Safety first for Emirates
February 24, 2021
Emirates is among the first airlines in the world to operate a flight with fully vaccinated frontline teams servicing customers at every touchpoint of the travel journey.
The full airport and onboard customer experience for flight EK215 was safely supported by check-in, security, Business and First lounge and boarding gate employees, as well as engineers, pilots and cabin crew who made the choice to be fully vaccinated.
Also supporting the flight’s operations were fully vaccinated aircraft appearance, loading and special handling teams from dnata, as well as SkyCargo teams working on the cargo and logistics requirements.
The Emirates Group rolled out its vaccination drive at pace just over a month ago, and since then, close to 26,000, or 44%, of the Group’s UAE frontline aviation workforce have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinopharm vaccines.
Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer, Emirates Airline, said: “Our operational workforce are at the aviation frontline, helping people get to where they need to be, and moving essential goods to global communities. Protecting our people with vaccinations is important – for them, for our community, for the smooth running of our operations, and also for our customers as it introduces of an additional layer of protection when they travel with us.
“We’ve seen a very positive response with high demand and take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine from our colleagues at the operational frontline, and there’s continued momentum in the rate of vaccinations across the business.”
BA teams up with Dettol
February 24, 2021
British Airways has announced a new partnership with Dettol, the UK disinfection brand, as part of its ongoing commitment to help keep its customers and colleagues safe.
Dettol hand sanitiser stations will be positioned throughout Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, and an antibacterial hygiene wipe will be given to every customer as they board a flight.
This new partnership is supported by The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Bolludagur celebrations on Icelandair
February 24, 2021
Cream buns were served onboard Icelandair last week as it gave its passengers a taste of some fun Icelandic traditions.
The days before Lent are celebrated in a unique way in Iceland. On the Monday before Shrove Tuesday, Icelandair crew served cream buns to celebrate Bolludagur (‘Bun Day’), a day traditionally spent in Iceland consuming bollur – pastry buns filled with jam and cream, and topped with chocolate glaze.
Children onboard also received small bags of candy on Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday), a day celebrated like Icelandic Halloween.
Uganda Airlines chooses Geven’s sustainable seats
February 17, 2021
The first A330-800neo of Uganda Airlines has taken off with Geven’s Piuma Alta Quota (AQ) Economy and Comoda AQ Premium Economy sustainable seats.
Uganda Airlines claims it chose the seats for their renowned comfort, functionality and aesthetic features which enhance passenger experience, while their efficient design focused on durable and reliable parts minimise fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
“We are excited about the delivery of the A330-800neo which strengthens our fleet capabilities and introduces the desired comfort standards for our long-haul operations,” says Cornwell Muleya, CEO of Uganda Airlines. “We are proud of our beautifully equipped plane which features a three class layout, including a fully lie-flat business class.”
With a full integrated IFE by SPI with 10.1” screen, Piuma AQ also features a headrest, in-arm table, power supply for electronic charge and light weight design features which give the name Piuma AQ (the Italian for feather) to this model. An orange and bronze leather for the seat cover and headrest personalises the Piuma AQ onboard Uganda Airlines.
“We are delighted to be Uganda Airlines’ choice for the outfitting of the long haul Economy and Premium Economy on such a rare aircraft,” says Alberto Veneruso, managing director of Geven.
“Working together with Uganda’s team for the first time was a huge inspiration for Geven. The enthusiasm and outstanding integration of Uganda, Airbus and Geven teams have played a significant role in this successful delivery. We have worked closely with a cooperative approach from the early stages of this 9 months process. Grateful for Uganda Airlines’ trust, we look forward to continue and strengthen our collaboration in the future.”
Monty’s Bakehouse donates over 1.3 million snacks and meals
February 17, 2021
Through its work to help the homeless, the vulnerable and families affected by the pandemic, Monty’s Bakehouse’s continued efforts in donating food to local and global causes has now surpassed 1.3 million hot snacks and meals.
Matt Crane, CEO of Monty’s Bakehouse, was interviewed on BBC Radio Surrey to celebrate the news and raise awareness of some of its key local charities such as Merstham Mix Café and Renewed Hope Trust.
Matt discussed the opportunity Monty’s had to redirect food destined to passengers within the aviation industry to initiatives such as feeding NHS staff members, as well as working with multiple local and national charities to reach as many families as possible. He mentions that it’s been an “eye-opener” for the business, as more and more families are seeing a drop in their income and are now having trouble keeping food on the table for their families.
One charity partner in particular who are only down the road from Monty’s is Merstham Mix Café. It offers wholesome meals to the local community, averaging around 50 meals a day and have now served over 10,000 meals with the help of donations since March last year. In January and February of 2021, the charity has served 350 meals a week to its local community members. Of those meals, Monty’s products have been included in meals four out of the seven days a week, equalling in the business helping to serve around 800 meals within this one charity alone.
gategroup reaches key milestone in restructuring plan
February 17, 2021
gategroup has announced that two separate meetings of bondholders and senior lenders will be called for March 19 2021 to consider and vote on parts of the company’s financial restructuring plan designed to position the company for a post-COVID future.
As announced on November 26 2020, the group, its shareholders, RRJ Capital and Temasek (the “shareholders”) and all of the Group’s bank lenders under the senior facilities agreement dated November 30 2018 (the “senior lenders” and the “SFA”, respectively) have agreed to the key terms and conditions of a recapitalisation of the company and amendment of the terms of the group’s financial indebtedness (the “transaction”).
From Monday 15 February 2021, Bondholders will be able to obtain a copy of the explanatory statement which will set out in detail the terms and the effect of the plan as well as information for bondholders and senior lenders on how to vote on the plan, and a copy of the proxy forms for voting at the plan meetings.
“The English Court’s decision to grant the order convening the meetings of bondholders and senior lenders to vote on the Restructuring Plan is a key milestone and a major step forward in the process towards implementation of the Group’s strategy for the post-COVID future,” says Xavier Rossinyol, chief executive officer.
“The terms of the transaction will provide the group with a strong platform to deliver on its business plan over the next five years and which is in the interests of its creditors and other stakeholders. The plan has the support of the shareholders and each of the senior lenders. In addition, a holder of in excess of 10% of the outstanding principal amount of the bonds has confirmed their support of the plan.”
JetBlue unveils completely reimagined Mint
February 10, 2021
JetBlue has reimagined its popular Mint experience.
The first complete redesign of Mint since its conception in 2014 sees 24 private suites with a sliding door for every Mint customer. As part of the refresh, JetBlue will also introduce its latest innovation, the Mint Studio, which will offer the most space in a premium experience from any U.S. airline.
“Mint was an idea to make premium travel across the U.S. less stuffy and more affordable, and its performance has exceeded even our most optimistic expectation,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue.
“It’s remarkable how Mint’s thoughtful design has resonated with customers as we successfully grew it to more than 30 routes. We put our heart into this redesign of Mint and were inspired by our original vision of offering customers an exceptional experience at a lower fare.”
The first major design overhaul of Mint – designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates – will launch on JetBlue’s new London flights this summer, and a 16-seat layout will debut on a limited number of flights between New York and Los Angeles in 2021.
Inspired by the popularity of the four private suites in its current Mint configuration, JetBlue’s transatlantic Mint will offer more privacy with 24 individual suites. Every inch of space anticipates customer needs, with features including a tilting 17-inch Thales AVANT seatback screen, wireless charging capabilities, an integrated phone ledge for multitasking, and easy-to-reach in-seat power.
JetBlue is the first carrier to outfit its aircraft with Thompson Aero Seating’s VantageSOLO seat, the company’s revolutionary single aisle seating solution with a herringbone configuration developed and designed specifically for narrow-body aircraft and further customised for JetBlue.
JetBlue tapped Tuft & Needle to shape the entire Mint sleep experience. Every Mint seat is layered with Tuft & Needle’s T&N Adaptive foam and a breathable cover to create a cool and comfortable sleep experience. The seat complements additional sleep amenities developed in partnership with the brand, including a convertible blanket with a built-in foot pocket, a memory foam lined pillow with a pillowcase, and a snooze kit with a matching eye mask and earplugs.
JAL operates commercial flight using sustainable aviation fuel
February 10, 2021
Japan Airlines (JAL) has successfully operated a commercial flight from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka airport using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The product was a blend of traditional jet kerosene and SAF produced in Japan.
