Industry news

Greek gastronomy gets onboard

May 22, 2018

AEGEAN Airlines has brought together three leaders in modern Greek gastronomy to create a new Business menu.

Michelin-starred Lefteris Lazarou, Christoforos Peskias and Stelios Parliaros will created dishes that carry the aromas and flavours of Greece. They will work alongside Greece’s first ever Master of Wine, also AEGEAN’s wine consultant, Konstantinos Lazarakis, who will help the chefs pair their dishes with wines that fully showcase the unique Greek culinary offering.

The collaboration will run throughout 2018 and it is hoped it will expand to create a Hellenic movement raising the profile of Greek gastronomy worldwide.

By investing in a high-quality menu, AEGEAN hopes to also strengthen its onboard appeal and add value to the travel experience it offers passengers

Iberia refreshes its flavours

May 22, 2018

Iberia has refreshed its culinary offering to include high quality seasonal products in a new collaboration with its key inflight caterer Gate Gourmet.

Superfoods such as black quinoa, arugula (rocket), or spinach are featured in salads while Spanish cheeses are well represented including manchego, goat’s cheese, Mahón, and San Simón, served with quince jelly and grapes.

New starters include pastel de cabracho (paté made from the prized Asturian scorpion fish), marinated chicken breast, glazed prawns, duck terrine, or smoked salmon.

Main dishes include beef sirloin in muscatel sauce, chicken breast stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, and roast duck with apple and Pedro Ximénez sherry wine sauce.

Grilled fish offerings include salmon, sea bass, sea bream, and hake, served with original sauces made from piquillo peppers, spicy garlic Bilbao style, honey, and ginger, and accompanied by bimi, parsnips, or field peas.

There is also a range of pasta stuffed with asparagus or with parmesan cheese in saffron sauce, or with goat cheese and onion with cream sherry and walnuts, or ricotta and spinach with boletus mushroom and blueberry sauce.

Air Europa ups is allergen-free options

May 22, 2018

Air Europa has taken a further step to improve its onboard culinary offering for passengers on all transoceanic flights, this time focused on allergen-free menus.

Responding to the difficulties posed to passengers by dietary allergies and given the increasing demand for allergen-free foods, Air Europa has crafted menus consisting of special meals that are free of the 14 main allergen ingredients.

Aiming to set a benchmark in the airline industry, Air Europa is on a mission to encourage its passengers to follow a healthy diet so has also updated its long-haul inflight menus to include fresh organic produce and healthy eating options. The Business menu has been boosted with new and nutritious dishes created by prestigious eight-time Michelin-starred chef Martín Berasategui.

OMG! celebrations for Alpha LSG

May 22, 2018

Alpha LSG has held its third annual OMG! Conference for Thomas Cook Airlines’ cabin crew.

More than 200 members of cabin crew from the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and Belgium attended the event which revolved around workshops and seminars aimed at helping them achieve better sales and rewarding outstanding performance.

Alan Hayes, Alpha LSG’s inflight retail and managed services director told the crew that thanks to their efforts the airline had achieved record-breaking retail sales for the second consecutive year.

Mr Lee’s flies higher with TUI

May 16, 2018

Onboard Hospitality Awards 2018 finalist Mr Lee’s Pure Foods has a new contract for its Hong Kong Street Beef noodles – now available on TUI’s onboard menu.

Charlie Knight, head of sales at Mr Lee’s, said: “There is a real change in demand for healthier options in the air and it’s great that we have the perfect solution to help with that demand, with our carefully-developed airline-specific products – everything from the size of the pot to flavour profile in the air.”

Mr Lee’s offers six noodle flavours in total (two vegan), all certified gluten-free and low in salt, calories, sugar and saturated fats, with no MSG, artificial preservatives, flavourings or colourings.

All noodle pots use premium freeze-dried ingredients (rather than the more common dehydrated) which retain a high percentage of the nutritional integrity and taste of the ingredient.

Mr Lee’s marketing and communications director, Kasia Bigda commented on the Onboard Hospitality Awards, where Mr Lee’s was a finalist in Best Onboard Snack for Economy/ Premium Economy category this year: “We received a huge amount of support and interest during the voting stage, and great visibility before and during WTCE 2018. Entering awards not only gives a product credibility and free marketing, but also it differentiates the brand from the crowd and attracts the attention of the buyers, who can take the company to another level.”

The 2019 Onboard Hospitality Awards will open for entries on September 1, 2018!

Amtrak’s onboard service gets a wake up call

May 16, 2018

Peter Wilander, (ex Delta and gategroup) who has a lifetime of experience in delivering high-end customer services, has been appointed vice-president product development & customer experience for Amtrak and will be seeking to make significant change to Amtrak’s customer service.

Latest news from Amtrak suggests this will commence with a move away from some traditional dining cars on long-distance trains where food is currently cooked onboard, towards a premium tray-style service, similar to that seen on many European long-distance train services such as Eurostar, Thalys and Renfe.

A tender for logistics and food production is possible, with Amtrak having sustained significant F&B losses over many years despite continuous improvement programmes. This could include some onboard services being outsourced, again similar to the European models.

Amtrak comments: “Starting June 1 we will offer contemporary and fresh dining choices for sleeping car customers, instead of traditional dining car service, embarking aboard the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited trains. Sleeping car customers will choose meals delivered to their bedrooms or eat in a private café or lounge car.”

“Our plan is to provide new and fresh food choices in a contemporary way for these overnight trains,” said Bob Dorsch, vice president of the Amtrak long distance service line. “Our continued success depends on increasing customer satisfaction while becoming more efficient.

“Meals will continue to be included in the sleeping car fare and are delivered to the trains just prior to origination, eliminating onboard preparation. Customers will also be offered unlimited soft beverages, a complimentary serving of beer, wine or a mixed-drink and an amenity kit. Special meals will be available with advance notice. This enhancement will continue to be refined, and we look forward to hearing from our customers.”

Finnair announces new signature chef menu

May 16, 2018

Finnair has launched a crafted signature menu for its Seoul to Helsinki service created by a top Korean chef.

Seoul-based Chef Nam has created a menu which represents his philosophy of traditional Korean food with a modern twist. The offer focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

In the first menu, available from May-July 2018, Finnair passengers can enjoy beef rolls with young greens as an appetiser, followed by a main course with seabass jeon served with grilled spring onion and romanesco sauce.

Sung-Yoel Nam said: “I have found my inspiration from the ingredients and the food I grew up with. I hope that my dishes will bring joy and comfort for those longing for home, but also appeal to those who are not so familiar with Korean cuisine.”

Hell’s Kitchen star grabs a piece of the take-on-board market

May 16, 2018

Leading operator of F&B brands in travel locations worldwide, SSP, has announced a new partnership with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to operate a premium grab-and-go concept for airports around the globe.

The new concept is called Gordon Ramsay ‘Plane Food To Go’. Mark Angela, chief commercial officer for SSP, said: “Gordon Ramsay has some stand out dishes within his extensive portfolio, all given his unique twist. We’ll work hard to make sure these are an integral part of the Gordon Ramsay Plane Food To Go customer experience.”

Ramsey pioneered the idea of quality take-on-board meals with his Plane Food picnics eight years ago and has lots of ideas about creating high quality, healthy food to take on the plane in easy to eat formats.”

Gordon Ramsay said “I’m excited to be partnering with SSP to develop and bring my global vision of Plane Food To Go to the busy traveller. Plane Food To Go is a truly revolutionary concept that will roll out worldwide and build upon the massive success of the original Plane Food dining experience from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. As someone who is always in a different airport terminal every week, I know first-hand how much Plane Food To Go will enhance every on-the go travellers dining experience.”

FFG caters French Bee in the US

May 16, 2018

New Paris-based airline French Bee has partnered with Flying Food Group in San Francisco to cater its US debut.

The long-haul flights now operate between San Francisco and Paris/French Polynesia four times a week. The airline is focused on combining “low fares with top service and quality.”

FFG executive vp of airline sales, Nicolas Rondeau, said: “Flying Food Group is proud to support the US launch of this dynamic young airline. We look forward to a long-term connection.”

SPIRIANT develops amenity kits for Asiana Airlines

May 9, 2018

Asiana Airlines has introduced two new amenity kits developed for passengers in Premium cabins and put together by SPIRIANT.

Passengers in First will receive a revamped Salvatore Ferragamo bag with an updated design and loop handle for improved functionality. The bags come in two shades of grey, and match the included ‘Tuscan Soul Quintessential’ branded cosmetics collection by Bianco die Carrara.

Business travellers are also offered a L’Occitane iPad Mini case available in brown and beige. It is made with padded cotton canvas and has a wide zippered opening, so it can be used as an iPad Mini or small tablet case.

“We have enjoyed a highly creative and innovative relationship with Asiana Airlines with the introduction of amenity kits for all classes,” said Angie Fung, general manager amenities at SPIRIANT. “Moving forward with these exciting new amenity kits for First and Business Class, Asiana has trusted us to deliver top product quality as always and in an efficient timespan. We already have early indications that their reception has been very positive.”

Lufthansa introduces designer amenity kits

May 9, 2018

Skysupply has overseen a new collaboration between Lufthansa and fashion brand Cerruti 1881 to offer passengers in Premium Economy a stylish luxury amenity kits.

The unisex kits available in two elegant grey shades, carry the design style of Cerruti 1881, a high-end fashion house founded by an Italian designer. Inside contents include earplugs, a refreshing towel, a toothbrush and toothpaste and a Lufthansa branded eyemask and socks.

The bags are designed to be reused post flight for storing cosmetic items or other smaller belongings.

The amenity kits are available now on both inbound and outbound flights.

Retail inMotion partners with Etihad Airways

May 9, 2018

Retail inMotion has announced a new partnership with Etihad Airways to run a innovative retail programme onboard.

Retail inMotion will provide the airline with onboard retail solutions for its new range of catering, beverage and amenity items and will offer greater personalisation and choice for passengers. It will also be involved in the development and Etihad’s Boutique duty free programme.

“We are enormously excited to announce our partnership with Etihad, one of the most prestigious airlines in the world,” commented Stefan Patermann, chief executive officer at Retail inMotion. “Our absolute commitment is to the airline and their valued guests, providing market-leading products, services and technology to promote Etihad as a global lifestyle brand.”

As part of the partnership, Etihad Airways will implement Retail inMotion’s proprietary onboard retail management software, Vector, to capture and process payments onboard and run data analytics. Additionally, Retail inMotion will implement various retail support services including range development, category management, crew training, catalogue design, and guidance in the use of the Retail inMotion technology.

Emirates launches vintage wine offering

May 9, 2018

Emirates has launched the Emirates Vintage Collection – a selection of fine wines from its cellar in Burgundy, which have been stored for up to 15 years.

Available for passengers in First, the four wines to be included this year are the Château Cheval Blanc 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004, Château Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Château Margaux 1998.

Since 2006, Emirates has been buying wines for long-term storage, many of which were purchased when they were still in barrel. The collection was launched onboard on a flight to Paris with the Château Cheval Blanc 2004.

The four wines will be staggered throughout the year on various routes in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, with more wines due to be added to the collection over the next few years as they reach maturity.

Special dishes have also been created to be paired with each wine from the Emirates Vintage Collection, in keeping with its regionally inspired menus.

“We went direct to the winemakers, handpicked these vintages and then cellared them for up to 15 years in Burgundy before we decided they were ready to be served. It has taken a great deal of patience, investment and long-term planning. Our aim has always been to surprise and delight our customers and they are in for a treat with this selection,” said Joost Heymeijer, senior vice president, Inflight Catering, Emirates.

Oceania Cruises introduces Grand Dining Room Menus

May 9, 2018

Oceania Cruises is expanding its dining offering with new dinner menus that feature worldwide flavours and a new executive chef’s food & wine pairing service.

Passengers eating in the Grand Dining Room will have more than two dozen dishes to choose from including: six appetisers, three soups, four salads, nine main courses and nine side dishes.

Dishes include: herb-crusted cornish hen diavolo, Palermo-style grilled swordfish, smoked ricotta risotto and Paul Bocuse’s Alaskan halibut Viennoise.

‘Global Cuisine’ dishes are available every evening and focus on a particular region, specific country or particular cooking style – Asia, France, Cuba, India, United States, Spain, Thailand, Morocco, Polynesian, Greek, South America and Japan. While The Food & Wine Pairing menu offers up to four courses selected by the company’s master chefs, paired with four different wines selected by the head sommelier.

Franck Garanger, corporate executive chef for Oceania Cruises, said: “The new Grand Dining Room dinner menus are truly the most creative and varied that you will find at sea. I am so tremendously proud of our entire culinary team as every member had a hand in the crafting of these amazing creations.”

These new menus are currently available onboard Riviera and will be introduced aboard Sirena in May, Insignia in June, Nautica and Marina in July and Regatta in August.

Etihad innovates for inflight comfort and meals

May 1, 2018

Etihad Airways has launched designer loungewear and teamed up with Packaging Automation to produce premium-looking inflight meals using a heat-sealing process.

The designer loungewear collection has been created by Emirati brand, A Friend of Mine by Xpose, to offer ‘comfortable and functional’ designs for passengers in First and to those staying in The Residence onboard the Airbus A380 fleet.

Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways vice president guest experience and delivery, said: “We were thrilled to launch the new Etihad loungewear collection at an event at Louvre Abu Dhabi. This is an Abu Dhabi story – what the team at a Friend of Mine has managed to deliver is testament to the tremendous talent and creativity which has become synonymous with our home city.”

Innovation in the airline’s catering offer now sees the use of high-speed tray sealing machines to provide sturdier packaging for its inflight meals. The new trays will enable the contents to be easily transported and stored and reduce waste due to damaged stock.

The machine produces approximately 150 packs per minute. Matthew Pegg, senior manager from Etihad, commented: “We were completely new to tray sealing, PA made the process easy for us and provided excellent guidance and support with trays and film.”

Buzz delivers in Business

May 1, 2018

Buzz has delivered on two new amenities contracts for EVA Air and Air Canada.

The company partnered with design brand Georg Jensen for the design of a new amenity kit for EVA Air’s Royal Laurel and Premium Royal Laurel passengers.

The kits feature a duo bag design which offers flexible storage options for passengers. Comprised of a black safiano bag with a detachable chocolate brown bag, the kits can be used for glasses, jewellery, technology storage, or as a wash bag, and post-flight use as a travel organiser.

Each kit contains 3LAB skincare products including ‘Perfect’ hand cream, ‘M’ eye cream and ‘Perfect’ lip balm. A Georg Jensen dust bag, Georg Jensen eyeglass cloth, comb, socks, eye mask, earplugs and a White Glo dental kit are also included.

Buzz has also been involved in the launch of Air Canada’s new Signature service which includes and enhanced range of personal comfort items including amenity kits featuring WANT Les Essentials and Vitruvi skincare. The Signature offer will be available for Premium passengers travelling on international flights from June 1 on selected routes within North America.

The kits include premium care products by Vitruvi such as lip balm, face lotion and hand cream inside a plush WANT Les Essentiels bag.

Oman Air debuts Mini Suites

May 1, 2018

Oman Air has unveiled a new Mini Suite which will feature across its Dreamliner 787-9 fleet.

Passengers opting for the First suite are offered one of the longest lie-flat seats available at 78 inches, an electronically controlled privacy divider, à la carte dining, an in suite minibar, a dedicated wardrobe, touch screen electrically controlled backrest/seat bottom/ leg rest/lumbar and the latest touch screen IFE handset.

Abdulaziz Al Raisi, acting ceo of Oman Air, said, “Oman Air is truly committed to ensuring all of guests have a comfortable and a seamless experience when travelling with us. The launch of the First Class Mini Suite onboard our Dreamliner 787 -9 fleet, comes as a result of responding to the needs of our travellers and providing them with industry leading luxury. We are very proud of our new product and are confident our guests will enjoy the ultimate experience travelling with us to Oman and beyond.”

F&B start-ups are onboard-bound, says Retail inMotion

April 25, 2018

Retail inMotion has announced a new collaboration with low cost carrier Eurowings and NX-FOOD, an innovation-driving hub of cash and carry brand METRO, in a bid to bring new and exciting food solutions onboard.

NX-FOOD, short for Next Generation Food, is the future-scoping arm of METRO, seeking out new technologies, trends and innovative food and beverage products shaping the future food system. It offers food start-ups the opportunity to showcase their product in a three-month market trial at the real hypermarket, METRO Cash & Carry, and now onboard Eurowings.

The new venture with Eurowings will follow the same model which NX-FOOD uses with on-the-ground retail – start ups will apply to NX-FOOD, all airline-appropriate food and beverages will be submitted for approval by a joint jury, with representatives in this case from Eurowings, NX-FOOD and Retail inMotion, the onboard retail arm of LSG Group. The top ten products will presented to the jury in a Dragons Den-style assessment and then up to four products will be selected to fly for a three month period.

The product’s life onboard beyond the three month trial will be decided based on sales data and customer feedback, including social media. At the same time, the jury will be selecting new menu items in an ongoing process to bring fresh products onboard.

“Our goal is always to support our clients by offering them the trendiest and most innovative items we can for their onboard retail programmes,” commented José Lirio Silva, head onboard retail Europe for Retail inMotion. “Entering into this partnership with NX-FOOD is a great way for us to identify up-and-coming food products and trends and offer them directly to Eurowings’ passengers.”

“We wanted to bring new products onboard but we wanted a special process, adds Jordan Locke, manager communications at Retail inMotion. “Start-ups follow F&B trends, like healthy and functional foods, more closely and NX-FOOD is a route to market for them. Eurowings flies around two million passengers a month so it’s an ideal testing ground for new solutions.”

Locke hopes that at least 50% of the new products will stay onboard. He added: “It’s a win for the start-up, which gets its product onboard, it’s a win for the airline, which gets new and exciting products for its customers and it’s a win for the customer, who gets to taste unique products that they wouldn’t have easy access to otherwise.”

The process of selection will be shared in Eurowings’ inflight magazine as well as on social media and at some point passengers may even be involved in the selection process themselves. The concept could also be extended out to other airlines in the future.;;

Virgin Atlantic launches high tea service

April 25, 2018

Virgin Atlantic has partnered with celebrity chef and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard, who has designed a series of afternoon teas for the airline.

The offering is now available at the London Clubhouse and will feature in Upper Class, Premium and Economy cabins in late summer 2018.

Served between 3pm and 5.30pm daily, the Clubhouse menu includes a choice of tea or Lanson rose champagne served alongside either: prosciutto, sunblushed tomato and rocket on a stone baked champagne brown roll; smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill mint mini croissant; broccoli, goat’s cheese and cress savoury tart; homemade plain and sultana scones with strawberry preserve, lemon and clotted cream; eton mess verrine with strawberry coulis; apple and blackberry cake or a dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce.

Launching in late summer, the 38,000ft high tea will feature handmade sandwiches, scones and an assortment of macarons.

Daniel Kerzner, vp of Customer Experience at Virgin Atlantic commented:“Virgin Atlantic is famous for its award winning food and drink, and this year we’re taking that reputation to new heights. We’re excited to work with Eric Lanlard and introduce a fresh take on afternoon tea to our Heathrow Clubhouse from April, and onboard our flights from late summer. It’s the first time that Eric has partnered with an airline, and I think our customers are going to love it.”

Air Canada introduces its Signature Service

April 25, 2018

Air Canada now offers its Signature Service to Premium passengers on international itineraries and on select flights within North America from June, 1.

Air Canada Signature Service customers will receive priority service at every stage of the journey, including access to airport concierge, expedited check-in and security clearance, priority baggage handling and preferential boarding.

Customers will also enjoy lie-flat suites, Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access and, for eligible customers travelling to international destinations from Toronto-Pearson, access to the exclusive Air Canada Signature Suite, featuring à la carte restaurant dining from a menu created by Canadian chef David Hawksworth.

The service introduces new amenities such as updated menus and enhanced wine and spirit options, mattress pads and comfort items by Canadian brands.

“Our new Air Canada Signature Service and Air Canada Signature Class brands reflect the ongoing refinements to our premium travel service. We know our premium customers travelling on longer flight itineraries place a high value on convenience and comfort when in airports or onboard an aircraft, and with Air Canada Signature Service we provide a level of service unsurpassed in North America on every widebody flight,” said Benjamin Smith, president of Passenger Airlines, Air Canada.

British Airways expands its coffee offering

April 25, 2018

British Airways has partnered with Union Hand-roasted Coffee to provide passengers with quality coffee in the air and on the ground.

The airline will be serving the hand-roasted coffee in all of its UK lounges and to those travelling in its First and Club World cabins, from next month.

Sourced from Peru, the medium roast blend has espresso tasting notes of chocolate, pecan, and caramel and has been developed to taste great at 35,000ft.

Sarah Klatt-Walsh, British Airways’ Head of Product, said: “We have put British brand, Union Coffee, through its paces with extensive taste testing and it works incredibly well at altitude, where richness, depth and complexity of flavour are critical as they cut through the affect of altitude on our taste buds. We believe it’ll be a real winner with customers made all the sweeter thanks to its responsible sourcing and British credentials, in line with our own.”

APOT 2018 Forum keynote announced

April 25, 2018

Asia Pacific Onboard Travel, or APOT, has announced the keynote speaker for its next gathering in Perth, Western Australia: the county’s minister for tourism, Paul Papalia.

The APOT event takes place June 24-26 and is designed for attendees to discuss and share new ideas, learn, network, and listen to successful business people who play vital roles within the industry.

It includes a conference, exhibition, golf tournament, city tours and a gala dinner, before concluding with a full-day Perth experience for all delegates. Judging for the Mercury Awards will take place at the event on the last day.

The APOT Forum offers companies the chance to showcase their products to delegates from a variety of areas within the aviation and tourism industries as well as access to networking with key decision makers like airline executives.

The Asia Pacific Region is the fastest growing aviation market in the world, with
airline passenger numbers expected to double over the next 20 years, making a good case for holding the APOT Forum in Perth.

Event sponsors include BUZZ Products, Portavin, Beemster Cheese, Sunny Queen Eggs, Mallaghans, Juice Revolution.

You can read more on APOT here.

Alpha LSG named Best Caterer by Qatar Airways

April 25, 2018

Alpha LSG’s Premium Kitchen at London-Heathrow has won the title of ‘Best Caterer in Europe’ in Qatar Airways’ Global Catering Awards.

Meanwhile, Kevin Aldridge, customer services manager for Alpha LSG at Heathrow, was named’ Best Global Account Manager’ – the second time he has won the award.

Qatar Airways announced the dual award wins for Alpha LSG at last week’s World Travel Catering and Onboard Service Expo in Hamburg.

Alex Forbes, ceo of Alpha LSG, says: “We are absolutely delighted, proud and excited to be recognised by such a prestigious customer as Qatar Airways for the work that we do. Qatar Airways has catering partners throughout Europe and for our Heathrow team to be recognised as the best, re-affirms our culinary vision to be the leading premium caterer in our market, as well as rewarding the effort that each one of our staff contributes day after day.”

LSG launches Evertaste

April 18, 2018

The LSG Group has launched a new dedicated brand for packaged products and convenience food solutions for airline, train and retail customers under the new name of Evertaste.

Launched at WTCE in Hamburg, the new brand name will gradually replace products offered through LSG’s Starfood, Oakfield Farms and Constance Food Group brands and brings together a full range of ready-to-eat products and solutions under one name.

Covering bakery products, hot meals, pre-packaged salads, boxed meals, desserts, snacks, sandwiches and wraps, Evertaste draws on expertise from across the group to bring product creation, manufacturing, supply-chain management, product brokerage and licensing under one umbrella.

“The market potential for packaged products is enormous,” said LSG Group’s ceo Erdmann Rauer. “By applying our vast experience in the production of convenience food, food components and concepts, we are confident that we can take part in the worldwide growth of this segment. We have defined this business as being core and a key pillar of our strategy. The launch of Evertaste clearly underlines our strong commitment to investing in this market segment.”

Evertaste will sit alongside LSG Sky Chefs (catering and hospitality), Retail inMotion (onboard retail) and SPIRIANT (onboard equipment and equipment logistics) as one of the four expert brands in the group.

