News and analysis for the passenger services executive
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM
REGIONAL WRAP-UP: MIDDLE EAST, ASIA, AFRICA Destination constellation: Airlines and suppliers reach for the stars to improve passenger experience
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Jane Hobson, Managing Editor
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JEREMY CLARK, PAX International Asia Correspondent
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Key title: Pax International
Back to our regularly scheduled programming
This year marked a very welcome return to PAX International’s usual editorial calendar. Including this issue, we’ve published five editions this year and happily traveled to trade shows and conferences to reconnect with our colleagues, friends and loyal advertisers — a sure sign that recovery is truly here.
This year shaped up to be an important one, filled with significant develop ments and wins for the industry: IATA’s September report that total air traffic has increased 57 percent from last year; ICAO’s support to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050; several countries eliminating travel restrictions and testing regulations; numerous caterers and suppliers adopting sustainable processes; the return of major industry events; and many moments in between. All these achieve ments are thanks to the continued efforts and response of this determined sector.
And it does not stop there. Lots of news moved out of the Middle East, Asia and Africa in the lead up to publishing this final issue of the year, our Regional Wrap-Up. We learned Etihad Airways is predicting it will serve more than 1.5 million travelers through the winter holiday season; Cathay Pacific expects passenger levels to increase to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023; Changi Airport handled 3.4 million passenger movements in September, reaching 63 percent of its pre-COVID traffic numbers; and Emirates Group announced record half-year performance for its 2022-23 financial year.
“The Group’s record performance for the first six months of 2022-23 is the result of forward planning, agile business response, and the efforts of our talented and committed workforce,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
All this to say, as 2022 ends we are looking forward to the year ahead, where we hope the industry continues its momentum back to regularly scheduled programming — but with an even stronger and more resilient spirit beneath its wings. As always, we thank our advertisers and everyone who contributed to our publication this year. We wish everyone a safe and wholesome winter holiday.
See you in 2023!
Jane Hobson Managing Editor
4 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022 Departments EDITOR’S NOTE 3 NEWS 6 Features ON THE COVER Etihad’s Armani/Casa range from Buzz. More on page 12 AIRLINE PROFILE 10 INSIDE OUT Emirates shares information about the first A380 and 777 aircraft undergoing its extensive retrofit program which will run until March 2025 CATERING 12 UNPARALLELED AND PREMIUM Buzz gives details on the luxury serviceware collaboration it created for Etihad Airways in partnership with Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa 14 STRONG IN THE UAE PAX International speaks with Mark Whelan, General Manager of Alpha Flight Services, on plans to expand in RKT and beyond JEREMY’S WORLD 16 ASIA TRAVEL — WE’RE BACK! Malaysia-based PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on the return to travel in Asia for airlines, suppliers and caterers EVENTS 18 LOOKING BACK AT LONG BEACH A review of the APEX/IFSA EXPO in October that drew nearly 2,000 attendees and 50+ airline companies to Long Beach, California 20 SUCCESS IN SINGAPORE Highlights from the FTE APEX Asia Expo which returned to Singapore for the first time in early November since the start of the pandemic CONTENTS 18 10
Elegance in Sustainable Drinkware. om Custom-designed acrylic drinkware with crystal clarity for a refined, reusable, environmentally friendly alternative to limited use glass and single use plastics.
GIP encourages weight reduction for airlines with ultra-light porcelain tableware
Global Inflight Products (GIP) is highlighting its ultralight magnesium porcelain line of tableware which can contribute to reducing the weight of the overall air craft load, saving fuel and lessening CO2 emissions.
GIP tells PAX International that compared to traditional porcelain, the ultra-light high magnesium porcelain table ware is three-to-10 times more durable, 50 percent thinner and 30-to-50 percent lighter. It is also made up of 22-to-25 percent more magnesium than traditional porcelain.
“The ultra-light high magnesium porcelain is a beauti ful choice to enhance the onboard dining service and elegantly showcase an inflight menu,” says the company.
Etihad Airways expecting more than 1.5 million passengers during winter break
Etihad Airways says it is preparing to welcome more than 1.5 million passengers during the upcoming winter break
Etihad Airways says it is predicting it will welcome more than 1.5 million travelers at Abu Dhabi International Airport between November 21 and January 8, 2023.
