outbound and inbound kit, each bringing an authentic Austrian charm up to the sky. Both pouches primarily use red and white colors, which are country-specific to Austria, as well as solid gray. The red and white checked pattern, clutch-style pouch and sporty, functional bag both contain an eye mask, pair of socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, and earplugs.

Lufthansa by SPIRIANT

The Around the World kit features five designs of destination landmarks: the Frankfurt Skyline, Brandenburg Gate, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge. The bag is non-woven and includes a refreshing towel, a pair of socks, an eye mask, items for dental care and earplugs. The Around the World collection creates a memorable experience for travelers in Lufthansa’s Premium Economy Class and encourages passenger loyalty. The bag preserves memorable connections for the passenger by presenting a selection of Lufthansa destinations. In the future, additional destinations will be added to the already-existing Around the World Collection.

Air France by Albéa Travel Designer

This stylish comfort kit for Air France's Premium Economy passengers breaks with tradition with its new colors, simple sporty materials and contrasting details like the pouch format, modern material and laces that close the kit. The comfort kit comes in two colors – blue and beige – and provides passengers with headphone cups, ear plugs, a dental kit, a pair of socks and a night mask. PAX-INTL.COM



Delta Air Lines – TUMI by Buzz

Hawaiian Airlines – Sig Zane Designs by WESSCO International

Hawaiian Airlines’ Extra Comfort amenity kit features a contemporary ‘Auli‘ilani lehua flower pattern designed by Hawaii’s Sig Zane Designs. The natural canvas bag with pink lehua blossoms features a zipper closure with bamboo zipper pull and Hawaiian Airlines’ wordmark on the interior. The amenity kit includes a selection of soothing Lōli‘i Makiki Valley products, including a hand and body balm, lip balm and hydrating mist, toothbrush and toothpaste dental kit,

Hawaiian Airlines – Sig Zane Designs by WESSCO International

an eye mask featuring the ‘Auli‘ilani lehua flower pattern, earplugs, earphones, a two-tone bamboo comb, a Hawaiian Airlines pen and tissues.

Thomas Cook by skysupply

The recognizable Thomas Cook “Sunny Heart Motif ” and color concept are transferred to these inbound and

outbound kits to create a positive recognition with the customer who is longing for the extra service provided in the Premium Economy Class. The Premium Economy Class inbound kit is a handy, foldable shopper bag in a discreet gray and white pattern with a hook on its cover, to be attached to the inside of a purse. In addition, guests will receive a liquid hand sanitizer, earphones, a dental set, earplugs, gray socks with a yellow tip and an eye mask.

Delta Air Lines – TUMI by Buzz Delta’s Premium Economy passengers receive a complimentary TUMI amenity kit with all the essentials to help their guests arrive at their destination well rested and refreshed. This kit includes a padded eye mask, socks, ear plugs, a Colgate dental kit with toothpaste and toothbrush, and MALIN+GOETZ hand cream.

Thomas Cook by skysupply

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PROFESSIONAL FIRST CLASS AND BUSINESS CLASS PAJAMAS MANUFACTURER We also supply blanket and duvet, towel, amenity kit, snack bag, airsickness bag, paper cup, plastic products, chinaware and the matching stainless steel cutlery and glassware. Visit us at 1G30, Hall A1, WTCE Hamburg Headquarter address: 4th Floor, Tiandu Business Building, No.146 of West Gongqingtuan Road, Zhangdian, Zibo, Shandong, China. Email:;


Rethinking the physical experience


riginal equipment manufacturers (OEMs), airlines and onboard hospitality providers are becoming aware of what passengers like and dislike. This goes beyond a new seat, mood lighting and food/beverage options. It affects the entire passenger journey. This journey includes products and interfaces that have to match the airline’s culture, brand and personality. Attention to detail and a seamless experience are expected in order to generate a unique and lasting passenger experience. The tangible and intangible environment also plays an important role in generating excitement, and therefore satisfaction. This is one of the reasons why emphasis is required on the intangible/ tangible elements of interactions with passengers. Through the various customer contact points (see chart on page 60), a passenger pays attention to the elements of the physical environment around them. Elements of the cabin architecture and airline product design can engage passengers in a meaningful way. Elegant details in Turkish Airlines' candlelit dinner

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When Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D., Founder and President of, looks deep into an airline’s inflight product he sees both pitfalls and possibilities

Physical environment

Properly designed physical environments can produce feelings of excitement, pleasure or relaxation. Aesthetic aspects of an aircraft cabin and surrounding factors such as lighting, wall panels, windows and overhead bins are likely to influence a passenger’s perceptions and feelings. Design language delivers a message of the airline’s promise, and can be translated and embodied into features that refer specifically to the brand and communicates its uniqueness. This ensures the airline’s uniqueness is communicated through features that refer specifically to it. Turkish Airlines’ candlelit dinner and the consistency of United Airlines’ Polaris product, in terms of branding, color scheme and product architecture, are some good examples. The time passengers spend in an airline lounge or an aircraft cabin also plays a significant role in forming passenger attitudes. The longer the stay, the higher the likelihood a passenger can be immersed and affected by a specific environment. This also means that the respective airline lounge,

Stathis Kefallonitis

aircraft cabin or airport waiting area is likely to be subject to constant observation of the service provision. Crowded cabins, or simply the feeling of a crowded cabin, leads passengers to feel displeased and, subsequently, uncomfortable, with a desire to leave the environment. Onboard services have an important role to play by offering differentiation while also positively engaging the passenger. This is a smart way of influencing the travel environment, a passenger’s concept of time and consumption purpose by making them less aware of the space around them. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why airlines with big market shares in long-haul flights invest heavily in luxury lounges, aircraft interiors and cabin features. Maintaining the perception of a high-quality onboard offering in a crowded environment such as an aircraft cabin raises the standard of passenger expectations. Passengers judge an airline’s authenticity, originality and relevance constantly. Frequent fliers pay attention to airline product/service attributes and brand names used in onboard offerings (food, beverage, toiletries etc.) that enhance the passenger experience. Passenger satisfaction is often synonymous with


PASSENGER SATISFACTION FACTORS - PREMIUM CABINS (Long-haul / First and Business Class) On-time Performance


Cabin Seating


Inflight Entertainment (IFE)


Core inflight products and service elements


Towards Satisfactory Travel Experience

Getting closer


meeting expectations and airline product performance. Passenger satisfaction plays a significant role in their future purchase intentions. Satisfied passengers are willing to recommend an airline, thus contributing to positive word-ofmouth marketing. A recent passenger satisfaction study, based on a sample of 12,321 respondents, identified some factors that guide passenger satisfaction in premium cabins. As the table above illustrates, it is clear that onboard service is the area that drives passenger satisfaction. Some might expect cabin seating to have a higher effect on satisfaction factor than it holds. In fact it does, but as increased seating comfort is expected as the norm in premium classes, it is classified by air travelers as a standard service. Also, keep in mind that a passenger continuously experiencing better service forms greater expectations of future service. Despite the fact that price elasticities and on-time performance are equally important to Economy and First/ Business Class passengers, comfort holds a major role in overall satisfaction.

is IFE that does not work, switches that do not switch or lights that do not illuminate, it reflects badly on the airline brand and its projected culture.

The human touch

Perceived service and comfort are some indicative factors that make the difference and distinction between airline cabins. The perceived image of airline employees is also important, highlighting their close-to-consumer manner of the interface. Airlines are service-oriented, and that begins and ends with people. It is a transitional process from human to human. All members of the crew

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Attention to the overall mix of tangible and intangible airline service elements is important in delivering the airline’s promise and satisfying passengers. Passengers are looking for companies that fit the model of the round-thecorner merchant or family-run business. The way that airlines present themselves and their product and how they treat passengers, non-passengers and their own staff is essential in shaping a passenger-centric image. As airlines and alliances grow in size, they are often perceived as strict for-profit commercial entities. Passengers prefer airlines that “give back” and demonstrate that they care by enhancing the overall experience. Often it is the little details that matter the most to a passenger.









Use and function

An airline may opt to use the newest possible aircraft, and there is usually good promotional value in that choice. But if the airline fails to complement brand-new aircraft with an equally impressive cabin design, onboard product and service, then it provides no added value to passengers. A new aircraft, seat or cabin interior does not necessarily provide added value by itself; it depends on how it is packaged. When an airline promotes their brand-new aircraft and new seats, yet the passenger is faced with a poor inflight experience, the effort and expense become a lesser value. If the airline advertises a premium service and what the passenger receives

become part and parcel of the brand image of the airline; their overall behavior becomes part of the brand. After all, the airlines with the most awards are the ones that invest the most in their people. This is important for the successful delivery of a likeable, articulate offering that will engage consumers and satisfy their needs.

