PAX International WTCE Hamburg May 2024

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Culture, cuisine and comfort

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Enjoy the journey

As we navigate the intricate web of the commercial aviation industry, recent trends and data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) paint a dynamic picture. According to IATA’s latest report, global passenger traffic has shown a steady recovery, with a notable increase in demand for air travel across several regions. This resurgence comes as airlines continue to adapt to evolving passenger preferences and market dynamics, harnessing technology and innovation to enhance safety, efficiency and sustainability.

In these pages, we interview several airlines across the globe to get the latest scoop on catering, comfort and passenger expectations. Plus, we discuss special meals catering, amenities and comfort trends and F&B innovations with suppliers in all categories.

At PAX International, we are committed to providing insightful coverage and analysis of these pivotal developments, offering our readers a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges shaping the commercial aviation sector. As we delve into discussions about market trends, catering obstacles and best practices, and passenger experience expectations, our aim is to empower our readership with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate this dynamic landscape successfully.

We are thrilled to be back in Hamburg again, meeting old friends and new. There is nothing quite like the buzz of excitement and busyness of the exhibition show floor. And on Wednesday night, we’ll gather to celebrate the winners of this year’s PAX International and PAX Tech Readership Awards ceremony. Thanks to our loyal readership for your support and participation!

We invite our readers to join us on this journey of exploration and discovery, as we uncover the strategies, trends and innovations driving the future of commercial aviation at this year’s WTCE. Say hi when you see our team over the next few days!


has introduced two new brands. More on page 68.


In this interview, Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali highlights the airline’s plans for growth in the years ahead, eyeing fleet modernization, refreshed liveries and lounge and menu updates


Spanish airline Iberia highlights its amenities and menus, inspired by the culture of its country

Fashion meets function aboard All Nippon Airways with new amenity kits and international route menu

TAP Air Portugal highlights plans for the promising year ahead in this exclusive interview

After winning two top accolades at the DesignAir awards in 2023, Etihad Airways is ready to soar to new heights with the refreshed cabin interiors of its 787-9 fleet

LOT Polish Airlines is finding balance between tradition and progress with a passenger experience that ties travellers to the past, present and future


An interview with Air New Zealand’s Ben Evers-Swindell, General Manager, the Americas, in Toronto, Canada during the airline’s North America tour

In this Q&A, PAX International speaks with the Alexandra Appel and Patrick Himmelhaus about what attendees can expect from LSG Group as it exhibits at WTCE for the first-time as a standalone company

28 ANA’S


Gispol’s Ricardo Alves discusses the company’s vision for sustainable airline catering as it celebrates three decades

Onboard Logistics looks back at two decades of success as it celebrates its 21st anniversary

gategroup’s diversified portfolio of brands is pushing the boundaries of travel catering and food service industries with two new brands

An in-depth interview with Jamie Calvetti as James Calvetti Meats Inc. celebrates its 50th anniversary

Indian air catering company TajSATS has been surpassing passenger expectations for decades. PAX International speaks with CEO Manish Gupta to determine what is on the horizon for this thriving company

A closer look at the evolving demand from airline passengers for special meals and how the updated QSAI guidelines address this global shift

GIC Catering reflects on its roots while looking to the future

Lisbon-based Cateringpor has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can deliver the delicious, nutritious meals that airlines flying out of the city require


A preview of the AMI Group WTCE booth that aims to bring fun to the trade show floor, with a rooftop cocktail bar and elevated bites from its signature food truck


In this guest column, Marc Warde, Special Meal Program Director at Foodcase International, discusses the company’s ambient meals, sustainability practices and its plans to feature both at WTCE


En Route International highlights its regional galley boxes ahead of WTCE 2024



An in-depth look at Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar in the Departures area of the International Terminal of Vietnam’s Noi Bai International Airport



FORMIA introduces two exclusive amenity kit collections for China Airlines with two first time brands


WESSCO and Out of the Woods have partnered to create forest-friendly amenity kits for Singapore Airlines

6 MAY 2024 104
72 BIG 50

Ferents and Co Creative Agency to showcase amenity and comfort products

Currently Ferents and Co is supplying amenities for railways, including Saudia Railway, as well airlines, such as Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana, Uzbekistan Airways, Uganda Airlines and others. The supplier works with brands partners including L’Occitane, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bueno, among other notable labels and specializes in Economy Class, Business Class and childrens kits, as well as slippers and blankets.

Irina Udaltsova, Head of Commerce Ferents and Co, says the company is currently focused on producing functional and sustainable amenity and comfort products made of natural and eco-friendly materials such as apple skin leathers, cork, straw, bamboo, natural wool, flax and other materials, with a focus on “love for nature.”

In the next couple years, Udaltsova says the company will focus on expanding its presence and customer base in the Middle East, CIS countries and Africa.

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snacks, artisan products, desserts, alternative dietary options and more—no matter what products, we’re your partner from sourcing and ordering to delivery and customer service.

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Ferents and Co’s amenity kit for Air Astana

Perth Inflight Catering rebrands to Foodfolk Australia

After two decades catering for airlines, family business Perth Inflight Catering has rebranded to Foodfolk Australia. Salim Hazife, Managing Director at Foodfolk, tells PAX International the company is off to a great start.

“It has been an amazing and dynamic few years for Foodfolk. We have more than tripled our staff and output for our airline and non-airline customers. Securing long-term contracts with Virgin Australia, Vietnam Airlines and all our charter customers has created a great base to grow. We are also welcoming South African Airways back,” Hazife says.

Next, the caterer is preparing for the opening of its new facility later this year, which will create significant capacity for future growth and enable it to have all business functions under one roof, creating a more efficient operation and improve its services for customers.

“We can take concepts to reality very quickly and adjust our operations to our customers’ needs. The family culture creates a collaborative working environment where our team are empowered and contributing to the success of the business,” Hazife says.

The goal for the year ahead is to establish its Perth facility and to deliver elevated products and services to new and existing customers.

Green Is Possible with Global Inflight Products

Global Inflight Products (GIP) tells PAX International it has expanded its Green Is Possible sustainable range. The line covers dining to comfort products, with the mission to reduce plastic by empowering airline sustainability with plant-based solutions for a “greener future.”

“We are continuously embracing innovation and seeking new solutions and opportunities to advance our sustainable options. Our range of tableware is 100 percent compostable and made from plant fibre. Our compostable cups are truly 100 percent plastic-free, leakproof and can be custom designed to meet your needs for hot or cold beverages, including hard liquor,” says Zine Badissy, President and Chairman at GIP.

In Hamburg, GIP will display its Green Is Possible range, along with its tableware, glassware and stainless-steel cutlery. The company highlights its porcelain and bone china, which are crafted with a unique formula to achieve a perfect balance of strength, durability and weight, enriching the overall passenger experience. GIP will be exhibiting at booth 1D20.

8 MAY 2024
Foodfolk Australia’s new facility will open later this year, enabling the caterer to manage all functions under one roof
Global Inflight Products has expanded its Green Is Possible sustainable range, with the mission to reduce plastic and create a greener future

Little & Cull highlights sous vide and prepared products range

Little & Cull, a supplier of sous vide and prepared products for airlines, is highlighting its product range ahead of WTCE. Based in the U.K., Little & Cull offers tailored solutions to develop bespoke products that meet menu requirements. Tom Cull and Tom HarbLittle run the company, overseeing operations and sales. It boasts a skilled team of chefs working on developments for partners to create unique dishes that retain a homemade flavour while being produced in volume from its BRC AA grade factories.

“Constant innovations have allowed Little & Cull to remain the go-to supplier in the airline catering industry. We have remained a trusted partner with The Gourmet Center for more than eight years and will continue to present visually appealing dishes using fresh, health-minded, flavourful ingredients,” the company tells PAX International.

The company has won several awards through the years, including two-star Great Taste Awards and gold awards in the Taste of the West and British Pie Awards. For more information, contact Caz Brown or


Gut Springenheide showcases awardwinning egg products at WTCE 2024

Gut Springenheide is presenting its innovative egg products at this year’s WTCE. The classic products include egg pancakes filled with fresh apple, apricot or cherry. The premium product range includes egg gourmet rolls, frittatas, fried eggs and omelettes.

Gut Springenheide manufactures its products in Münsterland, Germany using natural, highquality and fresh ingredients. The company tells PAX International the products have won several awards from the Germany Agricultural Society

Gut Springenheide’s egg products

10 MAY 2024
A chicken tikka breast meal by Little & Cull

RMT Global Partners ready to wow in Hamburg

RMT Global Partners tells PAX International it is ready to wow visitors at its booth (1D50) in Hamburg this week.

Following the recent launch of its new website, which aims to highlight its products, services and award-winning sustainability initiatives, RMT is bolstering its industry presence, showcasing its range of products at WTCE 2024. RMT Global Partners supplies a variety of onboard comfort products and services across aviation, cruise, rail and other sectors which can all be customized based on customer requests.

Products and services available include eco-friendly paper cups, tritan glassware and dishes, Bagasse serviceware and sustainable Bagasse cutlery, as well as textiles, wipes (sanitizing wipes, hot towels) and service items (ice buckets, insulated coolers). Several kits are also available, including hygiene kits, tidying kits, airsick bags, diaper kits and biohazard kits.

“We are always working on ongoing innovative concepts and creating new customized products for our global clients, and we’re so excited to see everyone,” says RMT’s Richard Tuttle, Founder, President & CEO.

Alongside Tuttle, David Heissenbuttel, Kimberly Neu, Robert Carlson and Blaire Brown will be present at the expo. EXHIBITOR

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We’re En Route. Global specialists in passenger solutions, supply chain services and sourcing for airlines and airline caterers. Join us on stand 1F30 at WTCE 2024


Group SOI debuts mini pizzas

Group SOI has developed mini pizzas for airline and rail catering. The stone oven baked pizzas use genuine Italian tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh toppings. They are available in 30-gram bite size and 90-gram slices, and come in four flavours; Margherita, mushroom, four cheese and vegetarian.

Group SOI tells PAX International that Brussels Airlines has added the 90-gram pizza slices to its summer menu.

To serve, pizzas must be heated in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Group SOI says they can be personalized in shape and flavour depending on airline needs.


TUBES to present wines and spirits by the glass for cabin service at WTCE

TUBES will display its wine, spirits and cocktails by the glass in Hamburg.

“We have revolutionized the way beverages are introduced and presented, offering a simple yet elegant solution. Our TUBES are small, light and easy to serve, making them well-suited for the travel industry,” Glen Ritzen, TUBES Founder, tells PAX International. “We are not only offering a product but also a journey into the world of fine beverages, made effortless and enjoyable for everyone.”

Ritzen explains the product is ideal for optimizing space and efficiency. A standard atlas drawer can neatly store 50 TUBES at 100 millilitres each. That is 127 percent more products per drawer, reducing the weight per product by 40 percent.

Beyond the obvious wins for airlines, TUBES offers ready-to-drink single-glass servings of exquisite wines and beloved cocktails, ready for any taste and occasion in the cabin. More than a sustainable and innovative serving option, TUBES can be paired with snacks to create the ultimate inflight aperitivo kit and they are customizable. Airlines can select the beverage and design of the tube, which can even include a QR code with product information to enhance the tasting experience.

14 MAY 2024
Group SOI’s mini pizza
A standard atlas drawer can store 50 TUBES (100 millilitres each), which is 127 percent more products per drawer, reducing the weight per product by 40 percent

Aer Lingus refreshes summer menu

Aer Lingus is giving passengers a taste of Irish hospitality with a curated selection of Irish-inspired dishes on its summer menu. The updated inflight dining options are hand-selected based on passenger feedback with upgrades to both Economy Class and Business Class menus.

Aer Lingus reimagines its seasonal menus every three months and on the summer Business Class menu, travellers can enjoy dishes such as skin-on thyme and parsley chicken supreme, herb-infused roasted pork, flaky panfried hake and citrus-marinated salmon. The menu will also feature a rich root vegetable and pearl barley stew, served with a seasonal salad. Other highlights include Irish smoked salmon, saffron-poached prawns and a roast parsnip with seasonal apple soup as an appetizer.

Aer Lingus has also updated the dessert menu, presenting a choice between lemon cream mousse or a local cheese board.

PAX-INTL.COM 15 Your Space Saving Companions in the Galley CREATING GALLEY SPACE WHERE IT DOES NOT EXIST VISIT OUR STAND 1F104 NEAR THE TASTE OF TRAVEL Returning to the WTCE 24 on our 21st Anniversary with Our Cabin Waste Management System
Aer Lingus presents an updated summer menu for Business Class


Watermark releases inflight kits for kids with Air Astana

Watermark has launched a collaboration for young passengers with Air Astana, designed to educate and inspire kids on topics of sustainability. The kits target children ages three to 12.

The themes are based on the four elements; earth, wind, water and fire. Each kit is curated to appeal to children with an interactive learning experience while nurturing environmental awareness. The kits combine entertainment and education, introducing sustainability concepts through play and discovery. Aspects young passengers learn about from the kits include understanding renewable energy sources and embracing the principles of the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.

The contents of the bags are designed to be reused as part of the brands’ commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness. The bags are made from rPET and eco-friendly materials and come in compostable packaging.

ANA Catering Service names Naoko Nishijima first female President

and CEO

Naoko Nishijima has been appointed as the first-ever female President & CEO of ANA Catering Service Co., Ltd. Nishijima first joined ANA in 1983 with the Cabin Attendant Administration of the Osaka Airport office. She worked as an ANA cabin attendant for several years before becoming Vice President, Customer Service Promotion, Products and Services, and Vice President of Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Promotion.

Prior to her new role as ANA Catering’s President & CEO, Nishijima was a member of the ANA Board of Directors and Executive Vice President for ANA Brand Inflight Services Division, Inflight Services Center.

16 MAY 2024
One of Watermark’s kids’ kits for Air Astana Naoko Nishijima, President & CEO, ANA Catering Service

His Majesty King Abdullah II

Royal Jordanian’s roots are founded in royal legacy—and now, the airline is aiming to give its passengers a regal experience with its latest strategic expansion plan. Established in 1963 by His late Majesty King Hussein, Royal Jordanian holds deep roots in Jordan’s royal heritage. King Hussein envisioned the airline as more than just a national carrier; he saw it as a vital tool for fostering international relations and cultural exchange. The airline, initially named Alia, embarked on its journey with a modest fleet consisting of a Handley Page Dart Herald and a DC7, serving three destinations: Beirut, Cairo and Kuwait.

Over the past six decades, Royal Jordanian has undergone remarkable growth and transformation. From its humble beginnings, it has expanded its fleet to 26 aircraft and its route network to encompass 42 cities across

Expansion in motion

In this interview, Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali highlights the airline’s plans for growth in the years ahead, eyeing fleet modernization, refreshed liveries and lounge and menu updates

four continents. This expansion reflects Royal Jordanian’s commitment to fulfilling its role as a bridge connecting people, cultures and continents, just as King Hussein imagined.

Under the continued guidance of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Royal Jordanian has maintained its trajectory of progress and development.

“Due to its reputation and in view of the international level of competitiveness, Royal Jordanian has been a member of the oneworld airline alliance since 2007, connecting people all around the world,” says CEO Samer Majali. “Ever since its establishment, Royal Jordanian has been an essential contributor to the national economy, bringing in hard currency and playing a key role in attracting tourists from all over the world, while maintaining its role as the national carrier of Jordan and contributing to two-tothree percent of the country’s GDP.”

Samer Majali, CEO, Royal Jordanian

Fleet modernization

Currently, Royal Jordanian’s average fleet age is 13 years, but the airline has recently launched a fleet modernization project. It plans to replace its fleet of 19 short- and medium-haul aircraft, as well as contract new aircraft. It is set to reach 41 aircraft by the end of 2028, including securing Embraer E2s, A320neos and 787s. The growth strategy is part of Royal Jordanian’s plan to reduce costs, increase flight frequency and cultivate deeper passenger loyalty.

Deciding on boosting its supply of current aircraft was a strategic move. The airline set its sights on reaching a number of lofty goals—and

the modernization of its fleet was a key factor in achieving them. These goals include control aircraft operating costs; maintain competitiveness in light of fleet renewal programs executed by other regional companies; improve traveller satisfaction while standardizing its offerings; increase weekly flight frequency and improve connectivity across its network.

“Introducing the new generation of aircraft will contribute to improving fuel consumption and efficiency, and reduce operating costs,” says Majali.

The airline conducted comprehensive research to discern the best aircraft type to replace its current

operating fleet. Strategizing options that would reduce costs of essential elements such as pilot and technicians training and scheduling, introductory investment expenditure, and operational and maintenance fees, Royal Jordanian’s insights revealed that leveraging the commonality to operate the same types of aircraft would improve its bottom line, while satisfying the needs of its passengers.

“The chosen aircraft types synchronize with the company’s operational requirements to achieve its goal of increasing flight frequencies to meet passenger choices,” says Majali.

Earlier this year, the airline’s

18 MAY 2024
Royal Jordanian has upgraded menus for Crown and Economy classes, introducing new options and enhancing dessert dishes

unveiling of added aircraft was a royal affair. “At the end of January this year, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Al-Hussein patronized the ceremony during which the first twin Embraer E195-E2 aircraft were delivered, joining the Royal Jordanian fleet to serve the short- and mediumrange routes,” Majali explains.

As for its routes, Royal Jordanian is undertaking a five-year growth plan with a goal to position Amman as the main hub for the Levant region. This strategy is supported by the airline’s recent launch of its route to AlUla in the northwest of Saudi Arabia,

as well as new service to Brussels, Dusseldorf, Lyon, Milan, Stockholm, Algiers and Bahrain. With new route launches planned to Manchester and London Stansted, Royal Jordanian is solidifying its mission to be a key player in bringing tourism to Jordan from a mounting 60 destinations.

New era of creativity

But those aren’t the only upgrades that passengers can expect to see from Royal Jordanian. Through its wireless inflight entertainment system SkyConnect, which last year received an update to content offerings and

storage capacity, the airline delights passengers with diverse entertainment categories including extreme sports, relaxation, anime, movies and TV. Its Embraer E2 aircraft are equipped with Viasat inflight entertainment and connectivity.

Remaining true to its identity while leading its future charge, the airline has reinvented its livery with a youthful, modern flair.

“The new design will gradually be rolled out to the rest of the fleet, presenting a more modern design and colours that signal the beginning of a new era of creativity,” says Majali.

20 MAY 2024
The updated Royal Jordanian livery remaining true to its identity but with modern design and colours that signal the new era
Uniform Revolution Circular Uniforms, Simple Management, Happy Employees. Welcome to the Let SKYPRO revolutionize your Uniform Management. Visit us at Booth 1G40

To keep passengers comfortable, Royal Jordanian has introduced mattress service on long-haul flights to its Crown class. Passengers received a pillow and blanket, as well as a mattress pad which can be placed on the lie-flat seat with assistance from cabin crew to make the sleep experience more luxurious. Crown passengers also receive iPad service, an iPad featuring single-app mode. The airline has also upgraded its menu for both Crown and Economy classes, introducing new options and enhancing dessert dishes, Majali explains.

Crown lounge perks

The airline also simplifies passengers’ travel experience by pro-

viding onboard duty free kiosks that allow travellers to retrieve purchases in the Crown lounge.

The lounge offers an an exceptional environment for Royal Jordanian passengers to rest and recharge. And now, passengers can expect an enhanced experience at Royal Jordanian’s Crown lounge in Queen Alia International Airport. In addition to its food and beverage offerings, the airline has also crafted an outlet for Asian and western sweets, with the implementation of MasterCard and DragonPass—the world’s first all-in-one digital airport platform—for passenger convenience.

Taking self-care into consideration, the lounge features a salon providing complimentary hair and

nail care. To continue driving both access to information and customer loyalty, Royal Jordanian has included screens in the lounge.

“A 16-square-meter display screen, featuring new destinations served by the airline, is installed to enhance the passenger experience, and it is used as a promotional tool for marketing campaigns,” says Majali.

With expansion in motion, Royal Jordanian’s focus on innovation, passenger comfort and its royal legacy underscores its dedication to providing passengers with a truly regal experience, while solidifying its position as a leading carrier in the global aviation industry.

