Japan Airlines introduces new First amenity kits
March 28, 2017
Japan Airlines (JAL) will introduce new amenity kits for its international First passengers this week supplied by Formia.
The new kits, developed in collaboration with Porsche Design, will be available on routes to Tokyo Haneda and Narita from London Heathrow, New York JFK, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Two different colours of amenity kit cases will be available separately on inbound and outbound flights.
The kits will include a toothbrush set, mouthwash, ear plugs, eye mask, brush, moisture mask and tissues as well as Porsche-designed hand and body cream, facial spray and lip balm.
Additionally, JAL will introduce new Porsche-designed inflight relax wear, also supplied by Formia, for a three-month period.
MSC Cruises reveals new dining offerings
March 28, 2017
MSC Cruises is to launch an enhanced onboard dining experience which will include flexible dining, new specialty restaurants, chefs tables and open kitchens.
The new experiences will first be available on MSC Meraviglia in June and MSC Seaside in December and will also include collaborations with chef Roy Yamaguchi and award-winning French chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury.
MSC Cruises’ head of product development and guest experience, Andrea Gangale, says: “The new dining concepts are being introduced to cater to the needs of today’s cruise guests, who are looking for flexibility and choices. We are also introducing new ways for guests to manage their choices – through cutting-edge onboard technology – and offering an even greater selection of international restaurants to deliver culinary experiences from around the world.”
Onboard ‘Flexi Dining’ allows a guest to pre-select a time slot for their evening meal, with the ability to change it at any time during their cruise.
Both ships will feature restaurants with ‘open kitchens’, following the trend in land-based restaurant design, allowing guests to see the chefs at work.
Kaito Teppanyaki will open on MSC Meraviglia offering a modern twist on Asian cuisine; additionally the Butcher’s Cut American Steakhouse will open onboard. MSC Seaside will feature Asian Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi and seafood restaurant, Ocean Cay.
Etihad celebrates its 2000th flying nanny
March 28, 2017
Etihad Airways celebrated the graduation of its 2000th Flying Nanny from its bespoke training programme devised in partnership with UK-based higher education college Norland.
The college specialises in early years education and ensures Etihad’s onboard Flying Nannies can combine service and hospitality expertise with childcare skills.
Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways’ vice president guest experience, says: “Flying with a young family can be daunting, even for our most experienced guests, and the Flying Nanny role demonstrates our understanding of their needs and our unwavering commitment to making the journey as relaxing, entertaining and comfortable as possible.”
Etihad also now features a Flying Nanny Kit as part of the ‘Etihad Explorers’ programme, with children’s activities including origami, games, pom-poms, flight certificates, magic tricks and face painting.
Pictured is Linda Celestino, (right), Etihad Airways’ 2000th Flying Nanny, Isabel Moya Guzman (centre), and Claire Burgess, head of research, consultancy and training at Norland (left)
Foodie focus at WTCE
March 20, 2017
Development chefs, Michelin-star chefs, TV and celebrity chefs will all be among the lineup at this year’s Taste of Travel Theatre, during WTCE.
Moderated by Onboard Hospitality’s former editor Jo Austin, the lively foodie sessions will include a star-studded collection of innovative chefs sure to provide culinary inspiration for onboard application and some great tasting samples every day of the show (April 4-6).
First up will be development chef consultant, TV presenter and founder of Posh Pasty, James Strawbridge focus on foodie products which work best for the buy-on-board market.
Followed by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Mark Sargeant who demonstrated dishes he created for onboard American Airlines while treating his audience to highlights from his career – including his time working under Gordon Ramsay.
Later in the day, TV personality and celebrity chef Levi Roots will talk about the journey behind his successful Reggae Reggae range of Caribbean-inspired cooking sauces, ready meals, soft drinks and desserts.
On the second day, Eero Vottonen, winner of the Worldchefs Global Chef Challenge 2016, will present his range of signature dishes – created to celebrate Finnair’s centennial anniversary. He will be joined by Maarit Keränen, Head of In-Flight Service at Finnair, who will explain the value of working with a celebrity chef like Vottonen.
From Vietnam, Chef Ms Trinh Diem Vy – one of Vietnam’s most recognised restauranteurs and chefs – will also speak on the second day is a session with Chef Keerthi Hapugasdeniya (Happy) to explain how partnering with restaurants can improve airline and rail customer satisfaction.
Alessi for Delta
March 20, 2017
After three years of research and product development, Buzz has introduced Alessi for Delta, a modern, bespoke serviceware range created exclusively for Delta Air Lines.
Buzz facilitated this partnership with globally renowned design house, Alessi to curate a modern, stylish and functional line of service products and tableware for Delta. This will be the first time Alessi has appeared inflight with a major airline with such a comprehensive program.
The Alessi for Delta range includes flatware, cutlery, glassware, ceramics, tabletop accessories such as napkin rings and cruet, servingware and trays.
The Buzz team designed, produced, tested, coordinated and delivered all the products for the Alessi for Delta range, working alongside Alessi to ensure their design visions remained true whilst translating their product for onboard use taking into account the weight, size, material and logistical considerations.
March 20, 2017
The UK’s biggest trade event for natural and organic food and drink opens in London on 2-3 April
Purple tea, cashew milk yoghurt, pure grain bread, turmeric lattes, goat’s kefir, high-protein noodles, sunshine soup, and matcha tea butter – will be among the new product launches taking place at the Natural Food Show, held at London ExCeL.
Part of Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show, which attracts over 10,000 attendees annually, the Natural Food Show is a vibrant showcase of the best (and biggest) choice of natural and certified organic food and drink from around the world.
Many of the 400+ companies confirmed for 2017 won’t be exhibiting at any other event in the UK this year – making it a useful event for buyers looking to discover innovative new ideas and emerging trends that they won’t see elsewhere.
Boris drops in on Ethiopian
March 20, 2017
The Hon. Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, has toured Ethiopian Airline’s Headquarters in Addis Ababa, praising its commitment to fast growth in the region.
During his visit to the airline’s Aviation Academy and flight simulators the Foreign Secretary said: “Ethiopian Airlines is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and my visit to Ethiopia is quite instrumental in boosting the existing partnership between the UK and Ethiopia.”
Ethiopian currently flies to London, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Vienna in Europe and will add Oslo as of March 26, 2017. It is the fastest growing airline in Africa and one of the continent’s leading carriers.
Qatar sets new standards
March 14, 2017
QATAR Airways claims to be setting new standards in the Business cabin with the launch of QSuite seating.
Two years in the making, the flexible private suites can be opened up into a double bed while adjustable panels and movable TV monitors on the centre four seats can be stowed to create an even larger suite for four passengers to work and dine together.
The new product will be retrofitted on the existing Qatar Airways fleet from June.
The new Business experience will also include an enhanced food and beverage concept, including sharing options, new chinaware and cutlery, ‘sumptuous’ soft furnishings, luxury bedding, sleep suits from The White Company and amenity kits featuring Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio olive oil-based toiletries.
Virgin renewal for Gategroup
March 14, 2017
Gategroup reports the renewal of its Virgin Atlantic contract in the UK, the US and Shanghai for up to five more years. Virgin Atlantic is one of gategroup’s top 10 customers globally and sees it managing onboard provisioning services, menu and service design concepts and total food sourcing and distribution for the airline.
Mark Anderson, evp customer, Virgin Atlantic comments: “The food we serve onboard plays an important part in our customer’s journey. From our locally-sourced dishes, to the ice-cream handed out during the movies, we believe in providing the best inflight experience for our customers. We are excited to extend our partnership with gategroup to continue delivering the innovative experience our customers love.”
“We are delighted to continue partnering with Virgin Atlantic, a leading international airline known for its trend-setting originality,” said Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup chief executive officer. “I am proud of all the gategroup team members involved, especially in the UK, and our Culinary Centre of Excellence. Their work demonstrates our dedicated focus on airline customers and delivering the very best for passengers.”
Formia to open in the US
March 14, 2017
FORMIA is to establish a brand, marketing and sales operation in the United States. Led by Niklas Sandor, newly-appointed regional director, this local presence will improve support to the local client base while boosting the growth opportunities for the company in both North and South America.
Gin’s the thing for Newrest
March 14, 2017
NEWREST has launched an innovative Gin Bar for service onboard Flybe.
Said to be a first to market, the Gin Bar features six different types of gin miniatures including Tanqueray, Whitley Neill, Caorunn and Opihr alongside Gordons and Bombay offered with Fevertree tonic.
Building on its Krispy Kremes onboard innovation, Newrest has also now added four ITSU products to its mix.
Select gets the Art of Shaving
March 14, 2017
Select Amenities has expanded its offering to include products created by The Art of Shaving brand.
Founded in 1996, The Art of Shaving has grown from one store on Lexington Avenue, New York, to a global brand with more than 150 retail locations.
Its concept is devoted to being the best in men’s skin care and grooming and focuses on a path to optimal shaving performance which it calls ‘The Four Elements of The Perfect Shave’. The message is backed by products which help shavers prepare, lather up, shave and moisturise.
The grooming products use 100% pure essential oils and are now offered as a travel range suitable for inflight.
Trolley distribution deal for RMT Global Partners
March 14, 2017
Trollley specialist Norduyn has forged a new partnership with RMT Global Partners to promote and sell its airline catering products.
The partnership will see RMT Global Partners promote and sell Norduyn’s Quantum Flex trolleys, oven inserts, trays, waste bins, Atlas-standard drawers and carriers to USA-based airlines.
Mathieu Boivin, president & ceo of Norduyn, says: “We are delighted about the new partnership with RMT Global Partners, a well-established inflight service equipment provider with expertise in the aviation market. The now enhanced product portfolio will bring added value to airlines, enabling them to purchase a full range of mobile service equipment from a single source.”
The Quantum Flex range is positioned as innovative and industry leading as it is made from mostly composite materials. It is easier to maintain than traditional all-aluminum trolleys, lowering overall maintenance costs and is available in standard and half sizes with multiple configurations. Combined with Norduyn’s lighter Atlas-standard drawers it can help lower fuel costs and maintenance down time, and make service easier for crew.
Richard Tuttle, ceo and md for RMT Global Partners, says: “This exciting partnership enables us to offer an entirely new line of quality products. We look forward to working with Norduyn as we both grow into the future.”
Eurowings renewal for Retail inMotion
March 14, 2017
Retail inMotion and Eurowings have extended their longstanding partnership through LSG Sky Chefs Retail for another three years. The scope of the contract will include fully outsourced retail management for the airline for all Eurowings stations across Europe.
As part of the new contract agreement, LSG Retail will implement a totally new loading concept that increases efficiencies for the airline and their passengers.
“We have developed a productive, edifying and long-lasting business relationship with the LSG Retail team in Cologne,” said Katrin Flöther, vice president customer experience & product at Eurowings. “The past successes we have implemented together clearly indicate that our collaboration will benefit the overall customer satisfaction on board the Eurowings fleet and will be lucrative for both of our companies moving forward.”
The relationship between Eurowings and LSG Group originally began in 2002 under the Germanwings brand. The partnership continues at present between LSG Retail, which operates under the brand umbrella of Retail inMotion, and Eurowings. LSG Retail caters for more than 175,000 flights for Eurowings each year.
COPA Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit
March 14, 2017
COPA Airlines, Panamá’s flag carrier, has launched a new Business Class Amenity Kit featuring patterns inspired by the handicraft traditions of Panamá’s indigenous people. The abstract geometric figures depicted on the bag’s natural exterior material and on the eyeshade are evocative of Panamá’s distinctive landscape and wildlife. The kit includes a comfort pack with socks, eyeshade and a signature skincare line-up with almond-scented hand lotion and an almond lip balm stick inspired by the beach almond tree of Panamá
Flying Food Group chalks up a range of successes
March 7, 2017
Xiamen Airlines has chosen Flying Food Group JFK to cater its new, three-times weekly route between New York JFK and Fuzhou, China. JFK is Xiamen’s second US gateway.
Emirates Airline has chosen Flying Food Group IAD to cater its daily flights between Washington Dulles and Dubai. Emirates switched to FFG at IAD as of March 1, 2017. FFG IAD is a 48,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art kitchen sited less than five miles from Dulles International Airport. The facility debuted in December 2015 servicing launch customer Virgin Atlantic.
FFG IAD customers now include Emirates, Royal Air Maroc (RAM) three times weekly to Casablanca; Ethiopian Airlines, seven times weekly flights Addis Ababa, Lufthansa, twice daily flights to Frankfurt/Munich and Virgin Atlantic—daily to London.
Birthday amenity kits with Icelandair
March 7, 2017
ICELANDAIR is celebrating its 80th anniversary with the launch of new amenity kits from spring 2017.
Created in a collaboration with inflight specialists, skysupply, the special edition kits come in branded, anniversary tins featuring distinctive imagery of Iceland.
The kits will be distributed in the airline’s new Saga Class and contain a dental set, earplugs, socks, an extra large eye mask and a collection of Blue Lagoon toiletries, linking the onboard gift to one of Iceland’s most popular stand-out visitor attractions.
There are four signature motifs representing the destination on the tins and passengers will be encouraged to collector the full set and reuse them post flight.
Wolfgang Bücherl, managing director of skysupply said: “We are very delighted to be part of Icelandair’s jubilee celebrations and compliment the national carrier on its long-term success.”
Keeping it tidy onboard
March 7, 2017
KAELIS Onboard Services has signed a new deal with UK carrier easyJet to provide an innovative rack dispenser onboard.
The dispenser, designed specifically to improve efficiency and tidiness onboard features multiple compartments for cups, stirrers, sugar sachets and napkins amongst other.
The detachable accessory hangs on the side of the drawer on top of the trolley to give additional storage, opportunities and can be used not only for dining and catering products but also to provide additional space for buy-on-board product displays. The product is transparent and located on top of the trolley at customer eye-level.
Michelin-star dishes with Air France
March 7, 2017
AIR France Business passengers departing from Canada are now being served dishes created by Michelin-starred chef, Danieal Boulud.
Flights departing Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, until the end of February 2018, will offer a new dish each month as part of an Air France programme positioning it as ambassador fine French dining in the sky.
Daniel Boulud, creator of Café Boulud at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, is inspired by French culinary traditions enhanced with international spices. Among the dishes he has created are salmon with fennel, chickpea and sumac, braised lamb with spring root vegetables and braised chicken basquaise with chorizo, peppers and saffron rice.
Air France has worked with renowned French chefs since 2008 for its menus.
New regional food offerings from ANA
March 7, 2017
ALL Nippon Airways (ANA) has launch the latest phase of its Taste of Japan campaign focused on regional F&B.
Launched in 2013, the campaign aims to raise the profile of Japan’s lesser-known regions by featuring their food and drink on ANA flights and in airport lounges.
This phase features produce from Nagano, Ibraki and Kochi prefectures.Dishes include Shinshu salmon from and Shinshu beef round steak from Nagano and clams and cherry bass steamed in white wine from Ibraki.