Confectionery in the Polaris cabin on United Airlines

CATERING Flying Food Group has three catering units in Hawaii including one it has recently opened in Honolulu

Solidly alternative Flying Food Group is continuing a years-long expansion effort as its best customers, foreign airlines operating into the U.S., add routes and competitive caterers follow the growth



ith headquarters in Chicago – the “City of the Big Shoulders” – Flying Food Group’s history is written from the heart of the American Midwest in a city known for music, sports, roughnecks and, of course, transportation. But look around any of the 15 U.S. airports where the company now has catering units (20 in total) and it’s a good bet that the airlines with foreign names and aircraft with exotic-looking tails are carrying trolleys filled with the product of Flying Food Group’s chefs and production employees. The caterer has built its reputation on its ability to handle any type of cuisine and to stock any aircraft for a return trip home, no matter how long the haul. This places the caterer in what appears to be a solid position this year and justifies the company’s aggressive expansion, with planned openings of new units on the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii as well as expanded capabilities in other parts of the country. The growth plan is keeping pace with foreign airlines’ interest in the United States as a destination and international

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route expansion of domestic carriers. In 2017, foreign airlines logged 732,244 flights into the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which is up from 690,703 the previous year, and flights into the United States by foreign airlines have grown steadily since 2010. Numbers from last year indicate the trend continues, as the BTS reported 636,093 flights by foreign airlines had been completed during the first 10 months of 2018. Passengers on foreign airlines surpassed the 100 million mark in 2016, and in 2017 increased to nearly 116 million by the end of the year. During the first 10 months of 2018, international passenger arrivals by air stood at more than 103 million. A privately held company, Flying Food Group experienced revenue growth of 8.5% in 2018 and is moving ahead with expanding unit capacity and efficiencies to accommodate what Nicolas Rondeau, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, sees as a continuing interest from airlines that make up the core of its customer base, coupled with the increas-





Nicolas Rondeau, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing at Flying Food Group

ing attractiveness of the U.S. market. “Over the years, we have seen a tremendous growth in both international routes of domestic carriers and also in the expansion of networks of foreign carriers,” he says. By the time the industry gathers in Hamburg, Flying Food Group expects to be catering its first meals from a new unit in the Hawaii capital of Honolulu. Hawaii, and by extension Hawaiian Airlines, has been a steady source of business for Flying Food Group. This past summer, the caterer opened its third unit in the state, in Lihue on the island of Kauai. It also operates a kitchen in Kona on the island of Hawaii. Flying Food Group is moving its location off the tarmac at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to make room for Hawaiian Airlines at the gates and to also take advantage of a facility with a greater capacity to serve its






airline customers. One of those customers, All Nippon Airways, will soon be operating A380 service into HNL. Two other openings will be taking place on the west coast of the United States. In the summer of this year, Flying Food Group will open a new catering unit in San Francisco, and by the end of the year it will move into a new operation in Los Angeles. Rondeau said both facilities will have better efficiencies and a moderate increase in capacity. Both catering units in California

are devoted solely to transportation food service operation. However, the company is also expanding what it calls a “hybrid” catering unit to take care of growth in Fresh Food Solutions, its retail catering operation. Flying Food Group started the business nearly 20 years ago and has expanded its production to a selection entrées, snacks and ready-made meals that are distributed to retail operations around the country. Four of the units have production facilities catering to both airlines and retail customers,

Flying Food Group’s New York facility (JFK) began catering daily Aerolineas Argentina flights between New York City and Buenos Aries in December

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one of which, located in Miami, is undergoing expansion with the addition of two production lines. First phase is set for completion in the winter of 2019. While moderate expansion and increased efficiencies are important, they do not garner the attention of anything that could resemble a world record. But the caterer found itself in the middle of media coverage in October of last year when television cameras descended on its unit at Liberty International Airport in Newark (EWR) to watch crews cater the newest, longest flight in the world. Five times per week, Flying Food Group caters the A350-900ULR operated by Singapore Airlines for its return trip of 9,000 nautical miles, covered in 18 hours and 45 minutes. The aircraft is laid out in a two-class configuration with 67 seats in Business Class and 94 seats in Premium Economy. The launch of the service brought camera crews and media coverage to the catering unit at EWR. And though the reporters have left, the challenge of catering a flight that long remains and will only increase as Singapore Airlines launches daily service during the summer months. “We are always cautious on food safety and preparation,” says Rondeau, “But we take additional caution with the fact that you can make absolutely no mistakes with this flight, because the length of the flight makes it more difficult if you forget something.” Even as foreign airlines take interest in the United States, so too has there been interest by foreign caterers. In the past year, Newrest opened a catering unit in Salt Lake City, Utah, while Emirates Group Caterer dnata is building a catering unit in Vancouver, expanding its stake in Canada. These companies will be joining competition in the country with Flying Food Group, a caterer that was born when its founder, Sue Gin, first told the CEO of Midway Airlines that she could greatly improve the carrier’s food service. That beginning gave birth to a network of kitchens that live on after her death in 2014. Flying Food Group’s independence and focus on customer service as an airline catering and retail service provider will continue, says Rondeau, even as the industry around it consolidates.

Egg-cellent taste

... natural ingredients.

Visit us: 2 – 4 April 2019

Hall A1, Stand No. 1D45

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


The Ministro Serving Flask, available in an array of colors, was a 2016 Mercury Award winner

Celebrating success

in the skies


After thirty years, Malton Inflight’s founder and CEO Gordon Oakley knows a thing or to about what makes airlines tick – and he’s using that insight to further stake a claim in the industry as an onboard innovator by RACHEL DEBLING

t goes without saying that every compelling tale must begin somewhere. For Malton Inflight, currently celebrating its 30th year in operation, its origin story began nearly 45 years ago with its founder’s bold decision to bolster his business acumen and aim higher – 40,000 feet higher, to be exact. While working at APV Company Ltd. as a Purchasing Expeditor (and later a Progress Chaser) on its factory floor, Gordon Oakley opted to take advantage of his employer’s day-release scheme and enrolled in the four-year Higher National Certificate course at Crawley Technical College, now known as Central Sussex College. Once his training was complete, he made a move that would forever impact the direction of his career and accepted a position at British Caledonian, which operated out of London Gatwick Airport. At the airline, he grew enamored with the hustle-and-bustle of the inflight

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services industry, and in 1986 was selected to consult for Virgin Atlantic Airways. Following British Caledonian’s acquisition by British Airways in 1988, Gordon jumped into the depths of the onboard market feet first and founded Malton Inflight the following year. Over the following three decades, Malton Inflight grew from a small startup into to an award-winning business with a diverse product portfolio that includes food and beverage serveware, hygiene and galley equipment, headphones (of which Gordon notes Malton is one of the world’s largest providers to airlines) and passenger service items such as amenity kits. Though the company has lately received much attention for its onboard serving solutions – most notably the Ministro Serving Flask, winner of the 2016 Equipment – Production Mercury Award – Gordon and his team hold a special place in their hearts for amenity kits, especially those created for the youngest of travelers.

Gordon Oakley

The biggest difference between Malton’s approach to kits now and when they first started is the level of style and creativity applied to these projects, Gordon says. “A lot more thought now goes into creating bags and giving the amenities a useful after-flight purpose,” he notes. “For example, a bathroom bag can be adapted to become laptop protector, or an attractive pouch for a mobile phone.” In the past, he adds, amenities were “plastered” with an airline’s branding, making them not ideal for everyday use. Now, he sees that approach often replaced with subtle designs and understated looks, with luxury brands and high-quality skincare companies clamoring to be a part of these releases. Gordon is also extremely proud of the awards that his company has garnered, but stresses that Malton’s intention is always to provide its clients with the perfect product to suit their needs, not to rake in the trophies. “We have never knowingly gone into a project purely to win an award,” he states. “As wonderful as it is to win – and I believe we have won more innovation awards than any other onboard

product supply company – entering a product for an award is only considered afterwards as a bonus, once we are satisfied and, more importantly, our client is too.” In reality, Gordon says, Malton’s intention is to make every product they create a game-changer for the industry. Another aspect of the business that was purely coincidental is its focus on family – all three of Gordon’s children have, at one point or another, worked for his company. “When it became evident that they are much smarter than me, it seemed sensible to try to entice them into the business,” he jokes. One of his children, Alex, still works closely with his father to this day, and is a familiar face around many industry expo hall floors. Once again showcasing his self-deprecating sense of humor, Gordon laughs, “The other two somehow got away. We’re still trying to find the escape tunnel they used!” Over the next 10 years, Gordon sees his company furthering its efforts to address a concern that no participant in the inflight industry is a stranger to: the impact of air travel on the environment. “We have developed a bamboo range in response to the harmful effects of single-use plastic in the industry,” he explains, “as well as biodegradable tableware, which has garnered a lot of interest with airlines.” Improving the company’s and its customers’ carbon footprint is pivotal for its success going forward, Gordon believes, but he recognizes Malton can’t do it alone. “As an industry, we need to make a stance and take responsibility for our part in harming the environment. Airlines want to make that change, too. That’s why we are continuously developing and innovating products in order to help achieve these goals. “Malton is very proud of its environmental credentials and proudly boasts one of the highest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ratings in Asia,” he continues. Gordon encourages attendees to stop by the Malton Inflight stand at this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo to see what all the fuss is about, and to help the team ring in the company's milestone year. “We may have a few surprises up our sleeve for Hamburg – I hear there may be cake involved,” Gordon teases. For more of Gordon’s insights, read our bonus Q&A on our website or visit him and the Malton Inflight team at WTCE, stand 3D58.