22 MAY 2024
Through its wireless inflight entertainment system SkyConnect, passengers can access extreme sports, relaxation, anime, movies and TV

Inspired by Spain

Spanish airline Iberia highlights its amenities and menus, inspired by the culture of its country

With a rich legacy spanning almost a century, the Spanish airline Iberia aims to connect people and culture. Dedicated to fostering prosperity and social impact, Iberia contributes to the Spanish GDP and employment; but it is the airline’s commitment to celebrating its local culture that sets it apart. Now, with Iberia Group boasting 167 aircraft carriers and relaunched direct flights between Madrid and Tokyo, as well as added routes to Tirana and Ljubljana, the Spanish airline with Latin American soul is growing—but according to Melanie Berry, Iberia’s Director of Customer Experience, its mission remains the same.

“During these almost 97 years, at Iberia we have had the same purpose: we generate prosperity by connecting people with the world,” she tells PAX International.

Iberia extends its cultural touch with the introduction of toiletry bags designed by Teresa Helbig, inspired by the airline’s iconic blue, red and yellow colours. These sustainable bags, available in Business and Premium Economy Class, showcase vegan cosmetics made in Spain using surplus wine grapes from the wine used onboard Iberia in eco-friendly packaging.

“These sustainable products are packaged by Envera, the Iberia employee association for parents of

The sustainable toiletry bags designed by Teresa Helbig, inspired by the airline’s iconic blue, red and yellow colours, are available in Business and Premium Economy Class

people with disabilities, which employs more than 400 people with disabilities,” says Berry, adding that passengers will be able to select a complete kit or just components. Any products not used are then reused to avoid unnecessary waste. Iberia is one of the first in the industry to introduce full circularity for amentity kits.

Iberia’s culinary experience, crafted by caterer Do&Co, provides passengers with an authentic taste of Spain.

“Iberia is very proud to be Spanish and we try to reflect that origin in our inflight menus,” says Berry. “Our meals

24 MAY 2024
Melanie Berry, Director of Customer Experience, Iberia Iberia’s A350 900
Eggsquisite! Maximum savour. Natural ingredients. Germany Tel. +49 2553 1022 Visit us: Hall A1, Stand No. 1C70

are very much based on the Mediterranean diet, with fresh, local and seasonal produce wherever possible.”

This includes options such as handmade cappellacci pasta, traditional Spanish salmorejo, and roasted chicken thighs with pisto Manchego. Additionally, Iberia accommodates passengers with dietary restrictions with kosher, vegan, low-salt, lowcalorie and gluten-free options.

As Iberia heads into its next century, its mission to advance local culture through personal touches will keep Spain connected throughout the globe, Berry says.

Interiors snapshot

Along with its other inflight offerings, Iberia has a large focus on connectivity. With a comprehensive entertainment offering, passengers can select from 220 films, including blockbuster hits alongside curated Spanish cinema, Latin American content, full franchises and kids’ content plus 330 titles with podcasts, albums and playlists. The airline has installed Wi-Fi in 90 percent of its fleet offering free text messaging for Business Class and Iberia Plus members. Paid internet is also available.

Iberia has recently introduced the enhanced experience in its three

cabins on its latest A350 with new Airbus standard—specifically the 4, 2022 standard. The Business Class features a sliding door for increased privacy, individual access to the aisle and a two-meter long lie-flat bed with additional storage. The Premium Economy cabin boasts added privacy with headrest wings, a touchscreen IFE navigation panel and screens from 12 to 13 inches. Economy Class passengers enjoy an expanded cabin width, resulting in increased seat width and comfort. All Economy passengers benefit from adjustable headrests and larger inflight entertainment screens.

26 MAY 2024
Inflight dining in Iberia’s Business Class Iberia’s A350 NEXT Economy cabin
Inflight dining in Iberia’s Economy Class We love creating delicious, diverse, award winning culinary experiences for our customers and their valued passengers around the world. See You @ WTCE 2024 BOOTH 1A81 28, 29 & 30 MAY 2024 | Hamburg, Germany FFG: CATERING EXCELLENCE 24/7

ANA’s Future Promise

AFashion meets function aboard All Nippon Airways with new amenity kits and international route menu

ll Nippon Airways (ANA), a certified five-star Skytrax airline and Japan’s national carrier, is piloting impressive environmental goals, including a 70 percent reduction in waste by 2030 (compared to 2019) and a zero waste output by 2050. The airline’s new amenity kits, made in partnership with Ettinger and distributed on international flights, mark one of its latest moves toward these targets.

“Based on the concept of ANA Future Promise [the airline’s sustainable development goals (SDGs)], we selected environmentally friendly materials and those we believe will contribute to ethical consumption,” Takako Komine, Senior Coordinator, Products and Services Planning at ANA, tells PAX International. “We also selected environmentally friendly packaging materials, such as materials that are plastic-free.”

This approach has not sacrificed fashion for function. The First Class

kit contains products from Sensai, a Japanese cosmetics line known for its high-efficacy ingredients and sensuous scents, in a stylish bag designed by Ettinger, a British luxury leather goods company. Sensai was selected for this release not only due to its shared heritage with the airline but for the quality of skin care, makeup and fragrances the company creates. This First Class kit includes a toner, cream and lip treatment. It is distributed on all international ANA routes.

“ANA’s collaboration with Ettinger symbolizes our commitment to sustainability and provides customers with luxurious products that enhance their travel experience,” said Tomoji Ishii, Executive Vice President, Customer Experience Management and Planning of ANA, in a recent media release. “These amenity pouches are not just travel [companions]; they represent ANA’s dedication to our ANA Future Promise goals of removing plastic.”

Meanwhile, the airline has tapped

Aveda, a brand known for its earthfriendly, plant-based hair and skin products, for its Business Class amenity kits, another partnership that aligns perfectly with the airline’s ecological mission. Aveda’s products are never tested on animals, adhere to stringent environmentally conscious policies and include materials derived from natural resources.

Both kits are provided in an exclusively designed reusable bag made from recycled materials.

Culture and cuisine

ANA is looking to fortify its corporate culture along the journey. Komine tells PAX International that the ANA Future Promises initiative, which takes into consideration ESG (environment, society and governance),

28 MAY 2024
All Nippon Airways has impressive environmental goals, including a 70 percent reduction in waste by 2030 (compared to 2019) and a zero waste output by 2050
Shinichi Inoue, President and CEO, All Nippon Airways

will bring ANA Group employees together under a set of principles that aim to better serve passengers.

The carrier’s SDGs extend to its meal service. ANA offers a vegan curry for passengers who do not eat meat, who want to increase veggie intake or need a vegan offering. The meal launched in September 2023 in ANA’s First and Business Classes and has been receiving rave reviews.

“The curry is made from only domestically grown vegetables and fruits and contains no animal ingredients, chemical seasonings, preservatives, refined sugar or flour, giving it a delicate and deep flavor that brings out the natural sweetness and deliciousness of the ingredients,” explains Miki Osada, Senior Manager, Products and Services Planning at ANA.

It is another way that ANA is catering to the diverse needs of its customers, Osada says, adding, “All passengers, regardless of nationality, religion or other dietary habits and preferences can enjoy our meals with peace of mind. We will continue to pursue the quality of our special inflight meals.”

Renowned French chef Hideki Takayama currently supervises select offerings on the airline’s menus, ensuring high-quality meals that cater to the increasing need for specialized meals both within Asia and for those travelling to or from international destinations. Takayama has previously helped shape other ANA menu releases that focus on dietary needs, such as gluten free and diabetes friendly meals.

Of course, many passengers expect a meal to be complete with a wine pairing, which ANA is well equipped

to deliver. The airline has recently completed its annual wine offering update—the latest refresh since the pandemic. Now rejuvenated, Osada says the airline is eager for passengers to experience the latest and greatest reds, whites and bubblies on board.

“We aim to offer a well-balanced lineup of distinctive wines from around the world, including wines from France and other European countries as well as Japan, so that each customer can enjoy a marriage of tastes and a variety of meals,” Osada explains.

The vegan curry is ideal for passengers who do not eat meat, who want to increase veggie intake or need a vegan offering The First Class kit features a stylish bag designed by Ettinger, a British luxury leather goods company All Nippon Airways tapped Aveda, a brand known for its earth-friendly, plant-based hair and skin products, for its Business Class amenity kits. The products are not tested on animals and include material derived from natural resources

What’s on TAP?

TAP Air Portugal highlights plans for the promising year ahead in this exclusive interview

Headquartered at Lisbon Airport, TAP Air

Portugal is not only the country’s flag carrier but also an ambassador of Portuguese culture. In 2023 the airline highlighted its Portuguese heritage through inflight menus, amenities and the overall product experience.

“We are working hard to increase customer satisfaction, and we are already seeing the results,” says Sofia Lufinha Chief Customer Officer at TAP. She says the airline’s plans for 2024 include enhancing the passenger experience and focusing on infusing the product with the Portuguese identity.

“We are continuing to support Portuguese brands and bring them, the tastes and the feelings of Portugal into the passenger experience. It is something we always receive positive feedback about—once passengers get into the cabin, they feel that they are in Portugal,” she explains.

Catering a sense of Portugality

Catering is arguably the most memorable aspect of the inflight experience, and TAP knows how to satisfy passengers with a curated sense of Portugality.

The airline introduced new Business Class amenity kits featuring iconic Portuguese brand Benamôr in late-September 2023. Created with the help of Skysupply, the pouches have received good feedback from passengers thus far, Lufinha tells PAX International.

The pouches are available in four assorted colors, each representing iconic symbols of the country. The kits are made of recycled plastic bottles and other PET. While bamboo was used for the toothbrush, the packaging of the toothpaste and the earplugs are made of paper.

For sips, the airline serves only Portuguese wines. And, every two months, it introduces a new Business Class menu on long-haul flights departing from Lisbon through its Local Stars initiative.

“We believe in the quality of our wines. Our menu is a way of showing Portugal to the rest of the world. We are an ambassador of Portuguese food and wine

30 MAY 2024
Sofia Lufinha, Chief Customer Officer, TAP Air Portugal (left) and Aijaz Khan, Publisher, PAX International

across the globe,” says Lufinha. “It is something that we are very proud of, and I think we are doing it quite well.”

The TAP Local Stars Project, available to Business Class passengers, is a partnership with The Art of Tasting Portugal. It aims to bring the best Portuguese cuisine to the world by featuring the star ingredients of each Portuguese region. TAP invited 12 renowned Portuguese chefs to prepare menus using these traditional ingredients, selecting a star product. Passengers who do not want the Local Stars main dish can opt for the alternative dish.

Joel Fragata, Director of Commercial & Customer Care TAP, Cateringpor, agrees that ensuring passengers are satisfied with the inflight dining experience is a major focus for 2024. He says TAP has plans to update its pre-ordering meal platform (available to Business Class passengers) to enhance the passenger experience and reduce waste.

“Changing meals or introducing something new is a big deal,” he explains. “We consider passenger feedback and satisfaction. We test recipes, check presentation, and then we launch the product usually for one year. It stays in catering as long as passengers are still satisfied.”

2024 and beyond

Looking ahead is sometimes accompanied with a quick look at the past. “The world changes a lot in two years,” says Lufinha.

With some restructuring plans in place through 2025, Catarina Índio, Head of Inflight and Ground Product at TAP, says the airline has a “goal of growth in existing places.” It will focus on optimizing and fine-tuning its routes, introducing more flights to the United States and Brazil.

32 MAY 2024
TAP Air Portugal launched new Business Class amenity kits onboard featuring iconic Portuguese cosmetic brand Benamôr


After winning two top accolades at the DesignAir awards in 2023, Etihad Airways is ready to soar to new heights with the refreshed cabin interiors of its 787-9 fleet by JANE

Etihad Airways had a tremendous year of design updates and passenger experience upgrades in 2023. As its new fleet of 787-9 Dreamliners takes off in 2024, Etihad is introducing enhanced comfort with more privacy for passengers and a lineup of luxury amenities to be enjoyed during and post-flight.

Award-winning aircraft interiors

The airline was awarded the Design Airline of the Year Middle East 2023 award, but it also took home the top achievement from

TheDesignAir, the Design Airline of the Year 2023 Global award.

Eduardo Matos, Director of Customer Care at Etihad, tells PAX International, “We were very proud to receive this prestigious recognition as ‘Design Airline of the Year 2023’ last year. We certainly see this as a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team.”

Matos adds that part of what he believes makes Etihad unique is the emphasis on the passenger experience in all classes. “At Etihad, we see design as part of our DNA, we have always done things a little differ-

ently and paid attention to every little design detail that helps to elevate the experience for our guests, regardless of their cabin,” he explains.

Overwhelmingly positive brand feedback

Etihad has had a monumental year, elevating its brand to further enhance the passenger experience it is already well known for. Major updates to the cabin interiors in 2023 included rolling out luxury amenity kits for Business Class while updating the dining experi-

Eduardo Matos, Director of Customer Care, Etihad Airways
The Armani/Casa collection for Etihad Airways

ence for passengers in Economy Class.

Etihad introduced its partnership with Armani/Casa for a range of Business Class products and amenities to a positive response. The selection of products includes tableware, blankets, pillows and a lumbar support cushion that doubles as the mattress for the Business Class lie-flat seats.

“The feedback from our guests has been overwhelmingly positive and we know they’re going to love our new Giorgio Armani co-branded amenity kits just as much,” Matos says.

This year, Etihad is partnering with Giorgio Armani again, rolling out its new amenity kits for Business Class, filled with ESPA skincare products. The collab also introduces one of the largest amenity kits in the sky for travellers flying in First Class and The Residence; a Giorgio Armani and Etihad branded large folio bag.

“They are absolutely stunning and

a design feature in themselves,” Matos says enthustiastically. “In Economy, we launched complimentary tote bags filled with a hand cream and inflight amenities to take away, as well as holding the blanket and earphones for our passengers to use while they fly.”

These amenities are themed for Etihad’s 20th anniversary celebrations and are currently being rolled out permanently on all flights longer than five hours.

Style and function in Economy

It is not just branded totes that passengers travelling in Economy Class can look forward to this year; Etihad is also revamping its Economy dining experience.

“We’ve coupled style and function with a focus on improving our impact on the environment,” Matos says. “We’ve dramatically reduced

the amount of single-use plastic used in our operation. At the same time, we’ve elevated the experience for our guests with a higher quality and more stylish product.”

787-9 fleet takes off in 2024

On the heels of its design wins, Etihad is continuing to elevate its brand in 2024 with new cabin interiors on the 787-9 Dreamliner fleet. The airline received the first three aircraft in February, now entering service. The addition includes impressive upgrades and offerings that look different from what Etihad passengers might have seen in the past.

Matos explains, “The cabin experience we’ve designed gives our guests a wonderful feeling of space and comfort while also adding to their privacy, something which we recognize is important to our guests in premium cabins.”


Armani/Casa textiles include blankets, pillows and a lumbar support cushion that doubles as the mattress for the Business Class lie-flat seats

Fly on the wings of perfection in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and safety.

Security and safety are the most important values an airline can offer. A great number of checks are required before the captain and cabin crew are finally able to welcome the passengers on board. This includes making certain that travellers will receive a clean and hygienic service. With our professional warewashing systems for inflight catering, we at MEIKO are guaranteed to reach the recommended level in purity, hygiene and cleanliness. Sustainable, economic and efficient. From small business airports to large international traffic hubs: discover the versatility of our tailor-made warewashing systems.

Professional wash-up systems for Inflight Catering

Tradition intertwined

LOT Polish Airlines is finding balance between tradition and progress with a passenger experience that ties travellers to the past, present and future

To stay ahead, airlines must constantly evolve. With new trends and customer demands emerging, those that stay stuck in the past are bound to be forgotten. Which is why finding the balance between tradition and progress is integral—something that LOT Polish Airlines has mastered.

“We do not stand still, but keep developing by listening to our passengers, who are our greatest inspi-

ration,” says Izabela Leszczyńska, Director, Product Development and Customer Experience Department, LOT Polish Airlines.

This year marks LOT’s 95th anniversary, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines. And as LOT continues to embrace its roots while looking to the future, its latest innovations bring comfort and convenience to its passengers, ensuring it will keep connecting Poland to the world.

“Together with the crane that will always be part of our logo, we will continue our fascinating journey, writing the history of one of the world’s oldest and most experienced airlines,” says Leszczyńska.

LOT offers regular and charter flights to more than 100 airports on five continents from its hub at Warsaw Chopin Airport, and in March, the airline celebrated a new milestone: its first flight from Warsaw to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“In the near future, we will also be launching direct flights to Riyadh and Saudi Arabia. We relaunched Athens on April 11,” says Leszczyńska. Currently, its fleet consists of more than 70 aircraft, including its long-haul flagship 787 Dreamliner, with another dozen set to be delivered this year.

But flights are not the only way LOT is connecting the world. Set to launch in late 2024, the airline is constructing the LOT Business Lounge at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The lounge—a first for the airline outside of Europe—will cover a total of 617 square meters and feature a view of the airport apron. But what Leszczyńska

MAY 2024
LOT is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines
LOT’s fleet consists of more than 70 aircraft, including its long-haul flagship 787 Dreamliner, with another dozen set to be delivered this year
Bussiness station Vietnamese cuisine & drinks Salad Counter Bar Counter Free Wifi Smoking room FIDs & TV Newspaper & magazine Shower room Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar Hot Station

finds most meaningful is the ability to showcase Poland’s unique culture. “We want the space to represent the Polish hospitality with which LOT is so closely associated,” she says.

LOT equips its passengers with the latest amenities that are sure to delight—local cultural touches included. The company has recently introduced updated amenity kits, with those prepared for its Business Class passengers promoting sustainability with cosmetics produced from apples, of which Poland is one of the world’s leading suppli-

ers. Taking another opportunity to intertwine tradition with a modern approach, LOT has redesigned its glass and porcelain tableware.

“The glasses and goblets were designed especially for us by artists from one of the oldest glassworks in Poland, Krosno Glass,” says Leszczyńska.

LOT provides its passengers with complimentary drinks and snacks service, even on its shortest domestic flights. For those wishing to indulge in a more substantial meal, LOT offers both Polish and international cuisine.

“Our menu varies depending on the flight, but always combines touches of the unique and still little known Polish cuisine, international cuisine and the cuisine of the country we are flying to,” says Leszczyńska. “That’s why on our comfortable aircraft you can try both the famous Polish pierogies and Japanese onigiri rice sandwiches.”

Additionally, passengers can shop duty free whenever flight times and customs regulations allow. Passengers can purchase alcohol and tobacco products, as well as cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry, accessories and unique gadgets—all featuring LOT’s logo. “With all our passengers in mind, the SHOP&MORE offer is also available online, as a pre-order or as a delivery option to a specified address,” says Leszczyńska.

LOT Polish Airlines, rooted in nearly a century of history, skillfully balances tradition with innovation, ensuring its continued prominence as it embraces the future of air travel.

38 MAY 2024
LOT Polish Airlines offers regular and charter flights to more than 100 airports on five continents from its hub at Warsaw Chopin Airport This year, LOT is celebrating its 95th anniversary, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines

Aotearoa tours Toronto

An interview with Air New Zealand’s Ben Evers-Swindell, General Manager, the Americas, in Toronto, Canada during the airline’s North America tour


New Zealand hosted an event at Hotel X in Toronto, Canada this spring to highlight all that the country has to offer. Invitees were treated to lunch, featuring New Zealand salmon, cultural song and dance and a presentation about Kiwi heritage and attractions, as well as Air New Zealand’s upcoming products.

“We want you to get a taste of quintessential authentic Kiwi,” said Ben Evers-Swindell, General Manager, the Americas, Air New Zealand, in his opening speech. “The feedback that we get from North American passengers about our crew is that they are very good at interacting with passengers—genuine human beings, and that’s what we are all about.”

Lunch and a show

The event brought together several of the airline’s tourism partners, including Hobbiton Movie Set, Ngai Tahu Tourism, Marlborough Tour Company, Park Hyatt Auckland, RealNZ, Te Puia, Distinction Hotels and Totally Tourism/The Helicopter Line. A representative from each company presented an overview of each offering, highlighting important connections to culture and the mustsee New Zealand visitor experience.

