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WTCE Hamburg

APRIL 2020 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM

New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Bites above the

clouds


INFLIGHT CATERING | INFLIGHT RETAIL | AIRPORT F&B

CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD DINES ONBOARD Visit us at WTCE Hamburg, Stand 1F10

In the air, on the ground, by your side Visit dnata.com for further information.


EDITOR’S LETTER

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

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail: aijaz@globalmarketingcom.ca

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: rick@pax-intl.com Jane Hobson, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: jane@pax-intl.com Sabrina Pirillo, Associate Editor tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: sabrina@pax-intl.com Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x34 E-mail: ash@pax-intl.com CONTRIBUTORS Hibah Noor Mary Jane Pittilla

Consistency among chaos F

ollowing Reed Exhibitions’ March 5 announcement to postpone this month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak in Europe, PAX International will publish both issues on schedule, with amplified support to the industry. As our steadfast commitment to sharing industry news, product announcements, innovations, expert input and feature articles remains stronger than ever at this challenging time, we will be publishing content from cover to cover via daily online news, packaged specially for our digital platform that our valued readers have come to expect, rely on and support for the past 20+ years. The PAX International Readership Awards 2020 will be announced in the

digital space, with careful thought, consideration and treatment to ensure that industry colleagues who accomplished award-worthy achievements this year receive the recognition they would at our annual live event in Hamburg. It has been, and always will be, our mission to learn, share and deliver news to this vital segment of the commercial aviation industry and we will continue to cover the ongoing efforts by airlines and suppliers to deliver a high-quality travel experience. We will overcome this present crisis, as we have done with similar industry setbacks before, and we are confident we will come out stronger. We will support the international industry in every way we can, with open dialog and regular communications. Together, we will remain strong.

Jeremy Clark

ART DEPARTMENT Jessica Hearn, Art Director

The PAX International and PAX Tech teams

E-mail: jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: kevin@pax-intl.com PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times a year (February, March/ April, May, June, July, September, October,

Aijaz Khan Publisher

Rick Lundstrom Editor-In-Chief,

Jane Hobson Editor

Sabrina Pirillo Associate Editor

Kevin Greene Advertising & Marketing Manager

Jeremy Clark PAX Asia Correspondent

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. July 2019. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

CORRECTION: In the December issue of PAX International, we incorrectly stated on page 28 that Emirates’ plush Fly with Me toys were given to children seven to 12 years old. Actually, they are distributed to children up to six years. Older children receive the more age-appropriate Lonely Planet themed kits.

PAX-INTL.COM  

3


AIR CANADA SIGNATURE CLASS An enhanced on-board experience awaits Relax and unwind in your lie-flat seat with a plush duvet and soft pillow. Savour innovative dishes by Canadian celebrity chefs including David Hawksworth and Antonio Park, and wine selected by renowned sommelier, VĂŠronique Rivest. Then freshen up with a personal amenity kit, packed with Canadian-designed travel essentials. This enhanced on board travel experience means you arrive at your destination rested and refreshed. Learn more at aircanada.com/SignatureService


CONTENTS

24 Features PROFILE

20 24 28

30 32 36

CATERING

40

44

GROWING WITH THE TIMES Flying Food Group spent much of 2019 working on ways to keep customer satisfaction high, while simultaneously spending millions to upgrade and open units in key cities in the United States WORLD AT THE DOOR In Dubai, Emirates Flight Catering is preparing for a year that will add a larger, new dimension to its cooking capabilities and put its products in front of tens of millions of Expo-bound visitors

TWO YEARS ON Well into a comprehensive business turnaround plan, Sir Lankan Airlines has enhanced passenger experience with additional comfort and entertainment features while trimming losses and costs

48

TAP’S TRANSFORMATION TAKES FLIGHT In an interview with PAX International, Joel Fragata, Head of In-Flight & On-Ground Product at TAP Air Portugal, shares how efforts to focus on passenger comfort are paying dividends

50 ADDIS STILL AT IT

SASCO’S SAIGON DELIGHTS The South Airport Service Joint Stock Company launched a catering arm on January 1, 2020, scooping up Bamboo Airways as its first airline customer

52

A BITE OF THE BIG SKY A sisterhood was born when SkyBitesusa and Global Inflight Products aligned in a cost-effective partnership that brings innovative cuisine into the cabin CONSCIOUS CUTLERY Sola Netherlands discusses its focus on social and environmental ethics as it forges a path toward sustainable inflight cutlery solutions POWER THROUGH PARTNERSHIP Diskomat and Wexiödisk are longtime partners with future plans to ramp up logistic solutions for flight catering warewashing units

8  APRIL 2020

KINGDOM AND COUNTRY With its first new unit of the year up and running an old partnership ending, dnata is forging a cautious, strategic path ahead on two continents as the new decade begins

The caterer at the center of Ethiopia’s capital is getting its hands into the country’s booming economy, catering VIP events and expanding its offerings

54 58

FOOD FOR ALL World and More’s selection of products blend French simplicity with exotic cuisine for airlines that need a special meal on short notice SIPS THAT SATISFY Tea, coffee and water are symbols of hospitality. These innovations are bringing satisfying sips into the cabin MINDFUL MUNCHIES With health-centric snacks top of mind right now, these industry suppliers are finding ways to fulfill passenger demands while serving up satisfying snacks at 35,000 feet

60 INDEPENDENCE IN ASIA

PAX International’s Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark finds adaptation and tenacity at three small catering operations


10 chopped parsley leaves

0.94 mg grated lemon zest

A drizzle of truffle oil

Juice of 1 lime slice

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

5 g of beef bacon crumbles

29.5 mg coconut flakes

7.3 ml of yoghurt

1 fennel frond

12 toasted pumpkin seeds

A smidgen of paprika

A hint of nutmeg

1 finely chopped scallion head

4 crushed black pepper grains

5 tiny square-cut pieces of smoked salmon

A dab of togarashi

8 drops of balsamic vinegar

A drizzle of truffle oil

A touch of cayenne pepper

A trickle of hoisin sauce

9 cilantro leaves

A dash of hot sauce

12 drops of fish sauce

15 g of crumbled feta

8 croutons

1 finely chopped jalapeno

5 finely chopped coriander leaves

Discover our appetite for perfection at emiratesflightcatering.com At Emirates Flight Catering, we serve over 180,000 meals a day, each WYLWHYLKWYLJPZLS`[V[OL]LY`OPNOLZ[Z[HUKHYKZ>LVќLYH]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.


CONTENTS

80 JEREMY’S WORLD

66

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW PAX International’s Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on the catering climate now versus 20 years ago

ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

68 AIR CANADA FLIES THE DIGITAL ROUTE

Canadian flag carrier Air Canada is getting closer to its passengers in high-tech ways

71

SERVING UP ALTERNATIVES Suppliers tell PAX International how they are incorporating a personalized onboard experience for passengers in today’s sustainability-hyperfocused format

UNIFORMS REPORT

104 CABIN COUTURE

Today’s aviation uniforms are a testament to style, sustainability and a sense of place

WINE AND SPIRITS

108 CRAFTED TO CAPTIVATE

This craft cocktail supplier shares why it’s the perfect time to branch into the industry as ready-to-serve concoctions are swallowing up the inflight beverage sector

112 SOARING SELTZER

A mew pre-mixed cocktail has made its way from the Sky Lounge to the cabin after a successful trial by Delta Air Lines

80 WELCOMING WELLNESS

114 EXQUISITELY ITALIAN

ONBOARD AMENITIES

EVENTS

Improving passenger wellness inflight is about more than fulfilling basic expectations. These cabin product suppliers share the latest innovations that aim to enhance the passenger experience

86

DESIGN THROUGH DECADES Galileo Watermark Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director Tamara Vazquez Perez and Zeki Cukur, Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President of Catering and Inflight Products, share a glimpse of its latest amenity kit collaboration

90 AMENITIES TRENDING

With 2020 marking 10 years since the launch of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards, Founder Simon Ward reflects on what has changed since and shares what he predicts for the future of the amenity kit sector

GUEST COLUMN

94 THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE

Anne de Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience, explores the way Return-On-Experience long-term values such a loyalty, network, sustainability, transparency and authenticity are becoming increasingly important to the success of airlines

Bottega SpA will have its brand front and center with more travelers this year, at its airport Prosecco Bars and through more onboard sales and service

120 ALL EYES ON IFEC AT AIME

PAX Tech Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom reviews this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East expo from Dubai where he was a moderator for the IFEC Seminars, marking the last bustling trade gathering before delays brought on the by the coronavirus outbreak swept through the industry

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE

3

NEWS

12

WHAT’S HOT

124

FACTS & FIGURES

130

96 URBAN AIR MOBILITY

Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis ponders the future of sustainable city hopping and air transport’s ongoing efforts to minimize environmental impact

100 CLEAR SKIES FOR VIETNAM

Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific Onboard Travel, highlights how new airlines, terminals and catering facilities in Vietnam are making it easier than ever for the Southeast Asian country to show off its breathtaking sights, culture and cuisine

10  APRIL 2020

ON THE COVER

Cuisine Solutions and Emirates Flight Catering have teamed up to bring sous vide cooking to Dubai and beyond – read the full story on page 44.


NEWS

CATERING

American Airlines refreshes onboard menu Spinach and ricotta rotolo pasta

American Airlines has signed an exclusive multiyear partnership with the James Beard Foundation, designating it as the official airline partner of the New York City-based not-for-profit org. The partnership comes as American Airlines continues its investment in enhancing the premium experience for travelers. It will bring new menus designed by the foundation’s portfolio of up-and-coming chefs into the cabin, with the aim of making the passenger experience more “delicious, diverse and sustainable,” according to the November release. The statement also announced Top Chef alum Sarah Grueneberg as the first James Beard Award-winning chef to curate onboard and lounge menu items, including an appetizer, pasta entrée and a dessert. Travelers saw the new items in Flagship First Dining and Flagship Lounges in December. Passengers traveling in Flagship First and Flagship Business from the United States to Europe, South America and transcontinental flights between JFK, LAX and SFO have access to updated menu items. “A premier culinary partner like the James Beard Foundation provides unique and delicious offerings for our customers,” said Janelle Anderson, Vice President of Marketing at American Airlines. “We’re honored to work with their roster of award-winning chefs who embody diversity, modernism and sustainable practices in the culinary world today.”

PEOPLE

WK Thomas appoints new management team members

WK Thomas has announced new appointments to two positions: Alex Noake has been appointed Managing Director of WK Thomas (WKT) and David Simpson has joined as Head of Travel. Noake joined WK Thomas in 2018 as Commercial Director and General Manager. Before that, he worked in a number of financial roles. “Our market position as leaders in sustainability and innovation continues to give us the edge over our competitors,” said Noake in a release from the company. “We are always looking to the next big innovation to develop our business and help our customers reduce environmental footprint and improve profitability.” David Simpson has been appointed Head of Travel. and has been working with suppliers in the international airline industry since 2009, bringing geographic and cultural perspective to his position. “The desire, in fact the need, for ‘greener’ products within the aviation industry really has lit a fire among our customers to develop new products with WKT and bring to market some fantastic innovations not only in product design, but most interestingly, materials,” said Simpson. “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle initiatives are at the forefront of product development and WKT is fortunate to work with leading innovators within the industry to be able to provide ‘off the shelf’ solutions and bespoke designs, ahead of trend,” adds Simpson. “We are seeing new developments almost daily and are aware of further developments throughout 2020 and beyond.” Left: Alex Noake, Managing Director of WK Thomas. Right: David Simpson, Head of Travel, WK Thomas

CATERING

AA Bakeries International announces rebrand to AAB-inflight AA Bakeries International has announced it is rebranding to AAB-inflight as part of its repositioning to a concept developer rather than just a patisserie supplier. AAB-inflight Co-Founder Harry Boshouwers tells PAX International that the rebrand represents the company's new focus, which is “providing the most creative solutions for airlines and airline caterers.”

12  APRIL 2020

The onboard snack and food concept provider will supply cakes, tarts, bread, savory snacks, drinks, pizzas, packaging solutions, buy-on-board items, frozen-fresh concepts and more. “More and more airlines are finding their way to AABinflight as a result of the combination of rapid creative innovations and the ability to cooperate on processes, efficiency and sustainability,” says Boshouwers.


NEWS

AIRLINE NEWS

PAX International tours Air Canada Signature Suite

Publisher Aijaz Khan (right) receives a special tour of the Air Canada Signature Suite at Toronto Pearson International Airport from Vice President of Product Andrew Yiu (middle) and Manager of Product Design & Specifications Andrew Macfarlane (left)

PAX International received a special tour of the Air Canada Signature Suite at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in January. Publisher Aijaz Khan was accompanied by Air Canada Vice President of Product Andrew Yiu and Manager of Product Design & Specifications Andrew Macfarlane. The excursion unfolded the same way it does for Air Canada Signature Class passengers arriving at YYZ; first, a private BMW Chauffeur Service from terminal to the Signature Suite, followed by a greeting from the concierge service at the entrance to the Suite, which is gained by showing an eligible boarding pass. Yiu and Macfarlane showed off the large seating areas where travelers can work, socialize, dine and unwind pre- and post-flight. The suite offers a sizable bar where Signature Class passengers have access to complimentary cocktails by on-site mixologists. The tour also revealed a complimentary sit-down meal from the à la carte menu, created by Chef David Hawksworth. The menu features a variety of apps and mains, such as salmon tartare, beef tenderloin and Moroccan inspired braised lamb. The Air Canada Signature Suite at YYZ is located in the international departures area, next to Gate E77. The airline introduced the Signature Service in 2018, at which time Benjamin Smith, President of Passenger Airlines, Air Canada, said, “Air Canada Signature Service and Air Canada Signature Class brands reflect the ongoing refinements to our premium travel service. We know our premium customers traveling on longer flight itineraries place a high value on convenience and comfort when in airports or on board an aircraft, and with Air Canada Signature Service we guarantee a level of service unsurpassed in North America on every wide-body flight."

14  APRIL 2020

CATERING

A sneak peek at Finnair's updated Business Class menu Finnair announced the release of a new Business Class menu for passengers on flights from Greater China to Helsinki, which rolled out in December. Michelin-starred chef DeAille Tam, who was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, curated the airline’s Signature Chef menu that has three appetizers and main courses. = The appetizers include a vegetarian option inspired by Chinese teas that is served with cherry tomatoes, seasonal local micro greens, feta cheese, Chinese olives, honey, roasted garlic and puffed rice. The main courses include a meat, fish and vegetarian option, inspired by combining Nordic and Asian flavors. “My passion is to bring Chinese cuisine to a broader audience,” said Tam, “I understand in Finland there’s a lot of oats and cereals, so…I have adopted some Chinese elements.” Tam works for three-star Michelin chef Alvin Leung and earned her first Michelin star in 2018.

PEOPLE

Frankenberg expands management team Germany-based inflight meal solutions provider Frankenberg has announced a change of position and title for Laura Friedrichs and Sebastian Schlaadt. Both have been named Managing Directors of the company, placing them on the Management Team. “Both Laura and Sebastian have been very active in their roles assisting owners Rüdiger and Helga Friedrichs,” reads the February statement from Frankenberg. “This change consolidates the team at the helm of this family company.” Additionally, Laura Friedrichs and Sebastian Schlaadt became married in September 2019, “making and keeping Frankenberg a true family affair,” the release continues.

Sebastian Schlaadt (left) and Laura Friedrichs (second from left) are now Managing Directors of inflight meal solutions provider Frankenberg


NEWS

AIRLINE NEWS

Delta and deSter redefine international Main Cabin service Delta Air Lines has introduced a restaurant-style dining experience in collaboration with gategroup’s deSter brand and Yates+Partners. The concept was designed to offer Delta’s Main Cabin passengers an enhanced meal experience while also improving sustainability. The restaurant-style service moves away from the traditional all-in-one meal and focuses on an “experiencedriven split-service concept,” reads the press release. The three-course meal starts with a signature welcome drink. Prior to serving the main meal, passengers receive a menu card and cutlery set that also contains a napkin, condiments and placemat to dress the table. There are no plastic wrappers and the cutlery are bio-based. After the appetizer and main meals, all tables are cleared and passengers are presented with a dessert and choice of coffee or tea. Splitting the meal service this way provides a “more natural and enhanced dining experience, it also enables crew to have more meaningful interactions with passengers, making them feel appreciate and cared for,” the release

continues. Also, eliminating the all-in-one tray means the meal service does not occupy the entire table and passenger can continue their pursuits between courses. The service features designed cutlery, bowls and tray and is served on a new service platter by deSter.

Delta Air Lines and deSter offer restaurant-style dining in the cabin

Thoughtful and progressive food solutions Come and see us at WTCE in Hamburg 31.03. – 02.04.2020 Hall A1 Booth 1D20 www.evertaste.com

PAX-INTL.COM  

15


NEWS

PEOPLE

SUPPLIER

En Route taps Gwendal Hamon as head of food Onboard food service solutions provider En Route International has named Gwendal Hamon as its head of food development. Leading the global New Product Development team, Hamon will be responsible for all food innovation within the business, focusing on the En Route’s main product categories: cheese, bakery, snack boxes and handheld snacks. He will report to Hamish Cook, Executive Director at En Route. Having trained as a chef at French catering college Lycée Hôtelier de Dinard, Hamon went on to work at a number of top London hotels, including Claridge’s, Jumeirah Carlton Tower and The Queensberry before moving into the airline industry. He initially joined British Airways as cabin crew, gaining extensive passenger-facing experience in air travel hospitality, before combining this knowledge with his culinary expertise in a number of food development and marketing roles for the airline. These include: inflight and lounge menu design manager; brand partnership & sponsorship executive; and global food and beverage manager. Most recently, Hamon headed business development at Monty’s Bakehouse.

Gwendal Hamon, Head of Food, En Route International

SATS acquires Monty’s Bakehouse Hot pot with beef chili and ancient grains and seeds

Singapore-based food solutions and gateway services provider SATS Ltd. (SATS) announced that it has acquired Monty’s Bakehouse as a wholly-owned subsidiary for a purchase consideration of approximately S$48.8 million (US$34.8 million) in February. Together the companies will create an innovation center in Singapore as a test bed for inflight catering, buy-on-board retail and adjacent markets. SATS will also work with Monty's Bakehouse to develop sustainable food packaging solutions that reduce cost, waste, and logistical complexities using minimal plastics to fulfill its 2030 goal of adopting sustainable food packaging. Matt Crane, Chief Executive Officer of Monty’s Bakehouse said, “Joining a multibillion-dollar market leader like SATS presents an exciting opportunity to accelerate the growth of Monty’s Bakehouse as well as support the growth of SATS in Asia.” “Monty's Bakehouse is a progressive innovator in aviation catering,” added SATS President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Hungate. “With this transaction, SATS will now bring Monty’s product and packaging capabilities to airlines across Asia.”

PEOPLE

Zandbergen joins ANA Catering Services Tim Zandbergen has joined ANA Holding Group’s 100percent-owned ANA Catering Service as Manager in the Global Sales Department. He will be based at the head office located at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. In this new role, he will lead business development and strategy and support customer services. Zandbergen speaks fluent Japanese and has lived and worked in Japan for close to 30 years, coming first to Asia in 1982. He earned an MBA from McGill University Japan and brings a wide range

16  APRIL 2020

of business experience to ANA Catering in addition to long years in the Japanese workplace. “I’m very excited to be a part of Japan’s largest and only Five Star Airline Group with dynamic, innovative, and forward looking people. It is particularly an interesting time to be part of the group as innovative ANA aims to achieve substantial growth by expanding its international network from Haneda International Airport effective March ahead of the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.


PLANE FPOLAOINDFOOD

NO T

NEWS

SUPPLIER

SATS develops market for sustainable food products in Asia SATS in collaboration with Country Foods has unveiled the largest showcase of plant-based proteins available in Asia at an event at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. The range of alternative proteins include meat, seafood and dairy made using protein from soy, peas, mung beans, shiitake mushroom stems, tomatoes and cashews. SATS, Temasek and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have been exploring food trends in Asia and connecting with food tech start-ups to identify sustainable food products as a key growth area in Asia. In line with this objective, SATS will leverage its culinary expertise and tap Country Foods’ sourcing and distribution network to provide a platform for growth for sustainable food start-ups in Asia. Starting with alternative proteins, SATS presented more than 30 ingredients from nine food tech companies across the globe. This establishes SATS as a go-to-market platform in Asia for marketing, distribution and potentially even co-manufacturing of alternative proteins.

SUPPLIER

Coconut chicken laksa

vegan OPTIONS

GLUTEN FREE

SUGAR

WISE

www.mrleesnoodles.com sales@mrleesnoodles.com

18  APRIL 2020

Gate Gourmet makes moves in Madrid Gate Gourmet has moved its Madrid catering operation to a facility in Coslada, Spain, south of Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) – about an eightminute drive. The 9,600 square-meter facility features a kitchen that “allows our Michelin star Gate Gourmet chefs to showcase their culinary expertise and deliver innovative and inspired meals to all classes of airline passengers,” said the release from the company. The kitchen has digitalized devices which link to a centralized recipe library, enhancing control and achieving better execution of menus. It serves more than 12 international airlines and can produce 18,000 passenger meals per day. The facility will also host a culinary experience center where chefs can develop new techniques, dishes and menus, and where clients can see dedicated menu presentations. The catering unit was built under leadership, energy and environment design (LEED) principles with solar panels for hot water and dishwashers with heat recovery that reduce the amount of energy needed to reach operating temperature. All of which results in “savings in water, chemicals, energy, thus [lowering] the environmental footprint of the facility,” said the release.