The Mercury Award Flex-e-Bag Waste System Serving Airlines and Distributors for the past 15 Years

From Flex-e-Drawer and Flex-e-Friends HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Oceanware is one of Malton’s sustainable tableware products made from seashells

Visit our stand 3C45 Beside the Taste of Travel




Leadership by


Johannes Kloess

Galileo Watermark’s new Managing Director, Johannes Kloess, shares a glimpse of what his new role means for the company – and for his own workload PAX International: Since we last spoke for our September 2018 issue, you have switched roles from Operations Director to Managing Director. How has your day-to-day workflow changed? Johannes Kloess: The days are still as long, as they always were, but they’re certainly more diverse. Previously I was focused on ensuring we could be the most reliable supplier we could be from a sourcing, quality and delivery perspective. Now I am working closely will all the departments at GW to maintain and improve our high standards. I am still heavily involved with several Operations projects, which include expanding our supplier base and working with some of our suppliers on improving the sustainability of our products. Over the next few months, I will be handing over these projects to our new Operations Director, Mildred Lau, who is based in our Hong Kong office and therefore ideally placed to manage that part of the business.

scrutiny for a number of years, especially over the last 12 months, and there is a real drive to make a change. We have launched a number of sustainable solutions over the last 10 years, and it is something that is inherent in everything we develop. In the airline industry, however, depending on the product category, it isn’t binary. There are certain regulations and restrictions regarding contamination that makes material interception, and end of life treatment, impossible or very difficult. We are working with a number of airline partners to see how we may be able to circumvent these restrictions by changing internal/

PAX: Onboard waste is something that we spoke about last year, and it is a continuing theme this issue. Are there any other initiatives that Galileo Watermark has embarked on since we spoke, to make a difference environmentally? Kloess: Sustainability for us is not a choice, but an obligation. The tendency for us as a society has been to put cost and convenience first, and in the process neglect the environment. This has been the subject of intense public and media

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Sustainability for us is not a choice, but an obligation.”

external processes or the type of raw material, with as little cost impact as possible. Beyond process changes, we are looking at how the product design or quality can lead to sustainability improvement. This includes extending the product life cycle or developing a product which the passenger will re-use after stepping off the plane, whether at their destination or when they get back

home. In addition, we our doing our bit to reduce the amount of virgin plastic used by using post-consumer recycled plastic in our cosmetic packaging and we are working on other projects which we hope to announce later this year. PAX: From your position as Managing Director, where do you see Galileo Watermark heading over the course of 2019 and beyond? Are there any new areas of interest that you are looking to explore? Kloess: Since the merger, our focus has been on bringing together the two companies, integrating systems and cultures while delivering a reliable service to our customers. Such integrations can be very disruptive, but we have managed to keep things moving quite smoothly, amongst a great amount of change. The focus of the business is now switching to growing in all areas. We are launching several new projects in Q1 of 2019 which we are extremely excited about, as well as later in the year and in 2020. These recent successes clearly show that we are on the right track. Being one of a select few suppliers being able to supply products in amenities, textiles and meal service, we have improved our capabilities in all areas and look forward to showcasing this to the industry at WTCE. For Kloess’ full interview, including his take on working with tight budgets and what Galileo Watermark will be exhibiting at WTCE, visit

Pizza & Fries Worlds most famous snacks combined!

Visit us at Stand 1G20


History in the making Take a trip down memory lane – or, more accurately, the aircraft aisle – with archival images from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation that prove not only how far the industry has come but that hint at how far it can possibly go Captions by JENNIFER COUTTS CLAY

Virgin Atlant ic pioneered th inspired “m eateroo lighting” prog d in its cabins rams , demonstrate as Upper Class d in this co bar (Photo cr cktail Virgin Atlant edit: ic)

orld Airways American W In 1970, Pan al launch customer of in t three times was the orig which is abou the 747-100, predecessor, the 707 its the size of

Air New Zealand is noted for pioneering innovative cabin seating arrangements (Photo credit: Air New Zealand)

The fore-, aft- and side-facing seats positioned alongside coffee tables provide an attractive socialmeeting area inside the Alaska Airlines Convair 880 (Photo credit: Alaska Airlines)

Images reprinted with permission from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation e-book app by Jennifer Coutts Clay

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r ice buffet ba This self-serv ideal for is s ta an Q m fro ts (Photo long-haul fligh Airways) s credit: Qanta

lossy This g ir Gulf A ity amen s kit wa ed with n desig inine a fem for touch le fema ngers passe

This sta nd factor” -up bar was th of e Jet Serv the “Golden “wow (Photo ice” during th Nugget credit: Alaska e 1960s Airlines )

In the early 1980s, in the upper deck of its 747s, Philippine Airlines installed lie-flat bunk beds for use by First Class passengers (Photo credit: Philippine Airlines)

An ele trolle gant aisle in the y display Class Business (Phot cabin Air Fr o credit: ance )

Trans World Ai during the gl rlines’ amenity kits, pres ory days of fly ented to prem ing, are still cherished as ium passengers collectors’ ite ms

The imp covers g eccably fitted s e a sophis ive this regiona at look. Th ticated upmark l jet is of the e cabin display et a s leather rly uses of syn one b th credit: C y Tapis Corp (P etic ontinen h tal/Tapis oto )

This looks like the Stairway to the Stars in a Bollywood mov ie. Welcome to the Airbus A38 0! (Photo credit: Emirates Airli ne)

Grateful acknowledgement is given to the airlines and other organizations credited for their permission to use their photographs in Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation. There are other images that come from other publicly available sources; for example, company sales brochures and websites. Pictures that are displayed without photo credits come from the collection of J. Clay Consulting.





in hand After more than 15 years in business, Monty’s Bakehouse CEO, Matt Crane, is ready to let the world know his team specializes in much more than handheld snacks as the company widens its offerings to include health-oriented food and solutions for new security requirements by RACHEL DEBLING

Monty’s Bakehouse has a reputation for inventive hot handheld snacks as well as innovative packaging

We thrive on deep, longlasting relationships with our clients, and there is a reason, I think, why we have those.” – MATT CRANE, CEO OF MONTY’S BAKEHOUSE

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onty’s Bakehouse has been an exhibition hall staple at aviation events for a dozen years, first with the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) back in 2007 and then as a part of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) when ITCA was purchased by Reed Exhibitions in 2012. Though the company has built its reputation on fun, functional handheld snacks, this privately-owned business is ready to shine a light on the way its core values influence the way it approaches the market, burgeoning trends and relationships with customers.


Matt Crane, Monty’s Bakehouse CEO

“We are very much a people business, first and foremost,” explains Matt Crane, CEO of Monty’s Bakehouse. “We thrive on deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients, and there is a reason, I think, why we have those.” Monty’s three core values are as true today as when Matt founded the company in 2003: to emphasize packaging and culinary innovation in the products it develops; to deliver higher quality products and packaging than its competitors; and to provide its clients with exceptional customer service. As he explains, his tight-knit team of approximately 45 employees consistently strive to act as one to be an incredibly “proactive business.” But the evolution of Monty’s offerings really began to take shape over the past 12 to 18 months, with the company shifting focus to several areas in which it is thriving and to making its strengths apparent to an industry that may otherwise peg it as simply a hot snack company. Monty's Bakehouse's reputation as a branding and packaging expert is already recognized by its customer base. “We are a food-to-go solutions business operating right across the travel industry product portfoilio,” Matt says. “We have clients now who engage with us purely on brand and product design [as opposed to manufacturing], or menu design.” Monty’s is comfortable in its ability to create a wide range of products, from full meals to the savory snacks they are famous for, plus an increasing range of specialty or vegan meals and desserts. “We are really quite broad now in terms of what we do.”