Shaeb Al Najjar, General Manager Hub Operations, Etihad Airways, said, “Football fans from around the world will be flocking to the region ahead of the most exciting football event of the year. As a result, Etihad with its partners, is geared up and ready to host 1.5 million expected guests over the next six weeks. Visitors flying via Abu Dhabi will enjoy the experience from the moment they take off with Etihad’s award-winning cabin crew and hospitality.”
Etihad Airways passengers have access to the quick self-service bag drop facility and fast check-in experi ence which allows guests to skip the queues. Once checked-in online, the self-service facilities allow travel ers to seamlessly retrieve their booking, print the bagtag and process their bags in less than two minutes.
WTCE hits 100 exhibitor milestone, sees “huge appetite” from sector
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) has announced it has hit the 100-exhibitor milestone as it gears up for the 2023 event. Compa nies signed up to the June 6 to 8 event include AMI, Buzz Products, Cuisine Solutions, dnata, Kaelis and Linstol, alongside a host of first-time exhibitors.
Organizers RX Global tell PAX International it is expecting more than 300 companies in total, represent ing an increase of 20 percent from the 2022 install ment. More than 750 VIP catering buyers from the world’s leading air, rail and cruise ship operators are predicted to attend, a rise of more than 36 percent compared to 2022, making it the biggest event yet.
“The onboard hospitality industry has been gradu
ally returning to normal following the disruption of the last three years and there is a huge appetite from the sector to continue to drive passenger numbers and boost business. We are aiming to increase the number and type of exhibitors participating next year so that we not only attract more visitors, but also pro vide a diverse selection of companies that can help the industry move forward by improving the service it is offering to travelers,” Polly Magraw, Event Direc tor for WTCE, tells PAX International in November. Wellness, sustainability and creating memorable experiences will be the core themes of WTCE 2023. The WTCE Connect tool will return in 2023, connecting buy ers and exhibitors before, during and after the event.
6 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022 NEWS
Global Inflight Products’ line of ultra-light high magnesium porcelain
RMT focuses on sustainability with bagasse tableware
RMT Global Partners is reiterating its commitment to envi ronmentally conscious options for airlines with its range of plant-based bagasse containers which are a budget-friendly and biodegradable alternative to single-use plastics.
“At RMT Global Partners, we are all about solu tions and have set an ambitious goal of making envi ronmentally friendly equipment to offer our airline clients. Sustainability is a key factor in our manu facturing process and drives us toward responsible environmental choices,” the company says.
Plant-based bagasse containers are made from natural plant fiber and can be customized to any size. Raised customer logos can also be added.
“The casserole dish has been tested and held up to the high standards of catering kitchens with favorable results. It withstands heat sealing, freezing, thawing, no leaching, baked at 450° with no burning or discoloration, and is safe to touch, yet the food contained therein is hot,” RMT explains.
“Let us help you reach your sustain able goals and make the world a better place at the same time,” the company adds.
Ethiopian Airlines celebrates 10th anniversary of Africa’s first 787 delivery
Ethiopian Airlines operates a combined fleet of 27 787-8s and 787-9s
Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing celebrated the 10th anni versary of the first 787 Dreamliner delivery to the African carrier in October. Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline on the continent to take delivery of the 787 and now operates a combined fleet of 27 787-8s and 787-9s.
In the past decade, the airline has used the aircraft to grow its long-haul network across the globe, making Addis Ababa one of Africa’s leading hubs for international travel.
“The 787 has been instrumental in expand ing our long and medium haul flights and redefin ing onboard comfort for our passengers thanks to its advanced technology and remarkable cabin features,” said Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO.
“For more than 75 years, we have partnered with Ethiopian to help them build a great airline using the world’s most modern, efficient, comfortable and sustainable products including the 787,” said Omar Arekat, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Middle East and Africa, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
8 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
RMT Global Partners’ bagasse and budgetfriendly containers
A World of Inspiration of the onboard experience 350 suppliers 750 VIP onboard buyers 4,900 attendees 1000s of inflight catering, passenger comfort, onboard services and products Find out more at: worldtravelcateringexpo.com/paxad1
The dining experience includes generous servings of regional meals with an appetizer and dessert
Emirates shares information about the first A380 and 777 aircraft undergoing its extensive retrofit program which will run until March 2025
by STEPHANIE PHILP
After months of meticulous research and planning, Emirates has officially begun the extensive retrofit program that will upgrade the full cabin interior of 120 A380 and 777 aircraft.