Gategroup shakes up online retail with Black Swan

April 18, 2018

Gategroup has partnered with predictive analytics company Black Swan Data and Panasonic Avionics to develop a retail platform utilising passenger data.

The platform will use the data to predict types of orders and offer a more personalised passenger retail experience and reduce wastage.

Passengers can order food and duty-free products alongside entertainment and destination products via personal electronic devices such as mobile phones or iPads. The software is available as a stand-alone app that can be built into an airline’s own branded app.

It reaches customers across all the touch points of the journey, providing the option to pre-order onboard products, order during the flight and re-order favourite items at home post-journey.

John Moriarty, chief retail officer Gategroup, said: “We’ve been working with Black Swan for around 12 months and are launching the new digital platform at WTCE.”

“From an airline point of view it improves passenger experience. It’s more tailored and provides a more specific offering. If you know your passenger, you can predict what they want, and if we are getting better with our predictions then we can reduce wastage.Many partners have expressed interest in this. We’re very excited.”

The platform officially launched at WTCE and is currently being trialled by a couple of Gategroup’s existing airline partners. The full platform is expected to be rolled out between autumn and the first half of 2019.

Nando’s takes flight

April 18, 2018

En Route International has partnered with Nando’s to launch the brand’s first-ever range of snack products for the travel catering market.

The partnership will see the introduction of products such as a houmous snackbox with peri-peri drizzle and pitta chips, half-popped corn and peri-peri sauce sachets.

The products have been jointly developed, with the En Route new product development and creative teams working closely with the Nando’s grocery team over a nine-month period to create the new snacks. The partnership will also see the two companies work together to develop more products specifically targeted at the onboard market.

Georg Gruber, ceo, Nando’s Grocery added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Team En Route and their global travel expertise. Working together allows us to take our Southern African flavour and warmth to the skies, linking the 24 markets where we are proud to have Nando’s restaurants and peri-peri grocery products in leading retailers.

“We know that Nando’s consumers have a keen sense of adventure and enjoy travel, so this range of innovative Nando’s peri-peri snacks enables us to serve them on their travels!”

Virgin Atlantic launches signature scent

March 28, 2018

Virgin Atlantic has introduced its new signature scent, AIR, designed to elevate the customer experience both on the ground and in the air.

The airline has collaborated with British scent designer and candle chandler Rachel Vosper to design the fragrance, which will be present at various points throughout the Virgin Atlantic experience.

With notes of lemon, rose and vanilla, along with lavender and eucalyptus oils, the scent aims to inspire feelings of adventure and relaxation inspired by some of the airline’s top destinations.

Daniel Kerzner, vp customer experience at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re committed to creating differentiated experiences that form memories of a lifetime for our customers. Together with Rachel Vosper, we’re taking the Virgin Atlantic experience to the next level with the creation of a bespoke scent. Customers can experience AIR throughout their travel experience, and will be able to purchase to enjoy at home.”

Retail inMotion partners with SWISS

March 28, 2018

From the end of May, SWISS and Retail inMotion will begin offering economy passengers the opportunity to upgrade their inflight experience by purchasing Swiss Saveurs, which consist of signature dishes, gourmet sandwiches, hot & cold snacks and beverages.

The new onboard offering will be available on short- and mid-haul flights departing from Geneva, Switzerland and will draw on local flavours and favourites, like a planchette served on a wooden board, a traditional carac pastry from a local bakery, and the traditional Genevan Maxi délice poulet pavot sandwich.

All of the artisan products will be made available to business passengers at no additional cost. Economy classic and economy flex passengers will continue to be offered a separate complimentary snack and drink with the opportunity to upgrade their experience with the signature dishes. Economy light passengers will also be able to purchase items from the new food offering.

As part of the partnership with Retail inMotion, SWISS will be implementing Retail inMotion’s proprietary onboard retail management software, Vector In-Flight, to capture and process payments on board. Additionally, Retail inMotion will implement various onboard ordering services, including range development, category management, crew training, and menu card and catalogue design. Retail inMotion also assumes responsibility for managing the financial performance of the airline’s onboard ordering programme.

“We have been able to develop an onboard retail concept with SWISS that is truly revolutionary for the industry,” commented Lars Redeligx, chief commercial officer at LSG Group Europe. “The new SWISS concept shows how a retail programme can underscore an airline’s brand values.”

New demand for Deutsche Bahn’s high-speed ICE service

March 28, 2018

DB’s ICE trains that run between Frankfurt, Cologne and Brussels achieved a 37% increase in passenger numbers in 2017, whilst trains on the Frankfurt – Cologne – Amsterdam routes also experienced new passenger highs.

In 2017 over 1 million passengers travelled by ICE between Frankfurt and Brussels and the numbers journeying from Frankfurt to Amsterdam topped 2.5 million – a new record. In addition, DB recorded a 10% increase in traffic last year on the Inter-City service linking Berlin, Hannover, Bad Bentheim and Amsterdam, despite a relatively long end-to-end journey time of 6h 22min.

In competition with Thalys (which operates trains between Cologne and Brussels and Brussels to Amsterdam), in 2016 DB raised the number of its Frankfurt to Brussels trains from four to six round trips. Now with growing demand, DB plans to add a seventh train in 2019.

Whilst DB is the sole operator on the Amsterdam – Düsseldorf – Cologne – Frankfurt route, the lure of Amsterdam as a travel destination has also attracted Eurostar to extend its services across into the Netherlands, underlining the Dutch city’s business and commercial strength as Brexit deadlines draw near.

Qantas debuts menu designed to reduce jetlag

March 28, 2018

Qantas has created a menu to increase hydration and help reduce jetlag on its new direct flight from Perth to London.

Passengers onboard the 787 Dreamliner can expect offerings such as healthy poke bowls, home-style comfort food and herbal tea. The menu combines research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre with the in-house experience of the Qantas and Rockpool teams to supply dishes that encourage sleep at optimal times during the flight.

The airline’s creative director of food, beverage & service, Neil Perry, said: “Working with clinical sleep specialists, nutritionists and metabolic scientists, we’ve designed new menu options using delicious ingredients that have added benefits of hydration, aiding sleep and reducing jetlag.

“The menu we are trialling on the Perth to London route will continue to offer a selection of customer favourites but it has some special ingredient additions and exclusions.”

Highlights of the new inflight menu across various cabins includes: Probiotic Bc30-infused Botanica cold-pressed juice shots; a herbal tea, which encourages relaxation and was developed especially for Qantas by Dilmah, made from lemon verbena chamomile and lemongrass; dishes which feature ingredients that promote hydration such as green leafy vegetables, cucumber, strawberries and celery.

Qantas is tailoring specific ingredients (such as chilli) to particular times of the day and offers a hot chocolate bedtime drink because the combination of warm milk and chocolate (containing the sleep-inducing amino acid Tryptophan) helps prompt the body’s sleep cycle.

Aer Lingus to redesign its uniform

March 21, 2018

Ireland’s Louise Kennedy announced as Aer Lingus’ new uniform designer

After 20 years, Aer Lingus will redesign its famous teal uniform, led by renowned Irish designer Louise Kennedy.

The newly designed uniform will be revealed in spring 2019 and will be worn by all frontline ground agents and cabin crew.

The current uniform was also designed by Louise Kennedy and makes history in that it has been the longest-running Aer Lingus uniform – first taking to the ‘runway’ in 1998.

The re-design is part of programme of modernisation which has taken place online, at the airport and on board in the last three years and includes a new tagline: ‘Smart Flies’.

Aer Lingus carried out extensive feedback with staff across many departments within the airline to get their views on the current uniform and to discuss what needs the new uniform should address in today’s working environment.

Designed by Sybil Connolly of Pimms in 1945, Aer Lingus’ first-ever uniform was a military-style rich brown suit which switched to green in 1948 and has remained so ever since. There have been ten uniform designs in total, from a leading Irish fashion names including Irene Gilbert, Neillí Mulcahy, Digby Morton, Ib Jorgensen, Paul Costello and Louise Kennedy.

Vietnam Airlines names Global Cuisine Ambassador

March 21, 2018

Vietnam Airlines has officially announced Australian-Vietnamese Chef Luke Nguyen as its Global Cuisine Ambassador, with the mission to promote Vietnamese cuisine and culture to the world.

From 2018 to 2020, Luke Nguyen will take an important role in improving the quality and originality of in-flight meals for Vietnam Airlines, creating eight new dishes for Business Class inspired by his travels across Vietnam (North, Central, South and Hue).

The partnership is part of the airline’ wider strategy to improve service quality and passengers’ experience. Vietnam Airlines’ aspiration is to “turn every flight into an experience in which passengers are inspired by the cultural beauty of the destination they are travelling to.”

The dishes will be designed, prepared and presented with authentic Vietnamese flavours in harmonious combination with refreshments and side dishes.

Luke Nguyen will also provide further guidance to Vietnam Airlines’ catering company VACS throughout 2018 regarding the 50 Business Class menus it oversees for other international airlines.

Chef Luke Nguyen, Global Cuisine Ambassador of Vietnam Airlines, said: “I always believe that food is a cultural heritage that is both familiar and diverse, reflecting the soul, character and value of each nation. I hope to bring dishes that are imbued with Vietnamese national identity and consistent with the rich taste tourists experience throughout the continents on Vietnam Airlines flights.”

SPIRIANT’s Étagère premium dining wins award

March 21, 2018

LSG Group’s inflight equipment solutions subsidiary SPIRIANT has won an iF Design award for its new Étagère premium dining ware concept.

The fine bone china set aims to create a holistic meal experience with both visual appeal and functionality, living up to SPIRIANT’s brand message: “Where inspiration meets performance.”

The fine bone china is thinner and more transparent than common porcelain, making it both elegant and lightweight for air travel. The design is modular and sleek, consisting of a serving plate, a smaller plate and bowl. It can be arranged in several constellations and stacked, making it versatile and interactive. It can also be used in a lounge or at the onboard bar.

Since its creation in 1953, the iF Design Awards has been the largest design competition in the world, recognising excellence and quality in the products it recognises. The awards ceremony took place on March 9 at the BMW World exhibition center in Munich.

Daniel Knies, director design & product at SPRIANT commented: “We are elated that the Etagère concept is receiving the recognition that we have always felt it deserved.The work that we put into the design process was meticulous, in-depth and always with the premium passenger experience at the forefront of our minds.”

LSG goes regional

March 13, 2018

LSG Holding is to establish two regional production centres as the next step in its effort to centralise production and logistics in Europe to better meet the needs of the changing market and to make its operating model more flexible.

“This decision is an important milestone in the transformation of our business model as part of our strategic realignment,” said Erdmann Rauer, CEO of the LSG Holding. “Through it, we want to become more competitive in Europe and advance our goal of becoming a provider of end-to-end onboard products and services.”

Last year, the company successfully tested the centralised production of certain meals in a single-shift operation (including the associated logistics) at a plant in Bor, Czech Republic. The evaluation of this pilot project confirmed the viability of a network-oriented production approach. All key performance indicators agreed with the customer consistently exceeded the target values. Since January of this year, additional meals have been added to this operation, which is now working in two shifts to further optimise the process.

Each regional production centre (RPC) will be able to deliver to locations within a radius of up to 450km. RPC East can supply Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna, and the future RPC West will be able to provide hot meals (including ethnic meals) to Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich. Locations for RPC West are currently being scouted.

“The establishment of the regional production centers will enable us to react more quickly to changes in the market,” added Erdmann Rauer. “As a result, our classic catering production and logistics structures will become significantly more flexible. At the same time, we are working with our onboard retail experts at Retail inMotion to create digital platforms that can meet the growing demand from airlines and consumers for pre-ordering concepts. Our most important strategic challenge is to bring these two business models together in a complementary manner in order to make the future of the entire LSG Group increasingly sustainable and profitable.”

The company is now working out the details of the design of the two RPCs in order to have the new sites operational by early 2020.


gategroup deal with SunExpress

March 13, 2018

gategroup and Turkish-based SunExpress have signed an exclusive agreement to provide in-flight catering and provisioning services across the airline’s entire domestic and international network.

gategroup will act as the sole concessionaire of SunExpress’ food and beverage retail onboard programme providing passengers with the opportunity to purchase from a wide range of high quality food and beverage products for onboard consumption.

The contract came into effect on February 1, 2018. gategroup will deliver the service in partnership with Sancak Inflight Service, who will provide the catering and logistics services required at SunExpress’ main bases at Antalya and Izmir Airports and throughout Turkey.

gategroup President EME and Americas Herman Anbeek said, “We are excited to provide our services to the Turkish market through this exclusive agreement with SunExpress as we see tremendous potential for the leisure tourism sector in this well-developed country. Working with Sancak Inflight Service as our business partner in Turkey ensures an optimal service for SunExpress and its passengers.”

Sancak Inflight Service builds on over 25 years of catering experience and operates in seven international airports in Turkey.

gategroup Holding AG has also announced it plans to list its shares on SIX Swiss Exchange. The envisaged Initial Public Offering (IPO) is expected to take place at the end of Q1 or in Q2 2018.


Servair expands its think-tank team

March 13, 2018

Chef Massimo Bottura is to join Servair’s Studio Culinaire from March 1, 2018.

Created in November 2009, the Studio Culinaire brings Michelin-starred chefs and experts together with the common goal of raising the quality standards of onboard catering by applying principles of fine food to passenger meals around the world.

Under the chair of legendary Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon, Studio Culinaire has inspired a consortium of high quality key recipes that can be recreated by the more than 400 chefs at gategroup and Servair hubs around the globe. The chefs also offer training and workshops throughout the production line – from research and development and global kitchen chefs – to onboard crews and suppliers.

Massimo Bottura is a three-Michelin-star chef, born and raised in Modena, Italy. He opened “Osteria Francescana” which in 2016 ranked first place of the “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” Two years ago, Bottura founded “Food for Soul,” a non-profit organization to empower communities to fight against food waste and social isolation.

gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol said, “We are excited to welcome Massimo Bottura as a member of Studio Culinaire Servair. The engaged Italian chef is a perfect match for this culinary think-tank, and we look forward to the ideas that he and his colleagues will create to further drive excellence in the passengers’ onboard dining experience. Furthermore, we commend his efforts to address the topic of food waste through his “Food for Soul” initiative, as it strongly complements the waste reduction ambitions of the airline industry.”


SWISS celebrates culinary heritage

March 13, 2018

SWISS is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its “SWISS Taste of Switzerland” inflight culinary concept by serving exclusive creations by local top chefs from all its home country’s cantons since the programme was launched in 2002.

Under the programme, which was launched in December 2002, SWISS takes its First and Business long-haul passengers on a culinary adventure around the regions of its home country. Every three months a top Swiss chef will present their home-base canton by creating a selection of top-quality meals for service inflight. The creations are accompanied by wines and cheese specialities from the canton concerned.

To date, the programme has welcomed 64 chefs from all 26 Swiss cantons onboard.

First guests can choose from starters that include crab meat with Ponzu sauce and seaweed salad with sesame; Thai red curry soup with fried duck wonton and veal steak with Soubise sauce and a potato and yak sausage frittata with alpine cheese; and black cod with citrus vinaigrette, Cima di Rapa coulis, red peppers and saffron fennel. Dessert includes apricot and thyme slice with pistachio crumble and quark sorbet.

In Business Class there will be a starter of Balik salmon tartare with horseradish cream, beetroot and goat’s cheese; main of Alpstein chicken with PX sauce, truffled polenta and carrot-and-courgette medley; and an asparagus fricassée with mascarpone sauce and rosemary roast potatoes. Business dessert is a yoghurt and honey mousse with strawberry sponge and Bircher muesli popcorn.


Qantas designs menu to cut jet lag

March 8, 2018

Qantas has launched a healthy menu option onboard its new London to Perth route which aims to increase hydration and help reduce jet lag.

Designed by the airline’s creative director of food, beverage and service, Neil Perry, the menus combine research from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre with the inhouse experience of the Qantas and Rockpool teams to create dishes that encourage sleep at optimal times and reduce the impact of jet lag on long-haul flights.

Passengers on the non-stop flight to Australia can enjoy healthy poke bowls and herbal tea alongside a selection of customer favourites including: barramundi with herb garlic potatoes, broccoli, lemon, olive and almond salsa and poached egg, kale, quinoa, grilled halloumi, pistachio and green tahini dressing.


Hongkong Airlines launches cultural kits

March 8, 2018

Hongkong Airlines has partnered with CLIP to launch a range of collectable amenity kits for Business passengers designed by local design house Ricebowl Republic.

The bags feature iconic symbols of Hong Kong: the bird cage, the tea pot, the rice bowl and the Hong Kong city skyline, representing different facets of Hong Kong heritage and culture.

Supplied by CLIP, the four bags are made from quality thick cotton canvas with a natural touch. The kit includes: socks, eyeshade and earplug pillow pack along with Occitane products.

Chris Birt, general manager service delivery, comments: “This is now the second year of collaboration with CLIP and Ricebowl Republic. The first set of four designs were so popular with our Business customers I know they will love the new designs we have rolling out over the next 12 months.”


Eurostar focuses on sustainability

March 8, 2018

Eurostar has launched a sustainable catering challenge in collaboration with Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc.

The ‘Create a sustainable Business Premier dish’ culinary challenge will run across the UK, France and Belgium and is open for entries until June 29. The competition is being run in partnership with GoodPlanet Foundation (France), GoodPlanet Belgium and the Young People’s Trust for the Environment. It invites young people aged between 15 and 19 to create a sustainable lunch or dinner dish to be served to Eurostar’s Business Premier passengers departing from London for at least three months from November 2018.

Eurostar Business Premier culinary director and president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Raymond Blanc, will be the competition’s lead judge and will spend an afternoon with the winner at his two-Michelin starred restaurant at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Here the student will learn about the importance of sustainable ingredients before enjoying time with Raymond in Eurostar’s catering kitchen to fine-tune the winning dish.

Eurostar’s culinary challenge is designed to encourage young people to create a well-balanced dish, which is seasonal, nutritious and appealing to the discerning Business traveller. The contenders will also need to demonstrate a strong understanding of the provenance of the ingredients and the sustainability of the dish.

Raymond Blanc, OBE, said: “Given the significant environmental challenges society is facing, we should all be thinking as much about the provenance and sustainability of our food, as we are about the flavour and presentation. I am delighted to open entries for this competition to help put the spotlight on sustainable food sourcing and quality, local ingredients. I look forward to seeing what the students create and working with the winner to introduce their dish to the Eurostar Business Premier menu.”

Recognition for Flying Food Group

March 8, 2018

Flying Food Group’s Chicago O’Hare kitchen has been awarded Best Performance of 2017 by Asiana Airlines, while its Seattle kitchen earned the title of Domestic Kitchen of the Year from Hawaiian Airlines.

Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vp, airline sales, said that customer awards “confirm FFG’s commitment to optimal performance, 24/7.”

In announcing the award, Paula Jansen, HA senior manager of catering, praised FFG Seattle for “dedication to outstanding performance and excellent customer service in all areas of operation”.

This is the third consecutive year an FFG kitchen has earned this coveted award from HA.

Air New Zealand enhances Economy Skycouch

March 8, 2018

Air New Zealand is developing its Skycouch product to include a dedicated infant harness and belt, allowing infants to remain lying down throughout the cruise phase of flight.

Launched in 2011, the Skycouch comprises three Economy seats that convert into a flat, flexible surface for rest, relaxation and play giving parents greater freedom to choose how they fly long-haul.

The Skycouch Cuddle Belt, which was previously only certified to allow two adults or an adult and child travelling together to lie down on the Skycouch has also been updated to allow two children to use it providing greater flexibility to families. A new infant pod also provides additional comfort and protection for the airline’s youngest Skycouch passengers.

Air New Zealand general manager customer experience, Anita Hawthorne, says: “The Skycouch has proven to be a real game changer in the Economy cabin. While we initially marketed it to couples, we quickly found the product suited parents with young families especially well. Parents can relax while their children are able to have their own space and flat area to play without interrupting other passengers.

SWISS upgrades in Zurich

March 8, 2018

SWISS has opened a new First Lounge A for premium passengers travelling through Zurich Airport’s Terminal A.

The 650-square-metre lounge features check-in facilities, its own security checkpoint, an à la carte restaurant and a barista bar serving a wide range of Swiss grappas.

Designed in the style of the existing SWISS First Lounge in the airport’s Terminal E, the new lounge offers First passengers lounge suites, a lounge club with leather sofas, a Business zone and a meeting room. Further facilities include a relaxation room with two loungers, and a smokers’ lounge with its own outside section and a choice of fine whiskies.

SWISS will also be offering a new chauffeur service this summer for its First passengers arriving in Terminal E, in Terminal B or at a remote aircraft stand. The service will collect from the aircraft door and transport the passenger to the relevant passport or security control in Terminal A or B.

ANA introduces allergy-free kids meals

February 27, 2018

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has created seven allergen-free meals for children with intolerances to wheat, buckwheat, dairy products, egg, peanuts, shrimp and crab.

The special meals will be offered from March 1 to cater to the increase in child passengers with food allergies. The menu includes: meatballs, vegetable curry, plum rice with chicken, carrot rice with burger patty, fruit jelly and strawberry cookies.

Elementary school meal advisors, as well as people with food allergies, were consulted to compose the meals to appeal to children in both appearance and taste.

The airline currently offers 27 allergen-free meals for adults and the same amount for infants aged two and under.

Orders for all allergen-free meals must be placed 24 hours before departure for flights departing Japan and 48 hours for flights to Japan.

New luxury amenity kits for JAL

February 27, 2018

Japan Airlines has introduced new amenity kits for passengers in First and Business, designed by Italian luxury brand ETRO.

The kits are available for passengers in First departing and arriving in Japan from mid March and are currently on flights departing Japan for Business passengers. Jal will be the first airline to debut an amenity kit produced by the Italian company.

The Business amenity kits featured on flights to Japan have been designed by Tatsumura Textile, a famous manufacturer in Kyoto and will change colour every three months to depict the four seasons in Japan.

Two new senior appointments for ECR

February 27, 2018

ECR Retail Systems, the mobile point of sale specialists for the retail, airline, hospitality, ticketing and leisure sectors, has named Jean-Emmanuel Sceau international business development manager and Danny Elford ticketing innovation consultant to support the company’s growth in the UK and Europe.

Jean-Emmanuel will focus on developing business opportunities throughout Western Europe, delivering strategy and consulting advice to existing clients including: Big Bus Company, National Express, Rail Gourmet and SNCF. While Danny Elford will primarily focus on strategic development, growth and profitability in the bus and coach sector on behalf of ECR.

Simon Pont, ceo, ECR Retail Systems said: “ECR is expanding fast in the UK and across Europe, and with several new contracts in the rail, airline and bus and coach sectors, we warmly welcome Jean-Emmanuel and Danny to their new roles. Their track record and industry expertise are second to none, and we are thrilled to have them join the business at this exciting time.Our innovative approach to delivering high value payment technology continues to deliver positive change for our clients.”

Gate Gourmet Japan awarded Best Caterer 2017

February 27, 2018

gategroup catering supplier, Gate Gourmet Japan has been presented with a gold award for ‘Best Caterer 2017’ by Hong Kong Airlines.

The airline also named Gate Gourmet Hong Kong and Gate Gourmet Canada with the “Excellent Catering Service Award” in recognition of their continuous catering support.

Hong Kong Airlines received its highest customer satisfaction scores in 2017 for onboard food and beverages to date.

gategroup president APAC Jann Fisch said: “I would like to congratulate our management and teams from Gate Group Japan, Hong Kong and Canada who were recognised for their unwavering professionalism and customer orientation. Special thanks go to our long-term partner Hong Kong Airlines for setting the highest standards for customer experience, which inspires us to innovate again and again.”

Adrian Grenier to feature in Air New Zealand safety video

February 27, 2018

Hollywood actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier will feature in Air New Zealand’s upcoming Antarctic safety video, to be released in March.

Adrian stars alongside Scott Base scientists and support staff in the video, which spotlights the critical importance of Antarctica in understanding the impacts of a warming world.