Kochi grown tomatoes stuffed with red paprika mousse and white asparagus wrapped in Parma ham will also be served, as well as Hinohikari, a nationally celebrated brand of rice from Kochi.
Sake and shochu, the national spirits of Japan, are on offer in ANA’s Haneda, Narita and Kansai lounges.
Delta’s premium wine menu now boarding
March 7, 2017
An exclusive selection of premium wines is now available to Delta One customers flying between London Heathrow and the United States.
Delta’s Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson said: “Delta’s unique wine programme provides an opportunity to offer a variety of regionally-sourced wines, including small, emerging and family-owned wineries, onboard to its customers. Each menu includes a rich diversity of regional origin, with wines that pair well with the flavours and cooking styles of the season.”
The vintages will appear on a rotating seasonal basis, with two different reds and whites available every three months. From June to August, one white will be substituted for a French rosé on flights to Delta’s eight US destinations from Heathrow.
Throughout the year, Business customers will also be offered Charles Heidsieck Brut champagne as well as dessert wine or port following the main meal service.
Robinson samples 1,600 different wines from around the world to curate her Delta selections. In addition to the Premium Programme, she also curates an Essential Delta One menu, one for South America and a fourth for US transcontinental routes.
Wessco gets onboard with Hawaiian
February 28, 2017
WESSCO has collaborated with Hawaiian Airlines on a range of new soft goods plus upgraded amenity kits for Business, Extra Comfort and Economy.
WESSCO manufactured premium bedding items including a quilt and lounging pillow adorned with a contemporary “‘Auli‘ilani lehua” floral pattern by local Hawaiian designer- Sig Zane Designs.
The lehua blossom is a native of the Hawaiian forests and inspired the patterns on the bedding items. The lounging pillow comes with an elastic band to keep it in place on the seat’s headrest or provides added comfort for lumbar support.
The new amenity kits also include the same floral motif and include Loli’i skincare items, created exclusively for Hawaiian Airlines, featuring their signature scent “Makiki Valley.”
Flying Food scores a double
February 28, 2017
For the second consecutive year, Flying Food Group’s Honolulu kitchen (HAL) has been named Hawaiian Airlines’ Domestic Kitchen of the Year (2016). The kitchen earned the same award for 2015.
This award for excellence in overall performance was announced by Paula Jansen, Hawaiian Airlines catering manager. The airline also awarded FFG HAL a Certificate of Excellence for meeting every monthly goal in 2016.
Hawaiian has been an FFG customer at HAL since 2013: the kitchen services 24 HA flights daily. Flying Food Group also services HA at New York JFK, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Hong Kong refreshes its amenities
February 21, 2017
Hong Kong Airlines has rolled out new amenity kits for all long haul flights in both Business and Economy.
The airline partnered with inflight experience specialists Clip and local design house Ricebowl Republic to create the new kits.
The refresh features a set of four individual amenity bags with iconic symbols of Hong Kong: the Star Ferry, the historic rickshaw, the tram and Hong Kong’s city skyline, representing different facets of Hong Kong heritage and culture. The interiors feature an eye-catching patterned lining.
The Business kit includes specially-designed eye masks and socks together with ear plugs, a dental set and a shea butter ultra-rich lip balm and hand cream from French skincare brand L’Occitane.
Economy customers receive an amenity pack with eye mask, socks, ear plugs and a dental set, neatly wrapped in a branded drawstring bag.
LSG bring retail to LATAM
February 21, 2017
LSG Group’s Retail inMotion division has introduced a new service model on LATAM Airlines’ domestic flights in Colombia.
The implementation of the new onboard retail concept is part of a larger agreement between LATAM Airlines Group and Retail inMotion Latin America that will cover domestic flights in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
The new concept will roll out in the next six months, with Retail inMotion providing the airline with software for a full, end-to-end inflight retail technology platform.
In addition, the company will administer food and beverage services for LATAM Airlines Group in these markets.
LATAM Airlines is the leading airline in Latin America with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering flights to around 140 destinations in 25 countries.
LSG Sky Chefs is the current provider of traditional catering services for LATAM in various locations, including domestic flights in Chile.
Garuda upgrades its amenity kits
February 21, 2017
Garuda has upgraded its amenity kits for First passengers in a collaboration with luxury brands Hermes and Clarins, facilitated by Wessco.
The new kit includes Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte perfumed body lotion and soothing face balm in an ultralight cloud-white pouch with flat drawstrings.
The bag is made of textured linen with a sleek microfibre upper section and strap. It is available in both light brown and blue and the reverse colourway. The inner lining features a re-interpretation of traditional Indonesian tenun. Tenun, or woven cloth, is part of Indonesia’s proud cultural heritage and a cultural art of the region.
The bag also includes a range of Clarins cosmetics consisting of moisture rich body lotion, moisture replenishing lip balm and HydraQuench cream. Comfort items include a hair brush, earplugs, eyeshades, slippers, a toothbrush and Colgate toothpaste.
The Economy kit has also been refreshed. Inspired by traditional Indonesian wax-resist cloth dyeing patterns, WESSCO collaborated with Garuda Indonesia to create its Batik motif-themed Economy kit series. This consists of three ultra-light amenity bags displaying modern re-interpretations of classic Indonesian designs. These are the Batik Kawung, representing the palm fruit; Batik Tirta Teja, which depicts a vivid interplay of water and light; and the Batik Tumpal, which is associated with magical attributes and symbolic meanings relating to the unity between humans and the universe. The bag contains eyeshades, socks and earplugs.
Delta adds free meals in the US
February 21, 2017
Delta is introducing complimentary meals on some of its longest domestic flights, including transcontinental routes between New York’s JFK and Los Angeles/San Francisco.
The airline will be the only U.S. carrier to offer complimentary fresh meals from nose to tail on selected coast-to-coast routes.
Beginning March 1, Delta will offer complimentary meals in the main cabin on flights between JFK and LAX/SFO. On April 24, the airline will expand complimentary meals to 10 other major domestic markets from Seattle, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. including BOS-SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-SEA, DCA-LAX, JFK-PDX, JFK-SAN, JFK-SEA, SEA-FLL, SEA-MCO and SEA-RDU.
The enhancement is part of Delta’s ongoing multi-million dollar investment in the onboard customer experience which includes upgraded main cabin snacks, enhanced blankets, refreshed Flight Fuel food-for-purchase options and free in-flight entertainment. Main cabin customers on long-haul international flights are also treated to complimentary beer, wine and spirits, plus sleep kits.
Delta’s new meal programme will feature a variety of options including a honey maple breakfast sandwich, Luvo breakfast medley or fruit and cheese plate on morning flights; mesquite-smoked turkey combo, Luvo Mediterranean whole grain veggie wrap, or fruit and cheese plate on afternoon flights and a breakfast bar during the pre-arrival beverage service on overnight flights.
Oman Air reports positive results
February 21, 2017
Oman Air Catering Services has posted positive results for 2016 despite volatile market conditions. Being awarded a new contract to supply inflight catering on British Airway’s London flights at the end of last year, for an initial period of three and a half years, is among highlights of the period.
In addition, Oman Air Catering Services recently won the contract with Royal Flight, a Russian-based charter airline, for three years. With a focus on quality and increased efficiency, Oman Air Catering Services division now offers services to 12 airlines worldwide (including its two newest contracts).
The Catering Services division has grown to have the capability to produce in excess of 18,000 meals a day. In the past year it has produced an extra one million meals. Oman Air Catering Services operates adjacent to Muscat Airport in a 10,000 square-metre halal-certified facility. The division employs around 650 staff with 74% of the work force being Omani.
Abdulaziz Alraisi, executive vp, products and brand development said: “Despite difficult trading conditions, we are delighted to announce these new contracts. Oman Air’s Catering Services division aims to replicate the vision of Oman Air as a whole, focusing on being the best, increasing efficiency and differentiating products and services through enhanced quality. Our talented team is derived from a multicultural array of nationalities which gives us an edge when developing and producing menus for our many international clients.”
The division currently holds the following certificates: ISO Certificate 22000:2005; ISO Certificate 9001:2008 and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health from UK.
Get a taste for WTCE
February 14, 2017
The countdown to this year’s World Travel Catering Expo in Hamburg has begun and Onboard Hospitality is once again helping to pull together the Taste of Travel Theatre programme in association with the WTCE team.
At the heart of the action will be Onboard Hospitality’s Jo Austin who is pulling together a theatre programme set to be bigger and better than ever. Featuring 12 lively sessions over the full three days, the theatre will see no less than four celebrity or Michelin-star chefs in action, including Levi Roots, Mark Sargeant, Eero Vottonen and Trinh Diem Vy!
So make a date with the Taste of Travel Theatre and you’ll be able to learn from the experts about new technologies to tackle allergy challenges; how to get your product on board; improve your onboard product; meet the demands of the pre-order trend; and understand your passengers through neuroscience.
All sessions are free to attend with fantastic food samples up for grabs as well as plenty of interactive discussion and inspirational ideas.
Taste of Travel takes place during the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg, April 4-6 2017. The Onboard Hospitality team will be based beside the Theatre on Stand 1G99. For more information or to register to attend the event: worldtravelcateringexpo.com
Cathay partners Michelin Tosca
February 14, 2017
Cathay Pacific has partnered with Tosca, the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, to launch a new inflight menu promotion.
From February 1 to April 30, the promotional menu will be served to First and Business passengers onboard selected flights departing from Hong Kong.
Culinary maestro Pino Lavarra of the award-winning Tosca has taken an inventive approach to the new menu while staying true to the rustic Italian flavours at the heart of his cuisine.
Dishes on the menu include octopus terrine and lemon and parsley salad, which the airline say will “delight passengers with an interesting contrast of temperature and texture between the terrine and the seared octopus layered on top.” The flavour profile is further highlighted by a hint of tanginess from the lemon mayo.
Beef short ribs, tomato pizzaiola sauce and eggplant, meanwhile, is prepared using a traditional poaching technique under low heat for five hours. Succulent and tender, the short ribs are paired with palate-pleasing herbed tomato sauce and mashed potato.
Another dish is lobster, almonds, romaine and pink pepper dressing, which features imported tomatoes from Europe. The dressing, created specially by Chef Pino, adds considerable flavour to the salad, while the tomatoes provide a vibrant colour contrast and natural sweetness.
Chef Pino added: “In the sky, there are no limits to your imagination. When working with Cathay Pacific I was particularly intrigued by the concept of creating intense flavour pairings that can offset the effect that flying at high altitude can have on the sensitivity of our taste buds. Much thought has been put into adjusting the cooking process and recipes to replicate Tosca’s signature dishes as closely as possible, retaining the essence of Italian flavour, refined presentation and consistency of quality.”
AK-Service renews with Aeroflot
February 14, 2017
AK-Service has renewed its contract to supply Business kits for Aeroflot with Salvatore Ferragamo products.
The renewal follows the ongoing success of the branded kits introduced last year. A new bag design was introduced for passengers on long-haul flights and designed to meet top-end expectations. It is a rich dark blue in colour.
The kit came with a significant upgrade of the contents, featuring high quality items from the Salvatore Ferragamo cosmetic range with the ‘Tuscan Soul’ fragrance: face cream, hand cream and lip balm.
LSG secures Etihad deal
February 14, 2017
The LSG Group (LSG) has entered into a global catering agreement with Etihad Airways within the framework of the new strategic commercial partnership between its parent company, Lufthansa German Airlines, and Etihad Aviation Group, unveiled last week.
The four-year $100 million catering agreement includes the provision of catering services to Etihad Airways in 16 cities in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. This makes LSG the largest provider of catering services to the UAE’s national airline outside its Abu Dhabi home base.
“This agreement with LSG is in line with Etihad Airways’ partnership strategy, working together with leading industry players around the world to ensure we continue offering our guests consistently high levels of service,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ ceo.
In addition, LSG Group’s Spiriant has extended its contract with Czech Airlines (CSA) to cover the supply of around 120 inflight products. And Spiriant’s SkylogistiX, an expert in equipment logistics, will continue to offer CSA supply-chain management services. The range of products supplied and managed includes chinaware, glassware, rotable plastic trays, textiles, comfort items, galley equipment and amenity kits.
Retail inMotion charts growth
February 6, 2017
Retail inMotion is celebrating one year as a full member of the LSG Group by reporting outstanding sales growth in product, fully-outsourced onboard retail solutions and IT software solutions.
The company has won contracts with 14 new customers over the past twelve months and sales of proprietary products have seen a significant increase with more than two million Boxerchips and six million beverages with SuprLids sold in 2016.
In addition to setting up an expert development team in Dallas, Texas to fully reach the US American market, the company has also taken major steps to further expand into Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
“Retail inMotion’s successful performance since its full integration into the LSG Group is a clear affirmation of the quality of solutions they provide to customers in the area of onboard retail,” remarked Erdmann Rauer, ceo, LSG Group. “With the complete backing of the LSG Group, Retail inMotion is uniquely positioned to continue growing its customer portfolio by offering its proprietary solutions to the airline industry.”
Retail inMotion’s IT solution, called Vector, now has nearly 30 customers. The online software suite has the functionality to control an airline’s complete, end-to-end retail process. It is customisable to customers’ needs, including functions like stock ordering, warehouse management, pre-order solutions, POS applications, payment gateway solutions, analytics and the ability to be fully integrated with customers’ existing IT systems. Vector is now flown on nearly 10% of daily global air traffic and has processed around 1 billion USD in sales.
Lights on for Lufthansa
February 6, 2017
Lufthansa will be the first airline worldwide to use a range of onboard lighting on the A350-900 designed to fit with the day and night-time biorhythms of its passengers.
The new aircraft will be fitted with lighting designed to match client biorhythms and hence counter the effects of jet-lag at the right time. Lighting effects will also be used to emulate a pleasant restaurant atmosphere onboard during mealtimes.
“The well-being of our passengers is of particular importance to us. So it represents a real milestone for us that we can now achieve these improvements with this innovative lighting technology”, says Dr. Reinhold Huber, who is responsible for further development in the area of customer experience.
Altogether, the new A350-900 LED technology can provide around 24 different lighting settings. Following on from the A350-900, Lufthansa will also be re-fitting its Boeing 747-800s with the new lighting system.
The use of a range of lighting settings is based on findings from research in the field of chronobiology. Warm light is used for relaxation during periods of rest, whereas cooler light provides stimulation for more active phases. Lufthansa has developed these various lighting moods in collaboration with lighting designers from Kardorff Ingenieure in Berlin.
Interior show opens in Dubai
February 6, 2017
Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) opens this week and is expecting representatives from up to 100 airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and flydubai, to attend the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) event.
Coming from further afield are Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Air France. These buyer representatives will be able to meet with 300 exhibitors.
The Aircraft Interiors market is expected to grow from $16.87 billion in 2016 to $29.16 billion by 2021, according to Markets and Markets; while regional airlines have over 500 aircraft on order, almost 80% of which are widebodies.
With Emirates indicating it may be considering adding premium economy to its fleet within two years and large scale aircraft orders outstanding in the region, the demand for interiors options is a reality for buyers, and an opportunity for exhibitors at AIME.