PROFILE Sri Lankan Airlines uses A330300s for its long-haul flights

Two years on by RICK LUNDSTROM

I

Well into a comprehensive business turnaround plan, Sri Lankan Airlines has enhanced passenger experience with additional comfort and entertainment features while trimming losses and costs

n April of 2018, Sri Lankan Airlines launched a bold plan to turn its fortunes around and control costs. Now, two years later, the airline has a list of achievements, ratings and signs that some of those plans have taken root. Many of the moves were internal changes that only employees could see. Others, the airline says, have improved passenger experience both in the aircraft and in the process of booking tickets and moving within its route structure. In the calendar year 2019, Sri Lankan Airlines carried 5.5 million passengers at an overall load factor of 82 percent. The airline has shifted its capacity to moneyproducing routes, such as Doha, Delhi and Dhaka in Bangladesh. This year will see the launch of two new codeshare agreements which will open up its routes to six additional cities and expanding codeshare agreements with existing partners that will add 21 destinations. A two-year initiative has helped make the expansion possible. “Due to collective efforts of the management under the guidance of the board of directors the airline has achieved some significant milestones in terms of reducing costs, revenue generation and operational performance improve-

20  APRIL 2020

ments,” Chief Executive Officer Vipula Gunatilleka tells PAX International. One example is trimming losses. For 10 months ending January 31, Sri Lankan Airlines cut its EBITDA losses to US$10 million, much less than the US$57 million in EBITDA losses for the same period the previous year. Part of the reason for the improved performance is the reduction in unit cost per available seat kilometer (ASK). Part of the revenue that contributed to the reduction in losses was increased activity on the airline’s direct sales channel which saw a 14 percent increase, and savings in distribution costs. Sri Lankan Airlines has a goal to increase its online revenue share to 30 percent in the next three years. It is also investing heavily in strengthening the customer experience in the online booking process. It expanded its online payment options adding Alipay, WeChat, PayPal, Paytm, Apple Pay and PoLi. The airline's loyalty program, FlysmiLes, currently has a base of 600,000 members with approximately 1,500 reaching the Platinum level. The airline has made it easier for members to book redemption tickets on the website and mobile app. While the savings and increased

Vipula Gunatilleka, Chief Executive Officer, Sri Lankan Airlines

revenue are good news for the employees and the board of directors, the airline’s cabin service product improvements were good enough to increase the cabin load factor for its Business Class by six percent compared to the previous year.

Spirit in the cabin

The A330-300s that make up the Sri Lankan Airlines long-haul fleet seat 28 passengers in Business Class in a herringbone look designed for privacy and aisle access. The airline picked Safran’s Cirrus product that gives all the passengers in Business Class a lie-flat seat. It has taken on six new aircraft in its narrow-body fleet: two A320neos and four A321neos. The aircraft are equipped with ergonomically designed leather seating by Geven in both Business and Economy Class cabins. For inflight entertainment Sri Lankan Airlines uses three suppliers: Thales,


#GROWINGWITHPURPOSE

JUNE LIEW, GROUP DIETITIAN

ONE PERSON’S PURPOSE CAN CHANGE TOMORROW.

At SATS, we place purpose at the heart of our business and into the hands of our people. Each one of us has a role to play in enabling SATS to grow with purpose. We adopt a technology-driven, people-led approach towards creating innovative food solutions that nourish communities. By combining decades of expertise with culinary innovation, we bring a taste of home to the skies, anywhere in the world. As Asia’s leading provider of food solutions and gateway services, we delight travellers with our signature dishes and ensure seamless connections across more than 60 locations and 13 countries. Find out how we feed and connect Asia at sats.com.sg


PROFILE

In addition to scheduled meals, passengers on Sri Lankan Airlines can access Sky Cuisine, a selection of 26 pre-ordered meals Sri Lankan Catering provides meal service to the airline out of Colombo

Panasonic and the Safran Rave system. The airline’s long-haul fleet was recently upgraded to Thales Avant with a customized Graphical User Interface (GUI). The signature GUI for the system offers passengers a more user-friendly experience. Another entertainment milestone was recently reached. Sri Lankan Airlines became the first airline in southern Asia to introduce Virtual Reality (VR) entertainment through its partnership with French company Skylights. The VR headsets are available in the airline’s Serendib Business Class lounge in Colombo. It’s not the only tech enhancement at the lounge. Sri Lankan Airlines also offers passengers access to wearable technology in partnership with a company called Twinery. It stimulates blood flow and reduces blood pooling in the feet, for use before a long-haul flight. Business Class passengers departing from Colombo have access to a fast track check-in line called the Silk Route. To streamline the experience for Economy Class the airline is heavily promoting its kiosk check in facility at BIA. Food service has also been improved by bringing aboard specially curated meals by well-known chefs. Now, passengers in Business Class can also access the airline’s Sky Cuisine program allowing them to pre-order from a menu of 26 meals complimentary.

22  APRIL 2020

For a cost, a similar menu is also available for Economy Class. Sri Lankan Airlines has its own caterer out of Colombo. Sri Lankan Airlines Catering produces an average of 22,000 meals per day out of the airport. Other changes and improvements are in the offing, says Gunatilleka. “With the aim of providing a more premium experience, our amenities onboard will be replaced to feature sophisticated amenity kits with a local touch and other essentials such as duvets and pajamas insuring comfort on our premium routes.” These efforts over two years has earned Sri Lankan Airlines some accolades for punctuality and a

4-star rating for the third consecutive year. It also claimed a marketing award from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). Like other carriers, Sri Lankan Airlines is turning its attention to sustainability and environmental initiatives. “Elimination of single-use plastic on board all our flights is a passionately driven project that aims to achieve a sustainable onboard experience commencing from the year 2020,” says Gunatilleka. “This exercise will see the elimination of most single-use plastic products and packaging on board and change to sustainable planet-friendly options.”


We go the extra meal mile.

Global Culinary Expertise Prioritizing customer service

We are a privately-owned, customer-focused provider of exceptional passenger meals and retail meals and snacks for the world’s premier airlines and retail brands. Flying Food Group (FFG) has earned accolades and longtime customer loyalty with reliable, responsive service and superb quality products, flight-by-flight.

Flexible, Team-based structure Producing what we promise

“FFG: catering excellence, 24/7” Visit US at 2020 WTCE

www.flyingfood.com

On-time, on budget, on top.


PROFILE

TAP’s transformation takes flight

In an interview with PAX International, Joel Fragata, Head of In-Flight & On-Ground Product at TAP Air Portugal, shares how efforts to focus on passenger comfort are paying dividends

TAP’s own chef Victor Sobral serves up a cod dish as an ambassador of the national cuisine served onboard

by MARY JANE PITTILLA

T

Joel Fragata, Head of In-Flight & On-Ground Product, TAP Air Portugal

AP Air Portugal has come a long way since 2016, the year Portugal’s flag carrier was privatized. In fact, the airline has been transformed and now boasts one of the most modern long-haul fleets in the world. Some 80 percent of its wide-body fleet is brand new, and is now composed of 17 A330neos, four A321 LRs and seven A330ceos with completely retrofitted and standardized cabin interiors. This transformation has taken place under the watchful eye of Joel Fragata, Head of In-Flight and OnGround Product at TAP since 2017, who is responsible for cabin interiors and catering product definition. He

24  APRIL 2020

joined the company in 2007 and, in an interview with PAX International, recalls the profound changes that have taken place with the fleet. “Since 2016, after privatization, we started retrofitting the whole fleet of 42 A320s. Then we ordered new A320neos and A321neos, making our long-haul fleet one of the youngest in the world,” he says. “The rest of the fleet has been 100 percent retrofitted.” One major milestone was the launch last year of the A321 LR, enabling the company to offer narrowbody transatlantic routes to the US and northeast Brazil, one of the key cornerstones of the growth strategy. TAP’s hub in Lisbon is ideally situated geographically to serve as a transit point for passengers flying between the Americas and Europe. “These small planes offer the same comfort as the A330,” says Fragata, noting that they are more cost-efficient. Since privatization, prioritizing passenger comfort has moved up the agenda. The fleet changes were implemented as an important way to reinforce and improve passenger comfort, says Fragata. Inside the cabin, the A320 fleet now is outfitted with Recaro seats. “In Economy Class, we chose the BL3530 seat as it offers very good comfort. We have a unique cabin configuration. You can fly Business Class, Economy or EconomyXtra. The seat pitch in EconomyXtra is 34 inches, which is a lot,” Fragata says. “The comfort of our passengers is crucial. EconomyXtra also offers a dedicated

luggage compartment, electrical and USB outlets for your device, reclining seats, and more legroom.” On long-haul flights, the Recaro SL3710 Economy Class seat pitch is 34 inches and a 13.3-inch screen is offered. All passengers on A330neos get a USB outlet for charging their devices.

A sense of place

After privatization, TAP worked to refresh its cabin design. The airline engaged Portuguese design agency Almadesign to redefine its identity. Almadesign came up with three mood boards, representing each cabin class interior. Business Class offers “Portuguese luxury”, he says, with nautical details incorporated into the seats, in cool colors, with a premium texture; EconomyXtra has a tech mood board with a red color and a premium texture; and Economy combines the freshness of TAP’s green logo with a hi-tech design. Fragata says that the Recaro seats were selected as they matched the images and inspirations depicted on the mood boards. A sense of place is key to TAP’s cabin experience, he says. “In Portugal, we say ‘Portugality’. That means the food, tableware, fabric, blankets, pillows and cabin interiors are as Portuguese as possible. Our inspiration comes from the Douro River, Portuguese style, and TAP’s own identity, including the colors of the logo, to create a unique and seamless experience, so you know where you are when you enter the cabin.”


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PROFILE

TAP’s IFE supplier Panasonic developed customized software for quick and easy navigation through the wide selection of movies, music, TV and radio channels

This TAP Air Portugal A321neo forms part of the airline’s long-haul fleet – one of the youngest in the world

The carrier has a “huge partnership” with renowned Michelin-starred Portuguese chefs who help design the premium meals in Business Class for long- and medium-haul flights. Henrique Sá Pessoa, Ricardo Costa, Rui Paula, Tiago Bonito and TAP’s own chef Victor Sobral are ambassadors of the national cuisine served onboard. This initiative is branded “Taste the Stars.” Menus are changed monthly, and one chef is featured per month, offering a starter, main course and dessert. Turning to amenity kits, skysupply has been the provider for many years, but for the last collection, Fragata’s team challenged the German company to inject some “Portugality” into the kits. “We wanted something unique and a story to tell, so we chose Castelbel from Portugal, a very premium brand that specializes in soaps, candles and

26  APRIL 2020

fragrances,” Fragata says. The first kit was introduced last year under the Hello Portugal banner. The kit featured different cities and regions in Portugal and incorporated different fragrances, depending on the city of origin. For example, Lisbon’s fragrance was basil, reflecting the small basil pots that are sold in the street during the annual Festival of Saint Anthony in June, which are bought as small love tokens. This year, the airline introduced the second kit in the collection with the same smell and image concept, called Hello World, featuring images of the world cities on TAP’s flight network such as Rome, New York, San Francisco and Barcelona. Another unique feature in TAP’s onboard experience is connectivity. The company’s long-standing IFE supplier is Panasonic, which developed new,

customized software for the airline focused on quick and easy navigation through the wide selection of movies, music, TV and radio channels. On all flights fleetwide, TAP offers free Wi-Fi for messaging so passengers can stay connected. Passengers who want to use the Internet to download documents and perform other operations can purchase an Internet package. Providing a high level of passenger comfort has been a thrilling experience for Fragata. When asked about how he would describe the last few years at TAP, he enthuses: “They have been the best years of my life, and I speak for my colleagues, as there is huge teamwork involved in transforming the company. The last year has been my dream job in the airline industry, and I’m very happy to see how far we have improved our passenger satisfaction scores.”


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PROFILE

SASCO’s Saigon delights by JANE HOBSON

SASCO Business Lounges offer a quiet, relaxing retreat from Vietnam’s busiest airports

The Southern Airports Service Joint Stock Company launched a catering arm on January 1, 2020, scooping up Bamboo Airways as its first airline customer

T

he Southern Airports Services Joint Stock Company (SASCO) has had a busy decade, serving nearly 1.5 million business travelers from 50 airlines and international associations in 2019 alone and successfully confirming its first airline customer for its new Inflight Services Center (IFS) in early 2020. Introduced on January 1, 2020, the SASCO IFS catering facility at Tan Son Nhat International Airport has the capability to serve more than 10,000 meals per day. The company also recently announced that Bamboo Airways, an FLC Group-owned airline in Vietnam, is SASCO IFS’ first airline customer. According to a release from the company announcing the catering arm, SASCO is “on track to become the best and most capable inflight catering services provider in Vietnam.” It continued: “We are very honored to have Bamboo Airways as our first and long-term customer airline.” The catering service also supplies meals to airport lounges. “We always strive to deliver the most delightful and thoughtful services to welcome local and international travelers with an impression so excellent that words cannot describe,” read the release. Established in 1993, SASCO has

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made several changes in stride with international travel trends. Now, the corporation employs more than 1,300 people and is considered “one of the top 500 largest enterprises in Vietnam and top 10 sustainability developing enterprises in commercial services,” according to the website. Based at Vietnam’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the airport services provider operates 12 SASCO Business Lounges at three of the country’s busiest airports; Tan Son Nhat (SGN), Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) and Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR). The Business Lounges offer a buffet of Asian and European dishes, beverages and seasonal fruits, entertainment, reading material, office facilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, a quiet break room and a flight notification screen system, among other features. Secluded from the busyness of the airport, the lounges offer a comfortable, private space for stopover travelers. Le Saigonnais Business Lounge at SGN is located near gate 14 in the domestic departure hall. Launched in July 2017, the lounge offers a modern style while still expressing the classic Saigon culture. The lounge serves passengers of Vietnam Airlines, All Nippon

Airlines and Skyteam airline members, as well as special pass passengers, Samsung and VIP guests of SASCO. In the middle of Le Saigonnais Lounge is the Ao Dai Collection from Vietnamese designer Vo Viet Chung. The exhibit recreates the traditional beauty of the Saigonese. Chung received the UNESCO certification for his dedication to the pursuit of the Ao Dai fashion. With the goal of offering an authentic taste of Saigon, as the Ho Chi Minh City of nine million people is commonly known as, the lounge introduces travelers to Saigon delicacies and interesting culinary experiences. “Le Saigonnais is a representing statue, a lounge that reaches international standard and is able to portray the Saigon entity, from its architecture, cuisine and more,” according to the release. “Le Saigonnais cuisine will especially satisfy passengers who love to explore local food cuisine.”

SASCO BUSINESS LOUNGES: Tan Son Nhat International Airport – two Domestic, six International Noi Bai International Airport – one Domestic, one International Cam Ranh International Airport – two International


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PROFILE

A bite of

the big sky A sisterhood was born when SkyBitesusa and Global Inflight Products aligned in a cost-effective partnership that brings innovative cuisine into the cabin by JANE HOBSON

I

nflight food and beverage producer SkyBitesusa and Global Inflight Products (GIP) have joined forces as sister companies, with the shared goal of supplying cost-effective inflight cuisine to airlines worldwide. SkyBitesusa, formerly called Sky Cuisine, is repositioning itself with a new name and extensive history of airline catering. Sky Cuisine has been supplying high-quality meals to the industry for eight years, including entrees, frozen entrees, side dishes, salads, oils and dressings, deli meats, desserts, beverages and more. Its snack range includes both sweet and savory options, nuts, pretzels and cheese. Redmond, Washington-based GIP has been providing onboard products and services to worldwide airline customers since 1995, including dining, comfort, entertainment and hygiene products, such as napkins, aluminum casseroles, beverage glasses, disposable pillow cases and headphones. The company supports airlines’ unique styles, brands and requirements by creating customized concepts and quality

30  APRIL 2020

products. In charge of its complete innovation process, developing a new product includes 3D studies, drawings, prototypes and mold development. PAX International caught up with SkyBitesusa Chef Marc Lopez in February to discuss the future of the sisterhood. Lopez has more than 37 years as a meal and dessert chef. “The obvious synergies between GIP and SkyBitesusa will enhance the quality and presentation of the inflight food service for customers and will reduce the overall cost of the meal for airlines,” says Lopez. “GIP has more than a quarter-century presence working with airlines worldwide, so this mutual support will enhance its breadth of offerings as a respected name in the industry and help SkyBitesusa speed up its support for better catering solutions.” SkyBitesusa will bring Mediterranean cuisine as part of its portfolio of products designed for authentic flavors and healthy meal quality. It will offer kosher and halal meal options as well, with some new snacks, desserts and other meal solutions.

Lopez says his advice for other inflight caterers is to focus on honesty, taste quality and healthier meals. When asked about his own experience with memorable inflight meals, he says, “We are firm believers that food taste is very subjective. We never have bad meals onboard, we just have better meal experiences, and it becomes easier to tell what a good culinary experience is when you can enjoy healthier meals with centuries old Mediterranean cuisine.” “GIP is thrilled to be collaborating with our new sister company SkyBitesusa. The relationship is mutually beneficial and SkyBitesusa will be in the perfect position to leverage GIP’s large customer base and further position our companies to truly provide full-service support to airlines,” Zine Badissy, GIP and SkyBitesusa President, tells PAX. Lisa Benzaoui, Chief Executive Officer of GIP adds, “Listening to our customers and building long-lasting, meaningful relationships with them create the foundation of our business. We bring their ideas to life – from concept to reality and from toothpick to trolley – with excitement and passion.”


PROFILE

Sola pattern 'Durban' is also available in the hollow handle version, which won the 2018 Mercury Award in the category Equipment - Passenger

Conscious cutlery Sola Netherlands’ discusses its focus on social and environmental ethics as it forges a path toward sustainable inflight cutlery solutions by JEREMY CLARK

More than a trend

For inflight cutlery supplier Sola Netherlands, addressing climate change goes much beyond its commitment to its customers. The Gerritsen family started silverware production and supply in 1868 and went on to found Sola in 1922. The private-owned company is now the supplier to more than 80 of the world’s most prestigious and leading airlines. With nearly 100 years of success, Sola Netherlands is now sharing how it plans to manage its environmental responsibilities in the coming years. “We are more than just knives, forks and spoons,” Sola Netherlands Export Manager Hans Engels tells PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark in February. “We are acutely aware of the need to address climate change issues as well as best business practices, fair trades and environmental and social care,” says Engels.

This is not just a trend; it is a necessity. “We demand it, our customers demand it, and increasingly, the public at large and end-users of our products demand to know we are doing our bit to ensure a sustainable future,” Engels explains. Sola Netherlands took two major steps forward in 2019 to support this: it became a full member of amfori BSCI and made a commitment to uphold the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A uniform code of conduct

As a Dutch family business with its design house and management team based in the Netherlands, a large majority of Sola products are manufactured overseas in contracts with thoughtfully selected manufacturers. This requires particular diligence Sola Netherlands design house and management team is headquartered in The Netherlands

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The Gerritsen family started silverware production in 1868 and went on to found Sola in 1922

in ensuring that the kind of standards and values that Sola upholds are maintained in supplier factories around the world. Sola Netherland became a member of amfori BSCI to reinforce this diligence, an organization that enables companies to trade with purpose and strive to improve the social performance in their global supply chains by applying a uniform code of conduct across all suppliers. amfori BSCI lays down a series of conditions that manufacturers must adhere to in order to attain certification and the right to manufacture for Sola Netherlands. These include: • The Rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining • Fair Remuneration • Occupational Health and Safety • Special Protection for Young Workers • No Bonded Labor • Ethical Business Behavior • No Discrimination • Decent Working Hours • No Child Labor • No Precarious Employment

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34  APRIL 2020

Last year, Sola Netherlands also committed itself to adopting the United Nations SDG’s into their business strategy. The SDGs is a collection of 17 global goals that “emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all,” according to the UN website. The goals were established in 2015 at United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030. The board-based goals are interdependent and have a list of targets that are measured with indicators. A variety of tools exist to track and visualize progress towards the goals. “Sola Netherlands has selected the most applicable SDGs to our sector,” says Engels. “This year, we intend to develop our systems and data processes to reflect the United Nations’ goals and be able to report individually on each of them.” In the years ahead, Engels says Sola Netherlands will continue to innovate in the industry. “As airlines themselves embrace the modern culture of health and doing all they can to reduce their impact on our world’s eco systems, both environmentally and socially, Sola Netherlands sits very comfortably in this portfolio of solutions providers.”


PROFILE

Stockholm-based Diskomat offers a range of dish washing machines, accessories, tray setting and waste handling to the airline industry

Power through partnership Diskomat and Wexiödisk are longtime partners with future plans to ramp up logistic solutions for flight catering warewashing units

D

by SABRINA PIRILLO

iskomat AB has been a familiar household name in the Scandinavian catering, restaurant and food processing industry for more than 50 years. The Stockholm-based company offers a range of complete systems, machines and accessories for dishwashing, tray setting and waste handling in the global airline catering industry. Gösta Torssell, Managing Director of Diskomat, acquired the company in 1997 when he recognized the potential and demand for warewashing in the airline catering industry. The company has completed more than 3,000 projects in hospitals, schools, restaurants, food courts, hotels, military camps and flight catering units. Diskomat has seen exponential growth in China and Asia Pacific in the last decade. Now, the company is shifting gears towards increasing its presence in these strategic markets. PAX International caught up with Tomas Jämtander, Diskomat Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, to find out what opportunities and challenges await this segment of the

36  APRIL 2020

airline catering industry as the movement towards sustainability grows. “There are two issues here. On one hand, yes, trending is heading towards fewer disposables but oftentimes, this reduction is in fact a substitution from bad disposables to good disposables, implying that sustainable and biodegradable material is sought in the ongoing chase of removing unsustainable material,” he says. “This behaviour, as we see it, does not really influence the flight catering warewash industry in the short term. We expect however, that more and more airlines are returning to melamine, porcelain, stainless steel cutlery and other rotable goods. The warewashing operations in any flight kitchen will not just continue to be a critical function, but its importance will increase in the future.” Diskomat joined forces with Swedish dishwashing machine manufacturer Wexiödisk in the 1970s when Wexiödisk was created. Since then, the companies have cooperated closely to integrate Wexiödisk dishwashers into Diskomat systems. For the last 20

years, Diskomat has been the exclusive distributor for the global inflight catering market. Combined, the two companies offer product know-how and logistic solutions for flight catering units of up to 60,000 meals per day. Wexiödisk is one of the few suppliers in the international flight catering industry that has robust and reliable enough machines to work seven days a week, 20 hour per day – and that maintains the rigorous hygiene requirements, Jämtander explains. In the past several years, the industry has seen continued reduction in water, energy and chemical consumption. Diskomat has made advancements in improved logistics of the dishwashing process that includes more efficient utilization of staff and machines. There is ongoing review and improvement in the workplace, occupational health, better ergonomics and neutralizing activities between peak busyness and idle moments. Thanks to the unique centrifugal technique, Wexiödisk’s rotating trolley washer, WD-18CW, only requires two litres of water per cart and wash cycle. The total energy, water and chemical consumption saves up to 70 percent in cost compared with traditional tunnel cart washers on the market.


