Special Amenities Issue
MAY 2020 â€˘ WWW.PAX-INTL.COM
New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive
up in the air re ry a rs ust e li nd e p i up he tim s s rt t ed e i t po ent i en up ed am to s rec p w g Ho tin n un vo a pi in
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Watching change from the comforts of home
any of our readers will be tapping through the pages of this digital issue in a favorite room in their home, where the walls are very likely closing in. People I know who have worked from home for years have agreed with me that what was once a mostly happy arrangement changes when they feel they’re forced to do it. But for the past several months nearly all of us have no doubt been compelled to do things we never thought we’d do. Sellers of amenity products have had to change their thinking as well. What was once a hunt for the trendiest fashion products or the latest sustainable material has turned into a search for personal protective equipment. Will a new category of awards need to be created for some of the best efforts in the months or maybe years to come as focus shifts from pleasing and attractive products to necessities to keep passengers safe? “In this unusual time in the airline industry, we have a product line that includes various disposable non-woven face masks, gloves, individual hand wipes and individual hot/cold towels,” writes Global Inflight Products Chief Executive Officer Lisa Benzaoui. “These are the perfect items to provide to airlines’ staff, crew and passengers to reassure them that the airlines are thinking about their health and safety. They can also be packaged in an eco-friendly pouch or bag, for easy distribution.” Reassurance is important today, and in short supply, so it is good that amenity providers have been able to pivot their priorities for the sake of their customers. When the airlines return to full service, a few of the items sourced and developed today will be among the most visible signs that airlines care about passengers. It’s always stressed by flight attendants that their first job is the safety of passengers. Now it rings true more than ever. Throughout this summer, PAX will be bringing you our usual electronic issues, the next one devoted to Asia coverage and a later issue on seating and inflight entertainment. We’re dedicated to keeping you up to date on the happenings in these important segments of the industry. And hopefully these issues will help with those walls closing in.
Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. July 2019. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International
Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International
Features REGIONAL REPORT
MANUFACTURING MAKEOVER The factories in China that are finally back to full capacity are seeing a slump in traditional orders, but also an opportunity to shift their focus and supply new products to meet new demands
SOARING SERENE Boutique airline La Compagnie invites passengers to find serenity and celebrate wellness with high end amenities, meditation and seasonal food POTABLE PARTNER British Columbia-based International Water-Guard has been helping business and military aviation board clean water for more than 30 years; but with a global pandemic raging and airlines looking to eliminate waste, this is its time to shine AK-SERVICE AT YOUR SERVICE AK-Service Group of Companies’ Chief Executive Officer Aleksandr Ferents discusses how the supplier’s factory in Russia is ramping up efforts to support the fight against COVID-19
20 GREEN IN A BLUE WORLD
Onboard product supplier Global Inflight Products discusses its Green Is Possible line in preparation for the industry to eventually lift off again
SUPPLY CHAIN CHAMPIONS These industry suppliers are pivoting focus to help battle the coronavirus pandemic
Special Amenities Issue
MAY 2020 • WWW.PAX-INTL.COM
re y s a tr er us pli ind e up e tim s s rt th ed itie po nt en up ede am to s rec p w g Ho tin n un o a piv in
Vitality ON THE COVER v . Read about Albéa Travel Virus
Designer’s Stay Safe kit and range of personal protective equipment with a full industry update on amenity suppliers on page 22.
Departments EDITOR’S NOTE
4 MAY 2020
EMIRATES’ MUST HAVES The airline has an ongoing relationship with its young travelers and tapped the minds of parents last year to learn more about their onboard experience, what they want and what they fear while flying as a family
30 AK-SERVICE KEEPS KIDS
New s and analy sis for the passenger ser vices executive
up in the air
LEARNINGS FROM A PANDEMIC PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark discusses how COVID-19 may alter the hospitality travel sector forever and what he hopes are key lessons for the industry
OCCUPIED ABOARD AEROFLOT The supplier updates the Aeroflot kids’ kits every six months
A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, airline suppliers are responding to the clarion call for effective hygiene products
VIRTUAL VICTORY PAX International highlights the amenity kit supplier winners of its 2020 Readership Awards, which it celebrated online due to the event postponements
" TheTurkish Airlines amnity kits for Economy Cla have been inspired from motifs in claical Turkish decorative arts and are available in six ornamental paerns " firstname.lastname@example.org www.bayart-innovations.com
White Glo to launch Stellar Entertainment scores Malaysia Airlines paper packaging Stellar Entertainment announced that it has created customized boarding music for Malaysia Airlines. Currently rolled out across the entire fleet, travelers will sense a more distinctive Malaysian ambience when boarding a flight. As the content service provider for the airline, Stellar Entertainment captured the rich cultural diversity of the airline’s homeland through both traditional and contemporary music styles. This bespoke boarding music is a first for Malaysia Airlines. According to the press release, “Boarding music serves as more than just to soothe and entertain passengers. It also showcases an airline’s brand identity.” It continued: “Stellar Entertainment believes this uniquely customized boarding music exudes a natural and melodious sense of calm and joy, offering Malaysian’s familiar nostalgic welcome onboard while giving non-Malaysians a rhythmic feel of the country’s cultural heritage and diversity.” The craftsmanship of the music was carried out by Stellar Entertainment’s in-house composer, Luke Mason, a recipient of multiple Anugerah Industry Muzik awards, who spent 20 years in Malaysia. Throughout the piece, there are subtle ‘Malaysia’ vocals woven in to strengthen the connection between the music and the Malaysia Airlines brand.
The boarding music adds ambience for passengers flying on any aircraft across the carrier’s fleet
White Glo is set to launch 2-in-1 Toothpaste Mouthwash in an ecofriendly Paper Sachet
White Glo announced that it will launch its awardwinning 2-in-1 Toothpaste with Mouthwash in paper sachet packaging. This launch comes as part of the company’s push for eco-friendly solutions for their products in the travel industry. The original product, White Glo 2-in-1 Toothpaste with Mouthwash, is the recipient of many awards and currently flies with many airlines. The toothpaste combines a premium cosmetic product and science. Packaged in a waterproof paper bag, the 2-in-1 formula delivers passengers the same refreshing and clean feeling as the original White Glo toothpaste, but now with minimum impact to the environment.
Delta delivers airline cleanliness with Delta Clean program Delta announced it is transforming cleanliness across airports and on aircraft to deliver a new standard of clean for customers: Delta Clean. “The highest levels of clean should not be reserved for times of crisis - [passengers] deserve to feel confident and safe whenever they decide to travel,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, in the press release issued by the airline at the end of March. “That’s why we are extending our overall safety focus to include our new standard of clean.” The program includes: • domestic aircraft interior overnight fogging (starting in early May, fogged before every flight)
6 MAY 2020
The program includes overnight fogging to disinfect aircraft
• aircraft cleaned using extensive checklist to disinfect high-touch areas: tray tables, seat-back entertainment screens, arm rests, seatback pockets • spot checks before each flight by Customer Service Agent and Flight Leader to ensure the aircraft is up to the Delta Clean standard crew return to the aircraft for additional cleaning.