The safety video project and associated educational content builds on Air New Zealand’s long-term partnership with Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute – a relationship currently supporting a major study of ecosystem resilience in the Ross Sea area.

“Visiting Antarctica has been a life-long dream, and I feel privileged to be part of one of Air New Zealand’s world-renowned safety videos, particularly this one, which is so well aligned to my own commitment to environmental issues,” says Adrian.

Air New Zealand general manager of brand and global content marketing, Jodi Williams said: “Adrian’s keenness to be involved speaks to his genuine passion for this project which we hope will inspire more people to consider the impact of their decisions on the planet’s future.”

Air New Zealand has also developed an interactive online experience allowing people to explore the best New Zealand has to offer using emojis.

Users will be asked to comment on Air New Zealand #EmojiJourney Facebook or Twitter posts with a combination of emojis which would best describe their perfect New Zealand getaway. This will then automatically generate a link to a personalised map of New Zealand for them, with emojis highlighting points likely to be of interest.

Watch behind the scenes footage of the safety video here

Spanish lead the way in LNG

February 27, 2018

Renfe, Spain’s national railway operator, has announced the launch of Europe’s first LNG- (Liquid Natural Gas) powered main-line passenger train, in a joint venture with Gas Natural Fenosa & Enagás.

According to Spanish minister of development, Iñigo de la Serna, it’s part of Spain’s strategy to advance the use of alternative fuels and a drive for sustainability: “Our commitment is not to purchase diesel-fuelled trains anymore,” underlined minister De la Serna.

APOT announces new ceo

February 21, 2018

Airline catering industry expert Jeremy Clark has been appointed APOT’s new ceo.

The announcement coincides with the launch of a new logo for the organisation and the appointment of Salim Hazife, Perth Inflight Catering’s gm and Afdal Amir, vp corporate marketing for PT Aerofood Indonesia as APOT forum ambassadors overseeing the association’s planned June gathering in Perth, Australia.

APOT founder Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya said: “2018 marks Jeremy’s 39th year in the airline catering industry. His experiences include SAS Service Partner, Pan Am, Swissair, Alpha, Royal Brunei and many years of business consulting to both airlines and caterers around the world. Now settled in Asia, we welcome him and his talents to our team”.

Clark added: “Asia is the world’s fastest growing airline travel region and I’m looking forward to establishing APOT even further as its main representative forum.”

The announcement came after a recent APOT Golf Day and general meeting in Jakarta which included early morning golf at Cengkareng Golf Club followed by spa treatments, presentation and APOT meeting. Members also had the option of a tour of the ACS Catering Centre.

The next meeting will be held in Perth W.A. on June 24 – 26.

Dnata to operate in Canada

February 21, 2018

Dnata has been awarded a licence to operate flight-catering services to airlines departing Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

The licence, which marks dnata’s catering entry into Canada, will allow the company to build a dedicated facility at Vancouver with plans to commence operations in Q4 2018.

This will be dnata’s 64th catering location and 130th global air services location, having recently opened a new catering facility at Dublin Airport, Ireland. The facility will have an initial capacity of up to 8,000 meals a day.

Robin Padgett, divisional senior vice president of dnata’s catering division, said: “Canada has always been an exciting opportunity for us as a caterer. To turn that opportunity into reality at Vancouver International Airport is particularly exciting, given the solid passenger growth and recognition the airport has received in recent years. We are very proud of our ability to deliver globally authentic and diverse cuisine across the world, and we’re more than ready to bring that to airlines and their passengers departing Vancouver.”

Craig Richmond, president & ceo of Vancouver Airport Authority said: “I am pleased to welcome dnata to the YVR family. As a world class hub airport, YVR has continued to grow and this has created strong demand for additional high-quality, in-flight catering. We were impressed with dnata’s strong application, including their commitment to safety and sustainability, and I look forward to our future partnership.”

Globally, dnata prepares more than 320,000 meals every day for more than 190 airlines and has been awarded Best Caterer by some of the world’s leading airlines.

En Route names new md

February 21, 2018

En Route International has appointed Robert Dalboth as its new global managing director.

Dalboth previously held the role of finance director and has been a key member of the En Route leadership team since 2010. He will replace founder Alison Lessman to drive the continued development of the company’s onboard food and service solutions across four continents.

Robin Padgett, divisional senior vice president of dnata, which owns En Route, added: “Robert brings an extremely strong understanding of retailing, a passion for product design and development and, importantly, an awareness of the changing nature of retailing in aviation.

“Inflight retail is a key proposition for dnata and En Route, and to have someone of Robert’s calibre now leading our business is a huge positive for our customers and our business.”

Virgin Australia partners with gategroup

February 21, 2018

Gategroup has secured a six-year contract with Virgin Australia for Gate Gourmet to act as the airline’s sole service provider.

As of June 2018, Gate Gourmet will provide inflight dining and handling across 400 domestic and approximately 50 international flights per day to destinations throughout Asia, Australia and North America.

Gategroup will continue to work closely with Virgin Australia’s head chef Luke Mangan to deliver the airline’s Business meals across its flights. The partnership will ensure greater efficiency and control of onboard food and beverage offerings.

Group executive of Virgin Australia Airlines, Rob Sharp, said: “Food and beverage is such an important part of the overall travel experience and this relationship with gategroup will enable us to take our inflight dining experience to new heights. We are in the process of transforming the Virgin Australia food and beverage offering and today’s announcement will enable us to bring benefits to our guests more quickly. gategroup has been an excellent partner of ours for a number of years and we look forward to working with them more closely to provide the world’s most rewarding travel experience.”

New Bistro lunch menus for Oceania Cruises

February 21, 2018

Oceania Cruises has introduced new menus across its fleet, adding over 600 new dishes to the lunch service.

The Bistro will include daily-changing regional specialities along with a sampling of Jacques Pépin’s favourite bistro-style dishes. A selection of five appetizers, fours soups and salads and 11 entrées will be available daily along with four deserts and six ice cream flavours.

The menu will also offer passengers a ‘Taste of the World’ with dishes influenced by 14 countries including: Cuba, Mexico, Italy, France and various Asian countries. Six local or regional specialities will be offered from each destination as an entrée or appetizer, with passengers able to taste pickled vegetables and roasted lemongrass chicken from the Philippines, lamb kefta from Lebanon, and aubergine chickpea salad from Morocco, among others.

“The Bistro offers the ultimate combination of lunchtime Grand Dining Room classics that our guests have known and loved and is now infused with Jacques Pépin’s hallmark specialities from France and around the world, to create an afternoon experience that will become an instant favourite,” stated Bob Binder, president & ceo of Oceania Cruises.

The Bistro is currently available aboard Insignia and Riviera and will be available aboard Regatta, Nautica, Marina, and Sirena by the end of March 2018.

Eurostar unveils new ‘Tread Lightly’ environmental plan

February 21, 2018

High-speed rail service Eurostar has revealed a 10-point ‘Tread Lightly’ plan in support of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.

The 10 targets include ways of cutting carbon emissions and reducing waste over the next three years, commitments to reducing the use of plastics by 50% by 2020, and initiatives to champion the switch from plane to high-speed rail (which emits up to 90% less carbon).

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “Over the last eight years we have reduced our carbon footprint by over 30% but given the scale of the challenge facing the environment, we are now setting new targets. High-speed rail plays a pivotal role in encouraging the switch to more sustainable modes of transport and we are committed to increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our waste across the business.”

The full 10-point plan can be found here

Finnair unveils its first Japanese Signature chef

February 21, 2018

Tokyo-based chef, Rika Maezawa, has designed five signature menus to be served in Business on Finnair’s flights from Tokyo to Helsinki.

Rika Maezawa’s food philosophy places a strong focus on the vegetables and seasonal flavours from Japanese home cooking as well as from overseas influences to create modern yet nostalgic vegetable-centric meals that go beyond the conventional boundaries of Japanese cuisine.

“Through my cuisine, I would like to share with travellers the unique Japanese sentiments and a sense of season. I have used ingredients from both Japan and abroad so that dishes taste familiar to both Japanese and non-Japanese customers,” Maezawa said.

Finnair started its Signature Chef programme in 2013, and since then has worked with a series of acclaimed chefs, who have created their own Signature Menus for Finnair’s Business passengers.

Delta Sky Club brings ‘Macaron Maestro’ to JFK International

February 21, 2018

Delta Sky Club passengers can now enjoy treats from renowned French pastry chef Pierre Herme at JFK International airport.

This newest offering to the Delta Sky Club allows guests to use miles, in addition to credit cards, to purchase a selection of macarons and chocolates shipped directly from Paris.

Flavours include: Brazilian dark chocolate, salted butter caramel, milk chocolate and passion fruit, rose, litchi & rasberry and hazelnut praline and crispy praline.

Claude Roussel, managing director – Delta Sky Club, said: “Pierre Hermé is a remarkable pastry chef and visionary culinary artist. Partnering with him is part of our commitment to connect our guests with unique experiences and incredible culinary offerings at Delta Sky Club.”

More Japanese trains for UK

February 21, 2018

Hitachi has started yet another train production for the UK, this time for Trans-Pennine Express, the railway which links major cities in the North of England and Southern Scotland.

19 new EMU’s with a speed of 225 Km/hr will have wi-fi in both First and Standard Class, including the Exstream onboard entertainment system. This is a multichannel customer communication solution with potential for complimentary TV and film streaming and many other benefits to make the most of every customer touch point.

New Airline Catering Association launches

February 14, 2018

Leading airline caterers dnata, DO & CO, gategroup, the LSG Group and Newrest have come together to launch the Airline Catering Association (ACA), a non-profit international organisation which will represent the common interests of the airline catering industry.

The ACA will address matters including: food, health and safety issues, environmental concerns and taxation affairs. Additionally, it will monitor and support relevant regulatory initiatives at the global, European and national levels. The association is open to all companies with sizeable international activities in the airline catering business.

Each member company will be represented by its ceo or another member of its executive board. Currently, it consists of Robin Padgett, ceo of dnata, Attila Dogudan, ceo of DO & CO, Xavier Rossinyol, ceo of gategroup, Erdmann Rauer, ceo of the LSG Group, and Olivier Sadran, co-president of Newrest.

“The ideas brought up and discussions that took place during our first Strategic Committee meeting clearly underlined the need for and the purpose of the ACA,” said Erdmann Rauer, who becomes president of the ACA Strategic Committee.

“Initially, we will focus our efforts on dealing with the regulatory challenges in Europe that presently require particular attention. Mid-term, however, we are targeting a global reach of our activities and initiatives in order to leverage the combined know-how of our industry in order to foster the quality, safety and reliability of our services and products for our airline customers and the passengers.”

The management of the secretariat will be entrusted to Fabio Gamba, who will take up the role of managing director for the association at the beginning of March 2018. He said: “I am very excited about the opportunity to shape this brand new association as its first managing director. The airline caterers bring a wealth of experience and know-how in handling a central and complex part of the commercial aviation business. I see great benefits for all stakeholders in bringing this know-how together to improve regulations and standards in the industry.”

New amenity kits for Uzbekistan Airways

February 14, 2018

AK-Services has collaborated with Uzbekistan Airways to produce new luxury amenity kits for the airline’s Business passengers.

Designed for comfort and functionality, the kits are available in herringbone designer fabric with blue accents inspired by ‘The eternal beauty and power’ of Uzbek. The following series will focus on ethnic prints and fabrics.

The long-haul kits include a luxury lip balm and hand cream by Caudalie, a dental kit, an eye mask, slippers, ear plugs, a shoe horn, a comb and a pen.

APOT hosts members golf day

February 14, 2018

Caterers and representatives of the airline hospitality industry gathered for Asia Pacific Onboard Travel’s golf tournament on February, 8.

The meeting in Jakarta provided an occasion for key industry person to network and create new partnerships while receiving the latest news and updates from the organisation.

The day consisted of early morning golf at Cengkareng Golf Club followed by spa treatments and a presentation and APOT meeting. Members also had the option of a tour of the ACS Catering Centre.

The next meeting will be held in Perth W.A. on 24 – 26 June.

China speeds ahead with new lines

February 14, 2018

China has announced plans to expand its rail routes with three new high-speed rail lines due for completion within the next four years.

A new 319km east-west route will join the existing Beijing to Guangzhou and Beijing to Shanghai lines, reducing times from 3.47hrs to 2.09, whilst further south a 334km track will link Quzhou, Jingdezham and Jiujiang. The third is in Anhui province connecting Xiaoxianbei and Huaibei.

The country’s rail network has now surpassed 25000kms, easily the world’s biggest at 66% of the global total.

CLIP launches SWISS Victorinox Business kits

February 7, 2018

SWISS has collaborated with Victorinox, the renowned manufacturer of Swiss pocket knives, to produce six new amenity kits for its long-haul Business passengers.

Victorinox has designed the six kits to be both multi-functional and reusable. Every kit contains a toothbrush and toothpaste, a lip salve, a sleep mask, socks and earplugs.

Business passengers flying from Switzerland will receive a passport holder and a travel toiletries bag included in the kit, while passengers flying into Switzerland will be offered a high-quality metal tin inspired by the Victorinox suitcase design which can be used as a pen or pencil box.

Working closely with SWISS and Victorinox, inflight experience specialist CLIP brought the two iconic Swiss brands together to create the range. The bags have two tones of heather grey sturdy fabric for the outside with a contrasting colour for the lining.

The new amenity kits will be available on SWISS flights for the next three years.

PriestmanGoode to collaborate with Hainan Airlines

February 7, 2018

Design consultancy, PriestmanGoode, has entered into a partnership with Hainan Airlines offering design services for its fleet of aircraft, cabins and related onboard items, airport and ground.

The agreement will see PriestmanGoode play a strategic design leadership role with Hainan Airlines on an on-going basis.

Commenting on the agreement, Paul Priestman – chairman and co-founder of PriestmanGoode said: “The signing of this agreement with Hainan Airlines is a proud moment. Their very clear intention to continue the design collaboration with us signals a strong vote of confidence not only in the PriestmanGoode team, but also in British design.”

Sun Jianfeng, Hainan Airlines, said: “What has always impressed me about PriestmanGoode is their willingness to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and explore deep into Chinese cultural elements to come up with a design that not only fits the brief, but which is culturally sensitive and nationally iconic.”

South African Airways introduces new Airbus

February 7, 2018

South African Airways has upgraded its service between Johannesburg and Heathrow to feature the new Airbus A330-300 with effect from March 25, 2018.

“This will afford customers a significantly improved onboard Business and Economy product, with state-of-the-art technology, increased comfort and capacity,” said SAA ceo, Vuyani Jarana.

The new A330-300 aircraft will operate a single daily flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow replacing the current double-daily service.The A330-300s offer more Business seats than any aircraft already in the SAA fleet with a capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in Business and 203 in Economy.

Along with enhanced capacity, new technology and increased comfort, the aircraft is also quieter, equipped with advanced avionics and navigation systems and produces lower carbon emissions.

SAA has also introduced an app allowing Business customers to download additional entertainment before their flight, while new seats have been designed and fitted in Economy offering increased legroom.

Grand Central comes out top for passenger satisfaction

February 7, 2018

UK rail operator, Grand Central has been ranked the highest for overall journey satisfaction in Britain according to a national survey of rail users.

Transport Focus released figures for its twice-yearly National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) in which Grand Central was voted first for overall journey satisfaction along with best value long distance train operator.

The survey revealed that 96% of Grand Central’s passengers were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their journey.

Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central, said “Customer satisfaction is what matters to us, and we know we need to keep ticket prices affordable too. We pride ourselves on listening to what our customers want and we make real efforts to understand what they need.”

IFSA to lobby the EU

January 31, 2018

IFSA’s International Airline Flight Group is to take on planned European Union (EU) regulations set to increase the cost of airline passenger food and drink.

The European Union has announced plans to put additional regulations in place that would effectively increase costs for airline passenger food and beverages without, IFSA believes, sufficient passenger benefit.

IFSA’s European office in Brussels is currently on the ground addressing such issues specific to Europe, while a passenger regulations alert has been issued to all of IFSA’s global airlines and caterers.

The alert follows IFSA’s recent work positively impacting preclearance regulations into the United States (U.S.) for Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and the Middle East. These regulations under U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) will come into effect on April 1, 2018 as retail facilities and catering services take additional steps to ensure appropriate handling of plant and animal products from preclearance areas.

“As the long-standing global association focused on the advancement of the airline onboard and catering industry, IFSA has actively represented the industry before legislative and regulatory groups, providing pro-industry and passenger solutions to regulations, procedures and issues,” said IFSA CEO, Joe Leader. “With more than 700 million airline meals served on a yearly basis, it is imperative that IFSA boldly speaks on behalf of all companies involved to ensure the safety, security and quality of the service within the airline catering industry.”

EVA Air adds designer touch

January 31, 2018

Taiwanese airline, EVA Air, has introduced new cover designs to its menus and wine lists along with designer amenities for passengers in Royal, Premium and Business.

The new 2018 menu and wine list covers have been created by international brand JL DESIGN. The art is inspired by the theme ‘Home for every season’, with each cover representing one of the four seasons, along with Taiwanese culture and nature. The airline is also serving new cold-presses mango and mixed fruit juice on flights departing from Taiwan until March, 31.

The airline has also introduced designer pyjamas to its Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel amenity kits. The garments created by London-based label APUJAN are available on flights longer than five hours and feature a blue print design. The linens in Premium Economy have also been upgraded to include golden-brown quilts and large down pillows.

Also new for this year, a new almond and raspberry “Neige” dessert is being offered to Royal Laurel passengers on the Paris route and selected North American flights. And pound cake made by French bakery PAUL will be served to Economy passengers on non-lunch and non-dinner flights from Hong Kong to Taiwan.

Eco safety video from ANZ

January 31, 2018

Air New Zealand has highlighted the eco threats to Antarctica in its latest safety video to raise awareness of global climate change.

The video, which is due for release in March, builds on the airline’s partnership with Antarctic New Zealand which has supported climate and environmental research in the Ross Sea area since 2012.

Air New Zealand general manager, global brand and content marketing, Jodi Williams says the video is a glimpse into a part of the world few experience, but which has the greatest potential impact on the planet’s future.

“Air New Zealand’s safety videos have a phenomenal worldwide following, and have collectively attracted more than 110 million views online, as well as coverage across the world’s top news outlets.

“We hope this video, together with the educational content we’ve filmed, will draw attention to the important research underway to better understand and prepare for a warming world.”

American Airlines expands at LAX

January 31, 2018

American Airlines has opened its new Flagship Lounge and First Dining facilities at Los Angeles International Airport.

The Flagship Lounge offers facilities such as “quiet rooms” and showers along with hot and cold food buffets and a chef’s action station with fresh made-to-order dishes. A premium drinks and a ‘build your own cocktail’ station are also offered. The Flagship First Dining features full-service dining with ingredients from local purveyors and American’s signature Flagship Burger, as well as specialty cocktails designed by renowned New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer.

“The opening of the Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining are the latest evidence of our increasingly strong position in Los Angeles,” Suzanne Boda, the airlines senior vice president, said. “We are setting ourselves apart from the competition by becoming the only domestic carrier to offer a sit-down dining experience at LAX.”

American Airlines’ renovations to its Flagship Lounges and its Flagship First Dining are part of a $200 million investment in the luxury travel experience. At LAX, dedicated investments include a new Admirals Club in Terminal 5, a refurbished Admirals Club in Terminal 4 and, now, the new Flagship Lounge and Dining in Terminal 4.

Private jets on the up

January 31, 2018

Global Jet Capital predicts 150 new jets will be delivered to Europe this year, with 21 of these based in the UK.

The company specialises in providing financial solutions for private aircraft and expects over £3 billion will be spent on the private jets as a result of an improving economy and a growth in those wanting to buy business aircraft.

Shawn Vick, chief executive officer at Global Jet Capital, said: “We expect to see the business aviation sector expand over the next few years. Factors behind this include economic growth in most of the major economies, a significant amount of investment and strong corporate earnings. These factors can lead to greater utilisation of aircraft, a decline in used aircraft inventory and a growing order book for new corporate jets.”

Alpha Flight Services rebranded dnata

January 24, 2018

The 11 Alpha Flight Services units in Australia are to be rebranded under the dnata name.

The rebranding follows the acquisition of Alpha Flight Group in 2010 and is designed to give the Australian market greater leverage through dnata’s global reach and reputation.

The rebranding process is now underway with Alpha units designated as dnata catering going forward. The move is in line with dnata’s strategy of bringing all its global businesses under the ‘One dnata’ umbrella where possible.

Alpha’s Australian operation employs over 1,700 people, and leads the market in providing onboard meals and retail services to 39 airline customers.

Robin Padgett, divisional senior vice president, catering said: “The Alpha Flight Group was acquired by us in 2010 and Alpha in Australia is the last location outside the UAE and the UK to be rebranded to dnata.

“Bringing our global brands under the dnata name allows us to better leverage the strengths and synergies that come with being a group. We can capitalise on the reputation we’ve built up elsewhere, as dnata, to grow in new markets and better engage our employees, customers and others in the dnata way,” he added.

The project, which will last three to six months, includes rebranding of uniforms, vehicles, buildings and documentation. Roles, positions and employment contracts remain unchanged.

dnata’s catering division operates from 63 global locations under the dnata, Alpha Flight Services, En Route, Alpha LSG SkyChefs (JV) and dnata Newr est (JV) brands.

Servair inaugurates new unit in Ghana airport

January 24, 2018

Airline catering and logistics provider, Servair, has unveiled a new production unit in Ghana’s Accra airport.

Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the country’s minister of aviation, John Dekyem Attafuah, managing director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, François Pujolas, French Ambassador to Ghana and Christian Gauthier, deputy general manager of Servair in Africa were among the representatives on hand to welcome the latest Servair operation, which will produce 2,500 meals for seven airlines daily.

Alongside the provision of inflight catering services, the unit will be equipped to provide food solutions to VIP lounges, schools or company canteens and other non-airline clients.

Christian Gauthier, deputy general manager of Servair in Africa, said: “We are proud to open this new unit. It testifies to our continuing commitment to a market we entered six years ago and makes Ghana one of the pillars of our African network, while also strengthening our position as a leader in airline catering on a rapidly developing continent.”

Eva Air debuts new safety video

January 24, 2018

Taiwan’s independent airline, Eva Air, has teamed up with award-winning director Robin Lee and choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava to produce a new ‘captivating’ safety video.

Running for just over five minutes, the new inflight safety clip blends modern dance, state-of-the-art 3D projection and motion-capture technology resulting in an aesthetically pleasing video that emphasises the importance of safety in a fashion that is both engaging and informative.

The video is available on all EVA flights worldwide and on international flights operated by its regional affiliate, UNI Air.

Watch the video here

New dining options for DFDS

January 24, 2018

Ferry operator DFDS will introduce new dining options on its Newcastle-Amsterdam route from the end of January.

As part of its plan to improve customer-dining options and offer better prices, DFDS will refresh its restaurants and offer up to 34% savings on pre-booked meals.

New restaurants will launch on King Seaways and Princess Seaways from January 26, while The Explorer’s Kitchen will see improved buffet breakfast and dinner options including an international selection from America to the Mediterranean, the Far East and India.

The updated menu will feature: salmon and cream cheese rolls; duck rilette; veal schnitzel and Greek meatballs along with vegan options of red lentil dahl; root vegetable tartin and vegetable korma. Meals can be pre-booked at £9 for breakfast / £18 for a buffet dinner for adults and £6.30 / £13.50 respectively for children aged 4-11. Children under three dine for free.

Meanwhile, the North Sea Bistro will replace DFDS’ Blue Riband restaurant, providing an à-la-carte fine dining option for customers with pre-booked two course meals priced at £31.50 for adults and £18 for children.

The new Coffee Crew will also replace the Lighthouse Café, with Starbucks-trained baristas offering Starbucks coffee among other sweet treats.

Pete Akerman, marketing director for DFDS, commented: “We’ve taken the feedback from our customers and have adjusted our onboard offering to reflect new catering concepts that we feel will meet and exceed their needs. We’ve taken inspiration from the pop-up restaurant trial in 2017 in order to propel our menu choice forward, and believe our customers will enjoy our new eateries as they travel on our Newcastle – Amsterdam route.”

