PAX International WTCE June 2022

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New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Emotional ties: Suppliers and airlines tap into needs of returning passengers


PAX International Mississauga, Ontario Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Website:

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail:

EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 354-2343 Mobile: (1 612) 859-4502 E-mail: Jane Hobson, Editor Tel: (1 416) 997-3914 E-mail: Jayson Koblun, Deputy Editor Tel: (1 289) 456-9059 E-mail: Rachel Debling, Special Reports Editor Tel: (1 416 938 2226) E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator E-mail:

CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla

ART DEPARTMENT Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail:

PAX International and PAX Tech are

Making memories


t the end of May, officials from the International Air Transport Association were poised to attend the 34th IATA Ground Handling Conference in Paris. With them was a list of guidelines meant to help shape airline catering operations worldwide for the foreseeable future. The only recently formed Airline Catering Association has been put to the test in ways none of the organizers could have expected. When the group was formed at the beginning of 2018, Erdmann Rauer of LSG Group said the ACA’s initial efforts would be directed at impending regulatory challenges in Europe. Longer-term goals would be leveraging industry expertise to improve quality, safety and reliability of the services nationwide. Faced with the pandemic, the ACA and Airport Services Association appealed to the European Union to take over the social costs incumbent to employers at least until September 2020; defer tax payments until 2021; provide access to an emergency fund for salaries; and provide a guarantee to banks and financial institutions so that they maintain financing of the aviation sector. The effect was mixed. While the United States provided billions in stop-gap funding, organizers at ACA struggled getting consensus from the member states in the EU. Letters and appeals continued into the fall of 2020. Fast forward to today, and we are seeing that COVID-19 – while no doubt present – is something that the world must learn to live with. This means carrying on with business and joining together to address the challenges of this new world. It has been three years and we’re looking forward to visiting Hamburg. We’re especially excited to learn who are the winners of the Onboard Icons contest hosted by event organizers. If there was ever a time to recognize and honor perseverance, it is now. We have no doubt the events in Hamburg will be a gathering to remember and will become a fond memory of when things began to change for the better, with a refreshed industry united under a new set of catering guidelines, a gratitude for those making big contributions to the future and a reminder of how quickly the world and our industry can change.

published a total of 10 times a year by PAX International, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International

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. 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



MORE THAN JUST A FLIGHT #FlyBamboo #FlyVietnam







CLOSING THE CIRCLE Single-use plastic is on the way out on Etihad Airways, and the airline’s new tableware design for Economy Class will further an ambitious goal when it is introduced this year



TWENTY YEARS OF MEANINGFUL MOMENTS FORMIA shares details of its 20-year history in this Q&A with PAX International


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New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive

Emotional ties: Suppliers and airlines tap into needs of returning passengers


Airlines, suppliers and producers such as Beemster are working toward sustainable production and food service processes to help shrink waste and lessen environmental impact. More on page 34

Departments EDITOR’S NOTE






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THE FORGOTTEN GEM A breath-taking island nestled just southeast of India; Sri Lanka has long been a destination that satisfies luxury-seeking tourists. Resplendent Ceylon is a brand aiming to put the country back on the map – and is succeeding in spades SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS Bamboo Airways may be a young company, but its commitment to quality is timeless. Here’s how the airline has made great strides in only a few short years VIVA VIETNAM Domestic and international travel is heating up in Vietnam. From the country’s airlines to its hospitality services, there is no end of options for those looking for an authentic, and often luxurious, experience abroad



PAX International gets the scoop from producers, chefs and suppliers on their sustainability initiatives from farm to fork

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FOODY FOCUS This spring, SATS broke ground on a new Food Hub that will add to the company’s reputation for developing advanced production methods and practices COLLABORATING FOR CHANGE The Airline Sustainability Forum aims to unite the international aviation industry and reduce cabin waste through standardized solutions for onboard materials MEATLESS MEAT Four panelists discuss meat alternatives in WTCE roundtable discussion hosted by PAX International



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SPILLING THE TEA Dilmah Tea has a long and prestigious reputation as being one of Sri Lanka’s most elegant exports – and its story is as rich as the cups it brews. Here’s how the company is helping to boost Sri Lanka’s profile around the globe


SNACKS & DRINKS REPORT As people return to travel, these suppliers are showcasing the products that guarantee a memorable inflight food and drink experience SUSTAINABLE EYE IN THE SKY Results of a UNESCO Life Cycle Assessment study reveal new information about SkyTender Solutions’ beverage systems and the company plans to share details at WTCE



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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Inflight suppliers are acknowledging the passenger’s emotional ties to travel and are catering to their wellbeing with mindful and practical products HYDRATION STATION A scientifically-formulated mix of electrolytes, glucose and minerals can help passengers stay hydrated inflight, plus a review of the product by PAX International Editor Jane Hobson SUSTAINABLE SOUNDS Linstol discusses how kraft paper and rice paper packaging for its headsets sends an “eco-message” to passengers who are listening closer than ever before



FUNCTIONAL FOCUS Crew uniforms speak to volumes to passengers on airlines values, presentation and fashion, but the pandemic has shifted the attire to more of a functional focus


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SPIRITED RETURN Craft cocktails and traditional sparkling beverages were found in the usual and somewhat unusual places this spring as thirsty travelers take to the air COMMITMENT TO CRAFT Fraternity Spirits scales new heights with Japanese whisky



MUCH NEEDED MEETING WTCE returns to Hamburg in June, celebrating 10 years since its start and a long break due to COVID






Aeromexico, Skyteam Flying Food catering and Kaelis choose green Lufthansa Group at Aeromexico and Kaelis are taking on the “The SustainIAD and JFK able Flight Challenge.” The Skyteam initiative challenges participating airlines to find the most sustainable way to operate a single flight in their networks and take responsibility for a sustainable future in the airline industry. Kaelis has created a collection of environmentally friendly products made from recycled, biodegradable, compostable materials which are reusable and recyclable. Aeromexico passengers can enjoy a blanket and pillow that has been made from recycled plastic bottles. The inflight lunch and dinner will be served with a range of sustainable products such as cups, napkins and cutlery made from ecofriendly materials: sugar cane, bamboo or recycled paper, thus avoiding single-use plastics or plastic containers. “The ability of Kaelis to innovate is what distinguishes us and will propel us to a new stage in environmental care and the development of a more sustainable future,” reads the May 9 press release. Kaelis’ collection of eco-friendly products made from recycled, biodegradable, compostable materials

Lufthansa operates two flights daily from JFK to Munich and Frankfurt

Flying Food Group is now catering daily Austrian Airlines flights between Washington Dulles and Vienna, and Lufthansa German Airlines from JFK to Frankfurt and Munich. Austrian Airlines catering began April 1. Nicolas Rondeau, Flying Food Group Executive Vice President, Airline Sales and Marketing, said that this is the result of a long-term strategic partnership with the Lufthansa Group. Austrian Airlines has been a Flying Food Group customer in the past in other locations. Flying Food Group is now catering twice-daily Lufthansa flights between New York JFK and Frankfurt and Munich. Service also began April 1. Rondeau said this is the fifth Lufthansa location catered by the company. Flying Food Group also caters Lufthansa at Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and Newark.


Hawaiian promotes sustainability Hawaiian Airlines has published its 2022 Corporate Kuleana (Responsibility) Report, providing updates on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and priorities, including new commitments to replace single-use plastics in cabin service by 2029 and locally source 40 percent of food and beverage for its Hawaii-based catering operations by 2025. The airline is advancing its initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is exploring sustainable aviation fuel opportunities, preparing to induct a fuel-efficient fleet of 787-9 aircraft next year and is partnering with

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Conservation International to offer a carbon offset program for travelers while committing to offset emissions from all of its employee business travel on the airline’s flights, reads the May 2 press release. To address plastic pollution, Hawaiian is committing to replacing 50 percent of single-use plastics from inflight service items with sustainable alternatives by 2025 and 100 percent by 2029. Hawaiian expects to replace about 142,000 plastic bottles served onboard annually in a pilot project using aluminum bottles from water company Mananalu.



JetBlue announces changes in leadership JetBlue has announced leadership changes in inflight and loyalty. Don Uselmann is appointed Vice President of Inflight Experience. He will report to Ed Baklor, JetBlue’s Head of Customer Care and Programs. In this role he will lead and support JetBlue’s inflight team, ensuring new and current crew members have the tools and training they need. Chris Buckner is promoted to the role of Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Partnerships. Buckner will be responsible for continuing to evolve TrueBlue, JetBlue’s loyalty program, and evolve JetBlue’s co-branded credit card portfolio. “The JetBlue Experience truly comes to life through our culture and our incredible people, particularly while customers are in flight. I am thrilled to be joining our team of more than 6,000 award-winning inflight crew members as we aspire to deliver exceptional experiences to each and every customer on each and every flight,” said Uselmann in the March 31 press release. “Since joining the team, we have developed an ambitious roadmap that will redefine the loyalty space for our customers and for JetBlue. I look forward to bringing this plan to life over the coming months and years,” said Buckner.


Snackbox To Go unveils vegan range of food offerings Snackbox To Go is introducing its range of vegan food products. The offerings include a vegan sausage roll, vegan fish fingers with fries, vegan pizza, vegan potato sticks and various other vegan potato snacks. “With more and more awareness for sustainability, the world is ready to innovate and make some real changes to an individual’s lifestyle. Since plant-based options have a much smaller environmental impact in comparison to meat products, this gives people the opportunity to contribute to the planet’s recovery in their food choices,” Kees Verschuure, Sales Director for Snackbox To-Go, tells PAX International. The sausage roll from Snackbox To-Go is Halal and suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets, providing a hot, comforting inflight snack for passengers

Chris Buckner, Vice President of Loyalty Programs and Partnerships (left) and Don Uselmann, Vice President of Inflight Experience at JetBlue


Turkish Airlines renews travel kits Turkish Airlines has partnered with Coccinelle and Hackett to update its travel kits, offered to passengers flying Business Class on long-haul flights of eight hours or more. The airline breathed new life into its travel kits for women with alluring and elegant designs by Coccinelle. As for men, Turkish added the British brand Hackett to its product portfolio. The sets contain 3D sleep masks designed to accommodate face contours, breathable socks, ear plugs that balance air pressure, a toothbrush, toothpaste with enhanced fluoride and recyclable packaging, a hair grip, and skin care products. “Every product in the collection signifies luxury, quality and modern lines,” reads the press release.

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The Turkish Airlines travel kit



SWISS celebrates its 20th anniversary and launches food waste reducing initiatives SWISS International Air Lines (SWISS) has launched two initiatives to reduce food waste within its SWISS Saveurs catering concept for Economy Class passengers on short- and medium-haul flights. The first is ‘SWISS Saveurs Pre-Order.’ Passengers can individually order any freshly prepared items on the SWISS Saveurs menu pre-flight. And, the second is ‘SWISS Saveurs To Go.’ With this option, passengers on the last evening flights of the day can purchase any remaining freshly prepared SWISS Saveurs items at substantially reduced prices. The items can be pre-ordered up to 36 hours before departure via the pre-order booking link for all flights longer than 50 minutes to or from Zurich or Geneva. The airline is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The first-ever SWISS flight was from Basel to Zurich on March 31, 2002. “If it weren’t for the great loyalty of our customers, the strong commitment of our employees in the air and on the ground, our fruitful collaborations with our airport partners and our suppliers and, not least, the firm support that we have received from the Swiss people, the Swiss political

world and the banks, including in the present pandemic times, SWISS would simply not be one of the leading airlines today,” said SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx in a press release.

SWISS is incorporating two initiatives to reduce food waste as it celebrates its 20th birthday


Diskomat to showcase The Environmental Hero at WTCE Diskomat will be drawing lots of attention to its cart washer ‘The Environmental Hero’ at WTCE with a special Anniversary offer. “Compared to tunnel washers in the market, our Hero offers unparalleled energy saving performance and measures up on all critical criteria and comparative studies of environmental and financial key performance indicators,” says Tomas Jämtander, Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, Diskomat. The Hero uses the equivalent amount of water used in a five-minute shower to rinse 30 carts. With a rinse volume of merely two-liters of fresh water per cart, the chemical consumption is significantly lower than most comparable chamber cart washers and tunnel washers. With the Hero, large sized kitchen trolleys, storage bins, or other bulk items will be clean and dry in a matter of 120 seconds. Diskomat is also launching its owned designed and innovative Mobile Cart Lift, to complement the Stationary Cart Lift. The Mobile Cart Lift is intended for workstations where meal and beverage carts are packed and unpacked, and where there is need for a flexible lift that can easily be

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moved around. Live testing at Gate Gourmet and Newrest have proven convenient to operate, flexibility and improved ergonomics for the work force. Jämtander says the company is planning to share details of the Hero’s special Anniversary offer this month, valid until year end. Diskomat will be at booth 1G10.

Innovating, for a Better Tomorrow.

At SATS, we use innovative food technologies and resilient supply chains to create tasty, quality food in sustainable ways.