Guests enjoyed a three-course lunch during the presentations, along with traditional Māori song and dance. The lunch included a first course Rasa salad, with fresh vegetables, jalapeño feta, chickpeas and sumac in a red wine vinaigrette. The main featured

Ben Evers-Swindell, General Manager, the Americas, Air New Zealand

a lemon pepper salmon imported from New Zealand. For non-salmon eaters was the option to substitute for a grilled Maitaki mushroom dish. The dessert was a delightful strawberry lemon pavlova, with fresh strawberries and microgreens. Two

40 MAY 2024
Economy SkyCouch in Air New Zealand

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New Zealand wines were served with lunch, Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Oyster Bay Pinot Noir.

Katie Olsson, National Account Manager, Air New Zealand, highlighted upcoming products from the airline. The Business Premier Luxe is due launch on its fleet of retrofitted 787s at the end of this year. The product includes a lie-flat seat with memory foam mattress, feather pillow and a 24-inch screen.

Olsson gave a sneak peek of the recently retrofitted Premium Economy cabin, one of the only Premium cabins located distinctly from the rest of the Economy cabin. The seat features a shell that enables passengers to recline without taking up living space of the passenger behind them.

She also highlighted the airline’s Economy SkyCouch targeting families with young children, couples looking for extra legroom or people who want to stretch out. Available for the last decade, the SkyCouch features a row of three standard seats that transform into a large lie-flat bed due to footrests that extend in line with the seat to create more space. The product is available in the first seven rows of the Economy cabin—a unique long-haul offering.

Interview with Ben Evers-Swindell

In an interview during the event, Evers-Swindell told PAX International the airline hosted the Toronto event to demonstrate its appreciation for the Canadian market.

“We have a strong belief that the passenger’s vacation starts as soon as they step onboard the aircraft. We’ve got unique, authentic style with our crew, cuisine and the overall passenger experience. It’s Kiwi hospitality—that’s why people fly with us,” he says.

Air New Zealand has introduced new onboard snacks following last year’s Great Kiwi Snack Off which called for a nationwide search for onboard snacks.

“We had 400 submissions. It’s not a huge country—5.5 million people—so to get 400 suppliers submitting, there was a lot of engagement,” EversSwindell said with a smile. He says the airline showcases New Zealand businesses as part of its integrated approach to sustainability. Locally produced snacks help reduce the carbon footprint while supporting the local businesses, he explains.

“It really does promote the whole ecosystem,” he says.

Also coming up this year is the introduction of new crew uniforms in partnership with Kiwi fashion designer Emilia Wickstead. The designs are timeless yet modern and will be rolled out to more than 5,000 Air New Zealand cabin crew in late-2024.

The Air New Zealand team took off to western Canada’s Calgary as the next stop on the airline’s North America tour.

MAY 2024
The Air New Zealand team alongside its tourism partners at the March 26 event in Toronto, Canada Traditional cultural Māori song and dance during lunch
The Air New Zealand Premium Economy seat with shell

Exclusive collaborations for

Introducing onboard for the first time: luxury Italian fashion house, Moschino and Canadian outdoor brand, Roots.

An exclusive collection for China Airlines’ premium passengers where luxury meets practicality.

For Premium Economy Class For Premium Business Class

All eyes on the LSG Group

In this Q&A, PAX International speaks with the Alexandra Appel and Patrick Himmelhaus about what attendees can expect from LSG Group as it exhibits at WTCE for the first-time as a standalone company

This year, all eyes are on the LSG Group as it makes its debut at the WTCE as a standalone company. PAX International sat down with Alexandra Appel, Head of Communications and Marketing, and Patrick Himmelhaus, Director of Global Event Management and Marketing, to delve into the company’s approach to this milestone event.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: As the LSG Group steps onto the stage of WTCE for the first time as a standalone company, how will the booth and presence at the event reflect this significant milestone?

ALEXANDRA APPEL: Our debut as a standalone company at WTCE signifies a pivotal moment for our expert brands LSG Sky Chefs and Retail inMotion as we reaffirm our commitment to shaping the future of aviation catering and onboard retail within the LSG Group. With a refreshed and sustainable booth design and a team of experts showcasing our product range, we aim to strike a balance between continuity and innovation, showcasing our longstanding industry leadership and relationships with customers.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: Can you share insights into the design and features of the LSG booth that will draw attendees’ attention?

PATRICK HIMMELHAUS: At our booth, we’ve crafted an environment that seamlessly blends innovation with tradition. From holograms that showcase cutting-edge technology to concealed lounges offering privacy and exclusivity, we invite visitors to immerse themselves in an experience that embodies our pursuit of innovation while honouring our rich heritage.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: The LSG Group’s partnership with Barilla and Kaelis has been longstanding. How will this partnership be celebrated at WTCE, and what can attendees expect?

APPEL: At WTCE, we’ll shine a spotlight on our enduring partnerships with Barilla and Kaelis. Attendees can

44 MAY 2024
A glimpse of the WTCE 2024 dessert menu

anticipate a curated dining experience that marries culinary excellence with innovative design. For instance, Kaelis has crafted a bespoke line of plates, each embodying the theme of ‘Flavours of the World,’ with varied shapes, colours and textures.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: What theme will the LSG Group booth embody, and what culinary delights will be on display?

APPEL: Our culinary theme, ‘Flavours of the World,’ reflects our global reach

and diverse offerings. From fine dining menus to casual bar snacks, attendees can indulge in a fusion of global flavours curated by our culinary experts.

HIMMELHAUS: At the core of our exhibition lies an invitation for attendees to embark on a sensory journey, experiencing modern interpretations of flavours from around the globe.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: Beyond the booth, what events or activities does the LSG Group have planned for WTCE attendees?

APPEL: Beyond the booth, attendees can engage in lively events such as booth parties and exclusive customer gatherings. We aim to offer an enriching experience that extends beyond the exhibition floor, including participation in discussions at the Passenger Experience Conference on ‘Cycle Proofing the Cabin’ and at the Taste of Travel on ‘Fighting Fraud in the Cabin.’ This provides an opportunity for attendees to meet familiar faces and subject matter experts, fostering valuable connections and insights.

46 MAY 2024
Alexandra Appel, Head (left) and Patrick Himmelhaus, At this year’s WTCE booth, the LSG Group will shine a spotlight on its partnerships with Barilla and Kaelis, with a curated dining experience


MileOne Group reinvents the snack box experience with its “Snack box in a bag” range for inflight consumption

MileOne Group has unveiled a range of snack boxes in a bag, designed to make it easier for cabin crew to serve passengers during long-haul flights. Crew can hang the bags on the seat hook, using the handle, so as not to wake passengers at meal times if they are sleeping.

The company tells PAX International that the snack boxes in a bag are now flying onboard easyJet for this summer, while Iberia has used the product onboard for a year, now in the large and mini formats on long-haul flights from Madrid.

“MileOne is always looking for ways to improve the supply chain for clients across the world,” the company said. “In 2023, we switched our tapas snack box to a snack bag with a handle in order to help Iberia crew distribute long-haul third service to sleeping passengers whilst at the same time making it easy for them to dispose of after the service using an easy-tocrumple-and-compostable 200 grams

per square metre kraft material.”

MileOne is redesigning again the Iberia snack bags for June, with a curated look and feel. Most of the ingredients in the tapas snack bags served on Iberia are sourced exclusively for MileOne, including the 20 to 30 gram olives in the bag, which are from Seville and custom-supplied for the company together with the mini 38-gram Fuet bites from Albacete.

The snack box in a bag range of products offers a refreshed version of the traditional inflight snack box with thoughtful touches specific to airlines.

“We have secured some listings for 2024,” MileOne tells PAX International. “The range is ambient from croissant and yogurt breakfasts to cream teas and tapas. We look forward to putting more onboard in the coming year.”

48 MAY 2024
The collection of snack boxes in a bag from MileOne MileOne’s snack boxes in a bag are now flying onboard easyJet for this summer, and Iberia has used the product onboard for a year, now in the large and mini formats on long-haul flights from Madrid

30 YEARS and counting

Gispol’s Ricardo Alves discusses the company’s vision for sustainable airline catering as it celebrates three decades

Fcollaborates with raw material suppliers to create polymers from natural sources like

tested for durability and dishwasher safety

ounded in Lisbon, Portugal in 1994, Gispol has become a well-known player within the market of airline catering equipment and food packaging. As a family-owned company with three decades of experience, Gispol stands out for its commitment to sustainable practices, which will be showcased at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE).

Over the past decade, Gispol has invested in developing sustainable materials tailored for airline catering. These efforts are driven by the circular economy philosophy inspired by Ellen McArthur, focusing on reducing environmental impact through innovative biological and technical cycles.

Innovations in material cycles

Gispol collaborates with raw material suppliers to create polymers from natural sources like sugarcane ethanol, rigorously tested for durability and dishwasher safety. At WTCE, Gispol will display a cup made from these biological materials, exemplifying sustainable innovation. Similarly, the technical cycle uses recycled materials to reduce reliance on virgin resources

and emissions, with a recycled-material cup also featured at the event.

GispolCircle: Advancing traceability

The new GispolCircle traceability tool marks a significant advancement, using QR codes to track the origins of materials, whether naturally sourced or recycled. This transparency ensures clients of Gispol’s dedication to sustainability.

Visitors to Gispol’s WTCE booth will witness the practical application

of these innovations, with a range of products made from both biological and technical materials. These offerings demonstrate Gispol’s capability in blending advanced technology with environmental responsibility.

Gispol remains at the forefront of the airline catering industry, preparing a future where sustainability and quality converge. As the industry evolves, Gispol’s innovative solutions ensure they meet tomorrow’s challenges without compromising on performance or environmental stewardship.

50 MAY 2024
Gispol sugarcane ethanol, rigorously Aijaz Khan, Publisher, PAX International (left) and Ricardo Alves, General Manager, Gispol

Prioritizing progress

SProcurall Solutions is bringing its eco-friendly products, developed through strategic partnerships, to WTCE 2024

ince its debut at WTCE 2022, Procurall Solutions has dedicated itself to developing innovative and environmentally aware solutions to help alleviate the operational challenges airlines face. By proactively addressing these issues, Procurall not only enhances operational efficiency and customer satisfaction but also bolsters the airlines’ commitments to environmental and social responsibility. Over the past 18 months, Procurall has launched an impressive array of programs and strategic partnerships, designed to enhance its value proposition to airlines while proving that eco-friendly practices can seamlessly integrate with luxury and comfort in the travel and hospitality industry.

In August 2023, Procurall unveiled the new United Business Class Transcon kits, developed in collaboration with Asutra, a wellness skincare brand co-owned by Venus Williams. These kits are crafted to redefine the inflight

experience by prioritizing self-care and green initiatives. Notably, the Asutra kits are both reusable and recyclable, and Procurall successfully eliminated all single-use plastics from the kits, solving a pain point for United Airlines by reducing waste and aligning with circular manufacturing principles.

Procurall’s commitment to earthfriendly luxury continues with the launch of JetBlue’s Eco-Comfort, Buy-on-Board Program, which features a curated selection of ecosavvy travel essentials made from recycled PET bottles. This use of rPET not only consumes 33 to 53 percent less energy and water than traditional polyester but directly addresses another key concern in airline operations, especially in regions where water scarcity is prevalent.

Procurall tells PAX International it is proud to showcase at booth 4D50 an extensive portfolio of environmentally responsible products and partner col-

laborations that span soft goods, amenity kits, tableware and audio equipment. Each product has been carefully selected to align with the airline partners’ sustainability goals and the evolving needs of passengers. Procurall continues to deepen its commitment to developing eco-sensitive aviation solutions, striving toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

The United Business Class Transcon kits by Procurall Solutions are designed to redefine the inflight experience by prioritizing self-care and green initiatives
The team at Procurall Solutions

Waste not with Onboard Logistics

Onboard Logistics looks back at two decades of success as it celebrates its 21st anniversary

Onboard Logistics is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. Through the last two decades, the company has become synonymous with innovative solutions that streamline inflight operations and reduce waste. Director Nicky Beades spoke with PAX International about the company’s successes along the way, and a glimpse into what the future could hold.

Beades, who retired from Aer Lingus after a distinguished career spanning 31 years, joined forces with long-time engineering friend Tommy Walsh to establish Onboard Logistics in 2003. Having worn many hats at Aer Lingus, from catering administration to overseeing flight kitchen operations, Beades had a unique goal.

“I wanted to find a way to reduce weight on the aircraft and prevent so much waste from going to landfill, which the airline had to pay for removal by weight,” he explains.

Onboard Logistics’ breakthrough came in the form of the Flex-e-Bag, a revolutionary concept that transformed waste management on flights. Traditionally, cabin waste was collected in

cardboard boxes and sent to landfill. The cardboard would become soaked from the waste, adding unnecessary weight and cost to the operation. The Flex-e-Bag is a two-piece unit consisting of a registered designed plastic disposable frame and a designed plastic disposable bag. When the Flex-e-Bag is full, the crew can snap the frame to seal the bag or leave it in the trolley for flight kitchen to dispose of. The disposable frame can be sent for recycling; the contents go to landfill. It reduces both weight and waste disposal expenses.

The success story continues as Onboard Logistics showcased its Flex-e-Bag at the ITCA tradeshow in 2003, winning a Mercury Award for its simplicity and effectiveness. This recognition spurred further innovation, leading to the development of the Flex-e-Clip designed for half galley trolley. It clips to the trolley for efficient waste collection.

Responding to delegates’ feedback through the years, Flex-eDrawer was developed to optimize space and efficiency during inflight services. Using Flex-e-Bag and Flex-e-Drawer together converts a

meal trolley into a waste trolley.

Looking ahead, Onboard Logistics plans to expand its customer base, increase its presence at industry events such as WTCE, and continue developing solutions to meet evolving aviation needs. Onboard Logistics will be at booth 1F104.

52 MAY 2024
The Flex-e-Drawer was developed to optimize space and efficiency during inflight services Onboard Logistics’ Flex-e-Bag is a two-piece unit consisting of a registered designed plastic disposable frame and bag, reducing both weight and waste disposal expenses

Culinary Experiences like no other

Royal Brunei Culinary brings trusted and delightful culinary experiences that modern Brunei desires. With our state of the art central kitchen, professional services and creative cuisine choices, we bring pride and joy to our customers in Brunei and beyond. royalbruneiculinary

Asia has been slower than other places to recover, but recent data reveals Asia is coming back fast

East of the sun

Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark examines the presence of East Asian airlines and suppliers on the global stage at WTCE

There is a famous song from the 1930s, “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.” It describes a place of tranquillity and beauty where lovers build their dreams and find the source of true happiness. What it refers to is right where I am... Asia. And yes, it is quite unique.

In time for the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), the organizers of the annual event are making every effort to recognize the uniqueness and importance of Southeast Asia and I’m very pleased to have been asked to tell you all about it here.

Asia has long been the benchmark for quality and value in travel hospitality and onboard service. The Full Service Carriers (FSCs) of Asia and the Far East maintained levels of service and quality going into the 21st century that became a distant memory for most European and U.S. legacy carriers.

54 MAY 2024
Travellers are returning to travel, with IATA reporting an uptick in traffic

Sustainable Wellness at 35,000 Feet

For 40+ years, WESSCO has specialized in supplying a wide range of products for airlines worldwide. From amenities, to passenger comfort, to food & beverage service ware, we design and deliver the items you need to provide an exceptional experience for your passengers.

Join us at WTCE in Hamburg, May 28-30, to explore our wellness offerings and more. Please email us at to make an appointment. We look forward to seeing you there!

Plant-based meat alternatives are prevalent, inventive and better than they have been in the past, but tend to be more costly

WTCE is the only truly global event where the contributors who represent these values congregate. WTCE creates a space for the buyers and sellers of products and services that deliver to, from and within Asia and also provides a forum for networking and learning.

The numbers

Emerging as we do from the recent unprecedented challenges one thing is clear. Asia has been slower than the rest to recover, but now, in the very recent past, we are catching up. The data of comparisons in recovery is clear.

In 2021, 2022 and 2023, the IVA (International Visitor Arrivals) recovery rates for the U.S. were 28 percent, 64 percent and 84 percent, respectively, and for Europe 15 percent, 56 percent and 87 percent. This means that the number of passengers returning to travel compared to the 2019 levels was much higher than in Asia where the IVA recovery rate for 2021 was a tiny five percent. Now in 2024, we are already beyond 55 percent and that increased rate is holding. For the Pacific area, it is 81 percent, a staggering 70 percent up on

Asian food is generally already healthy, and the focus is on freshly procured and produced meals the previous year, the fastest of any. Scheduled Seat Capacity Recovery rates suggest that Lion Air and Air Asia have seen recovery at 99 percent and 70 percent respectively to date. FCS Singapore Airlines 81 percent, Malaysian Airlines 85 percent and Philippine Airlines 87 percent, according to recent data from IATA. By 2025, current predictions to and from Southeast Asia will be 1.5 times the 2019 numbers. And by 2040, this is expected to be 1.2 billion. There is one caveat in these numbers. China. The predictions

56 MAY 2024

and impact on Southeast Asia generally are extremely difficult to assess. The WTCE team is fully awake to the Chinese markets and sees the increases in supplier presence as a real indicator of interest.

WTCE represents the place to not only find solutions to some of the challenges faced globally but also to network with our Asian colleagues and those from other countries. To observe how the rest of the world is moving forward. It also provides an opportunity to remind the industry of something we already know... that many of the world’s most renowned and leading full service and low cost carriers (LCCs) are still here, and coming back fast!

The trends

In the spirit of maintaining my reputation of speaking out, I’ll be blunt...I really don’t have much time for PR or marketing gurus who tell us, “We need to tune in and react to the trends.” For us in airline hospitality, attempting to follow these trends is an exercise in futility rewarded with almost guaranteed failure. There, I’ve said it!

Let’s look at “trends” pragmatically, considering our own very unique challenges. What airlines (and suppliers) like more than anything else is consistency. We don’t like shortterm change; it costs too much. That being said, we still need to be aware of the fast-paced changes that happen around us. We have to carefully select which are relevant, and practi-

cal. Asia is one of the regions where the pace of change is fastest, so the challenges are even more acute.

Double vision

There are two key trends to keep in focus. The first is travel patterns and demographics. Where and why is everyone going? Who are they? How are they travelling?

The second is the longer-term habits, changes and maturity of the travelling public. How are travellers nourishing themselves? What is consistently or increasingly popular and what is not? Who is spending the most, the least and where?

Leisure flight bookings in Hong Kong were up 52 percent in March 2023 compared to March 2019, and in

Asia has long been the benchmark for quality and value in travel hospitality and onboard service

58 MAY 2024
Asian Full Service Carriers are known for the exquisite meals and luxurious passenger experience


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Singapore 118 percent. In the Philippines it was 27 percent in March 2023 compared to March 2019.

Destinations for this group are spread evenly across city breaks and resorts. We are seeing an increase in short frequent trips as opposed to longer vacations. This is good for the airlines.

To eat, or not to eat

In Asia, food trends come and go so fast that it is impossible to stay ahead with the excessive lead times we need. Many eating trends bypass airlines as they simply come and go too quickly. Maintaining status quo is significantly more cost effective.

That being said, the recovery period provided an opportunity for a reassessment of concepts and menus. Thai Airways CEO Chai Eamsiri said in January 2023 that the airline was committed to regaining and rebuilding its heritage. Singapore Airlines, by

contrast, experimented with a change of the service in its Economy Class regional routes to be faced with a public and media backlash that caused an immediate rethink. Either way, the whole business of reacting or anticipating “trends” is fraught with risk.

Looking at other current food trends, we see a stronger focus on healthy eating. Traditional Asian food is generally already healthy, and the focus is on freshly procured and produced meals.

“Fusion food” is very hit-or-miss and can often end up being “confusion.” Okay for shopping mall eateries but airlines dabble in this with caution. Only the bravest of airlines with celebrity chefs may risk kimchi haggis!

The veggie lovers will be happy to note that non-meat options are more prevalent, inventive and better all around, but the trend to “alternative” meats has been less so. Not only because (in my personal

view) it is inedible, but due to cost. Asian airlines have a tradition of food service. Even a one-hour regional flight offers a full two course hot meal in Business and at least a reasonable hot snack in Economy. The LCCs obviously stick to their Buy-On-Board options with AirAsia’s Santan brand a good example with a pretty reasonable uptake. Asians expect food—but we should remember that there was a time when Western travellers did too.