New sleeper carriages

January 24, 2018

The first carriages from the new fleet of Caledonian Sleeper trains have arrived in the UK.

The new carriages have been introduced to the fleet of the overnight rail service, along with 75 new carriages which are being introduced in a phased transition.

The introduction of new trains will be the culmination of a range of improvements and investment in Caledonian Sleeper since Serco took over in 2015. New features include a hotel-style key card entry system, more accessible rooms, charging panels and wifi throughout the train. A range of accommodation options will be available, including Comfort Seats from £45pp, Classic Rooms from £85pp, Club Rooms from £125pp, and Suites from £200pp.

“We believe the new Caledonian Sleeper trains will truly set a new standard in overnight travel and we have worked closely with Transport Scotland on their development,” says Peter Strachan, chairman, Serco Caledonian Sleeper.

“The Sleeper is known throughout the UK as a great way to travel and it is our intention to improve on every aspect of that journey, while offering great value of money for our guests.”

Highlights include a new guest service centre in Inverness, new uniforms, toilets and F&B offer. Ticketing has also been improved with the introduction of electronic ticketing and enhanced online functionality for regular guests.

The new trains are being constructed by CAF in Spain, at a cost over £100million and will be the first sleeper trains to be introduced to the UK for over 35 years.

Air France gets down with the kids

January 16, 2018

Air France is to serve a new My Fun Menu range of feel-good foods on long haul flights, aimed at teenagers and young adults.

From April 1, this new option on its A La Carte Menu will be available to purchase in advance for 13 Euros.

Created from high-quality products, the menu includes a burger made from French beef with Emmental cheese and Bearnaise sauce, Kettle Crisps with sea salt, a Mini Yop yoghurt drink (strawberry flavour), a donut with a caramel filling and Haribo sweets.

Available in Economy and Premium Economy on the majority of flights departing from Paris, there are now five A La Carte Menus to choose from. Other options include: Le Marché de Jean Imbert, designed by the rising star of French cuisine; Une Sélection Lenôtre, a meal exclusively designed by the famous Lenôtre restaurants and boutiques; Ocean Menu, a seafood specialty menu; and Tradition Menu, offering an array of French gourmet products.

Air France is also offering its Premium Economy passengers new comfort kits onboard long-haul flights, available in yellow and orange. The kits will include earplugs, socks and eye masks over the next few months.

Singapore’s new-look cabin

January 16, 2018

Singapore Airlines has announced that London and Hong Kong will be the next destinations to be served by its newest Airbus A380 aircraft, featuring the airline’s newest cabin products.

SIA’s new cabin products were publicly unveiled early in November and debuted in December to Sydney following the delivery of the first of five new A380s. The new cabin products will also be retrofitted on 14 aircraft that are already in service.

Guests staying in the airline’s private Suites will receive a sleeper suit, slippers and a 100% combed-cotton duvet designed by Lalique; a 32-inch touchscreen monitor in high definition is paired with noise-cancelling headphones along with touch-controlled mood lighting. Bone china tableware from Wedgwood is featured for the meals, which are crafted by SIA’s International Culinary Panel of chefs from around the world.

The Business cabin features handstitched full grain leather lie-flat seats with supportive sculpted wings from premium Italian interior design company Poltrona Frau, an 18-inch HD touchscreen monitor with noise-cancelling headphones, personalised dinner times with SIA’s Book the Cook meal options served on fine porcelain from Narumi and toiletries from Penhaligon’s.

Premium Economy seats come with built-in foot- and calf-rests, seats that recline up to eight inches with a 38-inch pitch, a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen monitor with noise-cancelling headphones, two USB ports, and an eco-friendly personal amenity pouch with a dental kit and travel socks.

The new Economy seat has ergonomically-designed backrests, adjustable footrests with three positions and a six-way headrest for neck support and an 11.1-inch touchscreen monitor that works with the SingaporeAir mobile app to save flyers’ playlists and preferences for upcoming flights.

FORMIA gives the gift of luxury

January 16, 2018

FORMIA and Malaysia Airlines have extended their partnership to introduce new luxury amenity kits to Business passengers.

Both his and hers amenity kits include a fragrance along with skincare products by luxury cosmetic brand PAYOT. Both pouch and purse styles are available in black or navy blue with a contrasting red lining reflecting the airline’s signature colour.

Malaysia Airlines also offers passengers its Sleeping Suit Collection. This pyjama set designed in midnight blue includes a pullover top with a red zipper and comes as part of a gift collection, which includes the amenity kits and a gold key chain.

A for Alexir

January 16, 2018

Packaging specialist Alexir International has received Grade A status for its China-based plastics manufacturing site, BRC Global Standards.

The site specialises in printing plastic packaging for the food-on-the-go market and is used by over 26,000 certified suppliers across 130 countries.

Nicy Yu, Alexir’s buyer for China and the Far East said: “It is really pleasing to have been able to work with our factory personnel and specialist auditors from TUV Rheinland to deliver BRC Grade A certification for our plastics production factory. Now not only can we guarantee high quality products for our customers but we can also meet all current UK retailer requirements and legislation.”

gategroup partners with Asiana Airlines

January 16, 2018

gategroup has secured a 30-year partnership with Asiana Airlines as its sole in-flight caterer at Incheon airport.

This long-term contract will see gategroup serve passengers flying to destinations across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America as well as serving Asiana Airlines at key Korean airports.

Kim, Soo Cheon, ceo of Asiana Airlines, said: “We are delighted to partner with gategroup as we move towards our goal of becoming the world’s greatest airline. As the clear airline catering industry leader, gategroup is the perfect partner for us to deliver our customers an extraordinary travelling experience. We are very pleased to begin a long-term partnership that offers exciting opportunities to both companies.”

gategroup will hold a 60% controlling stake in the joint venture which includes the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility in Incheon to accommodate Asiana Airlines’ growth plans.

British Airways invests in long haul meals

January 10, 2018

British Airways has announced a multi-million pound investment in its World Traveller (long-haul economy cabin) catering, introducing an expanded new menu and more snacking options.

The new menus, which arrive from January 17 via its current suppliers, will change every six months. Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, says: “Great food and beverages are a huge driver of customer satisfaction. With this multi-million pound investment we’ve focused on introducing more quantity and quality to the catering, delivering tasty meals and great snacking options throughout the flight.”

Customers will be welcomed with pretzels and a drink followed by a four-course meal such as a starter of couscous salad, followed by a main course of chicken casserole with an ale sauce, colcannon mash and seasonal vegetables. Dessert will be a Pots & Co salted caramel and chocolate mousse, followed by biscuits and cheese. The meal will be accompanied by a bread roll and a bottle of Highland Spring water.

On the shorter daylight long-haul flights fliers will also receive a sandwich with a chocolate or Nutri-Grain bar. Those on longer daylight flights they will get a hot meal, such as a pizza wrap or a regional option, with a pot of pasta, a chocolate brownie and a drink as well as a smokehouse BBQ crunch Graze movie-snack box. A hot English breakfast will be served on longer overnight flights.

Customers on daylight flights from London will be offered a range of Magnum ice-creams, while those on night flights can have a tuck-box, including options such as Dairy Milk Buttons and Mini Cheddars, which will also be available in the galley for customers to help themselves to.

The airline is also serving regional main meal options, such as chicken in spicy cheng du sauce on flights to and from to China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

The popular meal options for customers with special dietary requirements will continue to be available to book on more than 24 hours ahead of their flight departing and all travellers looking for a treat can pre-order meals on flights from Heathrow up to 24-hours before their flight. Options include a Gourmet Dining meal for £18.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion over the next five years, covering the installation of wifi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600m specifically in Club World, including new catering and White Company bedding.

Galileo Watermark gets arty with Brussels

January 10, 2018

Galileo Watermark has developed three collectible amenity kits for Brussels Airlines, using some of surrealist artist René Magritte’s most famous works.

Last year was the 50th anniversary of the death of Magritte, which Brussels Airlines marked Magritte-dedicated Belgian Icon aircraft.

Tanguy Cartuyvels, vp marketing at Brussels Airlines says: “We wish to again honour the artist to mark the anniversary of his passing away. As proud ambassadors for Belgium, it has always been important for us to bring the best of Belgium to the world and we are thrilled to do this once again with our latest amenity kits.”

Magritte is lauded for his ability to look at things from a different angle and the neoprene bags feature prints inspired by three of Magritte’s major works: The Treachery of Images, The Return and The Son of Man.

Kenny Harmel, head of aviation at Galileo Watermark said: “Understanding local heritage is hugely important, we were keen to continue Brussels Airlines’ long standing tradition of partnering with national icons and brands to elevate their onboard offering. With the anniversary falling this year we felt that celebrating some of Magritte’s most iconic pieces would be a fitting tribute and a wonderful keepsake for passengers onboard.”

The unisex kits include socks, eye mask, earplugs, dental kit and pen and are available now on Business flights serving North America, Africa and India.

Kaelis taps into scent marketing

January 10, 2018

Kaelis is offering its customers a new service in scent marketing, hoping to improve corporate identity as well as the passenger experience through the power of smell.

Taking a company’s brand identity and marketing messages and creating a scent that amplifies these values and attracts its target audience is the aim of the game and Kaelis is targeting airlines.

It will design appropriate scents, harmonising ingredients that can be associated to country and corporate values. The scent will be for multi-use – across cabin interiors, business lounges and sales offices.

The company will be partnering with luxury brands for the scent creation and says its high-quality scents are made in accordance with the IFRA and local regulations, are hypoallergenic, have a 10-hour firmness and five-year aroma shelf life.

By implementing an exclusive and appropriate scent, Kaelis claims airlines will “create a new customer communications channel – more powerful than sight and hearing – creating new emotions and feelings.”

The onboard services company has also announced it will renew its contract with Spanish railway company Renfe Viajeros to provide on board equipment to all high-speed and long-distance trains in Spain in 2018/19. Kaelis currently supplies 40 different products including catering materials like its tray set-up Rekko (pictured) and amenity kits.

Hong Kong Airlines launches Los Angeles route

January 03, 2018

Hong Kong Airlines now flies direct to Los Angeles, with routes to San Francisco and New York to follow in 2018.

The airline now carries to two North American destinations following the launch of a daily service to Vancouver earlier this year.

The service is operated by the new A350 Airbus and is equipped with a number of modern amenities including inflight wifi – of which the first 15 minutes are available free to all passengers – as well as a new inflight entertainment system with over 100 types of entertainment content including the latest movies and TV programmes, as well as live broadcasts of CNN, BBC World News and Sport24.

“The launch of our new service to Los Angeles represents another step of our transition from a regional carrier to a global airline,” said Tang King Shing, vice chairman of Hong Kong Airlines. “As a popular destination for both leisure and business travel, Los Angeles is also one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. We are delighted to offer our customers more travel options for flights into Los Angeles.”

Business passengers travelling on the new flight will also be the first to dine using a series of new tableware, consisting of china, glassware and cutlery designed by local homeware brand JIA Inc. and CLIP. The tableware for Economy passengers has also been revamped.

TAP and skysupply introduces amenities for babies

January 03, 2018

Tap has teamed up with skysupply to design animated practical amenity kits for parents with infants, featuring its new cartoon-style plane mascot.

The product is eco-friendly and practical since disposable changing pads are avoided, and the infant’s diapers can be changed hygienically.

The foldable pad is branded with TAP’s mascot while the inside is an upholstered, washable pad. The interior compartment, designed as a net, holds various items: a stuffed plane for the baby to play with, a spoon for feeding, and a washable bib in the same style as the pad.

“Our goal was to produce amenities which are adapted to the special necessities of babies/infants, and at the same time, reflect the airline’s corporate identity in a playful way,” says Wolfgang Bücherl, Managing Director at skysupply.

FFG Adds Xiamen service

January 03, 2018

Xiamen Airlines has chosen Flying Food Group (FFG) to cater its new US route between Los Angeles and Qing Tao, China.

FFG began catering Xiamen’s new three-times-weekly service between Los Angeles and Xiamen, China in June 2017. FFG also caters Xiamen’s three weekly flights between New York JFK and Fuzhou, China.

In December 2017, Xiamen presented FFG with a special award for ‘outstanding performance & Service’. The special award confirms the successful FFG-Xiamen partnership, noted Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vp, airline sales.

SunExpress and Retail Inmotion extend partnership

January 03, 2018

Retail inMotion will continue to design and manage the onboard retail programme for Turkish airline SunExpress for another three years.

The extended contract between the two partners was facilitated by LSG Group and will see the implementation of Vector, Retail inMotion’s onboard retail software, along with around 30 food and beverage items and nearly 70 boutique and duty free articles.

“The LSG Group is proud to continue the partnership with SunExpress Germany for three more years. We will not only provide our industry leading Retail inMotion technology and take care of the last mile, but Retail inMotion will also further manage the onboard retail programme of SunExpress. This is a great sign of trust in our capabilities”, said Lars Redeligx, chief commercial officer Europe at LSG Group.

Alpha LSG wins Beijing Capital Airlines’ contract

January 03, 2018

Alpha LSG has won a two-year contract to supply the onboard catering for Beijing Capitol Airlines.

The catering supplier will provide the airline with two hot meals and a snack on its twice-weekly flights out of Heathrow to Qingdao in the People’s Republic of China.

Alex Forbes, Alpha LSG’s CEO (pictured right), says: “A key element enabling us to secure this important contract is our ability to supply Beijing Capital Airlines with high-quality authentic Chinese cuisine across both Business and Economy classes. Beijing Capital Airlines arrival into Heathrow is highly significant as it is the first airline of the HNA Group to operate into London’s Heathrow Airport, and we are delighted to have been selected to service them with their catering requirements.”

Captain Claus makes a special appearance onboard easyJet

December 20, 2017

To celebrate the festive season, easyJet is surprising children with a visit from Santa Claus onboard selected flights to Europe.

The world’s most famous pilot will be onboard during the holiday period giving passengers the chance to experience a new inflight grotto being featured on more than 100 flights to France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Holland.

easyJet cabin crew and staff have rigged a plane with hidden cameras to capture the reactions of passengers as Captain Claus’ voice came over the tannoy and delivered presents to those onboard.

Tina Milton, head of cabin crew, easyJet said: “We fly millions of people home or on holiday over the Christmas period and we wanted to get the festive feeling started onboard. We have hired the world’s most famous pilot to fly on over 100 selected flights and give over 20,000 passengers an incredible surprise.”

Watch the video here

New retail programme for Aer Lingus

December 12, 2017

Aer Lingus has launched a new onboard retail programme in partnership with Retail inMotion.

Retail inMotion will assist the airline with range development, category management, crew training and menu card and catalogue design. It will also assume responsibility for managing the financial performance of the airline’s onboard retail and duty free programmes.

Vector In-Flight, Retail inMotion’s proprietary onboard retail management software, has also been fully deployed to enable onboard payments, manage supply chain and warehouse logistics, ensure full end-to-end reconciliation and provide full back-office functionality.

Mike Rutter, Aer Lingus’ chief operating officer, said: “We are very proud of our new partnership with Retail inMotion. Following an extensive tender process, we are convinced that we have found the right long-term partner to develop our Bia and Boutique offerings into the future. Now that the new programme has been successfully launched, we look forward to working closely in partnership, to further enhance our award-winning guest experience.”

Marella Cruises adds new kids activity packs

December 12, 2017

Marella Cruises has partnered with Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks to create kids’ activity packs onboard its Marella Cruises fleet.

The packs retain some core elements including a lanyard, a wallet, an activity pack, stickers and a board game, but the new versions also contain a set of pop-up binoculars whilst characters from the Discovery ’ ships’ popular Splash Live immersive shows have been incorporated.

The new packs are being used on the recently-launched Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2 vessels, which have been designed with the family market in mind. Facilities include climbing walls, Splash Live shows, outdoor cinemas, kids clubs and a teens-only space called The Hide Out.

Gemma Drew, account director at Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks, said: “We are delighted to have had the chance to build on the first generation packs. The aim is to add even more value across the full fleet of ships and to make family holidays even more memorable.”

SWISS welcomes Canton Valis chef aboard

December 12, 2017

SWISS is expanding its ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ culinary programme to First and Business passengers by introducing meals designed by Franck Reynaud, a Michelin-starred chef from Canton Valais in south-west Switzerland.

Until March 6, 2018, passengers on intercontinental services from Switzerland can experience meals created by the 18-GaultMillau-point chef de cuisine of the Hostellerie du Pas de l’Ours in Crans-Montana, the famed Valais holiday resort.

Reynaud’s dishes are inspired from his Provençal roots and use seasonal produce to create local and regional flavours. Passengers in First will enjoy cream of butternut squash soup with pearl barley and Valais air-dried meat, followed by a choice of veal fillet with juniper sauce and Parmesan crumble, or sole paupiette with bouillabaisse sauce. For dessert, Reynaud offers an ice cream vacherin with Valais génépi, hibiscus meringue and citrus fruits.

For SWISS Business passengers a starter of gravad Valais perch will be served with horseradish and yoghurt remoulade and absinthe-marinated cucumber. For their main course passengers can choose between braised beef with Humagne Rouge sauce, or lemon sole with bouillabaisse sauce. Dessert is cheesecake with citrus fruits.

The dishes can all be paired with wines from the region.

In addition, from January, 3 – 16, 2018 the ‘SWISS Traditions’ programme will be celebrating the annual Belalp Hexe witches’ ski race by serving special meals in Business on certain European flights. Passengers will be offered Valais air-dried beef and saffron mousse tartlets, while those on longer flights can choose between a Valais-style beef stew or a Valais raclette, followed by a slice of baked-apple mousse.

JetBlue unveils holiday kits

December 12, 2017

Hayward Luxury and CLIP have adapted the amenities offer for JetBlue with the addition of a special item for the holiday season.

Throughout November and December, the Hayward for women and Hopper for men amenity kits will feature a pair of fingerless gloves for all Mint cabin passengers. The kits will also include the usual personal care items including eyeshades, socks, dental set, pen and earplugs.

The gloves are featured in kits designed by Marin Hopper. She said: “I designed two unique bandanna prints that celebrate the American West spirit. The Hopper kit incorporates a sun motif drawn from the “Dennis Hopper Works of Art” sign that hangs in our store in New York City, and a thunderbird, a symbol of power reflective of the American Southwest.”

The Hayward kit is embellished with a floral motif drawn from the hand-painted Fortuny wallpaper on the ceiling of our New York store, and it is also illustrated with peacocks, a bird that I adore! Two of which perch on the walls at Hayward House.”

Hawaiian Airlines introduces new meal programme

December 5, 2017

Hawaiian Airlines will introduce a new meal service on flights between Hawaii and Western U.S. gateway cities on its new fleet of A321neo aircrafts from early next year.

The Pau Hāna Café branded meal service will offer a continental breakfast box for brunch and hot sandwich and side for lunch. The meal service will be followed by coffee and a sweet treat for dessert. Passengers will also be offered the carrier’s popular Koloa Breeze cocktail.

Passengers in First will be offered options created by the airline’s newest featured chef, Wade Ueoka of MW Restaurant, who will present island-inspired dishes such as cold tofu salad with kimchee, watercress, kaiware sprouts, yuzu kosho vinaigrette appetizer and a ground beef, and Portuguese sausage meatloaf with home-style gravy, sautéed mushrooms, potatoes and kale entree.

“Our complimentary in-flight meals have been a hallmark of the authentic and warm hospitality our guests have enjoyed for decades,” said Avi Mannis, Hawaiian Airlines’ senior vice president of marketing. “In adapting our meal programme for the narrow-body A321neos, we found that our guests highly value opportunities to interact with our in-flight crew, so we added more service touch-points during their travel.”

The updated meal options will be launched at the same time as new uniforms debut onboard, designed by by Hilo-based designer Sig Zane.

FORMIA brings Lalique luxury onboard

December 5, 2017

FORMIA and Singapore Airlines have collaborated with luxury brand Lalique to create a new range of amenity kits.

The male, female and unisex kits offer passengers high quality of Lalique branded products designed to enhance the onboard experience for Business passengers.

Both the male and female bags include an Eau de Toilette from their respective Lalique collections along with a variety of travel-size products.

The unisex kit includes products from the Lalique Néroli line, designed with a dual travel and home lifestyle concept in mind, and including a scented candle to enjoy after the journey at home.

New Lalique-branded lavatory toiletries and sleeper suits complete the amenity collection.

Some festive fun from Air New Zealand

December 5, 2017

Air New Zealand has poked fun at the Kiwi accent with its new festive video ‘A Very Merry Mistake’.

The light-hearted clip shows a confused Santa trying to decipher a number of ‘unusual’ requests from New Zealand children. Luckily Air New Zealand’s cabin crew are on hand to provide some much-needed translation skills.

Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod says the airline wanted to celebrate the festive season in a uniquely New Zealand way.

“While it’s no secret the Kiwi accent has been misunderstood at times, it’s also a signature part of our service. In fact, for many Kiwis, being welcomed onboard an Air New Zealand flight by crew after being offshore for some time makes them feel instantly back at home.

“We wanted to celebrate the festive season and the Kiwi accent in a humorous and uniquely Air New Zealand way.”

Watch video here

New healthy salads for Eurostar Business

December 5, 2017

Eurostar is dishing up a new range of healthy salads for Business Premier passengers as they travel across the Channel.

Designed by Michelin star chef and Eurostar Business Premier culinary director, Raymond Blanc OBE, the eight vegetarian salads include: quinoa, lentil, feta, roast beetroot, apple, linseed and rocket with lemon dressing; bulgur wheat, chickpea and butternut squash; goats cheese and mint with lemon dressing, lentil, celery, celeriac, spelt and quinoa; sweet potato, goats’ cheese, lentil and grilled celeriac with balsamic dressing (gluten free); roasted butternut squash, harissa, lentil, cauliflower and almonds with balsamic dressing (gluten free, dairy free, vegan); stilton, quinoa, walnuts, savoy cabbage, celery, radish, dill and orange with apple dressing (gluten free); honeyed goat’s cheese, chestnut, lentil, carrot and celery with balsamic vinaigrette (gluten free) and spelt, beetroot, spinach, coleslaw, cumin, and edamame beans with orange vinaigrette (dairy free).

Commenting on his creations, Raymond Blac said: “Whilst onboard Business travellers are looking for a flexible menu with a variety of options. I have refreshed the menu to offer a new range of healthy vegetarian salads, made with high quality sustainable produce, which I hope will satisfy those after a lighter alternative.”

SPIRIANT extends partnership with Alaska Airlines

November 29, 2017

SPIRIANT is extending its partnership with Alaska Airlines for an additional three years, renewing management of the carrier’s inflight equipment, design and development, procurement, inventory and warehousing.

This agreement is part of a larger contract with the LSG Group, which covers 40 airports in the U.S. and Mexico.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to work with Alaska and Virgin America as they go through their merger process because we have a clear understanding of the complexities associated with redesigning and combining two carriers. We are excited to see how the partnership develops over the next three years as we bring even more innovation to the Alaska Airlines’ table.” said Julia Wannenmacher, director sales & product, SPIRIANT North America.

Clip aims to upgrade Economy style

November 29, 2017

CLIP has forged a partnership with Italian lifestyle brand Guzinni to bring functional style to the Economy cabin.

Guzzini is a heritage brand which in the 1950s was the first to offer transparent acrylic tableware that was affordable, light, colourful and unbreakable. Its products are synonymous with quality and style.

Clip aims to be the first inflight expert to bring a cohesive, relevant and international lifestyles tableware brand to the market for Economy. Guzzini’s award-winning designer, Carlo Colombo, worked on the project to keep all the qualities of the original design while meeting the strict criteria of the airline industry, both in terms of cost, lifecycle and production.

Clip director Cindy Lam said: “Nice-looking tableware that conveys the history of a beautiful brand essentially cost the same as dull generic tableware to produce. This is an opportunity to enhance the Economy experience.

Skysupply supports TAP’s retro makeover

November 29, 2017

TAP Air Portugal is marking its 70th anniversary with the launch of a holistic ‘RETRO’ concept supported by Skysupply.