We are investing in collaborative innovation, large-scale production capabilities and upskilling our people for a different and better tomorrow. As Asia’s leading provider of food solutions and gateway services, we delight passengers in over 55 locations and 14 countries. Find out how we feed and connect communities at



dnata and Plaza Premium team up to develop lounge marhaba, the global airport hospitality brand of dnata, and Plaza Premium Group (PPG), have entered into a joint venture agreement to expand their international offering. The first project under the agreement will see the development of the new marhaba Plaza Premium Lounge at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. Queen Alia International Airport is the main and largest airport in Jordan. With development already in progress, the marhaba Plaza Premium Lounge at Queen Alia is expected to open in July 2022. The lounge will have a capacity of 140 guests and is inspired by the landscape of Amman, with subtle inclusion of the local culture and heritage in its design. Bora Isbulan, Deputy CEO of Plaza Premium Group said that the agreement is a testament to the shared commitment of providing the best-inclass airport hospitality for travelers to enjoy.


marhaba operates airport lounges in six countries

Ellie Krieger

American adds to culinary team American Airlines has added Julia Coney and Ellie Krieger to its roster of culinary professionals as part of an exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation, The collaboration between American and the James Beard Foundation began in 2019. Both Coney and Krieger will consult on the onboard and ground dining programs. As a wine educator, writer and consultant, Coney will collaborate on American’s wine program, redefining its offerings to reflect diverse passenger preferences and assist in developing wine education programs for team members. Coney is a member of the University of California at Davis’ Department of Viticulture and Enology Executive Leadership Board. She founded Black Wine Professionals, a resource for the wine industry, with the goal of lifting up multifaceted Black professionals in the world of wine through inclusive events, education and opportunities. Her accolades include Wine Enthusiast’s 2020 Social Visionary Award and recognition as one of Wine’s Most Inspiring People for 2022 from the Wine Industry Network. Julia Coney

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We take care of your Uniform Management through Digital Transformation. Simple, effective and sustainable. Successful projects delivered for +80 companies over the planet.



LATAM Group opens new lounge at SCL LATAM Group has opened the doors of “LATAM Lounge,” a renewed space for its preferred passengers and LATAM’s partner airline members at Comodoro Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago. The new space, at 4,000 square meters, replaces the old VIP lounge and will offer a more sustainable service with a Latin American influence. “LATAM Lounge” is located in the new Terminal 2 of the airport and is available to all passengers with the LATAM benefits program in the Black Signature, Black and Platinum categories, for flights in Premium cabin, alliance customers and business partners, traveling on international flights, or making stopovers in Chile. “Our decision making is always guided by our customers, and we continue to advance an experience where everyone can choose what is important for their trip. We

have promoted changes and innovations in our new Lounge to create a space that highlights the best of our region and where there are options for everyone to enjoy their time as they see fit,” said Paulo Miranda Vice President of Customers for LATAM Airlines Group.

Eighty percent of the energy used to operate the LATAM Lounge is renewable


Fiji Airways takes infighting dining to new heights Fiji Airways has debuted its inflight Business Class menu from multi-award-winning Kiwi-Fijian Chef Richard Cross. A refreshed menu cycle will launch every quarter with molecular gastronomy and house-smoked produce set to feature on upcoming menus. Business Class passengers can enjoy gourmet

meals such as grilled tiger prawn cutlets with sriracha mayo and crispy noodles on a caramelized pineapple bed. A highlight of the inflight dessert menu includes the signature kava and cinnamon ice cream. Showcasing indigenous vegetables in a new light, modern cooking and preservation techniques have been used to transform the likes of cassava, sweet potato (yellow kumala), dalo and plantain banana into edible garnishes expected in fine-dining environments. Cross will also be introducing housesmoked local produce as a regular feature on the airline’s Business Class menu, including A refreshed menu cycle will launch every quarter smoked walu fish and smoked beef tenderloin. for Fiji Airways’ Business “Airline catering has its challenges but Class passengers I’m looking to change that. My vision is to use cooking and presentation techniques like dehydrated vegetable garnishes, molecular gastronomy, and house-smoked produce that you would expect to see in fine dining restaurants and serve them 35,000 feet in the air,” said Cross.

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ack p e l g n si d r a o b on m u i ns m o e i t Pr u l o snack s








Closing the circle

Single-use plastic is on the way out on Etihad Airways, and the airline’s new tableware design for Economy Class will further an ambitious goal when it is introduced this year Rotables in the Etihad tableware lineup will stand up to at least 150 washings says deSter



he Economy Class cabin on Etihad Airways has been praised for its spaciousness, fixed wing headrests in its seating, extra legroom and the option for a neighbor-free flight. However, in the future, it may be well known for what it does not have. The airline is on a quest to remove 80 percent of its single-use plastic from the cabin by the end of 2022. It is taking a significant step in that direction by boarding a bold design of onboard dining equipment that will stand up to frequent washings and made near airline headquarters in the United Arab Emirates. The industry got the first look at the design in early May when it was announced with a long list of other sustainability plans. In the case of tableware, the new products will be cleaned and handled over and over in a closed loop, keeping their intrinsic value and decreasing waste. To develop the tableware, the airline turned to gategroup’s deSter operations. The rotable launch lineup at the end of this year will be reusable tableware with trays, bowls, lids and hot meal casseroles that are reused many times before they are recycled into the same product again at their end of life. The airline and deSter are modeling the service on the circular economy concept/principles introduced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the United Kingdom. Traditionally, products like tableware are used until the end of their lifecycle and disposed. In a closed loop, the products, like Etihad’s tableware, will be washed, ground and re-manufactured into the same products. While easy to present in theory, deSter says there are many steps and challenges to overcome. The primary challenge is keeping food safe. To effectively carry out the process, deSter received approval from the European Food Safety Authority

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The tableware in Economy Class on Etihad will go into service by the end of this year

in 2021 allowing closed loop recycling for the aviation sector. The company is building a manufacturing facility in the UAE to join its facilities in Belgium, Thailand and the United States. How long the new rotable tableware can remain in service before being recycled will be something deSter will be watching. Additionally, the company is training caterers in the Etihad system on how to best work with the product. “There is minimum of 150 (wash) cycles guaranteed,” said Philippe de Naeyer, Director of Sustainability at deSter. “However much depends on the use and handling at the

Flying Food Group is the only US owned, private and independent company among the top airlines caters. As a privatelyowned company, we are committed to continuously investing in improving our products, elevating our service, developing our employees and upgrading our facilities. Cost transparency is our way of doing business. We have the lowest overhead cost structure in the market.

➢ Flexible operations that allow for change to deliver the desired customer results. ➢ Strict adherence to product specifications. ➢ Excellent on-time performance. ➢ No compromise on compliance with hygiene and safety.

Visit US at 2022 WTCE


caterer. In best case, we see them going way above 150 cycles.” Though energy is used to keep rotable products in service, de Naeyer says that net energy savings can be achieved. Single use products for food service may weigh less, but energy savings is reduced by the power needed to produce an item that is thrown away after one flight. The weight difference between rotable and disposable products is negligible compared to the waste single use items are creating “There is much more to gain with other CO2 reduction initiatives than with avoiding the switch from single-use to reusable,” says de Naeyer. Joining the deSter tableware in Etihad Economy Class will be a line of stainless-steel cutlery. Other products in the cabin will be a pillow with a 200-thread count cotton cover that will be made in the UAE. Etihad says the pillow is 35 percent larger than the current one used. There will also be a blanket that is made from recycled plastic. The airline has replaced magazines and manuals with electronic versions and has transitioned into digital boarding passes. Also, in the cabin will be Etihad’s efforts to use technology to calculate the amount of water usage on each flight to reduce consumption. For more initiatives, the airline is reaching out to its passenger base through a rewards program called Etihad Guest Conscious Choices and another program called Corporate Conscious Choices. The programs allow frequent fliers to earn tier miles by choosing to fly with less baggage or offset the emissions on their flights.

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deSter will be opening a manufacturing facility in the UAE to make the Etihad tableware

Luxury is Served

A delicate infusion light & mellow

Full bodied, rounded and refreshing

Strong rich & full bodied

Heavy, robust and deep in colour








family passion

Fine Tea crafted in the traditional artisanal style, as we do at Dilmah, is blessed with terroir, the influence of sunshine, rainfall, wind, soil and temperature. That produces extraordinary & deliciously different taste, textures and stories in fine tea; a tea for every mood and occasion.

A family company founded on Tea Grower, Merrill J. Fernando’s love for tea, and his pledge to serve humanity, Dilmah has a heart of kindness to people and nature. Our MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation use a minimum 15% of our earnings to touch the lives of less fortunate communities and benefit nature through conservation, restoration and environmental education.

Fine Tea indulgently pairs with fine food, highlighting flavours and textures to enhance taste, while the antioxidants in tea cleanse the palate, aiding digestion. The variety in tea offers a tea to complement every food, whether grilled meat, poached fish or dessert, and a tea to enhance every cocktail or mocktail.

Dilmah is no ordinary tea. Born as Founder, Merrill J. Fernando’s dream and devotion in 1950, three generations of the ‘Dilmah Family’ now craft the finest teas with the love of tea growers, who have devoted their lives to nature’s healing & delicious herb.

Interested in tea inspired luxury for your hospitality experience? Get in touch




The Someone Somewhere kit for passengers in Delta’s premium Delta One cabin


FORMIA shares details of its 20-year history in this Q&A with PAX International



eedless to say, the world has changed drastically in the last 20 years. And with it, the commercial aviation industry. This year, a company that has been there throughout it all, staying ahead of trends to bring luxury experience into the aircraft cabin, is marking a significant anniversary. In this Industry Q&A, amenity supplier FORMIA shares details of its two-decades-long history PAX INTERNATIONAL: Take us back to the beginning. Where did FORMIA’s story start? ROLAND GROHMANN, CEO & MANAGING PARTNER AT FORMIA: The FORMIA brand has roots in Scandinavia before being established in Asia-Pacific in 2002 – a region at the heart of the future growth market and of the supply chain. In 2009, FORMIA repositioned to specialize exclusively in airline amenity kits, cosmetics and comfort items with a unique, humancentered approach. With this strategic

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refocus and a clear vision, we modernized and elevated the business, including building a dynamic and diverse team to serve our global customers and partners.

Roland Grohmann, CEO & Managing Partner at FORMIA

PAX INTERNATIONAL: FORMIA has an impressive roster of customers and partners. How did the company achieve this, and what is done to maintain this reputation? GROHMANN: FORMIA is privileged to serve more than 50 airline customers and 130 brand partners. It’s important for us to develop and nurture our relationships with every airline customer. A key part of this is our role as facilitator. To fully understand each airline’s requirements and aspirations, and to expertly research and select the most relevant brands which align with the airlines’ DNA This approach, along with our meaningful brand partnerships, conscious design using responsibly sourced materials, improvements across the supply chain and post-use in mind,

we ensure that our product offerings add distinct value for every passenger, regardless of the airline, and address their continuously evolving needs. Despite global supply chain issues, or circumstances like the pandemic, our decades of experience provided us the foresight and operational excellence to overcome these matters and deliver what is promised on time, every time. PAX INTERNATIONAL: FORMIA has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Dubai, New York and Mexico. How does this reach allow the company to serve its customers and partners better?


RETURN TO HAMBURG! From onboard caterers to amenity programs, and from connectivity to the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that stand out from the crowd. The award winners will be announced on June 15, 2022 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Award winners will be featured in a special spread, as well as in our e-Newsletter.



into amenity concepts for millions of passengers to enjoy. As we study the evolution of passenger behaviors, we cherish our role as facilitators between the airline, brand and consumer. We use data and analysis to extract relevant meaning from each party and create concepts that pamper and delight but that are also meaningful and have an impact either socially or environmentally.

The iconic suitcase design by FORMIA

PAX INTERNATIONAL: What cultural aspects does FORMIA bring into its design? GROHMANN: People are undeniably at the heart of everything we do at FORMIA. “Ren,” the ancestral Chinese character that means person, people or human, has been part of FORMIA’s identity since our beginning. It embodies our passion to prioritize wellbeing, protect our planet for generations to come and anticipate passenger needs to bring lasting moments of inspiration and delight. A good quality, well-designed and thoughtfully curated amenity kit can create a memorable experience for the traveler and offer a rare moment of relaxation and revitalization. PAX INTERNATIONAL: What does FORMIA hope for in the next 20 years? Or five years?

GROHMANN: FORMIA’s reach has expanded over the years from Asia to across the Middle East, Europe, North America and Latin America making FORMIA a truly global company and the industry leader it is today. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our customers a culture-specific understanding of their needs based on our local and regional expertise in each market. Most recently we established our New York City office to support our activities in this key region. Along with the Delta Air Lines’ partnership to launch their Delta One amenities program, FORMIA’s other airline customers in the region include American Airlines, JetBlue, WestJet, Aeromexico and NetJets.

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PAX INTERNATIONAL: What is FORMIA’s favorite part about its brand partners and collaborations – what sparks joy in these partnerships? GROHMANN: A personal highlight of mine was the launch of the now iconic miniature suitcase concept as an amenity kit for Thai Airways a decade ago, in collaboration with luxury luggage brand RIMOWA. An industry-first, we have since introduced the mini hardcase concept on a number of world-class airlines, together with well-known luggage brands including Samsonite, Porsche Design, BRIC’s and Globe-Trotter. We love being able to translate our brand’s retail inspirations and designs

GROHMANN: We have all witnessed a seismic shift in passenger’s expectations and behavior over the last couple of years, and it is no longer just about comfort and wellbeing in the air. Health, safety, functionality, reusability and sustainability are as important as ever. In line with these shifts, FORMIA has committed to transforming our entire business to be truly sustainable. Our goal is to become a net-zero carbon company by 2030 and offer net-zero carbon amenity kits as of this year. Together with REBEL, our sustainability partner, we are on an ambitious journey to reduce FORMIA’s carbon footprint. For FORMIA, this is just the start of our journey and we will continue to invest in innovations, improvements and experiences over the coming years, to ensure we maintain the momentum and drive our sustainability targets. We aim to provide further added value and inspiration for our airline customers, partners, passengers and our people.