AIME is co-located with MRO Middle East and runs from February 8-9 at DWTC, the eighth annual event. Over 4,500 visitors are expected to attend the show to network with the 300 exhibitors in the hall.
Star Alliance salutes FFG culinary team
February 6, 2017
Flying Food Group has chalked up a duo of successes with accolades from Star Alliance and Philippine Airlines.
Flying Food Group ORD and its culinary team earned its first accolades from industry ratings organisation Star Alliance after a luncheon it hosted for Star Alliance staff and O’Hare-based Star Alliance airline members. Thomas Trapp, deputy Star Alliance airport coordinator and station manager, ANA, described the event as “amazing and scrumptious.” He said to executive chef Moe Elmaher: “You all truly proved your skills and talents to us.”
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has also presented Flying Food Group Honolulu (HNL) with the Philippine Airlines Mubuhay Award Trophy for Best Airline Caterer, 2nd runner up, in the Transpacific, Australia and Europe Region (2015).
Jaime Arturo L. Viola, PAL senior assistant vp catering operations, presented the trophy to FFG vp of sales & service Bob Sun and HNL customer service manager Les Nakamura and their team at FFG’s Honolulu kitchen.
FFG HNL caters five weekly PAL flights. The airline has been an HNL customer since 2000.
Executive vp of airline sales Nicolas Rondeau said: “It is significant when a longtime customer — able to evaluate catering performance over time — honours FFG with a performance award.”
Skysupply does the business for SAA
February 6, 2017
Skysupply has supplied new Business amenity bags for South African Airways.
Designed to enhance the travel experience and “share Africa’s beauty, strength and spirit with the world”, this collaboration aims to show how a useful object can be turned into a collectors’ item and a meaningful statement at the same time.
The creative team designed inbound and outbound bags using the designs of the African fashion designer Mphelane Mareletse who symbolises a new, aspiring generation of self-confident African artists.
South African Airways’ brand purpose is to be “A Catalyst for African Growth”, and Mphelane is the first to be appointed to bring this vision to life. Over the coming months there will be other designers following Durban-born Mareletse to create a whole series of amenity kits.
Mphelane drew on her African roots and sense for aesthetics to interpret the SAA brand identity in a fresh, contemporary and natural way.
The holistic concept and design also appears in the Economy kits, designed to ensure the small item tells the story of a whole country and its exciting future – up in the air and on land.
American’s amenity upgrade
January 30, 2017
American Airlines has introduced new amenity kits in First and Business cabins on long-haul international services and transcontinental flights between New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The new kits were co-designed and branded by lifestyle brand Cole Haan. Founded in Chicago in 1928, Cole Haan is known for its expertise in crafting premium footwear and accessories for both men and women.
Each kit includes a selection of skincare products from either C.O. Bigelow, 3Lab or Clark’s Botanicals, in addition to a redesigned eye mask, socks, ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste and headphone protectors.
The kits are available in four different colours – grey, burgundy, navy or black, with the international First variety designed to be re-used as a tablet holder. The new kits will be onboard all American flights by March.
Redesigned pyjamas have also been introduced for First passengers.
Sales recognition from Alpha LSG
January 30, 2017
Alpha LSG’s retail sales team has run its fourth conference, training and awards event supporting in-flight sales and recognising the sales achievements of Monarch cabin crew.
The two-day seminar in he UK was attended by 88 of Monarch’s best-performing cabin crew.
Richard Wood, Alpha LSG’s UK Sales and Marketing Director,
said Monarch’s cabin crew had achieved remarkable success during 2016 despite much political and economic turmoil. He said: “We are now in dialogue with customers before they depart through online channels, social media and e-mails – talking about the top-sellers, new products, and promotions and why they need to buy onboard – really engaging into the phenomenal service that crew deliver day in day out. We’re also launching new digital innovations, with interactive screens being installed into crew rooms.
“These screens are an exciting new way of providing information and up-to-the-minute news about the world of in-flight retail, top selling tips, and much more. These are another great step forward in keeping the crew well informed about how we are doing and simply what is happening. And of course – the developments around the retail programme don’t stop there. We are working together on many more new initiatives, exciting plans and new brands across 2017.”
Monarch’s cabin crew exceeded their ‘spend per-head’ targets during 2016 thanks to excellent customer engagement and dedicated sales performance.
A total of 27 prizes were handed out at this year’s OMG! Awards identifying Team of the Year – for biggest increase in spend per head target; Outstanding Positive Approach to Learning & Sales; Fair Trade Quiz based on supplier training seminar, Dedication to Incentives – awarded to the person making the biggest effort during the season, Monarch’s overall best performing team and Outstanding Sales Performance – awarded to each of Monarch’s UK bases.
Buzz blankets get on board Emirates
January 30, 2017
The 2016 winner of the Onboard Hospitality Award: Best for Sustainability has now been introduced onboard Emirates long-haul flights.
The ecoTHREAD sustainable blankets are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and are created in partnership with Buzz using ecoTHREAD patented technology.
EGiven out in Economy, each Emirates ecoTHREAD blanket is made from 28 plastic bottles recycled into plastic chips before being turned into yarn with which to create a polar fleece material. The fine thread is then woven into soft blankets.
The environmentally-friendly blankets are part of Emirates’ continued commitment to product innovation and sustainability and part of a green programme which recycles aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles, and clean paper products such as newspapers, magazines and cardboard cartons.
By the end of 2019, Emirates ecoTHREAD™ blankets will have rescued 88 million plastic bottles from landfills– equivalent to the weight of 44 A380 aircraft. In addition, the manufacturing process of using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) reduces energy emissions by 70%.
ecoTHREAD™ is certified with the Intertek Green Leaf Mark by third party testing and certification body Intertek, independently verified to use 100% recycled materials.
The airline has also introduced a plush, faux sheep-skin blankets in First and soft duvets in Business.
Regent’s foodie celebrations
January 30, 2017
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is preparing a fleet-wide celebration to mark the company’s 25th anniversary this year. Some 25 special voyages will feature a variety of exclusive onboard activities and events.
Guests sailing on the 25 special anniversary voyages will be offered a new dining concept being launched exclusively for the anniversary and featuring a special lunch buffet in the Compass Rose galley. Travelling down a red carpet that extends from the restaurant into the galley, guests will see the kitchen come to life and interact with the world-class chefs onboard.
Inside the galley a buffet of treats will be set-up, featuring freshly baked bread, a turkey carving station, made-to-order pasta and other hot dishes such as local fresh fish, salmon, lamb curry and Zurich-style veal. An elaborate array of desserts will also be presented inside the restaurant on a large decorative display table.
Silver Anniversary Tastings on these 25 voyages will include complimentary inclusive fine wines and spirits, and special wine, whiskey and cocktail tasting seminars featuring some exclusive vintages and premier spirits.
January 24, 2017
Voting for the 2017 Onboard Hospitality Awards will close in one week, on February 1. Your vote could decide the finalists so please get involved today!
These awards seek out and recognise those products which have truly changed the onboard hospitality industry for the better.
Onboard Hospitality Editor, Julie Baxter, says: “These awards are now at the heart of the onboard hospitality industry and we have been overwhelmed by the interest and excitement they have generated. The caliber of entries shows just what a creative and innovative industry we operate in and the key to the value placed on winning is the fact that you – the buyers and suppliers of onboard hospitality – play a part in identifying our winners. Uniquely, your vote counts so do use it and help decide which products go before our panel of distinguished judges.
“We recommend voting via a desktop computer rather than mobile device so you can easily view both the products seeking your vote and the voting form you need to complete at the same time.”
January 24, 2017
Singapore Airlines and French crystal maker Lalique have forged a partnership which will see the airline exclusively carry selected inflight items co-branded with Lalique in its Suites and First Class cabins.
The partnership is set to start with the launch of Singapore Airlines’ next batch of Airbus A380s, featuring all-new cabin products. Deliveries of these are due to begin in the second half of this year
Swiss-based Lalique specialises in decorative crystal-ware, interior decor, perfumes, jewellery, art and hospitality and the two partners intend to offer co-branded items such as amenity kits, toiletries, glassware, loungewear and bedding.
A range of Lalique items will be promoted in SIA’s KrisShop Magazine which offers inflight sales as well as mail order with home delivery and exclusive offers to frequent flyers.
Other onboard initiatives will relate to Lalique’s manufacturing site and its Michelin-rated restaurant in France. Lifestyle and crystal gift items will also be offered to customers as part of the amenity kits on selected flights.
January 24, 2017
Canadian leisure airline Air Transat has introduced a new and improved bistro menu for the summer season.
From May 1 passengers travelling from the UK & Ireland to Canada will benefit from a new and improved complimentary menu featuring a choice of three traditional hot dishes – pasta, chicken and beef – along with salad, a glass of wine or soft drink and dessert.
Return flights, which are overnight services, will offer a choice of three sandwiches – ham and brie, Mediterranean chicken and roasted vegetables – also served with salad, a glass of wine and dessert.
Air Transat flies directly from London Gatwick to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, from Manchester and Glasgow to Toronto and Vancouver, and Birmingham to Toronto; as well as from Dublin to Toronto and Montreal.
All Air Transat flights include hold luggage, meals and soft drinks on board, plus in-flight entertainment.
Air Transat continues to offer special dietary meal requests available to pre-book in advance of travel.
In 2016, Air Transat was named Best North American Leisure Airline for the fifth consecutive year by Skytrax.
January 18, 2017
Galileo Group has acquired Watermark Products with ambitious plans to become a market leader in onboard amenities.
The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger and the companies will be integrated to function as one, under the leadership of Ian Linaker, CEO of Galileo Group.
Headquartered in London, Galileo Group has focused on innovation and design for the luxury travel sector; experiencing strong growth and increasing global reach in recent years.
It is committed to challenging the status quo of aviation and design with strategic partnerships, supported by enterprise-led, commercially competitive sourcing.
Watermark Products, established in 1985, has evolved from a London-based start up serving the newly-formed Virgin Atlantic, to an industry player working with many of the world’s leading airlines and offering a comprehensive product portfolio across all main onboard product categories.
The newly-merged company will be known as Galileo Watermark and will integrate staff and leading designers across four offices worldwide: New York, London, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Image: Galileo Air Seychelles business class kit
January 17, 2017
Safety and product rating website, AirlineRatings.com, has announced its top 20 safest airlines and top ten safest low-cost airlines for 2017 from the 425 it monitors.
Top of the list for the fourth year is Australia’s Qantas, which has a fatality-free record in the jet era. Making up the remainder of the top 20 in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
In making its selections AirlineRatings.com takes into account numerous factors that include: audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability and fleet age.
The website’s team also identified its top 10 safest low-cost airlines. These are in alphabetical order: Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Jetstar Asia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and Westjet.
January 17, 2017
Green Gourmet has relaunched its logo to better reflect its offer and mission.
The refreshed design includes an abstract blend of greens to portray collaboration between departments, the mixing of ideas, and the light and shade of the company’s creativity. A new and hand-crafted fluid font aims to show the friendly, modern and approachable personality of the team.
A revised supporting strapline ‘food innovation’ sums up what the company aims to offer through new products, clever packaging, new systems, its people and their skills.
January 17, 2017
The 4th World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME) is predicting strong growth for catering and hospitality in the region as aviation grows at five per cent a year.
Latest statistics from International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggest there will be an extra 258 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2035. The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all enjoy strong growth of 6.3 per cent, 4.7 per cent, and 4.1 per cent respectively.
Co-located with the Airport Show 2017, WTCEME, will take place from May 15-17, 2017, at Zabeel Hall 6 in Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Daniyal Qureshi, group exhibition director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “The event will this year provide an ideal opportunity for buyers and sellers to tap into the rapid growth in the travel catering segment in the Middle East. Due to this strong interest, the 4th edition of WTCEME will be the largest ever. As the Middle East’s aviation sector witnesses a strong growth, and the region continues with major investments and initiatives to boost tourism, the interest, especially from global players, is bound to continue rising.”
January 10, 2017
We’re revving up for Hamburg, are you? As the festive decorations go back into the attic, it is time to dust off your promotional plans and get set for the first industry gathering of the year: the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, in April.
Onboard Hospitality’s team will be there in force, helping to run the Taste of Travel Theatre and keen to hear your news and developments. Publisher Sue Williams says: “We are proud to be media sponsor for this event and are already pulling together our preview issue. If you’re going to be there, do get in touch now, to be sure you don’t miss your chance to be a part of our biggest and most dynamic issue of the year. Let us help you make the most of your attendance at WTCE and drive visitors to your stand.”
This year’s event will see a new dedicated focus on World Travel Retail to reflect the growing number of travel retail suppliers participating in the show. In addition to exhibition space, this area will feature a networking bar, a seminar theatre and a suite of private meeting rooms hosted by brand and product suppliers, all showcasing products and services for inflight purchase.
The Passenger Experience Conference, allied to the event, will include new features and formats as well as sessions on generating revenue, the connected journey and comfort and wellbeing. There will also be a new forum exclusively for airlines prior to the conference opening session.
January 10, 2017
London Heathrow reports a growing trend towards healthy eating choices in a survey of meals bought for onboard, pre-departure.
2016 data shows sushi took the top spot for dining at 30,000 feet while more refillable bottles than ever are being recharged in the departure lounge. Sandwiches and salads under 500 calories still feature in the top five as the second and third items most bought for onboard eating, with noodles and pasta completing the top five. Dropping out of the top five list of 2015 go pastries and pizza.
Avocado is proving to be the most coveted ingredient for both meals taken onboard and eaten in airport restaurants and is now a staple ingredient in sushi, sandwiches, noodles and salads in grab-and go-outlets, with sales increasing by 23% year-on-year.
Sales of Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food picnics, Fortnum & Mason’s hamperlings and Caviar House’s seafood hampers have seen double digit growth demonstrating passenger demand for quality in convenience-on-the-move choices.
January 10, 2017
Qatar Airways has launched a new partnership with The White Company to provide exclusively-designed sleepwear to its First and Business passengers.
The newly-designed sleeper suits are individually styled for men and women – the men’s in a charcoal grey marl and the women’s in a mid-grey hue.
Both are made of 100% cotton and come with matching luxury cotton slippers with a faux fur interior sole for extra warmth and comfort.
The White Company is known globally for its home wear, designer-quality white linens, home accessories and clothing and nightwear.
The partnership is set to last three years, with new additions of the sleeper suits issued regularly in a range of fresh colours and styles.
First passengers travelling onboard Qatar Airways’ A380 flights to London, Bangkok, Paris, Sydney and Guangzhou will receive the new sleeper suits with immediate effect and the product will debut in Business Class in early 2017.
Qatar Airways’ senior vp of customer experience, Rossen Dimitrov, said: “This partnership with an iconic global brand, known for providing sumptuous style and beautifully designed products, perfectly complements the bespoke premium experience created on board for our travellers.”
January 10, 2017
Tokyo caterer TFK has been recognised with two awards at Air China’s Annual Catering Conference in Chengdu, China.