Upon completing flight EK928 from Cairo to Dubai in early November, the first A380 was steered to Hanger E at the Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai. There, a team of specialized engineers began working around the clock to meet monthly targets.
The retrofit program will see a total refresh of 120 Emirates aircraft — nearly half of the current fleet of A380s and 777s. By March 2025, the airline aims to have all retrofitted aircraft back in service.
“No other airline has handled a retrofit of this magnitude in-house,” an Emirates representative tells PAX International in November. “There’s no blueprint for such an undertaking.”
Readying for retrofit
Emirates has recruited 190 additional staff for the project and engaged 62 key partners and suppliers who have, in turn, hired hundreds of skilled works for the program.
Trials began on an A380 in July. At the Emirates Engineering Centre, purpose-built workshops have been set up and stocked with parts and equipment for the project.
During this stage, engineers took stock and requested 2,200 parts. From removing seats and paneling to undoing bolts and screws, every action was tested, timed and mapped out. Then, Emirates’ procurement team filed 12,600 purchase orders for the initial phase of retrofits.
Emirates Engineering teams have established and streamlined processes to identify and address potential snags as the program ramps up. Emirates is committed to investing in high quality protective equipment to ensure workers feel and remain safe during the
refurbishment, the airline explains. All processes are designed to the highest of health and safety standards — no detail is too small to review.
Refreshed passenger experience
The retrofit program will bring a modern look and more comfort able passenger experience to the cabin with an expanded cabin class offering, an updated color scheme and freshly upholstered seats.
“Our onboard enhancements are all part of our strategy to elevate the customer experience,” says the Emirates representative. “The refreshed look and feel of our retrofitted A380 will be felt throughout the aircraft, with new carpet ing, seat upholstery, refreshed Onboard Lounge, Shower Spa and more.” Besides the refurbishment through the aircraft, the most significant change is the addition of Premium Economy seats which will essentially add a fourth cabin for passengers to choose from.
For each aircraft, trained teams first remove the window seats in Economy Class to free up space for another team to remove the side panels the cabin. These panels go straight to one of
10 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
An Emirates Engineer checking the finer details of the retrofit plan
three purpose-built workshops to be laminated with Emirates’ color tones.
To make room for 56 of the airline’s new Premium Economy Class seats, 88 Economy seats at the front of the main deck will be removed.
On the upper deck, Business and First Class seats are dismantled and loaded onto a modified catering truck to lower them to the ground where other vehicles
will shuttle them to bespoke workshops. Business Class seats will be repainted and reupholstered with new leather at Emirates Engineering, while First Class seats will be sent to a specialist at Dubai World Central (DWC) for refurbishing.
All carpets and floorings will be replaced and design motifs featuring the ghaf tree will be incorporated in the cabin interior design. Ghaf
trees are native to the UAE and symbolic of Emirates’ home base.
Once the refit work is completed, the aircraft will be inspected and certified by aviation authorities before it re-enters service.
Expanded cabin class offering
The new Emirates Premium Economy cabin features a higher level of comfort and relaxation for passengers with premium dining, more living space and sophisticated cabin interior. The price point sits between Economy Class and Business Class, encouraging leisure trav elers to opt for an elevated experience.
The dining experience includes generous servings of regional meals with an appetizer and dessert. There are extra snacks available on longer flights. With meals, passengers get China tableware and silverware wrapped in linen.
The Premium Economy cabin is currently flying between Dubai, Paris Charles de Gaulle, London Heathrow and Sydney, and retrofitted aircraft will soon operate to New York JFK, Auckland, Melbourne, San Francisco, Singapore and Christchurch.
Engineers on the Emirates retrofit team
Unparalleled and premium
by JANE HOBSON
Buzz Founder and Director Leonard Hamersfeld gives details on the luxury serviceware collaboration it created for Etihad Airways in partnership with Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa
Etihad Airways has long been known for its luxuri ous passenger experience and its latest Business Class cabin collaboration is no exception.
The airline has partnered with Giorgio Armani and Armani/ Casa to launch The Constellation Collection inspired by the stars. Buzz facilitated the luxury collaboration, exclusively created for Etihad and launching onboard in December 2022.