Kaelis launches PPE platform Kaelis announced the launch of a PPE Platform to facilitate can now place, pay and track their orders online the supply-chain process following its customers’ requests directly in the Kaelis PPE Platform. Customers will for help in creating personal protective equipment. be able to access the platform by requesting a login In the past month, the company has dedicated its full account by emailing: email@example.com. resources built in the last 23 years of managing supply chains worldwide to the fight against COVID-19 by bringing PPE products to those who need them globally. “As a lean company focused on our commitment to innovate and continuously improve, Kaelis wanted to speed up the supply-chain process as every day counts when saving lives,” read the press release. Kaelis joined forces with best-inclass partners Neurored, S4GConsulting, several logistics partners and global payment network Veem to offer a salesforce.com-based secure and encrypted online platform to its customers. Corporations, NGOs, healthThe secure and encrypted online PPE Platform from Kaelis will facilitate the supply-chain process care and government institutions
flight type dishwasher
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8 MAY 2020
Etihad Catering delivers meals during quarantine Etihad Airport Services Catering (EAS Catering) has been commissioned by government entities, business organizations and community centers to prepare and provide meals to individuals impacted by the global spread of COVID-19. Etihad Airways’ catering arm is providing meals for people impacted by COVID-19
One of the only food facilities to achieve ISO 17025 accreditation in the UAE by Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), EAS Catering maintains high culinary hygiene standards through laboratory testing of food, water, hands and surfaces. “The capabilities of EAS Catering’s in-house food laboratory means we have direct oversight on the effectiveness of COVID-19 safety measures,” said Andrew Caines, General Manager, EAS Catering in the release. “We increased microbiological swabbing of surfaces and hands in order to validate disinfection and hand washing efforts, which are direct indicators of virus viability.” Since the start of the pandemic, EAS Catering has cooked and delivered more than 15,000 meals per day to people self-isolating or under quarantine, frontline medical staff, humanitarian drives and for various businesses across the capital. To further maximize quality, the facility hermetically seals dishes on-site. Furthermore, it is delivering amenities and providing laundry service for Etihad employees in temporary isolation.
US caterers and companies seek relief funding The United States Department of Treasury is receiving applications from airline caterers, aircraft cleaners and related companies in civil aviation for a portion of the US$3 billion allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Meanwhile in Europe, potential aid for related industries must move through a network flowing from Brussels to the member states. The resulting delays and uncertainty prompted an April 14 letter from the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) to the European Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean. The letter requested relief be provided specifically for airline suppliers and vendors, saying that without aid, there may not be enough suppliers to support airline operations when regular service resumes. “Airlines are not built for this type of shutdown in the face of COVID-19,” APEX/IFSA CEO Joe Leader tells PAX International. “And they are going to need support from their nations and the European Union and it needs to be done in as evenhanded a manner as possible, otherwise it will create some real winners and losers in the process.” Not only does the structure of the EU leave much to the discretion of the member states for distribution, Leader says that airlines owned partially or entirely by governments “creates a dynamic that is not equitable, if there is not a more coordinated approach across the European Union.”
10 MAY 2020
Stateside, Lauren Costello, Executive Director of IFSA, confirmed Association members have been applying to the Treasury Department for a portion of the $3 billion available through Joe Leader, CARES. She says Chief Executive some of the appliOfficer, cations have been APEX/IFSA approved but funding has not yet reached the businesses. Both domestic caterers and foreign caterers with US subsidiaries are able to request the funds to help operations and retain workers through the crisis. Leader says that there is enough flexibility within the language of the CARES Act to prompt suppliers that work with airlines and caterers to apply for the federal aid. He says he hopes companies in the US take advantage of the opportunity. “We consider this a really big win for our efforts because, as you know, in the original package there was nothing allocated for suppliers and having $3 billion makes all the difference in the world to make it through this crisis.”
Joshua Robinson, CEO of ITI in Houston
12 MAY 2020
The factories in China that are finally back to full capacity are seeing a slump in traditional orders, but also an opportunity to shift their focus and supply new products to meet new demands by RICK LUNDSTROM
hroughout the pages of this online issue of PAX International are examples of companies that at one time in the not-so-distant past focused on elegant designs and name-brand products are now looking to fill other demands as air travel tentatively plans to return, but with different needs. Soothing lotions and hydrating balms that help passengers get through a long flight are now giving way to requests by airline customers for personal protective equipment (PPE). Lotions are now less important than sanitizers. Hygiene more important than fashion. How long it will go on, few can say. But one thing is for certain: the amenity kit companies that currently do not have a regular source for PPE items will be seeking one out among the thousands of small-to-medium sized factories in the teeming cities of China, where manufacturing capability, infrastructure and supply chain are just getting back to normal operations – or what will be normal from here on out. And in that way, suppliers should be fortunate. For despite all the disruptions and chaos, a nation that is filled with nimble factories that can quickly shift their cut-and-sew capabilities to produce the goods to meet demand is already moving in that direction.
Chinese manufacturing can quickly shift gears to new products now being developed for airline cabins
Chinese factories are nearly full capacity, but vital medical supplies are being delayed due to a lack of belly space for overseas flights
A snapshot of the present time and what the months ahead may look like can be found in the China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). Every month, questionnaires are sent to more than 700 manufacturing enterprises in the country. The data is compiled from the responses about purchasing activities and supply of materials. Manufacturers are asked if there is improvement, no change or a deterioration of activities. The answers generate a PMI number of 1 to 100. As of April 30, the PMI for China stood at 50.8 (roughly meeting the forecast of 51 for the month). Any number above 50 indicates an expansion of activities from the previous month. At the end of March, the PMI for China was at 52, while the end of February it registered a dismal 35.7. While such information is useful to gauge manufacturing activity and recovery, it is also useful to look back to the beginning of the year and to see the chain of events that created the storm in the Chinese manufacturing market caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. One of the companies that has been watching the China manufacturing market for more than 45 years is Houstonbased ITI Manufacturing. The company has been a source for firms in the United States that are seeking to establish manufacturing operations in China. On a year-to-year basis,
ITI has approximately 100 active customers for which it finds suitable factories and goes one step further — to guarantee the quality of everything its client base of factories produces. With teams in place in all the manufacturing hubs in China, company officials watched as manufacturing chugged at full capacity to get as much product off the factory floor and out the door as possible before the end of January, which signaled the start of the Chinese New Year. It is then factories shut down and workers return home for a long holiday. Even at the start of the Chinese New Year there was rumblings of lockdowns and closings as the virus began spreading, Joshua Robinson, President and CEO at ITI tells PAX International. When the government began closing down factories and restricting travel, Robinson said many workers were stuck in their homes and away from work and the cities they lived. Subcontractors and other suppliers of material to the factories were in the same situation. As the weeks wore on and factories were idled, Robinson said a slow opening took place with companies applying to the Chinese government to begin operations. “The way the Chinese government approached those applications was: the bigger you were, the earlier your application was recognized and approved,” Robinson says. For many factories across the country, he added, that took most of the month of March for workers to filter back in and get production into the range of 50 percent to 75 percent, which was a point when managers could give customers reliable lead times and capacity estimates. Under normal circumstances, Robinson points out that the country’s manufacturing engine would have been at full capacity in February. Fast forward to today, Robinson said he sees travel activity and business slowly returning to normal, but with a “residual fear” that will keep travelers away from crowds, flights and tourist destinations. This travel fear extends into the manufacturing sector and supply chain. Since airline passenger traffic is so low, there are fewer aircraft in the air. There is less belly space flying around the world for cargo. As a result of less belly space, air freight rates out of China have greatly increased. What was once a market that charged from US$3 to $5 per kilogram, now costs up to $15, says Robinson. “There is a high demand because people need all this PPE immediately,” he says. “But there is very, very low supply because nobody is traveling.” It is still in question whether this will make other countries in the region, particularly those that fared better through the virus such as South Korea or Singapore, more attractive for manufacturing. The possibilities of other manufacturing hubs have been studied in recent years since the Trump administration began leveling tariffs on goods from China, says Robinson. Vietnam has also surfaced as an attractive alternative, too. Still, he adds that there is less infrastructure and population to support widespread manufacturing. He adds that even with the tariffs on China, prices will still be higher, but the other nations are seeing an increase in demand that will continue. Now, as the epicenter of the virus has moved from China to Europe to North America, Robinson sees a place where the first steps toward normalcy will happen. “It is an incredible time, and unlike anything that most people have ever seen,” he says. PAX-INTL.COM