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The Forgotten Gem

A look at the pristine beauty of the Wild Coast Tented Lodge located in Yala, Sri Lanka

A breath-taking island nestled just southeast of India; Sri Lanka has long been a destination that satisfies luxury-seeking tourists. Resplendent Ceylon is a brand aiming to put the country back on the map – and is succeeding in spades by RACHEL DEBLING


esplendent Ceylon is a known name on the shores of Sri Lanka with three upscale boutique resorts that are a part of the Relais & Châteaux hotel association – Tea Trails, Wild Coast Tented Lodge, and Cape Weligama. The company has been fruitful in catering to the discerning traveler looking to get something more out of their vacation than all-you-can-drink margaritas. Malik J. Fernando, Managing Director of Resplendent Ceylon, works hard to ensure that the warmth and friendliness of Sri Lanka is represented from the moment guests step onto the company’s properties to the time they head to the airport to return home. “The lasting impression travelers have of our country is how well they have been looked after,” says Fernando. “This is a critical ingredient for countries that seek to grow tourism.”

Elevating the experience

Malik J. Fernando, Managing Director of Resplendent Ceylon

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Sri Lanka itself is an oft-overlooked tourist option, one that Fernando believes provides the high level of luxury that many cooped-up would-be travelers are looking for. “This small island packs in a continent’s worth of attractions and eight world heritage sites, all available within a few hours of each other,” he says. Some of these amazing destinations include the Ceylon Tea highlands, the Cultural Triangle and, as Fernando points out,

“probably the best wildlife parks outside of Africa.” Want to see leopards, elephants, bear and blue whales outside of Africa? Look no further than the wilderness of Sri Lanka, where all this and more is at a traveler’s fingertips. Though it may not crack the top ten of many Western delivery apps, Sri Lankan cuisine has a lot to offer, and where better to experience it than on home territory. “Sri Lankan cuisine is very distinctive, using cinnamon, coconut and myriad spices that the country is famous for – the best cinnamon is grown here,” says Fernando. These are the flavors that the kitchens of Resplendent Ceylon bring to their guests each and every day. Accompanying these dishes is Dilmah Tea, made by the artisanal beverage company which owns Resplendent Ceylon, with its teas featured center stage in the company’s Ceylon Tea Trails resort. And Fernando also has another unique perspective when it comes to bringing customers to Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches: he sits on the board of SriLankan Airlines along with other private-sector colleagues. Restructuring the airline to grow alongside the country’s booming tourism has been a top priority for he and others who believe in the viability of Sri Lanka’s position in the global travel industry.

Finding “new” customers

International appeal is something that Resplendent Ceylon has historically specialized in, focusing its business on out-of-country travelers as opposed to local. However, the impact of COVID-19 inspired them to shift their model once it became clear that there was a demographic right under their nose that wasn’t being catered to. “For higher end hotels like Resplendent, the local traveler share was previously small,” recalls Fernando. “However,

during the pandemic and overseas travel restrictions, affluent locals who usually holiday overseas experimented with our resorts and were pleasantly surprised. Within a short period, we built up a regular local clientele which, even with the resumption of foreign travelers, is now a significant element.” The premium travelers who flock to the company’s locations are looking for a memorable experience, not a discount, Fernando notes, which is why special packages and discounts are of no interest to the brand. Delivering holidays that will destress their clientele and keep them coming back – hopefully with friends and family – is the goal of Fernando and the Resplendent Ceylon team.

Getting Back to Normal

With the damage of the pandemic still in the rear-view mirror, Fernando has nothing but high hopes for the tourism industry that he and his company have been helping to foster. Offering a safe, unique experience is of the utmost importance to Resplendent Ceylon. “The 2021/22 winter season was very successful,” notes Fernando, pointing to the pent-up desire to travel following international lockdowns. “Sri Lanka opened for tourism in early 2021. We were considered a mature market thanks to the clear, thought-out rules and protocols that we had in place.” A pleasant change that Fernando has witnessed is that many customers are choosing longer stays, or even to extend their time in Sri Lanka, which he credits in part to the new telework standard that many companies around the world are adopting. “Working from a hotel is convenient – less of a mad rush to get back to the office,” he points out. “To hear travelers ask on the day of checkout if they can extend their stay by a week was unheard of before. It brings joy to the heart of a hotelier!” PAX-INTL.COM



Soaring to new heights

Mr. Eric Dang, Chairman cum CEO of Bamboo Airways

Bamboo Airways may be a young company, but its commitment to quality is timeless. Here’s how the airline has made great strides in only a few short years by RACHEL DEBLING


electing the perfect symbol to represent a brand is of utmost importance. For Bamboo Airways, its namesake was inspired by the iconic Vietnamese tree that reflects a spirit of hospitality, resilience and bravery. “Bamboo Airways has made tireless efforts to deliver the most beautiful values and images of Vietnamese people and their country to the world,” Eric Dang, Chairman cum CEO of Bamboo Airways, explains. “Passengers can easily recognize the symbol of bamboo on any of our domestic and international flights.” Established in 2017, Bamboo Airways officially took wings in 2019 and became one of the three largest carriers in Vietnam after one year of operation. Despite facing many challenges posed by the pandemic, Bamboo Airways has constantly soared to new heights. Bamboo Airways offers comfort in every class of every flight, with a selection of entertainment options to suit every taste

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“As of now, Bamboo Airways operates nearly 30 diverse aircraft and nearly 40 domestic and 12 international routes,” says Dang. Connecting people and places is at the core of Bamboo Airways’ operational strategy. Dang notes that the airline is blazing a trail to untapped markets within Vietnam, with routes to Con Dao, Rach Gia, Dien Bien, and many others. It has also expanded its presence in international markets with a series of inaugural nonstop routes to Asia, Australia, and Europe. The airline’s successful nonstop flights bridging Vietnam and the United States after just three years of operation also serves as a critical juncture, which Dang refers to as a “turning point in Vietnamese aviation history.” Bamboo Airways treats its passengers to a special level of dedication and hospitality throughout every step of the journey, beginning at the airport: Bamboo Airways has the most private business lounges in Vietnam. “Bamboo Airways also leaves a memorable impression on passengers with delicious local cuisine, both in business lounges and inflight, such as pho, bun quay Phu Quoc, bun rieu Con Dao, and bun sua Phu Yen,” says Dang. Once onboard, passengers are offered a variety of inflight entertainment options and fine meals. “In the roadmap of providing our passengers with international

Though established in 2017, Bamboo Airways has been experiencing exponential growth in its short time in the skies

A selection of the delicious local cuisine offered by Bamboo Airways

A peek at the First Lounge by Bamboo Airways at Noi Bai International Airport

Bamboo Airways’ business class provides a roomy and cozy experience for passengers looking to elevate their flight

five-star services, we have cooperated with trusted caterers to promote diverse menus that can deliver colorful Vietnamese traditions and satisfy different tastes of customers: Vietnamese red sticky rice, vermicelli noodles, sticky rice cake, bean pudding, to name a few,” he says. Adding to its quality services, Bamboo Club rewards its most loyal customers – a million of them at press time – with four member tiers offering numerous privileges from not only Bamboo Airways but also the airline’s extensive network. Bamboo Airways’ crew is just as much a part of the in-cabin experience as the airline’s cuisine. The bamboo-inspired uniform, a nod to the company’s name and its history, adds to the authenticity that Dang and his team strive to achieve with every flight. “Our sky ambassadors are well-trained professionals dedicated to supporting customers throughout the journey,” says Dang. The crew greets passengers with a friendly smile, a hand on their heart, and a welcome bow, which has come to be recognized as the airline’s trademark. “It is the friendliness and hospitality of Vietnam that we wish to radiate to the world,” he explains. The commitment to international five-star-oriented service quality has been confirmed through fantastic reviews and international recognition. Bamboo Airways currently sits at a customer satisfaction rating of 4.5/5

and leads the Vietnamese aviation industry in terms of on-time performance from its earliest days up to 2022. In the future, Bamboo Airways seeks to continue its upward growth. This year, the airline targets 120 routes, including 80 domestic and 40 international routes covering new destinations, especially in the U.S. market. “The U.S. is considered one of the most demanding aviation markets, with complex and stringent procedures that can take many years for any carrier to complete,” Dang points out. “We have obtained slots to operate regular services to the U.S. and have entered into cooperation with international partners to gear up a seamless, efficient operation connecting two countries.” It is partnerships such as these that are increasing Bamboo Airways’ international profile and helping to increase Vietnam’s popularity in the international tourism market. “As the tourism industry is witnessing a strong bounceback after the pandemic, we have operated with 100 percent capacity, constantly increased frequencies, and inaugurated many new routes during the crowded festive seasons,” says Dang. “Our load factor rate on the domestic network even peaked at 90 to 92 percent during these periods.” With its continuing successes and comprehensive operational strategy, Bamboo Airways is contributing to paving the way for further tourism developments. PAX-INTL.COM



Viva Vietnam

Domestic and international travel is heating up in Vietnam. From the country’s airlines to its hospitality services, there is no end of options for those looking for an authentic, and often luxurious, experience abroad by RACHEL DEBLING

The colors and fit of the Vietravel uniform express the warmth and youthfulness of the airline’s brand


fter two tumultuous years, the Asian travel market is once again heating up, and Vietnam has stepped up to the plate as a destination for tourists itchy to see the world and as an attractive option for vendors to showcase their wares. PAX spoke to representatives from two airlines who explained how they are setting higher standards for airline passengers and attracting them to their tropical homeland.


Nguyen Linh Phuong, Vietravel’s General Manager of In-flight Service Division, Ground Operation Department, has noticed the growth of Asia’s travel industry firsthand. She notes that Vietravel is the continent’s leading tour operator and has been expanding their offerings to keep up with the demand. The company’s airline arm flies 18 regional flights on six routes per day, with plans to add three more at press time. June 2022 will also see the airline launch routes to Korea, Bangkok, and Singapore. “Since international travel rules have been eased, supply and demand in travel industry are recovering quickly,” she says. “Domestic travel is contributing largely to the recovery, and international travel is picking up. I do think the travel industry is getting back to pre-pandemic levels.” The Vietravel team works hard to ensure that the high standards the company sets are translated through their service and quality of product, both for their passengers and for their industry partners. “Vietravel is renowned for exceptional customer service,” Phuong explains. “Building upon the reputation of a professional tour provider reputation,

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Dave Kumar is the Flight Training Manager for Vietnam Travel Airlines. He has been a commercial pilot for 28 years

Do Le Tu Anh, VietJet Air’s In-flight Manager

Vietravel Airlines can take advantage of expertise in providing a good customer experience to travelers.” Making each trip unforgettable is their modus operandi, which they accomplish by making their inflight experience unique to the area. For instance, a live onboard flying guide introduces Vietravel customers to the culture of their destination before they set foot on land. Their crew uniforms, says Linh, fit well and are elegant, in colors that represent the vitality of Vietnam. “The yellow and blue colors show the willingness of health, prosperity and contribution,” she explains. “Food and beverages options are familiar with both locals and international travelers.” On the topic of refreshments, Vietravel passengers receive a snack and a bottle of water but can also choose from a selection of prebooked meals, along with the option to upgrade to a light combo meal. Local travelers make up a substantial amount of the company’s travel industry, and watching their habits has been enlightening for Phuong.

During a press conference, Vietravel signed a Travel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singapore Tourism General (STB) and Korea Tourism General (KTO) to cooperate to bring the best travel services to tourists Singapore and South Korea

“They prefer travelling by themselves to joining group tours,” she says. Vietravel had to adjust their business model accordingly, since tour itineraries are changed frequently to keep up with demand. Still, tourist destinations and international customers are Vietravel’s focus. In fact, passenger volume has been increasing year by year due to tourism activities. As Phuong explains, “Many travelers are customers of Vietravel tours, so it will not only bring revenue to Vietravel but we are also able to

provide the same consistent quality of service to them.” One person who has seen the growth of Vietnam’s travel industry on the ground – or more accurately, from the sky – is Dave Kumar, Flight Training Manager for Vietravel. He has been a commercial pilot for over 28 years and was inspired at a young age by his father who was a pilot in the Royal Malaysian Airforce. “He used to bring me along on weekends when he had training flights,” Dave recalls. “It was during this period that I discovered what my profession should be.” Since he began flying as a career nearly three decades ago, he has been a pilot for cargo operations as well as low-cost, full-service, and even island-hopping airlines. What sets Vietravel apart from other airlines, says Dave, is its longstanding reputation in the country. “In my opinion, Vietravel is different from other airlines I have worked for because it already has a big customer base,” he explains. “Our parent company, Vietravel Holdings, has been in operation for more than 25 years with offices in different countries. This is very important in the airline industry.” After the tumultuous years of 2020 and 2021, Dave says the Vietnam travel industry is growing by leaps and bound, and Vietravel is following suit. “The company is currently looking to revamp and enhance the travel experience of our passengers by offering a wide new range of products,” he notes.



VietJet Air

VietJet Air is another airline operating in Vietnam that takes a hard stance when it comes to quality. Do Le Tu Anh, the company’s In-flight Manager, says that their intention is to make flying easier for everyone through their level service and its perceived value. “Our country’s travel industry is bouncing back, step by step,” she says. “Other neighboring countries still aren’t open, and Vietnam needs to focus on its business after COVID. Everything hasn’t returned to normal just yet.” But that doesn’t mean that VietJet has been resting on its laurels. The airline has been looking to the future and ensuring that it stands out amongst its competitors. “VietJet is different through its pricing, inflight services and timing of flights,” Anh explains. “VietJet is the new generation.” Though she cannot disclose the names of their amenity and food and beverage partners, the airline remains flexible by having a bank of vendors at the ready, depending on the items needed and the audience it will be offered to. The same goes for their catering – each VietJet base works with a different company. However, there are plans to launch a new hot menu this June, which can be previewed on the airline’s website. Anh has also noticed a marked difference between local and international travelers, especially in their spending habits. “Locals enjoy places with full service, and they are willing to pay whatever it takes for entertainment,” she notes.