TFK Corporation won ‘Best Service Award 2016’ and the ‘Best Catering Award 2016’.
The company was the only non-Chinese inflight caterer to have been given two awards in the 2016 ceremony. The Best Catering Award is selected by Air China’s Inflight Service team and the Best Service Award is decided on by Air China’s cabin crew. In 2015, TFK was also awarded the ‘Best Worldwide Catering Award’.
The awards recognise excellent added-value menu development work carried out with the Air China Inflight Services team in the summer of 2016, when TFK was asked to come up with a new way to present Air China’s Japanese cuisine. The introduction of a disposable Kaiseki Bento Box followed further work with the Japanese Culinary Team to offer three attractive meal box options featuring Japanese delicacies which change in line with the seasons.
This is offered as the appetizer service to all Business passengers and is followed with a choice of Western, Japanese or Chinese hot main courses, steamed rice, pickles and miso soup, all served on Air China flights from Narita and Haneda International Airports to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu in China. The Bento Box has been extremely successful and is popular with cabin crew and passengers.
TFK serves Air China on 64 flights per week and has been serving Air China for over 40 years. TFK Corporation is the largest and oldest inflight caterer in Japan and is now a member of the SATS Group.
January 10, 2017
Royal Caribbean has released its latest Sustainability Report documenting widespread efforts onboard its fleet to cut emissions and waste.
Over the past decade the cruise line has built its most efficient cruise ships and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25%. In 2015 17 ships achieved 100% re-purposed waste on certain itineraries.
The expansion of an Advanced Emissions Purification Programme and new goals for 2020 have been developed in consultation with company’s global conservation partner, World Wildlife Fund.
Successes detailed in the report included a reduction in daily water consumption average and the introduction of an industry-first software system to ensure the best possible fuel efficiency. Royal Caribbean has also been added to the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies list – a distinction granted to only 130 companies in 21 countries – and has committed to only sourcing cage-free eggs and gestation-crate-free pork by 2022.
January 4, 2017
Air France entered into exclusive discussions with HNA Group (HNA) for the sale of its inflight catering unit Servair and the transfer of operational control with a view to creating the world-class leader in inflight catering.
Following the takeover of gategroup by HNA, gategroup has stepped into the transaction between HNA and Air France, acquiring control over Servair as of 1 January 2017.
gategroup has acquired 50% minus one share in Servair for an enterprise value of EUR 237,5 million (on a 50% basis). The transaction will be solely financed by gategroup and is designed to create an unprecedented offering in the inflight catering business serving more than 300 airline customers in more than 200 facilities with 39,000 employees.
Servair will complement gategroup’s global network with a strong presence in France and Africa. Annual group revenue following the acquisition is projected to exceed CHF 4.4 billion.
Xavier Rossinyol, ceo of gategroup, commented: “We warmly welcome Servair and its employees into a partnership that will be highly beneficial for both sides. The new group will aim to take advantage of the best competences of both gategroup and Servair and at the same time to have the most global network worldwide to better serve our customer. We will operate as one group with global leadership. With this new step we will be able to further accelerate the strategy of efficiencies and growth.”
January 4, 2017
Brussels Airlines is offering meals prepared by Michelin starred chef Yves Mattagne to Business passengers flying to Africa, New York, the US or India from January to June.
Mattagne is the chef of the two-Michelin star restaurant, Seagrill, in Brussels and has designed a different menu for each month and Grégory Baillet, head of product at Brussels Airlines, says: “The cooperation with Yves Mattagne is a win-win for both of us. We get to offer our passengers a high quality gastronomic experience at 30,000 feet in the sky and live up to our role as national carrier by being an international ambassador for a great Belgian restaurant.”
Mattagne is the eighth Belgian star chef to create menus for Brussels Airlines. Others have included Peter Goossens (Hof van Cleve), Pierre Résimont (L’Eau Vive) and Geert van Hecke (De Karmeliet). “The concept is very much appreciated by passengers, but this time we added an extra touch, by choosing a chef from our capital city, Brussels,” adds Grégory Baillet.
Mattagne says: “Creating gastronomy for an airline is not easy, but it was a challenge I gladly accepted for Brussels Airlines because with this collaboration we can carry the best of Belgium around the world.”
The airline also serves Belgian beers on board, its crew uniforms are designed by Belgian brands Xandres, Bellerose and Ambiorix and in the last two years Brussels Airlines has repainted three of its planes with special liveries dedicated to Belgian icons Tintin, Magritte, Red Devils
January 4, 2017
Qatar Airways has updated its amenity kits for children and forged a new onboard partnership for kits in First and Business.
The children’s activity kits now included plush infant toys Elefun and Mr. Potato Head alongside classic Clue Junior, Guess Who, Monopoly Here and Now World Edition and The Game of Life for older children.
The airline’s children’s meals also now feature new Pictureka or Monopoly designed lunch boxes – a gift that children can take home and use long after their flight.
Special thought has been paid to families travelling on overnight flights with the introduction of a glow-in-the-dark Clue Junior entertainment pack; perfect to keep restless youngsters busy once the lights are dimmed.
Young travellers an also be entertained via the Oryx One inflight entertainment system which includes a dedicated children’s platform and the first dual-screen interface; allowing children to multi-task by playing a game while watching a movie.
For premium passengers Qatar Airways has signed an exclusive three-year partnership with BRICS and Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio to elevate the airline’s premium cabin experience.
BRICS, the Italian maker of stylish travel bags, has created a bespoke premium amenity bag inspired by their world-famous Bellagio series. The kits exclusively feature products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, the environmentally friendly olive oil company, including lip balm, hydrating facial mist and City Cream anti-ageing moisturiser in Business, with the added night recovery cream for First kits.
January 4, 2017
Flying Food Group (FFG) is catering new daily services for Singapore Airlines between San Francisco and Singapore.
The A350 Airbus flights, which launched at the end of October offer a direct, non-stop service between the cities. The launch aircraft was the 10,000th aircraft built by Airbus since production began in the 1970s.
SQ has been a valued FFG customer at SFO since 2002. This new, non-stop flight signals advanced passenger comfort and amenities: FFG sayts it is proud to help support Singapore’s continuing growth and success.
FFG also services SQ at New York JFK.
January 4, 2017
Emirates has added a range of exclusive, new products in its First and Business cabins including First Class lounge wear, luxury blankets, skincare from VOYA and a new range of amenity kits from Bulgari.
The airline has partnered with experts in their respective fields to upgrade its offer which includes a partnership with Matrix to bring moisturising pyjamas onboard. Using Hydra Active Microcapsule Technology designed to keep skin hydrated during the flight, the patented technology uses billions of capsules applied to the fabric which gently releases naturally-moisturising sea kelp during movement.
There are newly-introduced soft duvets in charcoal grey in Business and skincare products from award-winning Irish brand VOYA. Created exclusively for Emirates, this skincare line includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, cleanser, body moisturiser, hand wash, soap and hand cream in three fragrances available in the signature A380 shower spa on board and in Emirates lounges.
The airline has partnered with luxury Italian brand Bulgari for its latest amenity kit bags for both First and Business featuring Bulgari’s woody floral fragrance – Eau Parfumée au thé noir – and skincare essentials.
December 21, 2016
Emirates has ramped up its onboard product offering with festive menus across all cabin classes during the Christmas season.
The special menu includes items such as roast turkey and yule log cakes and reflects the airline’s commitment to providing regional and seasonal menus using fresh ingredients.
Customers travelling in Economy Class will be offered rolled turkey buffé served with cranberry jus lié, mashed potatoes, chicken sausage and seasonal vegetables. For desserts, customers will be served festive chocolate pudding with spiced ginger custard.
Those travelling in First and Business Class will start with poached king prawns with Marie Rose sauce and fennel with lemon and herbs and enjoy a main course of rolled turkey buffé served with chestnut stuffing, cranberry jus lié, pumpkin mash and brussel sprouts with turkey rashers and cream. A variety of desserts is available on the different routes including chocolate pudding, chocolate and chestnut torte and yule log.
First customers will also receive luxury hot chocolate handmade with 100% Valrhona chocolate.
A special kids menu is available with roast turkey, sweet potato mash, carrots and peas, as well as a candy cane and Emirates’ Little Travellers chocolate buttons as an added treat. As part of the Emirates Fly With Me Animals, a fifth character now greets young travellers this December. Eve, the reindeer, joins Eric the eagle, Silka the seal, Abbott the hedgehog and Shane the Koala.
December 21, 2016
EVA Air is collaborating with RIMOWA – one of Europe’s leading travel and carry-on luggage manufacturers – to introduce the use of cutting-edge electronic tags into the carrier’s check-in procedures.
Becoming the first airline is Asia and the second worldwide to officially offer the new service, EVA Air passengers and owners of RIMOWA’s hard-wearing suitcases can now use the EVA Air Mobile App and RIMOWA’s electronic tag system for a seamless check-in experience.
The RIMOWA electronic tag is a revolutionary, eco-friendly and time-saving travel concept, which allows EVA Air passengers to fast-track through the usual airport check-in procedure, skipping long, tiresome queues and processing their luggage – within seconds – from just about anywhere in the world! With just one click, travellers can connect EVA Air’s App to their luggage and confirm all e-tag information on an electronic panel built in to the side of the RIMOWA suitcase. On completion of the e-tag check-in process, passengers simply drop their luggage at the airport’s designated ‘online check-in counter’, before starting their journey with EVA Air.
Initially, the new e-tag baggage check-in service will be available for all passengers travelling outbound from a number of international airports, including Paris; Vienna; San Francisco; Seattle; Houston; New York; Vancouver; Toronto; and Tokyo, with plans to add more airports in the near future.
December 13, 2016
Alitalia’s onboard catering has won recognition for the seventh consecutive year from the readers of US publication Global Traveler.
The ‘Best Airline Cuisine’ accolade was awarded following a passenger survey in the magazine of nearly 30,000 frequent flyers.
Aubrey Tiedt, Alitalia’s chief customer officer, said: “It’s hugely gratifying to see that the quality and variety of the Italian cuisine we have onboard our flights is recognised in a positive light by discerning frequent flyers.”
Alitalia has made huge investments in the past 18 months on inflight products and service delivery introducing the ‘Dine Anytime’ concept in long-haul Business which allows r customers to decide when they want to eat. Different regional Italian recipes change every three months and cabin crew are encouraged to work as ambassadors of Italian and provide a ‘Made of Italy’ experience.
Business meals include Liparota style short pasta, swordfish rolls with capers from Pantelleria, rosemary potatoes and Sicilian caponata, San Daniele cured ham served with vegetables compote and “chicken supreme with a Montasio cheese heart accompanied by Tecia style potatoes and fresh asparagus’.
Italian food is accompanied by a wide range of the best Italian wines carefully selected by Alitalia’s official sommelier and served by cabin crew trained by the Italian Sommelier Foundation.
December 13, 2016
Alpha LSG has been awarded a new contract by Japan’s largest airline ANA, All Nippon Airways, to service flights from London-Heathrow to Tokyo.
Alpha LSG’s long standing relationship with ANA in the UK spans 27 years since the company began providing inflight services to the airline at London-Gatwick in 1989.
The new agreement sees Alpha LSG provide around 400,000 meals annually across First, Business and Economy to ANA’s daily long haul flights to Tokyo.
The caterer will service the ANA contract from a dedicated Japanese kitchen facility with Alpha LSG’s chefs also creating Western menus for the carrier.
Richard Wood, Alpha LSG’s managing director said: “ANA is a valued customer who we have worked with for many years. This new agreement is a great endorsement for our entire team but in particular underpins the success of our exclusive Japanese and Asian kitchen, and the immense quality of the authentic food that we produce for our customers on a daily basis.
December 13, 2016
Flying Food Group (FFG) has added catering services for three major customers worldwide.
It will cater ANA out of Honolulu three times a day; KLM out of Miami daily and SAS out of Chicago twice daily.
It also serves ANA out of JFK, ORD, SEA, SFO/SJC; KLM out of LAX, ORD and SFO and
SAS from EWR and MIA.
ANA became a FFG customer in 1998; KLM has been with FFG since 1999; SAS has chosen FFG catering since 1998.
December 13, 2016
Retail inMotion, a subsidiary of the LSG Group, has developed a pre-order IT solution with the capability to allow passengers to choose from an airline’s inflight meal selection before their date of departure.
The pre-order solution, originally developed for Ryanair, is scalable and can be integrated into any airline’s booking system to provide order information in real time.
“The development of our pre-order solution took just ten weeks and is a great picture of how customer-centric we are at Retail inMotion,” said Stefan Patermann, cco Retail inMotion. “The implementation of the software extends passengers’ onboard experience to the ground and it is a true advantage for any airline looking to further develop their passenger interfaces.”
In combination with the rollout of the pre-order solution, Retail inMotion collaborated with Ryanair to introduce a premium Irish breakfast meal box for passengers. The hot breakfast includes a selection of traditional Irish breakfast items and is served with orange juice and a hot drink. Packaged in a picnic-style box that unfolds into a picnic blanket, the breakfast entices passengers to enjoy a traditional Irish meal in a non-traditional and entertaining way.
December 13, 2016
Oceania Cruises has added a new evening tapas menus onboard.
There are more than five-dozen dishes included in the 14 new menus, offered as sharing small plates inspired by destinations within the cruise’s itinerary
Developed over the course of a year, these menus were created by Oceania Cruises’ culinary team and are crafted from fresh ingredients that reflect the vibrancy of the destinations visited.
Tapas highlights include: crostini with bresaola (a very lean Italian air-cured beef aged up to 3 months), gorgonzola and fig compote; fresh caramelized shrimp with onions and spicy chili sauce presented in a tasting spoon; vegetarian summer rolls with fresh herbs, tofu, rice noodles and a tamarind and peanut sauce; watermelon sweet Thai salad with cashews, fresh herbs, cucumber and sweet chili; heirloom cherry tomato salad with Greek caper leaves; molten cheese soufflé with chive velouté; porcini and forest mushroom timbale with crema di grana padano and homemade vegetarian samosas with raita sauce.
December 13, 2016
EVA Air has added to its range of branded Sanrio family aircraft with an exclusive Gudetama themed livery and onboard offer.
Adding to its existing and popular Hello Kitty and Sanrio-character services, EVA will operate the brightly liveried Gudetama Comfort flights on regional and short-haul routes within Asia.
Born in 2013, Gudetama is an egg with arms and legs and one of Sanrio’s youngest and most popular characters. Cute and easy-going, Gudetama is always sunny-side-up on EVA’s aircraft and the new livery captures the relaxing spirit of the bright yellow Gudetama as he leisurely packs his sunglasses, camera, hat and bacon blanket into his bag, as he prepares to fly away on a memorable holiday.
Onboard flight attendants wear aprons embellished with the Gudetama design and passengers use inflight service items depicting the character including Gudetama headrest covers, pillows, safety cards, beverage menus, disposable hand towels, tray mats, napkins, cups, meal boxes, food trays, chopstick wrappers, utensils, meals, snacks, floss picks, slippers and playing cards.