JAL is a recognised Eco-First company by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. In October 2018, JAL launched a project to convert cotton clothing into SAF. During the project, 50 local companies helped collect approximately 250,000 pieces of clothing and with the technical support from Green Earth Institute Co. By using a bioprocess technology developed by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), a domestically produced SAF was successfully created in March 2020.
The flight was executed on a Boeing 787-8.
IFSA-ACA industry guidance published
February 10, 2021
The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and the Airline Catering Association (ACA) have jointly developed and published new guidance that leads and supports the airline and airline catering industries worldwide as they continue to take actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Globally more than 3 billion onboard meals are produced and delivered every year. The ACA/IFSA COVID-19 Guideline introduces several guiding principles which aim to provide direction on managing the COVID-19 pandemic and to support safe business operations including at airports, airlines, kitchens, and aircrafts.
The document takes a pragmatic approach in implementation by highlighting and giving guidance on the ways in which individual locations and situations can best be re-engineered to meet the updated health safety standards. This document, which supersedes the previous guidelines released shortly after the start of the pandemic, serves to guide mitigation based on risk assessment for catering kitchens and airline in-flight services globally.
“IFSA remains dedicated to the global advancement of the airline catering industry. This collaboration with ACA strengthens the airline catering industry and equips for safe global business resumption,” said IFSA executive director Lauren Costello.
ACA managing director, Fabio Gamba, adds: “This industry has shown time and again how adaptable and resilient it can be. And we are glad we could, together with our colleagues from IFSA, bring our contribution with this very comprehensive guidance which is publicly available.”
IFSA and ACA remain informed on applicable governmental guidance relative to COVID-19 as the situation changes frequently and directives may vary in each country/state/province. IFSA and ACA have made the guidelines available online, free of charge.
Flying Food Group to cater Etihad Airways at IAD
February 10, 2021
Flying Food Group is now catering Etihad Airways flights between Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
The twice-weekly service began February 1 and is slated to increase to daily service.
Etihad is a returning Flying Food Group customer. Etihad described the start-up as “a success – no delays and the food was good.”
Nicolas Rondeau, Flying Food Group executive vice president airline sales and marketing, explained that Etihad chose to change to Flying Food Group after a successful virtual tender and remote video tour of the company’s cutting-edge IAD facility.
GWR reintroduces food service on trains
February 10, 2021
Great Western Railway (GWR) has announced it will reintroduce food and drink services onboard its trains.
From February, drinks offered onboard will include PG Tips tea, speciality teas, Lavazza filter coffee, Azeera latte, Nescafe coffee/decaf and Aero hot chocolate, as well as soft drinks, beer, lager, cider, wines and spirits.
Snacks include pastries, sandwiches, crisps, nuts, snack pots and sweet treats.
The Pullman Dining service in First remains suspended until further notice.
Retail inMotion partners with dean&david and Dallmayr
February 3, 2021
Together with Lufthansa, Retail inMotion (RiM) has joined forces with dean&david and Dallmayr, to bring fresh, sustainable, and high quality products to Economy passengers on short- and medium-haul flights.
dean&david is a healthy fast casual food company from Munich that prioritises freshness and quality in products, as well as sustainability through its environmentally-friendly packaging. Dallmayr, also a Munich-based company, prides itself on its high-quality hot beverages and delicacies from all over the world.
The culinary offer, which follows dean&david’s recipes, includes salads, bowls, wraps and sandwiches that are prepared fresh every day. In addition to the salmon avocado bowl, falafel tahini salad, crunchy chicken bowl, sweet chilli chicken sandwich, and freshly-made Bircher-muesli, passengers will also have the option to choose “Best of dean&david Boxes”. The assortment of fresh products is updated every three months.
The Dallmayr assortment includes project coffee Dano, whose name stems from a cultivation region in Ethiopia, which is supported by the Munich-based company through projects such as building schools and establishing a coffee cooperation. The menu also includes various cake specialities, organic teas, such as Alpine Herbs and First Flush Darjeeling, as well as hot chocolate and handmade chocolate from the Dallmayr factory.
“We are proud to contribute to Lufthansa’s goal of building a best-in-class passenger experience by zooming in on the details that make the difference in purchasing decisions, namely sustainability, individualisation, and overall quality standards,” said José Lirio Silva, head of onboard retail Europe for Retail inMotion.
Christina Foerster, executive board Lufthansa group customer, IT & corporate responsibility, explains: “Our partners dean&david and Dallmayr stand for outstanding quality and responsible action. In addition to the satisfaction of our guests, the topic of responsibility for the environment is also very important to us. We use almost exclusively sustainable materials for our packaging. Furthermore, we ensure that less food is wasted through more accurate production. We are pleased to be able to offer our passengers fresh products on European flights that taste delicious.”
The new food and beverage offer will become available on Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul flights in the course of the summer timetable 2021.
Now New Next and Global-C launch Gourmet Box
February 3, 2021
Now New Next and Global-C have collaborated on a 100% cardboard leakproof food box called the Gourmet Box.
The dishes are 100% compostable and made leakproof with Global-C’s NeverLeak technology, ensuring they provide the same function as their plastic counterparts. They are suitable in freezers, chillers, microwaves and ovens. The carrier box is made from 100% recycled cardboard.
JetBlue brings Ultrafabics onboard A220
January 27, 2021
Fabric manufacturer Ultrafabrics and its partners Tapis Corp have announced that their Promessa AV performance fabric has been used on JetBlue’s latest A220 aircraft.
On January 12 JetBlue revealed the A220, the latest aircraft to join its fleet and the first of its new A220-300 series.
The A220 interior is outfitted with the Collins Meridian seat, customised in direct response to customer feedback, and features a number of design elements with comfort and convenience in mind. According to Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development at JetBlue, one of the most noticeable innovations is the added seatback cushioning and headrest padding made from the new, softer animal-free ‘leather’ material from Ultrafabrics, the Ultraleather Promessa AV.
Promessa AV is a Japanese-crafted leather alternative product designed specifically for comfort. Ultrafabrics’ proprietary production process, Takumi Technology, creates a four-layer construction that includes a microfoam layer. This provides an extra layer of support, acting as a heat dissipation layer to enhance both physical and thermal comfort for the guests. The Promessa AV product line also includes an inherent EPA registered antimicrobial solution, for added protection from micro-organisms.
U.S. Treasury approves payroll support for airline industry
January 27, 2021
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved more than $12 billion in payroll support for major passenger air carriers to support airline industry workers.
Subtitle A of Title IV of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the PSP Extension Law) provides for up to $16 billion in payroll support for American workers employed by passenger air carriers and contractors (PSP2). Treasury concluded PSP2 agreements with Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Republic Airways, SkyWest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines. Together, these airlines represent nearly 95 percent of U.S. airline capacity.
The Treasury also made the first PSP2 payments to passenger air carriers today, disbursing a total of $6.1 billion to major air carriers to support hundreds of thousands of jobs. To protect taxpayers, Treasury received notes and warrants from these carriers, as required under Section 408 of the PSP Extension Law.
“The Payroll Support Program provided critical support to the aviation industry and its workers,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The extension of this program will provide additional economic relief for workers, while also protecting taxpayer funds.”
Linstol to distribute Aerocare International products
January 27, 2021
Linstol, a supplier of inflight passenger products for the airline industry, has announced it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Aerocare International for Aerocare’s line of sanitising amenity products within the aviation industry.
“We continue to search for innovative solutions within the airline space and are excited to raise the bar for our airline partners. Aerocare’s 3-in 1 technology allows us to provide a unique product that cleans, sanitises and protects the end user while being safe to use onboard aircraft,” commented Mark Russell, Linstol’s CEO.
“Aerocare is excited to work with such a complementary and dynamic partner, providing an invaluable opportunity to further enhance our range of products as the preferred choice to the world’s leading airlines,” commented Jason Hickson, director of Aerocare International.
First airlines certified with APEX Health Safety standard
January 20, 2021
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying have announced the first COVID-19 certified airlines for the customer-centric APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying.
With 33 airlines currently advancing through the review process, the first 12 launch airlines serving six continents that have fully completed the audit and review process, have now been certified. These include Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Etihad, JetSmart, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, Spirit, Sri Lankan, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying’s 58-point checklist covers ten airline categories for submission verification, validation, and quarterly review certification process. The audit spans categories that include testing, tracing, on-the-ground procedures, inflight measures, and even co-branded partnerships that further airline product safety integrity. It is expected that airline certification will increase customer awareness of aligned industry health safety standards, encourage more informed air travel choices, and increase air travel by at least 2% on certified airlines in 2021.