Vietravel wished the Vietnamese team an impressive performance at the Hanoi 2021 Southeast Asian Games, which due to the pandemic were held in May 2022

“International travelers tend to love places where they can be in nature, from exploring caves to climbing mountains.” Every day VietJet is striving to put Vietnam on the map as an international tourism destination. And according to Anh, it’s not hard. “Our country has many beautiful places,” she says. “I can proudly say that Vietnam has the best seaside and seafood in Asia.” For those who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing the country’s breathtaking scenery and cuisine, there are just a sampling of the companies who are ready, willing and able to introduce them to its finer points. Whether hopping around the region or expanding into neighboring countries, in the wake of the pandemic, Vietnam is sure to become a destination that will boom in the tourism market.

HAPPY K SOLUTIONS EXPANDS BUSINESS IN VIETNAM Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Founder of and Chairman at Happy K Solutions, the service provider company for hospitality and tourism segments with a main focus in inflight services, tells PAX International the company is now expanding to Vietnam. Happy K Solutions Vietnam will serve the Southeast Asia market. The business will fulfill industry needs, such as, design and supply of amenities, premium culinary products, packaging solutions and security labelling, including hologram labelling. “Happy K Solutions is a one stop shop for the industry,” says Hapugasdeniya, adding that Happy K Solutions has been servicing the industry for more than 20 years with tailor-made solutions. Hapugasdeniya was born in Sri Lanka and started his hotel career in the island country. He then moved to Switzerland to further his studies and build his career. Through the years, Hapugasdeniya worked in many hospitality sectors including golf resorts, theme restaurants, large catering businesses, boutique hotels, restaurants, and food manufacturing factories. Next, he moved to Australia to work at hotels before transitioning to the airline inflight services industry. He held management roles for inflight services with 5-Star airline Ansett Australia. After Ansett Australia, he founded Happy K Solutions to service airlines and catering needs in Australia, starting as a consultant to Virgin Blue Australia. Happy K Solutions has since designed and developed airline concepts and worked with airlines and caterers around the world. Happy K Solutions also offers culinary training, market-

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ing and certification services including HACCP and HALAL, cabin crew grooming and social graces activities, catering factory design and management, and consulting and managing catering businesses. Hapugasdeniya has also been part of the design team for theme restaurants in Australia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. He designed Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Founder and ran “Sri Lanka week” festivals of and Chairman in Australia with food, culture at Happy K Solutions and trade to promote Sri Lanka tourism, as well as in Vietnam with many renowned international “super chefs,” he says. He is the Founder of Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT), designed for airline management executives to network and exchange industry updates first-hand. He has also achieved the Gold Medal at the Culinary Olympics and has many other accolades in his culinary career. Hapugasdeniya has a Guinness World Record for longest spring roll, largest tea party and smallest wedding cake. Hapugasdeniya also works as an International culinary judge with various world chef associations, and as a judge with Mercury Awards and Onboard Hospitality awards. His cooking show ‘Culinary Corner,’ running for more than a decade now, airs every Sunday morning on Melbourne TV every Sunday morning.


Hamburg Messe 14 - 16 June 2022


Careful catering PAX International gets the scoop from producers, chefs and suppliers on their sustainability initiatives from farm to fork by JANE HOBSON

George Horvat, Vice President of Innovative Solutions at AMI Group

Patrick Den Drijver, Sales Manager Airlines at Beemster


ustainability – it’s not just for fun anymore! Airlines, suppliers and producers are working toward sustainable production and food service processes to help shrink waste and lessen environmental impact. For some, these options look like adopting modern farming techniques, environmentally conscious cooking facilities, being prepared for special meal requests and recyclable products for collecting catering waste.

Caring dairy

Tucked into the countryside in North Holland is a group of brown and black patchy cows, part of a co-operative of around 400 family farms, gleefully grazing on grass with no concept that they are producers of one of the world’s most iconic cheese brands.

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Chef Sean Wheaton, Vice President of Culinary Service at Cuisine Solutions

Sharing details of these 1,900-pound partners is part of Beemster’s steps to addressing sustainability at the source – on the farm. Patrick Den Drijver, Sales Manager Airlines at Beemster, tells PAX International, the company started its Meadow Program in 2002, highlighting its free-grazing, grass-fed cows. It graduated to its joint-venture Caring Dairy Program with ice cream customer Ben & Jerry’s in 2008, with a focus on animal welfare, climate and biodiversity. And in 2019, Beemster bolstered its commitment to sustainability with its Caring Dairy 2.0 Program, centering on cows, feed and environment. As part of the Caring Dairy 2.0 Program, every cow gets her own space with no overcrowding on the farms. There are massage brushes throughout the barns for cows to rub on, and soft beds and floors for comfortability and fewer injuries. Cows are put out to meadow for maximum time, helping

AMI group produces kits that allow caterers to have everything in one place, just needing to add some fresh components

young cattle learn herd behavior and reducing the amount of methane excreted. The farmers use no artificial growth hormones, as few anti-biotics as possible and aims to raise cows to an old age to then make use of the meat they provide. For feed, the cows are given more grass than silage (corn, legumes and grasses harvested and chopped together). Increasing the ratio of grass to silage helps decrease methane emissions and encourages grassland growth and harvest, explains Den Drijver, adding that the farms have at least 60 percent acreage is permanent grassland. Permanent grassland locks more carbon into the soil and lessens the reliance on transporting grass between farms. Silage is commonly produced by the farmer itself, or in the region, and the ingredients for fodder (food) are mostly imported from areas close to the Netherlands, Den Drijver says. Using their own silage brings the farms overall carbon footprint down. And implemented this year in the Caring Dairy 2.0 Program, Beemster only uses non-GMO feed, he adds. For its focus on the environment, Beemster operates on electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines on the farms. Some farms have installed manure digesters that produce electricity and heat from methane. The heat surplus is used to warm the barns and houses. This technique helps scale back methane emissions and ammonia. The Caring Dairy 2.0 Program has cut back the use of fertilizer on farms and has completely banned the pesticide ‘Round-Up,’ says Den Drijver. The company uses liquefied natural gas for milk transportation and is working toward testing fully electric milk trucks. And many farms have a bee corridor with wildflowers and native plants to help with diversity in nature.

Beemster is the first Dutch dairy producer to have a climate neutral certified factory. The aim is to have climate positive cheese by 2030, says Den Drijver. Climate positive requires significant reduction in the release of CO2 as well as drawing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Consistency and low emissions output

Sous vide expert Chef Sean Wheaton, Vice President of Culinary Service at Cuisine Solutions, gave PAX International an insightful reminder about sustainability in an interview in late-May. “From a purely business standpoint, we are part of the larger hospitality and travel industry, so making sure there are still beautiful places for people to go makes sense,” he says. “From a selfish gastronomic standpoint making sure there are still tomatoes and strawberries that taste like the summer sun is very important.” Cuisine Solutions’ sous vide method guarantees two things: consistency and low emissions output. Water is the key ingredient. A great conductor of heat, water is circulated and monitored constantly during sous vide cooking. The temperature remains consistent throughout via automated systems, varying only 1 degree at times. “For comparison, the temperature inside an oven can vary by 50 degrees, air is a very poor conductor of heat,” explains Wheaton. Products that leave Cuisine Solutions facilities are tested daily by chefs, ensuring all customers receive what they expect. The chefs undergo annual scientific testing for the accuracy of their palates. PAX-INTL.COM



Beemster’s award-winning cheese inflight

Of course, this all ensures consistency in taste, texture, presentation and brand expectation. But it is also a cooking method that naturally translates to lower emissions output versus traditional food processing. “The entire cooking process is encapsulated in water baths regulated to the time and temperature required for the specific food item. We are not burning gas via traditional cooking techniques, so our footprint is quite low in comparison to others,” says Wheaton. The water used in the cooking baths is sanitized and reused for future production batches. This reduces potable water consumption by 30 percent, surpassing minimum code requirements. The company’s processing facility in San Antonio, Texas received LEED certification this spring. The facility hosts the largest community solar installation in San Antonio, has a stormwater management system, a water recycling program, and uses compressed earth blocks that allow for future expansion without disrupting the surrounding environment. The facility features a 300-space parking lot with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Shaded by the solar panels, the spots are available for purchase by San Antonio residents. Users reap the benefits of the panels without having to install them at their homes, including use of the energy and claiming a tax credit for the next 25 years. Wheaton tells PAX the EV charging stations have cut nearly 1,500 kilograms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and have generated 1,562 megawatt hours of energy to date, saving the users collectively $140,000 on City of San Antonio CPS Energy bills. The processing facilities are not the only aspect of Cuisine Solutions’ business model focused on sustainability. The company has been offering a range of plant-based products for years, such as fire roasted red pepper sauce, vegan Bolognese and vegan chili.

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Cuisine Solutions currently supplies egg snacks for leading brands and recently partnered with JUST on plant-based egg replacement snacks called JUST Omelet Bites. Cuisine Solutions is also working with other partners on plant-based chicken options. Wheaton says offering plant-based products are important to ensure the company is staying on track with global trends and demands. “We feel a lot of requests coming down the pipeline. All major players, both in the industry we’re talking about today but also in national restaurant chains and hotels, are wanting to make sure they have plant-based options on their menus. They’re coming to us as global innovators in the food space,” Wheaton says.

Challenge accepted

A one-size-fits-all approach to inflight catering is not effective when there are many different special diets onboard. AMI Groups’ Special Meals Program for American Airlines helps ensure that passengers with dietetic needs get the meal they need, when they need it. American tapped AMI to handle the many challenges that come with offering passengers special meals on a need-by-need basis. To help relieve stress, AMI produces kits that allow caterers to have everything in one place, just needing to add some fresh components. George Horvat, VP of Innovative Solutions at AMI Group, spearheaded the Special Meals Program in late-2016, but he says it was a team effort. It required a lot of trial and error to see what works and what does not, he says. “It’s a big challenge since you don’t know how much will be ordered and there are inconsistent volumes,” Horvat says. “We developed a process that allows us to manage this for them.” The airline solutions provider relied on its product team to access its relationship with suppliers and find components that

Cows on a Beemster co-operative farm in North Holland

fulfill dietary requirements, such as gluten-free bread rolls. “It’s a win-win for everybody; it’s easy for caterers and it removes the airline responsibility of finding components that are difficult to find in the volumes they need without being wasteful. It ensures the passenger gets what they want,” Horvat says, adding that this is particularly helpful for caterers experiencing labor shortages due to COVID. Special meals include any meal that is modified from the original menu. The American Airlines Kit Program includes Asian vegetarian, child, diabetic, gluten-intolerant, Hindu, lacto-ovo vegetarian, low fat, low sodium, Muslim, non-lactose, Vegetarian and vegan (does not contain meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy products or derivates). The special meals are available in select cabin classes on select flights (with some restrictions) both domestically and internationally. Passengers must order special meals online or by telephone at least 24 hours before departure. Meals for medical needs, such as diabetic, are reviewed by a professional dietician to ensure it fulfills the requirements for that category, says Horvat. Most meal components are individually wrapped, and the kits include a nutritional card for the entrée to give the airline, crew and passengers extra peace of mind. It serves as an educational piece, says Horvat. “For passengers who travel a lot and rely on the airline for food, having the right meal for religious or dietetic requirements is the last thing they want to worry about,” he says. “At the end of the day, if you can make the passenger’s experience better by ensuring they can get their dietary needs met, it signals that their personal needs are important.” “Ensuring a consistent special meal program for customers can be a challenging task. Variability in supply chains and labor shortages makes this even more difficult,” says Sheri Whiteley, Onboard Products and Services for American Airlines. “Knowing that we can rely on the AMI Special Meal kits to deliver this important service to our customers is key and allows us to have confidence in meeting the growing needs of customers’ dietary requirements. We also value how it makes it easier for our catering partners to manage this service offering for us.”


Onboard Logistics plans to debut the latest in its waste collection products this year. The Flex-e-Frame 3R’s is a registered designed reusable plastic frame that holds open designed polythene or biodegradable plastic bags. Nicky Beades, Managing Director and Sales at Onboard Logistics tells PAX International the Flex-e-Frame 3R’s was meant to be introduced at WTCE 2020. Beades says, “because of circumstances outside our control, Onboard Logistics will not be attending this year’s WTCE but looking forward to WTCE 2023.” He says he is disappointed as he is celebrating his 50th year in the aviation industry. The three Rs represent: reduce weight, reusable frame, recycle when done. The Atlas standard frame can convert a meal trolley into a waste trolley, freeing up galley space for the airline to carry revenue-generating products. Onboard Logistics also partnered with galley insert equipment manufacturer Korita Aviation to develop a waste trolley that has the waste bin removed. A set of rungs are installed on top of the trolley to hold the Flex-e-Frame 3R’s in position. Using the Flex-e-Frame 3R’s can reduce the weight of a waste cart by up to eight kilograms, depending on the airline. The reusable plastic frame holds the waste bag open and fits into an Atlas standard waste trolley with rungs at the top. The whole system can be assembled in the flight kitchen or onboard by the crew, and at the end of the duty cycle, it is fully recyclable. “Most airlines use a meal trolley to distribute a disposable meal service, and then a waste cart to collect waste. In the environment of weight reduction to save fuel, using two trolleys for the same service makes no sense,” says Engineering Director Tommy Walsh. “Using our waste management system can eliminate the requirement for the waste trolley.” Despite demand for its products reducing nearly 80 percent during the pandemic, Walsh says there is an uptick in requests again as airlines look for sustainable options for catering and galley waste. Onboard Logistics offers the total Airline Waste Management System. It consists of the Flex-e-Clip, Flex-eDrawer, Flex-e-Frame 3R’s and best-seller Flex-e-Bag.