Passengers can also pre-order Gudetama aircraft models and travel kits on the EVA Skyshop website.
November 16, 2016
United Airlines will next week unveil its enhanced seasonal menu as part of the launch of the United Polaris service, a redesigned international business class.
This service will include new specialty beverage options for premium cabin travellers, building on the recognition the airline received for its Moscow Mule cocktail, winner of the 2016 Onboard Hospitality Awards for the Best Onboard Beverage.
On long-haul international flights, customers will now also have the opportunity to build their own Bloody Mary or specialty Mimosa, or undertake some wine-tasting inflight.
A spokesman for the airline said: “Winning the 2016 award has encouraged us to continue to find only the best and brightest new onboard offerings for our customers. We are honoured to be recognised by Onboard Hospitality and look forward to the competition again next year!”
The judges commented on the Moscow Mule, by Crafthouse Cocktails, at the Awards ceremony in April, saying: “Vodka based, this has a sharp, clean and gingery flavour and comes ready mixed so ideal for onboard. It is made using all natural ingredients and that comes through in the taste”
If you have an onboard beverage you’re proud of enter it now for the 2017 Awards.
November 16, 2016
Alaska Airlines will debut its upgraded main cabin seating, now called Premium Class, on January 5.
Premium Class seats will have 35 inches of legroom, which is 3 to 4 inches more than passengers in Economy and will passengers for this cabin receive priority boarding.
To unveil its Premium Class offering, Alaska is reconfiguring its fleet of Boeing 737 and Embraer E175 aircraft. The carrier said approximately half of the fleet will be reconfigured by the official start of the Premium Class service in January, with the remainder to be reconfigured in 2017.
The aircraft interior work is also enabling Alaska to increase first-class legroom from 36 inches to either 41 or 42 inches.
November 16, 2016
British Airways is planning to increase the number of seats on its Boeing 777 economy class flights from 280 to 332 by adding an extra seat per row.
Currently, BA’s 777 economy seats feature nine per row in a 3-3-3 configuration but it plans to move to a 3-4-3 model by introducing narrower seats, increasing the cabin capacity by 52.
A spokesperson for British Airways said: “We are flying more customers than ever before to our expanding network of destinations. To meet this demand, we are updating our 777 cabins to bring us into line with many of our competitors and allow us to offer even more low fares.”
American Airlines, BA’s joint venture partner across the Atlantic, currently has a 3-4-3 layout in its economy cabin on B777s as do a host of other airlines such as Emirates.
The refurbishment on British Airways’ aircraft will also include new entertainment systems, with bigger screens.
“British Airways continues to offer customers a generous hand baggage allowance and complimentary food and drink on all our long-haul services”, the spokesperson added.
The airline is also expected to overhaul its long-haul business class cabins in due course.
November 16, 2016
Hawaiian Airlines has a new partnership with Korean celebrity chef Chang-Wook Chung to create inflight meals for on its Incheon to Honolulu routes.
Blending Hawaiian and Korean fare the menus have been designed exclusively for the airline by one of Korea’s most notable chefs and will include Pan Asian and island-style cuisine.
Chef Chung is an expert in French and Japanese cuisine as well as the owner and chef of restaurant Bistro Chaugi located in Jongno-gu, Seoul. His culinary excellence has been widely recognised by the Korean public, and he has appeared in several Korean television programmes.
Chef Chung says: “I try to combine my experiences in Hawai’i into my own style of cooking and am delighted to share the Aloha Spirit through Hawaiian Airlines’ inflight meals.”
For Business dishes include braised Korean kalbi with radish, miso soup, steamed brown rice, Kimchi, and pickled radish served after take-off. Prior to landing, passengers can choose between a full breakfast with chicken cream stew with carrots, broccoli, and potatoes or a light continental breakfast.
There are also new options in Extra Comfort and Main Cabin.
Hawaiian’s in-flight meals are updated every six months and new selections are based on seasonal ingredients and guest preference.
November 8, 2016
Flying Food Group (FFG) has been awarded the contract to supply catering for Singapore Airlines’ direct, non-stop service between San Francisco and Singapore.
Flying Food Group is catering the daily A350 Airbus flights, which launched on October 23. The launch aircraft was the 10,000th aircraft built by Airbus since production began in the 1970s.
Singapore has been a FFG customer at SFO since 2002. FFG also services SQ at New York JFK.
Finnair has a new partnership with Finnish Chef Eero Vottonen for its latest Signature Menu.
The new collaboration will bring true Nordic elements to Finnair’s long-haul Business service out of Helsinki to all destinations as from January 11, 2017.
Last year, Eero Vottonen was selected as Finland’s candidate for the prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in Lyon, France which brings 24 chefs from different countries to compete on the international stage. He has worked in the top kitchens of Finland including restaurants such as Chez Dominique, Luomo, G.W. Sundmans and Olo.
Maarit Keränen, head of inflight service at Finnair, said: “With next year marking Finland’s centennial anniversary, it’s a great opportunity for us to collaborate with Finland’s candidate for the Bocuse d’Or competition.
November 8, 2016
Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks has produced and launched two new onboard packs for Thomson Cruises’ fleet of five ships.
The Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks team was appointed following the successful roll out last year of the packs that it created for TUI Group’s various airlines: TUIfly Nordic, Holland’s Arkefly, Belgium’s Jetairfly and Thomson Airways in the UK.
The new concepts for Thomson Cruises include a Check-In Pack that is handed to children when they board and an Ocean Travel Adventures Treasure Chest which awaits every child when they arrive at their cabin.
The packs aim to engage children from the moment they start their holiday and include a lanyard list of ‘things to do and see card’ encouraging young travellers to explore the ship and to interact with staff and crew.
The Ocean Travel Adventures Pack, which is a TUI branded treasure chest, is made up of interactive items including an activity book, crayons, stencils, stickers and an underwater themed board game which the whole family can play together. Once their holiday is over, children can then take their pack onshore and continue the activities once they are at home.
Smurfs get onboard with Brussels Airlines
November 1, 2016
Brussels Airlines has launched new kids amenity kits themed around The Smurfs.
More than 50 years after Brussels-born comic artist Peyo brought them to life, The Smurfs remain popular all around the globe. The adventures of the more than 100 Smurf characters who live in the Smurf village and fight against the wizard Gargamel, have resulted in more than 40 comics, more than 400 cartoon series episodes and two 3D films.
The famous blue-skinned characters now fly onboard Brussels Airlines’ flights to the States, Canada or Africa as Smurf lunch boxes with colouring books, memory games and finger puppets. The child meals that are served in these boxes (meatballs in tomato sauce and pasta) have been selected after a tasting session where more than 60 kids gave their input. Children flying on the short haul network in Flex&Fast or Bizz&Class, receive a Smurf lunchbox on their flight out of Brussels.
Specially for Brussels Airlines, graphic studio IMPS, who exploits the rights of Peyo’s work, created new Smurf characters: Captain Smurf and Cabin Crew Smurfette don the lunch boxes, as well as Safari Smurf who travels to Africa.
Anne Tricot, vp customer experience at Brussels Airlines, said: “The partnership with the Smurfs is a logical one for us, as we always aim to promote the best of Belgium. After Tintin, René Magritte, Belgian gastronomy, Belgian beers and Belgian chocolate, the Smurfs are another world renowned Belgian ambassador to come onboard at Brussels Airlines.”
Last year, the airline launched b.family, a free travel package that includes a 20% discount for children (2-11 years) and 90% discount for infants (under 2), 12 kilograms hand luggage per child, priority boarding and guaranteed seats together for the entire family, discount for airport parking, and more.
New meals for Air France Business
November 1, 2016
Servair is continuing its collaboration with chef Guy Martin who has created six meals now featuring on the new Air France Business menu flying long-haul from Paris.
Michelin-starred Martin, a founding member of the Servair Culinary Studio, has been training the Servair teams since 2002 and a different dish from the new range will be offered every fortnight to ensure frequent travellers regularly find something new.
Guy Martin has trained the Servair chefs in the making and presenting his Signature Meals which include: pan-cooked prawns, broccoli with ginger, butternut purée and a shellfish jus with flat-leaf parsley; sautéed veal seasoned with melegueta pepper, with organic maize penne, vegetables and pearl onions; roasted guinea fowl breast, carrot and cardamom ketchup, organic red quinoa like a risotto with cranberry jus; orecchiette pasta with squid and rocket on a tomato base flavoured with coriander seeds; veal chuck, sautéed porcini mushrooms, smooth artichoke purée with an organic beetroot and blackcurrant jus; and cod loin fillet, basmati rice in turmeric, crushed courgette with cashew nuts, and coconut sauce seasoned with espelette pepper.
Clip gets onboard with Jetblue
November 1, 2016
Jetblue has partnered with Clip to introduce new custom-designed amenity kits from New York City-based Hayward and Hopper in the airline’s Mint premium cabin.
Designed by Hayward and Hopper’s Marin Hopper (daughter of Hollywood legends Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward), the kits were inspired by Hopper’s personal style and extensive family archives and aim to offer passengers a chic, comforting and classic amenity kit.
The Hayward kit, for female customers, is made from signature Hayward denim and includes a delicate brass zipper, designed by her legendary grandfather, Leland Hayward. The Hopper kit, designed for men, is fabricated in a natural cotton canvas with an artisanal feel.
The kits include all personal care products made in the United States and hand-picked by Hayward and Hopper. Each kit also comes with a matching eye mask as well as screen cloths illustrated with photographs taken by Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper and provided by the Hopper Art Trust archives.
Garuda’s celebrity connections
November 1, 2016
Garuda Indonesia will launch a new three-class onboard menu in January in collaboration with Alpha LSG in London.
Overseen by the airline’s vp of inflight service, Vindex Tengker, the new menu combines European and Indonesia flavours. First passengers will be offered five courses, starting with caviar served with shrimp crackers, while in Business there will be three courses and amuse bouche.
Classic inclusions are Rendung beef (caramalised beef with coriander and chilli); Indonesian salads and soups including oxtail (an Indonesia favourite) and a meatball soup which is a classic Indonesian comfort broth. The choices will be changed every four months but there will also be four chef specials through the year, from well known Indonesian chefs to add further variety.
Tengker said: “Too much heat and spice isn’t comfortable on a flight and really it is flavour that counts most rather than spice. We have adapted traditional recipes to suit a wider palate and are pleased to note growing numbers of passenger do request the Indonesian options.”
The airline has also developed its menu card to reflect Indonesian culture and plans to include details of the products’ backstory in these.
Vindex, a household name in Indonesia as a founding judge on Masterchef Indonesia.
The menu will be available on the non-stop London Heathrow to Jakarta flight from January 2017.
Etihad adds city style
November 1, 2016
Etihad Airways has introduced new destination-inspired Business amenity kits with designs based on iconic cities on its network.
The range builds on the airline’s partnership with LUXE City Guides, created by Buzz, and London-based skincare and grooming brand Scaramouche + Fandango.
The five new cities added are New York, São Paulo, Rome, Melbourne, and Bangkok, while the existing Abu Dhabi kit has been refreshed with a new design and a fully updated city guide. The designs were specially created for Etihad Airways by LUXE City Guides. Each kit features a specially created city guide, showcasing a selection of each destination’s best hotels, restaurants, spas, bars, boutiques, and shopping, as well as services, specialists and personal tour guides.
The designs are inspired by the architectural features of the respective cities. The Abu Dhabi kit is inspired by the intricate mosaics of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and New York by the city’s grid-like streets, avenues and iconic yellow taxis. The Colosseum and ancient stone architecture influence the Rome kit; Bangkok reflects the city’s decorative temples; the Melbourne kit takes its cue from the city’s 19th century buildings, the Yarra river and coastline; and the São Paulo kit reflects the commercial capital’s iconic pavement pattern and the national colours of Brazil.
The Scaramouche + Fandango inclusions include a facial moisturiser enriched with vitamin E and a honey and shea butter lip balm. There are also socks, eye mask, dental pack and earplugs.
Ethiopian opens new kitchen
November 1, 2016
Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has officially opened its newly built, state of the art inflight catering facility in Addis Ababa.
The new G+1 facility covers a total area of 11,500m2, and includes a food processing area fully-equipped with high-tech cooking and bakery equipment, large capacity dishwashing and heavy-duty ice-cube machines, a hot kitchen, storage units, cold rooms, stores, flow wrapping, loading bays, high lift trucks and vans, varieties of cooling facilities and dedicated Halal kitchen.
Group ceo, Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “This modern facility will significantly enhance our capacity to offer a wide variety menu of meal services to our customers from the traditional staple injera to a selection of world cuisines: Chinese, Indian, Ottoman, Italian, Halal and many more.”
Ethiopian Catering currently provides inflight catering services for more than 240 Ethiopian daily departing flights, VIP and charter flights, and GebreMariam. It will now become the most competitive and leading inflight caterer in Africa.
The unit is strictly guided by Hazard Analysis and Critical Control points (HACCP), policies and procedures, and will increase the operation’s capacity to more than 100,000 meals per day, compared to the previous 36,000 daily volume.
BA partners with Liberty
November 1, 2016
British brand Liberty London has created an exclusive range of washbags for customers flying in First with British Airways.
The new Liberty London First washbags will appear onboard from January 7, 2017 and feature prints from Liberty London’s vast textiles archive, updated for today’s modern traveller and to reflect British Airways colours and branding.Throughout the year further print designs will be added to the collection.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, expects the washbags to become collector’s items in their own right.
The women’s washbag features ‘Christelle’, an eye-catching oriental inspired floral print, and comes with a convenient wristlet.The men’s washbag features a black embossed textured exterior, with ‘Felix Raison’ paisley motif printed lining.
Initially the new Liberty London wash bags will be introduced on British Airways’ A380 Heathrow to Los Angeles route and then they will be offered to customers flying in First on the rest of the airline’s worldwide network.
Air Seychelles partners Galileo onboard
November 1, 2016
Air Seychelles has launched new Business and Economy kits, and a revamped fun pack for kids.
The new kits are the result of a collaboration with Galileo Products and have been designed to reflect the ‘flair and joie de vivre’ of the Seychelles culture.
The new Business kits contains a dental pack, eye mask, socks, earplugs and premium skincare items from Scaramouche + Fandango, a British brand chosen for its luxurious products – a honey lip balm and a moisturising hydrator – presented in a versatile neoprene bag that doubles as an iPad mini case and can be used post-flight.
A new Economy kit, comprises earplugs, an Air Seychelles branded eye mask, dental kit and socks presented in a soft red drawstring bag that can be reused for storing sunglasses.
The newly-designed kids pack features an Air Seychelles mascot in a book filled with fun games and activities, as well as wax crayons and a puzzle. They are packed in a large, water-resistant drawstring bag that is a useful beach companion.
Roy Kinnear, ceo of Air Seychelles, said: “The new kits have been designed to reflect our vibrant creole spirit, which underlies everything we do at the airline, and are tailored specifically for the requirements of our guests, from business travellers to families flying with small children.