Based on the airline’s own past, the concept sees aircraft being branded in the TAP Retro design and crew wearing seventies-style uniforms designed by Louis Féraud. The theme is followed from check-in to the entertainment selection and meal service and includes an Executive Class amenity kit by SkySupply.

The amenity kit is a retro-style cotton canvas bag with leather applications and contains a number of traditional cosmetic brands and contents from Portugal. Skysupply md, Wolfgang Bücherl, said: “We had to go back in time to create an authentic retro version of an amenity kit, and at the same time satisfy a modern customer. We are very excited about the result.”

LATAM upgrades Economy with gate

November 15, 2017

LATAM has introduced a new gastronomic concept for Economy long-haul in collaboration with gategroup.

Passengers will receive three options for lunch or dinner – a hot dish, a vegetarian and lighter cold option, plus a drink service and a sweet snack. Portion sizes have been increased and there are two new breakfast choices available in a range of 300 new dishes.

New serving trays provide a more convenient dining experience with built-in plates replacing small modular dishes on trays. Anne De Hauw, vp customer experience at gategroup said: “We really believe that this new, innovative concept will transform the way passengers enjoy food on board.”

New kids kit for Aircalin

November 15, 2017

FORMIA has unveiled a new kids kit for Aircalin featuring friendly fish character, Captain Gobi of the Blueband Gobi family.

This pearly white fish with distinctive yellow face is outfitted in the Aircalin captain’s uniform and was created by FORMIA’s own design studio to engage and excite Aircalin passengers.

The kit was more broadly inspired by Aircalin’s interior cabin atmosphere and the iconic colours of the lagoon and red earth landscapes of New Caledonia.

The kit includes the Captain Gobi Pouch presented with Captain Gobi in a vibrant aqua lagoon setting, the Captain Gobi activity book, and an eye-catching tin box with coloured pencils and a magnet jigsaw puzzle.

William Le Grand, chief commercial officer, stated: “The AIRCALIN children’s kit created by FORMIA has been very well received by our young passengers and meets our expectations in terms of customer service. The character design embodies the unique beauty and authenticity of the New Caledonia lagoon.”

Luxury suites and sustainable meals on SIA

November 15, 2017

SINGAPORE Airlines is rolling out new cabin designs and onboard products for its A380 fleet following a four-year development programme.

The A380s will feature six new Suites, Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins designed and installed through a $850 million investment.

The Suites and Business offer includes amenity kits and plush bedding sets by French luxury brand, Lalique. Penhaligon’s amenities will also be available and there’s a new Disney collaboration for kids.

The upgraded culinary experience includes Wedgwood serviceware and Lalique-designed crystal glassware in the Suites, while new menus feature more sustainable ingredients and local fresh produce. Business passengers will see Narumi-designed chinaware.

deSter gets closer to its U.S. market

November 15, 2017

Serviceware and packaging specialist deSter is to open a new production facility in Lima, Ohio (U.S.).

The Belgian company’s expansion in the U.S. is a strategic move and an integral part of the company’s global plan to produce closer to its core markets.

Stef Van de Perre, md deSter, said: “Being able to offer products ‘Made in the USA’ will give additional quality reassurance for local customers and is a great way to give something back to the community. We already have a global supply chain and mature production plants in Belgium and Thailand but producing locally will significantly contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. We profoundly believe that good business should be good for people and gentle on the environment.”

Formia supports Acca Kappa roll outs

November 01, 2017

FORMIA has forged a new business relationship with Xiamen Airlines and the Acca Kappa White Moss cosmetic brand.

Xiamen Airlines offers Acca Kappa amenity kits to First and Business travellers, with each cabin having its own distinctive design.

The kit includes Acca Kappa cosmetics from the White Moss range along with its other amenity items.

The product choice reflects Xiamen Airlines’ vision to position itself as an internationally-recognised top-class airline in the Asia-Pacific region. For FORMIA, the affiliation furthers its mission to offer the best in quality branded and innovatively-designed products while growing the company’s strong presence in Asia and the rest of the world.

FORMIA ceo & managing partner, Roland Grohmann, stated: “Our collaboration represents a strategic move to pair the best in amenity bags containing the best in cosmetic and wellness products.”

The company has also supported an Austrian Airlines initiative to introduce an overnight amenity kit for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations, or other travel interruptions. The multi-functional two-tone pouch provides grooming essentials, for males and females respectively, as well as Acca Kappa toiletries.

Fiji Airways adds ambassador

November 01, 2017

Fiji Airways has appointed award-winning Kiwi chef, Robert Oliver as its new celebrity chef and culinary ambassador.

The world-renowned chef, author, and TV presenter will work with Fiji Airways to develop menus for customers to enjoy both onboard (Economy and Business) and in its new lounge currently under construction at Fiji’s Nadi International Airport.

Fiji Airways md and ceo, Andre Viljoen, said: “We are constantly looking at how we can enhance our customer experience both inflight and on the ground. We’ve brought award-winning Robert Oliver onboard to enhance our cuisine offering. As an avid proponent of South Pacific cuisine, our customers can look forward to enjoying new menus that showcase the delights of our home and our region.

“Our brand new Business Lounge at Nadi International Airport will have its own kitchens and a dining area, allowing our Customer Experience teams to collaborate with Robert to offer the best lounge experience in the South Pacific.”

Robert Oliver added: “I was born in New Zealand and I was raised in Fiji and Samoa. As a result, I feel deeply rooted in and connected to their cultures. This influenced my style of cooking from an early age and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favourite dishes with travellers world-wide.”

Chef Oliver-inspired menus will be available inflight from mid-January 2018, and will include a number of signature dishes designed exclusively for Fiji Airways.

Virgin adds bartender style

November 01, 2017

Virgin Atlantic has a new ‘Flying Bartender’ programme devised in collaboration with the Bacardi portfolio of beverage brands.

Running through to spring 2018, selected Virgin Atlantic flights each month will focus on one of the brands in the Bacardi portfolio as the feature spirit in a travel-inspired cocktail, presented as part of the inflight experience by a world-renowned bartender.

The programme launched with a personally-prepared serve of the Bombay Sapphire Gin + Damson featuring Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and a home-made plum cordial in a recipe created by award-winning mixologist Max Venning, co-owner of Three Sheets bar in London. The next flying bartender will take flight over the Christmas and New Year period with Grey Goose vodka.

Aude Bourdier-Rocourt, regional director Europe, Bacardi Global Travel Retail, said: “We are happy to share a truly creative partnership with Virgin Atlantic, rooted in our joint passion to give customers an unforgettable experience with our brands. For Bacardi, what’s especially exciting about the projects we are working on together this year – Flying Bartender and the Digital 360 (also running in several Virgin clubhouses) – is how we are building even greater connections between the brand experiences our consumers enjoy on the ground, thanks to our relationships with leading bartenders in iconic city venues, as well as in the air with Virgin Atlantic’s renowned inflight service.”

Mark Anderson, executive vice president of customer, Virgin Atlantic Airways, added: “We’ve invited one of the UK’s leading bartenders to create bespoke cocktails on five special flights. We’re looking forward to working with Bacardi to surprise our customers across all three cabins, and encourage everyone on board to enjoy their specially crafted drink responsibly.”

LSG Group extends Egyptian deal

November 01, 2017

The LSG Group has extended its management, trademark and shareholder agreement for LSG Sky Chefs Catering Egypt SAE in Cairo, Egypt, for another seven years.

Cairo was the first LSG Sky Chefs catering unit outside of Germany when it was established in 1978. In 1992, LSG Sky Chefs began operating the facility with Egyptian Aviation Services (EAS) under a management contract. In 2009, a joint venture agreement was established with Egypt Air Inflight Services (EAIFS) in which they acquired 70 percent of the shares in the business. LSG Sky Chefs and EAS became minority shareholders with 15 percent each. Since then, LSG Sky Chefs has been managing the entire operation with an experienced team.

“We are very proud that we could prolong our management agreement,” said Alfred Rigler, head of emerging markets at LSG Group. “My sincere thanks go to the team in Cairo as they continuously and successfully pursue their mission of servicing their customers in the best way possible, even through difficult times.”

The Cairo team provides catering services more than 30 flights per day. Co-shareholder Egypt Air is also the main customer, but the unit services some international airlines in addition.

DFDS catering initiative

November 01, 2017

Europe’s leading ferry operator, DFDS, has become the first UK maritime company to recruit apprentices for a brand new maritime catering apprenticeship programme.

The three new catering apprentices join a 12-strong group, made up of a further six deck and three engine apprentices. The group have started a 24 month programme of classroom training at North Kent College in Gravesend and on-the-job skills training on board DFDS’ Dover-Dunkirk ships as they work towards qualification as able seafarers, marine fitters and maritime caterers.

Gemma Griffin, vp of HR & crewing at DFDS says: “We’re proud to offer young people in the South East the opportunity to build a career at sea through our apprenticeship scheme. The UK shipping industry faces a particular challenge in attracting young people to join and we’re delighted to be trailblazers in this area by providing three exciting routes into a maritime career.

“I’m particularly pleased that this year we welcome the first-ever maritime caterer apprentices into our business, leading the way and setting the standard for future apprentices in the UK to follow. It’s hugely rewarding for our teams to welcome new faces into our business and to share their knowledge with the next generation of seafarers, helping them achieve qualifications that will give them skills for life. We look forward to following their progress and supporting them through their courses over the next two years.”

S7 launches new space kits

November 01, 2017

AK-Service has collaborated with airline S7 to launch exclusive space-themed travel kits for children aged three to twelve.

The sets are united by the theme of the space, which is reflected in the unusual silvery backpacks with colourful and unique design prints made with special paints that glow in the dark. The aim was to create a magical atmosphere onboard for kids during night flights when the cabin lights are dimmed.

The children’s kits come in different variations and include fun games, colouring books with exciting tasks, quizzes and other items a child might need for a comfortable and interesting trip onboard.

Delta lays on the fizz

November 01, 2017

Delta has added the option of Prosecco on every flight in its main cabin.

Customers have long had a choice of complimentary beer, white and red wines plus spirits throughout the aircraft but the introduction of Avissi Prosecco is designed to elevate the inflight offer further.

The popular fizz is now available on all international flights and continues Delta’s focus on providing a premium onboard food and beverage offering.

“Sparkling wine is often the first choice for a celebration and we know how special it is for people to jet off on a trip so we wanted to bring the celebration to them,” said Lisa Bauer, Delta’s vp of onboard services. “Offering complimentary chef-curated food and drinks throughout the flight is one of the things that sets Delta apart and we’re upping the ante again with our mini bottles of Prosecco.”

Meanwhile, in the Delta One cabin, the flavours of autumn are being paired with a selection of wines curated by Delta’s Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson. Robinson has tasted from a selection of more than 1,300 wines representing global varieties and has narrowed the wines down to create a wine list and experience to match the onboard environment for business customers.

Delta upgrades comforts and dining

October 24, 2017

Delta is redefining its international Main Cabin dining experience with a series of enhancements on its longest flights.

From November, the airline will launch customer experience menu cards which will include information on timing for each service and details on the inflight food and beverage offerings.

In December the carrier will launch new upgraded cutlery and by mid-2018 it will upgraded meals and add new serviceware on long-haul international flights. The new collection will include newly-designed trays and upgraded rotable serviceware that will complement investments in meal quality to provide customers a restaurant-style dining experience.

In addition Delta will upgrade the Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin pillows on all international long-haul flights, complementing upgraded sleep kits and blankets.

In response to passenger demand and following a successful onboard trial, Delta will begin rolling out the option to pre-select meals in 2018.

Delta One customers will be able to choose their meal from six days prior to boarding selected international flights to ensure they receive their first choice onboard.

Pre-select will initially rollout in the Delta One cabin on flights from Atlanta and New York-JFK to Europe in early 2018 but will expand to include inbound and outbound between the U.S. and Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America; and then to both First Class and Delta Premium Select.

Gategroup focuses on retail

October 24, 2017

Gategroup has unveiled a new company structure and sharpened its focus on retail and the customer experience with the appointment of Federico Germani as chief commercial officer.

Germani, based in Zurich, will oversee the commercial management team and global customer accounts, ensuring commercial alignment and coordination across the company’s network.

He will also be responsible for retail on board business and a new customer experience function focused on developing end-to-end experiences for customers and driving their commercialisation.

The goal is to offer a unified commercial approach to airlines adopting a combination of catering and retail solutions, and to make the better use of consumer analytics and business intelligence.

Germani has more than 14 years experience in the LATAM Group where he was corporate senior vp services & innovation.

Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup’s CEO, says: “Through these organisational changes under Federico’s leadership, we want to further reinforce our focus on the consumer at the centre of our commercial strategy and accelerate the development of the most innovative products and services”.

EVA Air partners Erno Laszlo

October 24, 2017

EVA Air has launched a new Premium Economy amenity kit in partnership with Erno Laszlo through a collaboration facilitated by Galileo Watermark.

The Erno Laszlo branded bag is a sleek, monochrome unisex kit which includes an eye mask, dental kit, ear plugs, comb and a lip balm and face cream from the bespoke skincare company.

Erno Laszlo launched in New York 90 years ago with a bespoke skincare philosophy. Working with some of the biggest names in showbiz including Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo, the brand has been a household name ever since and its Lip Repair Balm and Face Cream help combat the typical skincare problems encountered whilst travelling.

Phormula 3-9 Lip Repair Balm is a soothing balm containing a nourishing blend of botanical oils, plant and marine bio-actives that create a protective, healing barrier as they absorb deeply to heal damage and hydrate lips. While the Phelityl Face Cream is a lightweight, non-greasy cream that restores the skin’s pH balance.

The new kits will be available on all Premium Economy long haul routes from Taiwan.

United upgrades

October 24, 2017

United has upgraded its food, beverage and service options at four United Club locations, Las Vegas (LAS) Orlando (MCO), Houston (IAH) and Boston (BOS) for a limited time.

The new food display concepts and branding, enhanced menu items, food stations and beverage specials include lobster rolls and seafood ceviche in Boston; a grilled cheese station and waffles in Orlando; hash browns and a comfort food bar at LAX and gourmet charcuterie and cheese board in Houston.

New beverage options include happy hour craft cocktails, a tea infusion bar, a build your own Bloody Mary bar, Mimosas and spirit floaters.

Passengers experiencing the new concepts will be asked for feedback with a view to continuing or adapting the offer available.

Kids pack revamp for TUI Group

October 17, 2017

Kids packs specialist, Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks have updated its inflight children’s packs for TUI Group’s airlines.

The revamp for packs flying on TUI Nordic, TUI Netherlands, TUI Belgium and TUI / Thomson Airways merges two packs into one and features a passport-style activity book that children can fill out with information about their journey and holiday, along with holiday-themed games and puzzles.

It also features a new set of ‘Perfect Pairs’ playing cards which have been designed and formatted to be used as a tray table game. Whilst ‘Jet Set Squares’ – a bingo style game – encourages family time and interaction and can be taken away and used post-flight.

Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks has again incorporated multi-lingual game instructions in the pack and made all the other activities intuitive and language neutral.

Claire Serdet, product manager inflight supply chain at TUI, says: “The packs were hugely popular with our customers when they launched back in 2015. This new and updated version builds on that success and I’m sure it will be a real hit with our young travellers and their families.”

Gemma Drew, account director at Milk Jnr’s & Kidworks, adds: “We see the new pack as an evolution of the previous one we created for the group two years ago and we’ve worked hard to keep TUI’s brand essence at the centre of every element.”

Etihad champions young designers

October 17, 2017

Etihad Airways has launched a competition to engage four young Emirati fashion designers to create its new onboard loungewear.

With local designers on the rise, Etihad has chosen to cultivate home-grown talent. The competition aims to engage four designers who specialise in loungewear and will see Rowdah Al Shaafar (of A Friend of Mine by Xpoze), Manaal Al Hammadi (of Manaal Al Hammadi), Asma Al Matrooshi (of Epiphany) and Aiisha Al Marri (of 1981 Boutique) compete for the contract to design Etihad’s sleepwear.

The sleepwear will be presented to passengers in First and The Residence onboard the Airbus A380, by the first quarter of 2018.

The winner will be chosen based on comfort, style and wearability post-flight, and must involve strong Emirati and UAE influences, working with traditional patterns, accents and local colours. It must be contemporary and trendy.

Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways vp guest experience and delivery, says: “As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and with our sponsorship of 17 international Fashion Weeks, engaging local designers and audiences is the logical step for us, and this is the perfect platform to do so. I cannot wait to see what these incredible designers have in store for us.”

Singapore focuses on provenance

October 17, 2017

Singapore Airlines has launched a new “From Farm to Plane” concept to promote environmental sustainability and support local farmers’ communities through its inflight food and beverage offerings.

The strategy means the airline will be using fish from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council for their sustainable fishing practices, and obtaining produce from local farms in countries the airline serves. The airline will use more sustainable and meatless ingredients, as well as local produce, working with partners overseas to source such ingredients.

In addition, the airline’s International Culinary Panel (ICP) of world-renowned chefs will focus on sustainable ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans and lettuce. The new menus will initially be introduced to Suites customers on selected routes from later this year, and will progressively be made available to customers travelling in other classes.

Marvin Tan, Singapore Airlines’ senior vp product & service, says: “Our food and beverage sustainability efforts will further demonstrate and reinforce Singapore Airlines’ ongoing efforts to help reduce our carbon footprint and ensure a greener environment. While we continue to deliver a quality in-flight dining experience, we would also like our customers to know that we are playing our part in ensuring sustainability.”

SPIRIANT gets Smartium

October 17, 2017

SPIRIANT is now supplying Premium Economy amenity kits to Asiana Airlines in the Smartium cabin featured on the carrier’s newest A350 aircraft.

The kits were created using a holistic and culturally inclusive approach. They include luxurious slippers with a focus on cleanliness and feet protection, key concerns on the Asian market. In addition, the pouch contains a dental-hygiene set and eyeshade.

Angie Fung, SPIRIANT’s general manager for amenity kits, says: “We’re honoured to embark on this collaboration with Asiana with a groundbreaking move for the Premium Economy arena. We are always looking to delve into undiscovered territory, particularly with amenity kits, so this project has been both eye-opening and interesting.”

SPIRIANT has a dedicated amenity-kit business unit in Hong Kong where the team is on a mission to create innovative kits with powerful collaborations behind them.

Bedding upgrade for Qantas

October 17, 2017

Galileo Watermark has collaborated with Qantas to launch a luxurious bedding range for First designed exclusively by Australia’s premium home and lifestyle brand, Sheridan.

The new bedding range marks the first stage of Qantas’ major A380 fleet cabin upgrade, including refurbished First class suites with new contoured cushioning and a larger, higher-resolution entertainment screen.

The Sheridan bedding ensemble has been crafted using natural, luxury materials in neutral and soft earthy tones to match the First Class cabin interior.

For the first time, customers will able to choose from a pillow menu featuring: Ultimate Comfort Pillow, Memory Foam Pillow and Feather & Down Pillow. The ensemble also includes a memory foam mattress, super-soft Sheridan sheeting, a duvet cover made from soft-touch tencel, a 100% combed-cotton woven throw and a soft-touch bolster cushion.

Sheridan has also designed a soft baby blanket in pure cotton for infants aged under two years of age travelling on all international services in all cabins.

The bedding is being rolled out progressively onto A380 services to London, Dubai, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth.

LSG goes green with ANZ

October 11, 2017

LSG Sky Chefs has teamed up with Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tackle inflight waste from Air New Zealand’s international services arriving in Auckland.

The waste reduction initiative “Project Green” is expected to divert 150 tons of waste from landfill annually. It has already enabled 40 Air New Zealand inflight products previously sent to landfill due to biosecurity controls, to be reclassified so they can be reused on future flights if removed from aircraft sealed and untouched.

Products approved to date include sealed beverages and unopened snacks with further items expected to be added in coming months. In the first month of running Project Green across Air New Zealand’s international fleet, 13 tons of waste, including 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kg of sugar packets and 3.5 tons of bottled water were diverted.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) data estimates the global industry generated 5.2m tons of inflight waste in 2016. While Air New Zealand has always been waste-conscious, quarantine controls have presented challenges to recycling initiatives in the past.

LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand general manager Pieter Harting says: “Our role in Project Green is to ensure items taken off aircraft are sorted correctly and meet the standards we’ve agreed with MPI and Air New Zealand, before reloading trolleys with approved items for the next service. It’s been an exciting journey for us, requiring a big culture shift and getting our people onboard with new ways of working.”

New Nordic rolls out

October 11, 2017

SAS has expanded its pre-order food service to SAS Go passengers with a range that includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options.

An evolution of the “New Nordic by SAS” programme launched for travellers in SAS Plus, the concept focuses on locally-sourced products and seasonal ingredients.

The pre-order option is available on flights within Europe and Scandinavia of at least two hours’ duration.

“We want to be able to offer our guests onboard a tailored experience,” says Therese Lorenius, head of product & services at SAS. “We want them to be able to eat according to their lifestyle while they are onboard with us. So we are pleased to be introducing the opportunity for our passengers in SAS Go to pre-order food from our new and wider range within Europe.”

The food is served through the New Nordic by SAS concept is inspired by take-out culture. All meals come packed in a cube, making it easy to eat while working, reading or watching a movie.

Pre-ordering is the only way to guarantee this food, which must be purchased in advance. The meals can be pre-ordered at least 18 hours before departure, at the time of booking, and cost EUR 11.

Also new to the mix is a non-pork option and mini pizza which is lacto-ovo vegetarian (pizza is priced at EUR 6).

A proper brew for MSC Cruise

October 11, 2017

Following a nationwide vote, MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, has chosen Yorkshire Tea to be served onboard MSC Magnifica through 2018.

Over 1,000 Brits were asked to vote in an online social media poll which led to the selection of the popular brand for all onboard bars and restaurants and, in a first for the company, also in cabins along with a kettle, coffee, milk and sugar.

Other enhancements being made to the onboard product includes the addition of British and Irish beer and cider on draft, and favourite big-brand condiments including HP Sauce, Colmans Mustard and Marmite.

Flying Food Group HNL welcomes QANTAS

October 11, 2017

Flying Food Group in Honolulu is now catering five QANTAS flights a week between Honolulu and Sydney.

According to longtime QANTAS head of operations Richard Allison, the launch of service was the airline’s “most successful first flight”.

Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vp airline sales, praised the Honolulu team and added that QANTAS also taps FFG at Los Angeles and San Francisco. QANTAS has been an FFG customer since 2007, Rondeau said.

Customer Experience Award goes Red

October 11, 2017

Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight ferry specialist, has won first place in the UK Customer Experience Awards, within the travel, leisure and hospitality sector.

The annual event honours UK companies which have demonstrated leadership in delivering superior customer experiences.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s ceo, commented: “Being recognised at this level is a real honour. We take tremendous pride in what we do and we like to think we’re doing a good job, but to hear it from our customers and now to be acknowledged by industry experts is a tremendous compliment. Our staff work tirelessly to make the crossing to and from the Isle of Wight a warm and memorable experience for our customers, so this award truly belongs to them. I could not be prouder of their achievement.”

The award came as Red Funnel announced a £3m refurbishment of its ro-pax ferry, Red Eagle. In an effort to further elevate the onboard customer experience, the project will deliver a significant increase in the number of interior seats, upgraded facilities and a modern new look to match sister vessels Red Osprey and Red Falcon. Renovations will start in January 2018 and be completed in time for the summer timetable starting 29 March.

Bedding upgrade for American Airlines

October 2, 2017

American Airlines has unveiled a new suite of bedding designed to create a new ‘sleep experience’ in Business and First through an innovative partnership with bedding specialist Casper.

The suite of products will go onboard in December and will include a mattress seat pad, duvet, pillow, day blanket, lumber support, pyjamas and slippers. The roll out will be supported by WESSCO.

Casper studied the travel environment for months to better understand the challenges of inflight sleep, researched more than a dozen versions of the onboard pillow, and tested it with a variety of fibres to find the perfect balance of support and breathability for customers.

Inspired by performance outerwear, Casper’s signature duvet and the onboard duvet are created to provide comfort at all altitudes, and its sewn-through seams create small, rectangular chambers for a consistent fill distribution helping it stay fluffy and in place.