Onboard Logistics’ total Airline Waste Management System includes the Flex-e-Clip, Flex-e-Drawer, Flex-eFrame 3R’s and best-seller Flex-e-Bag




Foody focus The SATS Food Hub is slated for completion in 2024. PHOTO CREDIT: SATS

This spring, SATS broke ground on a new Food Hub that will add to the company’s reputation for developing advanced production methods and practices by RICK LUNDSTROM


ATS broke ground in early April on a five-story, 20,000-squaremeter food production facility that the Singapore-based company says will “enhance efficiency and strengthen operations resilience.” The SGD$150 million (US$110 million) facility is located in Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District. At the heart of what will be called the SATS Food Hub will be an emphasis on technology and robotics incorporated into large-batch meal production when the facility is completed in 2024. Plans also call for SATS to expand its existing Global Innovation Centre into the hub, welcoming food technology startups, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and education. “The move aligns with SATS’ strategy to strengthen its Singapore core while growing international and non-travel businesses,” said the company. The Food Hub will rely heavily on automation in its large-batch production. Heretofore manual processes such as meal assembly could be handed over to

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robotic finger grippers and automated dispensing units for various food components. Such automation could produce up to 200,000 packed meals per day. The facility will primarily serve SATS’ non-travel related food solutions segment, including its existing institutional catering business. The company has signed a 30-year lease with JTC Corporation. SATS now runs its institutional catering businesses at JTC-leased properties in an area of Singapore called the Pandan Loop, reports The Straits Times newspaper. Leveraging technology has been a SATS hallmark for several years. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, SATS was investing in new technologies in the form of robotics and other solutions in the airline catering units and airport operations. In the spring of 2017, SATS committed to investing S$110 million (US$78 million) in an open innovation concept, TechnIC@ SATS, to drive improvements in automation for the company’s units at its headquarters and beyond.

At the Food Hub, what the company calls “digital twin technology” will be used to optimize resource planning, enhance knowledge management, and improve operational efficiency using simulations and real time data. A digital twin is a replica of a product or process, said a description from SATS. With the technology data is transmitted seamlessly allowing the virtual entity to exist simultaneously with the physical one. There will be an RFID-enabled load and tracking inventory system for raw materials. The automation for the bakery production center will require minimal physical labor with the ability to produce 3,500 pieces of bread per hour. In another part of the Food Hub, products made using retort processing technology known as “retort pouches” will be stacked and loaded onto racks with an automated shuttle system. In an 18-hour operation the system is expected to produce up to 27,000 kilograms of food products. Cartons and boxes of various sizes can be formed from a single machine at the rate of 10 to 18 per minute. Information on the contents are fed into a data system for inventory control and accuracy. Another feature will be a line that dishes food bento style at the rate of 6,000 trays per hour.


Collaborating for change The Airline Sustainability Forum aims to unite the international aviation industry and reduce cabin waste through standardized solutions for onboard materials by JANE HOBSON


irline cabin waste costs more than money – it affects the environment and the passenger perception of the commercial aviation industry. IATA says there are two forms of cabin waste: catering (galley) waste and cleaning waste. According to the IATA Cabin Waste Handbook published in 2019, the airline industry produced up to 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste in 2017, costing the sector US$927 million. The report says these numbers have potential to double in the next 10 years. But not if the Airline Sustainability Forum (ASF) can help it. Founded in 2019 by Matt Crane, former CEO at Monty’s Bakehouse and now Group Head – Food Solutions Global Innovation Center at SATS; Mike Pooley, formerly at gategroup; and Sarah Klatt-Walsh, previously at SWISS, British Airways and now Sustainability Lead at FORMIA, the Forum aims to solve sustainability through industry-wide collaboration. The ASF is an independent membership organization that operates as a not-for-profit. “Sustainability was being used onboard to improve passenger perception but very little was being recovered or recycled. We had a big problem. We quickly realized that no one organization, aviation association, or governing body was going to solve the problem – it is simply too big and too complex. Everyone across the inflight supply chain has a role to play,” Crane tells PAX International in early-May. “To solve the problem of waste going to incineration or being buried

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Matt Crane, former CEO at Monty’s Bakehouse and now Group Head – Food Solutions Global Innovation Center SATS and Co-Founder of the Airline Sustainability Forum

in the ground ever year, we had to stop sustainability from being used for competitive advantage and work together to solve the problem through collaborative advantage.” Crane says the Forum has “strong support” from IATA and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and is fostering relationships with the Airports Council International (ACI), the Airline Catering Association (ACA) and the International Aviation Waste Management Association (IAWMA). Its growing membership base consists of airlines, caterers, suppliers, airports, member associations and governing bodies.

Sustainability was being used onboard to improve passenger perception but very little was being recovered or recycled. We had a big problem,” MATT CRANE, CO-FOUNDER, ASF

Zooming out

The Forum does not represent one group in the inflight product and services supply chain, but rather aims to bring all groups together to share knowledge, best practices, ideas and problems with the aim of developing standards and solutions that can be adopted by the entire commercial aviation sector. By working together and standardizing materials used onboard, the Forum can present the case required for legislative change that will bring recovery, recycling and circularity to the international industry, thereby improving aviation’s global “environmental record,” Crane says. Many airlines and caterers are already working on their own sustainability plans, but often the work is narrowed down to working within their own sphere of influence. The benefit of participating with the ASF is its global, industry-wide representation. And the Forum plans to openly share its findings for all to adopt, Crane explains. “Standardization of materials and regulatory change will help all of us by ensuring clarity and consistency around the world. It will ultimately help the planet which is our main goal,” he says, adding that, “at the ASF we really believe that we can only solve this complex and extensive challenge by coming together in the true spirit of collaboration. We’re all in the same serious predicament when it comes to climate change, and we can only make a real difference if we are all pulling together and no one is left behind.”

First Forum project

Split into two parts, the ASF’s first project focuses on the environmental use case for rotable versus disposable serviceware and the options for material standardization. The report for the first phase is available for download on the ASF website, published in December 2021. The first phase consisted of research conducted with a US-based partner and global consulting and technology services company ICF International. Through research and interviews with ASF collaborators and aviation governing bodies, ICF mapped the end-to-end cabin waste supply chain journey from source to disposal in Economy and Premium Economy cabin services. The research highlights the challenges for regulators and those seeking regulation change. Phase two will include a detailed research and analysis program to identify a set of standard


CONTACT Messe Berlin GmbH Erik Schaefer Messedamm 22 · 14055 Berlin Germany T +49 30 3038 2034




disposable F&B materials to be used by all inflight supply chain stakeholders. The materials will be sustainable and through proven waste disposal assessment, they will present no biohazard risk and negate the requirement for incineration or landfill, Crane explains. On February 9, the ASF hosted a global webcast to update collaborators and educate interested parties on the group’s activities. Crane says the attendance was huge and a reminder that its work is “essential, valued and in need of acceleration.” Since then, the Forum has continued to lobby for engagement to achieve the goals of the second phase.

To commission independent research studies and conduct analyses to understand the problems to be solved and identify solutions. Wherever possible, studies are conducted across and within ASF members organizations as well as at or by recognized environmental research institutes

To use the output of the ASF studies to identify standard solutions and materials to be used onboard by the entire aviation sector which improve recycling and disposal outcomes

Success for ASF

To use the members’ information, experience, combined influence and the solutions the ASF membership identify to support our sectors governing bodies to successfully lobby for regulatory change across the globe and ensure recovery, recycling and circularity can be optimized

Crane says success for the Forum comes in two forms. First, the ability to fund and continue its work based on demonstrating its value on a project-by-project basis to its members and aviation sector at large. And second, that it eventually makes itself redundant by ensuring the inflight product and service supply chain is optimized for upstream and downstream sustainability and a minimal environmental impact. ASF has four goals: • To create a place where stakeholders from across the inflight product and services supply chain can come together and collaborate openly by sharing information, data and best practice; identify options and pathways for solving problems

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The Forum is looking for people to join its Executive Board and Working Groups. Crane encourages interested parties to visit the ASF at Booth 1G64 at WTCE or contact info@aviationsustainabilityforum. com. One hundred percent of the membership fee goes to funding the work of the ASF.


Flex-e-Bag in conjunction with


Flex-e-Drawer and introducing

Flex-e-Frame 3 R’s Reduce (waste, weight), Reuse, Recycle


Meatless meat Four panelists discuss meat alternatives in WTCE roundtable discussion hosted by PAX International


round the world, airlines are highlighting menu changes that include meat alternatives. In mid-April, four panelists discussed the trend toward meat alternatives, how it affects the passenger experience and what airlines are doing about it in a virtual WTCE roundtable discussion in association with PAX International, now available online in video format. Hosted by Editor Jane Hobson, panelists were Matt Crane, Group Head – Food Solutions Global Innovation Center at SATS; Sheri Whiteley, Senior Manager of Product Design and Service at American Airlines; Sunbul Dubuni, Director Customer Insight at LSG Group, and Chef Sean Wheaton, Vice President of Culinary Service at Cuisine Solutions. Wheaton discussed efforts by Cuisine

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Solutions to develop meatless substitutes that can be seasoned and paired with a garnish or sauce. He says there are exciting alternatives in the category that offer one-to-one replacements for meat products, such as egg replacements. The company does extensive work with suppliers to develop the products. “And our R&D team works really hard to take some of the things you can’t pronounce out of their recipes and see if we can clean it up and make it a little bit more natural in some instances,” says Wheaton. Crane broke down the main types of meat substitutes: plant based and alternative proteins, cell-based which are grown, and products fermented from biomass. All are intricate processes that can drive up costs – but also present limitless possibilities. “For chefs, this is paradise as you are working with something that is completely new,” Crane says. “And therefore, you have to carefully work out what it can do, and what it cannot do.” LSG Group has been watching consumer trends and studying what they value in an inflight meal. Dubuni says a huge global trend emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is consumers’

awareness and adoption of healthier lifestyles. This has given rise to the “flexitarian” consumer that dabbles in both meat alternatives and traditional meat dishes. Sustainability is the other focus for consumers, particularly environmental impacts of beef production. It is steering diners toward less damaging products. And, many companies are including environmental information on the label and packaging. “If we look five years back, we did not see this on the package… now brands are talking about this and not only talking about their owning regions, but also what the impact has on the planet,” she adds. American Airlines has worked with meat substitutes for some time. Before the pandemic, it offered pasta sauces with alternative meat products. Whiteley says the airline found it had to reassure confused passengers about the makeup of the product that has the texture and taste mimicking meat in Bolognese. “Our crew on board really had to educate customers about what that item is,” Whiteley says. Interest and knowledge have grown since then she says, however, recognizable vegetarian fare such as black bean dishes have also been popular.


Spilling the tea

Elixir of Ceylon Tea is an extract made from Dilmah’s handpicked Ceylon Single Estate tea that is perfect for airlines or hospitality


ounded by Merrill J. Fernando in 1985, Dilmah Tea has for decades represented the proud heritage of Sri Lanka. Now, under the direction of CEO Dilhan C. Fernando, Merrill’s son, the company is looking to bring its products to an international audience through the hospitality, airline, and airport sectors. The pedigree of Sri Lankan teas is a point of pride for Fernando. “Tea from Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon tea, is blessed by the unique and diverse topography of Sri Lanka’s central tea-growing region,” he explains. “The rich biodiversity of our island contributes to the terroir of our teas, while our emphasis on traditional, artisanal manufacturing nurtures the influence of nature on each tea.” He concedes that while taste is subjective, it is the authenticity of Ceylon tea that makes it so attractive to consumers. And as Fernando notes, tea in general is a fantastic addition to any inflight experience, for a number of reasons. “Tea is a natural beverage with enough variety to suit every preference,” says Fernando. “It is also luxurious and convenient – it only requires hot water and a little care to brew individually in premium classes or in bulk.” In fact, tea elevates both

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savory and sweet meals served inflight and in lounges, as evidenced by Dilmah’s partnerships with several Asian and Middle Eastern airlines. “Dilmah is celebrating a 30-year, teainspired partnership with Emirates Airline where we have together presented guests with the combination of taste and wellness in tea,” says Fernando. “We also work with several other airlines, including Qantas and JAL, among others.” But it’s not just the hot stuff that satisfies Dilmah’s customers. The company is venturing into new beverage territories with the introduction of its new iced tea line. “We recently launched our Dilmah Iced Tea in Singapore in collaboration with BPI, our beverage partner,” he says. “While our distribution will grow from the Singapore launch to several Asian and Middle Eastern territories, our focus is on authenticity and quality, and these products form a luxury segment in a very commoditized iced tea category.” Other products are equally suited for inflight consumption. Dilmah’s Elixir of Ceylon Tea, a natural concentrate which can be diluted to make iced tea, tea sodas, mocktails, and cocktails, can be leveraged for inflight service due to its potency and small footprint. Above all, Dilmah Tea is striving to

Dilmah Tea has a long and prestigious reputation as being one of Sri Lanka’s most elegant exports – and its story is as rich as the cups it brews. Here’s how the company is helping to boost Sri Lanka’s profile around the globe by RACHEL DEBLING

Dilhan C. Fernando, CEO, Dilmah Tea

ensure that the beautiful environment in which its products are grown is maintained and sustained well into the future. Fernando and his team are achieving this through endeavors such as the Genesis Project, which was inaugurated on his father’s 92nd birthday. Dilmah’s former head office complex was transformed into a center for nature-based solutions which will collaborate with universities, agencies, the private sector, and the Sri Lankan government with the goal of developing nature-based solutions in areas such as urban infrastructure and agricultural entrepreneurship. As he describes, “It is said that tea is blessed with the combined influence of heaven and earth, nurtured by the men or women teamakers who follow a traditional, orthodox method to honor and preserve what nature has done in the leaf. A healthy environment is therefore critical to our business and to our country.”