“As more travellers return to the skies, APEX wants customers to know the verified steps being taken by airlines worldwide for their well-being,” APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader stated. “Every step that we take with airlines to set even higher standards for health safety for passengers ultimately help keep people safer in-the-air and on-the-ground. With the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying certification, we provide the external validation and discussion needed further backed by Simplifying’s incredible depth of expertise.”
Without charge, all airlines worldwide may participate in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying process at simpliflying.com/health-safetyo.
gategroup updates on on restructuring plan
January 20, 2021
gategroup’s restructuring plan has been put on pause until February 3 2021.
The High Court of England and Wales gave directions that the hearing in relation to the proposal by gategroup to convene a meeting of its creditors for the purposes of voting on an English restructuring plan under Part 26A of the United Kingdom’s Companies Act 2006 is to be adjourned until February 3-4.
If the Court grants the order at the Convening Hearing, a meeting of the Bondholders and Senior Lenders is expected to be held on March 8 2021 and the meeting materials (including the explanatory statement) are expected to be made available to Senior Lenders and Bondholders on February 8 2021.
As announced on November 26 2020, the Group, its shareholders, and all of the Group’s bank lenders under the senior facilities agreement dated November 30 2018 have agreed to the key terms and conditions of a recapitalisation of the Company and amendment of the terms of the Group’s financial indebtedness.
Amipak installs Heiber+Schröder tray forming machine
January 20, 2021
Amipak has invested over £200,000 in a new high performance Heiber+Schröder tray forming machine, to increase production capacity for its growing range of carton packaging products.
The new Heiber+Schröder CE 1560 tray former is now fully operational at Amipak’s Willesden site, and is the latest investment in technology and modernisation of its production facilities totalling over £1.75m.
“Investments like this are part of our long-term plan and a statement of intent to grow our business. We aim to meet increased demand for our sustainable cartonboard product range, with a flexible and customer focused approach,” explains Amipak director of communications and sustainability, Daniel Schwitzer.
“The trays we produce on this new machine are easy for both operators and consumers to use. They are often made from easily recyclable material and are pulpable or compostable in an industrial facility, which fits well with current consumer expectations.”
The new tray forming machine can create up to 36,000 perfectly formed trays per hour and features the latest technology for faster running speeds, quick make-readies and operator ease of use.
This latest round of investments from Amipak over the past two years has included a Brausse Forza 1100 C6 folding and gluing machine, a Heiber + Schroeder Triple stream nested gluer, a twin stream window patcher and Kempner shrink wrapper. In addition, refurbishment and modernisation at Amipak’s Willesden site has allowed for an additional 1,000 pallet spaces and the addition of a dock leveller has greatly increased efficiencies in the logistics department – cutting some offloading times by 75%.
British Airways partners with chef Tom Kerridge
January 13, 2021
British Airways has announced that it will be partnering with British Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge, who has designed a number of gourmet food items including signature pies and sandwiches, to pre-purchase for the airline’s Euro Traveller (short haul economy) customers.
The move marks a renewed focus on the short haul customer experience, which also includes the completion of a full wifi rollout across its airbus short haul fleet and the ability to pre-order duty free items directly to customers’ seats through its inflight retail site, highlifeshop.com.
The airline will also continue to offer complimentary refreshments in Euro Traveller on all fights comprising a bottle of water and a snack. Those wishing to purchase more substantial food options can do so through the airline’s the new online Speedbird Café.
The airline has partnered with Tourvest Retail services to implement the new retail site and products. Speedbird Café will launch as a pre-order proposition, which will allow customers to customise their journey by purchasing food, drink and inflight retail items up to 12 hours before departure. It also helps the airline in its efforts to reduce onboard waste as part of its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
The dishes designed by Tom Kerridge have been created with a special focus on British provenance. These include the Warm Steak & Ale Pie, winner of the Best Onboard Snack, Premium Economy/ Economy in the 2020 Onboard Hospitality Awards.
Also included are the Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Sandwich, Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap (vegan), Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche and the Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich (vegetarian).
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “Our expert teams have worked closely with Tom to create delicious British staples for our short haul menu. We know how popular the menus that Tom designed for our centenary were with our customers, so we are delighted to be working with him again and can’t wait for our customers to experience his fantastic new food at 35,000ft.
ANA Group’s catering facilities receive Halal Certification
January 13, 2021
In addition to its Narita Facility recently receiving EU HACCP Certification, ANA Group’s Narita Catering Facility has received Halal Certification effective December 17 2020 from the Malaysia Halal Consultation & Training Agency (MHCT).
Its in-house bakery located inside Haneda International Airport has also received the certification.
The Halal Certification is part of recent efforts to improve customer satisfaction and build a business and service model that enables sustainable growth into the anticipated return of normal life after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The certification was received after meeting all of the strict Halal production and documentation requirements, and involved a considerable investment in manpower, facility renovations and new equipment. Dedicated Halal Western and Japanese kitchens have been built in space made available by the decrease in flights due to the pandemic.
Mr. Nobuyuki Tokuda, head of the ANA Narita Catering Facility, said: “We are delighted to have obtained Halal Compliance Certificates from a global institution recognised for its quality and service standards. This certification is a true reflection of the hard work and service excellence provided by our teams.
“In addition we are working closely with our suppliers to ensure that the quality and standards of our materials meet and exceed the required specifications. Being Halal compliant not only meets the needs of Muslim passengers flying on ANA flights out of Japan but also positions us to contribute positively in providing Halal Assurance to Halal Customer Airlines and the expected large increase of Muslim visitors to Japan in the post-Covid world.”
Brittany Ferries celebrates new ship
January 13, 2021
The next ship to join Brittany Ferries’ fleet, the Salamanca, took to the water for the first time last week.
Salamanca’s launch ceremony took place on 6 January 2021 at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, where she is under construction. She is the second of three E-Flexer class ships ordered by Brittany Ferries and will join sister-ship Galicia, when she enters service in the spring of 2022.
Fleet renewal is one of the pillars of Brittany Ferries’ five-year recovery plan. The investment in new ships was made well before the pandemic began, but a trio of cleaner, more efficient and comfortable vessels will help secure the company’s future ensuring the continuity of passenger and freight services.
“In spite of Brexit and Covid-19 which have cost our company several hundred million euros already, I am resolved to remain on our path towards eco-responsibility and energy transition,” said Jean-Marc Roué, president Brittany Ferries. “It is a formal commitment I’ve made: we will continue, despite these crises, to reduce our carbon footprint, to keep on improving our fleet and to contribute to the development of the regions we serve. Salamanca is a good illustration of this. By renewing our fleet today, we are ensuring a return to growth tomorrow and Brittany Ferries and our partners remain confident in the future.”
Each E-Flexer vessel promises a significant reduction in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. They are also smoother, quieter and benefit from less vibration with better sea handling, to the benefit of passengers.
Salamanca will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas). This is a fuel that emits virtually no sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulate emissions, following combustion. In addition, because LNG burns more efficiently than diesel, there is a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) output of around 25%.
“Passengers expect more comfortable, cleaner, greener vessels and society rightly demands sustainability as standard. Shipping companies that fail to improve are therefore destined to fail,” added Christophe Mathieu, chief executive Brittany Ferries. “It’s why these E-Flexer ships are so important as we look to emerge from the current crisis. Galicia, Salamanca and Santoña, are clear evidence that we are determined to sail towards a sustainable and a successful future.”
Emirates unveils A380 Premium Economy
January 6, 2021
Emirates has unveiled details of its A380 Premium Economy cabin, which offers 56 seats in a 2-4-2 cabin layout.
With a pitch of up to 40-inches, Emirates’ premium economy seat is 19.5 inches wide, and reclines eight inches into a cradle position. Covered in cream-coloured anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing similar to its Business Class, each seat is designed to provide comfort and support with six-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests.
Each seat has a 13.3” screen, and passengers will find thoughtful touches including easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.
Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline, said: “Our Premium Economy product was carefully developed in keeping with Emirates’ brand positioning as a full-service airline of the highest quality. Our First, Business and Economy experiences reset industry standards when they were introduced, and we are confident that our Premium Economy will also make its mark as a distinct premium offering.”
Elsewhere on this latest Emirates A380, the 14 First private suites have been enhanced from the original suites, being slightly wider with taller doors, for even more privacy and comfort.
Emirates has retained its A380 Business Class seats which offer direct aisle access for every passenger, reclines to a fully-flat position, and offers personal mini bars, ample personal storage and a high degree of privacy.