The partnership was developed to “deliver an unparalleled premium travel experience, setting an elevated new benchmark for the aviation industry,” reads the October Etihad press release.
The collection includes ceramics, glassware, cutlery, serveware and textiles for a refined inflight experience that passengers have come to adore and expect from the airline.
“The Etihad Armani partnership is one of the most significant, all-encompassing programs that Buzz has launched in recent years. From mealtime to sleep time, it encompasses so many touchpoints along the journey,” Leonard Hamersfeld, Founder and Director, Buzz, tells PAX International in a November interview.
Buzz conceived, designed and produced the entire customized range, bringing the modern styling of Armani and signature
12 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
Buzz has facilitated a partnership between Etihad Airways and Armani/Casa to launch ceramics, glassware, cutlery and serveware for Business Class inspired by the stars
Leonard Hamersfeld, Founder and Director, Buzz
Armani/Casa design aesthetic to the Etihad Business Class cabin.
“Many years in the making, this program was created with our visionary brand partnership team and design experts who crafted a range with incredible quality and style, to meet Armani’s brand vision while still meeting inflight specifications,” Hamersfeld says.
The range is made from durable, high-quality material with innovative designs that reduce weight by up to 10 percent, resulting in less fuel burn and fewer emissions.
The dining service features silhouettes with elevated contemporary finishes, mixed materials and embossed patterns. The use of multiple textures represents the cultural diversity of the UAE. The color palette reflects the sur roundings of Abu Dhabi; dark green inspired by the region’s date palm trees, aquamarine representing the beauty of the mangroves and slate to symbolize the modernity of the iconic Abu Dhabi skyline. A geometric pattern subtly adorns the collection, bringing an elegant tactility to the cutlery handles.
The premium textiles range brings together a pillowcase and duvet set, featuring Armani/Casa signature designs to further enhance the Business Class turn-down experience. Passengers on longer flights will also benefit from the airline’s new innovative memory foam mattress, bringing additional comfort to the fully-flat bed in Business Class.
“For us at Buzz, it encapsulates what we do well, bringing together incredible brands to create high quality products that elevate the travel experi ence,” Hamersfeld tells PAX International.
“We unveil a completely new and elevated way to fly with Etihad Airways — an experience defined by our Emirati heritage yet shaped by a clear vision for our future,” said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer. “Known globally for its Italian luxury and elegance, Armani/Casa is the ideal brand partner to create an unparalleled level of bespoke service and refinement for our guests.”
The premium pillowcase and duvet set for Etihad Airways’ Business Class features Armani/ Casa signature designs, part of The Constellation Collection
The Constellation Collection for Etihad Airways in partnership with Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa
The pinch pot for salt and pepper, part of The Constellation Collection
STRONG IN THE UAE
Alpha Flight Services expanding in RKT and beyond
by STEPHANIE PHILP
Alpha Flight Services, operated by dnata, signed a 10-year concession agree ment with Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RKT) in the United Arab Emirates in September. The agreement allows Alpha Flight Services to further invest in infrastructure and provide catering services to more than 10 airlines at the airport.
“We are proud to have earned the trust of Ras Al Khaimah airport and look forward to contributing to its success and growth over the next decade,” said Mark Whelan, General Manager of Alpha Flight Services, in the September announcement. “Our significant invest ment, broad experience, and passion for excellence will ensure world-class culinary and airport hospitality experi ences for passengers flying to and from RKT. We will constantly enhance our offering to deliver innovative products and services that travelers value both on board and on the ground.”
“We now operate a total of eight outlets, including three café restaurants, four kiosks and an airport lounge, as well as a newly upgraded and renovated hotel at Sharjah Airport,” Whelan tells PAX
International in a November interview.
“The Hotel” offers guests 16 executive rooms, four shared rooms and two sleeping pods with the choice of booking for half or full days at very competitive rates. It features modern design and can comfortably accommodate 200 guests.
Alpha Flight Services offerings include freshly made sandwiches, hot meals and snacks. The caterer will soon open an additional airport lounge to enhance hospitality services at RKT. Recently, Alpha Flight Services launched globally renowned brand Costa coffee at RKT. The café menu includes seasonal favorites, teas, iced drinks and vegan and vegetarian offerings.