Food and drink have forever had massive ties to people’s emotional well-being and have huge impacts on their connections with others. A tasty bite to eat or something sweet to sip on can improve the passenger perception of their time in the aircraft cabin. As people return to travel, these suppliers are showcasing the products that guarantee a memorable inflight food and drink experience by JANE HOBSON

Smoothies– Noka: Noka offers non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and organic smoothies ideal for passengers and life on-the-go. Enhanced with plant proteins, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich superfoods, the company sources high quality ingredients to help power hungry people. Contact airline distributor partner DFMi for more info.

Cashews with a story - Snackbox To Go: Snackbox To Go’s cashew snacks are the result of a project with Mozambique-based Sunshine Nut Co. Ninety percent of profit goes back to the community where the cashews are harvested. The nuts are roasted and packed into airtight bags to preserve freshness and taste. Available in four flavors. Three-year shelf life. Fifteengram bag for complimentary snack and 30-gram bag for buy-on-board.

Best fries in the sky - Snackbox To Go: Known for the ‘Best fries in the sky’, Snackbox To Go’s iconic gluten free, 100 percent natural french fries can be paired with chicken fillet, pizza and fish nuggets. Recently it launched its loaded fries: topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and cheese, cheese and jalapenos or barbeque style.

Hand cooked crisps – Kent Crisps: Award-winning Kent Crisps are hand cooked, made using British potatoes and real ingredients to give a unique twist on the nation’s favorite flavors. The packaging pays homage to British landscapes and landmarks. Seven flavors available in 40-gram size and selected flavors in convenient 30-gram size. Contact airline distributor partner McGuire & Associates for more info.

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Mediterranean manufacturers – New Leaf Trading: New Leaf Trading works with Mediterranean manufacturers to source marinated vegetables, semi- and sundried tomatoes, a host of pepper products and the classic Mediterranean olive. These ingredients are key for “house” recipes, explains the company. New Leaf Trading also sources dairy, European cheeses, charcuterie products, and a full range of antipasti items. “We aim to provide traditional products, with traditional relationships whilst always adding First Class flavors,” the company tells PAX International. Contact airline distributor partner McGuire & Associates for more info.

Alton Towers theme park – Radnor Hills: In 2021 two bottles of Radnor Splash were sold every second, Radnor Hills tells PAX International, adding that Radnor Splash has always been one of the “hero brands.” This year the company has entered a partnership with UK theme parks Alton Towers, including an on-pack promotion of two-for-one entry on tickets with the purchase of any Radnor Splash flavored 24-pack.

Halal bakery products – Classic City Bakeries: Classic City Bakeries now offers Halal certified dinner rolls, ciabatta and sandwich breads, meeting the growing demand for Halal options in the US. They are specially created for airline catering and handling conditions. Dinner rolls can be individually wrapped, packed into assortments or bulk packed. Can also be packed into ovenable films for heating in aircraft ovens. The company tells PAX International it partners with its network of bakeries to provide the best bread product in every category – no headache, no hassles, just exceptional baked goods.

Ovenable branded packaging - Snackbox To Go: Snackbox To Go is introducing sustainable branded packaging for pastries and sandwiches. The ovenable film eliminates the long wait for outsourced packaging which has experienced delays due to COVID. “And, it has a great design,” adds Kees Verschuure, Sales Director at Snackbox.

Herbal tea range – Group SOI: Group SOI is introducing organic herbal teas for First and Business Class. The caffeine-free teas are available in five blends, in 20-gram, 30-gram, 60-gram and 100-gram packages of organic paper bags. The teas are designed to be served in teapots with infusers. One teaspoon needed for perfect brew.

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A world of inspiration to enhance the onboard experience 14 -16 JUNE 2022 HAMBURG, GERMANY


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Sustainable eye in the sky The SkyTender Solutions mobile beverage system has a carbon footprint 50 percent less than other solutions

Results of a UNESCO Life Cycle Assessment study reveal new information about SkyTender Solutions’ beverage systems and the company plans to share details at WTCE



any sustainable cabin service products focus on the long-term impact on the environment but few emphasize the immediate benefits. In most cases, the instant effect is immeasurable. But, a recent scientific study by the Barcelona-based UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change, an international center of excellence in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its application to mitigating climate change, aims to provide some reliable comparative figures for cold beverages for the first time. The study was conducted over the last 12 months and is due to be published by UNESCO this year. Study participant SkyTender Solutions AG plans to share the findings at WTCE. The company could not share full facts or figures at the time of writing. SkyTender tells PAX International that the preliminary findings reveal that the company’s mobile beverage system has a carbon footprint 50 percent less than other current solutions. “This will be the first time in the history of commercial aviation that reliable figures are available on the impact of beverage catering on the environment,” says SkyTender Chief

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Executive Officer Wolfgang von Krogh. SkyTender became involved in the UNESCO study as it was looking for a non-commercial scientific institution to validate the concept that eliminating consumer packaging in beverage catering significantly reduces the carbon footprint. Von Krogh says SkyTender sees the preliminary results as a confirmation of its belief that its beverage systems are sustainable and commercially viable for airlines and caterers. The SkyTender mobile beverage system relies on trolleys with integrated post-mix technology. It provides full connectivity, tracks consumption data that can be analyzed to optimize the supply chain and provides detailed insights on the ecological footprint – useful for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) reporting. The multi-beverage trolley system, SkyBar Splash, offers fresh and sparkling drinks from leading brands prepared directly in the aisle for fast service using the touch display. The smart, connected and bottleless beverage solution simplifies the supply-chain, and reduces over-catering and waste notably. The LCA study, conducted in

collaboration with major sector stakeholders, examined the full life cycle of a cold beverage, including the role of the caterer and airline. The analysis covers every phase of the SkyTender mobile beverage system, including figures on waste generation, energy consumption and consumption of non-renewable resources, as well as the CO2 footprint; acidification potential and eutrophication potential. It covers the system within the cabin, the acquisition of raw materials to produce the packaging, trolleys and machines needed, end-oflife stage, incineration and disposal. “In workshops with some of the largest airlines worldwide, we have jointly determined that the use of the SkyTender system is not only self-financing, but also generates a significant return on investment next to contributing a large portion to the airline’s ESG goals,” says von Krogh. Later this year, the company will roll out its SkyBarista ONE coffee system. The company has confirmed leading caterers and airlines as customers. “The Barista system will make it possible for the first time to prepare and serve coffee specialties such as espresso, cappuccino or flat white directly at the seat,” explains von Krogh. “Initial tests have already been successfully carried out and show that both passengers and crew are enthusiastic about the new solution.”



Inflight suppliers are acknowledging the passenger’s emotional ties to travel and are catering to their wellbeing with mindful and practical products

Acqua Di Parma’s signature Colonia fragrance aims to provide a touch of Italian luxury onboard Etihad, facilitated by Buzz



ravel is in our nature. It feeds our soul and it was greatly missed.” That’s how Australian inflight product designer Buzz Products eloquently sums up the post-pandemic yearning for travel after two years of COVID-19-related restrictions. Suppliers of amenity kits and comfort items surveyed by PAX International all agree: traveling sparks emotions, and airlines must ensure that they don’t lose the personal connection with their customers onboard and make every effort to reignite their passion for travel. Post-COVID era travel can be stressful, with mask-wearing and sanitation uppermost in the minds of many travelers, even as restrictions ease and leisure travel makes a long-awaited comeback. So how are the suppliers tackling this emotional aspect of travel? Even

Alison Wells, Co-Founder and Director, Plane Talking Products

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the (formerly) humble amenity kit can enhance the much-needed feeling of passenger wellbeing and evoke pleasant memories of their trip. Manoj Pridhanani, Chief Design Officer of Spanish supplier Kaelis World, says that amenity kits have a major role to play in shaping the passenger experience. “Airlines play a huge role in engaging the passengers right from the beginning of their trip. The comfort items onboard help create a unique and memorable experience and the amenity kit is a gift the passenger will cherish… The amenity kit has garnered increased popularity over the years and today it’s an integral part of shaping the overall guest experience.” Kaelis ensures it includes the five elements of “fun, function, form, fragrance and fashion” when it creates its kits, working hand in hand with

Roland Grohmann, CEO & Managing Partner at FORMIA

the airline and adding these unique details to the comfort items. Meanwhile, Buzz believes that fragrance is more than a beauty product, as scent can be a memory trigger, as well as a form of self-care, relaxation and stress relief. The company cites the example of Emirates’ Byredo Wellness Kit, which includes Chamomile Sleep Oil and Pillow Mist to help create a soothing, calm and restful environment. In addition, Acqua Di Parma’s signature Colonia fragrance aims to provide a touch of Italian luxury onboard Etihad, helping to evoke memories of Italian adventures. Alison Wells, Co-Director of Plane Talking Products, thinks that the flight should be “a full sensory experience” in the post-pandemic era: “Passenger wellbeing is at the forefront of everything in our sector, particularly since the pandemic. The flight is an essential part of a holiday experience and we have all missed this over the last couple of years. With travel being restricted during the pandemic, people are recognizing the importance to their mental and physical wellbeing of being able to get away from it all and see and do things that nourish the soul. Having the time to recharge and relax is a must-have now, not just a nice-to-have. It’s important that any product onboard supports this – that could be a wonderful scent

The Byredo Wellness Kit for Emirates by Buzz includes Chamomile Sleep Oil and Pillow Mist to help create a soothing, calm and restful environment

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in your amenity pack to help relax or reinvigorate, a super-soft blanket or a delicious taste of local cuisine. The flight should be a full sensory experience that we remember long afterwards – memories evoked by tasting… and smelling... feeling like that again.” Wells notes that “really simple things” like fun slogans, choosing different colors and rotating items to keep the amenity kits fresh can make them much more interesting and memorable. Roland Grohmann, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner of Hong Kong-based amenity kit specialist FORMIA, agrees that adding value to the amenity kit is a key consideration. “At FORMIA, we believe that every moment from when a traveler closes their front door to when they arrive at their destination has the potential to define their overall travel experience. That’s why we devote so much time to curating products and concepts that will add real value to and enhance the customer experience, to make each moment more meaningful.

Travel Deliciously

Make Every Trip Memorable with Great Food Artisan Products | Specialty Ingredients | Mediterranean Components Charcuterie & Meats | Quality Cheeses Bakery Goods | Snack Items





The Someone Somewhere kit for passengers in Delta’s premium Delta One cabin

“In the new normal, we understand that passengers expect not only safety and comfort throughout their journey, but amenities must also consider and cater for their wellbeing, with functionality and sustainability always in mind. With advancements in technology, a more digitalized passenger journey and fewer human interactions, the need for beautiful, nurturing and consciously designed amenity products which provide an extended, purposeful connection to the airline and brand is stronger than ever.” To this end, FORMIA focuses on including ethical and socially responsible brands that have a true mission and impact strategy centered around environmental and social sustainability. One example is its recent collaboration with Delta Air Lines for its Delta One amenities program, where FORMIA supported the partnership between Delta and Mexican apparel brand Someone Somewhere, a certified B Corporation, and natural skincare brand Grown Alchemist. Someone Somewhere combines traditional Mexican handcrafts with innovative products, working with artisans across the country’s most underprivileged states and using

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Kaelis celebrates its 25-year anniversary in 2022

production processes that eliminate waste. Grown Alchemist shares Delta’s enhanced focus on wellbeing, with each product thoughtfully developed to offer passengers a unique wellness experience. “The result was a collaboration between purposeful partners who share social and environmental commitments which we understand are incredibly important to passengers, to drive a lasting, positive impact,” Grohmann says. Sustainability is certainly a major theme among other inflight equipment suppliers, and particularly the concept of working with local partners for sourcing, led by airlines wanting to offer more sustainable products with a lower carbon footprint as well as the passenger wanting to feel a connection to home. Plane Talking Products is working with a number of brands that are local to its airline customers who want to offer differentiation and thoughtful product

choices in the journey experience. Also pursuing a localization strategy is German supplier skysupply, which created customized, collectible amenity kits for TAP Air Portugal’s Business Class in partnership with Portuguese brand Castelbel, a traditional manufacturer of hand-crafted soaps in colorful packaging. Wolfgang Bücherl, Managing Director and Partner, says that Castelbel produced a fragrant sachet made of cork, a typical product from Portugal, which could be used as a scent dispenser in your wardrobe. The bookmarker enclosed in the sachet picks up the colorful packaging designs. Bücherl notes the importance of products creating memories and having a second use, which he believes is particularly important for children’s amenity kits, which are designed to be gifts for younger passengers and taken away after the flight.


FLYFIT MINDFUL OF A NEW SKINCARE RANGE FlyFit is introducing at the WTCE show in Hamburg a vitamin- and mineral-enriched skincare range designed to restore, energize and build immunity for travelers on the go. Developed with FlyFit’s proven science technology, the wellness products allow passengers to benefit from key active ingredients proven to combat stress, anxiety, inflammation, jetlag and fatigue. The result is described as a mindful 360-degree approach to wellness offered to passengers onboard and beyond. In addition, the packaging is eco-friendly and 100 percent recyclable. Products include the Harmonizing Pillow Mist with lavender oil and the Plumping Hyaluronic Serum enriched with shea butter, designed to boost and hydrate the skin while passengers rest or sleep. The Protective Vitamin C Cream with shea butter and lavender oil locks in the moisturizing benefits of the Serum and protects from inflammation and damage caused by free radicals in the air. For a sense of inner calm and peace, passengers can apply the Relax & Calm aroma roll-on with its light texture, therapeutic benefits and lasting aromatic scent of lavender oil. Finally, before resuming the day ahead, the Travel Vitamin Health Booster provides a dose of essential vitamins and minerals to boost immunity, cell function and skin health.