Casper co-founder and ceo, Philip Krim, said: “Our mission has always been to create products that help people dream their way to a better life. In collaboration with American, we are now able to apply our expertise in sleep science to redefine comfort and sleep in flight.”

FORMIA does the business for Brussels

October 2, 2017

FORMIA has launched a new-look onboard amenity kit for Brussels Airlines featuring the well-known luxury bag brand Mandarina Duck.

Inspired from Mandarina Duck’s Tank Collections, the new design will appear in Business. The bag will be offered as a red zip pouch with piped design construction, yellow rubber patch logo and contrasting yellow interior.

The contents will be supplied by cosmetic brand Institut Karité, known for its Shea products, and will include items from their Verbana line. The updated design reflects Brussels Airlines’ aim to offer an innovatively appealing product that enhances the passenger’s travelling experience.

Roland Grohmann, ceo & managing partner of FORMIA says: “FORMIA is always looking for innovative new ways to enhance its range of bespoke amenities. This includes capitalising on our own creativity to improve our existing collection of luxury inflight amenities. The new one-style look of the Mandarina Duck amenity kit speaks to that goal.”

Flying Food Group KOA starts JAL service

October 2, 2017

Flying Food Group KOA is now servicing daily JAL flights between Kona, Hawaii and Tokyo Narita.

According to FFG executive vp of marketing, Nicolas Rondeau, the new route successfully launched on September 15.

FFG HNL caters six flights daily for JAL, which has been an FFG customer at Honolulu since 2011. FFG has catered JAL out of New York JFK since 2001, and also caters JAL out of Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Rondeau added that FFG’s Honolulu kitchen recently received the 2016 JAL Meal Quality Award for Medium Haul (worldwide).

Beverage retail fizzing

October 2, 2017

Beverage research specialist IWSR has released data on the top 20 Champagne and sparkling wine brands in travel retail.

Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot were ranked first and second with Bottega Prosecco ranked third in the global travel retail market. Bottega’s ‘Il Vino dell’Amore Petalo Moscato’ (a sweet sparkling Moscato) was also in the top 10 – ranked ninth.

Bottega has been in the market for 30 years, starting with artistic, blown glass bottles of grappa, and eye-catching distillates and liqueurs, and its sparkling range have been crucial to its success. Amongst the range of Bottega sparkling wines, Bottega Gold – the iconic gilded bottle – is immediately recognizable and appreciated for its elegance and personality.

Bottega products are listed in the catalogues of more than 50 airlines and globally present at all of the most important duty free shops. Over the past 12 months, the sales volume generated by DF and TR business has increased +10% compared to the previous year – and the same rate is expected for the next year.

Eurostar add cocktail menu

October 2, 2017

Eurostar has launched a range of new winter cocktails for Business Premier passengers waiting in its Paris lounge.

Designed by the London Cocktail Club and Michelin star chef Raymond Blanc OBE, the bespoke cocktails feature high quality ingredients including French spirits such as pastis and Côtes de Provence rosé and typical British ingredients such as cucumber juice and fresh rosemary. The drinks are designed to suit tastes on either side of the Channel.

For those looking for something lighter, Michelin star chef and Eurostar Business Premier culinary director, Raymond Blanc OBE, has designed two non-alcoholic cocktails. Named the Mellow Mojito and The Zester, the drinks are a virgin take on the Cuban classic and the spritz.

These drinks are a welcome addition to the menu, which currently features Eurostar’s signature cocktail, Angelique. The tipple contains Eurostar’s very own gin, Toujours 21, which was designed by Raymond Blanc and created by Silent Pool Distillers. It is a delightful fusion of French botanicals and honey from the Kent countryside.

Festival flavours for Oktoberfest

September 20, 2017

UK carrier bmi regional has themed it onboard offer during September to include a traditional Bavarian welcome, as the airline celebrates Munich’s Oktoberfest.

For the duration of Munich’s famous beer festival, flights to and from Munich from Southampton will include traditional Oktoberfest delicacies such as heart shaped Lebkuchen and tasty beers. Many cabin crew serving on Munich flights will be wearing traditional Bavarian dress, including lederhosen for men and dirndls for women.

Once on the ground, the fun continues with bmi regional’s car hire partner, Sixt. During Oktoberfest, the car hire company is also getting into the festival spirit, with staff sporting dirndls and lederhosen in bright orange brand colour.

Oktoberfest is Germany’s biggest annual festival of beer, showcasing some 545 stalls selling everything from beers and wines to food and gifts. The event is open all day every day and includes designated family fun days each Tuesday.

LSG extends Alaska contract

September 20, 2017

LSG Group has extended its system-wide contract with Alaska Airlines (AS) for another three years. The agreement covers 40 airports in the U.S. and Mexico with an average of 3,100 flights per week.

Alaska Airlines is a longstanding customer of the LSG Group that has grown significantly over the years. Since acquiring Virgin America (VX) in 2016, it has become the fifth-largest airline in the U.S.

LSG Group manages the product design, equipment warehousing and distribution for both AS and VX and also provides shelf-stable boxes and the vast majority of their catering services.

“We have successfully positioned ourselves as an innovative business partner and are supporting AS and VX as they move forward with redesigning their airline by combining the two carriers,” said Dale Messling, LSG Group Key Account Manager AS. “We look forward to further opportunities by offering our future-oriented concepts, which include our Retail inMotion solutions, continued support through SPIRIANT and our Oakfield Farms box solutions.”

Formia adds luxury for Singapore

September 20, 2017

FORMIA has confirmed an agreement with new customer Singapore Airlines to supply luxury onboard amenity kits for First passengers.

Under the terms of the contract, FORMIA will bring a range of high quality, Lalique-branded bags individually designed for male and female travellers.

Bearing the Lalique name and famous rondial birds logo, each bag reflects the brand’s elegant style and quality.The bags will contain a selection of cosmetic items.

FORMIA managing director, Roland Grohmann, comments: “Naturally, we are absolutely delighted to welcome Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s most respected airlines, to the list of our valued customers. This contract is an outstanding example of FORMIA’s service “sweet spot” in operation: with Singapore and Lalique, we have brought together two of the world’s greatest luxury brands in a unique collaboration which beautifully reflects both companies’ approach to matchless quality and customer delighting. That is what FORMIA specialises in and this announcement exemplifies our approach which places top priority on the pleasure, comfort and delight of our customers’ passengers.”

FORMIA lays on the style for Air Astana

September 12, 2017

FORMIA has launched inflight amenity kits for Air Astana’s long and short haul Business passengers featuring a collaboration with luxury fashion and style brands Christian Lacroix and Furla.

The Christian Lacroix bags are designed to embody the spirit of the famous Parisian designer known for his flamboyant prints and bold use of colour. They also feature the company’s signature butterfly pattern.

The Furla women’s bag also reflects the brand’s style as a miniature version of its handbags, including the quintessential Furla gold zip pull.

Each kit includes a pair of slippers, making a luxurious alternative to the usual socks.

FORMIA managing director, Roland Grohmann, said: “At FORMIA, we know from several years of working with our partners at Air Astana that it is an airline which focuses on design excellence, high quality and innovation. It gives us great pleasure to be supplying these uber-luxury branded bags and we congratulate Air Astana on maintaining its leading edge reputation for quality and innovation.”

Yelena Obukhova, Air Astana’s Director Inflight Product, said: “The brands’ attributes are superbly and very neatly represented in these new Christian Lacroix and Furla bags. We thank FORMIA for bringing us such premium labels which cannot fail to delight passengers with their unrivalled style and luxury in a practical product with the potential for many after-flight uses.”

New-look tabards from Russums

September 12, 2017

Russums, supplier of catering and hospitality clothing, has launched a new range of hybrid wrap tunic tabards.

Designed specifically for catering and hospitality workers, the new polyester cotton tabards feature a centre pocket and are available in a range of colours, including on-trend fuchsia pink and purple.

Front and back ties aim to combine comfort and style and are a reworking of the classic tabard. Items can be embroidered to suit customer needs. They are available in sizes small to extra large.

Austrian adds Premium Economy

September 12, 2017

Austrian Airlines is introducing a Premium Economy cabin on all its long-haul routes from March 2018.

The airline is refitting its entire fleet of B767 aircraft, with the new Premium Economy cabin featuring wider seats with a 38-inch pitch, footrests, 12-inch IFE screens and USB power points. The new seat was produced for the Lufthansa Group by aircraft seat manufacturer ZIM.

Passengers will also benefit from a larger checked luggage allowance, amenity kits and enhanced dining.

Tickets for the new class are now on sale for flights from March 6, 2018.

“The new Premium Economy Class is an important milestone in our strategy aimed at linking the issue of individualisation with quality,” says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.

“The customer can individually choose the travel class according to her or his needs, whether the preference is to fly in a price-conscious manner in Economy Class, treat oneself to a little more service and comfort in Premium Economy or luxury travel in Business Class.”

MNH wins Etihad’s contract

September 12, 2017

MNH has been awarded a new contract with Etihad Airways to provide a consolidated laundry service spanning Europe and Australasia.

Initially covering five major ports, MNH will deliver procurement efficiencies and a single point of contact whilst managing daily operational service levels.

Operating as an extension to the inflight service team, MNH’s global network and specialist laundry management IT platform, ROTIX, will standardise Etihad’s laundry supply chain, driving costs down by reducing wash volumes and inventory usage.

MNH continues to expand its global laundry reach adding Etihad to a long list of premium carriers looking to reduce resource cost and improve management information in this area.

The power of the press

September 5, 2017

Everyone loves a success story and at Onboard Hospitality we have been excited to see just how successful specialist companies can be once they get onboard.

We’re always on the look out for newcomers to the industry, love to champion their cause and watch their progress as their business soars, so it was with great pride that we received the following from Mr Lee’s noodles, now flying onboard Jetstar with other exciting onboard contracts imminent.

Kasia Bigda, marketing and communication director at Mr Lee’s Pure Foods Co, said: “A huge “thank-you” to Onboard Hospitality for featuring us in one of your previous issues. It made a huge impact on our business – you helped to put us on the map! Thanks to just one feature we have won a huge account on the other side of the world. We wouldn’t have got it otherwise!

Commenting on the best way to target the onboard market she added: “If you expect thousands of visits to your website, forget it – you will not get them…but what you need is a few quality ones, which will hopefully bring you thousands of pounds. It is not about how many eyeballs see your message, it is about who these eyeballs belong to!”

Onboard Hospitality publisher, Sue Williams, responded: “We spend a lot of time trying to support newcomers into the market and it is so exciting when those efforts are rewarded. We wish Mr Lee’s much further success and are delighted to have played a small part in their development as an onboard brand.

Find more great onboard brands, or promote your own at

Mood food for Monarch

September 5, 2017

Low-cost carrier Monarch has developed a new experimental snack-box offering of ‘mood-enhancing food’ designed to relax, re-energise and reduce traveller stress.

The ‘Monarch Mood Food’ box was developed in collaboration with leading food psychologist prof. Charles Spence and chef Jozef Youssef of Kitchen Theory.

Prior to take off, passengers are offered black, immunity-boosting echinacea and liquorice ice cream, said to have anti-inflammatory and cell protective abilities; while onboard they receive a blend of herbal tea containing chamomile, fennel seed and kelp to combat bloating and aid digestion; a sweet caramelised nut bar coated in umami rich mushroom and tomato powder to re-energise and awaken the senses as passengers arrive at their destination.

In search for veg-friendly airlines

September 5, 2017

PROVEG International is to rank the world’s most veg-friendly airlines through a product survey.

The ranking will take account of vegetarian/vegan options onboard and in lounges; survey how customer-friendly the available information is; the ease of ordering/extra costs; retail availability; and future intentions of the airlines in this area.

The results (see our November issue) will aim to increase awareness of vegan-related issues and encourage improved inflight offerings.

Buzz gets personal with Delta

August 30, 2017

Delta’s TUMI hard-case amenity kit, based on the company’s popular 19 Degree collection, can now receive complimentary monogramming at most TUMI retail stores post-flight.

The kits will continue to feature Kiehl’s skincare products and will include new amenities such as hand cleanser, a mouthwash stick and TUMI eyeshades, as well as updated striped socks.

The kits will feature hard- and soft-cased TUMI options – a silver hard-sided kit outbound from the U.S. and a soft-sided black amenity kit inbound.

Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vp inflight service, says: “We are excited to offer customers the ability to monogram their amenity kits and create a personalised souvenir to take with them as they jetset across the globe.”

Customers in the Delta Premium Select cabin, which debuts on Delta’s first Airbus A350 this autumn, will receive a soft TUMI blue pouch which includes Malin+Goetz vitamin B lotion, a dental kit featuring Colgate toothpaste, an eye mask, socks and ear plugs.

Additionally, on international and select long-haul domestic flights, Delta Comfort+ customers receive a Rest and Refresh kit with eye shades, ear plugs and a dental kit featuring Colgate toothpaste, while Main Cabin customers receive kits that include eye shades and ear plugs.

Do&Co lays on a restaurant-style menu for BA

August 30, 2017

British Airways has worked with Do&Co to create a new restaurant-style dining experience in Club World on flights between Heathrow and New York JFK.

Travellers will be able to select freshly-prepared starters and desserts from new display trolleys, which will be served by the crew on to new table settings.

Starters include Loch Fyne smoked salmon tartare with wasabi crème fraîche; burrata and tomato carpaccio with olive oil and balsamic dressing; creamy butternut squash soup with chive and sour cream; and fresh seasonal salad, grilled vegetables and a choice of French dressing or olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Entrees include heritage beef homemade gnocchi in Café de Paris sauce and pan-fried green asparagus; line-caught grilled Cornish Dover sole with Mediterranean lentils, celeriac mousseline and lemon butter; homemade artichoke ravioli Parmesan.

Desserts include DO & CO‘s double chocolate medley, lemon tart, Viennese-style apple strudel with vanilla sauce, fresh strawberries and cheese board with Somerset brie, Keen’s cheddar, Cropwell Bishop stilton, walnuts, grapes and fig chutney.

White wines and Champagnes will be presented on top of the trolleys in large, silver wine coolers, while regiments of red wine bottles stand alongside.

Colin Talbot, British Airways’ head of catering, said: “We’ve really focused on attention to detail with the new Club World menu, with the aim of delivering a real restaurant experience in the sky. We’ve considered everything from flavours and textures, to look and feel, all of which have to work at altitude. The dishes are designed to pop with taste and the table settings are both elegant and practical, with thought-through details such as stemless wine glasses.”

Aeroflot to present new Business menu

August 30, 2017

Aeroflot is developing new inflight menus inspired by the winners of the first High Flyers Culinary Competition, held to discover new names in gastronomy.

The competition, held in association with the Russian Restaurant Festival, saw eight chefs from five cities – Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok, prepare three hot meal suggestions for Aeroflot Business passengers including a fish dish, a vegetarian dish and a final dish of either meat or poultry.

The menus were evaluated by a professional jury including restauranteurs Boris Zarkov and Ilya Tyutenkov, culinary critics Alexander Ilyin and Svetlana Kesoyan, and Russian Restaurant Festival organiser Alexander Susov, with Evgeny Vikentev, head chef at Wine Cabinet and Hamlet + Jacks in St Petersburg announced as the winner.

Internationally acclaimed chefs, including Michelin-starred ones, have traditionally helped develop Aeroflot’s menu but now the airline is focused on pursuing new and creative ideas from new Russian talents.

Festival founder, Alexander Sysoev, said: “Chefs from all cities demonstrated a very high level of skill, and more and more new names are appearing every year. We are pleased that Aeroflot has entrusted us to develop High Flyers, which we believe will help talented chefs express themselves in Russia and globally.”

Gulf Air inherits 1960’s uniform sketch

August 30, 2017

An original, signed sketch by the late Joy Stokes, designer of Gulf Air’s cabin crew uniform, was recently donated by her son to the national carrier.

The sketch, which now appears in the airline’s Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge at Bahrain International Airport, demonstrates how Stokes defined the look of the airline: from the turtle collar dress and pillbox style beret, to the then revolutionary concept of outfitting both male and female cabin crew in trousers.

Today, a version of the original Middle Eastern headscarf is still worn by female crew.

Joy’s son Michael Stokes, who donated the sketch said: “Joy Stokes was inspired by the brilliant light and vibrant colours of Bahrain and the Gulf. She loved wandering in the souqs and markets of Bahrain where she could derive ideas for her designs and drawings. She shared her passion for Bahrain with her husband, Jimmy Stokes, a captain with Gulf Aviation/Air who joined the airline in 1961.”

He added: “Joy would be deeply humbled and honored by the recognition that Gulf Air is providing to her in prominently displaying her original uniform design in the Gulf Air Falcon Gold lounge. As a family we are privileged and delighted by the enduring link with Gulf Air and Bahrain that this represents.”

Alitalia adds new kit

August 23, 2017

Alitalia has launched a new Premium Economy kit developed by Galileo Watermark.

The neoprene kit is is designed to be re-used post-flight either as a smartphone case or to store small personal belongings.

Each kit contains a luxurious moisturiser and lip balm from Scaramouche + Fandango, socks, comb, earplugs and a fun double-sided eye mask which passengers can use to let the crew know whether they would like to sleep or be woken up.

Qantas refreshes Country Road connection

August 23, 2017

Qantas has launched a new design for its Premium Economy amenity kits, refreshing the established partnership with Australian lifestyle brand Country Road.

Galileo Watermark has worked with Country Road to develop the new kit which replaces the iconic black and white gingham print previously onboard.

The new canvas bag features a stylish and simple modern design which aims to capture the essence of the authentic Australian way of life. The kit also includes a matching Country Road-branded eye mask, black socks and dental kit.

Oceania Cruises introduces La Cuisine Bourgeoise

August 23, 2017

Oceania Cruises has unveiled a new epicurean, seven-course menu focused on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The menu has been created by executive culinary director, master chef Jacques Pépin, to provide passengers with a traditional taste of mid-twentieth century Paris, with each dish being expertly paired with a different wine.

The menu starts with kir royal (Champagne with crème de cassis), and is followed by veloute reine-margot (poultry cream with vegetable julienne and pistachio diamonds); soufflé de homard plaza athénée (Maine lobster and cheese soufflé); filet de sole brillat-savarin (Dover sole fillet with crustacean mousse and French black truffles); filet de boeuf rôti richelieu (
roasted beef tenderloin with stuffed mushrooms, tomatoes, braised lettuce, château potatoes and madeira sauce); brie de meaux aux noix et laitue (nut-crusted brie de meaux with Boston lettuce hearts); omelette siberienne (baked Alaska with Williams pears and chestnut ice cream). It is finished with petits fours and chouquette aux pralines roses (Parisian-style pink praline cream puffs).

“Oceania Cruises is all about feeling and emotion, so I am especially pleased with what Jacques has created with La Cuisine Bourgeoise. Imagine being transported back to the halcyon days of the Hôtel Plaza Athenee in Paris, enjoying a celebratory meal with great friends. This is an experience you cannot have anywhere else and one that will create memories for a lifetime. It is the epitome of special,” stated Bob Binder, president & ceo of Oceania Cruises.

La Cuisine Bourgeoise is now available aboard Marina and Riviera.

ANA presents ‘Tastes of Japan’

August 23, 2017

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is treating passengers to a taste of Japan’s lesser-known prefectures as part of its ‘Tastes of Japan’ campaign.

From September through to November 2017, ANA passengers will experience culinary cuisines from Hyogo, Iwate and Okinawa, in a bid to expand the profile of Japan’s vast cuisine and boost consumption of regional agricultural products.

Passengers travelling Business on international flights will be offered Hittsumi, a local dish from Hyogo featuring flour dumplings in a broth, served with locally-caught salmon and wheat bran (nanbu-fu). They also have the option of agu pork in a moromi bowl, originating from Okinawa which is known for its sweet and juicy pork. Customers flying in November will be served a lightly-smoked Tajima sukoyaka chicken sauté with a kobe red wine sauce.

The ANA suite lounge dining restaurant at Haneda Airport has also updated its menu to showcase the three destinations. Passengers can sample ANA original parfaits Iwate made using Iwate’s famous Shinsekai apples, a refreshing desert of Okinawa-grown shequasar with herb jelly or Hyogo’s gokoku-manju (five grained steam buns) with Akashi sea bream accompanied by a soup made with onions and mushrooms. There is also the chance to sample Japanese sake and shochu spirits in the lounges.

LSG Group enters new partnership with GOL

August 15, 2017

The LSG Group has announced a new catering partnership with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, providing for all national and international flights departing São Paulo International Airport (GRU) as of this month.

The partnership includes the provision of the items sold through the GOL onboard retail programme on domestic flights including gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options, alcoholic beverages and hot meals.

The agreement also includes catering GOL’s international flights departing from GRU, as well as the delivery logistics of the “Mãe Terra” organic snacks distributed free on domestic flights.

With 760 daily flights within Latin America and the Caribbean, the Brazilian airline, GOL has a 36 percent share of the national market, with Gyarulhos International Airport being one of the carrier’s main hubs.

LSG has worked with GOL since 2001 when the airline launched its operations, and supported the introduction of the first onboard retail programme in the country in 2006.

JAL award for Flying Food Group

August 15, 2017

Flying Food Group’s Honolulu kitchen (HNL) has earned the 2016 JAL Meal Quality Award (Medium Haul).

The JAL awards recognise excellence in three categories with these worldwide award: Small, Medium and Large Haul.

FFG HNL caters six flights daily for JAL which has been a FFG customer at Honolulu since 2011. FFG has also catered JAL out of New York since 2001 and also caters FFG out of Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

New recipes from Pandaw

August 15, 2017

Pandaw River Expeditions has unveiled a new range of recipes to be rolled out across its fleet designed to appeal to well-travelled and food-fanatical passengers.

The recipes, each inspired by indigenous cuisine and sourced locally, have been created by location specific food and beverage managers in keeping with the brand’s emphasis on culinary experiences.

In Burma passengers will be offered dishes such as Myanmar tea leaf & ginger salad and local river prawn ravioli with basil foam. Diners cruising Halong Bay and Red River will sample authentic chicken, scallop and banana blossom salad (Goi bap chuoi, so va ga) and locally inspired entrees such as chargrilled free-range pork belly marinated in coriander seeds, black pepper and oyster sauce (Thit heo nuong). The wine list has also been refreshed to suit the climate and cuisine.

Qantas adds designer tableware

August 9, 2017

Qantas has unveiled a new range of inflight tableware by Australian industrial designer, David Caon. The range includes crockery by Noritake, cutlery and glassware.

Caon is lead designer of the Qantas 787 Dreamliner cabin interiors and collaborated with Qantas creative director food, beverage & service, Neil Perry, to create tableware that is modern, lightweight and practical for First, Business and Premium Economy and the Qantas lounges. The result is an elegant, 16-piece crockery set in fine bone china, a five-piece brush-finished stainless steel cutlery setting and a collection of modern glassware.

Caon’s objective when designing the new tableware was to combine minimal, classic elegance with quality and functionality. “There is a fine balance between finding ingenious ways of making a product lighter and compromising its utility or quality,” said Caon.

“We’ve taken key design cues from the 787 interiors as our inspiration for the tableware. Straight lines were minimised in the design with the same 800mm curve applied to each object in a way to soften and humanise. This organically geometric aesthetic lends continuity of design across the range and to the aircraft,” he added.

Qantas group executive brand marketing & corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, said the 787 Dreamliner had given Qantas the opportunity to re-design the entire travel experience. The range will be on board Qantas flights from the first 787 Dreamliner service from Melbourne to Los Angeles on 15 December, and will progressively roll out to the remainder of the Qantas fleet.

LSG extends with Sichuan

August 9, 2017

LSG Group has extended its joint venture contract with Sichuan Airlines in Chengdu, China, for a further 20 years, too 2037.

Sichuan Airlines LSG Catering was founded in 2000 to provide catering services at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU), the major international airport in China’s Sichuan Province (southwestern China).

Today, 300 employees at the centre deliver services to an average of 120 flights per day for 29 airlines, including hub carriers Sichuan Airlines, Chengdu Airlines and China Southern Airlines. The contract extension secures the company’s partnership at the existing airport but also its presence at the new Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, which is expected to begin operations in 2023.