“In addition, we support local tourism by providing authentic local meals to the UAE’s leading desert safari provider: Arabian Adventures — part of the Emirates Group,” Whelan explains. “We provide a delicious buffet menu including live BBQ on site for standard and VIP guests (two different menus). We also provide catering services at Air Arabia’s headquarters.”
The company services a broad range of carriers, including commercial, charter, VIP and cargo airlines. Its customer portfolio includes: Air Arabia, Indigo, Air India Express, Azur Air
and several VIP charter operators. Alpha currently operates facilities in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
When asked about the future, Whelan says, “We plan to further expand our operations, improve our offering and recruit talents to meet the constantly increasing demand for our services.”
These expansion plans include doubling the size of Alpha’s existing Sharjah facility, developing new menu concepts and growing the team by more than 20 percent over the next 18 months.
dnata has operated Alpha Flight Services since 2010. In recent years, the company has significantly expanded its operations and now provides catering services to more than 30 airlines from its kitchen near Sharjah International Airport.
Alpha’s team consists of 490 people who prepare seven million meals annually. As a joint venture between dnata and Air
14 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
Alpha currently operates facilities in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah
Mark Whelan, General Manager of Alpha Flight Services
Arabia, Alpha has kept its well-known brand name. “Both the dnata and Alpha brands demonstrate high level of quality and safety globally,” Whelan says.
In September, His excellency Engr. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of The Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, said, “With our partnership with the Alpha group, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport looks forward to strengthening our catering services, elevating the passenger experience at the airport, and exploring together the ample number of opportunities available to enhance the business.”
Atanasios Titonis, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, added, “We are excited to start this new long-term partnership with Alpha Flight Services at Ras Al Khaimah Interna tional Airport as we build our profile in refining the customer experience in the food and beverage field as well as lounge and flight catering. This is an important step for us as we embark on our journey towards transitioning into a tourism-centered destination airport.”
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From left to right: Stanislav Bujnovsky, Commercial Director of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport; Mark Whelan, General Manager of Alpha Flight Services; Atanasios Titonis, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport; Waqas Javed, CFO of Alpha Flight Services
Asia travel — we’re back!
Well, finally! Asia seems to be drag ging itself out of the mire and into a recognizable pattern of growth — with one notable exception of course.
All the Asian carriers are racing to regroup as, despite the high fares, passengers return. How long they will return for, and how frequently they will travel are still open questions no one can forecast answers to. But as Singapore Airlines’ (SQ) restructuring of routes would suggest (and they have a habit of getting it mostly right), the trend will continue upward.
All of this is good news for the suppliers, caterers and handlers who have suffered exponentially without government freebies and financial safety nets.
The big elephant in the room is of course China who — prior to the disruption — was expected to dominate Asia-based travel demand going into the 2030s. Currently, the country seems to have been sent up to its room without supper. I’m afraid it looks destined to remain there for a while…
Hong Kong might be the exception as its draconian regulations finally show signs of easing. Qantas resumes flights from January 30. SQ is increasing its frequency using the A380s which will be pulled from the New York route in May 2023.
British Airways also begins flights in December but Virgin Atlantic says it has no plans to return. For those who like a challenge, Scoot also now has
a daily flight to Hong Kong from Singapore.
Recovery in Thailand, and, in a distant second, Malaysia, has seen the fastest resurgence of tourist traffic to and within Asia in recent months, as all restrictions have been discarded in both countries. As such SQ will add a fifth daily to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) using A350-900s, and from March a fourth daily to Phuket and more regular flights to Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
As I reported here a few months back, I anticipated SQ would bounce back fast as it had the fortunate abil ity and support to retain most of its resources for easy redeployment when the time was right. That time, it has determined, is now. Increased frequencies to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Australia demonstrate this well.
Of all who had the hardest ride, Cathay Pacific is probably the one we must feel for the most. The airline revealed it carried more than 260,000 passengers in September 2022, an increase of 102 percent compared with the same period last year. How ever, it still represented a drop of nearly 90 percent on the same month in 2019. This shows just how bad things really were.
Luckily for the industry, the removal of quar antine requirements has seen fast growth into Hong Kong from Changi, BKK, and Incheon
Meanwhile in Malaysia (despite the revoking of all travel restrictions) recovery in the travel sector has
16 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
Malaysia-based PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark shares his perspective on the return to travel in Asia for airlines, suppliers and caterers
been slower. Inter-Asian travel is growing fast as Air Asia brings back its fleet and we see the launch of a new LCC airline MYAirline from Kuala Lumpur.