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But it’s not just in the design and production arenas that Monty’s is looking to carve out a niche. Enabling its customers to painlessly comply with post-Brexit airline security regulations is one of Monty’s most pressing concerns. On February 5, the company announced an Inflight Supply Security (IFS) solution that will allow its clients to seamlessly transition into the new era of UK and EU law, a system that the company says is the first of its kind. All goods within the Monty’s Bakehouse UK and EU network are x-ray screened and securely delivered to UK and EU airline caterers as part of the new security solution. In October 2018, successful internal audits by accredited airline security agencies were conducted to test for compliance, as well as audits by Regulated Catering Suppliers. The new IFS system is currently live across Monty’s entire UK and EU network. Harry Crane, Security Manager at Monty’s Bakehouse, commented in a press release announcing the IFS solution: “As Monty’s Bakehouse continues to grow and legal and regulatory compliance increases, it is vital that our security processes adapt and are scalable to protect our Known Supplier status and the potential changing relationship between the UK and EU. The company has always taken its security obligations very seriously and has invested over £750,000 [approximately US$971,000] in the new security system, and we are delighted by the reception this has received by all those involved.” The health of the planet and its inhabitants are two other hot topics that Monty’s is continuing to face head-on in 2019. The company will display some of its latest product and packaging innovations at this year’s WTCE, including a variety of snack lines that boast environmentally friendly components or ingredients that speak to the passenger’s personal vitality, such as protein-based and vegan snacks. These are two sides of the same coin that are rapidly emerging as a “mega-trend” that has no signs of slowing down, Matt predicts. “We’ve seen this coming for the last two or three years,” he recalls, giving credit to Monty’s insight models as the genesis of this understanding. On the eco front, sustainable and biodegradable inks and materials have been a part

of Monty’s repertoire since day one. Health-focused claims have been prevalent in the travel food industry for awhile, but Matt notes this fad is now blending with a product’s environmental impact, exemplified in the flexitarian eating trend and the rise in vegan options. Though most environmentally driven initiatives look good on paper, there are bigger issues at stake for the airline marketplace, according to Matt. “Trying to then create global environmentally responsible and sustainable closed loop within the airline market is incredibly difficult when moving food and packaging across international boundaries,” he explains. Even if his company produces a product made with a sustainable or recyclable material, once it flies to a foreign country it could end up in the trash along with non-reusable items, and many regions have the materials incinerated. “In cases like this, you then have to look … is incineration using the energy created in a responsible way, to generate electricity and be carbon neutral, for example?” It’s at this stage that creating a carbon-neutral or closed-loop chain can be problematic without supplier collaboration. “That said, the lower weight and lower fuel burn of packaged food solutions and their disposal often outweighs that of rotable tray-set items,” Matt notes. That’s just one of the areas in which Monty’s can help its clients. Matt says he believes his company offers an invaluable service its clientele can’t easily find anywhere else: independent insight and understanding of food and packaging trends and their application to the global airline marketplace. “We are really moving into being an end-to-end travel foodto-go solutions business,” he states, and helping its current and future customers navigate the challenges of global airline food and packaging supply is potentially one of the most valuable assets in the Monty’s Bakehouse portfolio. Monty’s Bakehouse is co-located at this year’s WTCE with Marfo Food Group and Global C at stand 1C20, a configuration that will highlight how the three are working together to bring customers 360-degree solutions for their inflight menus. Monty’s in particular will be showcasing new desserts, hot mini meals and, of course, handheld snacks. “It’s well worth people coming along to see what we are doing collectively,” Matt says.

Professional wash-up systems for Inflight Catering

Cleaned for take-off Fly on the wings of perfection in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and safety: MEIKO Inflight Catering warewashing systems. Security and safety are the most important values an airline can offer today. A great number of checks are required before the captain and cabin crew of an aircraft are finally able to welcome the first passenger on board. This includes, making certain that travellers will receive a clean and hygienic service. With our warewashing systems for Inflight catering, we at MEIKO stand for a clean and perfect start. Whether you are city-hopping or launching for a long haul flight, MEIKO’s professional warewashing systems are guaranteed to reach the recommended level in purity, hygiene and cleanliness without comprise. This is the reason why you can find our technology everywhere around the globe where reliability, safety and efficiency count – from small business airports to large international traffic hubs. Discover the versatility of our tailor-made warewashing systems. Find out what we at MEIKO call the clean solution.



Dragon Fire Vegetables is one of Mr Lee’s Noodles vegan options

attack Companies looking to make a claim in the inflight snacking sector are coming out in full force for this April’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo. Here, PAX highlights a few names to seek out on the event floor by RACHEL DEBLING


ne this is certain: whether flying short-haul Economy Class from JFK to BOS or in the Business Class cabin of the mammoth PER to LHR route, nearly every airline passenger, at one point or another, reaches for a snack. But what dictates the food they select is much less a result of their cravings, more of what is available in flight. That’s where the World Travel Catering & Onboad Services Expo and

Pinkfinch fruit and veg crisps are one of the many brands that DFMi partners with for the inflight market

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its multitude of exhibitors come in. For Jody Jones, DFMi’s Vice President of Operations and Business Development, the yearly event provides an opportunity to make a face-to-face impact with the company’s current and potential clientele. With a focus on product trends, passenger preferences and airline customer expectations, as well as years of amassed experience within its team, the food and beverage sales and marketing company is constantly seeking out new partners, especially those looking to offer healthy options to airlines. On her approach to food shows such as WTCE, Jones says, “Based on research and data from many different sources, today’s passengers read labels and product claims, expecting that whatever they choose to eat will have a positive effect on their immediate and long-term health. DFMi strives to find those products that not only taste good, but are good for you.” Free range and ‘free from’ products also catch the team’s attention, she notes. Sweet and salty snacks and simple, ready-to-eat meals are some of the items perfect for onboard resale,

Jones says, but unsurprisingly, she names health and eco-consciousness as the fastest growing trends. “The desire for more natural, clean-label products continues, with more emphasis on the story behind the product,” she notes. Sustainability and diversity are also important features their customers look for in the snacks they bring on board. Laurance Milner, Founder and CEO of Biscottea® Baking Company, agrees. A producer of GMO-free shortbread, the bakery business prides itself on “healthier-for-you” ingredients. As he points out, “Our biscuits have no artificial flavors, no preservatives and are low in sodium. We also offer a vegan-friendly range and a glutenfree range.” Biscottea’s Matcha and Rooibos shortbread singles are baked containing the actual teas for which they are named – both known for their antioxidant properties, Milner shares. Biscottea is no stranger to the airline industry: since the company’s inception in 2007, its products have been served on a flight nearly every day. Plus, as its shortbread is produced both in the UK and in the United States, the company can easily access flight kitchens on both sides of the pond.

1000+ Attendees | 200 Exhibitors | 100 Airlines Join IFSA at the epicenter of innovation at the largest gathering of professionals in the onboard industry for: ●

An EXPO showcasing new products, presenting industry developments and advancements, and spotlighting the best food, beverage, amenity, and onboard products from around the world

Thought Leadership from leading aerospace executives addressing trends and future forecasts

Networking opportunities with a wide group of colleagues and key leaders to enhance relationships and generate partnerships

For more information visit



Snackbox to-go’s Twice as Nice box pairs a sweet snack with a savory one

Biscottea’s matcha tea shortbread contains real antioxidant-rich tea

Recently, the company tried something new – and it’s been paying off, according to Milner. “We extended our range in 2017 to offer more mainstream flavors,” he explains. “Our Biscottea Strawberry Shortbread, especially, and other fruit shortbread offerings combine clean ingredients with everyday flavors that appeal to a wider audience than just the tea and coffee drinkers we had formerly targeted. The response from the industry has been unanimously positive.” But not every passenger has a sweet tooth, so thankfully other options are available for those looking for something a bit more savory. Mr Lee’s Pure Foods Co., for instance, specializes in a healthful, satisfying and familiar food-to-go: noodles in a cup. Available in six varieties, the

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award-winning cup is challenging the negative perceptions of instant noodles, according to Damien Lee, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “Not all noodles are created equally, and we have gone to great lengths to help consumers eat smarter with a guilt-free, convenience food made the right way,” says Lee. With varieties that focus on different dietary needs – it’s the only instant noodle certified low in sugar by Sugarwise, an international authority for sugar claims, and is certified gluten-free by Coeliac UK and Coeliac Australia, with two flavors registered by the Vegan Society – Mr Lee's products address this growing concern of airline caterers. “We feel carriers require more hot, healthy, nutritious meals to keep passengers refueled and satisfied wherever they’re traveling to,” Lee explains. The company also considers itself a friend of the earth. Lee mentions that though its cups are currently widely recycled, it is improving its impact by moving to a fully-recyclable alternative this spring. One familiar face on the WTCE floor is Snackbox to-go. Offering more than just its famous crispy fries, which are currently flying on board airlines around the world, the company is eager to showcase its latest concepts to expo attendees,

says Sales Director Kees Verschuure. Specializing in “funky” innovations, Snackbox to-go works closely with its airline customers to “develop fresh and innovative ideas to increase the sales of buy-on-board products” in either Business or Economy Class, Verschuure explains. “Our newest product is a twin snack called ‘Twice as Nice,’” he shares. This product brings a sweet and savory snack together in one box. Clients can mix and match whatever they prefer to create a tailor-made solution that will fit their passenger’s needs. Monty’s Bakehouse (a food-go solutions provider you can read more about on page 72) is also coming back to this year’s WTCE with a refreshed look and brand-new exhibition space. But the genesis of Monty’s began much earlier, in 2003, with a small number of good friends and an idea that “quickly took on a life of its own.” “Our commitment to offer the most authentic and exciting tastes means our ‘naturally’ inquisitive team is constantly tasked with unearthing and replicating the very latest global food trends,” the company explained to PAX International earlier this year. “Whether we’re mirroring regional taste preferences or matching local taste palates,

we’re committed to show snacking in an altogether more favorable light.” As an independently-owned operation with a global reach, Monty’s is looking forward to proving its worth this April in Hamburg as a leader in food-to-go solutions. In another area of the floor, Foodcase, the largest independent food development company providing food and beverage concepts exclusively to the travel industry, will be returning to WTCE for its second year. On the company’s main goals, CEO Wilbert de Louw says it strives to be a leader in matching its food supply with the demand for special needs within defined markets. “In doing so, we continue to apply our founding ethos: ‘To know, to collaborate, to create,’” he explains. Foodcase works closely with its eight dedicated manufacturers in the EU, plus one in Thailand, to develop products suitable for onboard use. It also assembles boxed concepts for airlines, such as breakfast, meal boxes and snack boxes,

via its two facilities in Poland and Spain. What really sets Foodcase apart, says de Louw, is that it serves only the onboard industry. “All our products are specially designed for onboard purposes – we do not develop regular retail products at all,” he explains. “This means that all our products fit in the logistics chain, onboard galleys and trolleys, and are all designed for onboard usage.” Foodcase’s packaging is also fully tested on board, he adds. A discussion of snacks can’t be complete without something cold to wash it down. Enter Bless, a cold-pressed juice company that set its sights specifically on the skies. By using a special High Press Processing (HPP) technology to maintain the juice’s natural flavor and nutrients, Bless’ juices have a shelf life of up to 70 days, without the use of added chemicals. Returning to the WTCE for its second year, Bless is eager to showcase what makes it different. “Bless offers a wide range of products, from welcome drinks, cocktails and