PROFILE Collins Aerospace Diamond seating fills the all Business Class cabin
Boutique airline La Compagnie invites passengers to find serenity and celebrate wellness with high end amenities, meditation and seasonal food by RICK LUNDSTROM
La Compagnie has selected the Rave system from Safran for its inflight entertainment
14 MAY 2020
Bon Bean chocolates and Kusimi Tea’s detoxifying tea blends are a few of the name brand products aboard La Compagnie
Part of the La Compagnie’s Relax Onboard program is an amenity kit with products from Caudalie
Relaxation is stressed in the La Compagnie cabin through the airline’s Relax Onboard products and servicer
hen air travel returns in full force, some passengers will gingerly step back aboard the aircraft, anxious and in need of every available comfort to help them relax and again savor the joy of travel. And when those first transatlantic flights take off, French airline La Compagnie will be ready with a full line of products and services that have helped pamper passengers. The airline has a long association with a well-known partner and an aircraft cabin that is all Business Class, but not all business. In a market segment that has seen similar airlines come and go, La Compagnie’s two aircraft fleet of A321neos has been burning the route from Paris’s Orly Airport and New York/Newark (EWR) since 2014, along with seasonal routes between Nice and EWR. The airline estimates approximately 60 percent of its passengers are traveling the routes for business. Though expansion was in the airline’s plans for this year, before the global outbreak of COVID-19 hit the industry, its approach from the beginning was to watch the world economy and grow when it was prudent. “All other Business Class airlines were on the market at the same time between 2004 and 2008 when the market wasn’t ready yet to move from a traditional airline model to brand new ones,” Anne Crespo, Marketing and Communications Manager at La Compagnie tells PAX International. “Then they tried to expand too quickly so their costs became too high. Our success was built on careful development with only two aircraft to reach profitability. Once done we will be able to expand on routes that guarantee Business Class traffic.” The expansion and the profits will have to wait until the industry gets back on its feet. But when the A321s from La Compagnie again take to the air to New York they will be outfitted with La Compagnie’s brand of inflight service called Relax Onboard. Sitting on the airline’s Diamond seats from Collins Aerospace will be amenity kits with products from the French company Caudalie designed for health and well-
ness. The moisturizers come in a 15-milliliter container and through the month of February, La Compagnie was offering Caudalie’s Eau de Beauté enriched with essential oils and plant extracts for skin radiance and microcirculation. Several other Caudalie products are part of the partnership including lip balm, Sorbet hand cream, face cream and eye balm. In the aircraft’s lavatories, La Compagnie has selected products from Fragonnard. The airline worked with amenity kit supplier Albéa Travel Designer on the design, while a facility for people with disabilities stocks the items in each of the kits. The airline’s attention to wellness does not end there. La Compagnie was looking for balance in its meal offerings which are catered by Servair out of Paris and Newrest out of Nice. Seasonal ingredients and monthly changeovers are part of the service. Among its snack suppliers are savory and sweet products from Les Fruits Détendus and Bon Bean chocolates. Passengers also sip Kusimi Tea’s detoxifying tea blends. Flights from Paris and Nice to New York both average about 7.5 hours but can run as long as nine hours, depending on the windspeed. However, the airline’s inflight entertainment offering is not just tailored for binge watching comedies and movies. Relax Onboard helps stressed out passengers with an offering of meditation exercises designed to address every phase of the flight. The airline has IFE content with a company called Petit Bambou on its Rave inflight entertainment system from Safran, played on 15.6-inch screens. The partnership with Petit Bambou launched in February of this year and with the shutdown of European service, La Compagnie hasn’t compiled a clear look at the viewership and participation. Crespo says the programming will remain part of the airline’s IFE offering giving the passenger access to meditation exercises and classes. Other programming is accessible through the airline Wi-Fi connectivity supplied by Viasat. Through the system, meditation sessions are conducted by Mathilde Farcy-Mossard. Two yoga teachers, Tatiana and Heloise, guide passengers through various poses that can easily be practiced onboard an aircraft. PAX-INTL.COM
POTABLE PARTNER British Columbia-based International Water-Guard has been helping business and military aviation board clean water for more than 30 years; but with a global pandemic raging and airlines looking to eliminate waste, this is its time to shine by RICK LUNDSTROM
hen the threat of COVID-19 finally diminishes, commercial aviation will have gone through an industry-changing crucible that will require many aspects of its operations to be looked at differently. Old ways will extinguish and new practices and policies will take their place. One of perhaps the most maligned aspects of cabin operations has been the boarding and changing of potable water used in lavatories and galleys. It has been long scrutinized in the past because of E. coli and coliform bacteria issues, and the regularity of water changes as well as the sources of the water. Last year, a major study of aircraft tap water by the Hunter College New York Food Policy Center led to sensational headlines and safety warnings. The flying public, many of whom carry bottled water in easy reach at all times, has been conditioned to see the product as superior to tap water. The stocked trolleys that trundle along the aisles of long-haul flights, piled high with single-use plastic bottles, is Exhibit A.
16 MAY 2020
International Water-Guard (IWG), located in British Columbia, Canada, understands it is time for all airlines and passengers to adopt a new method – one that reduces waste and provides more convenience. The supplier plans to bolster airline customer loyalty and give passengers peace of mind when washing their face, brushing teeth and drinking a cup of coffee or tea in flight. IWG supplies potable water treatment units to operators of corporate, head of state, military and VIP aircraft. The company planned a stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this year to showcase the latest in water treatment units designed for commercial aircraft – the UVL1. The treatment unit can be used in conjunction with IWG’s Passenger Water Dispenser (PWD) that can be positioned at airport gates or onboard the aircraft just outside the galleys. The PWD is convenient for passengers and crew as it enables passengers to get their own water, while the company’s UVL1 carries out the vital task of ensuring that the aircraft’s drinking water is free of bacteria and viruses.
British-Columbia-based International Water-Guard celebrated its 30 year anniversary in 2019
International Water-Guard supplies potable water treatment solutions, including its Passenger Water Dispenser (right) and the new UVL1 (left), a water treatment unit for commercial use
“The UVL1 can begin to eliminate the wrong perception that bottled water is the only safe water and by doing so, eliminate plastic bottles,” Steven Bis, President and Chief Executive Officer at IWG tells PAX International. “This has significant benefit to the environment, as well as cost and logistics benefits to the airline that currently buys bottled water and must dispose of the empty bottles.” To disinfect the water, the UVL1 uses LED lights that emit ultraviolet light (UV) in the UV-C spectrum, a technology using LED’s that Bis says is just beginning to be applied to aircraft. The UVL1 can be installed in approximately 30 minutes at the water line, just behind the spigot or faucet. Any pathogens that may be in the water supply absorb the UV light, making them unable to reproduce. “It may not be killed instantly, but the scrambling of the genetic code in the nucleus prevents reproduction, rendering it non-viable and therefore harmless to humans,” says Bis. The result is drinkable, disinfected water without chemical residue that could potentially harm passengers and degrade components in the aircraft’s water system. Combining the
UVL1 with the company’s PWD gives passengers clean, drinkable water access with no human touch points, effectively reducing the possibility of spreading other germs. IWG is well known in the business jet environment and has won Suppliers of the Year awards multiple times by a major OEM. In 2019, the company marked its 30th year in business and has a portfolio that includes products for water circulation, filtration and distribution. It also has developed aircraft weight control products, on-demand heaters, and luxury fixtures for lavatories and galleys. IWG is a Transport Canada approved organization with Supplemental Type Certificates in its home country and in the United States. Since the company was formed 1989, more than 4,000 of its products have been installed and are in service today. Other products the company is working on are designed to meet the demands by airlines for weight savings and carbon emission reduction. IWG is developing a line of lightweight faucets and sinks that can be used in lavatories and galleys. The company has also developed Pre-Select, an electronic water quantity controller management system. PAX-INTL.COM
at your service AK-Service Group of Companies’ Chief Executive Officer Aleksandr Ferents discusses how the supplier’s factory in Russia is ramping up efforts to support the fight against COVID-19
by JANE HOBSON
or more than 20 years, AKService Group of Companies has been creating, producing and supplying onboard products for passenger carriers throughout Russia and the CIS from its factory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Its massive warehouses and efficient logistics processes has expanded its production facilities to key regions in Europe and Asia, with an impressive roster of customers, including Aeroflot, Air Astana, Uzbekistan Airways and Rossiya Airlines, for which the latter two were both awarded 2020 PAX International Readership Awards for Business Class Amenity Kit. Now, the supplier is adapting to the demands of its customers for personal protective equipment while simultaneously developing innovative disinfecting methods. In this Q&A, Aleksandr Ferents, Chief Executive Officer of AK-Service Group of Companies, tells PAX International how its factory on home soil has helped the supplier support its customers during the pandemic.