All 76 seats have been refreshed to feature champagne-coloured leather covers and wood finishing, inspired by executive jets. The same classic colour scheme has also been applied to the Onboard Lounge at the back of the upper deck, for the exclusive use of First and Business passengers.
Emirates has also replaced all 338 Economy seats onboard its newest A380 with ergonomically designed seats that come with full leather headrests and flexible side panels which can be adjusted vertically for optimum support.
Brussels Airlines and chef Tim Boury collaborate for 2021
January 6, 2021
In 2021, Brussels Airlines will continue its culinary collaboration with Belgian chef Tim Boury of Restaurant Boury in Roeselare.
Throughout 2021, Boury will again create gastronomic experiences for the Business customers of Brussels Airlines on its long-haul flights.
After a successful first collaboration in 2020, Boury will create four different menus throughout 2021 for Brussels Airlines’ Business guests on intercontinental flights.
“After a turbulent year, we are delighted to be able to work with Brussels Airlines once again,” sayid Tim Boury. “With the experience we accumulated this year, we have the unique opportunity to make the Business dining even better in 2021. This will undoubtedly enhance the experience of their guests. We are grateful to Brussels Airlines for its confidence in us!”
Tanguy Cartuyvels, head of customer experience and product at Brussels Airlines, said: “We operated a reduced number of flights this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so we unfortunately have not been able to share Tim’s kitchen with our wide audience of customers. The guests who did get to enjoy Tim’s culinary treats, raved about the quality and taste. That is why we decided to renew our collaboration. We are very happy that Tim decided to accept the challenge again and we look forward to top-notch Belgian cuisine onboard of our flights.”
For the first months of the year, the chef devised a menu consisting of an apéro bite made of Gougères Brokkeloud Roeselare cheese, a choice of brioche with smoked eel and chicory or braised veal tenderloin served with rocket and stuffed tomato as a starter, followed by three choices for the main course: Veal cheek with fondant potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts or cod fish with pumpkin, vadouvan spices and wild rice or a vegetarian lasagne with parsnip, celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke and porcini mushroom. Tim proposes a dessert with white chocolate, banana and blackcurrant.
Recognition for LSG Sky Chefs Fort Lauderdale team
January 6, 2021
Spirit Airlines has recognised the LSG Sky Chefs Fort Lauderdale kitchen as its 2020 Kitchen of the Year.
Spirit Airlines claims this is due to their outstanding work and support to meet all of its catering needs during an unprecedented year, serving over 10,000 catered flights with an almost 100% on-time record.
ANA catering facility acquires EU HACCP certification
December 18, 2020
ANA Catering Service, which is responsible for planning and providing inflight meals for All Nippon Airways (ANA) as well as a growing number of customer airlines, had its Narita Facility obtain EU HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points principles) as an “export fishery food handling facility for the EU” on March 19 2020.
Exportation began from December 1 2020 by utilising the production capacity generated at its Narita Plant due to the prolonged reduction of flights due to the influence of Covid-19. Consequently, this will allow the increase of manufacturing and export capacity of domestically produced inflight foodstuffs departing from Europe
EU HACCP defines EU hygiene standards from production to processing and distribution when exporting foodstuffs to the EU. EU HACCP is required by any company wanting to export products into Europe. It requires a lengthy series of stringent approvals and is part of EU legislation covering the production, processing and distribution of food for human consumption. The ultimate goal is to give ANA and other customers an “Even Truer Taste of Japan” by making available in Europe authentic Japanese ingredients. Furthermore, many fish species popular in Japanese cuisine cannot be caught in European waters, making it previously impossible to offer them on flights departing the continent. EU HACCP Certification now ensures delicate dishes can be served as intended, with Japanese spices and ingredients, and passengers can savor dishes otherwise unavailable inside the EU.
The menus that have been certified include: Seaweed salt-grilled striped jack; Salt-grilled-striped jack with sesame; Grilled striped jack with soy-based sauce; Japanese sake-grilled striped jack; Grilled striped jack with soy-based yuzu citron sauce; Salt-grilled sea bream with sesame; Grilled sea bream with soy-based yuzu citron sauce; Japanese sake-steamed sea bream; Seaweed salt-grilled yellowtail; Grilled yellowtail with soy-based yuzu citron sauce and more.
Japan Airlines to offer complimentary COVID-19 coverage
December 16, 2020
Japan Airlines (JAL) will provide a new service called JAL COVID-19 Cover, as part of its JAL FlySafe program to provide reassurance and support to passengers with essential travel needs during the global pandemic.
The new service provided by Allianz Travel includes coverage of up to €150,000 in total medical costs resulting from the initial COVID-19 testing fee and subsequent medical treatment for those that test positive during their travels.
Additional coverage for isolation costs and repatriation is also included for those requiring such after a positive diagnosis. A global 24-hour support line in English and Japanese will also be available to assist customers exhibiting symptoms, providing further peace of mind throughout their journey. Services related to the coverage will be offered from December 23, 2020.
“As international flights gradually return to service, the JAL Group has implemented key measures against COVID-19 to provide customers a safe and secure travel experience. While it may take time to welcome back customers on a global scale, we hope this coverage with Allianz Travel will provide reassurance to those that need to travel today,” said Hideo Ninomiya, managing executive officer of passenger sales, Japan Airlines.
dnata to boost cabin cleaning services with UV technology
December 16, 2020
dnata has partnered with Uveya, a Switzerland-based technology company, and successfully conducted a proof of concept and will take aircraft cleaning services to a new level by utilising ultraviolet (UV) technology to sanitise the cabin.
dnata’s enhanced cabin cleaning service was trialled onboard the aircraft of Swiss regional carrier Helvetic Airways.
Uveya’s cutting-edge solution uses UV-C rays to disinfect the interior of the aircraft, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew. During the cleaning process, an autonomous sterilisation robot emits concentrated UV-C light across the cabin. The device can effectively kill over 99% of bacteria and pathogens, such as coronavirus, in the air and on all surfaces in a few minutes, without using any chemicals.
Lukas Gyger, chief operating officer of dnata Switzerland, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Uveya to offer airline partners another innovative, safe and reliable solution. Our enhanced cabin cleaning services will deliver enhanced safety and efficiency, helping our customers restore confidence in air travel. We continue to invest in the latest technologies to provide service excellence to our customers and their passengers across our global operations.”
dnata’s UV-C solution complements its existing aircraft cabin cleaning services which the company delivers for over 250 airline customers globally.
Flying Food Group catering new Jet Blue route to Cancun
December 9, 2020
Flying Food Group’s Hartford facility (BDL) is now catering Jet Blue’s new route to Cancun.
Service began in late November. Currently there are daily flights to Cancun, with increases planned.
Flying Food Group executive vice president airline sales and marketing, Nicolas Rondeau, noted that Jet Blue is a returning customer. Rondeau added that Jet Blue described the Hartford launch as “operationally seamless.”
Peace of mind with insurance from Cathay Pacific
December 9, 2020
Cathay Pacific is providing free COVID-19 insurance to all passengers so they can travel with peace of mind knowing they’re covered.
The airline is helping customers travel with confidence by collaborating with AXA General Insurance Hong Kong Limited to provide free COVID-19 coverage to all passengers.
Customers who fly with Cathay Pacific from now to 28 February 2021 will be covered for medical expenses related to a COVID-19 diagnosis incurred whilst overseas. The free COVID-19 insurance is automatically applied – all customers have to do is book their flight.
Coverage includes COVID-19 PCR tests and hospitalisation, if it becomes necessary, and coverage for medical expenses related to COVID-19 extends to up to US$200,000.
If quarantined, customers will receive an allowance of US$100 per day per passenger for up to 14 days due to COVID-19 to help them during periods of unforeseen and mandatory quarantine.
In case of evacuation and repatriation, Cathay Pacific will ensure that affected customers, as well as their travel companions and any children they may be travelling with, get home.
Customers are covered for a period of 30 days starting from the date of their departure, or until they return to their home, whichever is earliest.
PaperWise wrap packaging onboard Lufthansa flights
December 9, 2020
SPIRIANT has announced jointly with its partners Lufthansa, LSG Sky Chefs, and Evertaste that an eco-friendly PaperWise wrap packaging for continental and intercontinental Economy Class flights has taken to the skies with Lufthansa.
In keeping with its motto ‘there is no waste in nature’, PaperWise is committed to processing agricultural waste through recycling and thus preventing the waste of valuable resources.