“As an environmentally-conscious airline, we wanted to make sure that these kits are reusable, which is why they double-up as holiday items such as beach bags for kids and sunglass pouches.
Air Astana upgrade for kids
November 1, 2016
AK-Service has launched new amenity kits for child passengers flying with Air Astana.
The vivid kits are especially developed for two age groups. Children aged three to six will get a book-shaped bag, designed under license, themed around The Little Prince with illustrations painted by its author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Contents include an activity book, games, a colourful scarf and a do-it-yourself airplane model.
The amenity kits for older children, aged seven to 12, has been created by AK-Service in collaboration with National Geographic Kids. The activity book features lots of interesting facts about our planet, plus games and a toy compass designed to excite young travellers. They will also receive a neck warmer and a bright yellow-and-black wallet with Air Astana and National Geographic Kids logos.
Qantas reveals its Dreamliner looks
November 1, 2016
Qantas has unveiled what customers onboard its flagship 787-9 Dreamliner can expect when the aircraft arrives in a year’s time.
The Qantas Dreamliner will seat 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins in a layout that has been designed to maximise comfort for the longer distances the 787-9 is expected to fly.
The Business Suite is an evolved version of the seat recently installed on the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet, made more flexible on the 787 with the ability to adjust the divider between each seat. The suites have a fully-flat bed and are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration so each suite has direct aisle access as well as the ability to stay reclined during take-off and landing.
Economy passengers will have an extra inch of seat pitch compared with the national carrier’s A380 – and an all-new seat. It features a new personal device holder and USB ports; more storage areas; a seat-back mood light designed to minimise disturbance for other passengers; and a high-definition entertainment touchscreen that is five per cent larger. The seats also feature an updated version of the ‘footnet’ first introduced on the A380, designed to cradle the legs during sleep.
Qantas Group ceo, Alan Joyce, says the interiors have been carefully designed with longer routes and changing passenger preferences in mind. “We’re planning to make the most of the 787’s amazing range, so we’ve designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long haul flights.Many of the cabin design elements reflect what our customers have told us. Personal storage rates really highly, so we’ve created extra space in Economy for customers to store their personal devices and water bottles. We’re also redesigning the inflight experience for the Dreamliner, from rethinking our menus to making better use of the self-service bars during different phases of flight.”
The Dreamliner’s Premium Economy cabin will be unveiled in early 2017.
Delta extends Westin connections
November 1, 2016
Delta Air Lines has added a newly-designed Westin Heavenly inflight blanket to its premium collection of amenities for the First passengers.
This is an extension of the airline’s existing partnership with Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc.
Based on research and feedback collected directly from customers, Delta’s inflight service and brand team together with Westin’s brand team developed the Westin Heavenly inflight blanket, which is inspired by signature design elements of the iconic Westin Heavenly Bed. The muted grey hue blanket exudes aim to simultaneously pay tribute to the two brands.
Delta’s main cabin blankets have also been upgraded, featuring woven fabric in a sensory blue hue. Each blanket has been designed with durable long-lasting materials.
The Westin Heavenly In-Flight Blanket launch is a part of a larger, ongoing partnership between the well-being brand and Delta to improve the inflight sleep experience.
Customers in select cabins currently enjoy Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding – the coveted, luxurious white comforters and hypoallergenic pillows – along with Delta-branded sleepwear, noise-cancelling headsets and TUMI amenity kits featuring Kiehl’s Since 1851 products.
Buddy’s buys Arden Kitchens
November 1, 2016
Buddy’s Kitchen, Inc. has acquired the former Arden Kitchens frozen food facility in Lakeville, Minnesota.
“We’re growing rapidly and need the extra space to accommodate that growth,” said Dave Smith, ceo of Buddy’s Kitchen. The acquired facility is 92,000sqft and sits on 16 acres.
Best known as a producer of custom gourmet breakfast products for airline and convenience foodservice, Buddy’s has more recently added capabilities to produce gluten-free and organic products, which are in high demand from both existing and new customers.
Founded in 1974, Buddy’s Kitchen currently operates a 65,000sqft leased facility in Burnsville, Minnesota. “We have almost eight years left on the Burnsville lease and plan to operate both facilities for the foreseeable future,” Smith added.
Buddy’s Kitchen manufactures custom frozen food for specialty food service operators. It currently employs over 300 people at its Burnsville plant. It expects to add up to 150 more when it opens the Lakeville facility in early 2017, after extensive renovations.
“We serve a handful of very food-forward customers who appreciate our agile innovation and flexible manufacturing processes,” said Smith. “Those customers are growing rapidly today.”
New brands in Etihad First
October 25, 2016
Etihad Airways has a new amenity kit for First, designed in partnership with two leading fashion and beauty brands: Christian Lacroix and Hungarian skincare company Omorovicza.
The new bags partnership, facilitated by Buzz, will be introduced on the airline’s Airbus A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Mumbai, and then fleet-wide in early 2017.
The male and female embossed bags come in two colours: plum for women and grey for men. A second phase will see new kits in burgundy for women and black for men.
There are two varieties for each sex: a wash bag and convertible flat case for men, and debossed fold-over bags for women which double as a clutch bag. The men’s bag can be used buttoned down as a wash bag or, when opened flat, as storage for tablet devices such as iPads.
The bags contain four anti-ageing and rejuvenating items by Omorovicza, hand-picked from the brand’s ‘Gold’ collection. The anti-inflammatory gold in the luxurious creams, serums, oils and scrubs heals micro-damage and strengthens mature skin.
The inflight essential products include a lip balm; a facial moisturiser with cooling gel-cream that absorbs instantly and provides long-lasting hydration; a nourishing, lightly-scented hand treatment; and a refreshing cleansing wipe.
Four Omorovicza items will be available in the washrooms: a Queen of Hungary face mist: a hydrating and energising mist that refreshes the skin and stimulates the senses; a fragrant and refreshing face and hand wash to cleanse and hydrate the skin without stripping it of its natural oils; and a nourishing, lightly-scented hand lotion.
Other comfort items included are ear plugs, a comb, a care pack (consisting of cotton pads, ear buds and an emery board), a dental pack, a sleep pack (with comfortable socks and eyeshades), and a relax pack (with pillow mist and pulse point oil). The offering for men also includes a shaving kit.
American partners Michelin Brit
October 25, 2016
American Airlines has partnered with British Michelin-star chef, author, television personality and restaurateur, Mark Sargeant, to design an exclusive menu for Flagship First Class passengers travelling from London to the US.
The à la carte menu now onboard features dishes personally designed by Mark using fresh ingredients and innovative flavour combinations, and is available on flights from Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare; Los Angeles; New York John F Kennedy; Miami and Dallas/ Fort Worth.
Menu highlights include ‘poached native lobster’, and ‘roasted duck with hoisin barbecue sauce’ to start, followed by ‘slow-cooked West Country pork belly with fennel seed and white bean cassoulet’, or ‘barbecue short rib of Angus beef with sweet potato champ and red cabbage slaw’ for the main course. For dessert, a ‘warm spiced Victoria plum crumble with English custard or vanilla ice cream’ offers a nostalgic seasonal treat.
Wine-pairings to complement Mark’s dishes include white and red wines from France, Chile, Australia and California, as well as French champagne, a Spanish sherry and a Portuguese desert wine, each bottle has been carefully-chosen to elevate the dining experience.
On US to Europe services, award-winning US chef, author, television personality and philanthropist, Maneet Chauhan, has lent her expertise to the menu choices with a globally-inspired à la carte menu for routes to Milan, Barcelona, Zürich, Amsterdam and Paris. A selection of main courses designed by Maneet will also be available on outbound flights from the US to Latin America in First and Business.
Iberia launches Premium Economy
October 25, 2016
Iberia has unveiled a Premium Economy cabin that will be available on 37 of its long-haul aircraft from summer 2017.
The new cabin will be installed on eight Airbus A330s-300s, 13 A340-600s and on 16 new A350-900s to be delivered in 2018.
The seat will be 19 inches wide and have a 37-inch pitch. They will recline 40% more than seats in the economy cabin and feature adjustable foot and headrests, noise-cancelling earphones and an exclusive amenity kit.
Passengers will also have full access to the in-flight entertainment programme via 13-inch display screens. Additionally, Premium Economy passengers will enjoy priority boarding and disembarkation, extra baggage allowance and upgraded dining options.
“Iberia is the sole airline that will offer this intermediate seating class on direct flights between Spain and Latin America, which should strengthen our leadership of this market,” says Iberia’s chief commercial director, Marco Sansavini.
The first aircraft to be equipped with the new cabin will be used next summer on routes between Madrid and Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lima and Chicago.
Flying Food’s hat-trick
October 25, 2016
Flying Food Group (FFG) has earned a trio of global supplier awards from Virgin Atlantic for 2016.
Virgin Atlantic presented FFG awards for its overall cabin performance in Upper Class; for its innovative culinary team and to recognise account manager Rex Nichols at JFK.
There is a thriving connection between VS and FFG, according to Jim Ball, FFG vp of sales & service, who said that there is a great relationship between the two companies which collaborate at EWR and IAD on daily flights to Heathrow; JFK on five flights daily flight to Heathrow; at MIA on 7-14 flights weekly flights to Heathrow and at MCO on 3-5 flights daily to Gatwick and other airports.
The awards were presented at the Virgin Atlantic Global Catering Awards event in the UK. FFG Executive Chef Henri Alcade, FFG VP Research & Development, led the culinary and production teams attending the awards event.
Pictured (l-r) are: Jacky Toh—Corporate Executive Chef; Brenda Sanchez—MCO Account Mgr; Chef Henri Alcade, vp R&DP; Rex Nichols, JFK director of operations; Jing Jing Liu, specs/pricing analyst; Paul Freitas, EWR customer service manager; and Claude Berre, MIA executive chef.
Healthier options get onboard
October 25, 2016
Absolute Taste and The Aviation Nutritionist have joined forces to launch a range of inflight meals designed to offer passengers a nutritionally balanced and health enhancing onboard dining experience.
Responding to the ever-increasing interest in cleaner eating and the growing number of passengers concerned over the nutritional value of each meal, each dish is designed to promote easy digestion, encourage the ability to detoxify, improve depleted energy levels whilst travelling and aid inflight comfort and sleep.
The nutrition-conscious meals will debut on ConnectJets’ private jets out of London City Airport.
En Route goes pink for Cancer
October 25, 2016
En Route is stepping up its support for Breast Cancer Care by raising awareness of the disease amongst passengers and crew through pink-themed products on Emirates.
Crew will be offered Stoats’ Cranberry and Raspberry Porridge, which is a nutritious blend of Scottish oats that turns pink when the cranberries and raspberries are stirred in, topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Passengers will also be offered one of two pink snacks: Biscottea Strawberry Shortbread, made with natural ingredients, or Organic Chocolate Coated Berries, an melange of dried strawberries and blueberries coated in white chocolate, dried strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and dried raspberries covered in dark chocolate.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with 1 in 8 being diagnosed in their lifetime. Men can also develop the disease, with 1 in 870 developing breast cancer. Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist UK-wide charity providing care, support and information for those affected by breast cancer.
This is the third year running, the company has supported Breast Cancer Care and sees it more than doubling its donation to £25,000.
The new selection on Emirates flights is packaged with the slogan “The Power of Pink”.
Qatar partners with Giorgio Armani
October 17, 2016
Qatar Airways has launched a newly-designed range of luxurious Giorgio Armani fragrances and beauty amenity kits for First passengers on selected A380 flights.
The amenity kits are designed in black, the signature colour of Giorgio Armani, and feature golden accents reflecting the latest Giorgio Armani fall/winter 2016-2017 collection.
Women will receive a kit that doubles as make-up or jewellery bag post-flight, while men will receive a smart travel bag made with a ribbed fabric that reflects the latest trends in male style and luxury.
The female kits include moisturiser, eye makeup remover and Giorgio Armani Crema Nera Extrema; while male kits finclude a shampoo, lotion and Armani Men Perfect Master Serum.Both amenity kits include a comfort bag consisting of lip balm, socks, eyeshades and ear plugs while the ladies kit also includes a hair brush.
The new range of Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Beauty amenity kits are available exclusively on overnight services on all First Class long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights on the airline’s Airbus A380. Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380 operates on select services to Paris, London, Bangkok, Guangzhou in China, and now on the daily A380 service to Sydney, Australia.
Icelandair crews buddy up
October 17, 2016
Icelandair is taking onboard hospitality off the aircraft with the reintroduction of its Stopover Buddy service connecting passengers with members of the airline’s team for personalised insights while on a stopover.
All passengers on a transatlantic stopover can now request a free Buddy and are matched according to their requests and interests. Buddies will be on hand to act as a host in Iceland and offer their personalised local expertise.
For example, co-pilot, Sverrir’s brother is in Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men and could arrange an exclusive meet at Iceland Airwaves festival. Flight attendant Hlíf is related to the captain of the women’s national football team and could take a passenger to watch her at a local game. Captain Bjorn is a keen adventurer and could help a visitor plan the ultimate proposal in one of Iceland’s best secret beauty spots.
The Stopover Buddy service was launched in response to global research highlighting people want to experience local culture and unique adventures over anything else whilst on holiday. Over half (51%) of the respondents stated they are keen to mix with locals when abroad to have an authentic local experience and three quarters admitted to feeling embarrassed for looking like a tourist.
The Buddies are available for any Icelandair transatlantic passengers to enjoy from October 11 2016 to March 31 2017.
VistaJet’s creative cocktails
October 17, 2016
Private aviation operator VistaJet, claims to be raising the onboard bar with the introduction of an innovative cocktail collection created exclusively by Simone Caporale, internationally recognised mixologist.
Simone has reimagined the glamorous cocktails from the 1950s, a golden age of aviation, for a curated cocktail collection using a range of innovative techniques.
“From alcohol ‘clouds’ to molecular tricks, Simone Caporale is the finest mixologist in the world, so we are delighted to bring our clients the ultimate in-flight cocktail experience.” said Nina Flohr, VistaJet’s Creative Director. “Simone has developed new inflight techniques for flavour-balancing and to enhance the travel experience. He has personally trained all of our hostesses to perfect each drink in the collection.”
The inflight menu includes eight original creations such as the 50/50 Manhattan, blended with equal parts scotch whisky and red vermouth with a hint of oak smoke; the Sake Blossom with Nobu sake complimented by organic black cherry and tonka bean; and the Negroni Aperitivo, mellow and slightly bitter.
Singapore chooses Alpha LSG
October 17, 2016
Alpha LSG has been awarded a new contract to cater Singapore Airlines flights out of Manchester, and its existing agreement at London-Heathrow has been extended.
From October 30 Alpha LSG will be catering five flights each week on a new route operating non-stop from Singapore to Manchester and then continuing on to Houston. Under the new arrangement Alpha LSG will also cater five return flights from Houston that will stop over at Manchester on route to Singapore.