ALEKSANDR FERENTS: Based in St. Petersburg, we started with only one machine in 1994 and then began to grow every year, increasing the amount of product that we can make ourselves. Now in 2020, it is larger than 12,000 square meters and has more than 600 employees. The St. Petersburg factory has grown to have its own sewing production department and we produce cosmetic bags, eye masks, blankets, slippers (more than 15 million pairs per year) and other comfort items. The most important thing that our factory provides by being based in Russia is speed and flexibility. The production speed of samples, the speed of delivery of the first batch of products when the project is launched. The client does not need to wait several weeks for delivery – the final product can be produced as quickly as the client wants. We are flexible and can regulate the volume of deliveries, make the necessary changes and additions to the products at the request of the client right here and now.
PAX INTERNATIONAL: Why did AKService opt for a factory in Russia from the start, and how does this benefit the customer?
PAX: How has AK-Service incorporated the efficiency of the Russia factory location into supporting the battle against the pandemic?
Now with more than 600 employees, AK-Service’s St. Petersburg factory started with just 10 people in 1994
18 MAY 2020
Aleksandr Ferents, Chief Executive Officer, AK-Service Group of Companies
FERENTS: Currently, AK-Service is producing hygiene products and masks, and we are always expanding the product line to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. We produce different kinds of protective equipment at the St. Petersburg factory: masks, medical gowns, sanitizing door mats, antibacterial hand soap, antiseptic hand sanitizing gels and more. The new door mats, which have a special shoe disinfectant, are already available to all customers. This is an effective way to keep spaces clean for many business sectors, and the offer includes recycling at our facilities after it is used. We are supplying these for the aviation industry as well for anyone who needs them because we understand that these products are in high demand. PAX: What is next for AK-Service? FERENTS: As we care deeply about the environment, we are aiming to be more self-sustainable. For example, over the past couple of years, we have expanded to start producing raw materials for a number of products on our own in order to experience minimal dependence on the always-changing international market.
The Clean Kit by FORMIA
A quality range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & sanitiser solutions available as own-branded or in collaboration with a choice of trusted brands. Contact us at email@example.com.
GREEN IN A BLUE WORLD
Onboard product supplier Global Inflight Products discusses its Green Is Possible line in preparation for the industry to eventually lift off again
by JANE HOBSON
hen Global Inflight Products launched its sustainable, eco-friendly product line Green Is Possible in 2010, it was a relatively new concept, explains the onboard product supplier’s Chief Executive Officer Lisa Benzaoui. “As an environmentally-conscious company, we felt it was important to translate this into the travel industry and airlines’ inflight products.” Some of the first products included bamboo fiber towels for hot or cold use and sugar cane beverage napkins. “As the popularity of eco-friendly products grew, airlines began to focus on transitioning their standard onboard products to incorporate more sustainable options,” Benzaoui adds. With the current state of the industry, Global Inflight Products is diligently maintaining its focus on sustainable products while simultaneously keeping its airline customers’ passengers’ comfortable when they eventually board the aircraft again. Global Inflight Products offers personal hygiene and protection products which includes various disposable non-woven face masks, gloves, individual hand wipes and individual hot/cold towels – more hygienic by being packaged separately. “These are the perfect items to provide to airlines’ staff, crew and passengers to reassure them that the airlines are thinking
20 MAY 2020
about their health and safety,” Benzaoui says. “They can also be packaged in an eco-friendly pouch or bag for easy distribution.” With sustainability important to its essence, Benzaoui says the company plans to continue to innovate its eco-friendly product line while striving to create economically viable options. Now nearly 10 years after its launch, the Green Is Possible line includes natural biodegradable and recyclable products using sustainable materials such as birch, bamboo, sugar cane, wheat straw, palm leaves, cork and more to create useful, unique onboard products such as stir-sticks, napkins, cups, trash bags and amenity kits. “Our newest blanket is manufactured from recycled plastic bottles that are transformed into a fine thread which is then woven into an amazingly soft blanket,” Benzaoui explains. The company also provides onboard waste reduction solutions, such as eliminating the plastic bag for a cutlery pack and replacing it with a clever, pocket-fold cutlery pouch ideal for reusable stainless steel or disposable sustainable cutlery. “Having eco-friendly/sustainable solutions is important to GIP, its airline customers and airline passengers because globally we must all work together do our part to implement earth-friendly solutions for the benefit of our planet’s overall health,” Benzaoui says.
Customers can modify what PPE products come in the Stay Safe kit by Albéa Travel Designer
These industry suppliers are pivoting focus to help battle the coronavirus pandemic by JANE HOBSON
s COVID-19 continues to affect nearly every sector of the hospitality and travel industry, amenity suppliers are thinking fast and switching gears to help fight the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. From creating personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers to PPE-themed passenger amenity kits for when the industry eventually takes to the skies again, these fearless suppliers are innovating in the face of unprecedented circumstances.
Up until the surge of the pandemic, sanitary equipment was a small part of Kaelis’ product range. But, following the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to wear masks and the global PPE shortage, the supplier has seen a sharp increase in the demand for the products. “Kaelis has the knowledge, structure, network and technology platform to handle the supply of personal protective equipment in an agile and reliable way that is so needed now,” says Federico Heitz, Chief Executive Officer at Kaelis. “This is the reason we decided to dedicate our powerful supplychain management capabilities to fight against COVID-19, not only for our customers but also for any company or government institution that might need it globally.” The supplier is currently donating its full resources built in the last 23 years to produce personal protective equipment, including masks, goggles, gloves, sanitizing gels and wipes and protective gear.
22 MAY 2020
Federico Heitz, Chief Executive Officer, Kaelis
For other companies who want to get involved in similar virus relief efforts, Heitz stresses the need for a strong and reliable supply chain. Logistics technicalities and the lack of air cargo options at are two the biggest challenges of the moment. For example, Kaelis’ execution from development to delivery for its PPE happened in an efficient 10 days Heitz tells PAX, including developing the PPE product catalog, going to market, confirming contracts, manufacturing and airlifting, receiving customs clearance and delivering PPE where needed.
The Clean Kit by FORMIA includes PPE and sanitizer products which comply with international safety standards and regulations
To help facilitate the supply chain process, Kaelis launched the PPE Platform. In the platform, customers can place, pay and track orders online. The company has also contributed to the fight against the pandemic by donating 20,000 blankets to several Spanish hospitals, shelters and the Red Cross. It has also revealed the Self-Protective Pocket Pouch for passengers that includes a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes. Customers can request to include more products from Kaelis’ range of PPE in the kit.
Albéa Travel Designer
For French supplier Albéa Travel Designer, COVID-19 has been an invitation to reinvent itself by adapting to the new needs of passengers. The supplier offers personal protective gear in a kit or independently: masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes and hand cream among other items. The company used its network of suppliers and local teams to secure the items. For kits, Albéa Travel Designer proposes a selection of pouches that can be customized to reflect a brand. Its parent group, Albéa, refocused its factories to produce more pumps and tubes, collaborating with cosmetic customers in order to provide more hand sanitizer to the market. “Planning our company’s path is the only way to survive in such a competitive market,” says Maxime Ridoux, Business Development & Partnerships Manager at Albéa Travel Designer. “It has helped us refocus our priorities. Despite this unprecedented context, it has brought solidarity and collaboration.”
To support the increase in demand for onboard cabin sanitization and cleanliness, Galileo Watermark has developed a range of masks, gloves, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizing wipes and more. “We believe these items will be required not just in the short term but longer term,” says Johaness Kloess, Managing Director at Galileo Watermark. “Whilst amenity kits are an important part of the onboard experience, they may look different when flying resumes and so it’s important we respond to the changes and adapt to the current circumstances.”