The return of overseas tourists has been slower than in Thai land and this is compounded by the effects of labor shortages in the hospitality industry. Since international visitors have started to return, industry operators have experienced a labor short age. Operators say the Malaysian government should work on providing incentives to encourage people to work in the tourist sector. But training takes years, so pressure is mounting.
So how are the suppliers to this chaotic situation coping? There will be much to observe in the coming 12 months as caterers and suppliers realign and restructure. Already in July, SATS Ltd. disposed of its entire 49 percent stake in Malaysia’s
Brahim’s catering, but is investing in a new facility in Singapore itself. Royal Brunei Culinary’s new off-airport production is now operational as Royal Brunei Airlines increases operational routes to Dubai, London, Seoul and Tokyo.
India is one area where caterers are experiencing the biggest recovery and largely outside of the purview of the major players. More on India in the next report but this is one area of Asian growth that is noticeable.
So, after two and a half years in the doldrums, it seems Asia is beginning to catch up. Of course, the one big question mark is China. If the country suddenly awakens back to pre-2020 levels, there is no way the current infrastructure could cope. Given the current situation it seems unlikely, but inevitable, that they will return. I only hope we have time to prepare!
Jeremy Clark Looks out at the landscape
Jeremy Clark with a Royal Brunei model
Jeremy Clark (fourth from right) with colleagues at the Royal Brunei Catering office
Looking back at long beach
This year’s IFSA/APEX EXPO saw 1,800 attendees and 53 airline companies gather at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in California for three days of celebrat ing networking and exhibiting.
From October 25 to 27, attendees had access to the full agenda, including the exhibition in Hall B, the scheduled discussions at the IFSA Innovation Pavilion, the annual APEX/IFSA Awards Ceremony and the Thought Leadership Conference and breakout sessions. It was the second consecutive year that the Airline Passenger Experience Associa tion (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) were able to host the event in person post-pandemic.
Notable attendees and speakers included APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe
Leader; Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Pas senger Intelligence & Aviation Business Professor; Anne De Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience; Spirit Airlines Vice President, Guest Experi ence, Brand & Communications Lania Rittenhouse; Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran; Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoe; Rosimeire Miranda, Quality Director North America, LSG Group; Vanessa Lindstrom, Director, United Airlines; and Alex Wilcox, Co-Founder & CEO of JSX, among others.
Innovation was honored at the annual APEX/IFSA Awards on Wednesday evening, with winners including Burrana, Astronics, Thales, Diehl Aerospace, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Finnair and JetBlue Airways. Judges also celebrated Fiji Airways for its ecology themed children’s amenity kits, and Delta Air Lines for its partnership with Mexican artisan cooperative Someone Somewhere facilitated by FORMIA.
A highlight of the evening was the Associations’ recognition of industry veteran Michael Childers, who helped bring blockbuster movies to the airline cabin and who continues to contribute to technological advancements in inflight entertainment. During the APEX/IFSA Awards presentation, Childers received the association’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award.
Childers worked with movie studios such as 20th Century Fox and later Swank Worldwide Entertainment during his career, among other
achievements. He later was part of a group that purchased LightStream Communications, where he distributed content and became involved in supply chain automation. Childers then joined IMS Company before taking on consulting role at Lufthansa Systems in 2011 and, more recently, at AERQ and Above Aero Media Services
The buzz at exhibit stands and conference sessions were not only about technological advancements but the continued efforts by suppliers to bring lightweight, sustainable products to the airline cabin. Amenity kits devoid of single-use plastics maintain popularity and food service products such as NotCo’s line of meatless and dairy substi tutes are proving important in partner ship with companies such as LSG Group.
Though the buyout of Inmarsat by competitor Viasat was still at armslength in October, the two connectivity giants talked about their continued efforts to bring the increasingly impor tant cabin feature into the hands of more passengers. Satellite launches are planned by both players for early next year, shar ing the goal to make connectivity work for a growing number of passengers that have become reliant on connectiv ity — both inflight and on the ground.
APEX/IFSA EXPO serves as an industry marketplace where airline CEOs, executives and decision makers gather to share insights and meet with exhibitors demonstrating the latest innovation and technology that shapes the future of the end-to-end passenger experience. Next year’s event will be hosted at the same location, running September 19 to 21, 2023.
