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INDUSTRY INNOVATORS: GATEGROUP for both companies, and by extension, customers. “It allows us to give service to our current and future customers in more locations,” he said. “For airlines, it is becoming very important to be consistent, delivering the type of service they promised to their travelers in a consistent manner across the group.” With the purchase, Rossinyol said gategroup would reorganize its regional divisions, which before the purchase were divided by North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe/Middle East/ Africa. A new division run by a Servair management team will handle Southern Europe and Africa, making use of the company’s expertise and long associations in the region. One of the members of that management team for the newly formed division will be Servair’s CEO, Michel Emeyriat. In addition to a network of airline catering units, Servair brings more to the new partnership: access to some of the genius of French culinary arts that have been presenting meals on Air France aircraft for decades. Joël Robuchon, the most decorated chef in the world has 31 stars and is chairman of Studio Culinaire. Mathieu Viannay is also a consultant for Servair. Viannay is the chef of a famous restaurant A new geographic division at gategroup will be devoted to Servair’s airline catering units in Africa and southern Europe

38  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017

named La Mère Brazier, in Lyon and has two Michelin stars. He currently designs meals for Hainan Airlines. There is also the expanding network of Servair units throughout Africa. In addition to airline catering, Servair has developed a presence in the country that promises increased profitability and expansion. Recently, Servair obtained licensing to open Burger King outlets, and has established a growing network of restaurants in cities where the company has catering units. With every beginning comes an ending. The long association between Servair and Flying Food Group in the United States comes to an end. Emeyriat said a more than 25-year marketing agreement helped Servair establish a presence not only through the Flying Food Group’s U.S. units, but also link further into Asia. Where will the newly combined companies grow moving forward? Rossinyol sees distinct possibilities of expanding the gategroup network within the growing aviation infrastructure in China. The company currently has units in Hong Kong and Pudong Airport in Shanghai. With the help of a well-financed owner with connections and business network in China, expansion in the region holds promise. “HNA as our shareholder will poten-

tially allow us going forward to intensify this network in Asia Pacific and particularly Mainland China,” said Rossinyol. With the fourth-largest airline caterer in the world now in the hands of one of the industry main players, what will the future hold for the other, independent caterers still operating around the world? Servair’s Michel Emeyriat has been watching the market share of the independent caterers dwindle year by year. In 2008, the world’s four main caterers held a global market share of 39%. Today, he said the four largest caterers command a market of 58% to 60%. “Consolidation is in progress today in the world,” Emeyriat said. “My guess is that within the next 10 years we will have four to five caterers in the world, but not much more.” Rossinyol sees the natural evolution of the airline industry also pointing the way to the future of airline caterers around the world. “In the last 10 years, you see that airlines, either with straight mergers or global alliances are integrating more and more,” he said. “And when customers are integrating more and more, it is natural that the suppliers, and in this case suppliers of food, also try to have that capacity to deliver service wherever they want and need.”

PAX WTCE Hamburg March/April 2017  
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