Having handled more than 46 million passengers in 2016, CTU is ranked among the world’s top 30 busiest airports and the fourth busiest in mainland China. It has enormous growth potential (there are 15 million inhabitants in the Chengdu area) and a strong economic pull (more than 260 Fortune 500 companies have established branches in Chengdu).

“This long-term extension is proof of the mutual trust and solid cooperation that we have established with Sichuan Airlines over the past 17 years,” said HK Cheung, LSG Group’s rcoo Asia-Pacific, during the contract signing ceremony. “We are excited about further expanding our activities along with the prosperous development taking place at this strategic and highly important location.”

Loganair flies the tartan

August 9, 2017

Loganair has unveiled a new look – with tartan tails for its aircraft and original tartan uniforms for its cabin crew and ground staff.

The airline has adopted the bold image as it starts flying under its own name again from September 1 after 23 years of operating under franchise agreements with other carriers.

The first passenger aircraft to fly in the novel Loganair black, red and white colours – a Saab 340B named Spirit of Caithness – is now operating flights around the airline’s extensive network in Scotland. A further 15 aircraft will receive a make-over in the coming weeks.

The unique “Loganair Tartan” has become entry number 11,744 on the official Scottish Register of Tartans.

New uniforms for all of Loganair’s staff have also been unveiled, in a collaboration with Paisley-based Matrix Uniforms.

Loganair’s managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “The bold image means that we’ll immediately be recognised as Scotland’s airline wherever we fly, whether we’re landing in Manchester, Bergen or the Outer Hebrides.“

Matrix Uniforms, established in 2000, manufactures all of its garments in Scotland.

NIKI canvases opinion

August 9, 2017

Tourist airline, NIKI, is offering holidaymakers a new selection of inflight menus with the chance for 150 people to select and test their preferred meal free of charge. During August, anyone who has booked their holiday flight with NIKI can become a food tester.

The new menu includes a spicy sandwich with cheddar, caramelised onion chutney and salad; a panini with BBQ chicken; a light quinoa and vegetable salad with Asian lime dressing; or rigatoni in a creamy tomato sauce with courgette, aubergine, mozzarella and Grana Padano.

Passengers are to rate which dishes they enjoy and also have the opportunity to submit their own suggestions, to help the carrier evolve its autum/winter range.

New investors for Gastro Culinary Innovation

August 1, 2017

Heinemann-Scorpio International Holdings (HSIH), owner of inflight specialist Scorpio Worldwide, has bought a majority stake in Gastro Culinary Innovation (GCI).

GCI provides sales, marketing and distribution services for a range of non-competing high street brands, as well as developing and sourcing its own branded artisan savoury and sweet onboard snacks.The company is managed by directors Jacqui Davidson and Caroline Thompson, guided by Lance Hayward, ex Alpha LSG, as a non-executive director.

Stuart McGuire, chairman of HSIH and CEO of Scorpio Worldwide Ltd said: “It is clear that there are great opportunities to develop both the complimentary and buy on board offer for the travel food service sector including inflight, cruising, ferries and rail services, an area we have been looking at for a while. GCI are highly respected within the trade, and are already serving the major airlines and caterers in the UK and overseas. We believe that with the GCI product and sales expertise, and our brand management and access to market, we can grow quickly into this rapidly developing sector.”

Jacqui Davidson, director of GCI, said: “We are very excited to be able to take our business to the next level through this partnership. Buy-on-board food to date can be limited and viewed by many travellers only as a necessity not a ‘cannot resist’ choice! Through experience, out-of-the-box thinking and pure passion, we are proud to share our talent for identifying new trends and creating inventive ways of bringing culinary and boutique excellence to the paying passenger. The new partnership means we have the support and expertise of a large group behind us, freeing us up to fulfil our ambition to provide great food onboard tailored to client and customer expectation.”

Kaelis shows that disposable linen can be eco-friendly

August 1, 2017

In an effort to promote its range of disposable cotton linen products, Kaelis has released some facts and figures about the environmental impact of rotables.

The Spanish company’s range of disposable 100% cotton linen products includes napkins, coasters and tray mats which are 33% lighter than rotable linen and the new research it has released highlights the positive environmental impact associated with disposables.

Kaelis has divided the benefits of disposable linen into three separate issues: weight, land logistics and washing/drying cycles.

Each rotable product can be washed up to 20 times and Kaelis has found that by not washing, drying, ironing and transporting linen to and from laundry facilities companies can save 10,160 litres of washing liquids, 1,600,000 litres of water, 10,400 kilowatts of electricity and 18,824 litres of fuel.

A reduction in CO2, HC, NO and CO emissions is achieved in the air due to weight savings and on the ground due to less transportation.

Ancillary earnings are on the up

August 1, 2017

The latest report on ancillary revenue from consumer research company IdeaWorks shows that total ancillary revenue from the top ten earning airlines has risen from $2.1 billion to more than $28 billion in 10 years.

The research, sponsored by Car Trawler, reveals the top ten airlines for 2016 and sees US airlines holding up the top four, starting with United ($6,222,000,000 total revenue), followed by Delta, American and Southwest. Air France/KLM come fifth followed by Ryanair, easyJet, Lufthansa Network, Qantas and Air Canada respectively.

The research also details how most of the top ten airlines earn their place on the table through their frequent flyer programme – generated by the sale of miles or points to banks that issue a carrier’s co-branded credit card.

Ryanair and easyJet are the exception, each generating their ancillary revenue exclusively through a la carte fees and the commissions earned from travel retail activities at the website, such as car hire bookings and travel insurance sales.

The report also looked at the top ten airlines ancillary revenue as a percentage of total revenue, allowing low-cost carriers to shine. US carrier Spirit Airlines headlined the list (46.4%), followed by Frontier (42.4%), Allegiant (40%), Wizz Air (39.4%), Ryanair (26.8%), (26%), Volaris (24.3%), Hong Kong Express (24%), Jetstar (22%) and Pegasus (22%).

Commenting on the top 10 ranking, Pegasus Airlines ceo Mehmet T. Nane said: “We can attribute much of this success to our mission at Pegasus to transform the company into a full travel brand that answers all guests’ travel needs with a door to door experience beyond ticketing, including providing transfers to the airport and accommodation.

“Our strategy moving forward is to continue with our products and services such as seat selection, pre-order meal, package fares, excess baggage, car rental, travel insurance and freeze the price – but also to continue expanding on this model with more innovative and affordable products that prioritise convenience such as the Pegasus Flex Product, the new Business Flex flight package and Private/Shared Airport Transfers.”

AIX Long Beach almost sold out

August 1, 2017

Exhibition space for the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Long Beach, California is 90% sold with almost 100 days until the show commences.

This year’s event takes place September 26-28 at the Long Beach Convention Centre, California, and is co-located with the APEX Expo and IFSA Conference & Expo.

Katie Murphy, senior exhibitor director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “To have virtually all of the exhibition space already sold is testament to the growing popularity of the only fall event dedicated to the passenger services industry.

“AIX Long Beach brings together APEX, IFSA and AIX into a powerful partnership and to have generated so much interest already gives us great confidence that it is quickly becoming established as the must-attend event for the passenger experience industry in the fall.”

The co-located passenger experience event showcases the latest innovation, technologies and products in the industry, such as galleys, lighting, cabin management systems, IFEC and passenger services.

The event will welcome more than 300 exhibitors from a wide range of renowned companies including Acro Aircraft Seating, Avio Interiors, Diehl, Gogo, Inmarsat, Isovalta, Panasonic, Geven and Thales.

Joe & Seph’s appears on UK news

August 1, 2017

British popcorn specialist and onboard supplier Joe & Seph’s has been featured on prime time UK news talking about the impact of Brexit on its business.

Following a report that the UK’s growth forecast for this year has been downgraded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from 2.0% to 1.7%, Joe & Seph’s Adam Sopher was interviewed by ITV news on the factory floor.

Representing small British business, Sopher pointed out that a weak pound meant popcorn is now much cheaper for overseas customers to buy and Joe & Seph’s are exporting more gourmet popcorn than ever. However, Sopher also identified a disadvantage in the form of more costly overseas ingredients such as Belgium chocolate.

Overall, Sopher was positive but concerned that the lack of an agreement on what Brexit will look like could start to hurt exports.

You can see the full report, here:

Laundress debuts on Singapore

July 26, 2017

Upmarket fabric care range, The Laundress, has partnered with Singapore Airlines in an exclusive first-to-market collaboration brokered by Buzz.

As part of the airline’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the selection of The Laundress products are being gifted to customers travelling on selected flights out of Singapore in Suites, First and Business Class.

The Laundress is a global company producing eco-friendly detergent, fabric care and home cleaning products and the items available for Singapore Airlines’ premium customers were designed with a traveller’s clothing care needs in mind.

All are travel-sized and items include The Laundress Crease Release, The Laundress Fabric Fresh Classic and The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar all scented in the brand’s signature ‘Classic’ fragrance for a “clean laundry smell”.

Leonard Hamersfeld, director at Buzz, said: “This collaboration brings together two luxury brands and delivers Singapore Airlines’ passengers a valuable and functional lifestyle gift for their journey. It is an exciting collaboration that delivers a truly unique travel product.”

BAC expands in Phuket

July 26, 2017

Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) Phuket has won the contract to provide services for Turkish Airlines, TK172.

With a capacity of 12,000 meals a day, the Phuket unit began operations at Phuket International Airport on June 15 with services for Bangkok Airways. On July 1, Asia Atlantic Airlines and other charter carriers were added.

BAC Phuket is run by a hand-picked team who are dedicated to matching the renowned standards of the parent operation, BAC Bangkok.

Mr Lee’s on Jetstar

July 26, 2017

Mr Lee’s Noodles has teamed up with Australia’s Jetstar Airlines to bring tasty, warm, gluten-free noodles to all passengers throughout Australasia and the Pacific.

Low in calories, salt, sugar and saturated fats, Mr Lee’s ‘Hong Kong Street Beef’ is positioned as an ideal inflight meal for those wanting something healthy and wholesome.

Unlike other instant noodles, the ingredients are gluten-free and include chunky bits of freeze-dried meat and vegetables, meaning all of the nutritional value is locked in.

Mr Lee’s believes oriental flavours shine in onboard catering thanks to their punchy spices and strong sweet and sour tones cutting through the effect of aircraft humdity on the sense of taste and smell.

River cruise flavours go local

July 19, 2017

River cruise operator, Pandaw Expeditions, has unveiled a series of new menus designed to offer fresh, authentic dishes inspired by the Indochina destinations visited on its itineraries.

Using locally-sourced ingredients prepared by onboard chefs, the new menus for the Indochina region have been overseen by Pandaw’s newly-appointed food & beverage manager (Indochina), Brian Woolley.

Born and raised in Australia, Brian has 40 years’ experience having trained and worked in Australia, France, the UK, USA, South America and Southeast Asia. Brian has been the owner of two award-winning restaurants in Australia and his career highlights include time as an executive chef for a number of the five-star Fairmont Hotels & Resorts properties in North America and Canada.

“Sampling the local cuisine and discovering new flavour combinations is one of the best things about travel, as the experience creates lasting memories and inspires cooking techniques to take home and share with friends and family,” says Brian Woolley.

Fantastical Air New Zealand

July 19, 2017

Air New Zealand has teamed up with American actors Katie Holmes and Cuba Gooding Jr. for its latest safety video A Fantastical Journey.

The video is an Alice in Wonderland-inspired adventure featuring a number of iconic locations throughout New Zealand and New Zealand singer and songwriter Gin Wigmore has also recorded her own unique version of the song ‘My Little Corner of the World’ as the backing track.

Katie Holmes says it’s been fun working alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and the Air New Zealand crew to produce A Fantastical Journey.

Cuba Gooding Jr. says he wanted to get involved in Air New Zealand’s latest safety video as he does a lot of travelling and loves the airline’s fun and different approach. He commented: “They make you laugh, smile and pay a little bit more attention.”

Air New Zealand general manager of global brand and content marketing, Jodi Williams, says: “A Fantastical Journey will put all eyes on New Zealand by showcasing some of the best the country has to offer.

The airline’s safety videos have collectively generated more than 108 million online views to date along with significant international media exposure.

You can view the new video here:

SPIRIANT’s decade in Hong Kong

July 19, 2017

SPIRIANT is celebrating the 10th year anniversary of its operations in Hong Kong.

Opening in the city was the first milestone in SPIRIANT’S “Going Global” initiative, with Hong Kong chosen as a gateway to the largest manufacturing region of the world.

The office has enabled SPIRIANT to interact directly with manufacturers and create synergies in product development and sourcing. It is supported by a product quality team in Shanghai who monitor standards, and now includes a dedicated competence centre with 50 employees who are expert in design, sales, procurement and logistics.

Having started in Hong Kong, SPIRIANT’s global expansion has progressed to include further teams in Dallas, Dubai, Istanbul and Santiago de Chile, in addition to the long-established home base in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt, Germany.

“SPIRIANT has successfully evolved from a company which was entirely focused on our parent company Lufthansa to an industry-leading equipment expert serving more than 130 customers worldwide on all continents,” said Erdmann Rauer, ceo of LSG Group. “Our portfolio and expertise in this segment spans from crew and service equipment, smart solutions for leisure travellers, amenity kits and onboard comfort items to individually-designed products to enhance the traveller experience.”

Flying Food Group supports Air India launch

July 19, 2017

Flying Food Group (IAD) is catering Air India’s new Washington D.C. to New Delhi service.

The thrice-weekly route launched on July 7. It is the first direct service between the two capitals.

“This historic new route effectively links two major global destinations,” said Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vp of airlines sales. “Air India has been FFG’s customer at EWR, ORD and SFO. We welcome them to IAD. It is affirming when an existing customer chooses FFG catering for an added gate,” he added.

FFG provides catering services to more than 80 airlines — primarily international — from its strategic network of 22 US facilities.

Authentic culinary concepts from Crystal River Cruises

July 12, 2017

Crystal River Cruises has unveiled details of new culinary concepts for Crystal Bach, the first of the company’s Rhine Class river yachts, debuting in August.

Sailing routes along the Rhine, Danube and Main Rivers, the vessel will offer menus inspired by the region and crafted by a team of expert European chefs.

Guests will dine on fresh fish and seafood from Holland, seasonal fruits and vegetables from Germany and the Netherlands, meat and poultry from Bavaria and the Austrian Alps, along with wine, beer and cheese specific to the region. Dutch herring on dill mousse and German green split pea soup with smoked duck join other European delicacies such as Dornfelder braised oxtail ragout, sturgeon caviar from Eindhoven and river crawfish from the Rhine.

Crystal Bach will also feature coffees and teas by Julius Meinl, a prestigious Vienna-based company which has crafted the beverages since 1862.

A new dedicated selection of vegetarian dishes will also be offered aboard Crystal Bach.

“The culinary experience aboard all Crystal vessels is meant to inspire travellers to discover more about the world they explore, as food and the camaraderie of dining is such an integral part of the travel experience,” says Toni Neumeister, senior vice president of hotel operations. “Guests aboard Crystal Bach will not only enjoy extraordinary new and classic flavours, but also a taste of the history and culture of this beautiful region.”

New economy tableware for Lufthansa

July 12, 2017

Lufthansa has introduced new Spiriant-designed tableware for its Economy Class intercontinental flights.

Environmentally friendly and easier to handle than the previous design, Lufthansa says it should appeal to all target groups and stand the test of time when it comes to fashion trends, thanks to “a clear use of form and elegant, consistent design.”

Lufthansa Product Management worked together with designers from the LSG subsidiary company Spiriant to design the new tableware from scratch, using a range of materials, colours, shapes and individual components. Around 900,000 components will go into service worldwide.

The range includes new trays, coffee cups, packaging and accessories, all characterised by faceted shapes. Dynamic lines create shadows which give the tableware different color nuances, depending on the light reflection. Two different surfaces – matt and smooth – ensure a pleasant feel.

Disposable materials will be largely dispensed with, thus significantly reducing volume of waste.

New trays offer more stowage options due to their space-saving design which means that one trolley can accommodate more meals than before.

Slip-resistant materials, like the new anti-skid coating, facilitate handling for the crew. The tray holds the meal in a slightly tilted position and stowing the trays back is also significantly easier.

Matrix partners with BA and The White Company

July 12, 2017

British Airways has partnered with London-based design and procurement specialist, Matrix, and British lifestyle company, The White Company, to launch a new range of bedding and amenities for its Club World product.

The new range aims to deliver a great night’s sleep in the sky and is part of British Airways’ £400 million customer investment plan.

Launching later this year to customers travelling Club World between Heathrow and New York JFK, it will see a whole new suite of products onboard including a new, elegant day cushion which will double up as a lumbar support when working or relaxing.

Exclusively for British Airways, Matrix and The White Company have also designed a bespoke, soft, large pillow and a white cotton pillowcase.

Customers will be given a ‘super-soft’ woven blanket with satin trim and a specially developed luxury duvet to improve their quality of sleep, as well as a padded mattress topper. The new bedding from The White Company will be gradually rolled out across British Airways’ other long-haul routes.

The new Club World amenity kits come in an elegantly designed bag from The White Company and contain products from the retailer’s Restore & Relax Spa Collection, as well as a soft jersey eye-mask.

Harry Zalk, director at Matrix said: “We wanted to ensure that we provided Club World flyers with products that would truly enhance their ability to sleep on flights, enriched with the luxury quality that The White Company is known for. It’s part of Matrix’s wider initiatives to promote healthy sleep patterns for people on flights.”

United refreshes its menu choice

July 3, 2017

United Airlines has added new inflight dining options for its buy-on-board service.

From July 1, customers can experience a slice of Chicago with personal-size Uno’s deep-dish pizza, and United will expand its onboard beer list to include new Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA from September 1.

United customers will also have more Choice Menu options, including Bistro on Board items like the breakfast egg white flatbread; Uno’s deep dish spinach, cheese and garlic pizza; Thai-style chicken ciabatta sandwich; and the new, Mediterranean-inspired Protein Box, featuring a healthy mix of almonds, sesame sticks, roasted red pepper hummus and cracked wheat salad.

United has also refreshed some of its Snack Shop items, including the Tapas Box, to include flatbread crackers, almonds, bruschetta, cheese spread, hummus, olive crackers, dried fruit, ginger mints and a sea salt dark chocolate caramel.

All new menu items and refreshed snackboxes will be available for purchase on flights within the U.S. with a scheduled flight time of more than 3.5 hours and on all international flights from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Snack Shop items including the Tapas, Classic, Select and Ben Flyin Kid’s snackboxes are available on all flights over 1.5 hours within North America, including the Caribbean and select Latin American cities, Singapore and Australia.

United’s popular cheeseburger and fries ($11.99) will remain on the menu.

Also starting July 1, United will provide customers seated in Economy Plus on its premium transcontinental routes (BOS-SFO, EWR-LAX and EWR-SFO in both directions) a complimentary hot fresh entrée, dessert and fruit, a pre-arrival snack and alcoholic beverages. Sample menu selections include savoury roasted chicken with a smoked barbecue sauce and butternut squash tortellini with sage cream sauce. Dessert options will include cheesecake, as well as a chocolate brownie and fresh seasonal fruit.

Singapore adds local favourites

July 3, 2017

Singapore Airlines (SIA) customers have voted for their favourite local dishes to be served on selected flights from Singapore during the month of July.

The ‘Popular Local Fare’ dishes feature are part of SIA’s 70th birthday celebrations, through a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board and in conjunction with Singapore Food Festival, where the dishes will also be displayed.

Customers travelling in Suites, First Class and Business Class can savour iconic Singaporean dishes such as Singapore Chicken Rice (the top voted-for dish), Nasi Lemak, Fish Ball Kway Teow Soup, Prawn and Chicken Laksa, and Peranakan Hokkien Mee Soup.

A handful of the favourite dishes are currently only available for pre-ordering through the ‘Book the Cook’ service on selected flights. Introducing these ‘Popular Local Fare’ dishes to the regular in-flight menus for the month of July will give more travellers the opportunity to enjoy a taste of Singapore.

SPIRIANT develops spritz for Royal Jordanian

July 3, 2017

SPIRIANT has brokered a brand collaboration between Royal Jordanian Airlines and 4711 House of Fragrances.

Royal Jordanian has featured the classic 4711 Eau de Toilette cologne in its aircraft lavatories since the early 70s and it is now being featured in the airline’s amenity kits.

“4711 is a world-renowned brand, synonymous with refreshment and invigoration,” said Luay Qunash, head of inflight services & products at Royal Jordanian. “As these benefits are always important to customers, particularly on long-haul flights and during the summer months, it seemed a perfectly natural progression to include the cologne in our amenity kits.”

Born in Cologne, Germany, 4711 is a globally-known line of fragrances with a long and successful history of over 225 years. All 4711 products are unisex, a fact that makes them very popular among travellers and is unique in the industry.

Tobias Diebold, managing director SPIRIANT, said, “Our dedicated amenity kits business unit is on a mission to progressively create smarter brand collaborations. Knowing exactly how to initiate matches between airlines and luxury, lifestyle, fashion and cosmetic brands is a complex and intuitive skill in which we are proven experts.”

Kaelis blanket for Royal Air Maroc

July 3, 2017

Kaelis has supplied a new duvet for Royal Air Maroc’s Business passengers.

Working with the airline’s marketing and product departments, the Kaelis team designed a new duvet noted for its softness and embroidered with the airline’s logo to reinforce the brand.

The duvet colours reflect those of the airline – red on the front side and light beige on the back – and was created following extensive research and discussion to match the airline’s interiors and seats.

The duvet has been featured in a new advertisement featuring Moroccan artist, Said Taghmaoui. To see Royal Air Maroc’s video, click here.

HNA pledges charity support

July 3, 2017

Gategroup parent company, HNA Group, has announced more than $35 million in new charitable commitments to programmes around the world supporting health care, education, and disaster relief.

The new commitments were spotlighted at HNA Group’s annual Charity Night, held this year at the Petit Palais in Paris, France on June 26.

The event, co-hosted by the Cihang Foundation, also marked the release of HNA Group’s 2016 Social Responsibility Report and the start of HNA Paris International Week, a series of events hosted by HNA Group to celebrate its global platform.

Since its founding, HNA Group has made approximately $1.5 billion in charitable contributions across a range of initiatives aimed at supporting communities and empowering individuals with the tools and skills necessary to experience all the goodness life offers

Qantas teams up with academics to improve onboard wellbeing

June 27, 2017

Qantas is partnering with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre to rethink its customers’ onboard experience.

The academic institution will work with Qantas to help develop the airline’s new approach to long haul travel ahead of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights launching this year between Perth and London.

The centre brings together researchers from a variety of fields covering subjects ranging from nutrition to physical activity and sleep. Research projects include strategies to counteract jetlag as well as looking into onboard exercise and movement, menu design and service timing, pre and post-flight preparation, transit lounge wellness concepts and cabin environment including lighting and temperature.

Qantas Group ceo Alan a holistic view of our customers, our partnership will examine everything Joyce commented: “The Charles Perkins Centre researchers will allow Qantas to design and develop a range of new innovations and strategies to complement the Dreamliner experience. By taking from reducing the impact of jetlag through to health, nutrition and sleep through the entire journey experience.”

Joyce said that the centre’s research has already influenced what meals and beverages Qantas will be serving onboard and when, as well as cabin lighting and temperature. Neil Perry, Qantas’ creative director, food, beverage & service, is working with the centre on new menus for the 787 flights.

Qantas and the Charles Perkins Centre are looking at opportunities to involve some Qantas frequent flyers in trials that involve wearable technology in the measurement of existing biorhythms during travel, enabling future products to be developed and designed with the insight of robust data.

Delta triples meal options for domestic routes

June 27, 2017

Delta is tripling food choices for customers flying its 12 domestic coast-to-coast routes which offer free meals in the main cabin.

The move is part of the airline’s focus on offering continuous refreshments and
Delta has increased the variety of complimentary meal options by offering distinct breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that vary on eastbound and westbound flights, increasing the total number of meal options from six to 18.