18 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
A review of the APEX/IFSA EXPO in October that drew nearly 2,000 attendees and 50+ airline companies to Long Beach, California
The ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off the APEX/IFSA EXPO, with CEO Dr. Joe Leader in the middle
Lania Rittenhouse, Vice President, Guest Experience, Brand/ Communications, Spirit Airlines, smiles while seated in the newly announced HAECO Vector Premium seats
Delta Air Lines received the IFSA Best Onboard Amenity award for its partnership Someone Somewhere
AIRFRAME MAINTENANCE | AVIONICS | CABIN TECHNOLOGIES | CLEANING | ENGINEERING | FLOORING | FUTURE CABIN CONCEPTS GALLEY | IFEC | IT SYSTEMS | LIGHTING | SAFETY | SANITISATION | SEATING | SUPPLY CHAIN | TEXTILES | TOOLING 01–02 March 2023 Sheikh Saeed Hall 2 – 3 Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE CONNECTING THE AIRLINE SUPPLY CHAIN We pre-arrange meetings for exhibitors with key airline buyers at the show. Contact us to learn more: WWW.AIME.AERO Co-located with:
Success in Singapore
Highlights from the FTE APEX Asia Expo which returned to Singapore for the first time in early November since the start of the pandemic
by JANE HOBSON
After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the FTE APEX Asia Expo returned to the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore from November 9 to 10.
“FTE APEX Asia Expo is now undoubtedly Asia-Pacific’s definitive free to attend passenger experience and business performance expo. The Expo will only get much bigger and better going forward as we bring in more exciting suppliers as exhibitors to showcase their capabilities, which will help our attendees take their businesses to the next level,” Daniel
Coleman, Founder & CEO, Future Travel Experience (FTE), tells PAX
The theme of this year’s event was “Transforming tomorrow’s journey.” The event featured news announcements, “Innovation & Tech Briefings,” an exhibition hall, presentations, network ing opportunities, and the FTE Airline/ Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 and APEX Regional Passenger Choice Awards 2023. CEO keynote speakers included Jetstar Asia, AirAsia Malaysia and Fiji Airways, plus expert speakers from Singapore Airlines, Airbus, Inmarsat, YATES+Partners and ANA. The FTE APEX Asia Expo
Reception & Awards After Party, sponsored by Intelsat, offered a premium networking opportunity for attendees with music, refreshments and stunning views of Singapore.
Along with tech exhibitors such as AERQ, AirFi.Aero, Collins Aerospace, Inflight Dublin and Inmarsat Aviation, several passenger comfort suppliers and caterers were in attendance, showcasing the latest products and services, including SATS, Bayart Innovations, Coffee Planet, FORMIA, Global-C, Linstol, Unilever and Zibo Rainbow Airline Appliance.
“FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 was a landmark occasion for the air transport industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Following a three-year hiatus, it was an honor to see so many airlines, airports, vendors and partners come together in Singapore for the region’s largest and most meaningful aviation event since 2019. Following the huge success of this year’s expo, we’re excited about returning to
8 to 9,”
20 NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2022
Singapore for FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023 next November
APEX/ IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader tells PAX
The ribbon cutting at FTE APEX Asia Expo in Singapore. From left to right: Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance; Lye Teck Tan, EVP, Airport Management, Changi Airport Group; Barathan Pasupathi, CEO, Jetstar Asia; Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX/IFSA; Ali Loving, Head of Events, Future Travel Experience; Craig McQuinn, Exhibition Director, Onboard Hospitality Forum Asia; Riad Asmat, CEO, AirAsia Malaysia; Ryan Ghee, Chief Operating Officer, Future Travel Experience; and Daniel Coleman, Founder & CEO, Future Travel Experience
From left to right: Dr. Joe Leader, CEO, APEX/ IFSA; David Miller, CTO, Inflight Dublin; Anissa Soraya, Manager Inflight Material & IFEC, Garuda Indonesia; Nick Silvester, Director, Sales APAC, Intelsat Commercial Aviation; and Tom Mano, Vice President, Products & Services Planning, All Nippon Airways, at the New Business Models and Approaches to IFEC panel
Andre Viljoen, Managing Director & CEO, Fiji Airways
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