Serious Business

Lastly, the Business Class market has also seen a resurgence. The FSC’s of Asia and Middle East have experienced this for various reasons not least because people realize the rewards of doing business face-toface beat Skype or Zoom. Business travel spending in the Asia Pacific region increased 41 percent year on year to US$567 billion 2022-2023 and is at 92 percent of 2019 levels.

60 MAY 2024
WTCE creates a space for the buyers and sellers of products and services that deliver to, from and within Asia and also provides a forum for networking and learning

MileOne are focussed on innovative and bespoke catering solutions for the travel sector. Our services range from fresh crew meal and ambient snack bag solutions through to logistical 4PL solutions and worldwide dry goods supply. We are always trying to think what our clients will want next, what are their challenges for the year and above all, what can we offer that no one else is offering. It seems that this year, crossing that EU border from the UK, and reinventing the traditional snack box has been a challenge across our customer base and therefore where we have recently focussed our attention in the early part of this year.

Our complete crew meal solution in Australia serving fresh solutions to all the major cities continues via our Australian entity.

In the rest of the world, we are pleased to introduce some new concepts and designs in 2024 that we are pleased have already been taken up by some clients. Here are just a few highlights for the magazine…but come and see us at our stand here at Hamburg 1E79 to find out more.

In early 2024, we introduced the snack box in a bag. Or “Snack Bag” as they will now be known! Primarily focussed on a smart gift like retail item but the bag concept has actually been flying for some years with one of our leading partner airlines as a mid-flight second service solution that can be swiftly hooked onto the coat hook by the crew whilst the passenger sleeps!

All our solutions are ambient with minimum 3 months shelf life but we can tailor design and contents to your demands.

We are also pleased to present the JustOne solution. We have all heard of a Spork and even a Spive, but we thought a truly single cutlery solution would be of great value to our clients to help reduce the number of SKUs in their procurement excel sheet. Less waste, less wood and less cost. Not for your Business class steak dinner but a perfect “one size fits all” for the pot noodles, yoghurts, muffins and toasties. I’d like to offer a grateful nod to one of our customers for putting us up to this!

Keeping up the One tradition, we are bringing back to life the low fat ambient yoghurt on the back of some strong demand from clients across the world. In Q3 2024 we will be launching PureOne, which is a long shelf-life ambient yoghurt. We will start with just one flavour, Strawberry and hopefully build it back from there. Come try some at our stand 1E79…tasting samples available at 1 and 5 months of age!

Pivotal points for RBC

PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark looks back at the pivotal moments in Royal Brunei Culinary’s evolution and where the company is heading by

Ifind myself in a privileged and unique position of talking about a company which has a long and interesting history. A hallmark of culinary excellence, quality and high standards going back many decades, Royal Brunei Culinary (RBC) is not as famous as it should be, so let PAX International put that right.

A storied history

What makes this particular story unique is that I was an employee of this company more than 35 years ago. Today, Royal Brunei Culinary, which was previously known as Royal Brunei Catering, is a major force in the F&B scene in the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. It is the sole airline caterer at Brunei International Airport (BIA-BWN), winner of several well-earned awards.

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Example of inflight meal by Royal Brunei Culinary
Royal Brunei Culinary chef prepares inflight meal

RBC started life under the brand of Dairy Farm, a Hong Kong-based catering, manufacturing and retail operator who opened its first airline catering unit in Kai Tak in 1947. Brunei’s operation came along in 1975 under this brand until it was acquired by the Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) Group in 1989 and launched as Royal Brunei Catering Sdn Bhd. I know this is true because I was there during the transition!

RBC today

Now with all local management and a period of investment and development, it has doubled the size of its aircraft catering unit, operates various F&B outlets throughout the country as well as the newly completed airport terminal, and has seen major growth in outside catering services and the launch of

RBC produces products for various other third party outlets including major multinational F&B brands based in Brunei

Brunei’s first fast food outlet, Express. Today, RBC is a major Bruneian employer with almost 600 employees, 91 percent of whom are local. As well as being the caterer for Royal Brunei Airlines and other visiting aircraft, RBC manages major hospitality contracts in the local healthcare and government sectors.

It also produces products for various other third party outlets including major multinational F&B brands based in Brunei.

In 2019, I returned to RBC to visit and witness the recent major investment in the shape of a new halal and HACCP certified state-of-the-art central processing unit which opened in 2020.

General Manager of RBC, Haji

Jeff Hadiman Bin Dato Paduka Hj

Danial, comments, “This new facility transforms RBC into a food product manufacturer and quality caterer on par with anything else you may see in Asia or around the world.”

The new facility, constructed in Lambak, not far from the original airport catering kitchen, is equipped to the highest modern standards and allows RBC to significantly expand its portfolio of products and services.

Danial says, “This investment has provided the opportunity not only to strengthen our position as the leading F&B solutions provider for large institutions, the healthcare and hospitality sector, but now we

can branch into newer streams such as food manufacturing for retail.”

An expanding airport presence

Meanwhile, back at the airport where it all began in 1975, and which was my home for quite a few years, RBC’s experience in inflight dining prevails and its team has dedicated itself to developing the best menus to be savoured amongst the clouds.

Being the chosen F&B provider for the national carrier requires chefs and kitchen teams to be well-equipped to adhere to the strict requirements of the aviation sector while taking pride in Brunei’s rich culinary heritage and delivering it to the travelling public.

64 MAY 2024
Jeff Danial, General Manager, Royal Brunei Catering (left), with Jeremy Clark, Asia Correspondent Executive Chef Jeremy Clark receives the Chaîne des Rotisseurs award in 1990. Pictured here with with the Royal Brunei Culinary team Jeremy Clark with Royal Brunei Culinary staff in 2019
Less carbon footprint Less waste Taste

In its almost 50-year history, RBC has achieved some significant milestones and awards including from Singapore Airlines for best regional caterer. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September 2023, two RBC chefs bagged gold medals and various silver and bronzes at “Culinaire Malaysia,” part of Food & Hotel Malaysia. RBC has plans to compete in the upcoming Food & Hotel Asia 2024 in Singapore and Food & Hospitality Thailand 2024 in Bangkok.

RBC at global events

RBC has a slew of high-profile clients and customers, for whom RBC is the go-to caterer for national-level events. The most recent main event for the company was as the central caterer for the 40th Brunei Darussalam National

Day celebrations in February, where RBC prepared up to 20,000 meals per day for the breakfast and lunch buffets.

RBC has always been at the forefront of innovation in the restaurant and F&B sectors. I remember clearly the opening of Express in 1991 with units in the airport and in Seria years before any of the international chains ventured in numbers into the state.

In 2017, Express relaunched and today remains one of the top spots amongst Bruneians for its signature fried chicken and specialty burgers.

RBC also operates a number of restaurants across the country catering to all tastes and cuisines ranging from high-end fine dining to family cafes and specialist regional cuisine.

Of course airline catering is where it all started and the com-

pany has seen monumental changes since then, under the watchful eye of its senior management.

Brunei is, for many, a little off the beaten track being neither a major tourist destination nor a business hub. It does, however, have significant traffic and a reputation for uniqueness and individuality. This is reflected by RBC in everything it serves and does for both local customers, visitors to the country and visiting airlines.

The facilities are on a level with the very best found anywhere in Asia, and Brunei is rightly proud of this selfmade company that started so many years ago from very humble beginnings–a very tiny part of which I am also proud to have been witness to.

66 MAY 2024
Royal Brunei Culinary team prepares inflight meal
With all local management and a period of investment and development, RBC has doubled the size of its aircraft catering unit

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Introducing gatesolutions and uqonic

gategroup’s diversified portfolio of brands is pushing the boundaries of travel catering and food service industries with two new brands

To find exciting new recipes, chefs often explore new ingredients, flavours and combinations to find the next great dish. Just like those chefs, gategroup is expanding its portfolio beyond the airline industry into other areas of the food service and food retail business, the company tells PAX International.

By leveraging its global presence and expertise in the hospitality and catering industry, gategroup is unveiling the launch of a new master brand for its Food Solutions vertical. Specialized in delivering tailormade catering and packaged meal solutions for the food service and retail industry, gatesolutions has a menu of skills, tools and knowledge at its fingertips. gatesolutions emerges from a rich history in aviation catering and has an

expansive portfolio, working with some of the top brands in the travel industry, serving passengers to the highest level of performance, execution and expectation. By applying its culinary know-how and taking advantage of the global community of culinary experts, gatesolutions provides professional and convenient catering solutions to the broader travel industry, including railway, ferry and cruise ships. Beyond travel, it serves general industries, remote locations like on- and offshore healthcare and educational institutions. World class chefs craft and curate scalable menus, and with production units spread across the globe, these expertly crafted menus can be reproduced globally for any catering need. On-the-ground and on-the-go, the gatesolutions products range

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gatesolutions provides professional and convenient catering solutions to the broader travel industry, including railway, ferry and cruise ships

from high-end catering services to premium fresh and frozen meals and snacks, to convenient meals ready to heat-eat. With modern facilities using advanced culinary production techniques, gatesolutions leverages its facilities to also produce large batches of ready components to serve retail stores and quick service restaurants.

Another of gategroup’s new brands is uqonic, a daughter brand of gatesolutions. With a top-level team providing clients with exceptional lounges and event catering services, uqonic already serves more than 16 million passengers at award-winning airport and train station lounges, providing unique and iconic culinary experiences for passengers and guests. But lounges are not only in travel spots, so for guests attending conventions, sporting events

or concert venues, there is the opportunity for uqonic to step in and enhance those lounges with top tier hospitality services and dream-worthy cuisine.

“We are primed and ready to step beyond the limits of the aviation industry and make a monumental shift into the food retail and food service industries,” Chris Plüss, President Food Solutions, tells PAX International. “Not only can we serve passengers aboard flights and guests in lounges, but we can support businesses and their workforce as well. We can help provide nutritional, delicious meals for employees in office buildings and cafeterias. Good food means happy employees, which means a successful business.”

Not only is gatesolutions creating delicious memorable meals for customers, but the packaging it comes

in also puts its business partners at an advantage. gatesolutions tells PAX International it is committed to shaping the future of food delivery, recognizing the impact this industry has on the environment and working towards reducing that footprint.

deSter, another brand of gategroup, under the umbrella of gatesolutions, produces innovative packaging solutions that not only function to the highest standards, but meet environmental and ESG goals, using best practices in production and waste reduction.

“We have already found many successes within the food retail landscape which are motivating our teams and whetting the appetite to further expand and explore the possibilities that gatesolutions can offer,”

uqonic caters for convention, sporting event and concert venue lounges with top tier hospitality services and dream-worthy cuisine A daughter brand of gategroup’s gatesolutions, uqonic provides exceptional lounges and event catering services

says Tim de Wit, Global Director Catering Solutions at gategroup. gategroup has helped its airline partners reach levels of recognition for food offerings and is transferring that expertise into other areas of the travel industry such as onboard

trains, in stations and on cruise ships. Recently, the gategroup team in Spain was awarded with the “Best Restaurant Concept” at the Hostelco awards for the restaurant and comprehensive catering services onboard iryo trains, the first private Spanish operator in

the high-speed railway market.

The restaurant “Haizea by gategourmet” onboard the iryo trains is based on three core principles: innovation in services, culinary excellence and commitment to sustainability. This awardwinning execution is the foundation on which gatesolutions operates, reflecting the dedication, hard work and passion that the teams under the gategroup name have, the company says.

The immersion in various food sectors provides the gategroup team with invaluable insights into the different culinary movements, where consumers are increasingly seeking personalized food options. All gategroup brands use data to drive customer experience, by identifying and converting food and beverage trends into culinary creations. gatesolutions is not only the expert in unique, customized food experiences. It is the architect of creating enhanced customer satisfaction wherever its customers are. Shaping a future where sustainability meets innovation, where every meal tells a story and every bite makes a difference.

70 MAY 2024
The gategroup team in Spain was awarded with the “Best Restaurant Concept” for the restaurant and comprehensive catering services onboard iryo trains

Growth, quality and commitment

BBangkok Air Catering provides a closer look at its network of catering operations across Thailand

angkok Air Catering Group’s (BAC) airline catering operations span five units, each servicing a key aviation hub in Thailand. These hubs are located at Suvarnabhumi (BKK), Don Mueang (DMK), Phuket (HKT), Samui (USM) and Chiang Mai (CNX), and form the backbone of Bangkok Air Catering’s commitment to service, safety and quality.

“Being customer-centric is more than a catchphrase. It’s the key to creating a robust future,” Mohammad Farran, General Manager at Bangkok Air Catering, tells PAX International.

A closer look at BAC’s hubs

Each of BAC’s aviation hubs allows the company to deliver its standard of service across a robust country-wide network.

“At Suvarnabhumi, we cater to a diverse array of esteemed airline clients,” Farran says. “Notably, Vietnam Airlines, Air Astana and Qanot Sharq have joined us during the past year. This expansion speaks volumes about our ability to meet the evolving

needs of the aviation industry and our commitment to maintaining a diverse and valued partnership network.”

In Phuket, BAC’s unit serves 15 airline partners, but its activities extend further, encompassing the provision of frozen kosher meal boxes, airline lounges, ground handling and services for private jet clients.

“We’re proud of the flexibility and imagination shown by BAC Phuket as demands within the aviation sector have diversified,” Farran adds.

On the heels of a campaign put forth by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote year-round tourism, Chiang Mai’s tourism industry is growing. As such, BAC Chiang Mai is prepared to match the demand with its own growth; the unit has already onboarded two new airline clients, Air China and Starlux

BAC is also working with Juneyao Air in Bangkok and Phuket.

In terms of expansion, BAC Group is also focused on targeting new entrants in the airline market and Indian carriers this year.

Emphasis on safety and quality

Food quality and safety are paramount to BAC Group, with the company adhering to a rigorous Quality Management and Food Safety Policy. BAC holds certifications to ISO 9001, GHPs, HACCP and ISO 22000. The company also plans to seek certification under HAL-Q (the Halal Assurance & Liability Quality System) and ISO45001 (Safety).

“It’s a commitment shared at every level of management,” Farran explains. “We’ll never cease to be proactive in demonstrating continuous improvement.”

Each of BAC’s aviation hubs allows the company to deliver its standard of service across a robust country-wide network
Mohammad Farran, General Manager, Bangkok Air Catering



An in-depth interview with Jamie Calvetti as James Calvetti Meats Inc. celebrates its 50th anniversary by

In a milestone celebration of culinary excellence and innovation, James Calvetti Meats Inc., a leading purveyor of premium meats and sous vide products for the airline industry, marks its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in Chicago’s Union Stock Yards in the U.S. in 1974 by the late meat purveyor James Calvetti, the company has evolved into a cornerstone of the airline catering sector, providing customers with exclusive, restaurant-quality meats and sous vide creations for an extraordinary dining experience.

PAX International spoke with Jamie

Calvetti, son of James and President of James Calvetti Meats Inc. and Calvetti Culinary Creations, about the iconic brand’s impressive history.

Calvetti family history

Calvetti says his father had just one request five decades ago when he built his office in the heart of the Union Stock Yards. A large window on the north side of the building to frame the Chicago skyline.

Airlines have long been Calvetti’s main customer base. The Calvetti family has a long history in the airline food service business, starting at

Midway Airport Chicago in 1949, which Calvetti reminds PAX International, was once known as the busiest airport in the United States, especially in the period between 1948 to 1960. James Calvetti Meats Inc. has since built its reputation on a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. From its processing facility in Chicago, the company serves both domestic and international markets, offering a diverse range of prime quality, portion-

72 MAY 2024
Example of an inflight meal featuring meat by Calvetti Jamie Calvetti, President of James Calvetti Meats Inc. and Calvetti Culinary Creations

cut meats, seafood and poultry. Notably, Calvetti is renowned for its halal products, catering to a global clientele with diverse culinary requirements.

“Perfection may be an elevated goal, but when the meal starts with 50 years of family values, the passion of a father and son, and the expertise of only the most talented butchers, those with even the most discerning tastes need look no further than Calvetti Meats,” Calvetti tells PAX International.

Reflecting on the company’s journey, Calvetti emphasizes the core values that have driven its accomplishments.

“Our success over five decades stems from a culture of determination, exceptional employees and a commitment to innovation,” explains Calvetti. “We embrace change and continually raise the bar in quality and customer collaboration.”

Pivotal introduction of sous vide

The upward trajectory of James Calvetti Meats Inc. is intertwined with the inception of Calvetti Culinary Creations (CCC) in 2013. This brand

Example of a ready to cook beef product from Calvetti An inside look at Calvetti’s sous vide cooking method

operates as a DBA, doing business as Calvetti Culinary Creations as part of James Calvetti Meats Inc. This strategic move aimed to revolutionize traditional portion-cut products with French-style sous vide innovations, offering fully cooked, ready-to-heat and -eat solutions. Through CCC, the company leveraged 40 years of culinary expertise, food science and innovative research and development to create wholesome, nutritious and

convenient sous vide meal options.

This innovation expanded its capabilities from portion cutting to marinating, searing and vacuum packing proteins, revolutionizing how proteins are prepared for the cabin and enhancing flavour consistency to enhance the passenger experience.

“Our sous vide approach is not just about culinary excellence; it’s about efficiency and sustainability,” explains Calvetti. “By portioning proteins

before vacuum sealing, we minimize waste and maximize cost management while delivering unparalleled flavour.”

As the airline industry rebounds post-pandemic, the Calvetti companies remain at the forefront of providing creative solutions to meet evolving customer demands. With a customer-centric approach and passion for continuous development, CCC continues to set new standards in the airline catering sector.

74 MAY 2024
Some Calvetti employees at the Christmas celebration in 2018 The Calvetti family has a long history in the airline food service business, starting at Midway Airport Chicago in 1949. Pictured here is Calvetti’s shipping and receiving circa 1954 Calvetti employees hand cut and wrap steaks

“We’ve created and employed a staff of chefs, technicians and food scientists. This group drives our quest for innovation and customer collaboration,” Calvetti says, adding that clients can expect continued product innovation and customer collaboration from its sous vide capabilities in the future.

“We live and work in a niche market. Reputation is everything. Word gets out—around the world. Companies often come to us seeking new sous vide products and ideas,” he explains.

Calvetti highlights a product that he is particularly proud of. The sous vide peeled and cored Sweet Red Pear. Sourced from the U.S. state of Michigan, chefs insert a pipe to stuff the fruit with fresh whipped cream and whipped mascarpone cheese.

“We serve them at the end of every airline meal presentation.

They knock everyone’s socks right off! Who would think a 50-year-old company, founded in the Union Stock Yards of Chicago would be doing that?” Calvetti tells PAX proudly.

What’s cookin’?

Despite facing challenges through the pandemic, James Calvetti Meats Inc. has remained resilient. By remaining focused on customer demand and staying ahead of the curve, the company has adapted to the changing needs of the market and emerged stronger than ever.

“We’re proud of our 50-year legacy,”

says Calvetti. “But we’re always looking ahead, exploring new opportunities to delight our customers and elevate the culinary experience.”

With a rich heritage rooted in family values and a relentless pursuit of excellence, James Calvetti Meats Inc. and CCC are poised for continued success, shaping the future of airline catering with ingenuity and passion.

“Whatever your dream products are, Calvetti Culinary Creations will partner with you every step of the way to design, create, produce and execute those ideas to the delight of your customers,” Calvetti says.

76 MAY 2024
A Calvetti animal on exhibit Calvetti livestock on exhibit in Chicago, U.S. The Chicago Union Stock Yards in the 1970s

Bringing India’s best to the skies

Indian air catering company TajSATS has been surpassing passenger expectations for decades. PAX International speaks with CEO Manish Gupta to determine what is on the horizon for this thriving company

Growing pains are common among rapidly expanding enterprises and the inflight industry is not immune to this phenomenon. Companies that scale at a rate that not only allows them to maintain momentum but excel beyond initial projections stand a good chance to build a successful empire. TajSATS Air Catering Limited is one such example of this aspirational business journey.

With eight units spanning India— Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Amritsar and two kitchens in the state of Goa—the onboard caterer is making its mark in Asia’s competitive inflight industry. A joint venture of The Indian Hotels Company Limited and SATS Limited of Singapore, the company leverages its 40-plus years of experience in the

commercial catering business while proudly benefiting from its membership within the Tata Group, one of the country’s largest conglomerates.