Highlights from the menus include a Cheese Plate with items from the popular Murray’s Cheese store in New York City, a Luvo Harissa Roasted Veggie Wrap, a Greek Meze Plate, a Beef Pastrami Sandwich and a Sesame Noodle Salad.

Said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president in-flight service. “Our goal is to offer more choice to customers to satisfy different cravings and preferences, while continuing to offer fresh and healthful options.”

Delta introduced free meals in its main cabin on some of its longest domestic flights in March between JFK and LAX/SFO and in April expanded complimentary meals to 10 other domestic markets including Seattle, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.

In addition to offering free meals, Delta has made other enhancements to its main cabin as part of a multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience including the addition of sparkling wine, enhanced blankets, refreshed ‘Flight Fuel’ food-for-purchase options and free in-flight entertainment as well as rolling out the Delta One transcontinental experience on flights between DCA-LAX and BOS-SFO (customers on long-haul international flights are treated to complimentary beer, wine and spirits as well as sleep kits).

LSG acquires TGV Lyria as part of its expansion into rail

June 27, 2017

The LSG Group has acquired TGV Lyria, a train service that connects Paris with Switzerland’s major cities, including Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern and Zurich.

The LSG Group will take over the services’ catering in two phases. The first one will take place by the end of the summer with the existing service concept. The second phase will take place by the end of this year and will entail the introduction of a new catering concept that will be characterised by the ‘Swissness’ and the ‘Frenchness’ of the products offered onboard.

“This customer win reconfirms our decision to make train services part of LSG’s core businesses and growth areas in Europe,” said Lars Redeligx, chief commercial officer Europe, LSG Group. “Our success is based on an in-depth understanding by our team of what the train operator and passengers expect and need. Our new concept itself is outstanding, innovative, customised and meets the targeted cost structure.”

LSG Group currently provides the train sector with services in the areas of procurement and supply chain, assembly and logistics, meal production, last-mile and onboard retail.

The company currently services iDTGV in France, Eurostar and Thalys in Belgium, Deutsche Bahn (Intercity 2) in Germany, Snälltaget in Sweden, Virgin in the United Kingdom and L-Exspresis in Latvia.

Etihad introduces new services to add value

June 27, 2017

Etihad Airways is introducing a series of changes to its onboard and on-ground service designed to offer increased value and flexibility based on customer feedback.

Inflight, Etihad has introduced a new ‘Neighbour-Free Seat’ option in Economy Class. The service provides guests with the option to enhance their flying experience by ‘bidding’ for up to three empty seats next to their original seat – subject to availability and cabin configuration.

The initiative gives guests the opportunity to enjoy increased space, comfort and privacy, for significantly less than Business Class ticket. Guests can bid at the time of booking online and successful bids will be confirmed 30 hours prior to departure.

On the ground, guests travelling Etihad’s Business can now also pay and upgrade to the airline’s luxurious flagship First Class Lounge & Spa when flying from, or transiting through Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways will also offer Economy Class guests paid access to its growing portfolio of dedicated lounges around the world, including its Premium Lounges in Abu Dhabi, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Washington D.C., New York JFK, Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, executive vice president commercial for Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is constantly looking at ways to improve its value proposition for guests, focusing on the service elements that are most important to them. This change is being put in place as the airline looks to evolve its product proposition while continuing to match individual customer requirements.”

Studio Culinaire expands its expert team

June 20, 2017

Gategroup has added two new prestigious chefs to its Studio Culinaire team, pioneered by Servair.

Michel Roth and Régis Marcon join a team headed by Chef Joël Robuchon, and will work on culinary innovation alongside chefs Guy Martin (Le Grand Véfour), 
Michel Quissac (Servair Corporate Chef) and Bruno Goussault (CREA).

The team aims to pool their complementary knowledge, reflect on the advancements in culinary technology, seek out new trends and respond to the specific needs of all gategroup customers.It acts as a creative think tank for the group and aims to continuously raise the quality of meals offered to airlines.

Michel Roth is a past winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) competition and the Bocuse d’Or competition and his dishes reflect the grand tradition of French gastronomy blended with contemporary tastes.
 He was awarded two stars in the Michelin Guide for his work at the restaurant L’Espadon at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where he was head chef until August 1 2012. In September 2012 he became head chef at the restaurant Bayview, located in Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland.
In November 2013 he received a Michelin star and then joined the team at the Lenôtre School as an expertise director. In 2016 he developed the menu for the legendary restaurant Lassere in Paris.

Régis Marcon is a Relais et Châteaux grand chef and past winner of Bocuse d’Or. 
He ran his family owned hotel-restaurant, Auberge des Cimes, at the start of his career, earning his first Michelin star in 1990 and then a second one in 1997. After the opening of the new restaurant Régis et Jacques Marcon in 2005, he received his third star. 
He is also the owner of bakery La Chanterelle, the hotel La Découverte, the restaurant La Coulemelle. 
 He named Chef of the Year by the Gault & Millau guide in 2001 as well as a Relais et Châteaux Grand chef in 2008. He was awarded the French Legion of Honour in 2003.

Emirates tech deal

June 20, 2017

Emirates Flight Catering has forged a new partnership with Coupa Procure-to-Pay (P2P) to streamline procurement and spend processes across its organisation.

Coupa Software is a leader in cloud-based spend management and will provide a new tech solution to automate processes, from routine buying to e-invoicing, allowing employees to concentrate on the more strategic and mission critical aspects of its business.

“We spent a great deal of time evaluating solutions in depth as we were looking for the best solution in the market. We’re extremely confident that we have chosen the strongest possible solution,” said Kieran Dowd, vice president of procurement at Emirates Flight Catering. “Not only will Coupa provide us with greater visibility into our current spend, but it will completely transform our procurement practices, increase collaboration with our suppliers and is able to be deployed within a quick time frame which is vital to our business.”

KLM adds Business flexibility

June 20, 2017

KLM is turning its focus onto the freedom to choose with the introduction of “Anytime For You” options in Business.

Due to launch this summer on flights from Amsterdam and Johannesburg the service will include the choice of the regular three-course meal, plus an additional ‘anytime’ range.

The items available throughout the flight will include eight hot and cold dishes – both savoury and sweet – including healthy choices and indulgent treats.

This more flexible offer will be rolled out in coming months with the second route set to be announced in October.

Delta extends its restaurant collaborations

June 20, 2017

Delta has announced a new partnership with two Los Angeles-based chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, for flights departing Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta One customers on flights from LAX to JFK and DCA will enjoy culinary creations inspired by the duo’s local restaurants. The new menus will feature local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and will be reflective of the fare served at several of Shook and Dotolo’s most popular establishments including Animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s.

“Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are known for delighting diners at their restaurants through diverse offerings and familiar flavours presented in bold, unexpected ways,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president – in-flight service. “We are thrilled to bring their fare to the skies and offer a taste of some of Los Angeles’ most popular restaurants to our Delta One customers — whether they’re locals who are craving a taste of home or visitors who want one last essential L.A. experience before heading home.”

Similar to the meals Union Square Hospitality Group creates daily for Delta One customers out of New York, Shook and Dotolo will prepare the new menu selections at a dedicated facility in Los Angeles. The freshly made meals will be transported to LAX each day from their catering company, Caramelized Productions, to ensure customers experience restaurant level service in the skies.

“Delta is really taking an innovative approach to onboard dining and we are proud to partner with them as they change the conversation around airplane food and elevate the customer experience inflight,” Ausband adds.

Mile One collaborates for Jetstar crew

June 13, 2017

Mile One Group has signed a contract with Qantas Group to supply 300k fresh daily meals each year to the crew of Jetstar Australia.

The team worked with nutritionists and the Australian superfood ready meal company, Super Nature, to create a crew offering that uses high energy and healthy ingredients across a full menu.

The crew meal boxes are packaged in specially-designed recyclable boxes designed by Star Packaging in Australia and include Chobani yoghurts, MOMA porridge pots, MyMix Muesli, Mini Bites and Chika Nuts in addition to the Super Nature offerings.

Mile One has also been working with FlyFit and placed its healthy snacks onboard Jetstar alongside Super Nature meals, supported by a product training roadshow introducing crew to the range throughout April.

APOT.Asia reschedules

June 13, 2017

APOT.Asia has rescheduled its annual conference and changed the planned venue following government advice warning against unnecessary travel to some regions of the Philippines.

The event was due to take place next month in the Province of Cebu, but will now be held at the end of October (22-24) in Bali, Indonesia.

Bambang Sujathmiko, chairman of APOT.Asia, says: “My team and I deeply regret having to make this difficult decision but felt it was in everyone’s best interest to not only be safe but to have the peace of mind to fully enjoy the event.”

The precise details of the new venue have not yet been confirmed but all delegates that have already registered for the forum and made payment, will have their payments reallocated to the Bali Forum.

Anyone with any concerns or queries can contact the team on:

Eva adds Melvita

June 13, 2017

Taiwan-based EVA Air is the first airline in Asia to offer Melvita products in the RIMOWA amenity kit.

The products are now onboard in Royal Laurel thanks to a brand collaboration brokered by SPIRIANT which brings together the French organic beauty products range, Melvin, and the German luggage manufacturer.

After nearly three years in the EVA Air inflight duty-free catalogue, Melvita’s presence in the domestic Taiwanese market has increased to over 10 retailers.

“Melvita organic products have been very well received to date due to an increase in customers favouring gentle and natural properties on their skin, particularly after a long-haul flight,” says Anne Deligny Villet, brand development director at SPIRIANT.

The RIMOWA hard case has been used by EVA Air since 2013 and is offered in seal grey and pearl white. EVA Air will rotate the two colours so passengers can collect them both.

ANA’s duo of bespoke wines

June 13, 2017

ANA has collaborated with wine connoisseur, Ned Goodwin, to create two bespoke wines designed for optimum inflight enjoyment.

A smooth red wine and a crisp white will be available in Business and First from September. They were blended to complement the way taste and smell faculties differ when flying at altitude.

The white was crafted from grapes grown in an ecologically sustainable fashion in South Australia, and the red is smooth and full-bodied.

Goodwin, who was Japan’s first Master of Wine, has worked as a sommelier, educator, TV show host, critic, consultant and wine writer. He has also worked alongside chef and sommelier, Katsuhito Inoue, to determine ANA’s wider inflight wine list for 2017.

Akira Nakamura, ANA senior vice president EMEA comments: “ANA is dedicated to delivering a five-star service to its passengers, and for us that means a high-quality and personalised service that embodies Japanese culture. With our original blend of wines, we’re giving our Business and First passengers an opportunity to enjoy fine wines that have been uniquely crafted to suit heights of 30,000+ feet.”

Hawaiian Airlines adds FFG service

June 13, 2017

Hawaiian Airlines has chosen Flying Food Group (FFG) Kona to service seasonal flights between Kona and Los Angeles as of May 28. Hawaiian is now offering three flights weekly to the mainland from Kona.

Since 2014, FFG HNL has catered 24 Hawaiian flights daily. System-wide, FFG services Hawaiian at New York JFK, LAX, SEA and SFO: plus Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose via remote catering.

Nicolas Rondeau, FFG executive vp, airline sales, noted that the Flying Food Group-Hawaiian Airlines partnership continues to flourish. FFG HNL has twice been named Hawaiian’s Domestic Kitchen of the Year (2015 + 2016).

Rondeau added that FFG HNL also earned Hawaiian’s 2017 Valued Partner Award for providing a “high level of support” and “daily contributions.”

FFG services over 80 leading airlines – primarily international – from its strategic network of 22 facilities.

Whittard goes to sea

June 6, 2017

Cruise and Maritime Voyages is partnering with Whittard of Chelsea to put the specialist beverage brand onboard its ships.

Whittard offers more than 100 blends of tea and in an exclusive arrangement, will supply tea and chocolate drinks on board flagship Columbus, and Magellan and Marco Polo. Whittard gift products will also be featured in the onboard shop.

Mark Dunhill managing director at Whittard said “This is an exciting initiative to be working with CMV who offer a traditional British cruise experience. Our original and imaginative products are perfectly suited for further benefiting their passengers’ onboard experience.”

The CMV and Whittard partnership will start from June 8. Pictured is Justine Perrin (Whittard) & Alistair Sellers (CMV) onboard Magellan.

Emirates’ cabin revamp

June 6, 2017

Emirates will showcase a new First Class product at the Dubai Air Show in November.

Making its debut onboard a Boeing 777-300ER, the new First cabin will feature six private suites laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration, compared to the existing eight private suites in a 1-2-1 layout on its existing 777 fleet.

In addition to the redesigned First product, the new Boeing 777-300ER will include new features in Business and Economy.

Sir Tim Clark, president Emirates Airline says: “This bigger revamp takes our onboard experience to the next level. All cabins will sport a totally fresh new look. We are excited to showcase the results of years of planning and development invested into our new First Class offering, and our overall Emirates 777 experience. More details will follow, watch this space.”

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777, flying 162 of these aircraft to six continents from its hub in Dubai.

LOT expands Flying Food Group service

June 6, 2017

Flying Food Group (FFG) has been chosen by LOT Polish Airlines to cater two new routes: Los Angeles-Warsaw (four times a week) and Newark-Warsaw (five times a week).

Services at both locations launched in April 2017. In July, FFG will start catering LOT’s new service between Chicago and Krakow. Since 1989, FFG has exclusively catered LOT flights between Chicago and Warsaw, and between New York JFK and Warsaw.

“It is affirming when an existing customer adds gates after having experienced our customer-focused service first-hand,” said FFG executive vp airline sales Nicolas Rondeau. Rondeau noted LOT has been a loyal FFG customer for almost three decades.

FFG services over 80 leading airlines – primarily international – from its unique US network of 22 facilities. The company has received numerous awards of excellence from satisfied customers.

Nordic takeaway concept for SAS

May 31, 2017

SAS this week launches a new food concept inspired by its passengers and the Nordic food philosophy which is focused on local, seasonal ingredients.

The “New Nordic by SAS” is focused on function, quality, taste and design, to create a selection of taste experiences based on fresh, local ingredients and pure flavours in new pared down packaging designed for life onboard.

The concept will appear on SAS domestic, Scandinavian and European flights and has been developed by SAS food and drinks managers in consultation with passengers and cabin crew.

The new design is inspired by the takeaway culture. Lunch and dinner come pre-packed in a cube that makes the contents very easy to eat while continuing to work, read or watch a movie.

The menu includes Norwegian fjord salmon, Swedish lamb and Danish veal plus locally grown vegetables from Skags Gård farm. Accompaniments such as filled muffins will also be served along with main meals. The food and drinks are now available onboard Scandinavian and European flights and are included in the ticket price.

“We are on the constant look out for local producers that we can build a close relationship with and develop our menus together to ensure we serve ingredients that are in season, whether this be stone-baked bread from II Fornaio, asparagus grown at Stenhuse Gård Farm, handmade chocolates from Hedh Escalante or potatoes from Tollby Gård Farm,” Peter Lawrance, head chef and menu planner, SAS, says.

The new food and drinks concept is part of the SAS New Experience where SAS is also upgrading all its short and medium haul flights with new cabins and high speed WiFi.

The previous snacks and drinks range consisted of premium products from local Scandinavian suppliers. Favourite products from major international brands will continue to feature in the range, but the majority of products are from some of the largest brands in Scandinavia.

Accolades for Addis

May 31, 2017

Qatar Airways has awarded Addis International Catering ‘Best Caterer – Africa 2016’ for the second time since it started operations to Addis Ababa.

Addis International Catering (AIC) was established in 2006 to provide world class catering services to airlines, international conferences and other large scale events around Addis Ababa and the award recognises the dedication the company demonstrates in pioneering and maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety in the culinary field in Ethiopia.

Qatar Airways flies to more than 150 destinations globally, has 105 caterers around its network and operates to 24 destinations in Africa. It monitors caterer performance against several parameters including crew comments, time performance, passenger feedback, and other various food and safety related audits. Caterers are also vetted with sample checks, equipment inventories, communications, chefs table reports and operational performance.

AIC also caters other airline customers operating from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport including Air Djibouti, Egypt Air, Emirates Airlines and Kenya Airways. It also handles a wide variety of VIP, charter and private operators as well as smaller regional operators like Abyssinia Flight Services and Trans Nation Airways. As well as inflight catering, AIC also additionally performs cabin cleaning services to a number of carriers including Fly Dubai and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

AIC’s ISO accredited Food Safety Laboratory Services caries out full laboratory & microbiological testing as well as hygiene and HACCP training.

AA ups its dine before you fly option

May 31, 2017

American Airlines has opened a newly-renovated Flagship Lounge and new Flagship First dining option at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Part of a $200 million investment in the luxury travel experience,Flagship Lounges are now available to Business customers travelling on international and transcontinental flights, in addition to First customers.

Customers will enjoy a range of food options including a robust hot and cold food buffet, an a la carte dining menu and a chef’s table with a rotating menu of made-to-order entrees. They can pair their meals with premium wine and champagne or a drink from our “make your own cocktail” station.

Passengers travelling in First now also have exclusive access to Flagship First Dining, located within the lounge where a sit-down restaurant experience offers complimentary, full-service dining with locally-inspired menus.

The JFK menu will feature ingredients from local purveyors including cheese from Sprout Creek Farms and grass-fed beef from Joyce Farms that will be used in American’s signature Flagship Burger. Customers are also offered specialty cocktails designed by renowned New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer and hand-selected wines from master sommelier Desmond Echavarrie.

The new lounge style will also roll out in Miami and Los Angeles later this year with London Heathrow and Dallas Fort Worth next, and Chicago O’Hare and Philadelphia in coming years.

Middle East show tracks growth

May 31, 2017

The fourth World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME), concluded successfully with exhibitors exploring new opportunities generated by the region’s strong aviation growth.

The Middle East region commands a big chunk in the global travel catering market, estimated at $15 billion and expected to increase to $17.6 billion by 2020. The region’s share in the global travel catering market has been rising above the global average growth of five per cent due to significant expansion of airports and airline networks.

More than 70 exhibitors showcased a wide range of travel catering services and solutions, including food, snacks, beverages, food packaging, processing, preparation and preservation equipment, tableware and chinaware, accessories, toiletries and travel amenities at the WTCEME.

LSG deal with AAS catering

May 23, 2017

LSG Group has signed an agreement AAS Catering to provide technical services for their inflight catering business.

AAS Catering supplies up to 25,000 meals per day to customers including Lufthansa, Emirates, Korean Air, KLM, Air China and Hainan Group Airlines at Kansai Airport, Osaka. The airport is one of the country’s major international hubs with an annual passenger volume of 23 million.

The LSG Group has been present in Asia-Pacific for more than 25 years. Today, its network in the region encompasses 39 wholly-owned or partnership facilities in China, Japan, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand.

Brics get onboard Qatar

May 23, 2017

BRIC’S has signed an exclusive, three-year partnership with Qatar Airways, to provide new amenity kits to complement its First and Business experience.

Facilitated by Formia, the BRIC’S deal sees two bespoke premium amenity bags go onboard, inspired by the world-famous suitcase collection and the brand’s mission to create products that match fashion & function.

The First kit is a stylish reproduction of the Bellagio rigid suitcase collection featuring high-tech, lightweight, resistant shells accented with genuine tobacco-colored Tuscan leather trim and contrast stitching. The Business kit is a refined reproduction of the Sintesis Collection, distinguished by its asymmetrical and curved shape.

All amenity kits will come in four colours: black, grey, burgundy and cream, with full grain leather inserts paired with a high-tech shell designed with contrasting stitching accents, with tobacco color trim.

They will feature skincare products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio including lip balm, hydrating facial mist and City Cream anti-ageing moisturiser in Business, with the added Night Recovery Cream for First.

Alaska service ranks top

May 23, 2017

Alaska Airlines has been ranked highest in airline customer satisfaction among traditional carriers for the 10th consecutive year in the J.D. Power 2017 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

The study, based on 11,015 responses, measured satisfaction of business and leisure travellers who flew a major North America carrier between April 2016 and March 2017. Alaska Airlines ranked highest of any traditional airline across five categories, including cost and fees; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservations.

Alaska Airlines, together with Virgin America and its regional partners, flies 40 million customers a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba

New WESSCO deal with Elyptol

May 16, 2017

WESSCO International has signed a partnership with Elyptol to feature its health and hygiene products as an onboard offer for airlines.

The products contain no toxic chemicals and carry the natural scent of eucalyptus oil, and are designed to help reduce infection and the spread of germs amongst passengers. They are natural, effective and have multiple uses suitable for both passengers and cleaning staff.

“This partnership represents a great opportunity for airlines to carry an award-winning, effective, FDA registered, hospital grade, natural family of sanitising products that will help reduce the spreading of germs in airline travel,” said Tim O’Connor, president & ceo of Elyptol. “We are very excited to partner with WESSCO International and be able to offer our products to all its global customers and try and make airline travel safer for passengers and crew”.

The products are packaged in specially sourced bio-degradable packaging and use a natural formulation base on the effective sanitising qualities of eucalyptus oil which is said to kill almost all bacteria, fungi and other common germs and cut the risks of allergic reactions or contact dermatitis. They also have moisturising properties. Elyptol is a member of the World Health Organizations (WHO) collaborative hand hygiene programme, Private Organizations for Patient Safety (POPS).

WESSCO is scheduled to include Elyptol anti-microbial skin care products in its amenity kits, which are also available in full-size bottle and floor dispenser for airport lounges.

Alpha LSG recognises top crew

May 16, 2017

Thomas Cook Airlines and and Alpha LSG have recognised top performing members of the airline’s cabin crew at their two-day OMG! Conference, Training and Awards event.

The event, focused on workshops and seminars, is designed to help cabin crew achieve better commercial results, and provides an opportunity to reward outstanding performance.

Awards were given out across nine categories including highest spend per head, incentive participation and positive approach to sales among others.

The overall winner of OMG! 2017 was Glasgow based Jennifer Bell, who excelled in all categories. She won two Thomas Cook Airlines flights to San Francisco plus £500 spending money.

Uwe Balser, Thomas Cook Group, director of cabin crew, said: “I am so proud to see our cabin crew from across our markets attend this event to learn the latest sales techniques, to learn more about our fabulous products and to have lots of fun in the process.”

Crews rate kids gifts onboard

May 16, 2017

Research on travelling with children suggests kids gifts and amenities significantly help optimise brand experience and at the same time create better job satisfaction for cabin crew.

As part of a new product development programme KIDZinflight had an independent research company survey 100 cabin crew from 21 airlines and their working conditions and attitudes to child passengers.

The research highlights the challenges kids onboard pose for crew with 69% of 
respondents saying their role had become more demanding in recent years, in part because of the increasing number of children onboard.

Some 97% of those surveyed said that distribution of activity toys
 during flights had a positive effect on the children and 86% said it benefitted other passengers.

While up to 30% of cabin crew do not currently give out activity toys, and a further 28% of the respondents have never distributed toys, the majority (89%) of cabin crew said they would welcome the opportunity to do so provided the gifts were easy to handle. Some 64% of the cabin crew said giving out a activity toy made their job easier.

Eurostar seeks sustainable talent

May 16, 2017

High speed passenger rail service, Eurostar, has joined forces with GoodPlanet Foundation (France), GoodPlanet Belgium and the Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE), to launch a culinary challenge across the UK, France and Belgium.

Young people aged between 15 and 19 will be asked to create a sustainable Business Premier dish and the competition will be open for entries from now until June 30 2017. The winning dish will feature on the Eurostar Business Premier class menu for three months from November this year.

The challenge is a well-balanced, seasonal and nutritious Business class dish, which also reflects a strong understanding of the provenance of the ingredients and the sustainability of the dish.

Raymond Blanc, OBE, the renowned Michelin starred chef, Eurostar Business Premier Culinary Director and President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), will be the lead judge of a panel of experts from the supporting organisations. He said: “Today, more than ever, we should all be thinking about the provenance and sustainability of our food, as well as the flavour and presentation. Whilst more consideration is now given to food miles, not everyone is aware of the negative consequences of food production. I am proud to be judging this competition and will enjoy working with the winner on the introduction of their dish to the Eurostar menu.”