Bless’ cold-pressed juices are made using special High Press Processing (HPP) technology to maintain the juice’s natural flavor and nutrients

smoothies to even drinks that help passengers sleep,” said Alfred Tong, CEO of Bless International Group Limited. He adds that, thanks to the Free Port Policy of Hong Kong, where the company is based, Bless sources the best raw material from around the world. Bless also follows international food safety management standard ISO 22000:2005 and is Halal certified.

Putting global food and beverage solutions on board for 30 years

A lot has changed in 30 years. For AMI one thing has not—our enthusiasm for bringing


solutions to our customers in an ever-changing landscape. We take this opportunity to thank you: our customers, suppliers, and team members for your support during the past 30 years. Global Solutions

14584 AMI 30yr ad 1 020419 .indd 1


2/4/19 10:45 PAX-INTL.COM    AM


An exterior shot of the company’s latest facility

Five-star service Catering giant Emirates Flight Catering is blazing a trail on the sustainability front as it propels its huge catering business forward by MARY JANE PITTILLA


mirates Flight Catering, the inflight and airport lounge catering subsidiary of The Emirates Group, has achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing mission to become a more sustainable business. In June 2018, the Dubai-based company announced a US$40 million joint venture with U.S.-based Crop One Holdings to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility near the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. Construction work on the facility is under way, and in December 2019 the first products are expected to be delivered to its customers, which include 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges. This innovative development will harvest three US tons of high-quality,

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herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily once it reaches full production, while using 99% less water than traditional outdoor fields. Explaining more about the development, Faysal Moufarrej, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Flight Catering, told PAX International’s Publisher, Aijaz Khan: “It’s indeed one of the major steps forward for us, which is looking at sustainability here. For us, especially in the Middle East, it represents being self-sufficient, being in the middle of the desert and having your own grown fruits and vegetables. We’re starting with leafy [greens] initially and we’re hoping to have it up and running in March 2020, but we’ll have a prototype in the new facility which will be dedicated for our airline usage initially. It will not fulfill

our requirements completely, but that will be a first stage. It’s an amazing project. We’re very proud of it.” Meanwhile, Emirates Flight Catering’s newly developed third wing has begun trading, having opened on November 11, 2018. Moufarrej says it is the largest catering unit in the world, with a capacity of 185,000 meals a day. “We’re proud of it. It was a very successful start,” he says. The facility will cater for the premium classes of its mother company, Emirates Airline. In the middle of February, the production processes of the premium lounges moved there. Emirates’ premium lounges are a cut above those found in other parts of the world, where sandwiches and snacks are offered during certain periods of the day and for only a small number of people. Moufarrej says Emirates’ popular Business Class and First Class lounges serve almost 20,000 meals a day, and the food offering in the lounge is much bigger than the inflight catering side with a rate of consumption almost

Faysal Moufarrej, COO, Emirates Flight Catering

2.5 times larger in the lounges. “It’s a major business for us,” he enthuses. “This is why we kept it [non-Emirates premium lounges] as a second stage. We’re hoping in the middle of February we’ll make a major move there. We will end up doing around 30,000 premium class meals for the airline side and another 12,000 for the lounges side, making a total of 60,000 meals a day in terms of airline catering meals.” To service this huge operation, Emirates Flight Catering has over 11,000 employees. Its subsidiaries include Food Point, which supplies Economy meals to Emirates Airline, and a linen factory, which does dry cleaning and laundry for the airline and non-airline businesses. “We’re expanding on this front, too,” says Moufarrej. “We’re seeing more new divisions coming up – diversification. We’re looking at some other projects that are at this stage still being evaluated and studied.” Emirates Flight Catering also has plenty of expertise in catering royal and VIP flights on board private jets, where complexity and attention to detail are vital. “Our passengers expect the same standard of food as at a five-star restaurant,” notes Moufarrej. “This is why we had to recruit from many high-end restaurants in Dubai – for example, we’ve hired highly skilled chefs who have worked in Michelinstarred restaurants in Dubai and abroad. We have a pool of talent now, which is amazing. We are looking at opening a Culinary Centre

Our passengers expect the same standard of food as at a five-star restaurant.”

and we’ll have a pool of chefs from all around the world to participate in hospitality presentations, for both airline or non-airline businesses. We’re using the very best talent to get the most out of it. The market was to our advantage; we’re seeing chefs with the hospitality background of a five-star establishment being interested in our business. The first question we ask them is: Why do you want to move from a five-star chain to airline catering? With all modesty, the answer is always the Emirates catering brand. It’s so strong and so powerful, we feel that we’re moving toward a five-star establishment, catering-wise.” For the Culinary Centre, the company has started approaching major culinary leaders and culinary institutions to be associated with the project. Next year, Moufarrej wants to start conducting market trend workshops, not limited to airline catering. “I want chefs who are known and who know the market trends, be it in Asia, Africa, U.S. or Europe, to come and talk to all of my chefs – and the company management – about the trends in the market and see the new products that are being used more sustainably and have them be adopted into our Culinary Centre.” Today, Emirates Flight Catering is getting prepared for Expo 2020 Dubai, where the company aims to showcase its considerable catering expertise. “We’ve proposed many meal concepts, and we’ve also just announced that we will be handling the catering business at the New Zealand pavilion.” Based on the company’s success so far, other similar announcements will no doubt follow.

Saeed Mohammed, CEO, Emirates Flight Catering





Regional roads The end of 2018 saw dnata complete some important acquisitions and enlarge their footprint in key aviation markets with more expansion planned for 2019 by RICK LUNDSTROM


hough they may nearly be at polar opposite ends of the world, two important aviation markets have been occupying the time and resources of Emirates Group subsidiary dnata over the past year. When PAX International visited the company’s offices in Dubai late last year, dnata had just put the final touches on its acquisition of Qantas’ Q Catering and Snap Fresh businesses. It had also taken an additional step in expanding into North America with its majority acquisition of New York Kennedy Airport-based 121 Flight Catering. But the news did not stop there. In early 2019 dnata cut the ribbon on a new catering unit in the Australian capital of Canberra, increasing the size of its operation by 30% over its previous unit in preparation for production of more than 60,000 meals per month. At its newly opened unit in Dublin,

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dnata has picked up customers TUI, Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines While this might seem an aggressive and fast-moving chain of events for a more conservative operation, dnata tells PAX International that while the company will continue to explore expansion in 2019, it will do so at a pace with a strategic aim at making the most out of each move. “Our intention has never been to be the largest,” Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President for dnata’s catering division, told PAX International Publisher Aijaz Khan in December. “Our intention has been to deliver the very best for our customers at a scale that we can control.” However, the company has clear intentions to take on the challenges of supplying the world’s largest aviation market with inflight food service, whether it is for complimentary service or retail sales. Early this year, dnata plans

to throw the switch on a new catering operation in Vancouver, which has been under construction for the past nine months. With its purchase of Alpha Flight Services in 2010, dnata inherited catering operations at Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Moving ahead, the SFB facility and the new acquisition of 121 Flight Catering will be brought under the dnata name while retaining its current management team. “Leveraging strengths and synergies provided by our partnership, we look forward to offering an even more outstanding value proposition in the market,” says Joe Savino, Managing Partner at 121 Flight Catering, in the announcement of the purchase. “We are sure all our stakeholders will benefit from this cooperation.” The company’s presence at JFK Airport places dnata at the heart of an important gateway in the United States. But the geographical location is only one component in what made the majority acquisition of 121 Flight Catering important to dnata as another springboard into the U.S. “They have been in business for only a few years,” Padgett points out. “But in that short period of time, they have demonstrated an incredibly strong business built around