PROFILE

In order to speed up the washing process and reduce water and chemical use, both Diskomat and Wexiödisk make sure the powerful washing machines are used to full potential. A half-loaded machine uses the same amount of water, energy and chemicals as a fully loaded machine, which makes it critical to adjust staff rosters and working schedules. According to Jämtander, it is also important to ensure the machine being used corresponds to the washing requirements. The research and development department of Wexiödisk is working to determine more ways to reduce water and energy consumption in the dishwashing process, resulting in minimal use of water and balance airflow to retain and recover the heat in the machines. Beyond its headquarters in Stockholm, Diskomat employs staff in China, Thailand and Singapore. The Asia-based sales and services team have contributed to the company’s increased presence in China, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan. Diskomat also has a historical foothold in Europe, Africa and Australia. Susan Duan, General Manager of

Diskomat’s Chinese Operations in Beijing, has played a significant role in Diskomat’s success to solidify customers, including China Eastern Catering in Beijing and Qingdao, China, Hainan Airline Catering and Xiamen Airline Catering. The most recent major installation by Diskomat last year was for China Eastern Airlines at Beijing Daxing International Airport, which opened last September

38IBENA_WTC   APRILANZEIGE_PAX 2020 International_half-page_188x134mm-2020 RZ.indd

in time for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The project included several versions of flight type machines, tray loaders and cart washers. “Despite market challenges, we are optimistic about the future,” says Jämtander, who notes an increased interest and awareness of the economics in the dishwashing process, its logistical planning and overall life cycle costs. This Diskomat machine features a trail guard for the cutlery track, a conveyor with colored areas for structured sorting and wide stacking areas

1

15.01.20 18:24


CATERING

Flying Food catering the A380 from ANA in Honolulu

Growing with the times Flying Food Group spent much of 2019 working on ways to keep customer satisfaction high, while simultaneously spending millions to upgrade and open units in key cities in the United States

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ith the year 2019 winding down, Chicago-based Flying Food Group put the final touches on a year that saw expansion and infrastructure improvements like no other time in the caterer’s 37-year history. When the decade ended, Flying Food Group had spent more than US$100 million to retrofit and upgrade operations at units from the East Coast to Honolulu, all while prepping for the opening of its new unit in San Francisco later this year. It may be happening just in time. The US is still the largest commercial aviation market in the world. It is a sure bet that the international airlines Flying Food Group has built its reputation on

40  APRIL 2020

by RICK LUNDSTROM

serving will grow and expand networks, knocking on the door of major cities in the United States. Though international travel has slowed recently due the coronavirus outbreak, the demand for airline catering is expected to grow significantly from now to 2025. By the halfway point in this decade, the worldwide airline catering industry is expected to hit US$24.75 billion in annual sales, according to a report from ResearchAndMarkets, a well-known industry watcher. In this period, it will increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.7 percent in lockstep with increased business and leisure travel. “Airline caterers are increasingly making efforts to match passenger expectations, in terms such as col-

The coordination between our local operations team and the construction companies on how the work would advance was a key factor to making it a success” NICOLAS RONDEAU,

FLYING FOOD GROUP


CATERING

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

laborating with celebrity chefs for creating multicultural and customized menus,” said a preview of the report. The latter demand falls neatly into Flying Food’s unique capabilities. For decades, Flying Food Group has sought to create menus for a diverse group of international customers flying into the United States. To meet future demand, more than 140,000 square-feet of operational space has been added at three units. At facilities in both Honolulu and Los Angeles, Flying Food streamlined operations by integrating two catering units into one. At Honolulu Airport (HNL), the company launched a major program with All Nippon Airways catering two A380 flights per day. The A380 service launched May 2019 and expands to daily flights in July. The double-deck, 520-seat aircraft is fitted out with passenger bars and multi-purpose passenger area. During the course of 2019, Flying Food Group announced new and

42  APRIL 2020

expanded customer relationships that will have its team of chefs producing meals for Asian, North African, Italian and Turkish travelers, all looking for a taste of home on their return trip. Most recently the company announced in February it is now catering Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus at six locations in the United States for the airline’s service to Dublin. Aer Lingus has been a customer at Flying Food Group’s Hartford facility (BDL) since 2016. Early this month, Aer Lingus switched to Flying Food Group catering at: Chicago (ORD) for two daily flights; Miami (MIA) for three flights weekly; Orlando (MCO) for four flights weekly (six flights weekly in summer); Seattle (SEA) for five flights weekly and Washington D.C. (IAD) with one flight daily.

Millions for improvements

To set up for the expected renovation and development, Flying Food Group planned for two years, Nicolas Rondeau

tells PAX International. Rondeau is the Executive Vice President of Airline Sales and Marketing. Permanent and regional contractors were called on to do the work at four stations. And all of it had to be done without missing a meal or a flight. “The coordination between our local operations team and the construction companies on how the work would advance was a key factor to making it a success,” says Rondeau. One example was at Flying Food’s new unit in Honolulu, which is across the street from the old unit. The project was completed in phases when possible, but the final changeover had to take place overnight. The new unit at HNL opened in March of last year and handles airline and retail customers through a 90,000 square-foot facility. Among its largest customers is the aforementioned All Nippon Airways and Hawaiian Airlines. Another place where Flying Food consolidated two facilities into one was at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The unit opened in December of 2019 at 100,000 square feet which added 30,000 square feet to the caterer’s capacity in the big market. In addition to completing a new halal kitchen at MIA in October of last year, Flying Food Group added efficiencies and upgrades in production areas and additional storage. The hot kitchen was expanded to allow halal meal production and other specialty menus for the many international airlines that fly out of MIA. The unit at MIA is one of Flying Food’s “hybrid” kitchens combining airline catering with the company’s Fresh Food Solutions retail catering arm. Fresh Food Solutions provides private label packaged foods and ready-to-eat meals in several markets. The next big completion is expected to happen in late March to early April. That’s when Flying Food is scheduled to go through full replacement of its catering unit in San Francisco. Like the others, SFO will have design efficiencies and an additional 20,000 square feet of production “that represents the best in design and workflow,” according to a description of the new unit.


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CATERING

World at the door In Dubai, Emirates Flight Catering is preparing for a year that will add a larger, new dimension to its cooking capabilities and put its products in front of tens of millions of Expo-bound visitors by RICK LUNDSTROM

T

he United Arab Emirates (UAE) metro center of Dubai has built its worldwide reputation on a myriad of attractions and projects that lay claim to be the “largest” or “newest,” and, over a short period of time, built a skyline that is dazzling in its innovation and grandeur. But the year ahead may be one of the most challenging for the emirate as it prepares to welcome the world from this October to April 2021 for the next world’s fair, known as Expo 2020. In the middle of it all will be Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), supplying fairgoers with cutting-edge cuisine as part of the Expo Culinary Experience. During the 173 days of the Expo, up to 50 million meals are expected to be served – twice as many meals as there are people expected to attend. In a region that still imports nearly all of its food products and is constantly on the hunt for labor, 2020 will be a particularly challenging one for EKFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Saeed Mohammed, and the catering unit’s 11,000 employees. Much of the preparation was underway when PAX International visited EKFC in December. And much more will take place as the caterer looks at news ways to become more sustainable as an organization and takes steps to become the largest sous vide meal producer in the UAE. The latter will be done with the help of a partner that has a long history in supplying entrees to airlines. From Sterling, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., Cuisine Solutions joined EKFC in Dubai this past autumn to announce the formation of Emirates Cuisine Solutions, giving the caterer the distinction of being the exclusive sous vide supplier in the MENA region. “We have been using sous vide products before our joint venture partnership with Cuisine Solutions. The reason we chose Cuisine Solutions [is] we have been buying the products [for the] past two years,” Mohammed tells PAX International. The caterer has also set aside a production line to handle sous vide entrees and other dishes. In the future, Moham-

44  APRIL 2020

A joint venture between Cuisine Solutions and Emirates Flight Catering will bring sous vide cooking to Dubai and beyond

med says EKFC will ramp up its involvement to be the largest halal-certified sous vide supplier in the world. With such a capacity, Mohammed says EKFC will have the rare chance to export products, in addition to filling the needs of hotels and restaurants around the UAE. Sous vide cooking is done by sealing entrees and other dishes in plastic and immersing in a warm water bath to cook over a long period. They are then flash frozen to retain moisture and freshness. Combined with sauces and flavorings, the meals have become a convenient way for caterers to bring high quality meals to the airline cabin, particularly in First and Business Class. The arrangement between Emirates Flight Catering and Cuisine Solutions is structured on two independent businesses: The distribution and sale of sous vide products to the entire GCC region and Africa, which covers every customer on multiple channels, such as retail, food service, restaurant chains, as well as the airline and cruise line business.

From left to right: Mads Houlberg, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Flight Catering; Saeed Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Flight Catering; Felipe Hasselmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cuisine Solutions Inc.; Marc Brennet, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Cuisine Solutions Inc.


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“Volume estimations will depend on the mix of products, as cooking times vary for proteins, grains, sauces, and vegetables,” says Cuisine Solutions President and Chief Executive Officer Felipe Hasselmann. “Our goal is to create the largest halal sous vide manufacturing facility in the world to supply not only the GCC region, but export halal sous vide products to the rest of the world.” While sales is one part of the equation, the partners will also be seeking to educate potential customers on the benefits of sous vide products. “We have been diligently working together to set up the infrastructure to sell and distribute fully cooked sous vide products to all local channels within the GCC region. We also continue to build our team of knowledgeable chefs, both domestically and internationally,” Hasselmann added.

Farm to table to fair

EKFC’s 130,000 square-foot vertical farm will be located adjacent the massive 4.4 square-kilometer Expo 2020 site. Though located in the desert, the farm will give EKFC the ability to supply “farm to fork” meals that make efficient use of water and are free of herbicides and pesticides. Up to 2,700 kilograms of leafy greens will be used every day for the estimated 25 million visitors, 70 percent of whom are coming from out of the country. EKFC’s efforts will take place in all three of the Expo site’s thematic districts. Two restaurants will be Michelin-star quality. The Grains and Green section will serve gourmet sandwiches, bowl creations and sharing platters. La Patisserie will provide sweet treats and coffee. Finally, Deli2Go

will provide simple fare to be eaten while on the move. The Expo Culinary Experience at Expo 2020 will feature more than 50 international cuisines. EKFC will be working with a number of entities at the Expo including catering for the Emirates Pavilion, DP World Pavilion and provision of meals for all school children visiting. Getting food and services to the many locations across the Expo site will be only one of the challenges, says Mohammed. “Our biggest concern, if you ask me about the Expo, is the manpower,” he says. “Because you want to get people on a short-term basis contract.” To do that, EKFC will be offering incentives for contractors to sign up, not only for the Expo itself, but the months leading up to the event and the two-to-three months needed for decommissioning after it ends and the doors close. “For us, we can offer them a job, if they are good, on a long-term basis,” he adds. Not only do employees present a challenge but vendors and potential suppliers must also commit to contributing to an Expo that is environmentally conscious and welcoming to all visitors. Every food and beverage vendor that collaborates must sign a “Food Ethos” pledge to commit to sustainability and local sourcing. Organic produce and environmentally conscious packaging are part of the agreement in addition to products that are affordable and sensitive to allergies and intolerances. Vendors are also encouraged to set more ambitious targets for minimizing food packaging and waste.

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46  APRIL 2020


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CATERING

Kingdom and country by RICK LUNDSTROM

Alpha/LSG employs 3,500 people at 15 catering units in the UK

With its first new unit of the year up and running and an old partnership ending, dnata is forging a cautious, strategic path ahead on two continents as the new decade begins

E

ight years ago, dnata looked over the airline catering market in the United Kingdom and saw a tremendous travel environment, but one where airline caterers struggled to achieve acceptable returns and infrastructure needed new investment. What the company concluded at the time was that it needed a partner, and it found one in LSG Group. But in the future, dnata will be going it alone and will have its own name on catering trucks from Aberdeen, Scotland down to Bristol, England and 13 cities in between. But the association with the United Kingdom doesn’t stop there. In another part of the world, dnata has taken on British Airways as the first customer at a new unit in Vancouver, Canada. One that Robin Padgett, the company’s Divisional Senior Vice President, was “chuffed” about when he spoke to PAX International in December, above the din of the company’s cafeteria in Dubai – on one of the seemingly rare

48  APRIL 2020

instances when he wasn’t traveling to one of the 62 catering units worldwide.

Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President, dnata

The end of Alpha LSG

In early December, dnata announced an agreement to purchase the remaining 50 percent of Alpha LSG from the Lufthansa Group. The business, with 15 catering units, was originally part of dnata’s purchase of Alpha Flight Services 10 years ago. The company’s units in the UK, Australia, Jordan and other locations became part of dnata. The two partners then assessed the catering landscape in the UK and strategized on how to make money in the mature market. Units were revamped and the company focused on a chef-driven catering model and the country’s already-sophisticated and successful buy-on-board business model that had begun with the charter carriers and moved into the growing low-cost carriers. “They have been wonderful partners,” Padgett says of the LSG Group. “They

brought a level of maturity and thoughtfulness that we have really enjoyed.” As dnata takes complete control of units in the UK, change is everywhere, but not all of it is good. The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook Group has caused dnata to make staffing changes and left a void with the loss of a longtime customer. The other is a new focus by Lufthansa Group to its core business with the sale of its European catering operations to gategroup. In the UK, Padgett says he is sorry to see the company leave. “They have different strategic objectives at this point in time. Lufthansa is divesting from its catering business, so this is kind of a natural part of that process,” Padgett says. Other opportunities exist nearby. Padgett says dnata will shortly expand


British Airways is the first customer for dnata’s new unit in Vancouver

its business in Ireland beyond its units in Dublin and Cork. The company is the largest halal caterer in the country with Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Ethiopian Airlines as customers in Dublin.

Commitment to Canada

On February 1, dnata catered its first meals on the 747-400 service operated by British Airways at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). With the opening of the 4,460 square-meter

unit, dnata plans to grow to a staff of 80 people in the next 18 months. The high-tech unit has the capacity to produce up to 8,000 meals per day. In addition to scheduled airlines, dnata will build up a customer base of charter and VIP flights out of YVR. In the United States, dnata currently has catering units in Houston, Boston, Los Angeles LAX, New York, Nashville, Orlando and San Francisco. This year, it will open its eighth unit at Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. Elsewhere in Canada, other divisions of dnata provide ground handling and cargo service to 18 airline customers at Toronto Pearson International Airport. In addition to the cutting edge technology in the YVR unit, Padgett says dnata has invested in a culinary team that is vital to the company’s emphasis on craftsmanship. “What we are trying to do is in line with the strategy for the whole of North America [which] is to make sure it is a kitchen run by chefs first and foremost.”

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CATERING

Addis

still at it

The caterer at the center of Ethiopia’s capital is getting its hands into the country’s booming economy, catering VIP events and expanding its offerings by JEREMY CLARK

The caterer provides service for high-profile events, including United States Embassy functions and other retail enterprises

A

ddis International Catering (AIC) has come a long way since it locked down KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as its first customer in October 2008. Now, AIC provides service to many airlines touching down at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), including Lufthansa, Kenya Airways and Qatar Airways, which has twice granted the unit its top award for service within Africa. With Addis Ababa being headquarters for the African Union Commission and the United Nations in Africa, AIC has also earned the reputation of being the go-to caterer for VIP services in the region. AIC’s inception story is rather unusual. From the beginning, owner Sheik Al Amoudi aimed to provide a top-class facility at Bole International Airport that would rival any other on the continent. To achieve this, he engaged a group of six experts from the airline catering industry from Sweden and the United Kingdom to design, build and run the business with a focus to deliver excellent cuisine and attract, train and promote a local workforce. Ethiopia is considered Africa’s fastest growing economy and this is reflected

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Fredrik Heinrici, Chief Operating Officer, Addis International Catering

in the capital, Addis Ababa. The quality of the foodservice sector in the capital has matched this growth in stride, with food retail, hotel, restaurant and café offerings booming. The foodservice landscape is vastly different today compared to when AIC first set up shop. The challenges of building and equipping a catering unit to meet European standards in the early 2000s was a significant task. But the result is a unit that today continues to deliver award-winning cuisine to the highest Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) standard for airlines, schools and events as well as to the domestic retail and foodservice sectors. “From my colleagues’ comments from that period, it was a considerable achievement by the team in Ethiopia to establish AIC,” Chief Operating Officer Fredrik Heinrici tells PAX International. Heinrici joined the company in November 2019. “Thankfully with that support we were not only able to deliver the unit to that high specification but have maintained and improved it since.” Today, the caterer employs more than 300 staff and caters special occasions, such as United States Embassy events, official VIP

meetings and retail enterprises. It holds contracts to cater a number of the capital’s top international schools, some with upwards of 1,000 pupils. “The future for AIC is very positive at is maintains its reputation for quality and food safety in this ever more demanding, growing market,” says Heinrici. “Flexibility and adaptation will be the key ingredients for success, something [we] have already demonstrated an ability to deliver more than adequately.” In terms of expansion plans and capabilities, Heinrici says the caterer has an ongoing and dynamic program to build the quality, food safety guarantees and volume capacity into the domestic food service, contract and retail sectors, as well as planned expansion for event catering. “The possibility for new carriers and routes is guaranteed. We already serve the world’s top-quality carriers and are ready and prepared to address the needs of any new services to Addis,” Heinrici says.


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CATERING

FOOD FOR ALL World and More’s selection of products blend French simplicity with exotic cuisine for airlines that need a special meal on short notice by RICK LUNDSTROM WAM produces gluten-free and dairy-free Lasagna for passengers who eat Kosher, Halal and vegan

F

rom its assembly warehouse near Orly Airport in Paris to its production facility in Belgium, World And More (WAM), a brand of Food Partners France, is bringing the flavors of many countries to travelers with special dietary and religious requirements. Travelers from 72 countries are enjoying the meal options in flight. While WAM often works directly with airlines like Iberia and Qatar Airways, its largest customer base are the world’s airline caterers, that must have a selection of special meals on hand for quick delivery. And though they require many cuisines, WAM is inspired by the flavors and techniques of the French kitchen. “With minimalism and simplicity, we aspire to represent the French tradition,” says Alexandre Berger, Head of Development at WAM and Food Partners France. Bringing that tradition to halal, kosher, gluten-free and conventional meals takes the skills of two experienced chefs, Gilles Bosquet, who was voted Best Chef in the Middle East in 2018, and Phillippe Audonnet, a Gault & Millau recognized chef. The two men have developed a selection of meals with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and a combination of spices to make them tasty and aromatic. WAM and Food Partners France produces frozen meals (under the

52  APRIL 2020

sub-brands Heat Me and La Crème de la Crème) and ambient products. The company has a wide selection of Middle East-inspired entrees such as chicken with olive tajine, vegan artichoke terrines and a salmon tarma. The company also produces a favorite gluten-free and dairy-free lasagna for passengers requesting kosher, halal or vegan meals. Producing meals for a diverse group of travelers may involve many cuisines, but Berger says that Italian meals seem to be the one variety that brings the world together. “We have also been requested to produce more Middle Eastern and Arabic food, which are always best sellers,” he adds. And demand for company products is poised to increase, says Berger. In recent years, he has seen special meal requests grow by nine percent and are closely following increases in the

global airline fleet which is projected to double in the next 15 years. Supplying special meals in a variety of cuisines is only one of the challenges the company will be handling in the year ahead. Berger says the second challenge will be shifting practices geared to sustainability and environmental initiatives. WAM eliminated plastic trays a year ago and replaced them with pulp products of wood and cardboard. That practice will continue through the year as it phases out aluminum cassolettes and replaces them with the same pulp material. Trays are made in corn-based material and plastic cups have been replaced with cardboard. The changeover involved a substantial investment in products and tooling, but the company is determined to supply products in all airline classes in material that is biodegradable.

WAM and Food Partners France produce frozen meals under sub-brands Heat Me and La Crème de la Crème


Celebrating 100 years of Qantas

See the complete collection on stand 4C60 at WTCE


CATERING

Sips that

Tea, coffee and water are symbols of hospitality. These innovations are bringing satisfying sips into the cabin

satisfy by JANE HOBSON

Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando at Dunkeld Tea Estate, Sri Lanka

Ceylon tea is recognized as the finest tea in the world, with leaves growing in various agroclimatic regions and microclimates throughout the 25,000 square-mile South Asian island country

O

ffering a hot coffee, tea or cold glass of water is nearly a universal display of a warm reception. Whether it’s a visitor to a hotel, a VIP delegate meeting or a Business Class passenger, this gesture is recognized by millions as a necessary element of a satisfying hospitality experience. Now, technology is improving how well this offer can be executed, making it possible to deliver a handcrafted beverage, tea or sparkling water during virtually any passenger travel. For inflight service, these innovations come in the form of cafécrafted coffee, expert tea pairings, inflight water dispensing solutions, flavored water in recyclable packaging and more.