Expanding and thriving with the supportive backing of an Indian business leader, TajSATS has signed with Noida International Airport to develop a kitchen, bringing the total to nine operational units across the country.

Major growth expected

TajSATS places the airline passenger experience above all, without sacrificing quality in the process. The company puts its home territory at the forefront, especially in the face of increasing local and international travel.

“The travel and tourism business is emerging as a major growth engine for the Indian economy,” says TajSATS CEO Manish Gupta. “People are once

again flying in great numbers; airports are crowded and we are well poised to handle the growth in demand.”

He reports that the caterer has been able to double its numbers in the past three years, and it has plans to continue that astronomic growth for the next three to five years.

Food safety and sustainable eats

“We are industry leaders in food safety standards and follow all international and local processes mandated by various government and airline bodies,” explains Gupta. “All kitchens are halal certified as well.”

In addition, TajSATS is the only air catering company in India to provide kosher meals to its air-

78 MAY 2024
Manish Gupta, CEO, TajSATS

The Future is Here:

line customers. It strives to meet other dietary requirements that are increasing in popularity, such as vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free.

The volume of high-quality meals that are created in TajSATS kitchens each day is astounding. Its staff produces more than 150,000 meals per day, amounting to an impressive 45 million meals per year—a number that continues to grow, year over year.

Growing alongside this number is the caterer’s customer base. It currently serves more than 40 interna-

tional and domestic airlines, such as American Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Japan Airlines, KLM, Saudia, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air France and Korean Air

“Quite a few of these airlines have exclusive contracts with us at all locations,” notes Gupta.

TajSATS has pioneered many eco-friendly initiatives and takes pride in the strategic social, environmental and ethical principles that drive its business. According to

Gupta, these factors are “central to improving the quality of life of the communities” the company serves.

Solar and wind energy play an important role in its manufacturing processes. The Chennai and Bengaluru units exclusively use green energy to operate. Sustainable packaging has also been implemented across some of TajSATS airline partners, along with the recycling of its dry waste.

“We treat and recycle water to have major savings of this vital resource,” explains Gupta.

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TajSATS staff produces more than 150,000 meals per day, amounting to an impressive 45 million meals per year TajSATS has signed with Noida International Airport to develop a kitchen, bringing the total to nine operational units across India
TajSATS currently serves more than 40 international and domestic airlines including Saudia, Qantas and Singapore Airlines

Special Meals


A closer look at the evolving demand from airline passengers for special meals and how the updated QSAI guidelines address this global shift

Special meals have been around for decades, but as passengers’ dietary preferences and restrictions become more widely recognized, the expectation for meal options inflight is changing, and so are the industry standard guidelines for SPMLs.

PAX International spoke to Manjit Sohal, Head of Food Safety Global Performance & Compliance, dnata Catering & Retail, and Fabio Gamba, Managing Director, Airline Catering Association (ACA), about the evolving demand from airline passengers for special meals and how the updated QSAI guidelines address this global shift.

Evolving demand for special meals

dnata Catering and Retail serves more than 127 airline customers worldwide.

“Each year, our kitchens buzz with activity as we prepare more than 111 million meals,” Sohal says, noting that the demand from passengers for special meals is growing rapidly and airlines are expanding their offerings to satisfy travellers. “More passengers are proactively pre-ordering special meals. This uptick in pre-orders isn’t just a coincidence, it’s driven by a growing need to accommodate diverse dietary requirements.”

These dietary restrictions range from religious to health concerns and personal preferences. Sohal says many airlines are ramping up efforts to cater to passengers with plant-based diets or specific religious dietary guidelines.

Keeping codes current

In November 2023, the Quality & Safety Alliance for Inflight Services (QSAI) and the ACA updated

Fabio Gamba, Managing Director, ACA Manjit Sohal, Head of Food Safety Global Performance & Compliance, dnata Catering & Retail dnata’s Beetroot Carpaccio meal

the QSAI Special Meal (SPML) Codes, Definitions, and Interpretation Guidelines (version 2.0). The updates went into effect on January 1, with a 12-month grace period for QSAI partners and catering organizations to adapt.

dnata was not the only player involved in developing these updated guidelines, Sohal says. Major entities including the ACA Associated Members were deeply engaged in the process. They discussed the IATA categories provided by caterers, identified special meals that might pose legal or health concerns and reviewed samples from 27 airlines.

“There were even suggestions to phase out SPMLs with questionable science or low demand,” Sohal reveals.

As Fabio Gamba, ACA Managing Director, tells PAX International, the updated special guidelines were long overdue.

“ACA and its members felt growing concern that older special meal definitions, for the most part, untouched since the early 2000s when they were first made, weren’t in line with the passengers’ expectations

anymore, and that keeping outdated definitions could both generate unreasonable expectations or expose the airlines and the caterers to inappropriate liabilities,” he explains.

In 2021, Medina Quality and ACA worked together to draft a single document that would include a reduced number of SPMLs, containing some amended definitions thought to reflect the reality of the current landscape more accurately.

Gamba says that the onboard catering industry, and the airlines it serves, make it their primary objective to meet the expectations of passengers as they evolve. And more than meeting them—anticipating them.

“We [at] ACA see this Guide as a testimony of this philosophy,” explains Gamba. “Adaptation to new realities.”

As for Medina Quality’s role in the updated guidelines, Gamba says that Medina went through a similar process as ACA, circulating in parallel with a detailed questionnaire for its members on the topic of amending multiple SPMLs.

“ACA’s concomitant work, reaching out to dozens of onboard cater-

ing companies and a similar number of airlines worldwide, was felt to be very complementary,” he adds. “The decision was hence made to integrate the work ACA had done in 2020 to 2022 on the topic, with Medina’s first conclusions from the questionnaire.”

Adapting to allergenspecific SPMLs

As airlines and caterers continue to adapt the updated QSAI guidelines this year, Sohal says that dnata is hoping for a shift in the types of special meals airlines offer.

“Right now, there are a staggering 53 different SPML names linked to 39 SPML codes, which can be very overwhelming for passengers,” she explains. “At dnata, we would love to see more focus on allergen-specific SPML options.”

To Sohal, that means fewer choices that are not directly related to allergens. dnata has specialized departments to address these dietary requirements, ensuring the careful handling of allergens, right from their arrival at the facilities to storage and preparation.

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The pumpkin and sage tortellini dish


to honour

GIC Catering reflects on its roots while looking to the future

An example of GIC’s fingerfood offering

With roots firmly planted in a commitment to excellence and familial camaraderie, while GIC International Catering has grown since its inception in 2001, the company still largely operates like family. In fact, the Kelsterbach-based company, directly adjacent to Frankfurt International Airport, remains family-owned.

Founded by a team of airline catering pioneers, GIC was built on the foundation of providing high-quality, personalized service to its airlines. Now, the company has expanded service to more than 15 airlines including Air Astana, Air Dolomiti, Air India, Srilankan Airlines, Air Hamburg, SF Airlines and other commercial and cargo flights.

“At GIC, we do not just run a busi-

ness, we live a culture which is based on loyalty, a positive work environment with mutual respect and tolerance,” says Goeksel Yildirim, Managing Director at GIC. “Our commitment to quality started from day one—it’s a matter of honour,” says Yildirim.

As part of GIC’s expansion over the years, it also services executive private jets, school cafeterias and supermarkets. As it grew, the company knew that in order to stay ahead of its competitors, its intimate team would need to capitalize on making quick decisions while committing to continuous innovation, special care and reliability.

At its heart, GIC values its team and recognizes that it is the efforts made by each individual that move the company forward. “With the necessary sensitivity to deliver our brand promise in our

highly competitive, service-oriented industry, our employees were always the key to our lasting success,” explains Yildirim. With its team holding the brand’s vision so adamantly, GIC’s unique approach to staying competitive lies in its employees’ capable hands. “Thanks to a flat hierarchy, our decision-making is uncomplicated, which allows us to quickly find the

Goeksel Yildirim, Managing Director, GIC International Catering

best solutions. With a strong hands-on mentality, we are able to ensure urgent requests and all kinds of individual needs are met,” says Yildirim.

With customization and personalization leading the way when it comes to customer demands, GIC specializes in ensuring its meals meet passenger expectations. GIC has a dedicated section for halal meals, and its offers kosher meals as well, proving that its team is capable of handling any dietary or religious nutrition request. Additionally, all meals are cooked fresh without any additives or flavour enhancers.

But GIC recognizes that dietary needs go beyond religion or allergies, and the company is now seeing trends arise in eco-friendly eating. It is not just plant-based options that customers are looking for anymore, Yildirim tells PAX International. “Some of our customers are newly interested in knowing more about the source of our products,

With customization and personalization leading the way when it comes to customer demands, GIC specializes in ensuring its meals meet passenger expectations

like if the salmon is carrying the blue MSC label or if our fruits and vegetables have a fair-trade or Rainforest Alliance label; even if we use cage-free eggs or if our meat, like chicken, is kept according to the EU commitment.”

For its industry’s future, GIC believes that it is the responsibility of each service provider to move away from umbrella terms such as “environmentally conscious nutrition” and embrace specific, pointed efforts toward offering passengers with not



platter by GIC International Catering

only sustainable choices, but information about those choices. Which is, of course, where GIC’s strengths lie. “Our focus is always on the demand of our customer,” says Yildirim. “We specialize in tailor-made solutions.”

At WTCE, the company will be placing a focus on finding new sustainable solutions while building meaningful connections with new and old contacts. “The show is a wonderful combination of cultural, product and supplier diversity,” says Yildirim.


Proudly Portuguese

Lisbon-based Cateringpor has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can deliver the delicious, nutritious meals that airlines flying out of the city require

Passengers traveling from Lisbon, Portugal, can rest assured their cravings will be in good hands thanks to Cateringpor, an onboard caterer that has scaled up in an approachable, maintainable way that has allowed it to keep pace with the needs of the industry.

Cateringpor launched in 1994 as an onboard kitchen in Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon Airport) with a simple mission: to provide its airline customers the best inflight experience for passengers. In the 30 years that followed, the caterer has seen numerous milestones and celebrations, including securing the contract for the grand opening of Lisbon’s Vasco da Gama Bridge, an event during which it served more than 15,000 meals to revelers.

“Our company was called to produce and serve the meals for this epic event because it was the only catering company in Portugal with the means and facilities to accommodate such a challenge,” explains Nuno Batista, Cateringpor’s Chief Executive Officer. From there, the opportunities only grew, and in 2001 Cateringpor restruc-

The Cateringpor Board of Directors

tured its facilities to meet the demand, expanding to keep up with the increase in airlines flying into and out of its homebase. Today, its kitchen is 20,000 square meters in size, with ample space dedicated to both hot and cold kitchens, pastry prep and baking, tray setup, assembly (including pick and pack, wash and pack, and laundry), service delivery and its operational offices. At peak times, such as during the summer, the company serves up to 40,000 meals each day, with its daily average hitting 25,000 last year, Batista explains.

Each year, thousands of meals are prepared by Cateringpor and served to passengers travelling to destinations around the world

This boost is due not only to the return to more regular travel patterns but also because of increased airline contracts. This growth led to Cateringpor servicing 170 to 210 flights each day last year. The caterer’s 12 airline customers are familiar names to many globetrotters, including the country’s national carrier TAP Air Portugal, Emirates, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, FAP (Portuguese Air Force) and more.

Like many businesses in the aviation industry, Cateringpor has turned its attention to its impact on the environment.

“Sustainability is a top priority at Cateringpor,” says Batista. “We are committed to innovation in the name of sustainability. With our focus on providing the best service to our customers and the future of the planet always in mind, we are implementing a process-based approach that ensures our competitiveness through social, environmental and corporate governance.”

This attitude can be seen in every

aspect of the caterer’s operation, from how it approaches waste by reducing and recycling at every stage of production, to monitoring and controlling the amount of water used, to reducing its energy consumption with measures such as the installation of LED lights in its facility.

Cateringpor is far from resting on its laurels. It expanded its menu to offer halal-certified ingredients in 2012, and three years later further showcased its commitment to safety by attaining its ISO 22000 certification. It also serves meals and ingredients that meet the needs of more than 20 types of dietary restrictions, ensuring all passengers can enjoy a satisfying meal in the sky.

In 2023, Cateringpor reached and surpassed another goal: it returned to pre-pandemic sales and increased the number of meals served daily, weekly, monthly and annually. For any business in the travel industry, that landmark occasion is an important step in reassuring its customers that it is here for the long run—indicating, especially for this onboard caterer, that there is nowhere to go but up.

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Cateringpor adheres to the highest safety and quality standards while delivering high-quality, delicious meals
The company specializes in meals that address many dietary restrictions, both medical and cultural
Improving Travel Experience

Welcome to the conversation

A preview of the AMI Group WTCE booth that aims to bring fun to the trade show floor, with a rooftop cocktail bar and elevated bites from its signature food truck

Those who attend trade shows know it can be overwhelming. There is lots to do, hundreds of vendors to explore and plenty of colleagues to connect with. As the industry gathers for the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), AMI Group tells PAX International it has something special in store for attendees, promoting connection, interaction, innovation, memorable experiences and of course, fun. To enhance the magic of the show floor, AMI Group is using its WTCE 2024 booth (4B40) to create a trade show environment that is

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Jeremy Parsons, CEO at AMI Group
AMI Group is known for providing top of the line solutions

simply enjoyable to experience. The space includes all the elements of a good party, plus some extra details to take it to new heights. The Atlantabased food and beverage solutions company will host an inviting and vibrant space; a place to create connections while enjoying small bites created by some of the industry’s most innovative food companies.

But AMI Group’s booth will provide more than just refreshments—it will provide a welcoming environment where conversations, ideas and solutions will develop organically.

“At our core, AMI Group is cen-

tered around providing top of the line solutions to our clients, suppliers and their customers alike—why not bring that to the show floor and see what unfolds over a glass of wine or a tasty bite?” says Jeremy Parsons, CEO at AMI Group.

Like the innovative solutions it develops for its clients, AMI Group is creating a trade show experience that invites people to the table to join the conversation. The booth will feature AMI Group’s signature food truck with elevated light bites and a rooftop cocktail bar with seating for meetings and relaxing. The atmosphere aims to embody the company’s dedication to conversation and collaboration, creating an entertaining place to relax and hang out.

“Invite a new connection to share a delicious snack and a budding idea or take a moment to reflect on your

day with a glass of bubbles. Whichever way you choose to enjoy the space we create, you’re sure to find the conversation easy, the setting relaxing and the ideas innovative,” says Parsons.

The goal is simple: to provide a space for people to sit and talk—distilling the joys of travel and hospitality to its essential experience. AMI Group says it believes trade shows are about facilitating conversation and creating an intimate experience. And, in true fashion, AMI Group is bringing the best in food and wine.

“I am lucky to work with an incredible portfolio of food suppliers, who love to innovate as much as I do. We are excited to showcase a trendy menu on the food truck, of course paired with some fantastic wines,” Chef Matt Farrell, VP Culinary Innovation and Development, tells PAX International.

Chef Matt Farrell, VP Culinary Innovation and Development, AMI Group

Ambient and innovative

Foodcase International’s ambient meal options reduce energy since they do not require freezing and refrigeration

In this guest column, Marc Warde, Special Meal Program Director at Foodcase International, discusses the company’s ambient meals, sustainability practices and its plans to feature both at WTCE

When you think about ambient meals, what thoughts does it conjure? Wilbert de Louw, our Chief Executive Officer, recalled a story of “forever chicken” from times past which perhaps, while innovative, was the early days of ambient meals in regard to taste and texture.

If like me too, you were sceptical about food and meals that do not need to be refrigerated or frozen, it is time to reconsider. Technology and culinary prowess have evolved when it comes to these meals.

Here at Foodcase International we have been working on improving the quality and changing perceptions of ambient retort meals for more than 10 years. Of course, some limitations remain—but we believe these limitations also present possibilities. We bring food science, retort cooking and culinary expertise together to design and develop delicious flavours and nourishing meals that taste fresh and satisfy passengers.

Our complete ambient meal selection comes with a shelf life of up to 180 days. We offer a range of cur-

ries, pastas and paellas in servings of 210 to 240 grams. Most of our more substantial meals in the form of Coq au Vin, authentic Asian Curries, Beef Casseroles or Penne Bolognese also include vegetarian options. These simple-to-serve meals are presented in stylish cardboard sleeved packaging with fully detailed ingredients lists. The industry describes us as a “one-stop shop” and all this is made possible through our close association with more than 400 dedicated manufacturers and brands throughout Asia, EMEA and North America.

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Marc Warde, Special Meal Program Director, Foodcase International

Sustainability and ambient meals

Ambient meals are more sustainable as you save on the immense cost, emissions and energy pollution of freezing during transit. The meals long shelf-life reduces storage energy— along with not needing to be frozen or refrigerated, they should be stores in a dark room, reducing energy for lighting. The meals like to be starved of oxygen; sounds like torture, but a cool, dark dry, storage location really is best. The seals are tamper-evident.

At Foodcase our sustainability initiatives extend across our entire supply chain, starting with responsible sourcing that prioritizes locally grown ingredients, supporting local

farmers and producers. This way we also reduce food miles and support vibrant, resilient communities.

The business is dedicated to reducing food waste through innovative production techniques and portion control measures. By optimizing our processes and repurposing surplus ingredients, we minimize waste.

The future

Previously, development in retort was very much concentrated on Economy meals, but with Foodcase’s modern technology and expertise, ambient meals are appropriate for premium cabin classes. We look forward to upgrading your meal options while changing old perceptions and bringing

delicious food for all budgets and culinary styles to every cabin and service.

Foodcase International at WTCE

We love WTCE—it is a marvelous opportunity to reconnect. This year we invite all our customers, clients and colleagues old and new to visit our booth, 4D10, where you will have the opportunity to sample our ambient meals and other products in our portfolio. From exotic flavours to familiar favorites, our diverse range caters to every palate, preference and service. We look forward to welcoming you! Book a meeting with us now!

Foodcase International offers a range of ambient curries, pastas and paellas in servings of 210 to 240 grams A mock-up of Foodcase International’s ambient potato masala

Spotlight on GALLEY BOXES

En Route International highlights its regional galley boxes ahead of WTCE 2024

En Route International has announced the launch of a new range of regional galley boxes ahead of this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), where the company will showcase the range as part of its wider portfolio of passenger solutions. These include its award-winning cheese program, artisanal bakery offering and global handheld snack category.

The regional galley boxes on display, tailored to cater to the diverse palates of passengers worldwide, offer a unique selection of French, Portuguese and other international snacking products. Each box features authentic produce

sourced directly from the respective regions, leveraging En Route’s extensive network of trusted suppliers.

Crafted by the company’s dedicated product development team, the galley boxes are designed to align with newly introduced regional themes, meeting the growing demand for customization across the airline catering sector.

Helen Dore, Head of Category at En Route, says, “We’re thrilled to unveil these innovative galley boxes at WTCE. Not only do they address the increasing consumer demand for personalized inflight experiences, but they also serve as a testament to our proficiency in sourcing, designing, and delivering

bespoke products on a global scale.”

In addition to showcasing new offerings, the galley boxes also highlight En Route’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

The company uses clean label products with no preservatives or palm oil as well as actively working with suppliers who support charities and securing roles for disadvantaged individuals, making a positive impact across the supply chain.

En Route has also placed a strong emphasis on packaging and design, with each component packed in custom-coloured corrugated card buffet boxes. The outer packaging can be developed bespoke to airlines’ requirements via En Route’s in-house creative team.

En Route will be showcasing its range of galley boxes at booth 1F30 at WTCE this week.

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En Route International has launched a range of regional galley boxes




From onboard caterers to connectivity and all the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that go above and beyond.

The award winners will be announced on Wednesday May 29, 2024 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg.

Award winners will be featured in a special spread, as well as in our e-Newsletter.


Catering trends ready for takeoff

Flying Food Group reflects on its 40th anniversary and ongoing partnership with Starlux while examining trends for 2024

Flying Food Group is a privately owned provider of inflight meals for many of the world’s premier airlines. During its 40th anniversary year in 2023, the company announced several new partnerships.