Bayart Innovations is supplying masks to firefighters
Kloess adds, “That situation has definitely forced us to take stock of the industry and consider what we could do differently in future and how we can better support our customers in this rapidly evolving environment.”
FORMIA has shifted its supply chain solutions for airline customers to overcome any production challenges and meet requirements during the pandemic to support and protect passengers. It has developed a flexible setup with supply partners so that production, locations and timing can be shifted where necessary. The supplier has developed a range of PPE and sanitizer products to support passenger health, wellbeing and hygiene through the journey. The new range is designed to offer a choice from airline branded to trusted brands to provide a flexible solution for each airline’s passenger requirements. The company has also taken special precautions to keep its employees protected as they work to support their customers. “The health and safety of our staff is paramount, and FORMIA has taken measures to support our employees, including providing face masks and hand sanitizers for all staff, daily temperature checks, private transportation and increased social distancing measures in all areas of our office,” says Niklas Sandor, Chief Marketing Officer. “We have invested in new equipment including laptops and phones for all our staff, to support the working from home requirements.”
French supplier Bayart Innovations established its response to the pandemic by supporting both its local community and the global community it works with. PAX-INTL.COM
This door mat with shoe disinfectant by AK-Service helps keep businesses virus-free and is recyclable at the supplier’s facility after use
“Locally, we imported masks for firefighters and we offered masks to airlines,” says Chief Executive Officer Albert Facques. “We are part of the same community and together we can act. The Bayart Innovations team adapts, even from a distance, to remain connected in good communication to meet our customers needs efficiently,” he adds.
Buzz is diverting efforts to providing urgently needed hygiene products. The company can supply a range of protective products including hand sanitizer gels and towelettes, face masks, gowns, goggles, the Microbe-Barrier® range of textiles and children’s products. “With our experience in supplying some of the world’s biggest airlines, we have the manufacturing and supply chain processes to adhere to the strictest global quality standards and produce at a scale needed at this time,” says Simon Yaffe, Director of Client Relationship at Buzz.
With a production factory based on home soil in St. Petersburg, Russia, AK-Service was able to quickly begin producing masks, sanitizers, gowns and other products to protect against the virus. The company has expanded its supply horizon beyond aviation to include any market that needs personal protective equipment. “It is time for all of us to come together even when the situation tears us apart,” says Nadia Trofimchuk, Business Development Director at AK-Service. “We believe that crises broadens ideas and helps us focus on what is really important and to see new opportunities that we did not notice before.” AK-Service most recently launched a door mat with shoe disinfectant to help keep businesses virus-free. The mat is recyclable at the supplier’s facilities after use.
UK-based packaging company WK Thomas has responded to a call from the country’s National Health
24 MAY 2020
Service (NHS) for pre-packed cutlery kits, which the supplier has been assembling primarily for use on aircraft for more than 80 years. The pre-packed cutlery is sent to NHS sites across the UK and Scotland, including the recently opened Nightingale Hospital in ExCel London. “We were in a fortunate position where we could quickly pull together all the necessary components and get these new packs delivered to where they are needed most,” Managing Director of WK Thomas Alex Noake tells PAX International. “I am extremely proud of the way the team at WK Thomas has reacted to this pandemic. We are blessed to have a resilient, motivated, committed and adaptable team. We are committed to doing whatever we can to help aid the fight against COVID-19 and as part of a key supplier network, we are continuing to remain operational providing essential products to key workers.” During this unprecedented time, Noake says, it’s important to find the appropriate balance between remaining flexible, offering help wherever possible and maintaining safe processes within the business. “Although the landscape is rapidly evolving, it is important we are there for our customers and can react to their requirements through this period of recovery, whilst working together to prepare for the future,” Noake says.
En Route International
Onboard food and service solutions provider En Route International has partnered with a number of organizations, charities and social enterprises to support frontline healthcare works and vulnerable communities across the United Kingdom. The company’s ambient meals provide a quick and practical solution in a number of settings with space and time constraints. The products do not need to be refrigerated, have a long shelf life and can be eaten quickly, conducive to a busy schedule and shift work. En Route is also donating cheese, bread and other snacks to help support those who need it. “As a food business, we understand the role we can play in helping the national effort to tackle the issue facing communities during this COVID-19 lockdown,” Hamish Cook, En Route Executive Director, tells PAX. “There is no doubt that our sector is facing an unbelievably challenging period but new ideas often stem from adversity so it’s time to really challenge our thinking and help drive positive change wherever we can,” Cook says.
Alex Noake, Managing Director, WK Thomas
A PAND EMIC
PAX International Asia Correspondent Jeremy Clark discusses how COVID-19 may alter the hospitality travel sector forever and what he hopes are key lessons for the industry
uring the early stages of this pandemic it was as if we were bystanders in a spectacle far away that had nothing to do with us. Now, every single business associated with the hospitality travel sector is severely damaged. The question is – what lessons do we take from this? In the beginning, airlines were struggling with the concept of changing their customer service policies to cope with the tidal wave of cancellations, re-bookings and demands from passengers for flexibility. But things change quickly when they have to. In March, a tedious conversation with SWISS to get a ticket [of mine] changed to next year resulted in an error as they mistook April 2021 for 2020. When trying to correct their error, they insisted on investigating the telephone recording before admitting anything. That quickly changed to, “Just cancel your flights – will give you the value in re-bookings whenever you want, no fee.” They came to realize they just could not cope with the deluge of requested changes.
26 MAY 2020
Airlines are throwing away the rule books and agreeing to just about anything so long as they retain passenger loyalty and future bookings. This is what happens when customer service policy is not dictated by a focus on squeezing ancillary revenue or upselling something that has already been purchased.
Who will make it in Asia?
Here in Asia more than 1,000 planes are grounded. The jury is out as to who will survive but my money is on the legacy carriers. Here’s why: the governments of Asia still have “National Carrier” pride so it is highly unlikely we shall see Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines or Korean Air go away. For Malaysia Airlines it’s another story. The Malaysian government said it will preserve the airline. Back in November, there was talk of a tie up between Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. This seems highly questionable – the rivalry between the two airlines is legendary and with one in oneworld and the other in Star Alliance there are many issues. Plus, there is no way Malaysia would stomach Singapore absorbing its national carrier. A very recent bid of US$2.5 billion for Malaysia Airlines by little-known equity house Golden Skies Ventures now also looks dubious – especially by Malaysia’s government wealth fund who owns the debt. Meanwhile Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings will inject a massive US$13.3 billion into Singapore Airlines in the world’s single biggest rescue of an airline. So, hang on to those KrisFlyer miles. Thailand is the perfect example of why legacy carriers win out. As recently as November 2019, Forbes predicted that Thai Airways could go under. Meanwhile Bloomberg reported on March 28, 2020 that seven Thai airlines are begging the Finance Ministry for a US$491 million bailout. A paltry sum compared to the bailout for Singapore Airlines. None of these are the national carrier. They are all normally profitable businesses: • • • • • • •
Thai AirAsia Thai AirAsiaX, Thai Lion Air Nok Air Bangkok Airways Thai Smile Thai VietJet Air
A day or two before this, the government had promised stricken Thai Airways an undisclosed bailout figure to keep it afloat. No wonder the private carriers feel left out! Air Asia, according to its founder Tony Fernandes, will survive the crisis, ironically with maybe a loan or two thrown in (not a bailout) from the federal government whom he didn’t back during the last Big Change election in 2018. Cathay Pacific has its own set of problems. Already damaged by the civil unrest in Hong Kong, it faces a very hostile neighbor. The Chinese Government won’t lose any
sleep over Cathay’s woes. It wants Hong Kong’s airlines to be dominated by its domestic carriers and own flag bearers. The Airport Authority Hong Kong has purchased half a million tickets as parts of a HK$4.6 billion package to help keep Cathay Pacific going. And, whilst the Hong Kong Airlines government pays lip service to support virus-hit businesses, Cathay Pacific will need more. But let’s not get too animated about Asian government support for failing legacy carriers. Just watch what lifelines European and US governments will throw to their aviation industry. Will we see that old Chapter 11 strategy re-deployed to keep ailing carriers going? And EU rules on state aid to airlines – they will be conveniently forgotten. Alitalia WILL survive!