FlyFit is introducing at the WTCE show in Hamburg a vitamin- and mineral-enriched skincare range

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Plane Talking Products is working closely with natural, vegan, plastic-free cosmetic brand Scence to create a sensory experience with sustainable personal care options for amenity kits

Significantly, as skysupply works on new tenders, Bücherl observes a trend towards airlines pampering the passenger and giving them a nice memory of the flight, not a trend to reduce or give less. Recycling and reuse are also important to FORMIA. A recent collaboration with Qatar Airways introduced French perfumer Diptyque for the first time onboard, with highly collectible Diptyque-branded amenity bags and bespoke gift boxes for premium passengers. Alongside the exclusive products inside, the kits included eyeshades and socks made from 100 percent recycled PET fabrics carrying the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification, with the aim of bringing conscious luxury and wellness to Qatar Airways passengers. And last year, FORMIA partnered with JetBlue at the time of their inaugural transatlantic route launch to introduce reusable pouches for its Core (Economy Class) passengers. With sustainability at the forefront during the design process, the innovative bags were created with the aim of reducing single-use plastics, thanks to a pouch made from non-toxic platinum silicon that doubled as a storage bag for travel essentials or to keep food fresh for longer – a higher value offering for Economy Class that passengers want to take home and use time and again. FORMIA’s firm belief is that the more valuable amenity kits are for consumers, the more successful those kits are. “We view amenities as enablers that build comfort, pamper and support wellness during the passenger journey, whilst providing an extended connection to the airline and brand post-journey,” says Grohmann.

Leonard Hamersfeld, Director at Buzz, speaks of sustainability as “a necessity”, and the concept of “conscious luxury” takes this idea a step further. “Key is designing out waste, using renewable or recycled materials, and considering the entire product lifecycle,” he says. “Also important is a shift to value-based luxury, whereby luxury is more than simply impeccable design, but includes caring and taking action for the environment and supporting communities.” Hamersfeld gives the example of its RECLINER American Airlines Sustainable Sleepwear program. Buzz also observes a trend for airlines to offer “thoughtful gifts.” Etihad recently celebrated the UAE’s 50th National Day by creating a mindful program to present to travelers and help them join in with the festivities of the Golden Jubilee. Buzz supported Etihad to create gifts for travelers to facilitate the celebrations. Meanwhile, Kaelis keeps the environment in mind as it makes a conscious choice of materials and packaging to minimize the carbon footprint. “If sustainability was an option prior to the pandemic, today it’s a must, and very rightly so,” says Pridhanani. “Our campaign, ‘Service excellence for a greener tomorrow: Mission ECO’, focuses on a circular economy, natural and recycled materials, reducing water consumption, closed-loop design and reduced CO2 emissions.” Kaelis takes care to focus on young travelers too, as they are the consumers of the future. The kids’ kits designed by Kaelis aim to be educational and entertaining at the same time, “keeping the fun element at its max and sustainability at its core,” according to Pridhanani.


The ORS Hydration Tablet tubes in lemon, blackcurrant, and strawberry

Fly hydrated A scientifically-formulated mix of electrolytes, glucose and minerals can help passengers stay hydrated inflight, plus a review of the product by PAX International Editor Jane Hobson


eople who travel often understand the struggle of becoming dehydrated, especially inflight. But there is a special combination of electrolytes, glucose and minerals that can help. O.R.S. Hydration Tablets are soluble tablets containing a scientific blend of electrolytes and minerals. When dissolved in water it helps the body quickly absorb fluids and restore hydration. The formula, created by pharmacists, is based on the World Health Organization’s recommended formula for

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optimal hydration. It helps the body maintain electrolyte balance. Drinking plenty of water is proven to help the prevention and treatment of jet lag, as well as travel fatigue, disturbed sleep, irritability and loss of concentration. “The cabin atmosphere on a plane is kept deliberately dry to minimize corrosion, the effects of which can leave passengers feeling dehydrated and uncomfortable, especially on long-haul flights,” says Steve Harvey, travel consultant at Clinova, O.R.S’ parent company. Despite cabin crew encouraging

passengers to drink plenty of water, the amount actually consumed depends on several personal choices and is often accompanied by frequent – and inconvenient – trips to the lavatory. It also contributes to a lot of waste for single-use plastic water bottles. “Drinking a glass of O.R.S can provide the same level of hydration as five glasses of water, saving the airline the cost of purchasing and transporting hundreds of bottles of water on every flight,” Harvey explains. “So not only does it help passengers stay comfortable throughout the flight, but it also helps minimize trips to the bathroom and cost for airlines.” The tablets come in a small tube ideal for travel and being on-the-go. The 17-calorie per serving O.R.S

Hydration Tablets come in three flavors, lemon, blackcurrant, and strawberry and are suitable for vegan, Halal, gluten-free diets, and are free of artificial preservatives. Starting this spring, O.R.S Hydration Tablets became available in Emirates Airways’ buy-on-board retail offering. The airline first brought the tablets onboard in 2020 as part of its First Class suite amenity basket. “There is growing interest from many airlines in the region as they realize the positive effect O.R.S can have on their passengers’ experience,” Harvey says. “We hope to announce some new contracts in the very near future.” The tablets are also convenient for athletes, hot climates and travel in general.

PAX International reviews O.R.S. tablets

PAX International Editor Jane Hobson tried the O.R.S. Hydration Tablets on a flight from California to Toronto. This is her review. I flew a 787-8 medium-haul flight

with Air Canada from Los Angeles (LAX) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) in the Economy Class cabin. On flights of anything longer than a couple hours, I tend to try to drink a lot of water and fluids to keep well hydrated and avoid a headache, dry mouth, dry eyes under my contact lenses, and tiredness. I mixed one lemon-flavored O.R.S. Hydration Tablet into about half a plastic bottle of water at LAX pre-flight while I was having some lunch. The tablet dissolved quickly and gave the water a bright yellow color. I opted to drink the enhanced water in one go to get as much hydration as quickly as possible. The flavoring was not intense and did not have the typical sourness that fresh lemons bring. Nonetheless, it was easy to drink and tasted good. I also refilled my personal reusable 26-ounce water bottle at the fountain for fresh water, then I boarded the flight and was in the air about 30 minutes later. Halfway through the flight I dropped another lemon O.R.S. tablet into one of the mini-sized water bottles supplied inflight. I drank it immediately and went

Take your cart washing to greater


back to listening to music. While eating on the flight, I continued to drink from my 26-ounce water bottle as I normally would. I noticed that I used the lavatory the same amount as I normally do, but I didn’t feel any signs of dehydration that usually show up for me – headache, dry mouth, dry eyes, and tiredness. When we landed in Toronto there was congestion at customs that caused us to wait on the tarmac for about 35 minutes. I used this opportunity to have another lemon-flavored O.R.S. tablet. Overall, I had three O.R.S. tablets in about five hours’ time and refilled my personal water bottle twice on the flight. Upon landing and arriving at home, I felt energetic, I was not thirsty, and I looked well-rested. The tablets were packaged in a convenient hard-shell tube that easily snaps open and closed. The slim tube does not weigh much and slid well into my backpack which I used as my personal item. I will continue using these tablets to avoid dehydration while traveling. I would recommend them to frequent flyers and travelers who tend to experience dehydration.

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Linstol’s earbud packaging for Air Canada



Linstol discusses how kraft paper and rice paper packaging for its headsets sends an “eco-message” to passengers who are listening closer than ever before

dvancements in sustainability are everywhere in the aircraft cabin. Airlines are opting for plastic alternatives at every step, including product packaging, and Linstol Director of Sustainable Operations Bill Carrejo tells PAX International these “eco-stories” are key for airlines as passengers are listening closely. Linstol supplies roughly 150 million headsets and earbuds per year, which were delivered in plastic polybags up until the company introduced kraft and rice paper packaging in 2018. “We decided it was time to look at the sustainability profile while finding material that is clean and protects the product,” says Carrejo. “Kraft and rice paper are sustainable, in abundance and can be recycled. It sends an ecomessage because it’s very recognizable as a paper source and it breaks the cycle of total dependence on plastic.” Linstol’s high-quality headsets and earbuds are designed for continuous reuse. The paper packaging uses clever messaging directly on the package encouraging passengers to take the headsets with them at the end of the flight. With sustainability and environmental consciousness being huge considerations for consumers right now, Carrejo says he believes

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passengers are more likely to choose an airline with a strong eco-story. “It tells the consumer, ‘I am noticing that you want me to be more sustainable, and here’s what I’m doing about it,’” he explains. The packaging has been introduced with airline partners including JetBlue, Air Canada, British Airways and Delta Air Lines, which have all received positive feedback, Carrejo adds.

Cleaner and greener

Other tenders are underway, but airlines are still getting through existing stockpiles of headsets, which Carrejo calls the “socially, environmentally and financially responsible” way to introduce the new packaging. “It’s cleaner and greener – but the right way,” he says. Lots of industry conversations say that there is a financial barrier to sustainable opportunities, but, Carrejo says, Linstol orders its packaging in bulk to match its production numbers, making it an affordable option for all airline partners. “Everybody who works with us should have the ability to choose sustainability,” he says, “It’s time to take action and remove the hesitation and fear.” Recently Linstol encouraged an airline partner to eliminate the spoon offered with its food service. None of the food

on the menu actually required a spoon, effectively removing tons of plastic from landfill or incineration, Carrejo explains. And, it supported British Airways in its transition from polybag-wrapped plastic stir sticks to bamboo stir sticks – eliminating 50 tons of plastic, he says. As Director of Sustainable Operations, Carrejo also monitors Linstol’s manufacturers to ensure the materials are sourced properly and ethically, employees are paid on time, that factories are safe and that there is no use of child or prison labor. The company is in the process of outfitting its warehouse partners with LED lights, motion-sensing activated lighting – and adding solar panels. Overall, the company has been offsetting carbon sea freight emissions since 2019. When asked about his passion for his role at Linstol, Carrejo referenced his daughter saying he dreams for sustainability to become a “cultural norm” and not the exception as she grows up. “In the industry we work in, we have the ability because of who we are to effect change. We can make change and force others to adapt. It’s not impossible,” he says. Carrejo says Linstol plans to make several announcements at WTCE about other sustainability initiatives it has accomplished.

UNIFORMS REPORT Turkish Airlines’ cabin, cockpit, ground handling personnel and flying chefs donned new uniforms in 2019

Functional focus Crew uniforms speak to volumes to passengers on airlines values, presentation and fashion, but the pandemic has shifted the attire to more of a functional focus



he pandemic brought new norms for fashion, including the rise of leisure wear and a more relaxed work-from-home wardrobe. But it also changed fashion in the cabin. Just before COVID-19, several airlines announced refreshes for their cabin couture. The focus was all about style, a sense of place and sustainability. Cabin crew, ground staff, pilots and other uniformed representatives with Japan Airlines donned new uniforms in April 2020. The collection was designed by Yasutoshi Ezumi, a renowned name in Japanese fashion. The line focused on sustainability by using recycled materials. Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) unveiled new cabin crew uniforms in 2020 with a refined take on the attire designed for members of the hospitality team onboard. The overall look came as part of the carrier’s cabin enhancement and hospitality additions. The uniforms have a color palette in shades of purple, beige, gold and royal blue, and draw inspiration from

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Jorge Pinto CEO at SKYPRO

the nation’s culture and landscape. The year prior, Turkish Airlines redesigned its cabin crew uniforms to celebrate its 85th anniversary. The update 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. The uniforms, in flag-red and anthracite grey colors, were inspired by the many classic details in Turkish culture. But that was a different time. Now, Jorge Pinto CEO at SKYPRO says, the emphasis is on uniforms that enable crew to fulfil their duties in a comfortable and safe manner. Mass layoffs sometimes mean more hours on the job – and sometimes more stressful encounters with passengers. Crew clothes must allow agile and flexible movements and bring comfort to reduce fatigue. They must be designed to enable crew to act in a variety of situations, as well as be produced with specific fabrics for aviation professionals. “More than ever, we are focus-

ing on creating uniforms that can improve their work performance,” says Pinto. “The uniform cannot be a source of additional stress to these professionals and leave them feeling irritated, which in the end, can reflect the way they deal with passengers.” SKYPRO has partnered with yarns, fibers and fabrics producers to develop uniforms that offer breathability, moisture absorption and other finishes to make uniforms adaptable to different working conditions. There are consistent mixtures for the main fabrics: wool for comfort and breathability, polyester for resistance and duration and elastane for comfort. For shoes, SKYPRO offers a first: footwear certified for aviation professionals with EN ISO 20347:2012, a standard that

mySKYPRO Portal automates and unifies all stages of uniform management, including manufacturing, fitting, ordering, logistics and customer service

specifies basic and optional requirements for general-purpose professional footwear. It includes mechanical hazards, slip resistance, thermal hazards and ergonomic behavior. Sustainability is still huge for the uniforms sector, Pinto says. SKYPRO has started a circular business model initiative: for every one uniform sold, the company collects one uniform to recycle. “If companies don’t change their mindset regarding waste, their businesses will die,” Pinto says, explaining that the textile sector is the second most

polluting industry in the world. The rates are “alarming” he says, adding that if nothing is done to improve this, the industry will consume 25 percent of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. Released in March 2020, SKYPRO’s Uniform Management System mySKYPRO Portal automates and unifies all stages of uniform management, including manufacturing, fitting, ordering, logistics and customer service. It uses smart algorithms to forecast uniform demands to help airlines focus on their core business and other employee needs. “There is no single industry immune to digital transformation,” Pinto says. “Our project slots for 2022 are full and we are already closing deals to implement the mySKYPRO Portal in 2023. We are living proof that companies want to feel the benefits of digital transformation.” SKYPRO has bold growth plans. In the next two years, it aims to have Country Managers in 10 countries, adding to its roster of offices in Portugal, Dubai and the United States. “It is impossible to expand without being close to our customers around

Japan Airlines unveiled new uniforms in 2020

the world. They are real people with specific needs and requirements for uniforms, with different cultures and different economic and social contexts. It’s not easy, but we know we have to do it if we’re to remain a human company that provides smarter uniforms for people everywhere,” Pinto says.