21st century tea

Colombo-based Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company works with chefs and hospitality professionals during its Dilmah School of Tea to teach the relevance of tea to the 21st century lifestyle. Established in 2008, the 70th edition of the Dilmah School of Tea took place in February 2020 in Sri Lanka, exactly when PAX International requested an interview with the historic tea company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dilhan C. Fernando. The mission is to teach tea appreciation, “going beyond the confines of the commoditized version of tea that is ubiquitous

54  APRIL 2020


This cup is a coffee-maker in a mug, eliminating the need for a coffee machine inflight and offering more roast options to passengers

today,” says Fernando. “We focus in exploring how tea can engage a new generation of customers through tea gastronomy, tea mixology and associated tea pairing.” Founded by Fernando’s father, Merrill J. Fernando, Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company is recognized among the world’s most experienced teamakers. For airlines, Fernando says offering Ceylon tea onboard provides an unprocessed, natural antioxidant beverage with benefits including the ability to help the body process sugars and protect against sicknesses such as diabetes, cancers and stress-related illness. “Beyond the functional benefit lies the pleasure of tea to each of us – the most important feature of tea,” Fernando says. “It is what we focus on and in honoring the influence of nature in tea, we have succeeded in engaging international hospitality customers.” Fernando recommends pairing tea with dishes that are part of the inflight meal service. For example, an earthy low-grown tea will pick up the caramelization of steak; long-bodied Dimbulla Ceylon tea pairs well with black cod, boosting the flavor and highlighting the texture. It also cleanses the palate for a pleasant end to the meal. Ceylon tea also pairs well with chocolate and dessert by balancing sweetness, he adds. Marketed as Ceylon tea before the country changed names from Ceylon to Sri Lanka in 1972, tea from the South Asian island country gets its high quality from the agricultural practices involved with its production and the uniqueness of the country itself. At just 25,000 square-miles, tea from the island grows in a variety of agroclimatic regions and microclimates, from

sea level to 6,000-foot elevation and influenced by pre-monsoonal winds that eventually bring dry periods. “These seasonal teas are sublime in aroma, taste and texture,” Fernando notes. “Each of these is crafted entirely by nature.” Fernando believes some global tea makers nowadays are harvesting with complete disregard for the importance of good leaf in making tea – as a result of pressure from buyers and their dominating ability to demand a low cost for production. He adds that the higher price point of Ceylon tea is justified by its artisanal practices and traditions that defined it at the outset. While it remains one of Sri Lanka’s most visible exports with the Middle East still a major importer, Fernando says Canada, the US, the UK and other countries that previously made the list of major importers now import little to no Ceylon tea. “That has changed significantly on account of an aggressive move to cheaper teas from other origins,” Fernando says.

galley insert. With a mission to serve the industry with sustainable and efficient beverage solutions, the company now provides a specialty coffee trolley, multi-beverage hot and cold drinks and a water dispensing service. All SkyTender systems are connected and provide on-time consumption reporting. “Passengers are becoming more discerning, with the expectation of having a choice of home comfort when onboard,” Wolfgang von Krogh, Chief Executive Officer, tells PAX. “Delivering bespoke customer experience is the new norm.” The PUR VIE water dispensing system provides sustainably-sourced, packaging-free water and consistent quality inflight. The water can be used for drinking water, as well as for making hot and cold drinks. All of these uses in one system reduces over-catering and waste, which has a significant impact on lower cost, von Krogh explains. The connected consumption tracking offers complete control of the supply chain and optimizes stock levels. “Public and regulative pressure create a high demand for sustainable, packaging-free water and beverage supply,” he adds. SkyTender’s SkyBarista EASA certified coffee trolley brings the coffee shop experience on board. The solution allows crew to prepare fresh coffee specialties in front of the passenger. Last year, a European carrier trialed the service and the innovative trolley was the winner of Onboard Hospitality’s One to Watch Award. The year 2019 also saw SkyTender expand the SkyBarista brand with a new Coffee Specialty trolley. SkyBarista ONE which is EASA

Barista above the clouds

SkyTender Solutions supplies non-alcoholic beverage solutions in the format of either a mobile trolley or as a Radnor Hills’ fruit extract infusion drinks have zero calories and are available in canned format

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certified and trialed successfully on a European carrier in March 2020. In the year ahead, the company has aviation and rail launch customers in Asia and Europe, with more trials planned with carriers in these regions.

Coffee machine in hand: any time, any place

The Barista Cup is an intelligent and easy-to-use invention that brews a fresh cup of coffee within the cup. The solution features a lid and filter at the top, with a coffee channel and coffee trap at the bottom of the cup. To use, add hot water and coffee grounds to the cup. As coffee grounds absorb water and get heavier, they sink to the bottom of the cup and fall through the coffee channel where they are trapped in exchange for air bubbles rise that rise to the surface. It can also brew tea the same way. Last year was the Barista Cup’s first year, which brewed up an “overwhelming, positive response from users,” chief Executive Officer Aziz Patel tells PAX. In a year’s time, it partnered with a London-based roaster and developed reusable cups that are suitable for the partner’s specialty roasts. “A trend we have noticed throughout the industry is the inspiration of apps to increase passenger experience,” says Patel, recognizing the customization for seat selection, meals and pre-flight purchases that apps provide. “The addition of the Barista Cup to these apps would allow airlines to offer a variety of fresh roasts, instead of just one flavor that [was] brewed earlier. Freshly brewed [coffee] right in front of them would enhance their experience and bring the barista experience – and level of taste – onboard.” The Barista Cup is in the midst of securing new relationships with a variety of key companies ranging from transportation to hospitality. “We are expecting some great announcements within the next several months,” Patel says.

Canned and flavorful

In autumn 2019, UK-based drink manufacturer Radnor Hills rolled out its range of canned spring waters. Embracing the can came as part of the company’s agenda to supply airlines with more items with alternative packaging formats. The pure spring water is sourced from

56  APRIL 2020

SkyTender Solutions’ beverage solutions include mobile trolleys and galley inserts that deliver water for drinking and making hot and cold drinks, a coffee trolley and multi-beverage dispenser Dilhan C. Fernando, Chief Executive Officer, Dilmah

Radnor Hills’ family farm in Powys, Wales, where it takes just seven minutes to filter from the ground to the can. Each aluminum can of still or sparkling water is 100 percent recyclable, lightweight, leak-proof and boasts a long-shelf life. Along with the canned offering, Radnor Hills also supplies, fruit juices, premiums presses, natural energy drinks, school compliant drinks and flavored water. “We have had another great year for growth,” says William Watkins, Managing Director at Radnor Hills. “Our flavored water range, which we have produced for more than 10 years, has grown by four percent.” The company is also launching a range of zero calorie infusion drinks in 330-milliliter format called Radnor Infusions. The drinks are naturally infused with real fruit extracts. Watkins says customers are requesting more low-calorie options but aren’t willing to compromise on taste. Other “sugar-aware” customers are seeking a less-sweet profile. In the year ahead, Watkins expects the flavored water sector to continue to grow, as well as the seltzer/infusion market, mirroring growth experience in this sector in the United States.

A royal in the water sector

In the water sector last year, British Airways tapped Harrogate Spring Water for its short-haul economy dining menu and also for all long-haul routes. Harrogate Spring Still Water (500 millilitres) and Harrogate Spring Sparkling Water (500 millilitres) both in recycled PET (rPET) are available in economy cabin to and from London Heathrow and London Gatwick, and long-haul also has other SKUs from the brand, again in rPET. The company’s partnership with gategroup sees the Harrogate rPET range distributed on major airlines, with its environmental approach at the heart of supporting growth in the sector. Global Export & Travel Retail Manager Greg Hatton tells PAX International that this year, the focus is sharing facts about the PET material, specifically on its positive sustainable properties versus other packaging materials, including being 100 percent recyclable, and creating interactions as part of its Incredible Shrinking Bottle recycling program developed in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy. “We’re continuing to champion our environmental credentials and promote best practices for recycling, which has recently been endorsed through the award for the business as B Corp Certified,” Hatton says. “We work closely with all our partners to develop sustainable waste strategies in order to build a circular economy for PET bottles.”


CATERING

Mindful

munchies With health-centric snacks top of mind right now, these industry suppliers are finding ways to fulfill passenger demands while serving up satisfying snack at 35,000 feet by SABRINA PIRILLO

Beemster offers cheese as a snackable item for select vegetarians onboard

Bridget Paice, Head of Business Development, Monty’s Bakehouse

W

ith new health findings emerging seemingly on a daily basis, travelers are becoming more aware of the effects of their voyage on both their own bodies and the environment. As a result, they are making new requests when it comes to inflight catering, from food restrictions and health-conscious items to sustainable packaging. PAX International caught up with a few suppliers to get the latest on inflight snacking that decreases footprint but delights passengers’ palates on both short- and long-haul flights.

Baked buys now on board

Monty’s Bakehouse plans to launch a filled bread range, including a cheeseburgerstyle filled bagel

58  APRIL 2020

Monty’s Bakehouse moved into the buy-on-board sector in 2019, offering a wide range of heat-in-pack and chilled snacks, as well as entered into suppling sustainably packaged handheld meals. It also participated in forming the Airline Sustainability Forum with other suppliers. “Our UK-based Innovation Centre has developed a proprietary innovation design framework and the team are market leaders in human-centric, insight-driven product and packaging innovation,” says Bridget Paice, Head of Key Accounts at Monty’s Bakehouse. “The


Manager Patrick den Drijver tells PAX. “Cheese is an excellent product for this as it is vegetarian and has multiple uses.” Last year, Beemster won a Mercury Award for its Beemster Bun, launched the Beemster Bretzel together with Qizini on Delta Air Lines and catered outbound stations for KLM in Japan, South Africa and the Dutch Antilles. The company also started a partnership with Gate Gourmet in Amsterdam and renewed its contract with KLM.

Packaging perks

Group SOI has introduced a vegetarian pizza square snack

Innovation Centre has been open for 18 months and is already winning awards for its work,” she says. In the year ahead, Monty’s Bakehouse plans to launch a range of filled bread products, including a cheeseburger-style filled bagel, as well as hot dog bread stick and sustainable, recyclable, plastic-free meal pots.

Valued vegans

On trend with the popular request for differing dietary options inflight, Snackbox To-Go will launch a range of vegan snacks during WTCE expo, the company tells PAX. “The demand for vegan products and special meals is still increasing and we would like meet these demands for our customers,” says Kees Verschuure, Sales Director for Snackbox To-Go. 2019 saw the opening of the supplier’s innovation center in Roosendaal, Holland. The center serves as a product development, presentation and test facility. It is equipped with an airline oven for the company to work directly with customers on new snack products. Snackbox To-Go also recently revealed a new production hall, with the ability to pack frozen products in ovenable boxes. Along with its boxes with chicken and fries, fish and chips, pizza, and fries, the company’s product range recently extended to puff pastry snacks, calzones, burritos and other meal boxes. It also supplies a selection of ambient products such as muffins, cakes, granola and yogurt and snack boxes with cakes and drinks.

Sharing is caring

Lily O’Brien’s introduced its premium Share Bag range in 2019 which led to contracts in Australia, Canada, Russia, Japan and Poland in both retail and travel. On the heels of this success, the company is now focusing on its dessert pots, which will be showcased in Hamburg. “Our new sustainable dessert pots are exclusive to the travel industry, produced using only PEFC approved board,” says James Duff, Account Manager of Foodservice at Lily O’Brien’s. The chocolatier will also showcase its certified UTZ/Rainforest Alliance chocolate options for all of its dessert offerings, and later this year, will launch a completely recyclable dessert pot.

Bringing in the essentials

Group SOI’s latest snack offerings include a pizza snack that comes in four flavors, Margherita, Mushroom, Four Cheese and Super Vegetarian, and can be served in just 10 minutes, as well as Fusion dressing and extra virgin olive oil dressing called Dip’In Oil for vegetables and cold appetizers. The supplier is also offering a new dessert – cheesecake made with organic saffron from its company-owned farms.

Onboard cheesin’

Dutch cheesemaker Beemster is focusing on creating high quality cheese snacks, including hot snacks, to meet dietary restrictions inflight. “Beemster is noticing more and more vegetarian food trends within the offer onboard,” Sales

Airline hot snack and food producer AAB-inflight, previously AA Bakeries International, is looking at the combination of food packaging and logistics as the most important trend for healthy products. “The heatable boxes we’ve been using for the last eight years are without any plastics - this was a hot topic the last year,” says Sales Director Patrick Berkers. “There’s a lot of new development within the hot snacks range. New fillings and looks for our hot snacks from South America style to Middle Eastern flavors.” The company develops and produces a range of hot snacks such as quiche pies, laminated hand held snacks and pizza-style snacks in heatable paper foil and carton boxes.

International inspiration

En Route International is looking to the landscape for snacking inspo, with more “experiential snacks” that incorporate regional offerings and touch on diverse geographies, Hamish Cook tells PAX. En Route’s Tiny Teacup snack box takes a note from the tradition of English afternoon tea and the hot chicken parmigiana sandwich offering a classic Australian pub experience onboard. “In particular, we are seeing demand for snacks that cover a range of dietary requirements such as vegan, gluten-free as well as traditional halal and Asian vegetarian options,” he continues. Cook says the company also sees emphasis on demands for packaging that it as environmentally friendly as possible, including requests for reduced single-use plastics and alternative biodegradable products coupled with sustainably sourced material and food items. En Route produces breakfast items, snacks, conceptual single- and multi-format boxes and individual hot and cold foods.

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CATERING

Independence in Asia Royal Brunei Catering is building a new centralized kitchen that will open this year

PAX International’s Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark finds adaptation and tenacity at three small catering operations by JEREMY CLARK

60  APRIL 2020

M

uch is heralded about the way Asia is the game-changing market. Watching the dismantling of LSG, the merging of gategroup, SATS and Servair, and the growth of dnata demonstrates the degree of turmoil generated from the East in the current airline provisioning sector. There will be winners and losers across the industry. Winners should be the providers who successfully compete against the monoliths. Some say the losers will be airlines who dislike the reduction in capacity and consolidation. But, in Asia, this volatility only adds concerns to other influencing factors, not the changes to the provisioning business models. Smaller caterers are exposed on a number of fronts. Airline catering models, global agreements with big

operators, the rise of brokers, changes to routes and price pressure, the rise of lowcost carriers put extreme pressure on the independent or smaller chain caterers.

Pos Aviation – Kuala Lumpur My first stop was Pos Aviation at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. This stand-alone operation started life as a Eurest unit until it was taken over by the Kuala Lumpur Airport Services. The catering operation is part of a large number of services managed by the company that is now under the umbrella of the national postal service. I met with General Manager Ramzanee bin Ramli to talk about how the business was performing under turbulent conditions. “For years the distinction between us and our colleagues across the road (Brahim’s) was very clear. They were


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CATERING

MAS (Malaysia Airlines), we weren’t, but now it’s changing,” says Ramli. The competing operation was originally built as MAS Catering and became Brahim’s before merging with LSG. They have now gone and SATS are the managing cooperatives. Pos Aviation now also caters flights for Malaysia Airlines. Ramli goes on to say that, “The big changes for us have been the increase of LCC traffic, specifically Air Asia.” Kuala Lumpur is a hub for Air Asia and the airline procures much of its product from its own providers, but still works with traditional caterers for ramp services. I asked what is being done to mitigate the loss of business and to maximize the use of capacity. Ramli explains, “Efforts are being made to seek out new non-airline markets and we are

Brunei Catering General manager Jeff Hadiman (left) with PAX Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark

already delivering 30 percent of output to the food service sector and events. The issue is that our sales force is experienced more to the airline world and our production designs are geared for that. So, we have to carefully manage any additional production to ensure it doesn’t disrupt our core business.” This, as I find out later, is a common thread and one which is tackled in some interesting ways. Pos Aviation was built to be an inflight catering unit in the days when the idea that it would produce for other markets was not necessarily considered. That being said, with skilled process management, producing for other markets is increasingly necessary. With currently 70 percent of Pos’ output for the airlines, what is the company’s plans for the future? “We are optimistic” says Ramli. “We are delivering to around 14

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airlines and now also uplift to MAS on some India and China routes, but we are not at capacity. However, we are still taking steps to secure expansion because we see the growth for the non-airline sector as inevitable.”

Aerofood ACS - Medan

Traveling to Indonesia, I visited the facility built by Garuda Group’s Aerofood ACS at Medan’s new airport Kualanamu International Airport servicing the city of Medan in Sumatra, Indonesia. While Pos is a stand-alone, Aerofood in Medan has units in Jakarta, Denpasar, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Lombok and Pekanbaru. Here we have a slightly different set of circumstances. Recently appointed General Manager Hoerip Satyagraha

So again, they are turning to the off-airport foodservice sector to balance the business to provision nearby factories such as Unilever, offices, event catering and retail. It is a modern facility with up to date building techniques, so adapting production flows to different models is easier and less disruptive to airline production. I asked about the challenges of selling into the foodservice sector. The reply was interesting and applicable to all of us in this sector – namely that, besides capacity, is the fact that being airline caterers, guarantees of best practice HACCP and food safety is a given. “This gives us a tremendous advantage over our competitors in the bulk catering field,” explains Hoerip. That is of course until they catch up, which in

In Kuala Lumpur, Jeremy Clark (right) visit with Ramzanee bin Ramli, General Manager at Pos Aviation

explained: “We had to build an entirely new catering (unit) when the whole airport was relocated to Kualanamu in July 2013, handling all flights and services shifted from Polonia Airport which is now an air force base. In anticipation of growth, we built a facility for 12,000 meals a day although currently the airlines require around a quarter of this capacity.” And this is the problem. Whilst traffic is growing fast, most destinations are regional and fed by buy-on-board carriers who do not load meals in anything like the numbers of the traditional carriers. Add to this the fact that some foreign carriers can double cater if they choose, and routes are sometimes seasonal. So, you can imagine the volatility. “We have peaks and dips,” Hoerip goes on to say, “And we also have to manage the huge volumes around the Haj and Umrah flights.”

due course they will. However, from my observation of this unit, any competitor has a long way to go. Equipped with modern quarantining and protection including reverse airflow air locks to get into the kitchen, Aerofood ACS has also attained ISO 9001 Quality Assurance certification and ISO 22000 Food Safety.

Royal Brunei Catering – Bandar Seri Begawan

Next was another independent single catering operator. One I am proud to say with which I am particularly familiar: Royal Brunei Catering (RBC) on the north coast of Borneo. Greeted by the recently appointed General Manager, Yang Mulia Haji Jeff Hadiman bin Dato Paduka Haji Danial who I’ll happily refer to as Jeff, I also recognized many people are still here from when I was working here as Executive Chef in the late 1980s. Walking into a unit I helped design


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and refurbish in 1990 was a blast from the past. Starting life as Dairy Farm (Hong Kong), Royal Brunei Airlines took over in 1989 in time for its growth as a long-haul carrier in the 90’s. Now, RBC is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd. The operation’s production facilities had not changed, but the dynamics of the business has. Whilst delivering to foreign airlines has gone (as they either back-cater or have changed the business models to alternative offerings) the retail and food service sector has grown to compensate. This has driven RBC to a radical new approach to the future and in October 2019, they broke ground on a new centralized kitchen and production facility to be completed late this year. Situated on a two-hectare plot on an off-airport industrial site, the new facility will be the first kitchen certified with the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (“HACCP”) standard, and the largest of its kind in Brunei Darussalam. This increases RBC’s operational efficiencies and production capacity.

RBC will then consolidate its kitchen operations for airlines, healthcare, special events as well as retail services. “We need to be much more than just a flight caterer with a few restaurants and outside catering,” Jeff says. “RBC – even since your time Jeremy, (thanks!) is Brunei’s leading provider of premium catering services and food solutions in the country and the new facility will double current capacity, allowing us to cater for future growth opportunities across markets. This includes to both domestic and international customers.” RBC understands the challenges and made some very bold and wise insurances to secure the future. By consolidation of RBC’s operations, the company will be expanding its support to the development and growth of small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”), and introduce value-added services such as commissary kitchen rentals and competitive procurement of raw materials. The existing air-side flight catering center will remain and be redesigned as a finishing point for fresh product and manage the day-to-day operations of

delivery to RBC, its key customer. “RBC’s new facility will support continued growth and development by keeping up to pace with our clients’ needs, allowing us to provide value-added and higher quality service,” adds YM Alvin Voon, Aircraft Catering Manager for RBC. It seems RBC really has taken these changes fully on board to the point of looking at renewing its brand strategy and identity. RBC’s brand will take on a larger national role with aims to provide the highest quality culinary services and food solutions that deliver “the taste of modern Brunei.” So as the traditional big fish swim around in the pool of decreasing competition, decreasing margins, demanding airlines ever more challenging provisioning models and often an unwillingness to deviate from their core businesses, the independent caterers are looking beyond the airfields for growth. Capitalizing on the strict regimes of food safety and quality that airline catering demands, the wide choice of alternative markets is welcoming these newcomers so I expect this business to fly.

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JEREMY'S WORLD

That was then,

THIS IS PAX International’s Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on the catering climate now versus twenty years ago

NOW by JEREMY CLARK

In 2016, 44 percent of the world's caterers were gategroup and LSG Sky Chefs

The Lufthansa Group announced in December 2019 an agreement for the sale of LSG Group’s European operations to gategroup

“F

asten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” For cinematic fans, these words – from the 1950 American drama film All About Eve – will resonate as we look at the state of the airline provisioning industry at the start of a new decade. Ten or 20 years ago, anyone suggesting that gategroup would buy LSG’s European kitchens would have elicited calls to the funny farm, but then again, much of what has happened since would have been considered unimaginable. For example, British Airways selling supermarket sandwiches, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in a joint venture, Thomas Cook being no more, Boeing in trouble, Alitalia still going, Unicorn food, President Donald Trump… none of these were thinkable…and yet here they are in 2020.

So where are we and why?

Just four short years ago in 2016, 44 percent of the world's caterers were gategroup and LSG Sky Chefs. Roughly another 30 percent were made up of others including dnata, SATS, DO & Co., Newrest, Servair, Alpha and Flying Food Group. That’s three quarters of the world’s provisioning capacity shared between just nine providers. That looks good or bad depending on who you are. The abbreviated story is that gategroup absorbed into the Hainan Airlines Group vortex, but not before it acquired Servair which in turn had taken in First Catering throughout Africa.