The extension to Alpha LSG’s existing contract with Singapore Airlines will see it continue to cater 28 flights each week out of London-Heathrow.
Richard Wood, Alpha LSG Managing Director said: “We are delighted to announce these new agreements with Singapore Airlines. Outside of Singapore, London-Heathrow is one of their largest operations and we are honoured to be entrusted with catering one of Singapore Airline’s flagship routes. Our new contract in Manchester also reflects the strength of our excellent relationship with the airline.”
Alpha LSG currently supplies nearly a million meals each year across Economy, Business and First cabins for passengers travelling on over 1,450 flights on Singapore Airlines services from London-Heathrow.
Delta lies flat
October 17, 2016
Delta is to become the only airline to offer lie-flat seats in the premium cabin between Los Angeles and Washington-Reagan.
The airline will begin daily nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on April 24, 2017 and all flights will be operated using a Boeing 757-200 aircraft with full flat-bed seats in First.
Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s vp sales, west region, says: “We know that for Delta customers in L.A. and D.C. ‘how’ they get there is important. As the only airline to offer full flat-bed seats between these markets, our customers will arrive rested and productive – and it’s that premium distinction in the customer experience that differentiates Delta. We’re pleased our growth and investment on the West Coast has created this opportunity.”
Malaysia adds new wine range
October 10, 2016
Malaysia Airlines has unveiled a new range of wine and champagne to be offered to its First and Business customers travelling between London and Kuala Lumpur.
The new selection will sit alongside the fine dining Chef-on-Call menu, featuring a wide selection of 25 dishes ranging from Malaysian favourites, chef’s recommendations, healthy and light meals.
In Business the offer now includes: Champagne Duval Leroy “Fleur du Champagne” Premier Cru NV; Chateau Doyac 2011, AOC Haut Medoc, Bordeaux; D’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale; Bodega Piedra Negra Malbec Reserve 2014, Mendoza, Argentina; Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough; Maison Trenel Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014, Burgundy; Pikes “Traditionale” Clare Valley Riesling 2015, South Australia; and Chateau Monteau Raba 2010, AOC Sauternes.
First passengers are offered Champagne Joseph Perrier Cuvee Josephine 2004; Chateau Frombrauge 2012, AOC St-Emilion Grand Cru Classes, Bordeaux; Schubert Wairarapa Syrah 2013, Martinborough; Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand Vergelesse 1er cru “les Vergelesses” 2011, Burgundy; Bodega Piedra Negra Malbec Reserve 2014, Mendoza, Argentina; Stonier Lyncroft Vineyards Chardonnay 2013, Victoria; Chateau La Louviere Blanc 2013, AOC Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux; Pikes “Traditionale” Clare Valley Riesling 2015, South Australia; and the Chateau Monteau Raba 2010, AOC Sauternes, Bordeaux dessert wine.
Arved von zur Mühlen, chief commercial officer at Malaysia Airlines said: “At a time when some airlines are reducing the level of food and beverages on-board flights, Malaysia Airlines is choosing to invest in quality products for our customers. We pride ourselves in ensuring our customers have a truly amazing experience, we believe that our new wines and champagnes will further enhance that experience.”
Pre orders for Ukraine
October 10, 2016
Ukraine International Airlines is now offering a pre-order option for onboard meals.
Passengers can use the pre-ordered meal link on the airline’s website, submit information on the flight date and route, and choose the preferred meal options out of an extensive selection of snacks, hot courses, and sets.
In addition to basic menu, passengers are offered vegetarian, kosher, Muslim, and children`s menu. Eventually, UIA plans to enhance the selection of special menus by offering clients Chinese cuisine. Drinks and beverages can be purchased onboard during the flight.
Pre-ordered meals should be booked minimum 50 hours prior to scheduled departure. The option is available for Economy passengers on most medium-haul flights while complimentary meals are still available in Business, and in Economy and Premium Economy on long-haul flights, as well as in Economy Class on UIA scheduled services to Kazakhstan, Iran, and Jordan.
New deals in Bangkok
October 10, 2016
Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) has unveiled new developments and two new contracts with Swiss International Air Lines and Kuwait Airways out of Bangkok.
The company has also expanded its kosher box offering following positive feedback.
Bangkok Air Catering Samui base is now fully operational, and the construction of Bangkok Air Catering Phuket is under way and due to launch around July 2017.
Construction of the Gourmet Primo facility will shortly be under way in Pravej. Gourmet Primo will offer cost-saving solutions for catering, hotel and other businesses, bringing value-added products to the domestic and export markets.
Servair deal with Hainan
October 4, 2016
Servair has been chosen by Chinese airline Hainan Airlines to provide onboard catering for its Paris-Xi’An route for the next three years.
The service, operated by an Airbus A330-200, has a completely new catering offer as part of Hainan Airlines’ ‘exclusive restaurant onboard’ programme. The new menu features signature meals from Mathieu Viannay, chef of La Mère Brazier in Lyon (two stars in the Michelin Guide), developed in collaboration with the Servair chefs.
The offer is part of a deliberate strategy from the Chinese airline to provide a new gastronomic experience onboard its flights. Menus are also signed by Michelin-starred chefs on flights from Paris, Berlin and Brussels.
Michel Emeyriat, ceo of Servair, said: “This new partnership is a source of real pride for us. Hainan Airlines is a prestigious company, with a very high quality offer. For all our teams, assisting them in introducing this new gastronomic offer is both an ambitious challenge and true recognition of our know-how. All our passion is behind this new challenge.”
British Airways deal for Tourvest
October 4, 2016
British Airways has awarded Tourvest Inflight Retail Services the contract to manage its new short-haul food and beverage service.
The new catering service will enable customers to purchase Marks & Spencer Food on the Move options on British Airways’ short-haul and domestic flights from January 2017. It follows extensive customer research and feedback, which found that travellers want more choices that reflect their on-the-go preferences.
Tourvest is working with British Airways and Marks & Spencer in order to design the menu, which will include a number of fresh options as well as ambient products that are easy for customers to eat on the flight or take with them for their onward journey.
Tourvest has also extended its contract to supply and manage the Duty Free service to British Airways worldwide, which it has held since January 2012.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “The logistics, delivery and value proposition of both our new short-haul catering option, together with our duty free service are incredibly important to the experience our customers receive. We needed a company capable of dealing with the scale and complexity of our operation, and we believe Tourvest is the perfect option.”
Clive Jones, ceo of Tourvest Inflight Retail Services, said: “We are incredibly proud to be managing such a critical move for British Airways. It’s a real honour for our business to be associated with such British giants as British Airways and Marks & Spencer.”
Both contracts have been awarded following a bid process led by International Airlines Group (IAG), British Airways’ parent company.
New deal for Flying Food Group
October 4, 2016
Flying Food Group IAD is now catering the new Royal Air Maroc (RAM) route between Washington D.C. and Casablanca.
Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vice president, airline sales, said FFG is now servicing its the three weekly flights launched September 8 using its cutting-edge IAD facility located less than five miles from Dulles International Airport.
Virgin Trains wins innovation award
October 4, 2016
Virgin Trains has won the ‘Most Innovative Caterer’ award in the Onboard Retail Category at the annual International Rail Catering Group awards.
The award recognised a menu which included dishes such as lemon and herb roasted chicken and a chicken curry developed by chef James Martin who also developed an exclusive range of jams, produced by Yorkshire based The Fruity Kitchen, and a premium Black Pudding served at breakfast in the full-English.
Alison Watson, head of customer experience for Virgin Trains on the east coast said: “We are so pleased to see our menu get the recognition it deserves at the International Rail Catering Group awards. We believe in providing an outstanding service to our customers onboard and working with James Martin to develop this menu has been a key part of this.
“This is another step in Virgin Trains’ journey of improving every element of our customers’ experience when they travel with us. Our new First Class carriages are rolling out on a weekly basis now and our Azuma trains are being prepared to the highest spec in anticipation of future customer needs.”
Google gets onboard
October 4, 2016
Ethiopian Airlines is using a Google “Seat View”to give potential customers a tour around its Cloud 9 Business Class and Economy cabins on its A350-900 XWB.
The tour allows passengers travelling between London Heathrow and Addis Ababa to take a closer look at the seat of their choice before their trip. The feature is expected to be especially helpful to passengers bidding for an upgrade to Cloud 9 Business Class through Ethiopian’s PlusGrade programme.
The virtual tour includes integrated pop-up panels to highlight special cabin features including seat specifications, IFE offerings, and Cloud 9 food and beverage menus. Customers can also book, manage existing reservations or log into their ShebaMiles account after finishing the tour with a single click.
“Ethiopian Airlines has an incredibly modern fleet unrivalled by other African carriers, so we felt we needed an equally modern way of showcasing our product for both the direct consumers and travel trade”- says Renata De Sousa, the UK Sales and Marketing representative.
The airline plans to add its new B787-800 Dreamliner onto Google Street View in the coming weeks.
Hot options on JAL
October 4, 2016
Japan Airlines (JAL) has responded to growing demand for hot dining options in its airport lounges outside Japan by adding hot offerings in Frankfurt, Honolulu and San Francisco.
The airline will now serve yaki-onigiri vhazuke (grilled rice ball dipped in soup stock) at its Sakura Lounge at Honolulu International Airport with further hot options at the its First and Sakura Lounges in Frankfurt and San Francisco International Airports starting from October 2016.
Frankfurt travellers will get a new chicken curry dish based on a special recipe that includes Japanese ramen (noodles) from Frankfurt-based restaurant MUKU with a second MUKU ramen dish to follow soon.
San Franciso passengers will also be served the yaki-onigiri chazuke and Chikuzen-ni (simmered root vegetables with chicken) in addition to the Futomaki sushi (sushi roll) currently served.
Honolulu passengers will be offered a special yaki-onigiri chazuke (grilled rice ball in umami soup).The grilled rice ball is made with California Koshihikari rice and flavoured with Hawaiian sea salt.
KLM extends award miles options
October 4, 2016
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flying Blue members can now use their award miles to pay for tax-free items onboard.
The expansion of the Flying Blue programme provides new ways to spend award miles. The programme was expanded last year to include earning and spending miles earned with Transavia.
Flying Blue members can already use their award miles to buy tax-free articles in the web shop, Shop@KLM, and pay for flights, extra baggage or legroom, hotel rooms, or car hire. And now they can redeem them onboard as well. Flying Blue members can collect award miles, for instance, by booking flights with KLM, Air France, or other airline partners.
CrossCountry rail ups its offer
October 4, 2016
UK train operator CrossCountry has re-launched its onboard pre-order menu to include new offerings and a range of gluten free and vegetarian options.
A new wine selection has also been introduced to complement each dish. Richard Cross, catering buyer at CrossCountry. “Our new pre-order menu caters for a range of lifestyles and palates; the Concha Y Toro Chardonnay, for example, provides the perfect accompaniment to our poached salmon supreme. It is the ultimate indulgence for a warm up to a weekend getaway or a delicious finish to a long day at work.”
The new pre-order menu will be available on selected routes from Edinburgh to Plymouth, and Manchester to Bournemouth, covering major cities and towns such as York, Birmingham and Oxford – ideal for those who are travelling long distance.
The pre-order service also offers an exclusive meal deal option; two main meals, two desserts and a bottle of wine from CrossCountry’s Pier 42 range for just £25
Richard Cross added: “From our new vegetable tagine to our gluten-free salted caramel chocolate pot, there is something for everyone.”
British Airways teams up with M&S
September 29, 2016
British Airways has confirmed it is partnering with Marks & Spencer to offer a range of onboard snacks and sandwiches.
From January 11th the airline will no longer offer complimentary food and beverages in its Economy on short-haul routes as it seeks to offer greater “choice and quality onboard”.
“This is two great British brands coming together to provide food on short-haul flights,” says British Airways Chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz.
“Our competitors offer choice but that wasn’t enough for us,” says Cruz. “M&S brings in the quality perspective.”
The onboard offering will include items from M&S’ Food on the Move Selection which will be sold with a mark-up on high street prices.
“I firmly believe what we are delivering breaks the mould and sets a new standard in short-haul catering. We will be providing a selection of premium brand, fresh food options and a menu that will be refreshed on a quarterly basis,” says Cruz.
Prices will range from £1 for a bag of hand-cooked crisps up to £4.95 for a Balanced for You spiced chicken and quinoa salad.
BA will offer a full bar service – not supplied by M&S – with soft drinks from £1.50 and alcoholic drinks from £4.
Passengers will be able to pay for items by contactless cards and with Avios points.
The airline’s Business offering on short-haul flights will remain complimentary.
Etihad explores kids offer
September 26, 2016
Etihad Airways has introduced a new range of ‘Etihad Explorers’ children’s activity packs and a Flying Nanny Kit, to keep its younger guests occupied while onboard.
Etihad Explorers is the airline’s new children’s brand and will feature on activity packs and meal items. The new kits were created by Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks in partnership with Etihad Airways’ Flying Nannies and product development team.
On inbound flights to Abu Dhabi, the new collectable character bag for three to eight year-olds contains an activity booklet, crayons, card games and a colour-in mask. On flights from Abu Dhabi it includes a unique suitcase boardgame, a foam lion character, colour-in postcards, crayons, and a handy waterproof travel wallet.
For nine to 13 year olds there is a more mature activity pack containing Sudoku, mazes, lined notes and join-the-dot games. These packs also contain an Abu Dhabi themed pencil case, pencil, a dual-function bookmark and ruler, and a notepad.
Retail innovation from gategroup
September 26, 2016
Gategroup has launched a new retail model for onboard sales under the branded name of uqonic.
Said to be the ‘next generation’ of retail solutions, uqonic brings together under a single platform gategroup’s brands, expertise in business insights, hospitality skills and a 360° tech platform.
Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup CEO, said: “We are elevating the traveller experience by prompting value-adding products that expand the imagination. As a blend of the traveller, the unique and the iconic, uqonic clearly defines this value proposition.”
The new brand will offer consumer intelligence and market place research, using data on passenger purchasing preferences and then develop new bespoke products to suit demand and client need through its dedicated Innovation Centre of Excellence in Amsterdam.
An allied uqonic University will develop, formalise and implement the necessary skills through an industry-validated, in-flight retail certification programme to encourage a knowledgeable, competent and skilled sales force in-flight. While the uqonic operating system, uqonic OS, ties cutting-edge data tools to an integrated solution covering from pre-order to wastage and shrinkage management. It will also support data-driven personalised offerings and smart trolleys with integrated track and trace capabilities, as well as duty and tax management.
Smart Lid goes for growth
September 26, 2016
Sydney-based packaging firm, Smart Lid, is dramatically scaling up its production output through a deal with European-based manufacturer Macpac SA, to meet growing international demand.
Macpac will begin producing the disposable lids at its Greek facility later in the year for export throughout Europe and Russia. The Smart Lid is a colour changing disposable beverage lid that warns of the hot contents by turning bright red and as the lid returns to the ‘cold’ colour as the hot drink cools. The technology draws attention to the hot liquid with the purpose of warning those around of the potential scald danger.