dnata servicing Air New Zealand

offering a high-quality product.” The founders of 121 Inflight Catering have a background in restaurants – two locations were included as part of the acquisition – and since opening have been supplying meals to commercial airline and VIP jet operations. Late last year, the company listed a portfolio of 21 international airlines and hundreds of private aviation customers. It employs 350 people between its operations at JFK and Nashville International Airport (BNA) in Tennessee. Over its 10 years in operation, the caterer has been successful in winning customers from Asian airlines and specializing in Halal catering. “The match [with the U.S. market] for us was perfect,” said Padgett. “We were looking to enter the States in a larger way.” If all goes according to plan, dnata will open as many as eight new catering locations in the US over the next 12 months – from Boston to San Francisco and in between. “Our customers have been asking us to invest in the market and expand our reach there, so we’re now doing that in a big way!” added Padgett. Padgett laughingly refers to dnata’s extensive operations in Australia as “the beast.” The company has cleared regulatory hurdles in the past year and

closed the book on its acquisition of Q Catering, giving dnata control of its units in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, along with food processing operation Snap Fresh, located in Queensland. In the past year dnata has opened its US$50 million catering unit in Melbourne and continues vigorous operations via its nationwide network of catering units that were part of its acquisition of Alpha Flight Services. All are now trading under the dnata catering brand. With a total of 15 units now in the country, dnata serves 45 airlines at nine airports with more than 3,000 employees. But the most recent news from Down Under was the January 17 announcement of the opening of its new unit in Canberra, completed at a cost of AUS$6.5 million (US$4.68 million). The two-level kitchen has six chill rooms, a deep freeze, storeroom and an area for plating meals. “This facility enhances our ability to delight our customers and their customers, accelerates our growth and expands our market offering,” said Hiranjan Aloysius, CEO of dnata catering Australia, in the announcement of the opening. “It also supports our growth in non-airline markets – from retail supply to large-scale food supply opportunities.” Though far-flung in its geographical

Gary Chapman, President of dnata

footprint and fortunate to have the backing of the Emirates Group, dnata is keeping its ambitions steady and focused on providing service and quality in a customer base that is prioritizing product differentiation. That emphasis has made the present an excellent time to be involved in airline catering, says Padgett. The company has seen the need to increase its presence around the world and plans a step-by-step approach going into 2019. “We are trying to grow ourselves in a way that is incremental, that we can get our arms around, and make sure we are comfortable and know what is going on,” adds Padgett.

Aijaz Khan (left) and Robin Padgett




Spirits soar At this year’s WTCE, companies that sell wine, spirits and beer will display their products at the Beverages Pavilion. Potential buyers anxious for new and unique ideas will find examples aplenty by RICK LUNDSTROM

T Sandro Bottega won the 2018 Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award in 2018

he aircraft may look the same, and the general practices of safety and passenger service may not be too noticeably different from one airline to another, but the varied taste and desires of a traveling public cannot be contained within the structure of standard airline operations. Research from Reed Exhibitions, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo organizers, show that 44% of airline and rail buyers attending the event are looking for drink selections to help differentiate their brand. That desire for differentiation can be satisfied with vast array of wines, spirits and beers that are flying and being developed for inflight service today. These products give the millions of travelers

who take to the skies daily the chance for a relaxing indulgence that may remind them of home, or entice them to adventure and experimentation. And for suppliers, that has meant successful sales. “Our 20cl bottles are proving a valuable addition to our range,” Sandro Bottega, Owner and Managing Director at Bottega S.p.A, tells PAX International. “They tap into the increasing trend for treating [oneself] and instant gratification, and have particular appeal to the all-important millennial consumer.” It also does not hurt that the company’s Bottega Gold is also part of one of the hottest bubbly treats in the world today: Prosecco, the white sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy. With an image that is more accessible and less intimidating than Champagne, some estimates say Prosecco could hold up to nearly 10% of the wine market in the next five years. Bottega is riding the trend with one of its most recent concepts, the Bottega Prosecco Bar project. One of the most recent openings was at Birmingham Airport.

The Bottega Gold family has become a staple of duty free and inflight sales and pouring

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For whatever reason, the drink’s popularity put Bottega products on 13 new airline customers in 2018. Bottega Gold in 75cl is listed in inflight duty free on several airlines and found in airports around the world. And its 20cl bottle of Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco is popular for inflight pouring, along with the company’s 75cl bottles of DOC Brut and Millesimato. The company also makes a sparkling Pinot Noir called Bottega Rose Gold. For all its success in buy-on-board and inflight pouring, Bottega is most active in global travel retail, with its


involvement dating back to 1984. Its stylish packaging and Venetian heritage helped the company land its first customers at Venice Airport in 1987 and then in Livigno two years later. The first successful products were the Bottega grappa in blown glass bottles and the distinctive gilded bottles of Bottega Gold. “Global travel retail allows the launch of new products on a global level,” Sandro Bottega explains. “Moreover, it puts us in contact with new consumers.” Bottega added seven new airline customers for 2018. In 2019, Bottega products will be listed on El Al Israel

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with renowned sake sommelier Yasuyuki Kitahara to update its list of inflight options. Kitahara is the manager of Conrad Tokyo’s Cerise and Collage restaurants and won the Kikisake-shi (Japanese sake sommelier) competition in 2014. With his input, ANA has selected 36 new Japanese sakes (19 for in flight and 17 for ANA lounges) and now offers a total of 44 varieties that were picked from an initial group of 300. A final tasting was held to pair the sakes with inflight cuisine where 36 of the 44 sakes were selected in the end.

Helping airlines brand

Another company that has built its reputation around travel retail in addition to investing its inflight service product is Gebr. Heinemann. But even with a history that dates back

“The menu has been carefully curated to appeal to avid sake lovers as well as those who may be trying sake for the first time,” said a release from ANA. “Highly-rated sake such as Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute, Jigon, Nabeshima and Denshu will continue to be served after March 1, to enrich the selection.” During the first tasting session, participants tried the same sake twice – once in the morning and once in the afternoon – to determine its appeal at different times of the day. ANA service staff – who ensured the sakes selected paired well with inflight dining options – also oversaw the final round of testing.

Some of the new sake brands boarded on ANA

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Airlines and Virgin Australia. In addition to the previous products listed here, Bottega recently launched its Gin Baĉur, which is now available in four sizes. At WTCE the company will be showing its latest 5cl size, designed for buy-on-board business. In addition, Bottega bottles a full line of limoncellos.

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a growing region has a poor year, or a certain varietal is hard to find, it doesn’t affect the company’s business much, he says. Generally, Baumgartner says he’s seeing airlines gravitate more towards higher-quality wine with a bit more brand recognition. The company has also recently taken a more personal approach to its inflight wines. And Heinemann has developed a program along these lines that it will be showing to visitors at its stand in Hamburg. “We are dealing with quite a few airlines that are very interested in developing their totally own brand and their own label,” says Baumgartner. Heinemann provides them with the wine, and they work together with the airline to design a brand and label created exclusively for them.

One of two craft beers made with saffron by Group SOI

Crafting Italian style

some 140 years, the company is still following trends and changes in management styles. This year it recognized that external market forces are reshaping the industry. In March, Heinemann announced that it will restructure its travel retail division. The new structure has the company operating in a central sales area divided into four major divisions: Nordic and Central and Western Europe; the Near East, Turkey and Africa; Asia-Pacific; and the Americas. While the new sales structure will change the way the company operates its extensive travel retail network, what will remain much the same is its wholesale division that handles inflight

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catering. With a staff of 25 based out of the company’s offices in Hamburg, Heinemann sells products to more than 50 airline customers, some for travel retail and others for inflight services. “Wine sales are growing,” says John Baumgartner, Sales Director for Inflight and Catering at Heinemann. “Just in the last six to nine months we have received quite a lot of new listings with wines on certain airlines.” With a wide list of airline customers, from low-cost carriers to legacy giants, Baumgartner said every airline has a different take on what should be served. As a supplier, Heinemann is in the fortunate position of having years of experience and a wide selection of contacts. When

Taking a cue from the craft beer craze that is showing no signs of letup in the United States, a longtime airline industry food supplier hailing from Europe will be showing WTCE visitors its collection of five brews, including two new beers made with a special local ingredient. In creating these unique brews, Group SOI’s goal was to not only develop a new product but to make the most of the saffron grown on its farm. “The idea was simple,” says Rocco Piló, Managing Director of the company. “Utilize all the saffron threads that were damaged during the drying process. This was the original idea, to recover the precious spice and transform it into a refreshing beverage.” So far, the company has found customers in hotels (a major Italian chain will have the beers in all its rooms) and in foodservice. Piló said airlines are also interested in the products for Business and First Class service. Group SOI makes beers at a local brewery, which has a capacity of 1,500 kilograms per day. All of its beers are non-pasteurized and are fermented in controlled temperatures from seven to 21 days. Group SOI has two beers flavored with saffron. The Maltosia Golden Ale is available in 33cl long neck bottles, while the double saffron Golden Ale Il Cascinone Saffron is available in 33cl and 75cl bottles. The company also bottles three other beers: a Triple American Pale Ale in red, an India Pale Ale and an American Pale Ale, all available in 33cl bottles.