66  APRIL 2020


“The abbreviated story is that gate was sucked into the Hainan Airlines Group vortex, but not before it vacuumed up Servair which in turn had taken in First Catering throughout Africa”

Meanwhile, Alpha was acquired by dnata and SATS (which divested from Singapore Airlines) merged or took a number of other operators either in joint ventures or management contracts like Brahim’s (Malaysia) and Taj Caterers (India). Hainan needed cash so now, SATS' owner Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean investment house but is actually the Government of Singapore, has taken 50 percent of gategroup and by default also Servair plus its subsidiaries. Now it adds LSG Sky Chefs’ European operations to its world domination. So now, almost overnight, an Asian government-owned company has approximately half of the entire world’s provisioning capacity. A company not without controversy either. In 2006, Temasek acquired the Shin Corporation, owned by the family of then Thai PM Shinawatra which resulted in protestors burning effigies of Singapore’s Ministers Lee and Ho on the streets of Bangkok. The acquisition was seen as an exacerbating factor in the political scandal which led to Shinawatra’s downfall and a legal review. So, who has to worry about all of this? Well, a lot of third-party suppliers, brokers and facilitators might begin to get antsy. If I was Singapore Airlines, I’d also want to know that I had at least some choices regarding the future of my catering needs, because monopolies are never a good thing.

The big losers will be airlines I see caterers looking to airline customers for yet more global commitments. But global agreements are generally useless, except to accountants. There is absolutely no guarantee of consistency on such a scale no matter how much they promise and if you tie yourself to a deal on the basis of cost, you will most certainly be constantly fighting the parts of your supply chain that fail to deliver on the promise. The big losers here are going to be the airlines. What's more, they largely have themselves to blame. Some years ago, at a menu presentation at a client caterer, I took a junior airline visitor to task who was asking for ridiculously detailed cost information which would be of no help to pricing even if the truth were to be revealed – which of course, it wouldn’t. I asked him if this was information he really needed or had been asked to get by some accountant back at Airline House. He simply didn’t grasp the fact that every single burden placed upon the caterer has to be paid for. By the airline. Therefore, ultimately the passenger. It is this attitude to cost and price that has brought us to where we are. Yes, the airlines will say there are multiple complex issues concerned with running an airline that contribute to the pressures on catering costs. But the cost of provisioning is tiny compared to the overall operation. Plus, as I have said relentlessly for 40 years, food and

service are major measures of the brand from the passenger’s perception. One might say that this is all the fault of the passengers whose relentless pursuit of ever cheaper fares puts pressure on the airlines. Finding savings in variables like provisioning is a lot easier. In provisioning, however, we now have a complex multi-layered supplier system that in turn, adds cost instead of just letting the caterer do their job to a budgeted service-level agreement. Starting back in the 90s, airlines thought by outsourcing catering management they would save money. One might observe that Lufthansa Group’s reasons for offloading its caterer are intertwined with other non-core operations which may be true. Independent caterers and facilitators replace that service – at a cost. The contracts and systems are so muddled that smaller operators stand no chance of competing and three quarters of the costs of catering aircraft these days are to cover administration and logistics. Looking forward, I have to say it does not look healthy. From the perspective of 20 years ago, the world does seem to have gone crazy. Many airlines are still government owned and operated so let us see what, if any, political fallout may result if Temasek decides to make another controversial investment. Is this As Good as It Gets? Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here!

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Air Canada flies the digital route

Air Canada’s duty free sales have performed well over the past few months

Canadian flag carrier Air Canada is getting closer to its passengers in high-tech ways

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ir Canada is giving travelers more reasons to fly thanks to a number of initiatives that in the future will help the airline know its passengers better as it explores new options to increase onboard and pre-order sales of its duty free products. Recognizing and improving its relationship with the passenger in the future will be through Air Canada’s new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program that is gradually being implemented across all of its systems. “This CRM process will benefit us in many ways, and most importantly will allow us to communicate with and market to our customers more effectively,” says Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product, Air Canada.

Duty Free pre-order focus Air Canada offers an inflight and pre-order Duty Free boutique to all passengers traveling on eligible

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international flights. Duty free sales are managed by 3Sixty Duty Free, its inflight duty free operator. “Over the past few months duty free sales have tracked well,” says Yiu. “This sales performance is slightly less than the same period last year, but this is due to less available stowage space onboard for the duty free products. We are now encouraging passengers to pre-order their duty free merchandise in advance of their flight, which gives them additional benefits.” He adds: “In addition to the traditional way of offering our duty free onboard, we are starting to explore additional ways that we can offer duty free to our customers through the various customer touchpoints and digital channels. It’s all about giving our customers more choices and the opportunity to personalize their journey.” Liquor and tobacco are predictably the top-selling categories, and the following are the best-selling brands:

Andrew Yiu, Vice President, Product, Air Canada

Johnnie Walker, Marlboro, Crown Royal, Baileys, La Mer, l’Occitane, Estee Lauder, Hermes, Ray-Ban, Hugo Boss, Swarovski and Desigual. For inflight duty free, the best-selling routes in 2019 were between Canada and London, Frankfurt, Beijing and Hong Kong. For pre-order duty free, most orders are placed by Asian customers for its Asian flights, including China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. In general, Air Canada customer demand is strong for a Duty Free boutique shopping service. Air Canada has several incentive programs to motivate its flight attendants to sell more duty free products. Its crew


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are given a commission on total sales for every flight, and they are also encouraged via the Handheld Sales Devices to exceed sales targets on their particular flight, which automatically enters them into contests to win prizes. In addition, at year end the carrier recognizes top duty free sellers at each crew base. At various times in the past, it has conducted contests where the top-selling crew can win Nespresso coffee machines, Fitbits, gift cards and jackpot cash prizes.

Green programs

Sustainability is an important area of focus for Air Canada. The airline is involved with many environmental programs. For example, it is always looking at reducing emissions, through biofuel and other offset options; it is reducing single-use plastics onboard; and is implementing ways to improve the passenger experience onboard regarding waste reduction and waste management. The company is looking to get IEnvA-certified (IATA Environmental Assessment Program), which relates to integrating environmental

considerations into all of its employee work locations. It is also working on being in full compliance with all applicable government environmental regulations such as hazardous waste, storage tanks reporting and stewardship. In 2019, Air Canada, together with its Air Canada Express regional partners, carried more than 51 million passengers, a one percent increase on 2018. And last year, Air Canada Rouge, the carrier’s leisure airline, served more than 10 million passengers, representing an impressive 23 percent upswing compared to 2018. Air Canada operates direct passenger services to more than 220 destinations on six continents, while Air Canada Rouge offers flights to over 90 destinations around the world. Air Canada launched several exciting new routes in 2019: Toronto-Vienna, Montreal-Sao Paulo, and Vancouver-Auckland. New routes recently launched on Rouge include Montreal-Bordeaux, Toronto-Quito, and Ottawa-Varadero. Looking ahead, Air Canada’s fleet is set to expand further. The flag carrier has 45 A220-300 aircraft on

To preserve space in the aircraft, Air Canada encourages pre-order purchases

order from the Airbus/Bombardier partnership (one recently delivered). There are 26 737-8 aircraft deliveries on hold for now from Boeing, and 11 737-9 aircraft deliveries also on hold from the US aircraft manufacturer.

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ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

Serving up alternatives

RMT Global Partners says the key is to have tableware components that fit together well but still offer options

Suppliers tell PAX International how they are incorporating a personalized onboard experience for passengers in today’s sustainability-hyper-focused format by JANE HOBSON AND SABRINA PIRILLO

M

ost people in the airline industry are well accustomed by now to the conversations about sustainability, environmental footprint, and reducing waste and single-use plastics. With official legislation around the corner in many locations, such as the Europe Union’s impending ban on single-use plastics, it is no wonder these topics continue to stay hot. As the industry, however, shifts towards this new norm, suppliers are finding innovative ways to maintain a passenger-centric experience in the cabin, right down to tableware and serve ware.

A curated experience

Anne De Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience, sees the future of the cabin being heavily impacted by a number of current factors, including the shift from product to experience, passenger-centricity and digitalization. “Environmental sustainability cuts across all of these, and rather than being a trend of transitory nature, it is

72  APRIL 2020

the emergence of a new zeitgeist,” De Hauw tells PAX International. On one hand, passengers are becoming more and more aware of how their travel impacts the environment, but on the other, they expect that their inflight experience continues to improve – for example, in minimizing waste and improving the quality of the onboard food service. In turn, this drives suppliers and airlines to adjust their offerings.

Same goal, different opportunities

RMT Global Partners has introduced its lightweight re-engineered silverware, which offsets fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions, and polycarbonate glasses and plates — which look like glass but have an endless lifespan, standing up to commercial dishwashing. The tableware is purposely slim-lined for space efficiency on the aircraft. RMT produces these innovations by listening to what problems the customer is trying to solve and developing the product to that specification. For example, in the case of designing a casserole dish, Robby Erbrick, RMT Director of Environmental Sustainability and Product Development says, the following is taken into account: a lip or edge so that it can be easily gripped when pulling the dish out of the oven. The weight of the dish is cut to reduce fuel burn and the material must be elegant but durable to withstand commercial dishwashing. Finally, the design should represent the image of the airline, focusing on a style or pattern from the airline’s brand. “The key is to have components that fit together nicely but have some flexibility,” says Erbrick. “If you don’t


With the industry going through a major transformation, IN Air Travel Experience says there’s an ongoing shift from product to experience

want to serve a dessert on a certain length of haul, you have the ability to remove a dish and the service still has a beautiful appearance on the tray,” he explains. Erbrick says he’s noticing a trend towards using globally renowned designers to curate tableware, and to incorporate textured patterns to add depth to the design. There is also demand for natural colors, shades and designs, inspired, for example, by bamboo or kraft brown paper. “It is a great marketing tool for the airline as it leaves an impression on the customers,” he explains. Rotable solutions are still trending as they can be washed, reused and recycled, but suppliers still need to then factor in how much those items weigh and the impact on fuel consumption and other environmental factors. Carriers are also interested in items that pack neat and compact into galley space, support flight attendants and maintain an elegant look for passengers. RMT’s cup holder tray maximizes space by allowing it to nest three trays into one cart glide space. Crew can easily serve drinks while keeping aisles free for passengers to move about during flight. Plus, any spills are contained in the cup space. The company’s collapsible wine drawer allows flight attendants to serve wine on their carts during meal and drink service, collapsing flat for more space in the galley cart after the service. “There is no silver bullet that can be used to solve this problem we all face living on this planet,” Erbrick says. “RMT Global Partners is here to work with our customers and we are finding the best solutions that our current technology

Kaelis notes carriers are looking for interesting textures and colors incorporated into sustainable tableware and serve ware

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ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

has to offer in order to combat climate change and help sustainable products become the go-to in years to come.” For Kaelis, differentiating within the common trend of sustainability is important. Carriers are seeking original designs, interesting textures and colors, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Fernanda Veiga tells PAX. When asked what passengers are demanding from carriers, Veiga lists “beautiful designs” first, followed by, “less packaging” and “sustainable materials.” The Bassú tray is a Kaelis innovation that incorporates all of the above. The reusable lightweight, ergonomic phone and tablet holder tray allows passengers to use their personal electronic devices hands-free during inflight food service. “If you are considering ceramic products, it is also important to consider its weight,” Veiga notes. The company designed an updated tableware set for Business Class cabins on all medium- and long-haul flights aboard Uzbekistan Airways in 2019. The 14-piece crockery features white tableware with a colored pattern, soft linens, uniquely-shaped glasses and dark tray inspired by traditional Uzbekistan buildings and architecture. The set contains a light blue butter dish, a side plate, bowl, main plate and cup with colors inspired by the region’s cotton flower. Kaelis also recently created its Mission ECO program, which is a line of sustainable solutions. “This is a very important change in the right direction and it aligns with our business culture,” Veiga says.

Malton Inflight creates corn starch cutlery

Ditching disposables

While single-use plastics were once considered the pinnacle of onboard hygiene, efficiency, and customer convenience, carriers are reverting to a more classic cutlery option, such as stainless steel, says Sandy Hsu, General Manager of 4Inflight International Limited. The company recently replaced one of its airline customers’ disposable plastic cutlery. “Our product development team worked a few proposals out in a short time, including rotable plastic cutlery, PLA cutlery, wooden cutlery and lightweight stainless-steel cutlery,” explains Hsu. The client selected the stainless-steel option – which comes at the same

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ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

4Inflight International Limited replaced one of its airline customer's disposable plastic cutlery

cost as 4Inflight’s plastic cutlery. The company also offers PLA lids, PLA-coated paper cups and bagasse pulp containers.

are focused on dine-on-demand, restaurant-style service with a “less is more” mentality. “Less equipment, healthier, wholesome foods combined with ease of use, more time for crew to engage with passengers,” Lam says. As a design-led company, Clip looks to hotels, restaurants and the retail space when researching trends and materials for its tableware and serve ware innovations. “We are fully aware that what many restaurants can provide on the ground unfortunately is often not realistic or achievable for airlines. Therefore, we need to modify and re-work and redesign those ideas and make it workable in an airline cabin environment. The research and development never end. There are always new materials coming to market and we need to be proactive in our search and trending.” Lam makes the point that even small steps make a big difference. The company launched new Business and Economy Class tableware for Swiss boutique leisure airline

AMKO International notes a demand from carriers for more stainless-steel flatware, glass drinkware and porcelain dinnerware

A holistic approach

Some airlines are replacing a few current items to become more sustainable while others are taking an overall approach to the entire onboard meal service concept, says Philippe De Naeyer, Director of Sustainability & Product Development for gategroup’s deSter brand. For the latter, it includes eliminating items, using new materials, redesigning items and reconsidering the waste collection system. And this, De Naeyer says, is a massive task. “Developing these products requires more research than ever before because the required solutions need material development, production process development and system innovation.” When it comes to what clients are asking for in sustainable innovations, De Naeyer sums it up into three parts: • Authenticity: give a clear and true answers to the sustainability challenges • Ease of use: they should be convenient in use whilst providing the required performance and quality • Sustainability: they should clearly contribute to the sustainable efforts of the airline

Inside-the-box innovations

“In addition to sustainability, new service concepts are being pushed to the forefront thus providing a platform for airlines to lead and provide exceptional passenger experience,” Cindy Lam, Director of Clip, explains. Airlines

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Edelweiss Air. The Economy set features a box that contains an appetizer and dessert, including the cutlery pack which is wrapped in a colorful banderole. The service eliminates the need for plastic lids as the box cover seals the food and there is no additional need for a tray liner because the lid can be used to place bread or main meal on top. For Business Class, SiloxiHT ceramic is used. It portrays a clean, bone-like china look that impresses passengers at a reduced weight. The versatile design possibility of SiloxiHT offers lots of branding possibilities while the refined shapes and glazing enhance the passenger experience.

Going back to the start

Young people who are flying now place more value on experience and impact than they do on brands, AMKO International Director Joseph Catarino says. The company has also seen a return to stainless-steel


ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

flatware, glass drinkware and porcelain dinnerware. AMKO’s NEW-bone product range addresses the concerns of vegans and vegetarians by removing bone ash from the china. And, when it comes to flavor, porcelain is the best choice for dinnerware. “It neither absorbs nor imparts flavors, leaving the food to taste just as it should,” Catarino says. “The few carriers who rely on using expensive brands to design their service may not be doing their homework,” he adds. To find out exactly what passengers, airlines and crew are wanting in the future, Malton Inflight surveyed a number of carriers regarding tableware and serve ware on board. In the end, it found three main trends: legislation, customer awareness and new company environmental commitments, says Kirstie Derham, Marketing Executive, Malton Inflight. The company also reports to PAX that 70 percent of the airlines it surveyed identified biodegradable as the main capability they would like to see in new tableware and serve ware products. “Many airlines are now looking at the entire supply chain from source to serve, and this is where the true impact of the change will make a difference,” Derham says. “The movement has forced each stage of production to be looked at in detail and there is now greater emphasis on how a product will be handled by the crew, how it is disposed of in flight.” In the future, Derham expects the biggest obstacles that would make airlines reluctant to change are; the cost to airlines;

the ability for designers to replicate eco-friendly products without limitations; and, for the functionality of plastic alternatives to meet the demand of actual plastic. While the demand and change may be slow, Derham says it is a change that had to happen.

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Welcoming

wellness

WESSCO International and bedding brand partner Octaspring supply First Class cabin mattresses that distribute body weight evenly, and cool the mattress by three degrees Celsius

Improving inflight passenger wellness is about more than fulfilling basic expectations. These cabin product suppliers share the latest innovations that aim to enhance the passenger experience by JANE HOBSON

F

or many passengers today, the complimentary expectations of their class cabin, such as pillow, snack and eye mask, no longer cut it when it comes to inflight wellbeing. Whether its sustainability concerns, special dietary requests, flying-related anxiety and restlessness on extra-long-haul flights, like those planned by Qantas Airways, suppliers are coming up with interesting and effective solutions to help airlines increase passenger wellbeing while cruising through the clouds.

Rest and relaxation

WESSCO International has noticed an increase in collaborations with wellness experts, particularly in the areas of rest, nutrition, health and fitness, and the company expects to see significant growth in these areas in the next few years. “Carriers are looking for smart materials and ergonomically designed products that offer superior comfort while minimizing carbon footprint,” WESSCO International Chief

80  APRIL 2020

Marketing Officer Petros Sakkis tells PAX International. “It is about a positive travel experience and arriving at the final destination well-rested and refreshed.” According to WESSCO, passenger wellness encompasses the cabin environment, staff service, dining, inflight entertainment, amenities and gadgets provided onboard, but the company has been very active in cabin bedding in recent years. The Casper bedding program by WESSCO for American Airlines brought years of sleep research to to air travel through extensive prototype development and testing by sleep engineers. With its bedding brand partner Octaspring, WESSCO supplies sustainable cabin mattresses with proprietary technology that distributes body weight evenly across hundreds of individual extra-sensitive comfort points. It also features a patented enhanced airflow system that cools the mattress by three degrees Celsius to improve comfort and sleep.


WESSCO International recently teamed up with Myodetox to create a program of mobility movements to increase circulation and reduce stiffness inflight

Along with next generation mattresses, WESSCO predicts that more physical activity apps and nutritional supplements will enter onboard wellness manifestos. The company recently teamed up with Myodetox to create a program designed by physical therapists consisting of mobility movements to increase circulation and reduce stiffness, as well as with natural plant-based gummy brand KOS for smart supplements that enhance sleep, immunity and energy. WESSCO also exclusively offers a range of JetFuel’s nutritional supplements and botanical infusions proven to help reduce travel fatigue. “We constantly research new ways of enhancing the travel experience through meaningful product development and collaborations,” says Sakkis. “We recently partnered with Allapure to provide airlines with a scientifically proven line of hand sanitizer products that are 99.9 percent effective against viruses and superbugs – a welcome ally in dealing with the threat facing the travel industry,” he adds. WESSCO plans to reveal a diverse range of wellness products in the future.

Flying to feel well

Inflight digital service and entertainment supplier Immfly makes a point of focusing on wellness beyond the physical elements of the aircraft. The company is introducing airlines to ways they can enhance its wellness proposition with digital products and services that complement the physical comfort offerings. “Carriers are increasingly looking to find new ways that enable customers to enjoy the same onboard comforts they have access to at home,” Immfly Marketing Director Sotiris Damianos tells PAX. “Innovations PAX-INTL.COM  

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Panasonic Avionics offers a range of passenger wellness solutions, including Premium Seat Lighting that helps passengers adjust to time zone changes, fall asleep quickly and rest better. It can be personalized with customized color and brightness

says was previously unavailable to airlines. The company even provides technology that allows airlines to dynamically deploy digital surveys to passengers on board in order to better understand their needs. “Passenger wellness is ultimately about physical and mental wellbeing.”

An ecosystem of solutions

that respond to these needs fundamentally contribute to enhancing passenger wellness and reducing the stress and pain points often associated with travel," Damianos says. Since passengers link this close-to-home comfort to mental and physical wellbeing, Damianos says the goal for Immfly is to enable passengers to use their personal devices as they would in the comfort of a familiar space. The company provides a range of content to improve physical and mental health inflight. “We look to enhance their experience and ultimately bring peace of mind by letting them enjoy all types of content on-demand with the device of their choice,” Damianos says. Immfly also offers solutions that enable passengers to start or resume their content access before and after the onboard leg of the journey. “Rather than limit its focus to onboard digital content, Immfly is pioneering an approach to onboard wellness that extends to pre- and post-flight aspects of the journey,” Damianos says. “The digital tools it is providing are incorporating cabin wellness as part of one seamless experience.” In autumn of last year, the company partnered with Journey Meditation to bring 15-minute onboard meditation classes into the cabin. Through Journey LIVE, the live group meditation app, passengers can participate in tutorials on relieving stress and anxiety, improving performance, sleep and relationships, and generally promoting happiness, in addition to guidance on the basic principles of meditation. After the onboard experience, travelers can choose to become subscribers to Journey Meditation’s app. Immfly uses big data technology to monitor, analyze and supply airlines with information about their passenger’s digital footprint onboard. The digital service provider’s IFE system enables airlines to track and understand user interaction and experience with content on each flight – something Damianos

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Panasonic Avionics Director of Digital Innovation Jordan Shen says airlines are embracing the need to deliver wellness and bring a more holistic experience into the air – for all five senses. “Passengers have become more savvy in terms of their expectations during flight,” Shen explains. From products designed to minimize jet lag, reduce travel stress and increase comfort, these wellness solutions are becoming a key differentiator for airlines, he adds. Panasonic’s Premium Seat Lighting features two types of LED’s to enhance meal presentation and reduce eye strain. This “light therapy” can also help passengers adjust to time zone changes, fall asleep fast and rest better. It can be personalized with customized color and brightness and is fully integrated into the entertainment, seat and crew terminal systems allowing for both automatic and passenger control. The proprietary technology of Premium Seat Lighting controls and filters light to improve legibility and reading comfort. The nanoeTM Air Cleanser by Panasonic Avionics inhibits odors and suppresses germs and bacteria around passengers through ultra-fine, electrified water nanoparticles – 15,000 times finer than the width of human hair. The modules for nanoe are small and easily embeddable in premium seating, lounge areas, galleys and lavatories. Wellness, however, goes beyond the time passengers spend in the cabin. Panasonic has integrated functionality in airlines' applications that allows travelers to pre-order entertainment and meals before even leaving for the airport. “[This] has given us a taste for what passengers want, and what sparks their interest,” Shen says. “this In FlyFit’s Flow Hydration tablet, Fruitflow is where personalization helps support normal platelet aggregation really comes into play.”