A special feature about the PaperWise wrap packaging is that it has the same properties and quality characteristics as conventional paper packaging but is entirely made of agricultural waste. By recycling agricultural waste such as rice, grain and sugar cane from food production, benefits can be achieved in comparison to conventional paper production.
The innovative process enables the reduction of environmental impact by 47% compared to conventional paper and by 29% compared to recycled paper.
gategroup completes acquisition of LSG’s European operations
December 9, 2020
gategroup has announced the completion of the acquisition of the European operations of LSG Group from Deutsche Lufthansa AG (“Lufthansa”).
The transaction comprises LSG’s inflight catering operations in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain as well as the global equipment business trading under the SPIRIANT brand. It also includes the European convenience food operations trading under the Evertaste brand, the Ringeltaube retail outlets as well as its European train catering and lounge operations.
“We are thrilled to have reached this important milestone,” says gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol. “The substantial economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic required a high degree of flexibility, partnership and trust of all parties involved. We are pleased to have found a viable path forward allowing us to complete the transaction at terms acceptable to both, Lufthansa and gategroup.”
With the acquisition of LSG Europe, gategroup reinforces the core of its business, benefitting employees, customers and shareholders alike. The expertise and capabilities of the two companies perfectly complement each other, benefiting from the other’s expertise, innovative power, culinary and operational excellence. For instance, gategroup will introduce a new Lufthansa-dedicated Studio 50/8TM*, a culinary think tank and exclusive house of inspiration. This is one example which shows the joint passion and commitment of Lufthansa and gategroup to enhance customer experience from end-to-end and with this, defining a new airline catering industry standard.
Rossinyol continues: “Together with our new colleagues, we will find the best way to navigate through these challenging times for our industry and emerge from the crisis with renewed strength. We warmly welcome our new colleagues to gategroup. We look forward to working with them to jointly create the future of exciting culinary and retail experiences for our customers and their passengers.”
Newrest restarts inflight catering with Emirates in
December 9, 2020
Newrest has restarted its inflight catering business with Emirates in Europe.
Last month, Newrest welcomed the restart of inflight catering activities in Africa, including Emirates, KLM, Turkish Airlines and many airlines.
The collaboration with Emirates, which came to an abrupt end in March 2020 with the COVID-19 crisis, has now resumed with services to Barcelona, Athens, Madrid, Paris and Brussels.
dnata launches global, dedicated inflight retail unit
December 9, 2020
dnata has enhanced its global operations by launching a dedicated inflight retail centre of excellence.
The new specialist retail unit will deliver tailor-made onboard retail programmes and innovative solutions for airline customers, supporting them to maximise onboard ancillary revenue and enhance passenger satisfaction. The addition of a retail-focused unit to its organisation cements dnata’s credentials as an end-to-end inflight and airport service provider.
The move will align global technology, innovation, strategy and planning, supporting dnata’s existing retail programmes and ensuring world-class delivery. dnata will provide airline customers with a comprehensive suite of ‘off-the-shelf’ services from product development, digitalised sales channels and technological solutions through to cabin crew engagement, product design and accounting. dnata has built a flexible engagement approach, with an end-to-end fully outsourced retail programme as its flagship product. A suite of additional managed services options can be delivered as required.
Robin Padgett, divisional senior vice president, dnata catering, said: “By bringing our retail skills and experience into a dedicated global retail unit and structure, we are now better placed to deliver award-winning solutions across our network.
“We have seen significant growth with our core retail customers in recent years, particularly in driving pre-order capability and lifting onboard sales performance through reward, recognition and engagement of cabin crew. Our dedicated unit will further enhance our ability to provide best-in-class retail programmes and onboard innovation to our customers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen airlines rapidly explore additional revenue opportunities. We’re working closely with our airline customers to help them maximise ancillary revenue on-board while improving on-board experience and choice for passengers.”
New short-haul Economy meal concept on SIA
November 25, 2020
Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir will offer a wider range of main courses on flights under 3.5 hours from 1 December 2020, providing customers with a greater variety of local Singaporean and international favourites on these routes as part of its new Economy meal concept.
More than 40 new dishes will be available on rotation on different flights, including Singaporean favourites such as congee, laksa and gravy-rich mee siam that were previously not available in Economy.
Customers can now enjoy these meals after SIA replaced its plastic casserole service ware with a new packaging solution, consisting of a leak-proof box and cup made of Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, a dessert box and a cutlery pack made of bamboo with a paper wrap. The unique box can hold the same amount of food as the casserole but is deeper and more secure, allowing it to retain gravy and soupy dishes without any seepage. It is also oven-safe and resistant to overheating.
The new meal concept was developed jointly by SIA and SATS, the Airline’s Singapore-based catering partner. After a study into potential pain points and areas of improvement in the short-haul in-flight experience, the companies designed a box that is both versatile and eco-friendly.
This will also reduce the amount of single-use plastics, including cups and polybags for cutlery, on the meal tray by 80% by weight. Leftovers on the tray, including the new service ware, will be brought back to Singapore, sent to an eco-digester at SATS, and converted into pellets that can be used as refuse-derived fuel, a source of energy that can replace fossil fuel and coal. The onsite processing of waste reduces approximately 60% of catering waste and further reduces emissions from transportation to the incinerator. In addition, the use of lighter paperware helps to reduce fuel consumption on flights.
Mr Kerry Mok, CEO food solutions, SATS, said: “Developing eco-friendly packaging solutions that can improve quality of food has to take into consideration various challenges unique to the preparation of aviation meals. We are pleased to lend our culinary expertise and knowledge of food and packaging technology to collaborate with SIA to transform the travel experience.”
3M and Safran partner to design cleaner aircraft interiors
November 25, 2020
3M and Safran Cabin are bringing together their strengths and technologies in a partnership to design cleaner aircraft interiors.
The pandemic has had a large impact on global air travel and the industry seeks solutions to restore passenger confidence and promote a recovery. Known for its multiplatform technologies and efforts to fight against COVID-19, 3M will provide technologies to help design cleaner aircraft cabin interiors for ‘Travel Safe’ – a joint initiative of Safran Interior companies to verifiably elevate the hygiene of aircraft interiors.
“Today, passengers choose their airline – considering not only safety, interactivity and connectivity, but interior hygiene assurance,” said Stephen Shafer, vice president and general manager of 3M’s Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division. “The most important factor is the protection of travellers and their families, and 3M continues to apply its technology to enable passenger safety in the skies.”
Safran will certify 3M technology that enhances cleaning and protection features of aircraft cabin equipment and provides the capability to mitigate or improve the removal of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. These solutions can be permanently embedded into aircraft interior surfaces during the manufacturing process, or they can be applied to upgrade existing interiors.
“Clean interiors are an industry imperative, and we have with 3M an innovative partner and expert in cleaning, disinfection and protection, who can blend the latest in clean technology with the specialised plastics, decors, and composites used in aircraft interiors,” said Norman Jordan, CEO of Safran Cabin. The exclusive partnership will leverage the research capability of both companies to realise a shared vision for seamless, safe and stress-free travel. It’s expected that these new aerospace materials will be available in 2021.
Sola ready to support single use plastic ban
November 25, 2020
Cutlery specialist, Sola, is offering its light-weight plastic replacement cutlery in new, branded paper pouches.
Demand for the metal 0,5 mm plastic alternative cutlery range is expected to grow with the coming EU ban of single-use plastics. It is presented as a solution that is cost effective, ultra light and easily produced in mass volumes.
It comes in a choice of three designs and is washed prior to packing.
Sola believes this range offers a viable choice as either a disposable or rotable cutlery solution and provides a useful option during the pandemic while catering services are somewhat revised for many carriers
Retail inMotion supports new onboard-retail concept with Lufthansa
November 18, 2020
Lufthansa Group has chosen Retail inMotion (RiM) as its exclusive partner in implementing a new onboard-retail concept.
RiM will support the global aviation group by providing its expertise and best practices in the development and management of a customer-centric and premium retail concept.
From spring 2021, the new food and beverage products will be available to Economy passengers on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines short- and medium-haul flights. Based on their respective brand identity, Retail inMotion has designed individual product concepts together with the airlines. The common denominator will be the emphasis on fresh, regional highlights, as well as a carefully selected and curated assortment of snacks and drinks. The new concept will be introduced consecutively by each airline and replace complimentary snacks.