“We celebrated last year the 40th anniversary of the company and we are pleased to be getting closer to the pre-COVID level and to continue our expansion with the trust of our great long-time customers,” Nicolas Rondeau, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, of Flying Food Group, tells PAX International.

Rondeau says the business partnerships with these global airlines indicate they are each dynamic and looking for the best catering options in each market.

“We started a great partnership with Starlux when they [launched] their first-ever LAX route, followed by SFO a few months later,” Rondeau says, adding that this “show[s] the strength of the relationship we have built for years with our long-time customers that enable them to trust our service in more locations.”

Flying Food Group began catering Starlux’s daily long-haul flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei, Taiwan in April 2023. Soon after, Flying Food Group’s San Franciso (SFO) facility was also brought on to cater to passengers on select Starlux flights departing from that airport.

Reflecting on 2023 and looking ahead to 2024, catering trends are clear to Rondeau.

“The trend is now focused on great quality, authentic menu components with fresh great quality ingredients, with an eye on sustainability and greener products whenever possible,” he explains.

In the next couple of years, Fly-

ing Food Group will focus on its post-COVID recovery, building on its four decades of industry experience and expansion.

“We wish to continue to grow the company as we have done since its inception, over 40 years ago, with great service and continue to focus on high culinary offering to our customers,” Rondeau says.

Last year, Flying Food also onboarded SAS at John F. Kennedy (JFK); ITA Airways at Washington (IAD) and SFO; Turkish Airlines at Newark (EWR), JFK and Chicago O’Hare (ORD); Zipair at SFO; and ANA at LAX. See Flying Food at booth 1A81.

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Flying Food Group partners with SAS
Flying Food Group partnered with Starlux on multiple routes in 2023

Galleys, growth and changing the game

In this Q&A, Diethelm Keller Aviation’s CEO, King W Lee, reveals how the company’s recent acquisition and rebranding is going to impact the broader aviation industry by ROBYNNE TRUEMAN

Diethelm Keller Aviation Pte Ltd (DKA) underwent a rebranding earlier this year, following its acquisition by LHM Holding Group. PAX International spoke with DKA’s CEO, King W Lee, about what the airline industry can expect from the refresh of DKA and how the major changes are an extension of the company’s forward-thinking philosophies and innovative galley equipment solutions.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: What does the acquisition by LHM Holding Group mean for the company and your branding in the year ahead?

KING W LEE: The acquisition of DKA into LHM Holding Group will bring significant changes to the aircraft galley industry, especially at a time when

the demand for business and leisure travel is exponentially increasing postCOVID. As airlines across the globe race to expand new routes and acquire newer and better aircrafts, there is a higher demand for galley carts and equipment.

Our expectation is that our airline customers are seeking better quality products with faster availability. The timing of our acquisition will place us in a unique position to meet and service these demands as we anticipate the next three to five years of growth in the aviation industry. The new DKA will add capacity to the entire industry. I believe our airline partners will be pleased with the products, availability, and service level they will receive from the new DKA.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: How is the new ownership impacting DK Aviation’s product offerings?

LEE: The new DKA will continue to offer our best and most affordable products to our customers. We will assist them in making the best choice of galley equipment based on their aircraft type, routes and budget.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: The Singapore production facility was recently relocated to Ang Mo Kio – what does this mean for your manufacturing capacity and what potential opportunities does it create?

DK Aviation CEO, King W Lee
A closer look at DKA’s product offerings

LEE: We have relocated to a new manufacturing site and expanded our supply chain, enabling us to meet the growing demand for our products. This move also underscores the significant investment we have made in this industry. The addition of the new site not only increases our production capacity but also provides us with opportunities to explore innovative approaches for developing new products and technologies. Additionally, it enables us to address the new aviation Safety Management Systems requirement set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) before March 2025.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: What products will DK Aviation be showcasing at WTCE in Hamburg this May? What can visitors to your booth look forward to?

LEE: At the upcoming World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) show in Hamburg, we will showcase our complete product offerings in the Galley Equipment segment. We aim for our airline customers to be acquainted with our entire range of products.

However, more importantly, we want our customers to experience and witness the difference in the new DKA organization: Our people, our commitment, our energy and our passion to assist our customers. We aspire for our customers to consider DKA as the premier choice for aircraft galley equipment.

PAX INTERNATIONAL: What else do you want the industry to know? LEE: Overall, I believe our customers

will witness a new transformation of DKA in several other areas of focus. One of these areas is our customer service. I aim for all our customers to experience a new level of customer service where they can reach someone at DKA anytime.

We have local sales representatives in different regions who work directly with our customers on any engineering and operational issues. Additionally, we have an inside Customer Service team in our main office in Singapore that focuses on ensuring our products are delivered to our customers’ final destinations worldwide.

In summary, I truly believe our investment and commitment will deliver significant, tangible value to our customers. We strive to become the only choice for aircraft galley equipment.

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DKA’s new Singapore workshop
A selection of DKA’s product offerings

From chaos to order

An in-depth look at Wexiödisk’s automatic cutlery sorting machine, the ACS400HC

Picture this: Airline catering kitchen staff are seated around a table on which huge piles of shining, freshly-washed cutlery have been placed. They are sorting through for individual pieces by hand. Or, perhaps they are standing near the unloading area of the dishwasher, separating each piece into designated drawers. After a short time, fatigued staff must rotate and rest. The work cannot be carried out continuously. Production is inefficient, tiresome and dated.

Cue Diskomat

With goals to help airline caterers improve productivity and reduce labor-intense cutlery sorting by hand, the Stockholm-based company developed a machine in the mid-1980s to rationalize the tedious and costly cutlery handling.

“What resulted was the automatic cutlery sorting machine,” Sven-Arne

Hedell, Area Sales Manager SEA, Diskomat, tells PAX International.

The automatic cutlery sorting (ACS) machine is popular and renowned for its efficiency, ergonomic benefits for staff, durability and the increased hygiene it offers. Designed to accommodate commercial kitchens, it also supports catering kitchens as they intentionally implement more eco-friendly practices.

The machine can be connected to the dishwasher or installed as a standalone. If connected to a cutlery washer, the result is a fully automatic washing system. It is available in two versions, the ACS800 Dynamic and the ACS400 High Capacity, the latter of which is most suitable for airline catering, says Hedell.

The ACS is customizable and can be programmed to accommodate up to 30 different cutlery models. Kitchens can

customize the settings based on which cabin class the machine is servicing.

The models can be programmed for different knife, fork and spoon varieties. It can sort an impressive 3,000 to 5,000 pieces of cutlery per hour, depending on the size of the cutlery. It also eliminates the need for staff to touch washed cutlery, improving hygiene, Hedell explains.

Diskomat points out that environmental consciousness has been an important focus for airlines in the

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Diskomat has seen an increase in airlines introducing stainless steel cutlery to main cabins where volumes are high Sven-Arne Hedell, Area Sales Manager SEA, Diskomat

last few decades, and along with it, the company has seen an increase in airlines introducing stainless steel cutlery to main cabins where volumes are high. “With this, there is a notable upswing in popularity and demand for automatic cutlery sorting,” Hedell says.

While the first flight catering company to install the ACS400HC was SAS Service Partner (now gategourmet) in 1987, the machine is now used by several airline caterers, as well as a variety of commercial and hospital kitchens. Notable clients include Korean Air Catering, Qantas Flight Catering, DO&CO and Newrest, among others.

The automatic cutlery sorter offers ease of use. The conyever belts require cleaning by the operator one to three times per shift; a task that takes maximum three minutes. Service is required on the ACS by a trained technician once to twice annually, depending on utilization.

“On an average day we use around 7,000 pieces of cutlery, and I can’t imagine life without the cutlery machine. Having to sort this by hand would force us to have someone doing it manually all day—almost. We are really happy about the machine, we take good care of it and praise every day it just starts up again,” Newrest says.

“The cutlery sorting machine has helped us to manage increased efficiency and precision in organizing and separating cutlery. It has helped us in streamlining the process of sorting large volumes of cutlery, which saves us time and labour.

The machine is also reliable and durable, making it a perfect choice for our business,” adds DO&CO.

Hedell adds more detais: “Investing in an ACS will, almost always, result in a remarkably short pay-off period. The ACS sells in the range from 95K

to 105K euros including programming, buffer conveyor, spare parts, training, freight and installation.”

Correctly handled and properly maintained, the promising ACS400HC boasts lasting longevity. Diskomat surveyed 10 clients that had invested in sorters. Results reveal that replacements were needed after 14 to 15 years of use, on average. “We have an airline catering client that has been running the same machines for more than 20 years,” Hedell says.

The ACS promises streamlined operations which enhances efficiency. By eliminating the tedious task of manually sorting cutlery, the durable machine boosts productivity, hygiene and enhanced ergonomics for staff. Its adaptability to different settings, customizable features and ability to support sustainable practices make it a preferred choice for commercial kitchens worldwide.

Wexiödisk’s automatic cutlery sorting machine boasts durability, hygiene and efficiency The automatic cutlery sorting machine at a DO&CO kitchen

An appetite for SPECIAL MEALS

PAX Panel and WTCE bring experts together to discuss benefits and challenges of special meals programs

The conversation around special meals is a complex and compelling one as airlines and caterers seek to delight passengers while keeping them safe and nourished. This spring, WTCE (World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo) and PAX Panel partnered to bring a group of industry experts together for an in-depth dis-

cussion on how airlines and suppliers can elevate special meals programs, keeping in mind dietary restrictions, allergies and lifestyle choices.

PAX International’s Managing Editor Jane Hobson co-moderates the panel with Julianne Ponan, CEO, Creative Nature and WTCE Ambassador. Panelists include Sheri Whiteley, Senior Manager of Product Design

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Special meals catering is a complex and compelling segment of airline catering, taking dietary restrictions, allergies and lifestyle choices into account to produce meals for passengers

and Service, American Airlines; Gary Webber, Chief Communications Officer, Inflight Catering Software; Lance Hayward, The Hayward Partnership; Wim Pannekoek, Director, Kragtwijk Finest Foods; Thorunn Gudmundsdottir, Onboard Service Implementation Specialist, Icelandair ; and Audrey Hart, Senior Manager for Inflight Services Food, Beverage & Ancillaries at Virgin Atlantic.

The panel focuses on the challenges of special meals, the opportunities they present, the role of passenger expectations and the possible future of special meals catering. Below is a snapshot of what is covered in the discussion—watch the virtual roundtable to hear it all!

Challenges of special meals

Special meal programs are not a new concept, but they are evolving. While there are codes in place for identifying special meal requirements, new

and complex food allergies and health conditions are introducing meal intersections, forcing airlines and caterers to change their approach. For example, a passenger may need a meal that is gluten-free, dairy-free and low-FODMAP due to allergies and lifestyle choice, but it may not be possible to request all three requirements when selecting their special meal.

Another challenge is the logistics of delivering the special meal to the passenger in the cabin.

“You’ve got to have clear information coming through,” says Hayward. “You know who the passenger is, what flight they’re on, their name. It can all be labeled clearly. Ideally, you know where they’re sitting as well.”

It is a long chain of communication, explains Virgin Atlantic’s Hart.

“There are multiple stakeholders in the supply chain. There is complexity in the fulfillment, with multiple food handlers throughout that journey.

There is a significant lack of alignment at the global scale in standards, regulation and practices,” she says. Nonetheless, she adds, special meals can no longer be a side thought for caterers and airlines given the scale at which demand is growing.

Icelandair’s Gudmundsdottir agrees that from selecting a special meal to actually receiving it on board remains an obstacle that can affect not just the passenger, but the inflight crew as well.

“We want to meet the needs of our passengers, but at the same time, we also want to deal with this on the ground and not on board. We don’t want to put our cabin crew in the position of having an unhappy passenger,” she explains.

Anticipating passenger needs for satisfaction

Webber, of Inflight Catering Software, points out that forecasting using AI is a tool that all airlines and


caterers should take advantage of.

“It’s incredible what just two or three meals per flight does to your bottom line when it goes in the garbage and you’re doing hundreds of flights a day. It’s amazing, it’s millions of dollars annually,” Webber says. “We have not seen an airline yet that is doing well with special meals unless they’ve got a pre-order [system].”

For both Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines, referencing historical data as a supplement to the pre-order system proves to be a step in the right direction.

Whiteley says AA relies on forecasting for routinely placing special meals on specific routes.

“We do have protein and vegetarian options as standard, but we have some routes where we have to put a couple of kosher meals on—and they are above and beyond,” she says. This is necessary since some passengers do not use the pre-order option.

Building passenger confidence

The challenge with special meals also extends to instilling confidence and ensuring passenger safety. As Creative Nature’s Julianne Ponan knows all too well, flying with severe allergies, like anaphylaxis, means relying on labelling and delivery of special meals.

Hayward adds, “There is a duty of care aspect to this whole thing. [What responsibility does the airline have,] when the first thing they say when you get on board the aircraft is ‘We are here for your safety.’ You’ve got people who are fairly vulnerable—has the airline done everything in their power to make sure that person is catered for? This is not a lifestyle choice.”

Pannekoek agrees, pointing out the difference between products with gluten-free labels versus products that are certified gluten-free and contained in a gluten-free environment until they reach the passenger.

Beyond protecting passengers with dietary restrictions, airlines and caterers are also tasked with providing an inflight dining experience that feels inclusive, even when the meal itself is different than those of other passengers. At Icelandair, this is a huge consideration when creating special meals.

“We want them to feel happy with the tray they are receiving, and at the same time, of course, feeling safe and feeling the trust with us that they can consume the meal,” Gudmundsdottir explains.

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This PAX Panel, in partnership with WTCE, is co-moderated by PAX International Managing Editor Jane Hobson and Julianne Ponan MBE, CEO, Creative Nature and WTCE Ambassador, with panelists from American Airlines, Icelandair, Virgin Atlantic and more


Sous vide solutions

Cuisine Solutions is taking its latest sous vide menu creations to WTCE and NRAS this month by

Cuisine Solutions, the world’s largest sous vide manufacturer and pioneer of the cooking technique, will exhibit this week at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). Also this month, the company exhibited at the National Restaurant Association Show (NRAS) in Chicago from May 18 to 21. With an exciting month underway, Cuisine Solutions is highlighting its latest sous vide menu offerings to delegates attending WTCE.

A taste of sous



The renowned international team of award-winning chefs will showcase

specialty selections from the U.S., France and Thailand at booth 4E10.

Cuisine Solutions tells PAX International that visitors to the stand can expect to see innovative options for onboard dining, snacks, lounge meals and center-of-plate dishes.

“Our upcoming show promises to showcase Cuisine Solutions’ innovative approach to culinary excellence through our commitment to quality and taste. One of the items will be crab cake with roasted corn, cherry tomatoes and Old Bay vierge,” Chef Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer at Cuisine Solutions, tells PAX International. Chef Bertholon leads Cuisine Solutions’ team of chefs who work with airlines culinary depart-

104 MAY 2024
A nutritious dish prepared by Cuisine Solutions Chef Gerard Bertholon, Chief Strategy Officer, Cuisine Solutions
Chef Sean Wheaton, Vice President of Culinary, Cuisine Solutions
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ments to develop menus that are consistent and leave customers satisfied.

The menu includes pre-flight and inflight snacks including biscuits & gravy, khao tom congee with scrambled eggs, crispy pork belly, fried onions, scallions and garlic chili sauce and tartines with bacon and cheese or spinach and cheese. For all-day dining, the menu features Thai curry bowls with sliced beef with vermicelli noodles, featuring both Massaman and khao soi curry sauces developed by the company’s Thailand-based team. Also, pork belly dumplings with mushroom broth, scallions, and chili oil, DuBarry velouté with roasted cauliflower and chives, and pastrami sliders with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and pickles. Buy-on-board selections will include closed burgers, a five-cheese pasta bite and cheesy buffalo chicken egg bites.

The WTCE tasting menu spotlights grilled pave beef with Sarawak pepper, cauliflower couscous, spring vegetables, shallots and red wine sauce, vegetarian lasagna with fennel, tomato and shaved parmesan, and the crab cakes that Bertholon highlights above.

“Attendees can expect to see cutting-edge culinary trends on display, as Cuisine Solutions presents the latest innovations in sous-vide cooking and flavor enhancement techniques with vegetarian, ethnic and breakfast options,” says Bertholon.

Demo in Chicago

At the NRAS, hosted at McCormick Place at Lakeside Center Hall in Chicago, the international team of award-winning chefs were led by Chef Sean Wheaton, Vice President of Culinary at Cuisine Solutions. Here,

the company showcased a ventless reheating bistro-style kitchen at booth 10442. The demonstration highlighted Cuisine Solutions’ range of prepared sous vide products.

Cuisine Solutions catered this year’s Snack Break during the NRAS Keynote with acclaimed chef, restaurateur and humanitarian José Andrés—with whom the company has a close working relationship. Chef Wheaton worked for many years with Andrés at ThinkFoodGroup

“Attendees saw cutting-edge culinary trends on display, as Cuisine Solutions presented the latest innovations in sous vide cooking and flavour enhancement techniques with vegetarian, international and breakfast options,” Chef Wheaton tells PAX International.

MAY 2024
A selection of sous vide dishes

Flexible and scalable

Our dishwashing room designs are based on modules with an array of dishwasher models, equipment, and automation levels, to best fit each customers’ unique requirements.


Lounging in luxury

An in-depth look at Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar in the Departures area of the International Terminal of Vietnam’s Noi Bai International Airport by

Travellers may revel in the exotic indulgence of the Sông Hồng Business Lounge system just as much as their final destinations. With 19 lounges operating across Vietnam, the brand delights passengers with luxurious products and services offered by welcoming staff who regard customer satisfaction as their highest concern. Infused with cultural flair and local flavour, Sông Hồng Business Lounge system immerses passengers in a rich experience they will not soon forget.

108 MAY 2024
The bar counter at Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar
The breathtaking Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar is flooded with natural light and vibrant greenery, providing a modern, stylized space to relax

“We offer travellers not only a place to wait, but also a destination of hospitality,” Vu Thu Hien, Lounge Manager of Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar, tells PAX International.

Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar, one of the brand’s most notable

lounges, is located in the Departures area of the International Terminal of Vietnam’s Noi Bai International Airport. Expertly designed to connect travellers to nature, the lounge is flooded with natural light and vibrant greenery, while also provid-

ing a modern, stylized space to relax. The result is a breathtaking blend of traditional elements and contemporary flair that invites passengers to indulge their senses in the height of luxury, Hien says. The space is also designed to create seamless dynamics with thoughtful seating arrangements that encourage travellers to dine, relax and tend to business needs.

This particular location comes with a distinctive bonus. With its signature focus on superior quality, luxurious amenities, diverse culinary options and diligent service style, Noi Bai’s lounge experience is elevated by the inclusion of its bar counter—a unique feature that charms passengers.

At this location, “passengers can choose a wide array of dishes from Asian, European, Japanese and Vietnamese specialties to halal food and vegetarian options,” says Hien, noting that a standout feature is its extensive salad bar, which offers a bountiful

110 MAY 2024
Noi Bai’s lounge experience is elevated by the inclusion of its bar counter At Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar, passengers can choose from Asian, European, Japanese and Vietnamese specialties, as well halal food and vegetarian options

selection of fresh garden greens. “The salad bar is complemented by the Hot Station showcasing Vietnam’s unique traditional dishes, including Pho, Spring rolls, West Lake shrimp cakes, and so on,” Hien explains.

“Our culinary offerings endeavor to provide passengers with a comprehensive gastronomy experience.”

The brand holds its menu to the highest standards of diversity, quality and preparation techniques.

Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar accommodates all travellers, knowing that preferences and customization lead the way—especially when it comes to beverage choices. That is why its bar counter features an extensive range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages featuring

carefully curated options such as cocktails, mocktails, wines, spirits and beers. There truly is something for everyone, and the brand ensures that within those selections, its local culture takes center stage, says Hien.

“Our passengers set high expectations for our inclusion of Vietnamese signature coffee varieties that have been served at our bar counter, with a local touch to the overall experience. This distinctive service caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences, ensuring that every passenger can find drinks to enjoy during their journey.”

Exceptional products and services deserve exceptional service—something that Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar prides itself on. Its team of personnel leads with dedica-

tion, enthusiasm and spirit. From the moment passengers enter the lounge to the time of their departure, they can expect to receive warm smiles and eager assistance.