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ONBOARD EXPERIENCE

Immfly partnered with Journey Meditation to bring 15-minute onboard meditation classes into the cabin

And, with this, airlines gain internal efficiencies that were previously impossible to achieve. It highlights disconnects between passenger demand and airline offerings, ultimately identifying areas for inventory improvement. The company is now continuing to focus on providing curated and personalized entertainment choices. “Long flights are where robust internet, better curated content, games, music, and live television come in,” says Shen. “Alternate forms of passenger entertainment, such as using the airline’s IFEC portal for enhanced shopping experiences and destination travel services, are becoming a trend.”

A helpful boost

Amsterdam-based FlyFit offers a range of products that are designed to boost physical wellness inflight. The FlyFit Flow Hydration tablet® helps maintain healthy blood flow during travel. Containing the patented ingredient Fruitflow, derived from the seeds of tomatoes, it is clinically proven to support normal platelet aggregation. FlyFit Flow Hydration tablets were developed as a natural solution designed to counteract health risks of extended inactivity, says FlyFit, and it will remain effective for 15 to 18 hours. The company recommends it for travelers who experience prolonged immobilization associated with long-haul travel. The tablets, which are now available to Emirates’ First Class passengers globally, cannot be overdosed, have no side effects and can be used in combination with any medicine, ideal for passengers and crew.

The company also launched a new drink and chocolate bar combo for inflight snacks in 2019. Made with real fruit, vitamins and minerals, the drink helps prevent dehydration during flight and is packed in recyclable materials. The vegetarian FlyFit Crispy Chocolate bar is made with Swiss chocolate and packed full of vitamins. Both are free of gluten and artificial colors, and boast a 12-month shelf life. The drink and snack combination come ready made in trolley drawers, making it “the perfect solution to save extra handling for the crew,” according to a release from the company at the time of the launch.

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ONBOARD AMENITIES

Design through decades by JANE HOBSON

Devrim Erbil has been painting the cityscapes of Turkey for decades

Galileo Watermark Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director Tamara Vazquez Perez and Zeki Cukur, Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President of Catering and Inflight Products, share a glimpse of its latest amenity kit collaboration

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erging art and airline amenities has been a time-honored winning recipe for suppliers and their airline customers. Combining the landscape, culture and art of a home country into a bag allows airlines to show off their national pride and provide a colorful souvenir for the passenger. In this Industry Q&A, PAX International talks to Galileo Watermark’s Marketing and Brand Partnerships Director Tamara Vazquez Perez and Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President of Catering and Inflight Products Zeki Cukur about the recent collaboration with artist Devrim Erbil. PAX INTERNATIONAL: Galileo Watermark and Turkish Airlines have collaborated with artist Devrim Erbil for this new amenity kit. Why go this route instead of a conventional brand collaboration? TAMARA VAZQUEZ PEREZ: While well-known branded collaborations are the norm, we wanted to create something that would differentiate the airline in the competitive kit industry. As the national carrier, Turkish Airlines works hard to

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promote the national values of Turkey to the world. As such, the intention was to create something truly unique and distinctly Turkish to provide a gateway to the beautiful country. PAX: What do we need to know about Devrim Erbil and his work as an artist? VAZQUEZ PEREZ: Erbil is an awardwinning painter from Uşak, Turkey who The designs of artist Devrim Erbil are featured on Turkish Airlines’ shorthaul Business Class kits through a partnership with Galileo Watermark

has been painting abstract and distinctive cityscapes for decades. He is one of the most important living representatives of Turkish contemporary art and is deeply influenced by the cultural heritage of his country and Istanbul, the city he has inhabited for 60 years. His works have been selected for state museums in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, and are featured internationally in a number of public and pri-


ONBOARD AMENITIES

vate collections. This is the first time we worked with a living artist. It was a very rewarding process. PAX: How did this collaboration come to be? ZEKI CUKUR: We worked closely with Galileo Watermark to bring this partnership to life, selecting our favorite pieces and developing the concept together. We were able to meet with Erbil himself to solidify our partnership and review the bags. PAX: Why is this particular artist the right one to go with? CUKUR:As the national flag carrier of Turkey, it is important that we promote and share the rich tapestry of our country with the world. Devrim Erbil is one of the The amenity kits sport the artist’s signature, creating a sense of collectible exclusivity for passengers

greatest masters of the Turkish painters and was given the title of “State Artist” by the Ministry of Culture in 1991. As one of the winners of the 2019 Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Awards, Erbil is a wonderful ambassador for our country and the arts, and we are extremely proud to work together on this kit program. His paintings of rural and urban landscapes are focused on our homeland and give a wonderful insight into our culture and heritage.

the bag looked like a piece of art that you might see hanging in a gallery. We chose saffiano leatherette which prints beautifully digitally. The colors are vibrant and the quality crisp. We also included his signature on the back of every bag with the word ‘Istanbul’, created exclusively for Turkish Airlines. It gives the kits an extra special touch and makes the bags feel exclusive. At every stage, the samples were signed off by both Erbil and Turkish Airlines.

PAX: What steps did Galileo Watermark and Turkish Airlines take to ensure the artwork stays true to the artist? VAZQUEZ PEREZ: We were guided by the experts to the paintings and designs to focus on. The hero of this collaboration is of course the artwork. It was important that

PAX: What can you tell us about the kits? VAZQUEZ PEREZ: The short-haul Business Class kits include anti-slip socks, eye mask, ear plugs, dental kit, crew information stickers, and hand cream and lip balm from natural Kiwi brand Antipodes. The kits also contain a leaflet giving specific information and a quote from Erbil about the artwork featured on each kit. PAX: How does this unique featured artwork benefit the passenger experience? CUKUR: With eight pieces to collect that each feature a unique landmark of Istanbul, they are designed to serve as a lasting memory of the passenger’s experience with the airline, and allow passengers to collect an iconic piece of art every time they fly. We hope to add a special touch to the onboard experience that will live on beyond the flight. PAX: What are the challenges and benefits of working with an artist? VAZQUEZ PEREZ: I think the challenge was the huge responsibility we all felt to treat the artwork with the utmost respect. This was more than just an everyday kit, it felt like a really special project where we were building a partnership that will certainly delight onboard. The benefit was the huge breadth of artwork that Erbil made available to us. With a career that spans decades, we were spoiled for choice and able to curate an interesting collection of prints.

These Turkish Airlines kits feature artist Devrim Erbil’s distinctive cityscape paintings

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ONBOARD AMENITIES

Virgin Atlantic kits by Galileo Watermark are designed to reduce single-use plastic and are made with fully recyclable FC craft paper

Amenities

TRENDING With 2020 marking 10 years since the launch of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards, Founder Simon Ward reflects on what has changed since and shares what he predicts for the future of the amenity kit sector

Singapore Airlines exclusive range of Lalique branded kits in collaboration with FORMIA are specifically designed for use after flight

Simon Ward, Founder, TravelPlus

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The biker’s bag kit for Lufthansa features buckles and is distributed on outbound routes

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s I reflect on the developments of the last 12 months, I realize that it is already 10 years since the debut of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards in celebration of the creation and design of onboard amenity kits. It is with pride that I feel TravelPlus has elevated the market perspective on amenity kits. It starts a conversation about the future of passenger’s travel needs. Ten years ago, the amenity kit was rarely celebrated, yet today we see kits featured magazines, trade publications and online travel outlets. It is not uncommon for an airline to hold a fully publicized event to launch a new brand partnership in their onboard amenities. We have also witnessed the introduction of new awards, proving a thirst to reward the passion and detail in amenity kit development. Last year, the airline business environment deteriorated between rising fuel prices and a weakening of world trade. It is worth noting that last year


Icelandair’s range of amenity kits, in partnership with WESSCO International, are inspired by the region’s natural habitat and folklore. They feature skincare products by Icelandic cosmetic company Hannes Dottir

This reusable travel mug with lid and PET recycled sleeve from skysupply is part of Condor’s efforts to embrace sustainability in its onboard amenity offerings

was also the 10th consecutive year in the black for the airline industry which is certainly something to be celebrated. Even still, stiff competition between airlines for passenger numbers has kept overall yields low, and it is now expected that the effect of coronavirus will compound the already fragile situation. As I write, it appears that uncertainty has already claimed the first small airline, with predictions of more to follow. That said, I believe that the international airline industry will bounce back, and passengers will continue to fly for business and leisure. A global economy relies on the transport of people and product, so airlines will need to develop and offer passengers added value in the shape on amenity kits. Having spent the past six weeks with focus groups judging the entries into the 2019 TravelPlus Airline Amenity Awards it is very clear that budgets are being stretched to the maximum. The First Class airline amenity kit is still king of the brands. Many airlines are partnering with a bag brand and using a different brand for the cosmetics contained within. For example, the Swiss International Airlines female amenity bag is designed by Bally while cosmetics are by La Prairie.

Saudi Arabian Airlines have Missoni branded bags with Sprekenhus cosmetics. In general, First Class kits continue to represent a gift to the most valued – and valuable – customer. They have larger cosmetics and gifts for passengers. They are about airline’s saying “thank you” rather than focusing on usability. Singapore Airlines leads the way in this regard. Its exclusive range of Lalique branded kits in collaboration with FORMIA are specifically designed for after flight. The womens’ bag is a jewelry box and the mens’ kit is a washbag. All Singapore Airlines First Class kits contain a Lalique scented candle as a gift and reminder of the voyage. Looking at Business Class amenity kits, airlines are embracing both color and design. More are working with brands and concepts close to home. Icelandair’s recent range of amenity kits, in partnership with WESSCO International, are inspired by the dramatic natural habitat and animals of the region, including the arctic fox, glacial parks and puffins. The kits also include a range of skincare products by well-known Icelandic cosmetic company Hannes Dottir. Business Class kit creators are embracing innovative design, such as Lufthansa’s biker’s bags and doctor’s kits. The biker’s bag features buckles and is distributed on outbound routes, with the doctor's kit given to passengers on inbound flights. Both kits are available in cognac and dark leather-look materials. Passengers receive a collectible item from their travels and the airline is able to experiment with different designs. While branded cosmetics are found in most kits in this class, it is really only Middle East airlines that concentrate on branded bags. Beyond this, only a few airlines are extending the brands to the bags themselves, with Turkish Airlines collaborating with Versace, KLM with Jan Taminiau, and Finnair continuing its long-established brand partnership with Marimekko. European airlines have truly begun to embrace sustainability, with more than 30 percent of kits in this year’s awards containing items made from bamboo or psm corn material, most of which come in recyclable packaging. Premium Economy kit suppliers are pushing boundaries. This can be seen in Condor’s recent offerings created with skysupply that provides a reusable travel mug made from eco-friendly bamboo fiber, with a Silicon lid and a PET recycled sleeve to protect from heat. Also seen is the inclusion of bamboo toothbrushes, reduced plastic packaging and more sustainable fabrics. Virgin Atlantic kits by Galileo Watermark are designed to reduce single-use plastic with the bags made of responsibly sourced and fully recyclable FC craft paper. The comfort items are selected without using plastic packaging and includes a BambuuBrush toothbrush, 2-in-1 White Glo toothpaste and mouthwash, ear plugs and a paper pen. Generally speaking, there appears to be very little difference between Economy and Premium Economy kits. Indeed, in design, content and form, the kits are similar. Last year saw Saudi Arabian Airlines introduce a collection aimed at PAX-INTL.COM  

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ONBOARD AMENITIES

sharing the distinct colors and patterns unique to each Saudi region, drawing on architecture and heritage. They are created in an eco-friendly manner, using recycled materials in both content and packaging, and designed as a collector’s series adding a distinctive slant in Economy kits. In summary, it is clear that we are seeing more standardization of content across all classes. Despite the hype around sustainability, it is disappointing to see more than 80 percent of kits submitted to the awards still contain plastic items: combs, toothbrushes and packaging. So, as designers and suppliers are sourcing alternative sustainable products, airlines still seem reluctant to include them. This is likely due to the price point of such items as sustainability is not a cheap option. But, due to economy of scale, the more airlines to adopt sustainable products, the cheaper the items will become. Few airlines have included any new product types, but, lens cloths, nail files and makeup remover pads have been incorporated. In the next 12 months, I hope more airlines will consider including practical items rather than the standard plastic 2-in-1 foldable comb or sample-size cosmetics, replacing with larger sizes that can be used more than once. The onboard amenity market is buoyant with emerging cosmetic and fashion brands keen to join and gain access to a large audience of affluent potential customers. But, a word of caution: the brand does not always give the intended added value to an amenity kit, as misaligned brands are often a turn-off for passengers. As a result, we are seeing some airlines shift to non-branded bags, or branding the bags with the airline logo. Such is the case with Air France, which has a long heritage of gifting passenger’s high-quality kits across all classes that truly reflect its brand rather than any third party. It is clear from the feedback received from this year’s judges; passengers still love to receive a kit during travel. Although the style, design and content may move with trends, if it meets passenger demand, the cherished amenity kit will be with us for a long time yet.

SAUDIA introduced collectible kits with distinct colors and patterns inspired by the region’s architecture and heritage

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ALBÉA TRAVEL DESIGNER’S AMENITY KIT MANIA by JANE HOBSON

Albéa Travel Designer’s Fly Green amenity kit collection uses recyclable, recycled or bio-based materials to show that sustainable options are stylish and price effective

Last year held many accomplishments for Albéa Travel Designer. It tapped France-based beauty company Melvita for a new Aircalin kit featuring the brand’s hand cream, face cream and lip balm. Albéa and Aircalin renewed its contract for one year with a new skincare partnership that will be disclosed this summer. The designer also released a number of kits for its long-time partner Air France; a pouch for all La Première, Business, Premium Economy and Economy passengers on long-haul flights with Carita cosmetics; it brought back the “You & Me” kit for Business passengers in updated colors featuring Clarins cosmetics; it debuted a new infant comfort pouch with Mustela baby beauty products and a diaper; and, it updated the airline’s Premium Economy kit. Most recently, Albéa delivered a refreshed two-tone padded texture kit for long-haul Premium Economy passengers and a leather case with face and body treatments by Carita for the La Première cabin. Albéa and Air France have been working together for more than 15 years. In the year ahead, Albéa will have a “strong” focus on sustainability, Marketing and Brand Partnership Manager Maxime Ridoux tells PAX International. The company will launch the “Fly Green” collection of bags, accessories, amenities and cosmetics. “Those collections will show that a great diversity of materials, recyclable, recycled or bio-based, can be stylish and price effective,” Ridoux says. The Group was the first packaging provider to sign the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. By joining, Albéa agrees to make 100 percent of plastic packaging reusable, set a recycled content target of 10 percent across all plastic packaging used, eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging and move towards reuse models where relevant, all by 2025. The company is already making strides toward these ambitious goals, linking up with Colgate for its first ever fully recyclable toothpaste tube and the first carton base tube for L’Oréal, as well as joining L’Oréal’s SPICE (the Sustainable Packaging Initiative for CosmEtics).

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The value of

experience Anne De Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience, explores the way Return-On-Experience and longterm values such as loyalty, network, sustainability, transparency and authenticity are becoming increasingly important to the success of airlines ROX Rocks

A decade ago, the role of price in the decision-making journey of travelers was the key driver. A couple of years later, it was about price versus convenience. Still later came more intangible factors, such as customer service, transparency and sustainability, which hint at the value travelers increasingly place on authentic and meaningful experiences. But, the reality today is that while the economics of price and convenience are still important, travelers are enabled by technology to curate their own experience and balance additional factors such as quality, social approval, environmental impact and a number of things personally important to them — whatever dimension they see as providing value to their experience.

Meaningful experiences

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness among airlines that they need to deliver smart, more traveler-centric, sustainable and meaningful experiences. Just as Uber and Lyft changed the way that travelers get from point A to B on the ground, other disruptors in the travel space, such as Airbnb and ZipCar, have served as a wake-up call for many airlines and travel companies. Airline leaders realize that connected travelers have more power over their success (or failure) than ever before. The digital revolution has enabled travelers to interact with airlines anywhere and anytime, and travelers can influence a global audience with their "comments" or "like." Shareability, flexibility and technology-driven

convenience are essential characteristics of the future travel experience. With travelers focused more than ever on those attributes that make up the totality of their experience, it’s time for airlines to focus on and measure their Return-on-Experience (ROX).

ROX = CX + EX

ROX is a new performance management metric that captures a company’s return on its investment in customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). It connects the value delivered by "soft" investments in human culture with "hard" investments in products, technology and analytics. ROX is not a single, simple, universally applicable metric, a flavor of Net Promoter Score or another kind of balanced scorecard.

AIRLINE VALUE CREATION TRAVELER QUALITY & EXPERIENCE

TECHNOLOGY ENABLER

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY EXPERIENCE DRIVEN

Return-on-Experience (ROX) is a new performance management metric that captures a company's return on its investment in Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX).

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AIRLINE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

EFFICIENCY & SAVINGS

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copyright © 2020 IN.ATX


AIRLINE VALUE CREATION The growing importance of Return- on-Experience (ROX)

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The growing importance of Return- on-Experience (ROX)

copyright © 2020 IN.ATX

Return-On-Experience is not a single, simple, universally applicable metric. It is dynamic, company-wide and leverages the interdependencies existing in business systems and human value"

It is dynamic, company-wide and leverages the interdependencies existing in business systems and human value. Research done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2017 reveals that companies that make experience a priority can charge a premium of up to 16 percent for their products and services. And a 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that companies that provide a great employee experience are 25 percent more profitable than companies that don’t. Many airline leaders are beginning to recognize Return-On-Experience as a critical way for their companies to create lasting value. They are investing in CX to build customer loyalty, and in EX to improve their culture and transform their workforce. They know that CX and EX are related; emotional engagement among employees tends to produce high customer engagement.

Delivering ROX

Airlines and travel companies need to map their traveler journeys, isolate the touch points and factors that drive experience, and invest more in those elements that will move the needle on interactions and yield measurable results — or ROX. Simultaneously, ROX also considers whether the company is driving the behaviors in the organization that are key to designing and delivering better online and physical experiences. In order to do so, airlines have had to get much smarter about

how to use technology, data, and process to squeeze additional capacity out of limited resources.

The next generation data and analytics

While big data and analytics became popular in the previous decade, there is still a lot of untapped potential. The race to extract meaningful and valuable insights out of new data sources has only just begun. Machine learning models that – despite not being quite capable of general artificial intelligence – should prove really useful in reaching gains and improvements for the industry, from predicting demand to price optimisation and inventory management to maximize revenue growth. For example, airlines now have tools at their disposal to accurately forecast demand on a cabin level, resulting in a deeper understanding of their true profit in a market. However, trust, ownership of data and the reluctance to share data remain huge barriers between key stakeholders along the traveler’s journey, and it is in their mutual interest to make data exchanges more fluid, whilst ensuring it is safe and secure. The benefits of this exchange will mean a more seamless journey toward developing more sophisticated, enhanced analytics.

Dynamic personalization

Airlines are stepping up their game to adapt and engage individual traveler types by analyzing their preferences,

© 2020 IN.ATX behavior and demographics, copyright and by getting smarter about every single touch point. In the decade to come, each part of the journey will be impacted through personalization powered by machine learning, from inflight services to pretrip planning and disruption recovery. New and exciting interactive customer engagement strategies are being launched. They make travelers feel noticed and appreciated, which is critical to building brand loyalty. Travelers not only want real-time communication; they also want more actionable information. As a result, more data has been integrated into the end-to-end travel experience to create a more proactive, seamless interaction between traveler and service provider. Airlines that have embraced customer-centric thinking have redesigned their operations to deliver a full experience connecting online and in real life. Providers across the industry will endeavor to link their value to traveler data. Whether it’s manufacturing or tech services, every part of the ecosystem has an opportunity to be valuable to airlines and travelers. The skies being crowded, competition fierce and operational environment extremely complex, travelers increasingly expect curated, channel-agnostic, socially conscious and social media–powered experiences. In other words, CX initiatives that drive business value are becoming far more critical to long-term success. Linking investments in CX and EX to strategy, culture, talent management and traveller values will improve customer experience, build loyalty and ultimately lead to improved financial results.