What are the lessons?
What customer service lessons will airlines take away from this? In the provisioning sectors it will be tough. Like, 9/11 tough. Provisioning is one of the easiest areas to make cuts so they’ll go for the low hanging fruit. Expect to see all the gains of recent years in onboard service slashed. On the PaxEx and ticketing side, I hope real lessons are learned. Some are impervious. Case in point: Ryanair is refusing to issue refunds for cancelled flights saying it can’t process cash refunds due to not having staff to process the payments. Not only is this against EU rules, but it’s unfathomable because it is just the reversal of an automated system designed to suck money out of unsuspecting customers with no human intervention whatsoever. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is offering passengers with cancelled flights a full value rebooking with up to S$500 in value thrown in for goodwill to get passengers back on board. This is the kind of service that passengers not only appreciate and value but use as a reason to return. Some airlines lost sight of this in the relentless hunt for the extra dollar.
Time now to loosen the rules – for good.
About 20 years ago, I stood at the desk of a JFK Admirals Club seeking an earlier London flight. I had a potential nine hour wait for my booked flight. Armed only with a completely inflexible, non-transferable economy APEX ticket and an Executive Platinum card, I politely asked if there was any way to switch. I was even prepared to pay. The woman at the desk (Irene, I’ll never forget her) tapped away at the keyboard for a solid five minutes before handing me a boarding pass for a flight leaving in 30 minutes. “There you go – I’ve also upgraded you to business but it’s an aisle. I hope that’s okay. No charge.” I could scarcely believe it and thanked her profusely. Before leaving, I turned and asked her how precisely she’d been able to achieve this. “Sir,” she said “You have that card, and I have a key on this keyboard. When I press it, all the rules just drop away.” Now that’s the lesson I’m hoping we’ve learned.
Emirates’ must haves
dents brought tablets, phones or other electronic devices to help pass the time, while 63 percent relied on non-electronic toys like coloring books, pencil and paper and quiet games. Twenty-six percent kept children occupied with favorite foods, strolling the aisles or reading books and singing songs. By one hour into a flight nearly half the parents said children began experiencing boredom, while a third of Canadian parents said the onset of boredom takes between 15 and 30 minutes into a flight. Still, Canadian parents appear up to the challenge of traveling with children. Only 30 percent of the respondents said they have purposely avoided air travel out of fear or anxiety of the challenges of traveling with children. The final question involved aircraft crew. Sixty-eight percent of the parents said they felt comfortable approaching crew members with requests about their children. Sixteen percent of the respondents did not like doing it while only three percent expressed discomfort. “While parents overall felt comfortable approaching crew members during flight, many still felt a little apprehensive about it, noting they did not want to appear needy, awkward or annoying and acknowledged that crew members are responsible for a lot of people,” said the survey results.
The airline has an ongoing relationship with its young travelers and tapped the minds of parents last year to learn more about their onboard experience, what they want and what they fear while flying as a family by RICK LUNDSTROM
anadian parents keep their children occupied during a long flight with a wide combination of onboard distractions that include electronic tablets, coloring books and games. But, more than a third of them cited not having enough items to keep their children entertained as a leading cause of anxiety, according to the findings of a survey by Emirates last year of its Canada passengers. Commissioned by the airline, the survey was conducted with the help of parenting expert Dr. Natasha Sharma who regularly speaks about traveling with children. For years, Emirates has placed an emphasis on keeping children occupied when in flight. The airline has released a list of six “must haves” to help parents. The first begins at boarding with family check-ins and unaccompanied minors always boarded first. On the airline’s ice inflight entertainment system, children have 150 channels, 100 games and an onboard camera to snap pictures of the flight. Special meals
can be ordered in advance for children from the ages of 2 to 12 and milk formula and bottles are always available. Amenities include products from the airline’s long association with Lonely Planet Kids. They take the form of retrothemed backpacks and world-travel education material, aviation inspired crafts and collectable destination socks. The airline also supplies a selection of collectable plush toys called Fly With Me. Child passengers can get a head start on a lifetime of adult frequent flyer memberships with the airline’s Skywards Skysurfer, which allows family members to pool their miles to redeem them later. The survey commissioned by Emirates found that the primary concern of parents flying was being unable to keep children entertained, which was the priority of 35 percent of the respondents. Comfort of the children was a priority for 29 percent while 6 percent were mostly concerned with getting children to sleep. Nearly 75 percent of the respon-
Fresh inspiration for young travellers On the ground Dedicated family check-in area at Dubai International Airport
Inflight entertainment 'Fly With Me' Animals magazine and colouring pencils
Unaccompanied Minor service with separate check-in and lounge facilities at Dubai International Airport
dedicated channels of children's entertainment Kids greeting cards
LOADS TO DO!
PUZZLES DOODLE FUN COLOURING
Polaroid photos with frames
Inflight dining Kids meals on all routes A 6 - E XX
A 6 - E XX
Complimentary baby strollers at Dubai International Airport
Kids play areas in First Class and Business Class Lounges at Dubai International Airport
Specially designed kids meal tray Baby food, milk formula and baby bottles for infants
Emirates 'Fly With Me' and Lonely Planet Kids on board products
Lonely Planet Kids bags
Priority boarding for families across all Emirates destinations
Lewis the lion
Savannah the elephant
'Fly With Me' Animals comfort buddies
'Fly With Me' Animals 'Fly With Me' Animals backpacks adventure buddies
Peek U the panda
28 MAY 2020
AK-Service keeps kids occupied aboard Aeroflot by RICK LUNDSTROM
The supplier updates the Aeroflot kids’ kits every six months
long with Business Class designs, AK-Service in St. Petersburg, Russia spends a lot of time thinking about new looks for its childrens’ kits, with the most recent project supplied to Aeroflot.
Several versions of the kits are now flying and changes to the design come every six months. Each kit has a special, unique theme, adding an element of collectability. So far, the AK-Service collection has four topics: The Heat and The Ice, with information on the hottest and coldest places in the world; the recently launched The Undersea
A fun collection of bags and gifts supplied by AK-Service is now flying on Aeroflot
World, which tells about oceans and its inhabitants; and, The Universe, which focuses on space, planets and stars. “[The] creativity process never stops for us,” says Nadia Trofimchuk, Business Development Director at AK-Service. “We develop new products all the time and once we come up with something interesting, we are making the offer to our clients.” “When it comes to tender, you don’t have much time for development. With our expertise, along with our own factory being so close (same place as the main office), we can make wonderful solutions in a couple of weeks to send it on board straight away.” Content of the kits are designed to help pass the time and unleash creativity for the young travelers. Trofimchuk says some the best content for amenity kits include board games, cool accessories such as a bracelet or a keychain, an activity book with interesting tasks and quizzes and flash cards with words. “We think it is important to each kit to have games to play [in solitude] and to play with parents and friends,” adds Trofimchuk.
Safe Travels Kit For a Safer Tomorrow Virus Protection InFlight Alcohol Wipes Hand Sanitizers Gloves Surgical Masks EPA Disinfectant Wipes*
Freshorize.com Info@freshorize.com *U.S. only
30 MAY 2020
PROFESSIONAL PAJAMAS MANUFACTURER We can also produce and supply amenity kit and other inflight products
Headquarter address: 4th Floor, No.146 of West Gongqingtuan Road, Zhangdian, Zibo, Shandong, China.