“The Sông Hồng staff always prioritizes customer satisfaction and exhibits a customer-centric attitude, being meticulous, attentive and hands-on, striving to satisfy the needs of every passenger with a proactive approach to customer service,” explains Hien.

With its commitment to facilitating an unparalleled experience that makes waiting for flights a luxury experience, Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar’s meticulously designed surroundings, attentive service and dedication to a rich cultural immersion inspire passengers to delight in the journey as well as the destination.

112 MAY 2024
The reception desk at Sông Hồng Premium Lounge & Bar

Always in style

SKYPRO’s Ricardo Silva explains the Zero Waste Principle associated with the company’s uniform recycling program

The SKYPRO Reuse Service was launched earlier this year and is set to reduce uniform costs for airlines by up to 60 percent per garment. PAX International spoke with Ricardo Silva, Sustainability Director, SKYPRO, about how the uniform recycling program is reducing the environmental impact of corporations and why airlines are ready to make this shift. According to Silva, up to 90 percent of uniforms destined for landfill can be reused and recycled through programs like this one.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The SKYPRO Reuse Service is accessible to any company in all industries with a workforce exceeding 1,000 uniformed employees. The program promotes a circular economy and the Zero Waste principle, a waste prevention framework established by the European Union that focuses on using resources as efficiently as possible from start to finish.

“It is based on a Waste Hierarchy which follows a simple rule,” Silva says, “Reduce waste first, then reuse things if possible and recycle what can’t be reused.”

When implemented successfully, the Zero Waste Principle creates a circular system where “waste” from one process becomes a valuable resource for another.

“We’re prioritizing finalizing contracts with European and Middle Eastern clients, leveraging our wellestablished network of offices and suppliers in those regions,” Silva says of the status of the initiative.

The types of detailed repairs carried out as part of the SKYPRO program include reattaching buttons or hooks, replacing zippers, reinforcing seams and more.

The uniforms undergo a rigorous sanitization process called Wet Cleaning Technology. Silva explains this is a non-hazardous alternative to standard dry cleaning that produces a higher-grade clean.

The impact on airlines

Following the launch of the program in March, Silva says airlines are warming up to the idea of reusing uniforms, motivated largely by the potential cost savings.

for airlines with thousands of crew to outfit. Reusing them extends the life of those uniforms and cuts down on how much they must spend,” he explains.

But it is not just about reducing costs—Silva adds that the shift within the industry means airlines are moving away from a linear model to adopt a circular model.

“It’s about creating a more sustainable and responsible uniform program, which also significantly reduces the environmental footprint on the planet.”

“Uniforms are expensive, especially

A visual depiction of SKYPRO’s Zero Waste Principle
Up to 90 percent of uniforms destined for landfill can be reused and recycled through programs like the SKYPRO Reuse Service

Keeping it corny, cheesy and classy

Novel Foods highlights its latest products that will be on display at WTCE

Novel Foods is exhibiting at its own booth for the first time at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). The company, from its humble beginnings in the U.K., has expanded to offices in the U.S. and Portugal this year. Ahead of the show, take a sneak peek at what snacks are in the current selection.

Indulgent corn and nut snacks

In December 2023, Novel Foods announced the launch of its Indulge Tex Mex Cheese Mini Tortilla Chips. The snack food, designed for onboard consumption, is individually packaged portions of miniature corn snacks bursting with rich flavour.

In addition to the Tex Mex Cheese Mini Tortilla Chips, Novel Foods has Indulge Crunchy Corn Nibbles in its snack lineup. These corn snacks are a treat for the taste buds without any added artificial flavours or preservatives. They are gluten-free, veganfriendly, nut-free and high in fibre.

The flavour selection of Crunchy Corn Nibbles includes Sour Cream, Sizzling Spice, Smokehouse BBQ and Tex Mex Cheese.

Novel Foods also added Indulge Roasted & Salted Macadamia Nuts to its lineup in late 2023.

“These macadamias offer a rich, buttery taste, carefully roasted and lightly salted for a satisfying snacking experience,” the company tells PAX International, noting that macadamia nuts are recognized as a superfood.

Taste adventures

Primadeli is another brand of snacks from Novel Foods made with highquality ingredients and classic recipes. The authentic Italian flavour of the snack breads comes through in the zesty Pizzeria Bites (tomato & herb crostini crackers) and the elegant Truffle Bites (black truffle crispy bites).

The Primadeli products from Novel Foods cater to a wide

range of passenger dietary needs, being vegan, kosher and halal.

Delightful dipping

Novel Foods’ Primadeli brand also features a range of delicious spreads to pair with Italian snack breads. Options like hummus and zesty salsa provide delightful choices for every palate.

Novel Foods also recently unveiled its Cream Cheese spread as the latest addition to their Primadeli Dips. The Primadeli Cream Cheese blends both cow and goat cheese to create a creamy and tangy snack topper.

“Novel Foods believes that everyone deserves a guilt-free indulgence,” the company concludes.

Find out more by visiting Novel Foods at booth 4A50.

114 MAY 2024
Cabin Crew serving Indulge Corn Snacks inflight
Primadeli Cream Cheese

Efficiency at Argon 45a

Snackbox To Go shares details on its recent Head Office relocation that aims to increase efficiency and capabilities, complete with a dedicated presentation area

Underlining its commitment to innovation, Snackbox To Go tells PAX International it has relocated its Head Office to Argon 45a, Oud-Gastel, the Netherlands. The move to the extensive business park enables the company to serve customers worldwide more efficiently.

“Our growth and commitment to service and quality have led us to a state-of-the-art logistics center, which provides an inspiring environment for both our customers and our team,” Kees Verschuure, Sales Director at Snackbox, tells PAX International.

The office features a dedicated presentation area where Snackbox can host customers for meetings, brainstorming and product development discussions. To ensure customers get exactly what they need, the facility also has an airline oven for testing

all products. Kees says Snackbox is now positioned to ship worldwide, including the ability to handle daily shipments throughout Europe.

“Thanks to advanced equipment, we can communicate flexibly and effortlessly. We strive to always be connected and respond quickly to our customers’ needs,” he explains, adding, “Our dedicated employees remain

our greatest asset. Their expertise, service orientation and passion for quality are the core of our success.”

Kees says the company is ready to make the most of the new location immediately.

“We cordially invite you to visit our new building and experience how we, with our team and facilities, are ready to exceed your expectations.”

116 MAY 2024
The new Head Office has a presentation area for client meetings and an airline oven for testing products
Snackbox To Go’s Head Office building at Argon 45a, Oud-Gastel, the Netherlands

DFMi debuts inflight delights

DFMi’s Graham Felton highlights a selection of inflight F&B products that will be on display in Hamburg

Premiere specialty sales and marketing company DFMi has provided innovative solutions to global airline customers for more than 35 years. The company offers snacks, bakery, sandwiches, hot handheld, entrees and bespoke items in all categories.

Expanding its product offerings in Europe and the U.K. will continue to be a large focus for 2024, Graham Felton, CEO, DFMi, tells PAX International.

“We are excited about the growth of our company and the global opportunities we are able to provide our airline customers. We are looking forward to strengthening our partnerships with the following European supplier partners that will have a large presence at WTCE,” Felton says.

Here is a closer look at what visitors to DFMi’s booth can expect to see and sample.

Dolce Carollo authentic Italian offerings

Made in Italy, Industria Dolciaria Carollo (I.D.C.) Srl’s brand Dolce Carollo offers Sicilian quality meals with an appreciation for its origins and traditions while meeting the standards of the modern market. I.D.C. was founded in 1966 by Vincenzo Carollo and is today run by the family’s grandchildren.

Dolce Carollo offers handmade first courses, pastries and frozen meals. Combining artisanal authenticity with industrial efficiency, the company’s rapid freezing process generates ice

microcrystals that do not alter the structure of the food and do not generate excess liquids during the defrosting phase. Products are brought to a temperature of -18°C through a constant transit lasting two hours inside rooms at a controlled temperature of -40°C. This allows the dishes to maintain their quality, taste and characteristics.

Around Noon wide reach and capabilities

Around Noon was established in 1989 at the Chambers’ family kitchen table and has grown to become a leading food-to-go manufacturer in the U.K. and Ireland. The product range includes chilled, hot and frozen food across various product categories, such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast, hot deli options, snack pots and bakery products.

Headquartered in Northern Ireland, Around Noon employs more than 800 staff across its six manufacturing facilities in Newry and London, including a

Dolce Carollo offers handmade first courses, pastries and frozen meals Around Noon’s vegan falafel & sweet potato wrap DFMi CEO Graham Felton at IFSA 2023

fully bespoke label print facility, allowing it to print own-label and white label lines. Producing more than 4.4 million products each month, Around Noon delivers direct to customers throughout Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, and delivers frozen products across Europe in sectors including travel, forecourt, convenience, supermarket retail, coffee shops, contract catering, healthcare, education and corporate.

Laurieri celebrates growth and Scrocchi

Laurieri was founded in Matera, Italy in the 1970s and has made digital transformation the key to its success. With a turnover of €14 million (US$14.9 million) and 25 percent annual growth, the company exports 90 percent of its products worldwide and supplies major airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, SWISS and American Airlines

The company has a 16,000 square meter factory, 65 employees and four production lines for one million single-serve portions daily. Its flagship Scrocchi® are thin crackers flavoured with olive oil that do not contain preservatives, colourings and GMOs.

To meet the demands of international markets, Laurieri has obtained various certifications, including kosher and halal. It has adopted sustainable practices, recycling 80 percent of its waste. In the future, Laurieri aims to expand its presence in international markets and launch new products, such as the gluten-free line coming in June.

Joe & Seph’s awardwinning popcorn

Joe & Seph’s was founded in 2010 and delivers popcorn from 100 percent natural ingredients. With roots in the family kitchen trialling and taste-

testing different flavour combinations, the perfect recipe finally emerged. The range now includes more than 80 innovative gourmet popcorn flavours, plus a range of other confectionary offerings, including award-winning caramel sauces and Belgian chocolate truffles, which have won 96 Great Taste awards from the Guild of Fine Food.

The products now fly onboard Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Hong Kong Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Products are available in sevengram to 335-gram packaging for Economy Class, galley baskets, buyon-board and premium cabins.

118 MAY 2024
Laurieri’s Scrocchi crackers are flavoured with olive oil and do not contain preservatives, colourings and GMOs
Joe & Seph’s popcorn range
Visit us at WTCE 2024 Stand 4F30

Fresh-squeezed addition


Citrus tells PAX International

it is looking forward to the year ahead with goals of securing more partnerships with U.S.-based airlines

Brands understand airlines are always seeking lightweight, individually packaged products with a long shelf life that do not compromise on flavour or quality. U.S.based brand True Citrus has executed this perfectly when it comes to bringing freshly-squeezed flavour onboard.

The brand offers more than 100 products including unsweetened citrus wedge replacements, low-calorie lemonades and limeades, energy drink mixes, low-sugar kids drink mixes and citrus-forward salt-free seasonings. True Citrus is best-known for its individually packaged crystallized lemon and lime wedge replacements available in convenient, shelf-stable sachets. True Citrus uses a patented recipe to capture the authentic fresh squeezed taste of a wedge of lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange.

All True Citrus products are made with simple non-GMO ingredients that give them fresh-squeezed taste. The products are low calorie (zero to 10 calories per serving), have minimal sugar (zero to two grams per serving), contain zero artificial sweeteners, and are gluten- and sodium-free. Already available on many airlines, True Lemon and True Lime unsweetened wedge replacements are ideal for the aircraft

cabin, as the lightweight products come in recyclable packaging and, like all True Citrus products, have a shelf life of two years if unopened.

True innovation

True Citrus was founded by David Schleider as a way to offer quality, fresh-squeezed lemon in a packet format so it is convenient for everyone, everywhere. With a background in food and catering, Schleider spent years researching and testing, and in 2003, after finding a method to crystallize lemon juice and the oils together to deliver a convenient,

shelf-stable lemon wedge replacement, the world was introduced to True Lemon, the brand’s flagship product.

Ryan Svehla, Vice President of Sales at True Citrus, tells PAX International the company aims to bring this refreshing convenience onboard with new partnerships with U.S.-based airline partners in the year ahead.

122 MAY 2024
True Citrus uses a patented recipe to capture the authentic fresh squeezed taste of a wedge of lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange Ryan Svehla, Vice President of Sales at True Citrus
The products are made with simple non-GMO ingredients, low calorie, have minimal sugar (zero to two grams per serving), contain zero artificial sweeteners and are gluten- and sodium-free


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High spirits for Bottega

Bottega shares updates about its Lemon Spritz product following last year’s successful WTCE


Some years are primed for growth, and that has certainly been the case for Italy-based wines and distillates purveyor Bottega. In time for 2023’s WTCE, Bottega launched its ready-to-drink Lemon Spritz in both minibottles and cans, the results of which the brand is now surveying.

“Minibottles express a more

traditional concept of ready to drink, but cans were elected the favourite by young people,” explains Bottega President Sandro Bottega. “Most airlines listed the preference as cans because they’re easier to handle on board.”

Bottega notes this is important information to have as the company is currently working with several major airlines which have the product onboard, including Air Baltic, Tui, French Bee, Aer Lingus, Greater Bay Airlines, Neos, American Airlines, EasyJet, Avion Express, Sunair, Air Greenland, Braathens, Jettime, Condor, Sunclass Airlines, Fly Dubai and Icelandair.

Bottega says the list is set to expand as other airlines are considering bringing Lemon Spritz onboard. Lemon Spritz will be available once again at Bottega’s WTCE booth this year, and this time, it will unveil the new 750-mililitre bottle.

But on board is not the only place Bottega has invited passengers to sip and relax. Last year, the company opened three new locations of its Bottega Prosecco Bar, nestled in Istanbul, Abu Dhabi International and Prague’s

Vaclav Havel airports. In March 2024, Bottega celebrated its second location at Prague airport, where passengers can now enjoy products both in Terminal 1 and 2. As for one of its leading spirits, Gin Bacur, featured at Dubai International, Bottega owes its success to the location’s targeted product displays.

“In the first two months of 2024, Gin Bacur registered a growth of +55 percent, despite the flexion of the gin category,” Bottega tells PAX International.

As Bottega heads into a promising 2024, the brand aims to solidify itself in existing markets while expanding into new ones. “In 2024, Bottega will strengthen its presence in the U.K., U.S. and Germany, and consolidate even more distribution in Canada and Scandinavia,” explains Bottega. Additionally, the brand has recently begun distribution in Pakistan and Mexico.

124 MAY 2024
The popular Lemon Spritz drink by Bottega is onboard with several airlines Sandro Bottega, President, Bottega
Bottega Prosecco Bar at Istanbul Airport


Find out why the world's top 10 airlines trust Cuisine Solutions with their first-and business-class guests.

Learn more at Cuisine Solutions @cuisinesolutions CuisineSolutions Cuisine Solutions


Linstol’s Super Cool Cup is changing the way airlines deliver inflight refreshments to passengers one biodegradable paper cup at a time

In February, Linstol announced an innovative paper cup design for cool beverages, including those containing alcohol, called the Super Cool Cup. Mark Russell, Chief Executive Officer at Linstol, tells PAX International what sets this cup’s design apart from others on the market.

“The biggest difference in our technology is that the cup is specifically designed to withstand an environment where you have moisture on the outside of the cup which will typically happen if you add ice to the beverage,” he says.

Linstol released the Super Cups with EarthCoating® in 2019, designed specifically for hot beverages inflight. The company is differentiating between a hot cup and a cold cup within the cabin with the introduction of the Super Cool Cup.

Unlike the average paper cup, Linstol’s Super Cool Cup is suitable for serving alcohol inflight due

to the patent-pending technology that prevents alcohol from breaking down the paper and sugar fibers.

“We now have a groundbreaking solution and the ability to put a cup in the airline space that truly is not only a reduction in plastic and is recyclable, but it can handle alcohol resistance for long periods of time,” he explains.

Super cool and sustainable

The Super Cool Cup uses Smart Planet Technologies’ patent-pending mineralized barrier coating technology. It is both recyclable and compostable. The bio-based plastic coating allows the cup to entirely decompose within an average of 12 months in managed landfill, depending on the environmental conditions.

While the passenger experience is a key consideration in all of Linstol’s inflight products, he emphasizes that environmental impact is driving the design of this product.

“We are trying to replace the tons of plastic that you see today in the airline cabin,” Russell explains. “Recyclability is a key factor. While a plastic cup is recyclable, the reality is that the plastics are not getting recycled anywhere near as much as they should today. With the Super Cool Cup technology, the cup can be universally recycled just like any other paper so there is a story to tell the passenger.”

The story of what happens to the cup post-flight is its selling point. Airline customers and passengers alike are eager to know that these products are aiding in the reduction of plastic and are not just recyclable but also biodegradable, he adds.

126 MAY 2024
Mark Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Linstol
The Super Cool Cup from Linstol

Solutions for the sky

In this guest column, Wolfgang H. von Krogh of SkyTender Group Holding AG, discusses the latest in sustainable solutions for the sky in the food and beverage sector

At SkyTender, we see ourselves in the middle of a development that affects the entire airline industry: changing customer needs (individualization, digitalization, sustainability, quality awareness), while reducing operational costs or generating more ancillary revenues.

The SkyTender beverage solution is a sustainable post-mix-based beverage service that eliminates beverage packing waste which reduces weight, carbon footprint and cost of operation. The built-in connectivity provides detailed consumption reports and comparative carbon footprint analyses.

It is amazing how people have gotten used to the fact that service in the world’s most modern means of travel consists of bottles (mostly plastic!) and cans (aluminum!) being pushed through the cabin in a rolling case. Billions of bottles and cans handled annually are still part of the

flying ecosystem. Next to being a huge commercial burden, this often stands in the way of meeting ESG goals and, due to its high visibility, effective sustainability-oriented public relations.

Driven by public sentiment, government regulations and supported by diverse NGOs, like International Waste Management Association, the industry is finally innovating and slowly walking the everlasting talk of more sustainable flights.

Last year, a UNESCO scientific Life Cycle Assessment study provided proof that a SkyTender-based service generates 80 percent less waste and lowers the carbon footprint by more than 70 percent compared to the existing bottles- and cans-based service. Not to mention the fact that the significant reduction in overcatering saves weight and galley space, depending on galley configuration and aircraft type, even a whole galley.

We aim to become the new standard in beverage catering and are on a pretty good path to achieving this. Our vision to enable a sustainable beverage service at substantially lower operational costs is now becoming reality with a major airlines and aircraft manufacturers as early adaptors and collaboration partners.

In the future, drinks will be served fresh at your seat in a consistent quality. Whether cold (water, juices, soft drinks) or hot (various coffee specialties such as cappuccino, flat white and espresso or chai tea).

In short: We are ready to take off into the future.

Wolfgang H. von Krogh, Executive Board and CEO, SkyTender Group Holding AG
The SkyTender Solutions mobile beverage system generates 80 percent less waste and lowers the carbon footprint by more than 70 percent compared to service using bottles and cans

Tote-ally functional

A look at the tote bags Etihad and Kaelis have brought to the cabin, combining practicality, style and sustainability

Kaelis and Etihad have a longstanding partnership that brings comfort, convenience and style to the passenger experience. The pair is commemorating Etihad’s 20th anniversary with a reusable tote bag. Available in two limited-edition designs, one tote features the airline’s 2003 livery with a red and gold band on an ivory background; the other showcases icons that are associated with Etihad’s growth through the past two decades. Both are available in Economy Class and feature the airline’s 20th anniversary logo.

“These characteristic elements woven together tell a story showcasing the evolution of this great airline,” Gonzalo Munita, Chief Commercial Officer at Kaelis, tells PAX International.

The tote has a practical design that allows it to transform into a compact pocket pouch, serving as a way to elevate the Economy Class travel experience while promoting sustain-

ability through reusability. The bags are each made from a 500-millilitre PET bottle, rescued from oceans and landfills. Inside the tote bag, passengers receive amenities including Beekman hand cream, an eye shade, earplugs and a toothbrush.

Continuing to combine practicality, style and sustainability, Etihad and Kaelis introduced another tote which Economy Class passengers receive as a gift. Containing all inflight essentials, including Beekman hand cream, eye shade, earplugs, toothbrush and a fleece blanket, the bag is designed to serve as a “one stop location for everything that a guest needs for their onboard wellbeing,” Munita explains. He adds that this is one of the largest Economy amenity kits in the industry, going beyond elegance and functionality.