The partnership will open up RiM’s full range of technology solutions to the Lufthansa Group and will support the company on its path to delivering a premium, integrated passenger and crew experience by using innovative digital platform solutions.
“We are proud to support three leading European airlines in building a best-in-class passenger experience based on individualisation, excellence and efficiency,” added José Lirio Silva, head of onboard retail Europe for Retail inMotion. “We are looking forward to supporting the Lufthansa Group on this exciting new journey.”
“Our customers want more choice and quality,” said Heike Birlenbach, chief commercial officer (CCO) at Lufthansa Airlines. “With RiM as a retail and IT partner, we can optimally implement the new concept and offer our customers a broader, high-quality selection of food and beverages onboard in the future.”
Restructuring of gategroup’s financial indebtedness
November 18, 2020
gategroup has announced that its shareholders, RRJ Capital and Temasek, and all bank lenders providing syndicated loans to the Group have reached an agreement in principle to support a comprehensive restructuring of the Group’s financial indebtedness.
The proposed Transaction will provide the Group with significant new liquidity to address short and medium-term needs and will help establish a stable capital structure.
The Transaction is fully supported by the Group’s shareholders and its bank lenders under a combined facilities agreement. Key features of the proposed Transaction consist of: CHF 500m new funding provided by shareholders in the form of CHF 25m in equity and a CHF 475m subordinated, convertible loan upon completion of the Transaction; CHF 200m provided as a senior secured interim liquidity facility extended by shareholders repayable upon completion of the Transaction or latest 6 months after issuance, and the extension of the maturity of the Group’s syndicated loan facilities to October 2026 and certain other amendments.
The Transaction will be conditional on the extension of the maturity of the Group’s CHF denominated bond to February 2027, whilst maintaining the cash coupon.
The Transaction is subject to the execution of definitive documentation, customary conditions and regulatory and other approvals. The parties are finalising a lock-up agreement and detailed terms of the Transaction together with information on the process for maturity extension of the bonds will be released in due course.
“This Transaction is a key milestone for the Group. It will position gategroup well for a recovery in the aviation sector and also support the Group’s diversification. The agreement signifies the commitment of our shareholders and lenders to the Group, its management and employees.” says gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol.
Rossinyol continues: “The Group will work together with its stakeholders to further improve our cost structure and prepare for the ramping-up of business by our customers.”
SPIRIANT launches sustainable, ovenable packaging
November 11, 2020
SPIRIANT has launched PureCure, a sustainable, ovenable food packaging solution designed to withstand high temperatures and remain stable against moisture, grease and oil leakage.
The PureCure casserole is made from 100% plant-based materials instead of petroleum-based plastic. Unlike most other similar products, it does not contain a thin plastic layer or coating. This means that PureCure is the first casserole that is fully compostable.
The material is toxin-free and metal-free, heat-resistant (up to 220˚C/430˚F), and cool to touch when taken out of the oven. The product’s shape and branding can be customised and SPIRIANT promises a relatively low complexity of switch from C-PET or aluminium for caterers.
It claims the inspiration for the product was based on an overall industry change towards sustainability, as well as the upcoming Directive (EU) 2019/904, which leads to many restrictions regarding plastic onboard. With the introduction of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, airlines are under pressure to find environmentally-friendly product alternatives for plastic cutlery, stirrers, and straws. Heatable solutions like casseroles are meant to be reduced by the EU Regulation.
Passenger Confidence Tracker outlines flying habits post-Covid
November 11, 2020
Flying habits are set to change drastically for the long-term, with 83% of passengers not expecting to return to their previous travel routines once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
This is just one of the key findings from a new global passenger survey commissioned by Inmarsat. The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ claims to be the world’s largest survey of airline passengers since the pandemic began. It reflects the views and attitudes of 9,500 respondents from 12 countries across the globe about the future of flying.
While the majority of passengers (60%) feel satisfied with the aviation industry’s response to the challenges of COVID-19, the survey reveals areas of opportunity for airlines to encourage passengers back to the skies.
It found 41% of passengers expect to travel less by any means and 31% plan to fly less. Despite this change, there are early signs that travellers are beginning to feel confident about flying again; almost half (47%) of passengers surveyed expect to feel ready to fly within the next six months.
Passengers are currently more fearful of catching the virus abroad than on the plane. In fact, many think they are at a greater health risk in other environments, such as the gym and public transport.
While passengers largely feel confident at passport control, security and communicating with cabin crew, they are less comfortable visiting the toilet inflight, and being in close proximity with others. The study indicates that solutions that minimise touchpoints and reduce interactions would go furthest in addressing pain points – such as contactless payments inflight and staggered security queues.
Digital solutions are fast-becoming essential to an enjoyable inflight experience, with 39% agreeing that onboard WiFi matters more today than ever before. Destination status alerts, real-time luggage tracking and pre-clearing immigration on the plane are among the top new aspects of the journey passengers want to keep post-pandemic.
Philadelphia Airport launches integrated meal delivery service
November 11, 2020
PHL Food & Shops, the concessions programme at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), has launched a new food delivery option, in collaboration with Grab and AtYourGate.
The Grab Airport app with delivery powered by AtYourGate aims to ease the airport concessions experience for travellers by offering contactless meal ordering and delivery capabilities at the airport terminals.
Passengers can download the app to their mobile device or visit orderatphl.com. Travellers and airport employees can also scan various Grab QR codes placed throughout PHL as a way to order food and get it delivered on the go.
Customers can search for food merchants by food type and terminal and orders can be delivered right to their gate, ensuring social distancing measures are met.
“The Grab Airport app featuring delivery by AtYourGate offers our travellers a contactless solution to ordering their favourite food right from their mobile devices,” said Mel Hannah, Vice President and General Manager of MarketPlace PHL. “The health and wellbeing of our passengers and employees is our top priority, and we’re excited to now offer delivery as an option. Simply find what you want, order, and relax while you wait for your flight.”
Among the participating restaurants are Auntie Anne’s, Bar Symon, Bud & Marilyn’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Chickie’s & Pete’s (four locations), Dunkin’ (Concourse D & D/E Connector), Gachi, Geno’s Steaks, Jack Duggan’s, Jamba (two locations), Piattino Pizza, Smashburger (three locations), and Vino Volo, with more merchants to be added to the programme in the coming months.
First-time users can save 20% off their first order by entering promo code RUSH.
This article was originally published by Future Travel Experience
Risk of Covid-19 exposure inflight is ‘very low’
November 4, 2020
A new gate-to-gate study by scientists from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health has concluded that the layered approach some U.S. airlines have taken to protect customers and employees from Covid-19 means the risk of exposure during air travel is very low.
To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not confirmed a single case of Covid-19 transmission on a U.S. airplane.
“The risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard aircraft [is] below that of other routine activities during the pandemic, such as grocery shopping or eating out,” the Harvard researchers concluded.
“Implementing these layered risk mitigation strategies…requires passenger and airline compliance [but] will help to ensure that air travel is as safe or substantially safer than the routine activities people undertake during these times.”
The report concludes that the universal use of face masks, diligent cleaning protocols and advanced ventilation and filtration systems offer significant protection against Covid-19, lowering the risk of transmission on an aircraft to minimal levels.
Read the full report.
Monty’s Bakehouse donates 12,000 meals
November 4, 2020
Monty’s Bakehouse has donated 12,000 portions of meals to Open Kitchens, a UK-based not-for-profit initiative.
Open Kitchens works to provide free meals to the vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The 12,000 portions that Monty’s Bakehouse has donated will feed 6,000 vulnerable people in the UK.
Earlier in the year, Monty’s Bakehouse donated a further 6,270 hot meals to Open Kitchens, and throughout the pandemic has also donated meals to NHS staff at local hospitals, as well as other local charities.
LSG Group assesses Covid-19 impact on food markets
October 28, 2020
The LSG Group has evaluated how the Covid-19 pandemic is influencing trends in global food markets.
Based on its annual Trend Report, the company’s experts analysed the impact of the Covid-19 crisis using market and consumer data. They concluded that of the 16 previously identified trends, one has “temporarily lost momentum”. The significance of eight remain unchanged while the remaining seven trends have since become more prominent.
The data shows that the “digital food” trend has become more important. More than ever, pre-order and pre-select solutions are seen as the answer to the digitalisation of the catering business and the food industry.
“We are noticing an increasing demand from airlines for solutions in this area,” explains Frank Theis, senior vice president of global sales & marketing at LSG Group. “This is not only for cost reasons – the trend towards individualisation is still growing. Airlines are interested in offering passengers a better and more individual flight experience. Through digitalisation, the goal of reducing costs is compatible with this.”