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The EEL aircraft is a startup concept from Ampaire in Hawthorne, California

URBAN AIR

mobility

Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis ponders the future of sustainable city hopping and air transport’s ongoing efforts to minimize environmental impact

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ome voices are calling for drastic changes in air transport in order to minimize and offset emissions as well as limit our carbon footprint. Environmental leaders highlight that air travel is not sustainable. Some talk about “flight-shaming.” Several critics even call for a ban on air travel. Let’s think twice about this. No one in the air transport industry wants to be responsible for increased emissions, noise level and congested traffic. In fact, air transport and the regulatory bodies have, and will continue, to invest heavily in making travel more sustainable than ever before. Aircraft manufactured using lighter composite materials make air frames lighter. Engines are more fuel efficient, the increased attention to biofuels are among the sustainable practices that are in place. Although air travel is responsible for an approximately 2 percent of global carbon emissions, it is still among those industries that do the most to minimize its impact. In fact, air transport is among the most entrepreneurial and innovative industries. Yet more things remain to be done. So far, travelers have

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taken action and do the following to minimize their carbon footprint: • select direct routes to minimize emissions (most emissions are caused during take-off) • investigate the type of aircraft used (newer aircraft tend to be more fuel efficient) • become an efficient packer (only pack the absolute necessities to minimize the weight of luggage)

The opportunity – what’s coming next

Air travel is inevitable and will not go away. Yet, passengers are more adept in changing their flying and commuting habits. Electric cars and public transportation are here to stay. Slowly we start seeing other electric powered means of transportation. The range varies from electric powered tankers to electric powered aircraft. Residents in cities where there are traffic challenges are always looking for opportunities to keep mobile. Looking closely at air traffic patterns, we see that

Stathis Kefallonitis

a large majority of air travel is short haul. That’s where the need for urban air mobility (UAB) is. This is not a new concept but as commuters and passengers are more sensitive to sustainability and efficient travel, opportunities emerge. A few years back Solar Impulse 2 demonstrated what could be possible in the future. New and improved composite material, electric motors and new technologies are providing room for new aircraft designs. Disruptive innovators like Uber and Lyft have changed the way that


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we think about going places. Culture change is inevitable as well as offering alternative options of travel. This makes new ways of travel more marketable. Just the way that we have adapted our way of thinking regarding rideshares, we may be able to do so in other means of transportation such as urban air travel. An increasing number of passengers are keen to ridesharing and other greener options of commuting from one location to another. Providing flexible commuting options for driving distances of about two to three hours can create a new travel category. Emerging data shows that an increasing number of commuters would consider flight-share in short-distance flights. If we add to the mix safety, convenience and reduced carbon footprint, then we have a winning combination. Engineers and researchers are working diligently in shaping the future of air travel. Changing mindsets in air travel are exploring hybrid and electric aircraft, multicopters and passenger drones. EmbraerX, City Airbus, Volocopter, EHang, Ampaire, Joby are among a few companies that are testing new flying machines and aircraft. Airlines,

The Joby VTOL aircraft can fly 200 mph and 150 miles on a single electronic charge

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such as Harbour Air Seaplanes, are heavily investing in electric aircraft and shaping their operations around them. A lot remains to be done until we can book a flight on and start seeing electric aircraft buzzing in the skies. One crucial element for the success of urban air travel is educating travelers and shifting their way of thinking.

Changing mindsets

Besides creating trends such as urban air travel, the industry truly cares about creating more options for passengers. Corporate diversity that respects traveler values yet is also credible and adaptable is key.

Innovation and entrepreneurship with regards to design, quality and reliability are essential. Commuter and passenger engagement as a means of increasing affinity could help strengthen loyalty. With the help of psychologists and behavioral scientists, we understand that passengers are good in identifying patterns and create mental summaries of these. If these patterns are emotionally engaging, there is a higher the likelihood

that they will remember them. The more vivid the pattern, the stronger the recall. Urban air travel needs to be a game-changer if it is destined to succeed. All steps of the passenger journey need to be examined carefully. The entire travel process needs to communicate clear value. Having a truly sustainable travel experience must translate to safety, caring for the environment, saving time, being flexible and adaptable (able to change plans). The momentum and interest around electric aircraft shows the need and the availability of technological means to reach the goal of urban air travel. These are truly exciting times. What is yet to be determined is continuous incentives to drive these attempts to fruition and investment. Investment both in terms of generating capital to support the development of new material and technology and the creation of a memorable and valuable travel journey. Finally, what will seal the deal is how this new air travel means will be communicated and how it will be embraced by the public.


PROFESSIONAL PAJAMAS MANUFACTURER We can also produce and supply amenity kit and other inflight products

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Clear skies for

Vietnam Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Pacific Onboard Travel, highlights how new airlines, terminals and catering facilities in Vietnam are making it easier than ever for the Southeast Asian country to show off its breathtaking sights, culture and cuisine

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T The world’s largest spring roll was created at APOT Asia 2014 in Nha Trang City, Vietnam, making The Guinness Book of World Records

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Among the many historical attractions Vietnam has to offer is Hue, the country’s lost imperial city. Located on the bank of Song Huong, this was once the national capital, political, cultural and religious center of Vietnam under the rule of the Nguyen Dynasty. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

he days of Vietnam being cut off from the rest of the world are long gone. In the last 15 years, economic growth and the tourism interest in the country has caused Vietnam to blossom into one of the most popular destinations to visit in Asia. Tourism growth increased 200 percent from 2018 to 2019, solidifying the country as a truly great holiday destination. It’s safe, it’s inexpensive and it has lot to offer, while many of its locations remain untouched. The country has distinct north and south regions – which can be tasted in the food – joined together by a long beach stretched along the South China Sea. The north has four seasons with snow-topped mountains, whereas the south of Vietnam is a true tropical climate, with temperatures from 20 to 38 degrees Celsius for most of the year. Vietnam boasts numerous intersections with its neighbors near and far. It is a favored spot for those who travel by sea and serves as a popular cruise port in the region. On land, Vietnam is connected to China, Cambodia and Thailand where the travelers can enter at border crossings. Meanwhile, the modernization of the airline business in the last 15 years makes it easy for local and international travelers to reach many of Vietnam’s beautiful cities by air. And, the country offers direct international flights to Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and soon the USA. The country’s national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has a comprehensive domestic network and is growing to accommodation many destinations in Europe, Australia and Asia. For those looking to explore more within the country’s border, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), a fully owned subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, flies to rural destinations in Vietnam. Vietjet, the country’s low-cost airline, has a massive fleet that flies to nearly all 35 airports in Vietnam and other Asian destinations. Jetstar Pacific is another low-cost airline headquartered in Vietnam as a joint Australian-Vietnamese brand under Jetstar Airways. And, with just one year in business, Bamboo Airways is the youngest airline in Vietnam skies posing direct competition with local carriers, such as Vietnam Airlines. Owned by Vietnam five-star hotel and resort operator FLC Group, Bamboo features a full-service cabin with modern interiors and high-end inflight offers. The airline, which began operations in January 2019, will soon starting flying to Singapore and Japan, and will embark on the first Vietnam-owned-airline direct flight across the globe to Los Angeles in mid-2020. Bamboo appears to be seeking a five-star rating itself, and based on its service and brand new 787 Dreamliners, it wouldn’t be a shock if it’s the first Vietnam airline to achieve this. Air travel competition in Vietnam has become equivalent to that of Europe and the USA with lots of airline options for travelers to choose from. The competition and affordability of these local flights has prompted not only foreigners to visit, but also for some of the 96 million people who call Vietnam home to explore the beauty of the country. And, of course, these travelers’ journey through the country’s expanding airports: • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) – Located about four miles from Ho Chi Minh City, SGN is that largest airport in Vietnam and operates from two terminals, Domestic Terminal 1 and International Terminal 2. It handled more than 38 million passengers in 2018. PAX-INTL.COM  

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GUEST COLUMN

GET COOKIN’: CHA CA LA VONG

For most people who enjoy travel, it’s safe to say their palette includes Italian, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, Thai, Japanese and perhaps even Vietnamese. Like many other regions with deep historical roots, the food culture in Vietnam goes back centuries. As expected, food from the north of the country differs from that of the tropical southern region. Here’s a fun fish dish to try bringing a piece of Vietnam into your kitchen:

Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific Onboard Travel

• Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) – This the largest airport in northern Vietnam serving the capital city of Hanoi. International Terminal 2 opened in 2014 and offers 96 check-in counters, ten self-service kiosks, 17 boarding gates and 283 flight information display systems. Domestic flights operate from Terminal 1. • Da Nang International Airport (DAD) – This transportation hub in the central region is approximately one mile from the city center. The newest terminal opened at the end of 2018 and offers modern facilities, shopping and dining options. With such high travel demand at these locations, there are still some gaps when it comes to required ground services – particularly catering and ground handling. To alleviate this issue at SGN, airport services provider Southern Airport Service Joint Stock Company (SASCO) has an international catering facility at the airport to help support the booming industry demand. The facility is designed for growth and currently has the strength to deliver between 12,000 and 15,000 meals per day.

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INGREDIENTS 2 two-inch pieces fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1-inch fresh peeled ginger, chopped 2 inches fresh peeled galangal, chopped (or substitute ginger) 1-and-a-half pounds skinless hake fillets, cut in 2-inch squares ¼ cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam) 3 tablespoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons chile flakes 1/ 3 cup lime juice 2 tablespoons sugar 4 ounces dried Vietnamese or Thai rice noodles (also called rice stick) 1 head Bibb lettuce, rinsed, trimmed, core removed, sliced thinly ¼ cup canola oil 1 teaspoon salt 1 medium-large onion, sliced thin vertically 1 and 1/2 bunches scallions, trimmed and chopped 1 bunch dill, stems discarded, fronds coarsely chopped ½ cup each cilantro leaves, mint leaves and Thai basil ¼ cup chopped roasted salted peanuts ¼ cup crisp fried shallots (sold in jars in Southeast Asian stores), or canned fried onions PREPARATION Place the fresh turmeric, ground turmeric, ginger and galangal in a food processor or mini-chopper. Process until very fine, almost a paste. Transfer to a stainless-steel dish. Wash food processor immediately to prevent staining. Place the fish in a bowl. Rub mixture all over fish, remembering to wear gloves or plastic bags on your hands to avoid turmeric stains. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. Combine fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, half the chile flakes, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate. Place noodles in another bowl, cover with warm water and set aside 10 minutes until softened. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, drain noodles and add to boiling water. Cook 1 minute, then drain. Spread lettuce on a serving platter. Spread noodles over lettuce. Cover lightly with a sheet of foil or plastic wrap. Place oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and heat to a high temperature. Add fish pieces. When seared on one side, 1 minute or so, turn to sear other side, sprinkle with salt and remaining chile flakes and cook through, another minute or two. Remove to another platter. Add onions to pan and reduce heat to medium. When onions start to brown, add remaining garlic, stir, and add scallions. Stir again. Tuck fish pieces back into the pan and add the dill. Cook about 1 minute, just enough to warm fish. Remove pan from heat. Spread contents of the pan, including all the oil, on noodles. Scatter herbs on top, then toss on peanuts and fried shallots. Serve with sauce on the side. Sourced from: vietnameonline.com


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UNIFORMS REPORT

E R U T U O C N CABI t re a testamen a s m r o if n u on e Today ’s aviati bility and a sense of plac ina to style, susta A NE PITTILL

by MARY JA

Turkish Airlines uniforms are inspired by the many classical details in Turkish culture, from the currents of the Bosphorus to artisanal glassware

S

ome of the world’s leading airlines have announced exciting changes to their cabin crew uniforms, as they seek to create a good first impression with passengers. Style, a sense of place and sustainability are all coming to the fore in the latest designs. Japan Airlines (JAL) has revealed its new uniforms for cabin crew, ground staff, pilots and other uniformed representatives, slated to launch in April 2020. The collection was designed by Yasutoshi Ezumi, a renowned name in Japanese fashion. The airline has shifted its attention to sustainability by using recycled materials in the making of the garments. For the cabin crew, two concepts – Refined Hybrid Beauty and Hybrid Modern Beauty – were created by Ezumi. Different materials were combined in the design, and the airline's corporate logo and signature red color were also incorporated into the new styles. The airline notes that the silhouette of the one-piece uniform represents the curve of a crane's neck, part of the JAL logo, which was paired with a balloon-shaped sleeve, a rarity in the airline industry.

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The mySKYPRO Portal provides a customized uniform shopping experience for crew, giving them 100 percent control


Inspirations from Saudi Arabia’s culture and landscape influence SAUDIA’s new uniform designs

SKYPRO uses sustainable raw materials such as ocean-recycled plastic for shoe soles and vegan leather

Heritage and identity

To celebrate its 85th anniversary, Turkish Airlines redesigned its cabin crew uniforms last year. This change brought the cabin, cockpit, ground handling personnel and flying chef uniforms together under a single design to provide passengers with a more unified brand experience. Italian haute couturier Ettore Bilotta designed the cabin uniforms, which were specially sewn by Vakko, a Turkish fashion company. The uniforms, in flag-red and anthracite grey colors, were inspired by the many classical details in Turkish culture, from the currents of the Bosphorus to the artisanal glassware, ceramics and calligraphy patterns produced by local artisans. Turning to Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), its new cabin crew uniforms feature a refined new take on the attire designed for members of the hospitality team onboard. The overall look and image come as part of the carrier’s cabin enhancement and hospitality additions. The uniforms feature a color palette that includes shades of purple, beige, gold and royal blue. Arabesque designs and accents feature throughout, from the pins to the women’s scarf, fabrics

and signature blazer. Inspirations from the nation’s culture and landscape influence the new designs, encompassing the heritage, colors and identity of Saudi Arabia. The new uniform gives a revitalized look from the name badge to cufflinks, belts, suit, hat, pin, shoes and travel bag. A consortium of designers and product specialists within the airline designed the new custom cabin crew apparel, which took roughly 18 months from design to launch. In the development, SAUDIA incorporated input from its team members, including perspectives on ease of wear and material comfort. The materials used include a selection of mixed poly-wool and elastane fabrics. The national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia began the preview of the new uniform on the airline’s Paris and London Heathrow routes, with the complete rollout expected by mid-2021. Meanwhile, Norwegian is set to replace its uniforms this year and has unveiled a new initiative to upcycle its old uniforms into bags which will be sold for charity.

PAX-INTL.COM  

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UNIFORMS REPORT

The low-cost carrier has launched a pilot project, Still Travelling with Norwegian, in partnership with Norway-based social enterprise Sisters in Business, which creates jobs for immigrant women through local textile production. Old uniforms will be upcycled into a range of products, starting with a checkered toiletry bag and a silk clutch. They will then be sold on selected short-haul flights from Oslo, with profits supporting children’s charity UNICEF.

Carbon footprint reduction

Airline companies looking for sustainable initiatives can turn to aviation uniform supplier SKYPRO, which is set to introduce its SKYPROEcologic line of sustainable uniform initiatives. The uniforms are made for flight crew, cabin crew and ground staff. They use sustainable raw materials such as recycled bamboo-cotton biodegradable fibers, ocean-recycled plastic for shoe soles, recycled polyester linings and vegan alternatives to leather. Each item is customized for each client. Jorge Pinto, SKYPRO Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, tells PAX International the SKYPROEcologic initiative looks to reduce the carbon footprint of uniforms at every step – from production to wear. “Airlines are increasingly committed to reducing their carbon footprint, with some pledging to go carbon neutral by 2050,” he says. “As a uniform supplier dedicated to the aviation sector, it is our responsibility as well to help them achieve their sustainability goals where we can. Throughout the next decade SKYPRO envisions itself leading the ecological uniform movement.” “Larger airlines order more than 20 tons of uniforms per year; therefore, we know we can make a positive impact in helping them reach their goals,” he continues. “Furthermore, crew are increasingly conscious of their own carbon footprint and therefore it is of utmost importance to our mission of helping improve the health and wellbeing of crew that we can help them satisfy their needs.” SKYPRO only works with Oeko-Tex® certified textiles to ensure they are free from potentially harmful substances and improve the health and wellbeing of crew. In addition, SKYPRO ensures all products being delivered in Europe and to the Middle East are produced in Europe, further reducing the shipment’s carbon footprint from manufacturer to client. In a separate development for global airline customers, SKYPRO is launching its new purchasing portal designed for uniform forecasting and management. “Over the course of our 16-year history working with airlines that have tens of thousands of employees to outfit, we recognized a need in uniform fulfilment that requires a more streamlined, intelligent process,” Pinto explains. “That is why we launched the mySKYPRO Portal. Our platform offers something unique to the industry and is proprietary to SKYPRO – an artificial intelligence algorithm for uniform forecasting and management.” The portal provides a customized shopping experience for crew, giving them 100 percent control; artificial intelligence that notifies managers of the optimal time to place orders; full integration with other airline Enterprise Planning Systems and with any uniform supplier; and instant reporting for account managers.

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Japan Airlines has shifted its attention to sustainability by using recycled materials in its new cabin crew uniforms

“We feel this will be an industry gamechanger to all involved in uniform management as well as the crew,” enthuses Pinto. “We have listened to the needs of the aviation industry and provided an intelligent solution that aims to streamline the process for uniform managers and flight crews while reducing uniform management complexity, time and cost. This technological innovation will take SKYPRO from being a uniform supplier to becoming a complete uniform management service provider, putting us at the forefront of the digital revolution in this industry.”


WINE AND SPIRITS

Crafted to captivate by JANE HOBSON

Crafthouse Cocktails supplies pre-made bottled cocktails, from classics like the Southside, to twists such as the Rum Old Fashioned

This craft cocktail supplier shares why it’s the perfect time to branch into the industry as ready-to-serve concoctions are swallowing up the inflight beverage sector

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s technology continues to improve the experience from gate to gate, passengers are looking for a refined, unique and personalized inflight experience now more than ever. Whether it’s the ability to catch up on their favorite show, try a delicious new vegan meal option or relax with their favorite cocktail, an inflight experience with options that match those of life on the ground is exactly what Crafthouse Cocktails has set out to deliver. The Chicago-based company specializes in ready-to-serve bottled pre-made cocktails, from classics like the Southside, to more modern options such as the Gold Rush and even twists on classics, with its Rum Old Fashioned.

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Crafthouse Cocktails was born out of a vision of industry veterans and longtime friends Matt Lindner and Charles Joly, who began their entry into the bar and restaurant industry in the early 1990s. In 2007, the duo was influencing the revival of classic cocktails with the opening of the award-winning cocktail bar The Drawing Room in Chicago. In 2008, The Drawing Room was named “Best Cocktail Bar” at the annual Tales of the Cocktail Convention, as well as Bar and Nightclub Magazine’s “Venue of the Year.” When Lindner and Joly discovered that avid cocktail fans wanted to duplicate their cocktails in their own homes – but lacked the expertise and confidence to succeed – they sought to find a solution.

Matt Lindner (left) and Charles Joly, Co-Founders, Crafthouse Cocktails

“We worked to overcome all of the traditional challenges of bottled beverages being overly sugary, grain neutral or malt-based with low quality, synthetic ingredients,” Crafthouse Cocktails Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Lindner tells PAX International in February. Ice dilution and flavor profiles are taken into account to avoid a watereddown taste, and only high-quality, all-natural ingredients are used. Now, the “always consistent and delicious” cocktails are available in a format that is as simple as pouring on ice and serving.


WINE AND SPIRITS

Crafthouse Cocktails’ Moscow Mule flew on the North American routes of Chicagobased carrier United Airlines for two years starting in 2015

Crafthouse Cocktails’ Moscow Mule flew on the North American routes of Chicago-based carrier United Airlines for two years starting in 2015. When PAX International caught up with Lindner at the beginning of the year, the craft beverage supplier was preparing for its launch on Virgin Voyages cruises in March. Having a perfectly balanced and tasteful cocktail has long been desired at sporting and entertainment events, weddings, restaurants, on vacation and during inflight meal and drink service – but it wasn’t always as readily available due to venues lacking fresh ingredients or proper staffing. “To have all the flavors come through without one overpowering the other is the key to any good cocktail. How often do you see someone making a face

Pre-made cocktails by Crafthouse Cocktails are available in Gold Rush, Smoky Margarita, Pineapple Daiquiri, Rum Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Paloma and Southside

because a cocktail is too sweet or too sour? Or they have a hard time drinking it because it is too boozy. There are many people who are turned away from a classic cocktail and we suspect that they have just never really had a good, well-balanced one,” Lindner explains. The typical cocktail does not skew to a particular profile. “We cater to those who will pick their alcoholic beverage of choice based on mood and atmosphere,” Lindner adds. And this is certainly reflected in the choices passengers are now making on board. “It’s more of a mindset, similar to how people are now more discerning in their choices about what they eat,” Lindner says. “You can see it in applications like the spiked seltzers

that have disrupted the entire beer industry as well as the higher quality ready-to-serve cocktails that we supply.” The beverages are packaged in 200-milliliter aluminum cans that are lightweight and recyclable, a format that is convenient for flight attendants while serving onboard. The passenger just needs a cup of ice and the cocktail. Two-serving bottles are also available at a premium price point, ideal for sharing. The company recently refreshed its bottle labels to better express the cocktails and ingredients and introduced new recyclable, virtually indestructible bottles. It added three additional cocktails to its offering. Smoky Margarita, Pineapple Daiquiri and Rum Old Fashioned now join its roster that includes Gold Rush, Moscow Mule, Paloma and Southside. The trend of prepared cocktails is here to stay, according to Lindner. “When we first launched, we were primarily retail because on-premise venues, such as airlines, still wanted to construct their own cocktails,” he explains. “Now, those same venues are serving pre-made options and seeing the benefit in inventory control, consistency, labor savings and quality.” In the year ahead, Crafthouse Cocktails plans to attend travel industry events to expose the brand to all sectors. In the meantime, the company will continue seeking travel and transportation partners and preparing for future launches.

Craft beverage supplier Crafthouse Cocktails is launching on Virgin Voyages cruises this spring

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WINE AND SPIRITS

Soaring seltzer by RICK LUNDSTROM

Spiked Seltzer from BON & VIV was scheduled for introduction on Delta aircraft in March

A new pre-mixed cocktail has made its way from the Sky Lounge to the cabin after a successful trial by Delta Air Lines

T

o prepare for the crowd of young travelers leaving college for spring break and to follow the trend for packaged and pre-mixed cocktails, Delta Air Lines added a new, specially developed Spiked Seltzer from Norwalk, Connecticut-based BON & VIV to its domestic flight service in March. Beginning in March, passengers in Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Delta Comfort+ could enjoy a free 12 ounce can of premium BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer, and Main Cabin passengers could purchase the product for US$8. The clean and crisp, zero-sugar, 90-calorie, gluten-free seltzer is available in two natural flavors – grapefruit and lemon-lime. “We have a keen focus on listening to customer feedback and innovating our food and beverage programs to provide more choice,” said Mike Crowley, Vice President, Onboard Service Operations, in the announcement of the new product. “Spiked seltzer has been a fast-growing trend in the beverage industry, so we knew it was something our customers wanted.” The product went through tests and evaluations for the past

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year at domestic Delta Sky Clubs where the airline introduced BON & VIV. “These new beverage options are just one way we are honing our focus on the onboard beverage experience,” said Crowley. “Customers can expect to see other new products and innovations including more proprietary mixers and elevated craft cocktail presentations throughout the year.” Delta has also been serving its Cocktail of the Moment on domestic flights over the past several months. Featuring fresh, seasonal flavors, Delta’s most recent Cocktail of the Moment will be the Lavender Sour served to domestic Delta One and Delta Premium Select passengers this summer. The BON & VIV products were developed by Nick Shields. Shields is the former production manager for Nantucket Nectars, a juice company in Boston. He then moved on to winemaker Wolffer Estate on Long Island. After studying food science at Cornell University, fermentation science at University of California Davis, Shields went on to develop products for Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes. Shields’ greatgreat-grandfather, Rudolph Haffenreffer, founded Boston's Haffenreffer Brewery in 1870. With BON & VIV, Shields is seeking to create a new kind of beverage by combining the disciplines of brewing, winemaking, and natural flavors. After refining nearly 100 batches, Spiked Seltzer was born.