A clean bill of health As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, airline suppliers are responding to the clarion call for effective cabin hygiene products
by MARY JANE PITTILLA AND JANE HOBSON
urprisingly, when it comes to cabin hygiene, there are no regulations for international airlines to adhere to. However, on March 20, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued interim guidance on aircraft cleaning and disinfection in relation to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, calling for airlines to use aircraft manufacturer-approved products. Spanish company AIRE provides a full cleaning and disinfection service for cabin interiors and uses aircraftapproved products that are in com-
Tommaso Fiorillo, Business Development Manager, AIRE
32 MAY 2020
pliance with EASA safety directives. The goal of this service is to safeguard passengers, cabin crew and airport staff from any contagion through a deep cleaning and disinfection of cabin surfaces. The disinfectant product has been tested against coronavirus families, confirming its effectiveness against COVID-19, notes Tommaso Fiorillo, Business Development Manager. AIRE uses a preliminary nebulizer, followed by a deep spray pump with a cloth scrubbing, covering all the surfaces subject to contamination for passengers, crew and airport staff. “Our customers are taking advantage of current aircraft stops to undertake cabin disinfection in order to be ready, once operations restart, to provide passengers with a well disinfected and safe environment,” he says, noting the importance of effective cleaning to instill confidence in passengers about flying again. Frasers Aerospace is among a number of suppliers offering specialist disinfectants. Its Bacoban for Aerospace product has received flight certifications for use aboard all types and sizes of aircraft and lasts for 10 days after being applied to a surface, combating most
germs and viruses, including COVID19. Once applied to a surface, Bacoban for Aerospace establishes an ultra-thin nanolayer with a lasting effect, and demand for the product is “extremely high”, says Director Bryan Ribbans. The product is now available direct from its authorized distributor for the US and Canada, Torch III Aviation. In addition to the ready-for-use version, Frasers Aerospace has introduced a fogging formula that allows airlines to treat large areas. Entire aircraft cabins can be cleaned in a short time, according to Ribbans. Flitetec recently launched MX14 Aero, a water-based antibacterial cleaner to remove ink and stain marks from soft furnishings, leather and plastics. It has just gained ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation for its antibacterial qualities. Managing Director Trevor Lea says: “MX14 is formulated to not only comply with the required regulations and conform to rigorous aerospace specifications, it is the only cleaner in the industry to be 100 percent biodegradable, with no chlorines, bleaches or solvents, leading the way to a greener cabin and planet. All packaging is made of recyclable materials. It has refillable dispensers, so no single use plastic is involved.” US manufacturer Celeste Industries Corp has seen an uptick in demand for its products to control the spread of germs, including hand soaps, hand
Dimer LLC’s GermFalcon robot uses ultraviolet C (UV-C) light to disinfect the cabin
Celeste Sani-Cide EX3 broad-spectrum disinfectant/cleaner and Sani Luxe Hand Sanitizer
Aero-Sense has upped its production of its AMS 1452 and Boeing D6-7127 certified Cabin Disinfectant
sanitizers, cleaning kits for onboard biohazard spills and broad-spectrum disinfectant/cleaner. It expects most future demand to come from Celeste SaniCide EX3 broad-spectrum disinfectant/ cleaner and Sani Luxe Hand Sanitizer. Emily Romblad, Customer Marketing Manager, believes airlines have done a lot to improve the safety of their passengers during the outbreak, including disinfecting their aircraft every night. “Moving forward, we expect this to continue in some capacity. In addition, an increase in hand sanitizing as passengers and crew become more aware of how to decrease the spread of germs.” In response to the pandemic, AeroSense has upped its production of its AMS 1452 and Boeing D6-7127 certified Cabin Disinfectant, and has also speeded up the development of a new product, Aero-Sense Hygienic Hand Gel. “As demand for hand gel is currently immense worldwide and we are a chemicals manufacturer, we were in the perfect position to help everyone out by introducing a cleansing hand gel for better hand hygiene, the most important factor to help contain the spread of the virus,” says Robbe Vangheluwe, International Sales. Freshorize provides hand soap and hand sanitizer to passengers and crew to help prevent the spread of disease. It also offers a Multipurpose Disinfectant EPA Wipe, which has demonstrated effec-
tiveness against viruses similar to the COVID-19 virus on hard, non-porous surfaces. The company has received requests for passenger kits that include alcohol-based wipes for hands and surface, protective gloves and masks, and hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been most in demand, according to Aziz Patel, CEO of Freshorize. GermFalcon is a new solution to cabin hygiene that takes a different approach. The robot, created by a US-based doctor, uses ultraviolet C (UV-C) light to disinfect the cabin, and uses similar technology to that found in the healthcare sector. The machine is pushed along the aisle by an operator and is designed to be the same size as a meal cart to fit easily inside the cabin. “Airlines should look to the healthcare sector for effective disinfecting solutions,” says Elliot Kreitenberg, President of Dimer LLC, which supplies the GermFalcon robot. “We understand how UV-C works in hospitals and it’s reliable when properly applied. It reaches all high-touch surfaces, and there’s no better way to disinfect the cabin. It takes five minutes to clean a B737 narrow body jet, working at 30 rows per minute.” Kreitenberg notes that there are no regulations or standards for airline disinfection and says that it’s difficult to disinfect a cabin with the existing agents available. Airlines can help spread diseases, and Dimer has found
Malton Inflight is providing protective face masks and other PPE items for the entire world – not just the airline industry
MALTON INFLIGHT PIVOTS TO PPE
AIRE’s disinfectant product has been tested against coronavirus families, confirming its effectiveness against COVID-19
a way to intervene on disease control. The start-up company has given a handful of robots to the aviation sector as part of its COVID-19 emergency response. It is now building more units, which should be ready during May. In the inflight catering sector, Diskomat has seen an upswing in demand for solutions that minimize the frequency of manual handling of washwares, such as plates and cutlery. “The fewer times equipment is touched, the lesser the risk that contamination will occur,” says Tomas Jämtander, Marketing Director, Flight catering solutions. The company has observed an increased number of inquiries for its Wexiödisk Automatic Cutlery Sorting (ACS) machine. The cutlery sorter has been used for over 20 years in large kitchens worldwide. To get the best result, the ACS cutlery sorter should be combined with a dedicated WD cutlery ware-washer. Diskomat is also expecting to see increased demand for its Wexiödisk 18CW trolley washer, stationary and mobile cart lifts, as part of its customized designs of ware wash areas, tray set operations and packaging of carts. The pandemic is forcing flight caterers and hospitals to rethink and fur-
34 MAY 2020
Malton Inflight is using its decades of experience to supply personal protection equipment (PPE) to the aviation industry and beyond. “We have pivoted as a company to use our network of factories, logistics and contacts, especially in China, to provide PPE equipment for the whole world – not just the airline industry. It’s a mammoth challenge, as global demand is vastly outstripping supply, but we just feel proud that we’re able to help in some way,” says CEO Gordon Oakley, who has been receiving requests for new PPE items every day amid the COVID-19 crisis. “We have donated as much PPE stocks as we can to where it is most needed and we have now been selected and approved as a supplier to government bodies and international agencies too.” The company is providing protective face masks, nitrile gloves, disposable gowns, head covers, antiseptic hand wipes and anti-viral sprays, among other items. Malton Inflight is also developing a new anti-viral spray that kills the coronavirus germs and leaves a protective coating on surfaces, which lasts for up to 100 days. The product can be sprayed throughout the cabin interior and is currently awaiting final certification. “We have no doubt that our new ‘Virus sLayer’ will pass any stringent testing with flying colors. This will be a game-changer for airlines, which can spend less time and save cost in cleaning. Meanwhile it ensures the aircraft environment will remain protected and safe.” As part of its regular product portfolio, the company offers Anti-Virus Hand Gel, Sprays and Anti-Virus Hand Wipes, all of which remove 99.9 percent of bacteria on hands and surfaces.
ther advance their current hygiene measures and processes, the company believes. Many operators are already beginning to invest in ware-washing solutions that require less manual handling to ensure optimal hygiene as well as improved ergonomics.