“Consumers of all hot drinks the world-over will be introduced to the Smart Lid over the next twelve months” says Smart Lid’s George Bayss. The technology is not just suited to onboard use but is also used in cafes, fastfood chains, and aged-care facilities.
AIC caters new Air Djibouti service
September 26, 2016
Addis International Catering and its sister company ICAS has confirmed a contract with Air Djibouti to provide catering and ground services in support of its new service from Addis Ababa to Djibouti.
Operated by a B737 with a two-class configuration, the Air Djibouti twice weekly scheduled service started late August.
In addition to catering the ADD-JIB sector, AIC will provide meals for all Air Djibouti flights out of JIB by delivering frozen product via the scheduled flights. AIC is also catering a series of Haj flights JIB-JED.
AIC sister company ICAS is providing ground handling services. Pictured is the inaugural flight with Air Djibouti’s commercial Director Ian Patrick plus crew, handling staff and support personnel from Addis International Catering and ICAS.
Extended contracts for gategroup
September 19, 2016
European airlines easyJet and airberlin have extended their contracts with gategroup through to 2022 and 2020 respectively.
The easyjet deal represents a three-year extension and will see gategroup managing easyJet’s end-to-end retail programme and crew catering across the airline’s network.
airberlin, the second largest airline in Germany, has extended and expanded its existing partnership for four years until the end of 2020. gategroup will continue to provide catering and provisioning for the airline’s onboard service, and has extended its scope to include the retail of food, beverages and duty free items. In addition, gategroup has expanded its long-haul catering business to serve all airberlin flights inbound to Germany from the U.S.
Combined, easyJet and airberlin serve more than 100 million passengers per year on about 400 aircraft. Both airlines are currently among gategroup’s top 20 customers in terms of annual revenue, with the total value of the combined agreements estimated to exceed CHF 250 million in revenue per year.
gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol said: “A defining component of gategroup’s Gateway 2020 strategy has been our emphasis on retail, combining innovation, technology, and culinary and operational expertise to earn and retain long-term partnerships. We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with top customers easyJet and airberlin, creating value for their passengers while also simplifying onboard retail processes. As we continue our respective work together, we will introduce new realms of retail that spark the imagination, create brand loyalty and generate additional revenue.”
Fine Chinese with Cathay Pacific
September 12, 2016
Cathay Pacific Airways has partnered with Hong Kong fine dining restaurant Mott 32 to offer a new range of dining for its passengers.
Starting this September, passengers in all classes on selected flights from Hong Kong to long-haul destinations including Australia, Europe and North America will be able to enjoy the new menu, developed in collaboration with Mott 32.
Mott 32’s ‘East meets West’ dining ethos fits with the global-facing Hong Kong carrier. The restaurant is named after 32 Mott Street in New York, a focal point in the development of the city’s Chinatown. It follows the principle of farm-to-table cooking and specialises in Cantonese, Beijing and Sichuan dishes, using premium ingredients to create contemporary but authentic Chinese flavours.
Cathay Pacific’s Head of Catering Aaron Claxton said: “Mott 32 has quickly earned a reputation for creating a Chinese fine dining experience and is famed for its culinary creativity as well as contemporary dining presentation and we believe their menu will impress many of our passengers who are admirers of contemporary Chinese cuisine.”
The new menu features a selection of Mott 32’s most popular dishes, including crispy triple-cooked US black angus beef short rib, inspired by the restaurant group’s Chef Lee Man-sing, who tasted them on a trip to Hangzhou.
Another renowned dish is the slow-cooked sticky Iberico pork white turnip cake, blending premium Iberico pork into steamed turnip cake to make a healthier alternative to the more common recipe that uses fatty pork.
Chicken and salted lemon is also predicted to be a popular choice onboard, thanks to its natural sweetness.
Local influences for LATAM’s new menu
September 4, 2016
LATAM Airlines has launched a new menu and wine list for its Premium Business and Premium Economy classes, showcasing Latin American produce and wines.
The new inflight menu incorporates local ingredients from each country that LATAM operates in and features special dishes for each route.
For flights departing from Chile, Argentina and Brazil, ingredients will include Patagonian king crab, pirarucu fish (one of the largest fresh water fish in the world found in the Amazon), beef shoulder, quinoa, wheat berries, barley and lucuma (a fruit only found in Peru). While from Europe, ingredients will include monkfish, Iberian and Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella.
Jerome Cadier, marketing vp of LATAM Airlines Group said: “Gastronomy, for many, is one of the most important aspects of the travel experience and is an enriching way to connect with a culture. At LATAM, we want to celebrate the ingredients and producers of Latin America. That’s why our menu and wine selection reflect the identity and variety of flavours of the continent, which has become a world-renowned culinary destination.”
For its new wine list, LATAM Airlines renewed the selection in its premium cabins to feature original wines exclusively from Chilean and Argentinean producers – Uco and Salta in Argentina and Colchagua and Limarí in Chile. The list represents the diversity of the region’s geography, terroir and growing conditions, with influences ranging from the arid Altiplano and the cool Pacific coast to mountains and valley plains.
The selection process involved over 500 wines, paired with the inflight menu. Héctor Vergara, the only Master Sommelier in Latin America and a consultant to LATAM Airlines commented: “We understand that at 30,000 feet the cabin pressure affects sensory perceptions. Therefore, we selected wines that are naturally more fruity, fresh and light-bodied – and express the characteristics of the grape – that passengers can enjoy more easily on board.”
SATS invests in mechanisation
AUGUST 31, 2016
ASIAN caterer, SATS, is to invest $18 million in a new production line that can mechanise up to 50% of certain kitchen operations.
The move will enhance productivity and increase production capacity across both of its inflight catering centres to approximately 115,000 meals a day.
The new production line will include automated sauce and ingredient dispensers as well as robotic wok paddles – speeding up soup, sauce and rice production and part of its dishing process. The line will be capable of processing food on a large scale and will enhance consistency in taste and quality.
Alex Hungate, SATS ceo, said: “This investment underscores our commitment to the long-term growth of Singapore’s aviation industry and the development of our people.”
SATS will expand its Inflight Catering Centre 2 by 5,000 square-metres, bringing its total facility size to 60,000 square metres. The new facility is due for completion by the second quarter of 2017.
Norwegian expands partnership with Margaritaville
AUGUST 18, 2016
Norwegian Cruise Line has expanded its exclusive partnership with Margaritaville as a part of a $400 million investment programme for its onboard experience.
Norwegian will introduce new Margaritaville at Sea restaurants onto its Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway this autumn, building on the success and popularity of the restaurant brand onboard its newest ship, Norwegian Escape.
Margaritaville at Sea is designed to bring to life nostalgic island moments with a tropical menu that features signature such as the Cheeseburger in Paradise and Who’s to Blame Margarita, available à la carte, in an open air-eatery with stunning ocean views.
Margaritaville at Sea will open on September 18 aboard Norwegian Getaway in the former Flamingo Grill, and on October 9 aboard Norwegian Breakaway in the former Uptown Grill.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line, allowing even more guests to escape to the Margaritaville state of mind,” said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville. “Norwegian shares our philosophy that combines fun with exceptional service and we look forward to continuing to take this partnership to new sea levels.”
Boeing 747 makeover for British Airways
AUGUST 18, 2016
British Airways has refurbished 18 of its Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of their newest aircraft.
Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system – as well as extra seats for Club World customers.
Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors. The mood lighting, better seating and new entertainment system make their flight just fly by. Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”
New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and 787s, including new seat foams and covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus.
IFE will come from Panasonic’s next generation lightweight eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, high-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures like a tablet.
As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. World Traveller customers have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.
British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft, including A380s and Dreamliners.
Soothing vibes from Virgin Atlantic
AUGUST 18, 2016
Virgin Atlantic has introduced bespoke aromatherapy onboard as part of a new package of relaxation products to help customers get a restful flight.
The airline has partnered with high-end British beauty brands ‘de Mamiel’ and ‘This Works’ to introduce a unique two-step aromatherapy kit to their Upper Class cabin. This can be coupled with the mindfulness meditation app, Headspace, which the carrier has made available too.
All customers travelling in Upper Class will now be provided with a hot towel infused with oils, created exclusively for Virgin by de Mamiel. The blend of oils will vary depending on the time of flight. Day travellers will get Enliven, a blend of bergamot, sweet orange and ylang ylang III to help customers feel refreshed and relaxed. Night flights will feature ‘High Altitude’, a mix of fragonia, eucalyptus and lavender to boost immunity, cleanse and help customers drift off.
Overnight flight travellers will also be provided with a deep sleep pillow spray from This Works, clinically proven to improve sleep quality and aid a better night’s sleep.
The new aromatherapies are complimented by a choice of 13 onboard mindfulness films designed by the popular app Headspace. These give flyers techniques to help them sleep or focus on an up-coming event.
Jill Brady, executive vp customer experience, at Virgin Atlantic said: “We are always looking for ways to make flying an even more fabulous experience and the addition of these unique products is yet another way that Virgin Atlantic is ensuring our customers enjoy the best sleep in the sky.”
Zodiac Aerospace wins a Reddot Design Award
AUGUST 18, 2016
Zodiac Aerospace’s Lifestyle cabin concept has won the prestigious Reddot Award in the Design concept category.
The Lifestyle cabin concept illustrates possible aircraft interior design in 10 years’ time, and aims to provoke conversation around the future of the aerospace industry. The Lifestyle cabin concept illustrates possible aircraft interior design for 10 years’ time, and aims to provoke conversation around the future of the aerospace industry.
Already privately unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and Paris Air Show, the concept is visualized through a 20th scale aircraft 3D model created by Zodiac’s Advanced Concept Team and designers from several business units of the company, working with London-based creative agency New Territory.
The mock up also features accompanying motion work on six screens around the model, which bring the interior concept to life through rendered images showing fluid natural movements of passengers around the cabin.
At AIX this year, airlines were also able to visit the lifestyle cabin virtually and ‘walk’ into the futuristic cabin.
The concept has already won a Crystal Cabin Award in the Visionary Concept category.
Help fund a movie on inflight food
AUGUST 18, 2016
The secrets of inflight food service are soon to be revealed with a new documentary film from the founder of inflightfeed.com, Nik Loukas.
Filming has already started for Inflight Food Trip, which will be a full-length documentary film showing how airlines source, prepare, and deliver meals to passengers at 35,000ft.
Due to be aired in 2017, the film is being crowd-funded via Indiegogo, with a goal of €9800 and a deadline of September 3.
Loukas has secured agreements to go behind the scenes with some of the world’s biggest airlines including Air Baltic, SAS and Air France, and inflight caterers.
His film will look at the history of airline food, dating back to 1919, and show how carriers and caterers today develop menus in-line with modern gastronomic trends, train their inflight chefs and occasionally manage to convince travellers to pay more for an enhanced meal experience.
Says Loukas: “Airline food no doubt suffers from a negative reputation, but good or bad, the level of planning and expert execution behind every slice of tomato, every piece of pasta put onto a plane is extraordinary. We want to reveal the behind-the-scenes pressure and precision of this overlooked industry that’s key to the modern air travel experience. The ‘stars’ of our film will be not just the airlines, but also cabin crews, inflight caterers, and the general public.”
Nik Loukas is a regular contributer to Onboard Hospitality and created InFlightFeed.com as an online guide for passengers who wanted to know more about the food available on their flights. The site includes features covering menu information, meal reviews, and notes from Loukas’ own globetrotting culinary adventures working with the airlines.
Qatar Airways launches green initiative
AUGUST 18, 2016
Qatar Airways has embarked on a new waste reduction and recycling programme to reduce its contribution to landfill.
Collaborating with Qatar Aircraft Catering Company (QACC) the airline has been working to introduce additional measures that will minimise packaging and increase recycling.
Over the past three months Qatar Airways and QACC have recycled 266 tonnes of materials including cardboard, plastic wrapping and a variety of plastic containers. These materials have been collected by two local recycling firms, along with 6,300 litres of cooking oil which will be converted into biodiesel.
Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Recycling not only delivers efficiencies but reduces environmental impacts arising from waste disposal and the consumption of natural resources. Our local recycling supply chain can evolve to further drive environmental change in Qatar and provide an excellent revenue opportunity for local commerce.”
Korean’s inflight meal record
AUGUST 18, 2016
Korean Air set a new record for its daily production of inflight meals this July 30, when the company catered for 84,936 passengers.
Meal production has steadily increased for Korean Air over the past year, following Korean Air investing time and money into its in-house catering facility. The airline has made food choices its ‘top business priority’, and developed new menus.
The new record was largely driven by another record, set the same day at the airline’s hub Incheon International Airport for the largest number of people (193,420) using the airport on one day.
Korean Air operates the country’s largest inflight meal production facilities at Incheon and Gimpo international airports, providing meals for the 49 global airlines that fly to and from South Korea, including Singapore Airlines, Air France and British Airways. Income from meal production accounted for 2.2 percent ($219 million) of the company’s total revenue in 2015.
The catering facilities produce almost 1,400 different dishes daily: 1,000 hot meals, 230 cold meals, and 140 different kinds of bread and muffins.
Hot meals include Korea’s iconic bulgogi – rice with soybean paste, and boiled chicken with rice, while cold meals range from sandwiches and salad to sushi. Meat and vegetables come from the airline’s eco-friendly farm and ranch on Jeju Island’s Halla Mountain.
The airline’s most popular meal is bibimbap, a bowl of rice topped with seasoned vegetables and chili pepper paste. Approximately 3,600 are produced each day.
Seven Samurai Chefs
AUGUST 18, 2016
After going head-to-head with six UK chefs, Piero Leone, Head Chef at the Royal Exchange’s Restaurant Sauterelle, has been named the winner of Seven Samurai Chefs, a nationwide challenge run by ANA and the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
Judged in part by Japanese chef Yuki Gomi from Yuki’s Kitchen, the contest challenged chefs to create a traditional Japanese donburi for ANA. Piero’s winning dish, Donburi N7, made the best impression with the airline’s chefs, who judged the final round. Fusing his personal cooking style with traditional techniques and seven ingredients, including calamari, scallops, and prawns seared with a touch of sesame oil and ponzu sauce, the dish is packed with fresh flavours.
Business passengers flying with ANA from December 1 will be able to enjoy it as a light meal. It will appear alongside others created by The Connoisseurs, a unique panel of leading culinary experts, including three Michelin-star chefs Kunio Tokuoka, executive chef of Kyoto Kitcho and Toru Okuda owner of Ginza Okuda.
Piero Leone commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled that ANA has selected Donburi N7 as the winning dish. Japanese culture has always been a big inspiration to me and the culinary tour was a great opportunity to see Japan and discover its outstanding produce and ancient cooking traditions. I’m honoured and excited to see the dish on ANA’s new menu and hope passengers enjoy it.”
Piero Leone’s winning dish, Donburi N7, will be available as a light meal on ANA’s Winter 2016 Business Class menu from 1 December 2016 to 28 February 2017 on ANA’s London to Tokyo Haneda route.