HAWAIIAN BOARDS NEW BEVERAGES Two years ago, a collection of cocktail mixes from On The Rocks (OTR) earned Hawaiian Airlines the Compass Award for Beverage Service from the International Flight Services Association. Now the airline has embarked on a comprehensive program to update its drinks from the same supplier, which it announced early this year. Hawaiian Airlines’ revamped menu of alcoholic options were shared on its blog in February:

Moloka’i Mule: Inspired by the Moscow Mule, this cocktail is made with an exclusive blend of three OTR rums: five-year Diamond Light, five-year Diamond Dark and five- to 12-year Single Barrel. Tropical Landing: A sweet and sour drink made with guava, lemon, violet, coconut and the citrus-flavored Larios Gin. Mai Tai: A new take on a Hawaiian Airlines staple, this version features the same liquor blend as the Moloka’i Mule mixed with orgeat syrup, orange, pineapple and coconut. Maui Brewing Company’s Pau Hana Pilsner will also be served for a limited time. The brewer’s Bikini Blonde will remain on board as an inflight option.

On the Rocks supplies pre-mixed cocktails to Hawaiian Airlines




Setting sights on Singapore From left to right: Joe Leader, Christian Langer, Karam Chand and Rob Gurney

PAX correspondent Jeremy Clark took in Aviation Festival Asia 2019 on February 27 and 28 and walked away with a new appreciation for the digitization of the industry – and, naturally, some insider words of wisdom


viation Festival Asia 2019 was a very busy event, packed with top people from airlines and their suppliers and focusing largely on the digital and data management aspects of modern airline operations. There was a lot of talk about digitalization, blockchain and personalization via passenger data, as airlines and agencies are coming to realize ancillary sales are not simply the result of pop-ups during booking, or unbundling absolutely everything. Rather, this conference had a far more measured approach to these subjects, with discussions of annoying over-selling, loyalty programs and their role, and, of course, data security and privacy. A key driver throughout was passenger satisfaction rather than the imposition of technology, so from a hospitality and service angle it was quite gratifying. Speaking of privacy, the event’s session on the topic opened with Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) CEO Joe Leader touching briefly on digital advances – something that APEX is clearly very focused on.

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However, it was incumbent on him to mention issues regarding seatback cameras, as there has been a bit of a media storm surrounding this. I take partial responsibility, having raised awareness when I criticized a wellknown Asian carrier on social media for having these installed. I experienced an immediate online fallout with many “what the hells...” in response and the airline in question trying to quell the riot by declaring that the cameras are not, in fact, connected to anything. In his introduction, Joe made a valiant attempt to defend the camera’s possible and potential uses, telling the audience that they are not there by design, but by default in the manufacturing stage. Possible usages range from an eye tracker to select IFE, food or beverages, to chatting with the crew, to spotting potential human traffickers. Personally, I doubt that being told they are simply being spied on will allay the fears of most passengers, so there’s no doubt you can expect this story to run for a while! The keynote guests started with Rob Gurney, CEO of oneworld, who skillfully skirted around the topic of

Qatar Airways (are they in or out?) without revealing much, but he did touch on the importance of better inter-alliance communication and synergies. Investment in technology and digital information is at the forefront of oneworld’s strategy, and its alliances are far from dead. On the subjects of China Southern, which has left Star Alliance, and Cathay Pacific, which clearly sees the competitive issues, there are currently no “active discussions” underway – but things can change. How to engage with passengers as a cohesive brand is clearly something oneworld and indeed all alliances are still working hard to achieve. Asking individual airlines to relinquish control of their customer base to potential competition, but at the same time offer a one-stoponeworld shop, is a request often met with reluctance, so it’s not that simple. This was echoed by Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance, who also stressed the need for better inter-airline communication and improved ease of use for his alliance’s members. One initiative Star is pushing hard for is seamless accessibility for passengers within individual member’s app; being able to select your seat on your Singapore Airlines flight through your United app is a prime example. The necessity for multiple apps to manage a single

From left to right: Joe Leader, Jeremy Clark and JT Genter, The Points Guy

round trip on multiple Star carriers would then be avoided – allegedly. Addressing where digitalization is taking us – and the challenges that come with it – Christian Langer, Chief Digital Officer of Lufthansa Group, provided great insight. Though he said he doesn’t much like his title, as one of the driving forces behind the Lufthansa Innovation Hubs it’s rather hard to describe him

otherwise. Lufthansa has now opened a second Asian hub in Shanghai, China, to add to those in Singapore and Berlin. Christian talked about operational synergies but stressed, “Keep the culture, keep the brand, but ensure the backend – the bit that people don’t see – is efficient.” For example, Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines are all part of Lufthansa Group and have their individual identities. However, the digital force behind them powers the entire organization and must be efficient whilst still satisfying the passenger expectations of each brand. He also mentioned the use of innovative technology to further cut catering weight and thus fuel costs. Bringing a very different perspective to the discussion was Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) CEO Karam Chand. This was of particular interest, as I was in their team in the late 1980s and early ‘90s – it is good to see how this small airline has survived in a niche market. Karam was quite vocal about his concerns and the challenges airlines like RBA face. Without membership for its national carrier in any of the alliances

and with a population of only 430,000, Brunei is in a delicate situation. Being surrounded by transit expert giants like Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific has its challenges – not to mention the fact that it is a dry carrier. However, Karam firmly believes they are on the right path with selective expansion and by ensuring they differentiate. They are internally debating the benefits (and downfalls) of joining any alliance and are focused more on delivering a great service and maintaining the youngest fleet (less than two years old) in Asia. RBA also has an innovative strategy to bring young people into the business by offering them close liaisons to seasoned industry experts. One peeve Mr. Chand clearly does have – and rightly so – is fuel waste. With so much talk about cohesiveness and digital synergy, why, he asks, does he still have to waste tons of jet fuel each year as his fleet circles congested airports, waiting to land? For more of Jeremy’s insights into the discussions at this year’s Aviation Festival Asia, visit

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What’s Hot!  Air Caraïbes Madras Class kit – Bayart Innovations: Air Caraïbes has refreshed its Madras Class amenity kit in collaboration with Bayart Innovations. Available in four regularly rotated blue shades, the new Air Caraïbes kits are made with the same waterproof material utilized in many diving suits with a design that celebrates the new cabins of the airline’s A330 fleet. Essentials such as eyemasks and socks, as well as cosmetics from Clarins, are included inside. Visit Bayart Innovations at WTCE, 4E51.

 Customized coffee pillow solutions for inflight catering – Blaser Café AG: Blaser Café AG from Switzerland specializes in roasting and packaging coffee for airlines. The family-run roastery designs and produces customized coffee pillow packs for various onboard filter coffee machines as well as standardized E.S.E. pods. As a long-established supplier to international airlines, Blaser Café fully understands the requirements of their customers and are able to provide comprehensive and professional guidance. Visit Blaser Café at WTCE, stand 4E50.

 Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation e-book app – Jennifer Coutts Clay: Updated for 2018, Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation is a go-to reference for industry professionals and aviation enthusiasts who want to learn more about the crafting of the airline passenger experience. Described by Airliner World as “The only comprehensive survey of the aircraft cabin environment from the 1970s to the present day,” it is available as an interactive e-book app for Apple, Kindle and Android-based mobile devices. Find out more at

 Healthy noodles to-go – Mr Lee’s Noodles: Mr Lee’s

 Yours Truly granola and yogurt – Snackbox to-go: Snackbox to-go will present their new, healthy snacking concept at WTCE. Last year, the company launched its granola and yogurt concept in a convenient box or cup, ideal for breakfast or all-day healthy snack. Its space-efficient packaging and one-year ambient shelf life makes the product ideal for use in airline catering. Visit Snackbox to-go at WTCE for a sample, stand 1G20.

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Noodles have further improved their innovative, authentic and tasty seasoning recipes, and have also introduced game-changing chunks of 100% chicken breast. Alongside their freeze-dried veggies, this further confirms them as the premium, tasty and guilt-free global noodle brand. Finalists in the 2018 Onboard Hospitality Awards and 2018 SIAL Mercury Awards. Visit Mr Lee’s in WTCE’s New Exhibitor Village 2, Hall A3, stand 3E65.


 Finnair Business Class textiles – John Horsfall: UK-based supplier John Horsfall collaborated with Finnair and Finnish design house Marimekko to refresh the airline’s Business Class cabin textiles for its A350 aircraft with the aim of delivering a calming and understated onboard experience. The re-designed blanket and pillow cover feature the Kaivo print, which creates a fresh and modern aesthetic inspired by Nordic homes and landscapes. The soft peach skin fabric elevates and enhances passenger comfort, resulting in a relaxing cabin atmosphere. Visit John Horsfall at WTCE, stand 1G80.

 Domus tray and Octoline set-up – Gispol: Gispol’s Domus Tray, made from polycarbonate material, sets the bar for superior quality, with 120-degree Celsius temperature resistance, high-impact resistance and super stacking. The Domus flows organically with a smooth and rough textured surface, giving it a premium look. Paired with the Octoline setup, Caledonian and Gispol have created a premium experience across meal service. Visit Gispol at WTCE, stand 4E61.