The trends “Celebrating Heritage” and “Body Boost” also moved more into focus and lockdown restrictions and social distancing have led to more frequent and elaborate home cooking – often using traditional recipes. At the same time, proper nutrition and its impact on one’s health has gained relevance.
The reason the “Rethink Materials” trend has lost its importance is due to the increased demand for packaged products in favour of food safety.
Torsten Müller, head of global product & service portfolio management at LSG Group, believes that this is temporary: “I’m sure that the topic of sustainable products will soon be of great importance to consumers again. That’s why we continue to develop solutions that meet the demand for sustainability.
Kaelis partners with COPPTECH to bring antimicrobial technology onboard
October 28, 2020
Kaelis has partnered with COPPTECH to create onboard products with an antimicrobial protection that claims to not only eliminate SARS-COV-2 but also protect from other infectious diseases, pathogenic microbes, bacteria, virus and fungi.
The technology has been extensively tested and validated by the professor of Environmental Healthcare within the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, with Dr Bill Keevil certifying its capacity to inhibit the growth and to eliminate Covid-19 virus.
Kaelis is exclusively introducing this patented technology to the travel industry. The technology has been tested and acts as a shield against pathogenic microorganisms, rupturing their membrane, affecting their internal processes and finally eliminating them.
The effectiveness of this technology relies on the biocidal properties of copper and zinc.
This patented technology will allow Kaelis to produce new solutions for the onboard sector. All products treated with this technology are non-toxic, eco-friendly and safe for use. Products such as pyjamas, blankets, pillows, socks, pouches, trays, jugs, ice buckets, masks for the crew, galley equipment and many others will act as a shield against disease-causing microbes, inhibiting the growth and eliminating virus, bacteria and fungi.
LATAM is already protecting its passengers by using blankets that have COPPTECH’s technology incorporated. The look and feel of these blankets are the same as if they did not have the technology. Kaelis CEO, Federico Heitz, states: “The most important thing now is to convince passengers that travelling is safe. Only by taking the necessary action to do this, we will be able to make this industry thrive again.”
Emirates brings back signature onboard experience
October 21, 2020
Emirates has resumed the operation of its A380 Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa, with additional health and safety measures in place.
Luxury spa products are now provided in individual amenity bags to each passenger in First. The sets include pamper essentials from organic and sustainable Irish brand VOYA, a disposable bath towel and a menu to choose additional amenities.
From November 1, Emirates’ onboard dining experience will also return while observing strict hygiene protocols. Customers in all cabins will enjoy multi-course meals and be able to choose from a complimentary selection of beverages including wine, beer, juices and soft drinks.
The A380 Onboard Lounge, which serves First and Business customers, will transform into a takeaway bar with limited seating capacity and social distancing protocols in place. The bar will continue to serve wines, spirits, soft drinks and pre-packaged lounge bites for customers to enjoy from the comfort of their own seats. Customers will also be able to make their orders from their seats.
Emirates has also enhanced its offering with the introduction of a nutrient-rich welcome drink called Vitality Boost for the winter season.
Available in First and Business, the blend of apple, ginger and hibiscus was created by the airline’s chefs and nutritionists to give customers a health kick on their journey.
The vegan, nutrient-rich drink is packed with antioxidants, and free from gluten and added sugar. The health drink will be continually refreshed to offer different flavours.
The Emirates app has also been enhanced to allow customers onboard to browse the menus on their personal devices both online and offline with the latest app update.
Galileo Watermark partners with Air Astana
October 21, 2020
Galileo Watermark has teamed up with Air Astana to develop a signature scent inspired by the scenery of the vast Altai mountain region.
The scent aims to capture the spirit of the great wilderness. With base notes and hints of cedarwood, a heart of rose and rosemary and top notes of birch and bergamot, the elements are anchored in the Altai.
Air Astana hopes the scent will welcome its customers and help them feel relaxed from the moment their journey begins by generating familiarity and comfort.
The Altai fragrance forms the basis of the hand wash, hand soap and face mist provided by Galileo Watermark and is found in washrooms.
Finnair Business meals take off in shops
October 21, 2020
Finnair’s Nordic inflight Business menu can now be bought in Finland and enjoyed without the need to take a flight.
The Finnish flag carrier has started selling ready-made Business class-inspired meals so customers can enjoy a ‘Taste of Finnair’ in their own homes.
The ready-made meals are currently available in just one Finnish store – the K-Citymarket Tammisto, located near Helsinki Airport, in the city of Vantaa. If the pilot is successful, Finnair may increase production and start selling the meals in other stores, too.
Costing from €5.90 for a starter and €12.90 for a main dish, the specially-developed concept meals have been designed by Finnair’s chefs and hand-made in the airline’s dedicated Finnair Kitchen.
As well as offering those missing flying the ability to enjoy a taste of the inflight dining experience on the ground, the initiative has also helped secure the jobs of catering staff who were called back from furlough.
Helsinki customers can now choose from the airline’s fusion of Finnish and Asian signature dishes, such as Finnish reindeer and beef in teriyaki-radish sauce.
Marika Nieminen, Finnair kitchen VP, said: “We want to offer the opportunity for a Finnair experience and everyday luxury at home, now that travel has been restricted in many ways.
“At the same time, this is a new business opening for us and employs our chefs in Vantaa. As so many of Finnair Kitchen’s employees are temporarily laid off, the project enables us to create new work and employment for our people.”
Kaelis World launches new website
October 21, 2020
Kaelis World has launched a new website that includes a dedicated new PPE section.
The new site – kaelis.world – aims to solidify its commitment to continue helping any company that may benefit from its global PPE supply-chain management. This is also reflected in the company’s registration name changing from Kaelis On Board Services S.L. to Kaelis World S.L.
WTCE and AIX rescheduled to September 2021
October 14, 2020
Reed Exhibitions, organiser of the Word Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), has announced new dates for 2021.
Both WTCE and AIX will return to the Hamburg Messe from August 31 to September 2 2021, moving from their original April dates.
“After consulting with exhibitors and airlines, we recognise the industry needs more time to allow for the reopening of borders, lifting of travel restrictions and resuming of services,” said Polly Magraw, exhibition director, Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo.
“It is clear that the industry needs to meet in person later in 2021. Our priority is to deliver an engaging and COVID-secure face-to-face event in September that gives our exhibitors and visitors the additional time to adapt and continue on the path to recovery.
“We once again want to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors and partners for their support.”
Bluebox and dnata catering announce partnership
October 14, 2020
Bluebox Aviation Systems and dnata catering Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and market offerings based on the deployment of Bluebox wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) solutions across Australia, New Zealand and a number of other Pacific Ocean territories.
The companies will support each other in product customisation and processes for delivering joint solutions to customers in the region.
“COVID-19 has changed the landscape for in-flight catering and logistics, and by partnering with Bluebox we’ll be able to help our customers mitigate some of the restrictions required in this new touch-free world,” said Duncan Greeney, general manager Retail, dnata catering.
“This means allowing airlines to minimise contact and dialogue between passengers and cabin crew but still delivering an excellent service and a full range of food, drinks and retail goods that are such an essential part of the ancillary revenue income for many airlines.”
David Brown, business development director, Bluebox, said: “IFE as we knew it was already evolving to deliver so much more than inflight entertainment, but COVID-19 expedited our delivery of touch-free payments for onboard retail and the digitisation of materials that support ancillary revenue generation, such as digital menus and magazines which provide significant advertising revenue for airlines.”
“Now, though, we have the expertise in the passenger interface, content integration, secure payments and the wireless technology to deliver it all; by partnering with dnata catering we can expand the platform further into the on-board logistics systems, integrating the catering and retail elements they provide. So we’re really delivering an inflight engagement platform for enhancing the passenger experience on board – still ‘IFE’, but well beyond entertainment.”
“At-Seat Order” catering service introduced by Avanti West Coast
October 14, 2020
Avanti West Coast customers are set to benefit from a new service where they can have food and drink delivered to their seats.
Whilst customers in First have always enjoyed being served at their seat, trials are currently taking place on selected Pendolino trains which enable customers in Standard to enjoy a similar service.
Customers can log on to the onboard WiFi using their mobile phone, tablet or laptop and then visit the dedicated page in their browser to choose their refreshments.
Payment is through debit or credit cards or PayPal. The order is then brought to them by an onboard customer service assistant.