˜


WINE AND SPIRITS

Exquisitely Italian Italian botanicals are teamed with Alpine water for Bottega’s Bacur Gin

Bottega SpA will have its brand front and center with more travelers this year, at its airport Prosecco Bars and through more onboard sales and service by RICK LUNDSTROM

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raditionally, when a new outlet opens at an airport, the principle players will stand before the cameras and cut a ribbon to mark the event. Such was the case with a recent opening in Concourse A at Dubai International Airport (DXB). The opening of the new restaurant and bar, however, was also marked with a giant pizza cutting. On February 12 at DXB, Bottega SpA opened the Bottega Prosecco & Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant, a new concept the company carried out in partnership with well-known airport concessionaire HMSHost. The opening marks Bot-


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WINE AND SPIRITS

The pizza may be original and authentically Italian, but it’s clear Bottega is looking at the future and following trends with its latest line of products. The Bottega SpA press release from the time of the bar and restaurant announcement in early-November states that preliminary data confirms that Dubai is the top airport in the world for international traffic, with approximately 89 million international travelers passing through in 2018.

Enhancing onboard experience

An 11-meter pizza was served up to patrons at the February opening of the Bottega Prosecco Bar and Restaurant at DXB

tega’s second unit in the United Arab Emirates as it continues its international expansion. The celebratory pizza was an 11-meter-long effort and prepared with traditional Italian flair topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

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“In a welcoming yet elegant ambience, travelers can enjoy the "Perfect Match," the ideal combination of a glass of wine from the Bottega range and authentic Italian dishes, made with fresh ingredients,” said a release from Bottega.

“In 2020 we are focusing more on the pre-order offer,” Valentina Dalle Mule, Export Area Manager Airlines at Bottega, tells PAX International. “Riding the wave of growth in online shopping.” Not only can Bottega’s product line be found at DXB, the range will also find a place in international airline trolleys in 2020. American Airlines has expanded its onboard offer to include the company’s Merlot wine in 75 centiliters and it’s Millesimato Spumante Brut in 187 milliliters.

…function and beauty should be inseparable. www.amkointl.com


WINE AND SPIRITS

CREATING GALLEY SPACE WHERE IT DOES NOT EXIST

The Mercury Award Flex-e-Bag Waste System Serving Airlines and Distributors for the past 16 Years

introducing

Flex-e-Frame A Rotable and Recyclable frame

Visit our stand 3C45 Beside the Taste of Travel

www.onboardlogistics.com 118  APRIL 2020

Bottega’s new Prosecco & Craft Beer Bar at Dubai International Airport

In 2019, Bottega consolidated its travel catering and retail business and secured listings on El Al Israel Airlines and Aer Lingus. Its Prosecco products are also listed for buy-onboard LCC’s Transavia, Swoop and Neos. This year, Bottega aims to score some key sales, zeroing in on what Dalle Mule says is currently the biggest beverage trend in the hospitality industry: requests by passengers and airlines for “ready-todrink” beverages. “The products respond to the consumption trends of passengers in general and specifically to target groups [who are] more and more willing to spend onboard,” says Dalle Mule. “We are focusing on Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers attracted by the Italian lifestyle.” To fulfill the needs of that broad demographic of travelers, Bottega has developed a product called Gin Bacu^ r. Made with Italian ingredients, such as water from the Alps, the beverage features three botanicals: Tuscan juniper berries, sage leaves from Triveneto and lemon zest from Sicily. The company’s ready-to-drink offering, Spritz Pronol, in a 20-centiliter serving size, will be available on several airlines this summer, while Gin Bacu^ r is flying on Virgin Atlantic Airways, Singapore Airlines, Transavia, Air Canada and Alitalia. Another pre-mixed cocktail, the Negroni mixes Gin Bacu^ r and Vermouth Rosso teamed with bitters in a 10-centiliter format, “for cheery moments onboard,” says Dalle Mule. Two other important Bottega openings occurred last year. In April 2019 the company opened one of its Prosecco bars at Rome Fiumicino Airport and opened in September at Bologna. The bars are built on a concept that Bottega launched in 2014 aboard the M/S Viking Cinderella cruise ship by Viking Line. Since then the bars can be found at airports in Italy, Bulgaria and the UK along with variations on the concept used in lounges, beach bars, terraces and wine bars around the world. “The success of the concept confirms that the brand Bottega is globally recognized as a producer of wines and spirits,” says Dalle Mule. “And as a symbol of the Italian lifestyle.”


Visit our stand at Word Travel Catering stand 1A70 Hal A1

to recycle


EVENTS

All eyes on IFEC AT AIME

KID-Systeme is one of the companies that has committed to next year’s AIME. The company’s Managing Director, Peter Schetschine, was a panelist for the opening day discussions

PAX Tech Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom reviews this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East expo from Dubai where he was a moderator for the IFEC Seminars, marking the last bustling trade gathering before delays brought on by the coronavirus outbreak swept through the industry

D

UBAI — If there was doubt in anyone’s mind about the importance of inflight entertainment and connectivity in the future of air travel and the passenger experience, the discussions at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and Middle East MRO events from February 25 to 26 would put any of that skepticism to an end. Two days of networking and seminars brought in more than 5,000 visitors to two halls that held 330 exhibitors. The stands bustled with activities throughout the two days. In the late-morning and early-afternoon IFEC Seminar sessions, panelists and presenters laid out a future of increased satellite and 4G and 5G connectivity designed to enhance passenger experience and provide a source of revenue for the airlines.

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PAX International Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom stopped by the stand of Creation and Image to try on one of the company’s uniform offerings. He is shown here with Sales and Development Manager Melissa Kohlbry

“The event has yet again attracted some of the industry’s most exciting innovations,” says Caryn McConnachie, Aerospace Director at Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East show organizers. “We are proud to have been able to bring together the industry’s key innovators with its airline customers in a dedicated event, providing the ideal platform for business.” The opening day of sessions first brought together two engineers, Zak Liyaqat-Ali, Senior Manager of Components at South African Airways, and Rana Kashif Altaf, Senior Fleet Manager of Engineering and Technical Services at Emirates. Liyaqat-Ali took visitors through the airline’s passenger tracking system that monitors people from check-in to aircraft using radio frequency TETRA technology. Altaf led numerous


EVENTS

technical projects and retrofits on Emirates’ fleet including the airlines ice inflight entertainment system, cabin connectivity, live TV and cabin video monitoring. On both days, SITAONAIR’s Product Development Manager Philippe Combe made the case for the potential of inflight cellular 4G and 5G connectivity as a way for airlines to provide both a superior and flexible inflight connectivity experience as well as a revenue stream. By 2023, Combe said estimates show that there will be one billion devices produced that can accommodate 5G capability. To efficiently obtain the ancillary revenue available, he said airlines can work with some of the 800 mobile comVisitors to AIME could see a mockup of the Mohammed Bin Rashid munications companies to bundle roaming packages Aerospace Hub in Dubai South that passengers can use throughout their trip. “Passengers are willing to pay for the right user experience,” Combe told the group. aircraft, optimization of organizational structures and Neale Faulkner, Regional Vice President for Inmarsat, renegotiation of key contracts with suppliers. It has also dwelled on the future of inflight connectivity for a generaacquired more fuel efficient A350s for its long-haul network. tion of Millennial and Generation Z travelers that are now Steney Johns, Technical Manager for Inmarsat Aviation gave becoming regular flyers. Younger travelers have grown a detailed anaylsis. To establish global coverage of its satellite up expecting Internet to be readily available from any network, Inmarsat will be launching a group of three satellites location and for airlines to retain a group that ignores such in the near future. The company’s GX 7, 8, and 9 satellites will perks as frequent flyer memberships, a reliable Internet deliver approximately twice the total capacity of the entire connection is vital to retaining their loyalty, he said. current GX network. The company is also planning ahead The first day of the IFEC Seminar ended with a panel for ultra-long-range flights by working to provide inflight discussion featuring Philippe Combe from SITAONAIR, Alya connectivity over the North and South Polar regions where Al Qalam Al Yafie, Manager Development Engineer IFEC at many of the flights will go. Software improvements and more Oman Air, Peter Schetschine, Managing Director of KIDmaneuverable satellites will also be necessary to cover the Systeme, and Rahul Behal, Marketing Development Manager burgeoning air traffic in several important regions, Johns said. MEASA at Inmarsat. In a wide-ranging session, panelists talked The IFEC Seminar sessions rounded out with Tina Ghataore, about the importance of communication between airlines and Executive Vice President of Inflight Connectivity Solutions technology providers and their goals of enhancing passenger at Yahsat in Abu Dhabi. The company has a constellation that experience. They also touched on the ways that airlines could covers 55 countries in the Middle East and Africa, providing better meet the needs of families and young travelers. inflight and ground Internet. The company is seeking out airDay two discussions brought back several panelists. lines in the region. Many of the region’s low-cost carriers would Zak Liyaqat-Ali, a veteran of South African Airways, took benefit greatly by offering passengers the service, she said. the group through the airline’s decades-long history of the Yahsat took the first steps to offering inflight Internet legacy airline from the early 90s’ when it was a pioneer two years ago through a partnership between Yahsat, Etihad in inflight entertainment and cabin service through the Airways Engineering, Hughes Network System, and Carlisle early 2000s when it had a comprehensive restructuring Interconnect. As part of the partnership, Yahsat successfully program which aimed to make the airline profitable. tested and has implemented 50 megabits per second South African Airways is still implementing measures Internet connection. to return to profitability. These include targeted changes AIME and MRO Middle East will return to Dubai to the route network, deployment of more fuel-efficient World Trade Centre March 2 to 3, 2021. Andy Mason, General Manager of R & D operations at Kontron, with the company’s two IFE offerings, a portable and installed unit

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Thomas Renz, Sales Director Middle East VIP and Special Mission Aircraft at Lufthansa Technik Systems, with a mockup of the 787 cabin in a VIP configuration

Ian Taylor, Regional Director – Europe Aviation at Mohawk, shows some of the designs available to airline customers around the world


WHAT’S HOT

What’s Hot!  Green items – ECOFELLA: Holland-based ECOFELLA has announced a line of ecofriendly products designed for the travel and hospitality industry. They are made from bamboo and recycled paper, including straws, cutlery, hair combs, cotton buds and coffee stir sticks. For every toothbrush sold, ECOFELLA plants a tree in Madagascar. ecofella.com

 Business class tableware – Clip: Clip’s Business Class tableware for Edelweiss Air is made from SiloxiHT lightweight ceramic, reducing the weight load onboard and making it easier for crew to handle. The versatile design offers lots of combination options and the shapes and glaze create a high-end upscale appeal during inflight food service. cliponboard.com

 Yellow Dog Bakeries – HACO & Classic City Bakeries: Founded on the premise that all dogs deserve a loving home, HACO & Classic City Bakeries have launched Yellow Dog Bakeries. The thaw and serve cookies come in a variety of sizes and flavors with nationwide US distribution. A portion of sales facilitates dog rescue efforts. ahargrove@haco.us.com

 Hot snacks – Beemster: Netherlands-based cheesemaker Beemster is presenting a new range of airline snacks, especially hot snacks and read-to-eat meal solutions featuring the award-winning cheese. These include the Beemster Breakfast Burrito and Mercury Award-winning Beemster Bun. beemstercheese.us/

 EgyptAir business class kits – Bayart Innovations: Bayart Innovations refreshed EgyptAir’s Business Class amenity kits for medium-haul flights. The soft pouches include an eyeshade, anti-slip socks wrapped in a paper band, earplugs, wipes, and toothbrush and hairbrush made from sustainable wood that can be reused. The kits are set to launch in summer 2020. www.bayart-innovations.com

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WHAT’S HOT

 Hot meal casseroles – Frankenberg: Made from natural agricultural residue fibers free of chemical additives in the treatment process, Frankenberg Tailored Meal Solutions is introducing a natural fiber-based casserole that reduces more than 90 percent of plastic material – at a competitive price. rfriedrichs@frankenberg.com

 Extra virgin olive oil – Group SOI: This singleserve collection of Dip-IN Extra Virgin Olive Oils by Group SOI comes packed in 15 milliliter PET bottles. Peperoncino oil can be used to spice-up sautéed vegetables; Pepe Nero can be drizzled on both hot and cold appetizer salads; Pinzimonio oil delivers a fragrant, intense, citrus flavor; and, Bruschetta oil tantalizes taste buds over crunchy bread. www.groupsoi.com

 Brussels x NATAN kit – Galileo Watermark: Designed with Belgium-based fashion designer NATAN, the unisex black and blue bags include all flight essentials – eye mask, pen, dental kit, socks, ear plus, moisturizer and lip balm – and are available in Business Class cabins on all North American and African Brussels Airlines flights. galileowatermark.com

 Honey Corn amenity kit – SPIRIANT: This sustainable kit features products from boutique natural organic skincare specialist Honey Corn and contributes to saving the bee population. It’s the latest in SPIRIANT’s initiative to create sustainable products and broker eco-friendly partnerships for airlines. spiriant.com

 Earbud ID-028 – InflightDirect: The ID-028 is InflightDirect’s new low-cost, sound reduction earbud. The earbuds combine features typically seen on retail quality ear buds with the modifications to make it suitable for the airline industry. It can be customized with color combinations and eartip color. inflightdirect.com

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WHAT’S HOT

 Inventory Now – AVID Products: AVID’s ready to ship Inventory Now program stocks inflight entertainment and comfort products to suit passenger and airline requests. Its convenient order form includes everything to enhance the passenger experience. avidproducts.com/inventory-now

 Compostable meal boxes – WK Thomas: Easy to hold, fill and close, these one-piece plant-based bagasse meal boxes are compact, plastic-free and 100 percent compostable. They are designed to fit 8 meals per Atlas trolley draw, ideal for both hot and cold service. They are suitable for both oven and microwave and are available with optional PLA coating for extended shelf-life requirements. wkthomas.com

 SAS sustainable Cube – gategroup: The Cube, part of the New Nordic by SAS food concept, is an in-air dining experience by SAS Scandinavian Airlines. The sustainable transformation of the packaging, redesigned by gategroup’s deSter brand is free of plastic, reducing up to 51 tons of plastics per year. The cutlery has been changed from oil-based to plant-based and the cutlery kit is wrapped in a recycled paper napkin instead of a paper bag. It features FSC cardboard containers inside with plant-based polymer coating. gategroup.com, environmentallyconsciousdesign.com  Coat hanger – Kaelis: This ABC plastic coat hanger innovation from Kaelis has two built-in number wheels that crew members set to correspond with the passenger’s seat number to make coat check-in service run smoothly for all KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Business Class passengers and crew. It eliminates the need to collect boarding passes to hang a coat, saves time and reduces the chance of misplacing belongings. www.kaelisgroup.com

 Zen garden vegetables flavor – Mr Lee’s Pure Foods: Mr Lee’s Pure Foods has introduced the Zen Garden Vegetable flavor of gourmet instant noodles on Norwegian Airlines and Virgin Australia this spring. This cup of miso rice noodles has sweet asparagus, crunchy green beans, spinach and ginger. It’s a hot snack option for dietary specifications including vegan, certified gluten free and low in sugar. mrleesnoodles.com

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WHAT’S HOT

 Recycled material cutlery packs – WK Thomas: WK Thomas’ line of disposable eco-friendly cutlery packs are available in wood, paper and other recycled materials, reducing single-use plastics. The mix-and-match cutlery packs are available in both recyclable and compostable wrappers with custom print and labeling options. wkthomas.com

 Jack Link’s branded snacks – Snackbox To-Go: Focusing on expanding the airline side of Jack Link’s branded products, Snackbox To-Go now offers protein products including Beef Jerky, Perpami and Bifi to airlines. snackboxtogo.com

 ToyChoc boxes – PLAYin CHOC: The award-winning chocolatier added 66 animals to its collectible snack range. Each box contains and toy and assembly kit, fun facts and two organic vegan chocolates. It is all ecofriendly and supports charities. playinchoc.com

Providing factory direct inflight service items for over 60 years to airlines world-wide.

MILLS TEXTILES

FACTORY DIRECT INFLIGHT - SERVICE ITEMS with US & UK Warehousing & Stock Readily Available.

IFE headphones Amenity Kits Air Sick Bags Blankets Pillows Pillow & Headrest Covers

InflightDirect

7991 Valentina Ct. Naples, FL 34114 USA Tel: +401-714-4190 www.InflightDirect.com sales@InflightDirect.com

Linens Napkins Duvets Hot Towels As well as other in-flight & textile products

MILLS TEXTILES

Contact Tom, Tim or Graham for information.

Mills Textiles

P.O. Box 67 Oswestry Shropshire SY11 1WD UK Tel: +44 (0) 1691 656092 www.millstextiles.com sales@millstextiles.com PAX-INTL.COM  

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WHAT’S HOT

 Coconut Chicken Laksa – Mr Lee’s Pure Foods: Mr Lee’s Coconut Chicken Laksa flavor won awards in the Great Taste Awards and Quality Food Awards in 2019, as well as the Best of Health Awards in 2018. Made using chicken curry rice noodles with chunks of 100 percent chicken breast, creamy coconut, cauliflower, crunchy green beans and fragrant turmeric, the multiaward-winning flavor is launching across all Vueling Airlines routes this April. mrleesnoodles.com

 2-in-1 Mouthwash and Toothpaste – White Glo: White Glo’s 2-in-1 Mouthwash and Toothpaste combines cosmetics and science to whiten teeth and freshen breath for up to 12 hours. This year the company offers a sustainable edition which comes in a 100 percent biodegradable paper sachet. When the dry toothpaste contacts water, it turns into normal paste. Travel size three grams to 24 grams. whiteglo.com

 Potted desserts – Lily O’Brien’s: Lily O'Brien's offers 100 percent certified UTZ/Rainforest Alliance chocolate snacks in its potted desserts range. It supplies Eco-friendly Desserts pots using only PEFC-approved board, exclusive to the travel industry, and is currently trialling a 100 percent recyclable dessert pot. The company also plans to unveil other developments in the desserts range later this year. lilyobriens.ie

 Padded comfort kit – Albéa Travel Designer: This padded texture comfort kit is offered to all customers onboard Air France’s long-haul Premium Economy cabin. The two-tone model is available in four colors: light blue, navy blue, grey and pink. Practical and pocket-sized, the pouch is designed to slip into passenger bags post-flight. It contains a night mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs and headphone covers. La Première Cabin passengers receive a designer leather light blue or navy kit that contains a range of face and body treatments by Carita. albea-group.com

 Vegan snacks – Snackbox To-Go: Snackbox To-Go now offers vegetarian and vegan snacks, including pizza, fries, vegan potato pockets, a vegan sausage roll that is due to launch in April and vegetarian goat cheese with spinach lattice. snackboxtogo.com

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WHAT’S HOT

 Edible coffee cup – Twiice: This edible coffee is suitable to serve hot coffee in, leaving behind absolutely no waste. Air New Zealand trialed the coffee cup in December 2019 in efforts to meet its sustainability challenges. The airline serves more than eight million compostable cups of coffee each year and aims to remove cups from landfills entirely. twiice.co.nz

 Ovenable packaging – En Route International: This range of hot handheld snacks with “ovenable” packaging can be used with products that require a grease or moisture barrier without the need to use plastic. It can be used across En Route’s product range and in all temperature states. en-route.com

OVER 60 YEARS OF INNOVATION In 1961, AVID collaborated with TWA and created the first in-flight entertainment headset for commercial airline passengers. That legacy of innovation remains at the heart of the AVID mission. Contact us to learn more about our audio, amenity and comfort solutions.

AVIDproducts.com

Visit us at Stand 1F90

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FACTS & FIGURES

Headin’ to Hamburg! A look at what the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has to offer, from its history of both great growth and destruction, to its cargo port, sights, nightlife and festivals

RATHAUS The neo-renaissance building, or City Hall, that is Hamburg’s seat of government where parliament and senate assemble

Bright nightlife The famous street Reeperbahn in the heart of St. Pauli is known for its nightlife and red-light district that kept sailors and others entertained in the 1960s

360°

The view spanning The Elbphilharmonie Plaza and concert hall. A new Hamburg landmark that towers 37 meters above ground

The Fab 4 The Beatles played their first gigs in the ‘60s at dive bars in the Reeperbahn before becoming international rock stars

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1912

The year St. Michael’s Church was completed, after two previous churches on the same site were destroyed by a lightning strike and a catastrophic fire, respectively

135 million

Tons of cargo that crossed the quay walls of the Port of Hamburg in 2018

DOM

Hosted three times a year, the iconic DOM is the largest public festival in Northern Germany. It serves classic German treats like sauerkraut, currywurst and roasted almonds, and attractions like rides, games and fortune tellers


For over 40 years, WESSCO International has specialized in branded amenities, passenger comfort items, food & beverage service ware, and a wide range of customized items for airlines worldwide. As your trusted partner of choice, our mission remains to design and supply an exceptional experience for your travelers. We would love to see you at WTCE in Hamburg. Hall A1, Stand 1B10 . Please email info@wessco.net to arrange a meeting.

www.wessco.net

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info@wessco.net

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+1 (310) 477-4272


Tailor-made solutions. Endless possibilities. DISCOVER OUR LEISURE & SMART OFFERING AT WWW.SPIRIANT.COM

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PAX International WTCE Hamburg 2020  

PAX International WTCE Hamburg 2020