“It embodies a commitment to reducing environmental footprint without compromising on the excep-

tional quality you expect from Etihad Airways and a testament that style, sustainability and practicality can coexist harmoniously,” says Munita.

The totes come in three collectible styles featuring the tailfins of the iconic Etihad Livery, and the Greenliner and Manchester City special liveries. Kaelis says “aviation geeks and eagled-eye guests” will be delighted to find the aircraft registration number of each of these special liveries on the tote bags. The totes transform effortlessly into a foldable compact pocket pouch, making it an ideal addition to any travellers’ toolbox. They are each made from 500-millilitre PET bottles.

128 MAY 2024
Gonzalo Munita, Chief Commercial Officer, Kaelis
Etihad Economy Class amenity kit in special edition green livery
Co-Located with: In association with: Built by: Find out more at:

Talking tableware and textiles


Wells, Co-Director, Plane Talking Products, highlights the company’s sustainable tableware and textile products by

Plane Talking Products (PTP) has been in the onboard supplier game for more than 35 years. Keeping innovation at the forefront, the company is constantly seeking ways to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of customers in a rapidly evolving travel landscape.

“We pride ourselves on being a successful British company, jointly owned and run by a female entrepreneur,” says Alison Wells, Co-Director, Plane Talking Products. “We choose our partners carefully and work only with companies whose vision on social and environmental issues is aligned with ours.”

Dining, tableware and textiles

Plane Talking Products also recently announced an exclusive partner-

ship with Steelite International for tableware for the aviation sector.

“This collaboration significantly extends our product range and enables us to access a wide range of brands as well as the latest trends and design inspiration for premium tableware,” says Wells.

The full range of products, including new tableware, cutlery and glassware items, will be on display at booth 4C10.

PTP is also entering the “smart” realm with new textiles. The range of Premium Textiles includes an “infused” range, using the latest technology in sleep innovations. The collection features pillows, duvets, mattresses and blankets that improve sleep, reduce jetlag, ease stress and protect against allergens and bacteria.

The company also offers a range of

more sustainable Premium Economy and Economy textiles, as well as a fully vegan suite of products and a certified Ocean Bound textile range.

Aviation Sustainability Forum

Plane Talking Products is also an active member of the Aviation Sustainability Forum (ASF), which will be part of the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo events taking place in Hamburg this week.

Recently, Wells supported the ASF in delivering the Cabin Waste Composition Audit Program in Singapore, supported by IATA and facilitated by SATS Catering. The results of the audit will be published at WTCE 2024, delivering an overview of the financial and environmental consequences of inflight waste and discovering potential solutions to scale the issue, Wells explains.

130 MAY 2024
Plane Talking Products and Steelite are partnering on tableware for the aviation sector
Alison Wells Co-Director, Plane Talking Products

Offer your passengers 100% authentic, fresh-squeezed lemon & lime taste without the labor, waste & the inconsistent pricing of fresh lemons & limes.


• Made from simple, Non-GMO ingredients

• Provide authentic fresh-squeezed taste

• Are unsweetened, with 0 calories & 0g sugars

• Are light-weight, convenient & shelf-stable

• Also available in True Orange® & True Grapefruit®

Your passengers can add the refreshing taste of citrus to water, teas, sodas and cocktails.


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Firsts with FORMIA

FORMIA introduces two exclusive amenity kit collections for China Airlines with two first time brands by JANE

132 MAY 2024
The Premium Economy amenity kit with the Canadian outdoor brand Roots The Premium Economy amenity kit for China Airlines long-haul flights marks Canadian outdoor brand Roots first time onboard HOBSON

FORMIA, the international airline amenity specialist, tells PAX International it is introducing two exclusive amenity kit collections for China Airlines with first time onboard brands: a sleek offering for Premium Business Class in collaboration with Italian fashion house Moschino, and a consciously designed Premium Economy long-haul kit with Canadian outdoor brand, Roots.

“FORMIA is thrilled to partner with China Airlines to introduce two fantastic, exclusive brands onboard for the first time. The Moschino and Roots kits are sure to delight passengers, with an elevated environmentally responsible offering which gives each passenger their own story

to tell,” says FORMIA CEO & Managing Partner Roland Grohmann.

The luxurious Moschino bags are presented in chic French blue and sophisticated dark grey hues with the iconic Moschino branding debossed in gold on each pouch, complete with a slinky detachable wrist strap.

Inside, passengers will find a selection of colour coordinated travel treats including a silky soft premium eye mask made from recycled PET fabrics and a Moschino branded recycled faux leather luggage tag to take home.

For Premium Economy, the brand Roots is on a mission to inspire the world to experience everyday adventures with comfort and style—and the amenity kit does exactly that.

With a striking design featuring the brand’s signature red stripe, the compact pouch perfectly carries the everyday essentials for travellers.

To complement this special collaboration with Moschino and Roots, China Airlines has partnered with one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the world to offer a few of their best-selling products, including the iconic Moroccanoil Treatment.

Sustainability is front of mind throughout with recycled faux leather pouches, skincare tubes made from post-consumer recycled plastic, the dental set pouch from FSC wax paper and an FSC kraft paper ear plug case.

The luxurious Moschino amenity kit in blue The Moschino bags are presented in French blue and sophisticated dark grey hues, with the iconic Moschino branding debossed in gold on each pouch

Seeing the forest for the trees

WESSCO and Out of the Woods have partnered to create forest-friendly amenity kits for Singapore Airlines

There are many paths that lead to a more sustainable future for the world. From some, the focus is on renewable resources, reducing waste or implementing sustainable supply chains. And now, in an effort that combines all three of those initiatives while also protecting forests, WESSCO International, a creative partner for the world’s leading airlines, is partnering with Out of the Woods, a company that is on a mission to make sustainable living accessible and stylish, to bring a new standard of eco-consciousness to the skies for Singapore Airlines

Through the collaboration, the team has created amenity kits made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified kraft paper fabric. The kits contain eco-friendly products for Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy Class.

“This collaboration highlights a shared mission to promote sustainable practices and enhance the passenger experience,” Petros Sakkis, Chief Marketing Officer at WESSCO International, tells PAX International.

The partnership between WESSCO and Out of the Woods directly supports sustainable forestry, com-

134 MAY 2024
The amenity kits for Singapore Airlines are made from Forest Stewardship Councilcertified kraft paper fabric
Petros Sakkis, Chief Marketing Officer, WESSCO International

bats deforestation and safeguards biodiversity. These steps toward a more eco-conscious travel experience speak to not only a growing consumer demand, but also solidify WESSCO’s position as an industry leader in the airline supply sector.

Comprehensive collaboration

Out of the Woods is known for being a leader in sustainability. The brand crafts a versatile range of high-end, washable craft paper bags, offering high-quality design and function in the form of its line of totes, cool-

ers and bookbags. The amenity kits were inspired by Out of the Woods’ signature Supernatural Paper®, which is a washable paper made from treecellulose that has the look and feel of well-worn leather. Tree-cellulose is sourced from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits, and create a product that is washable durable and can stand the test of time.

“This was complemented by rigorous testing for quality and durability, a comprehensive cost analysis, stakeholder engagement for insights and preferences, and ensuring compliance

with relevant regulatory standards to meet both sustainability and functional requirements,” says Sakkis.

The result makes for a chic, highquality, reusable product. Its longevity invites passengers to continue using the kits well beyond the flight. Inside the amenity kit, passengers will find eyeshades, slippers made from rPET material and a hydrating lip balm packaged in biodegradable material.

WESSCO believes Out of the Woods was the right partner for Singapore Airlines’ project based on how the ethos aligned—with the complementary values of sustainability, innovation and quality.

Just as building sustainable practices urges people to consider the generations that are to come, Singapore Airlines was not just thinking about its positioning in the present— it wants to ensure it is a leader for the future. “The collaboration with Out of the Woods highlights Singapore Airlines’ commitment to advancing environmental consciousness in the airline industry,” Sakkis explains.

WESSCO’s holistic strategy

Innovation in finding new paths for sustainability is woven into WESSCO’s brand strategy—and the successes gained are two-fold. “Our focus on creating sustainable amenity kits is part of a strategy that promotes environmental stewardship while ensuring that our offerings remain competitive and operationally viable,” says Sakkis. By offering these amenity kits in Premium Economy, WESSCO hopes to elevate the passenger experience, inspiring comfort and luxury while promoting environmental responsibility and building customer loyalty. According to Sakkis, “these highquality, eco-friendly kits not only cater to travellers’ needs, but also align with their values, fostering brand loyalty and promoting a greener future.”

WESSCO and Out of the Woods created forest-friendly amenity kits for Singapore Airlines The Out of the Woods amenity kit for Singapore Airlines

A collaboration of luxury

ESimon Yaffe, Director of Client Service at Buzz, highlights the company’s successful Etihad Airways partnership in its amenities collaboration with Giorgio Armani and ESPA

arlier this year, Buzz announced it was bringing new amenity kits, containing high-quality skincare products from ESPA, to Etihad Airways. in collaboration with Giorgio Armani, passengers travelling in Business, First and The Residence receive variations of this collaborative product lineup that centers on intentional design and sustainability.

“Guests value receiving designer products that are both functional and luxurious gifts, and add to an already well-appointed travel experience,”

Simon Yaffe, Director of Client Service at Buzz, tells PAX International.

Collaboration with Giorgio Armani featuring ESPA

Buzz’s collaboration with Giorgio Armani and Etihad Airways for amenity kits launched in February, following the unveiling of the Armani/Casa serviceware and textiles ranges for Etihad in 2022.

When asked what this impressive partnership represents for Buzz, Yaffe calls it a “world-first inflight collaboration with the Armani brand experience extending across multiple touchpoints in the premium cabins.”

The partnership also marks the first time that natural skincare brand ESPA has partnered with an air-

136 MAY 2024
Etihad’s First Class loungewear was designed and created by renowned Italian design house Giorgio Armani The Etihad amenity kit collection by Buzz featuring skincare products from ESPA, in collaboration with Giorgio Armani
Simon Yaffe, Director of Client Service at Buzz

line. This comes as Etihad celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2024.

“Etihad’s partnership with aromatherapy and wellness pioneer ESPA provides the ultimate luxury skincare products in kits and premium cabin washrooms,” Yaffe elaborates.

“Guided by 30 years of experience, ESPA creates deeply sensorial wellness experiences to nurture and nourish holistic well-being.”

Yaffe points out that luxury travellers are increasingly prioritizing well-being in their travels, focusing on health and wellness retreats and becoming more aware of the need for a work/life balance.

“There is a keen focus on ways to improve health from a holistic aspect,” he says. “Airlines can assist their passengers by delivering a premium inflight experience that promotes relaxation and wellness inflight. Luxury

wellness can extend to the provision of amenities that facilitate sleep, relaxation and a feeling of indulgence.”

Emirati-inspired design

Every aspect of the design process has been considered to bring a touch of Emirati design and hospitality to the the curation of the Giorgio Armani loungewear for Etihad First Class passengers and the amenity kits for both Business and First Class.

“Etihad is renowned for incorporating thoughtful and contemporary nods to Emirati aesthetics at various touchpoints to create an elevated inflight experience for guests,” Yaffe says.

The First Class amenity kits feature colours inspired by the palette of Abu Dhabi’s landscape, while the Business Class kits display “The Dunes” print inspired by the rolling sands of the Abu Dhabi Liwa desert.

When it comes to Etihad’s First Class loungewear, it was designed and created by renowned Italian design house Giorgio Armani.

“The loungewear was created with luxurious fabrics and with designs inspired by the runway looks from Giorgio Armani. The modern silhouette of this fashionable loungewear is perfect for both onboard relaxing or sleeping and stylish enough to be worn post-flight or matched with other items of clothing,” says Yaffe. “The loungewear fabric is exceptionally soft to touch, antiwrinkle and highly breathable.”

Functional and sustainable

The loungewear and slippers for Residence and First Class passengers are presented in a large amenity folio that Yaffe says contributes to the elimination of up to 100,000 pieces of single-use plastic and paper packaging annually.

The first-of-its-kind, this 13-inch laptop folio from Giorgio Armani is an industry-leading sized kit that combines fashion and function. It is also ideal for passengers to reuse post-flight and is available in four collectible colours.

“The clean lines and well-defined structure thoughtfully craft an icon of contemporary design,” Yaffe says.

Meanwhile, in Business Class, Etihad passengers are receiving Giorgio Armani amenity kits in one of two unisex styles: a clutch bag or a cube. Yaffe says the benefit of having multiple amenity kit styles that are unisex in design and function is that passengers can collect the various kits across multiple flights.

With 20 years of experience in creating inflight amenity products for travellers, Yaffe attributes the company’s success to passion and innovation.

“We’ve been creating sustainable products and brand collaborations for more than eight years and are constantly creating the next generation of collaborations and products to delight passengers on their journey,” he says.

The partnership marks the first time that natural skincare brand ESPA has partnered with an airline


White Glo’s Isabella Chen shares the story of how this global brand went from an Australian small business serving actors and models to an inflight essential

Isabella Chen, Head of Airline and Travel Partnerships at White Glo, tells PAX International how the global brand emerged from its humble beginnings marketing to the Australian entertainment industry before its major takeoff.

“Picture the breathtaking beaches of Sydney, Australia, where in 1995, Barros Laboratories was founded,” explains Chen.

While the company was initially focused on delivering white smiles to Australian actors and models, its reputation quickly took off for its overall teeth-whitening expertise. In response to the increasing demand, beyond the entertainment industry, Barros

Laboratories introduced the White Glo brand, dedicated to teeth whitening.

Since then, White Glo has become a sensation in mass grocery and drug stores, featuring a range of products designed for fast and affordable teeth whitening.

Chen notes that the company’s success transcended Australia’s borders, rapidly expanding to the international market.

“Today, White Glo shines in more than 50 countries, with a White Glo product purchased every four seconds,” she says. “White Glo’s presence extends to major international retailers such as Aldi, Walgreens, Walmart, Costco and ASDA. Its reputation for efficacy

and reliability has made it the preferred choice for countless individuals seeking a brighter, healthier smile.”

Eco-friendly smiles

What sets White Glo apart is its effectiveness, Chen says, and the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Since 2016, White Glo has offered a complete range of oral care products suitable for airline passengers, airport lounges and beyond, while minimizing environmental impact. This is achieved through consciously choosing sustainable materials.

White Glo’s collection includes toothpaste sachets, bamboo toothbrushes, wheat straw toothbrushes and refreshing mouthwash in a paper sachet.

“Join us on the journey of White Glo, where dental expertise meets global success, transforming smiles worldwide, one toothpaste at a time,” Chen says.

138 MAY 2024
White Glo’s range of teeth whitening products for a brighter smile

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Wellness in focus at WTCE

Event Director Polly Magraw gives PAX International

a look at new and
features of this year’s event in

The leading inflight catering, onboard services and passenger comfort event of the year is here, with some exciting first-time features and returning favourites on the agenda. The 12th edition of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) will return to Hamburg this week, co-located with the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX).

“As event organizers in the inflight catering, onboard services and passenger comfort sector, the key is to provide a central space where buyers from some of the world’s leading air and rail operators can unite,” Polly Magraw, WTCE Event Director, tells PAX International.

Introducing WTCE’s Ambassador program

“We have already started to see the benefits of our new Ambassador program that we launched earlier this year,” Magraw says, alluding to the expert panel of four professionals that represent the event’s core



values, which are health and wellbeing, sustainability, food and drink.

The Ambassadors will be speaking on their specialist topics at this year’s WTCE event as part of the Taste of Travel Theatre.

Emphasizing sustainability and well-being

New for 2024, WTCE will introduce the “Steps to Sustainability” feature, incorporating a dedicated feature area and trail. The area located in Hall A1 will celebrate the accomplishments of a select number of sustainable exhibitor products. Attendees can see the innovations leading the way for 2024, from companies including Sustainaholics, Hello Straw, Onyx Plast and Ly Company Italia Srl.

Meanwhile, the “Steps to Sustainability” trail will take attendees on a journey around the show floor to discover over 20 companies with the latest impactful products, ranging from tableware, food, and beverages, to amenity prod-

ucts, enabling a more sustainable onboard experience for passengers.

Returning favourites

Alongside the updated segments at this year’s WTCE show are several returning favourites, including the “Wellbeing Walkthrough,” dedicated to buyers looking at innovative food, drink, beauty and passenger comfort products that can alleviate the side effects associated with travelling long distances and promote long-term health and wellness.

“We’re looking forward to returning to Hamburg for another edition of WTCE that will leave a lasting mark on the industry as it progresses toward a sustainable future, but with passenger comfort and wellbeing remaining top of mind,” Magraw says.

140 MAY 2024
The Hamburg Messe
Polly Magraw, WTCE Event Director

PAX Readership Awards return to Hamburg

The 2024 PAX Readership Awards return to Hamburg on May 29, with sponsors including RMT Global Partners, Procurall Solutions and White Glo House by PAX INTERNATIONAL STAFF

The most prestigious travel industry awards of the year are taking place in Hamburg this week. The PAX International and PAX Tech Readership Awards recognize achievements across the aviation industry, voted on by the loyal readership of the leading industry magazines PAX International and PAX Tech.

“The PAX Readership Awards represent an opportunity to gather and celebrate the hard work of this industry. From catering to technology to amenities, the Awards applaud the innovations that continuously work to enhance the passenger journey,” says Aijaz Khan, Publisher, PAX International and PAX Tech. “We are so grateful to our loyal readership for voting and to all our supporters. We look forward to celebrating with you in Hamburg!”

“We are so grateful for and proud of our readership and supporters who enable us to improve each year as the leading voice of news for this dynamic industry,” adds Jane Hobson, Managing Editor.

The ceremony will take place on May 29 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in

Hamburg by invite-only, bringing the nominees, award winners and select industry members together for a night of celebration and recognition. The awards ceremony is sponsored by RMT Global Partners, Procurall Solutions and White Glo House, among others.

Robynne Trueman, PAX Tech Business Editor says, “The Awards Ceremony is the perfect time to get better acquainted with colleagues, discuss potential collaboration and of course celebrate achievements. I’m very excited for this year’s big event!”

This year sees the return of amenities awards, including Best First Class Amenity Kit, Best Business

Class Amenity Kit, Best Economy Class Amenity Kit and Best Children’s Amenity Kit. Expanded tech and airline categories include:

• Outstanding food service by a carrier

• Airline Caterer of the Year

• Best Inflight Duty Free Program

• Best IFE and Connectivity

• Best Cabin Interior Passenger Experience

• Best Cabin Innovation

• Best Seating

• Best Lounges

• Best Cabin Crew in Asia

• Most Improved Airline in Asia

dnata wins at the PAX Readership Awards in 2023 Emirates wins at the last year’s PAX Readership Awards Air Canada wins at the PAX Readership Awards in 2023

Flavours and sights of Hamburg

Hamburg is Germany’s “second city” and offers a chance for attendees of this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) to explore its exceptional cuisine, arts and culture

CHOCOVERSUMMuseu de Chocolate

Calling all chocolate lovers— this is the best way to spend some free time in Hamburg! Explore this interactive museum to learn about chocolate making and do some tastings.

A taste of Bavaria in Hamburg

Although the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest originated much further south, a taste of the celebration comes to Hamburg every September and October.

Michelin star dining

Hamburg is thriving as a foodie destination, with 13 Michelin-starred restaurants across the city. Three new restaurants joined the ranks last month: French restaurants “Atlantic Restaurant” and the “Petit Amour,” along with north German restaurant, “The Lisbeth.”

St. Pauli Piers

Visit the St. Pauli Piers, the largest landing site in the Port of Hamburg. This is a significant tourist attraction and a beautiful spot to admire the Elbe River.

Indulge In Traditional German Cuisine

Delight in some of Germany’s signature dishes while in Hamburg, such as Franzbrötchen (French rolls, allegedly influenced by Napoleon’s troops), Currywurst

Planten un


Just a short stroll from the city centre, Planten un Blomen (meaning “Plants and Flowers”) is an idyllic park true to its name. Stroll among the Mediterranean fig trees or relax at the park’s Japanese teahouse!



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