 SKYPRO – Iris Critchell: Iris Critchell is an elegant thin high heel and pointed-toe shoe, made with the finest soft calf leather. This flight attendant shoe has all the SKYPRO technologies: anti-skid, antistatic and ambicork with alarm-free technology. One of the most elegant models of the SKYPRO shoe collection, these shoes are a unique blend of comfort and style to give a luxurious look to any airline uniform. Visit SKYPRO at WTCE, stand 1G40.

 Italian bruschetta – MV Food & Services: Bruschetta (from the Italian bruscare, which means “to roast over coals”) is a popular food that has seen its share of creative modifications (not just in pronunciation) since crossing the Atlantic. One would take thick slices of good country bread, toast it, rub it with cloves of garlic and drizzle some good olive oil on top – good oil, since bruschetta was also served in commemoration of the olive harvest in Umbria, where Monte Vibiano is located. Visit MV Food & Services at WTCE, stand 3D70.

 American Airlines international amenity kits – WESSCO International: WESSCO International created American Airlines’ (AA) International Flagship First and Business Class kits in collaboration with Los Angeles-based leather accessory company This Is Ground (seen at right). The kits come in a variety of style and color rotations with an assortment of skincare products by Allies of Skin. International Premium Economy passengers will also receive kits created by WESSCO International in collaboration with STATE Bags. The kits come in two colors with an assortment of skincare products by Baxter of California. Visit WESSCO at WTCE, stand 1B10.




 Rossiya Airlines children’s kit – AK-Service: With Rossiya Airlines’ new children’s kit, designed by AK-Service, kids have an opportunity to enjoy an activity book that brings stickers to life by using a mobile app. The new kit contains stickers that come alive when pointing the camera at them, and the stickers can also be used anywhere after flight. The kit is intended for creative play, making it possible for children to try out new ways of thinking in a new reality. Visit AK-Service at WTCE, hall A4, stand 4D94.

 PURELL SINGLES™ – HACO: PURELL SINGLES™ provide the number-one brand of hand sanitizer in a personal, portable, easy-to-use package. PURELL SINGLES™ are ideal for use before and after meals, and provide convenient access to hand hygiene on the go. Each 1.2mL packet delivers full efficacy, killing more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness. FAA approved to board above the wing. Learn more about Purell at WTCE, stand 1E20.

 Ettinger leather accessories – Galileo Watermark: Galileo Watermark continues to forge new and exclusive partnerships in order to offer its airline partners original and meaningful brand collaboration opportunities. Recent additions to its portfolio include Ettinger, a British luxury leather accessories company. Founded in 1934, the Royal Warrant holder is a stalwart of the leather goods industry and is recognized worldwide for its quality and heritage. Visit Galileo Watermark at WTCE, stand 4C80.

 Commercial innovations – gategroup: The gategroup team will highlight three distinct areas of commercial innovation at WTCE 2019: driving the culinary revolution to new levels of creativity and execution by showcasing the work of its Michelin-star chefs with onsite demonstrations; delivering a transformational retail experience through gategroup’s connected journey, which will be the most advanced retail platform in today’s aviation industry; and using new technologies to drive forward sustainable commitments in tableware and eco-friendly service concepts. Visit gategroup at WTCE, stands 4C10, 4C20 and 4D20.

 Jules Destropper – Butter Crisp biscuit: Jules Destrooper’s Butter Crisp is a delicious crunchy biscuit with an intense butter and caramelized sugar flavor. These crispy biscuits are now packaged in convenient, lightweight boxes of just 24 grams. The packaging has been given a fresh update, but otherwise nothing has changed about the taste. No artificial stuff. No Compromise. Visit Jules Destrooper at WTCE in hall A1, stand 1A30.

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 Egg snacks – Fleury Michon Airline Catering: Fleury Michon Airline Catering is introducing new Egg Snacks. Ideal for buy-on-board or as a second service, these Egg Snacks come in three delicious flavours: cheese, bacon and cheese, and egg whites with feta and vegetables. Convenient for passengers, they are packaged in individual servings and delivered frozen. Visit Fleury Michon at WTCE, stand 4B100.

 Comfort footwear – Sky Soles: Combining 53 years of footwear design experience, Australian aviation footwear brand Sky Soles is making their debut appearance at WTCE 2019. A family affair with brothers Dale and Glenn as well as Dale’s son Zac, a third generation “shoey” and commercial pilot, the company is bringing an Aussie influence to Germany. Masters of comfort footwear, the Clarke family launched Sky Soles as a dedicated comfort aviation brand. Visit Sky Soles at WTCE, stand 4F75.

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 American Airlines transcontinental amenity kits – FORMIA: FORMIA, in partnership with American luxury performance brand Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), are providing the new the amenity kits for American Airlines Transcontinental Flagship First and Business Class cabins. The city lifestyle-inspired kit includes an oversized eye mask, dental kit, earplugs and bespoke skincare products from Zenology, as well as an onboard hydration pack from FlyFit. Visit FORMIA at WTCE, stand 1E50.

 Pokito from Tri-Star Packaging – WK Thomas: pokito is a versatile, compact, reusable, lightweight, robust and totally leak-proof insulated pop-up cup for hot and cold drinks. It collapses in the palm of your hand with a flick of the wrist – now you see it, now you don’t. Weighing only 110 grams, the environmentally friendly, British designed and manufactured cup is 15cm tall when fully open and collapses down to 4.5cm, ready to be slipped into your rucksack, pocket or briefcase. Visit WK Thomas at WTCE, stand 1D50.

 Egg pancakes bresaola – Gut Springenheide: These savory pancakes are filled with original Italian bresaola. Gut Springenheide’s culinary team implements the latest trends and adapts flexibly to customer requests. The outstanding quality is underscored by DLG award-winning products that have been proven over many years. Other high-quality egg products include Italian frittatas, traditional omelets, egg rolls, ready-made scrambled eggs and fried eggs. Visit Gut Springenheide at WTCE, hall A1, stand 1D45.

 Handheld hot snacks - Group SOI: This year at WTCE, Group SOI will officially present a healthy range of organic pizza snacks that are stone oven baked and made with naturally leavened pizza doughs, fresh mozzarella cheese and authentic San Marzano egg tomatoes. The new organic selection includes sorrentina tomato; four cheese and grilled peppers; four-cheese pizza; mushrooms and onion; tomato and vegetables; and peppers and onion. The handheld hot snack and pizza will be served along with saffron craft beer. Visit Group SOI at WTCE hall A1, stand 1F60.

 KLM Dutch Airlines Business Class kit – Albéa Travel Designer: Beginning in April, passengers in KLM Dutch Airlines’ Business Class will receive an amenity kit designed by Jan Taminiau through a partnership with Albéa Travel Designer. Dutch brand Rituals was also recruited to create limited-edition cosmetics – a facial moisturizer and lip balm – for the men’s and women’s kits. A dental kit, bicolor socks, earplugs, pen and an eye mask are also included in the bags. Visit Albéa Travel Designer at WTCE, stand 1A50.

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 Cloud Corn Popcorn – DFMi: Available in three flavors – sweet and salty, salted, and sweet chili BBQ – Cloud Corn Popcorn is proud to be 100% vegan, high in fiber and gluten-, nut- and dairy-free. BRC accredited and currently exporting to eight countries worldwide. Learn more about Cloud Corn Popcorn at DFMi’s WTCE stand, number 4D100.

 Hong Kong Airlines Business Class amenity kit – SPIRIANT: Hong Kong Airlines has partnered with onboard equipment expert SPIRIANT and four local artists to introduce new amenity kits to Business Class passengers. The unique artwork comes from a signboard maker, product designer, tattoo artist and illustrator. Each bag includes an eye mask, socks, earplugs, dental kit and L’Occitane hand cream and lip balm, providing premium class passengers with a “Truly Hong Kong” inflight experience. Visit SPIRIANT at WTCE, hall A1, stand 1E20.

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Airbus by the numbers A look at the stats surrounding the aircraft manufacturer’s international activity

100 to 600 The range of seats offered on aircraft in Airbus’ catalog

AN AIRBUS AIRCRAFT takes off or lands somewhere in the world every 1.4 seconds

Airbus employs 130,000 people at nearly 180 international locations


square meters The size of the Airbus Maintenance Training Centre Europe in Hamburg, Germany, occupying two floors

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In January 2019, Airbus completed this number of aircraft deliveries for 27 customers. As of January 31, 2019, 7,525 aircraft aircraft remained in the company’s backlog


Hamburg Aviation is home to four final assembly lines for the A320 family: A318, A319, A320 and A321



The average price of an A380 aircraft in 2018, the most expensive in its catalog, as per

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

+1 (310) 477 - 4272

Tailored solutions for a modern world Give your customers a truly tailor-made experience with the LSG Group as your partner. Our innovative but sustainable concepts incorporate the latest digital solutions to not only provide you with the best services, but engage your customers at every stage of their journey. Meet us at the WTCE 2019 Hall A1, Booth 1E20 2–4 April, Hamburg, Germany

Connecting Experts. Creating Experiences.