Spritz Society cocktails can be purchased for US$2 at Chicago O’Hare and Newark lounges of United Airlines

Craft cocktails and traditional sparkling beverages were found in the usual and somewhat unusual places this spring as thirsty travelers take to the air by RICK LUNDSTROM


hile it cannot accommodate throngs of passengers, the vertiport designed by Urban-Air Port Ltd. that opened at the end of April had room for a few bottles of upscale Prosecco that landed by drone. The Coventry, England vertiport is designed for air taxis and delivery drones. The small startup was built to reduce the amount of road traffic. Bottega oversaw the delivery of its Gold Prosecco Doc which arrived from the sky to help open the facility. Sandro Bottega, Chairman of the company, called the vertiport “a leap into the future under the banner of sustainability.” On the go consumption has been part of Bottega’s strategy for years, with products sold on several airlines and a line of Prosecco Bars that have opened at airports. The most recent at Venice Marco Polo International Airport. In addition to the new bar the company has added a new Prosecco to its line in a 20-centiliter format. The Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from Glera and Pinot Nero grapes. It is colored mother-

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of-pearl pink and designed for those people who enjoy a fruity drive that is fragrant and delicate and paired best with cold and light dishes. Two releases this spring give evidence that the craft cocktail trend shows little sign of abating, and this instance is also centered around Italy. On flights from Chicago to Milan and Newark to Rome, United Airlines is reviving an Italian traditional drink known as the spritz. On the routes and in the lounges, the Spritz Society drinks will be available in blood orange, pineapple, lemon and grapefruit. A spritz is a wine-based cocktail made with prosecco, a bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari, or Cynar, and sparkling soda water. The bitter liqueurs are what give this drink its signature orange color, as well as its bitter orange taste. Traditional craft cocktails are enjoying a revival. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States recently reported that the pre-mixed spritz cocktails have seen a 43.3 percent increase in year over year sales. In addition to a flashy new Business Class cabin, Finnair in May debuted its partnership with Danish Mikropolis Cocktails with beverages made with

Bottega’s Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from Glera and Pinot Nero grapes

gin, orange peel and Scandinavian lingonberries on long-haul flights. Other options team the spirits with cloudberries and pine and birch. “Cocktails are a growing trend and have become a part of the meal service,” said Lauri Ahonen, Concept and Category Manager at Finnair Kitchen. The airline is seeing more passengers consuming cocktails during meal service.


Commitment to craft

Kiyokawa Co Ltd is a blender and distiller based in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture, near Iiyama city, Japan

Fraternity Spirits scales new heights with Japanese whisky



raternity Spirits World, the Costa Rica-based drinks developer with a representative office in Mexico which is best known for supplying innovatively packaged spirits such as Corralejo tequila in travel retail, has added a distinctive new brand to its portfolio: Nobushi Japanese whisky. Nobushi is a craft spirit made by Kiyokawa Co Ltd, a blender and distiller based in the remote and picturesque mountains of Nagano Prefecture, near Iiyama city, where untouched scenery depicted in popular Japanese songs can be found. The distillery is located amid the region’s rich natural landscape where a unique history and culture have flourished. This area is known for its fierce winters and heavy snowfall, followed by a hot summer climate. These big atmospheric pressure changes follow through the seasons, with high variations even being seen in a single day. As a result, the whisky represents more of the barrel’s wood flavors and natural color. Kiyokawa’s commitment to craft production results in distinctive expressions of Japanese whiskies. Importantly, Kiyokawa was the first to bring the art of distillation

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into the region, and was the first Japanese distillery to develop and grow mountain barley on its own farms as the main ingredient for the production of Japanese single malt whisky. This new brand therefore has a unique story to tell, as Raffaele Berardi,

the Owner, Founder and CEO of Fraternity Spirits World since 1994, can attest. Recalling how the Japanese whisky venture came about, he says: “The distillery began production in the mountains based on the deep knowledge of the region and the love for quality spirits. We started to create the brand a few years ago and today it’s distributed all over Europe.”

Linstol has made the WTCE 2022 Plastic Positive by funding the collection of 1.5x of each attendees plastic footprint. Through our collaboration with Plastic Bank, this event has prevented the equivalent of over 600,000 plastic bottles from entering the ocean.

Plastic Bank Impact Program Corporate Sponsorship As of October 2021, Linstol is proud to collaborate with Plastic Bank to stop ocean plastic and improve collector lives in vulnerable coastal communities. Linstol will prevent over 44 thousand lbs of plastic (one million single-use plastic bottles) from entering the ocean over the next year in collaboration with Plastic Bank. United States | +1.239.530.7865 | United Kingdom | +44.1252.620630 | Hong Kong |

+852.2319.4176 |


The main ingredient for the production of Nobushi Japanese whisky is the mountain barley grown on Kiyokawa distillery’s own farms

And not just Europe. Thanks to Fraternity Spirits World’s existing network, Nobushi is also distributed globally in domestic markets across the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, India and Dubai, and distribution is starting now in South America and Asia. “Asia and Australia are top of our list. We will expand to countries including South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. “We’re very excited about the brand, it’s been very successful, and the category is well accepted,” enthuses Berardi. Nobushi’s international success has not been without challenges, as the brand was launched in 2019, just before the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic stopped the process of travel retail expansion – but now it’s full steam ahead in this channel, with distribution starting in Central and South America, including Colombia and Panama, and Dubai. Berardi points out that Nobushi Japanese blended whisky is targeted at the “accessible, mainstream” price point of around US$40-50. The company also offers a single grain whisky and a pure malt expression under five years old, ranging from US$60 to US$90.

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A new five-year-old pure malt will be launched at the end of this year. Commenting on the potential for Nobushi whisky, Berardi says: “When you look at the competitor market, there is a huge opportunity. We’re working with the only mountain-based distillery that produces its own malt in the mountains – no one has ever done that before. This is one of the most significant facts about this brand – the higher-altitude, mountain-based crop is used in the distillery by the master blenders, and the local water is pure and high in minerals. It’s a unique product.” Nobushi is present in the Japanese domestic market, where it competes with the major brands, but it’s the exposure in the international market that interests Berardi. “We want to make the brand visible in the rest of the world. It’s a relatively new brand that is new to travel retail, and we’re looking forward to expanding in travel retail.” Turning to the Mexican tequila brand Corralejo, which Fraternity Spirits World has supplied to travel retailers for many years, a high-end heritage line has been developed, comprising 1810, 1821 and 1755 expressions.

These ultra-premium tequilas are all related to the history of Mexico and Hacienda Corralejo and have been launched only in the US domestic market due to the limited supply. Also new – and available in the travel retail channel – is Tequila Corralejo Extra Anejo (40 percent abv), retailing at US$78, which was launched at the beginning of this year and is doing “extremely well,” according to Berardi, particularly in the US, where the market for this high-end tequila is “exploding.” “This unique liquid and the bottle are very attractive to the consumer,” he says. Fraternity Spirits World is hoping to replicate this success with another new product in a unique bottle from the Hacienda Corralejo group – namely, a Mexican 100 percent malt whisky called Ley Seca (“dry law” in Spanish), referring to the 1919 Prohibition that banned the production of liquor in the US and resulted in the smuggling of spirits across the Mexican-US border. The whisky is distilled in a separate facility from the tequila factory and will be launched worldwide in June 2022. Additionally, Fraternity Spirits World also recently introduced to the US market a Corralejo tequila product made with a higher agave sugar content, bottled at 40 percent abv. This smooth, sipping tequila has a sweeter taste and is already available in Mexican travel retail. As for Ron Prohibido, Berardi reports that the Mexican rum brand is performing very well in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Japan, and Fraternity Spirits World recently extended its distribution to Italy. Berardi acknowledges the uncertain global outlook as inflation looms on the horizon, and as business in Russia and Ukraine has stopped due to the Ukraine invasion, but he remains positive. He believes tequila is becoming more attractive, both in the US and the rest of the world, and he is planning an aggressive roll-out over the next few years for Nobushi Japanese whisky, particularly in the US, Latin America and Australia. So, what is Berardi’s recipe for success? “First, quality. Second, differentiation from other products, and third, the unique packaging.” It sounds as simple as sipping tequila.

Buzz Designs And Creates Products That Travellers Love

Come and explore our world of iconic luxury brands and game-changing innovations We look forward to celebrating our love of travel at WTCE 2022 in Hamburg STAND: 4D50 LET’S CREATE TOGETHER @buzzproducts

EVENTS by JAYSON KOBLUN The industry is set to gather this month for WTCE at the Hamburg Messe

Much needed meeting WTCE returns to Hamburg in June, celebrating 10 years since its start and a long break due to COVID


he biggest catering and onboard services event of the year returns to the Hamburg Messe this month. After a three-year break, WTCE (World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo) is back in full swing June 14 to 16 to celebrate a decade since its inception. “We are very excited about welcoming visitors and exhibitors back to the first live, in-person WTCE in three years! We have curated a packed program with plenty of exciting educational features, opportunities to network and do business,” says RX Event Director Polly Magraw. The event will feature more than 250 suppliers of onboard products and services, with more than 90 first-time exhibitors. The event is hosting more than 60 companies that have exhibited since the start in 2012, including Monte Vibiano, Frankenberg and Linstol. Buyers will attend from 55 countries and 85 airlines: British Airways, Emirates, American, Qatar, Delta, Etihad and United. “Although we’re expecting exhibitor and buyer numbers to be around 25 percent lower than pre-COVID, the quality of buyers we’ve had signed up to visit is second to none,” Magraw says.

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RX ran several initiatives in the lead up to the event to mark the 10-year milestone, including the Onboard Icons campaign, which recognizes 10 of the most influential people in the sector – as voted by the industry. Magraw says more than 30 nominations have been submitted and the 10 finalists will be announced at a Taste of Travel Theatre session on June 14 at 10:00 a.m. CEST. All visitors and exhibitors are welcome to attend. “We wanted to create something that recognizes the hard work and dedication of those within the onboard industry and what they have achieved over the past 10 years,” Magraw says. WTCE has also introduced the Hosted Airline Programme designed to help buyers of inflight catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort solutions attend the event even with budget restrictions. Attendees who are part of the programme are required to meet with at least five companies on their tailored list of relevant suppliers throughout the show, helping them discover the latest innovations. Applicants are offered up to two complimentary nights at a four-star hotel near the venue, a VIP event ticket and package of samples, including

Polly Magraw, Event Director for WTCE

digital samples, giveaways and offers in the new Digital Offer bag. Magraw encourages visitors and exhibitors to make the most of their time at the event by using WTCE Connect. The online tool enables visitors and exhibitors to arrange meetings ahead of time. Using data supplied by visitors and suppliers during the registration process, WTCE Connect matches businesses based on their interests and offerings as well as enable them to search for who they would like to meet and schedule a meeting at the Expo. As a proud Media Partner for the event, PAX International is in attendance at Booth 4F60 and distributing printed editions of the WTCE issue.

Family-owned since 1985

H‘ s' a family affair We are looking forward to seeing you at our booth again.

Visit us at WTCE Hamburg 2022 14.06. - 16.06.2022 – Stand 4D30 W W W. F R A N K E N B E R G . C O M


Hamburg homecoming The World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) returns to Hamburg this summer for the first time since COVID-19 began. Known for its major port for cargo and cruise ships, as well as for hosting several international trade shows, Hamburg is open again with few restrictions, boasting sights, nightlife and festivals for all to enjoy. Here’s to a summer to celebrate Hamburg!


Nightlife returns The famous street Reeperbahn in the heart of St. Pauli, known for its nightlife and red-light district that entertained many in the 1960s, is reopening at full capacity without any COVID-related restrictions

The Hamburg Summer DOM 2022 returns without restrictions, combining fair rides, culinary treats and special events


8.7 million

Hagenback Zoo is home to 210 animal species, and is known for separating animal enclosures by use of moats instead of fences. It opened in 1907 and now features a four-story Tropical Aquarium and Eismeer polar section

8.7 million TEU (20-foot standard containers) passed through the Port of Hamburg in 2021, up 2.2 percent compared to 2020 signaling return to pre-COVID numbers

CATCH SOME RAYS The Elbe river doubles as Hamburg’s city beach, stretching three kilometers from Övelgönne’s historic vessels to Teufelsbrück wharf

PERCENT As of writing, 77.5 percent of the German population is fully vaccinated and most COVID restrictions have been lifted across the country

1.5 million square meters Stadtpark is the third largest park in Hamburg at 1.5 million square meters. Through the summer it is a popular gathering place for barbeques, swimming, concerts and visits to the Planetarium

The Mönkebergstrasse This shopping avenue has department stores, fashion boutiques and small retail with cafes and other food and drink along the way, now open without restrictions

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The International Summer Festival returns in August at full capacity. This cultural highlight features an international program of dance, theater, performances and music from 200 artists

LET’S MEET AT WTCE EXPO! This June QiZiNi, TUBES and Beemster cheese will join forces at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg, Germany. From June 14 - 16 you can find us in hall A1 at booth E45. Stop by for the most delicious sandwiches and wraps by QiZiNi, the finest wines and cocktails by TUBES and the best Dutch cheese by Beemster.

HAPPY HOU R With live co cktail shake r!

Try our prod ucts, speak with our rep resentatives and toast with u s on June 14 and 15 from 4pm. HALL A1 - B OOTH E45

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