New products in the pipeline
In terms of product development, AIRE is working on a solution to apply an ozone treatment to further disinfect the entire cabin environment, to remove any possible bacteria/virus residues downstream the cleaning/disinfection process. It is also testing cleaning products to complement its existing service. Freshorize plans to expand its cleaning line by offering a ready to use EPA spray cleaner in multiple sizes, while Aero-Sense intends to launch Aero-Sense Cabin Cleaner Triple Action and Aero-Sense Cabin Air Freshener. Meanwhile, Flitetec is developing a range of seat blockers and acrylic transparent screens to aid social distancing on all aircraft types.
Looking to the future, AIRE’s Fiorillo foresees that regular cabin cleaning and disinfection will remain a primary requirement for airlines, as it is today, but differently from how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, he predicts a change in soft furnishing maintenance with an increase in seat covers’ cleaning cycles and a daily disinfection for carpets during night stops. He says aviation is strongly investing in R&D activities, developing several solutions with a short lead time, such as new substances, cleaning drones, automatic nebulizers, and aircraft-integrated systems which self-disinfect. Malton Inflight’s Anti-Virus Hand Wipes remove 99.9 percent of bacteria on hands and surfaces
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Virtual victory PAX International highlights the amenity kit supplier winners of its 2020 Readership Awards, which it celebrated online due to the event postponements
ormally honored during Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg, airlines, suppliers and inflight fans alike celebrated PAX readers’ favorite amenity kits in the digital space this year as a result of the postponement of the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo due to the outbreak of COVID-19. “We’re thrilled to be honoring so much of the hard work that unfolded in the last year,” says Editor-in-Chief
Rick Lundstrom. “We extend our biggest thank you to the industry at large for its continued support, and to our valued readership who casted their ballots once again. We look forward to connecting at the next big event. Congratulations to all winners!” Since being unable to congratulate this year’s winners in person, PAX asked suppliers what the awards mean to them. Here’s what we got back:
Albea Travel Designer for Middle East Airlines – Business Class Amenity Kit
“This distinction means a lot to Albea Travel Designer because it rewards months of team work at a very large scale: from design and development in France, to manufacturing and kitting in China, through collaboration and production of the skincare with Skin & Co Roma (Italy) to result in a very great, long lasting partnership with our client Middle East Airlines in Lebanon,” says Business Development and Partnerships Manager Maxime Ridoux. “We are really proud to see this collaboration reaching the podium in such a coveted category.
Bayart Innovations for Turkish Airlines – Economy Class Amenity Kit
“This recognition underlines the quality, creativity and design proposed by the Bayart Innovations team and its efficient adaptability to the needs of our customers,” says Chief Executive Officer Albert Facques. “There is no doubt that this prize from the prestigious PAX International Magazine illustrates our close and constructive cooperation with Turkish Airlines. As a result, we will strengthen our customer relationships and attract new partnerships because it certifies our ability to develop eco-friendly inflight products for passengers.”
White Glo – 2-in-1 Toothpaste with Mouthwash Featured in Bayart Innovations Economy Class Amenity Kit for Turkish Airlines
“Firstly, I would like to congratulate Bayart Innovations for the win! We’ve been together since the beginning of this project and their fantastic design absolutely deserves this award,” says White Glo Marketing Manager Isabella Chen. “We developed our 2-in-1 Toothpaste with Mouthwash in 2016 for passengers to keep oral freshness during a long flight, and now we’re onboard many airlines. We’re thrilled to be awarded by PAX because of the great work of our partners, Bayart Innovation and Turkish Airlines.”
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Buzz for Etihad Airways – First Class Amenity Kit
“Although our industry is facing challenging times, we’re proud to receive a PAX award in recognition of this innovative brand collaboration. Acqua di Parma’s relationship with Etihad Airways brings a touch of Italian luxury for First Class passengers,” says Simon Yaffe, Director of Client Relationship at Buzz.
Kaelis for Air Canada – Children’s Amenity Kit, and, Kaelis for Air Europa - Business Class Amenity Kit
“When a supremely prestigious award like PAX International comes our way, the feeling is like winning an Oscar in the airline industry,” says Creative Director Manoj Pridhanani. “Being recognized for our work is forever gratifying. It assures us that we are on the right track, builds confidence to walk the untrodden path and helps us reach everyone as an independent company. This award is a platform where the greatest companies come together and showcase their best works.”
Clip for EVA Air – Premium Economy/ Economy Class Amenity Kit
“We are thrilled to win for EVA Air with our Kipling branded partnership. This reaffirms our belief that matching the right brand with the right airline is key, and that designing a pouch with local elements strengthens the tie for the passenger and carrier,” says Clip Director, Cindy Lam. She adds: “Everyone appreciates being recognized. I know that Eva Air is very proud. This award validates what they believe is important for the overall passenger experience. Kipling is also proud of the award as it’s their very first time onboard a five-star airline and this gives them tremendous coverage and exposure.”
SPIRIANT for Qantas – First Class Amenity Kit
“Winning the award is an additional motivation,” says Director Marketing & Communications Johannes Hein. “Our main aim is to create products which support the airline’s customer service concept and are loved by passengers. Winning a Readership Award definitely confirms this and sets us apart. Distinction and recognition are vital to survive in this dynamic sector and this shows how strong our products are performing.”
AK-Service for Rossiya Airlines – Business Class Amenity Kit, and, AK-Service for Uzbekistan Airways – Business Class Amenity Kit
“In this competitive market for more than 25 years, any recognition of our work is really appreciated – whether it’s on social media or a child on the street with an AKService backpack,” says Nadia Trofimchuk, Business Development Director. “It is especially flattering to receive recognition from one of the most famous magazines in the industry. It inspires us to do better every year.”
Galileo Watermark for Iberia – Premium Economy Class Amenity Kit
“Sometimes these projects can take months, and even years to complete, but bringing our customers’ visions to life and seeing the finished product onboard is extremely satisfying,” says Johannes Kloess, Managing Director. “When our work is then recognized and celebrated within the industry, it is incredibly gratifying and testament to all the hard work. By recognizing all achievements and celebrating sustainability, innovation and creativity, we are able to learn and develop with our peers.” Roland Grohmann, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FORMIA
FORMIA for Air Astana – Business Class Amenity Kit, and, Thai Airways – First Class Amenity Kit, and, Philippine Airlines – Business Class Amenity Kit, and, Aeromexico – Business Class Amenity Kit
“The awards are important to FORMIA because we appreciate that they are voted on by the readers who are at the heart of the industry. It is a way for us to collaboratively recognize excellence and provide support across the airline industry,” says Roland Grohmann, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As we all continue to weather the current situation, it feels important to shine a light on positive news and applaud achievements where we can.”
THE FULL LIST OF 2020 PAX AMENITY KIT AWARD WINNERS AMERICAS First Class Amenity Kit WINNER: WESSCO International for American Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: FORMIA for Aeromexico
Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: FORMIA for Philippine Airlines Premium Economy / Economy Class Amenity Kit WINNER: Clip for EVA Air
Premium Economy/Economy Class Amenity Kit WINNER: WESSCO International for Hawaiian Airlines
AUSTRALASIA First Class Amenity Kit WINNER: SPIRIANT for Qantas
Children’s Amenity Kit WINNER: Kaelis for Air Canada
Premium and Economy Amenity Kit WINNER: GlobalC for Jetstar Airways
CENTRAL AMERICAS Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: WESSCO International for Copa Airlines
EUROPE First Class Amenity Kit WINNER: skysupply for Lufthansa German Airlines
MIDDLE EAST First Class Amenity Kit WINNER: Buzz Products for Etihad Airways
Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: Kaelis for Air Europa WINNER: AK-Service for Rossiya Airline
Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: Albea Travel Designer for Middle East Airlines
Premium Economy Class WINNER: Galileo Watermark for Iberia
Premium economy / Economy Class Amenity Kit WINNER: Bayart Innovations for Turkish Airlines
COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: AK-Service for Uzbekistan Airways
ASIA First Class Amenity Kit WINNER: FORMIA for Thai Airways
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Business Class Amenity Kit WINNER: FORMIA for Air Astana
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