Avanti West Coast is also testing Click and Collect, which gives customers the option to choose food and drink at their seat before collecting from the onboard shop. Those using this will get a notification by text when their order is ready.
Initial feedback shows the service has proved successful so far and Avanti West Coast says it will look to roll it out across the network if the positive results continue.
The service would run alongside the onboard Shop on all Pendolino services, which has now been installed with protective screens and safety lines in place to promote social distancing.
“We’re always striving to improve the experience for our customers and these new services will let customers choose the most convenient way for them to buy food and drink. The feedback so far has been really positive,” said Sarah Copley, executive director, commercial at Avanti West Coast.
“Alongside our increased safety measures, this innovation enables customers to pay for their items digitally providing them with even more reassurance when they travel with Avanti West Coast.”
Singapore Airlines and Buzz bring Penhaligon’s onboard
October 7, 2020
Singapore Airlines has partnered with Buzz to add British perfumers Penhaligon’s to its Business amenities offer.
The airline’s Business experience aims to combine ‘considered design’ and ‘intuitive service’ to ‘celebrate each passenger’s personal travel experience’. This celebration of individuality is a shared cornerstone of Penhaligon’s, whose collection of perfumes aims to provide diverse expressions of personality and play.
Penhaligon’s was founded in 1870, when founder William Penhaligon created distinctive scents using high-quality ingredients. Today, Penhaligon’s is well-recognised in British Perfumery with a respected heritage confirmed by two Royal Warrants.
The Business kit is a green Penahligon’s branded folio-style bag featuring a perfume bottle stopper-shaped zip pull. Inside the kit are three luxurious Penhaligon’s skin care products: Quercus Lip Balm, Quercus Hand Lotion and Quercus Facial Mist.
The Penhaligon’s for Singapore Airlines program will be available via the SIA@home Business experience from October 5 and onboard in coming months.
Pre-flight Covid-19 testing trial for Virgin Atlantic crew
October 7, 2020
Virgin Atlantic has announced that it is the first UK airline to introduce Covid-19 pre-flight testing at its Heathrow base for its cabin crew and pilots.
Launched on September 30 2020 on flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong, the airline plans to extend the trial to Barbados and select services later in October, before a wider rollout to test every operating crew at least once per month.
In partnership with GeneMe UK, the airline trial is offering crew and pilots a rapid Point of Care Covid-19 RT LAMP test. Through integration with the digital ID platform Yoti, the test process is fast, secure, paperless and does not require a lab. After a swab is taken on site, results are processed and delivered on the Yoti app within 30 minutes.
“The introduction of onsite pre-flight Covid-19 testing for our crew and pilots ensures we remain at the forefront of the aviation industry’s safe return to the skies,” said Corneel Koster, chief customer and operating officer, Virgin Atlantic.
“This trial is a first step in our phased plan to introduce regular testing for all of our teams in the air and on the ground, in order to instil confidence in flying.
“However, we continue to call for the swift introduction of a wider coordinated passenger testing regime. We need urgent action from UK and US governments to introduce pre- departure testing, to remove the need for quarantine and to minimise travel restrictions, while protecting public health and half a million UK jobs associated with the sector.
“As long as the UK’s 14-day quarantine is in place, demand for travel will not return and the UK’s economic recovery, which relies on free flowing trade and tourism, cannot take off.”
Newrest launches safety and hygiene label SAFE
October 7, 2020
Newrest has lauched a new safety and hygiene label called “SAFE by Newrest”.
Newrest has chosen to set its own internal standards for safety and hygiene on which each site/unit can assess itself and obtain the label after review and examination of the results by the Group QHSE auditors.
The label is applicable to all Newrest units around the world and will protect workers and consumers. It allows an evaluation and review of the protocols, procedures and preventive measures of occupational safety and hygiene put in place to restart or continue the activities of the company in safe sanitary conditions.
“SAFE by Newrest” also aims to give additional assurance to Newrest’s employees, customers and consumers that all the necessary sanitary measures have been taken to secure operations in order to allow the production and delivery of quality and safe food.
The news comes as Newrest South Africa has announced the start of operations with Air France. Its collaboration with the French airline now extends to the airports of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Transavia teams up with Just Eat
October 7, 2020
Transavia has partnered with online food ordering company Just Eat to introduce inflight delivery service, allowing passengers to order a meal of their choice for their flight.
Passengers can order a meal through Just Eat’s platform up to one hour before their flight. The meal is prepared by Dutch catering company iFleat.
The pilot programme has been developed in cooperation with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and iFleat, and is currently available on four flights from Amsterdam to destinations in Greece, Portugal and Italy.
The programme is expected to extend to more flights and airports where Transavia operates, such as Rotterdam The Hague and Eindhoven airports, depending on the travel advisories for each country.
Marcel de Nooijer, CEO of Transavia, said: “It is important to keep innovating and further improving service for our customers, especially in these unprecedented times. We’re starting modestly by offering this meal service on four flights. However, we have confidence in this great concept and hope to expand it further as opportunities allow.”
Passengers on selected flights will receive an email, allowing them to choose from ten different meals at the Transavia Restaurant, including vegan salads, fresh sushi and authentic Indonesian rendang, amongst others. The meals are freshly prepared and directly delivered on board by Just Eat Takeaway.com, after which the cabin crew serves the meals to the passengers.
The innovative service is also expected to minimise food waste by reducing the number of meals that are prepared and brought on board but not consumed.
With in-flight delivery, payment is settled up front, and Transavia knows which passengers pre-ordered a meal. This also reduces contact between passengers and crew and enhances Transavia’s service with fresh and healthy meals while promoting safe and responsible conditions.
Silvie Cremers, Global Sales Director at Just Eat Takeaway.com, added: “We are continuously working to improve and extend our services and products. For example, we’ve made it possible to order food at places other than at home, such as at the office and at the train station. This special cooperation, which makes it possible to serve fresh meals on a plane, is a great step forward. We are very proud to be the first to offer this service and are confidently looking forward to the further roll-out of inflight delivery.”
Irene Muysson, Head of Retail, Food & Beverage and Commercial Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, also explained: “COVID-19 requires new solutions, including in the field of food and beverages. Together with our partners, we look for innovative concepts and digital services that contribute to safety, speed and convenience. We expect that the contactless onboard delivery of a fresh and healthy meal of their choice will definitely appeal to our travellers. That made us happy to facilitate this pilot programme at our airport.”
Vending machines for readymade meals at Brisbane Airport
September 30, 2020
Brisbane Airport has partnered with leading ready-made meals provider snapfresh, part of the dnata catering portfolio, to deliver an innovative food retail solution: a ready-made meals vending machine.
It will be available to passengers travelling through the airport while food & beverage outlets at the terminal remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airport says that it currently operates 28 weekly international flights and while there is demand for food and beverage it is not enough for the in-terminal retailers to remain open.
Martin Ryan, executive general manager commercial, Brisbane Airport Corporation, says the machine is a great addition to the International Terminal at a time when passenger numbers are down 98%.
“Not only does it ensure there are additional food options available for travellers transiting through our airport, but our staff and employees within the airport can also access delicious readymade meal solutions.”
Hiranjan Aloysius, catering chief executive officer, dnata, added: “We are excited to be able to deliver our high-quality readymade meals. created by world-lass chefs, to consumers utilising industry leading technology. With six meal varieties on rotation, the machine dispenses a hot ready to eat meal in 70 seconds, or a cold meal to heat and eat later, almost simultaneously”.
This article was originally published by Future Travel Experience
LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand caters for KiwiRail
September 30, 2020
LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand Ltd. (LSG NZ) has announced it will provide its catering to KiwiRail, New Zealand’s state-owned rail operator.
LSG NZ will cater three of KiwiRail’s scenic train services, known as ‘The Great Journeys of New Zealand’, which started with the TranzAlpine on September 18 (2020).
Gradually, LSG NZ will also serve the Coastal Pacific (Christchurch – Picton), starting on October 13 (2020), and the Northern Explorer (Auckland – Wellington), once the service start-up date is confirmed. The contract covers one year.
Meals for the TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific journeys are produced in Christchurch, while LSG NZ’s facilities in Auckland and Wellington will supply the Northern Explorer. For the launch period in Christchurch, LSG NZ will cater 126 meals per day.
“Working with KiwiRail is a great opportunity for us and we are looking forward to bringing our catering experience to the tracks,” said Mauricio Novaes, head of New Zealand & Pacific, LSG Sky Chefs.
“The meals on board the train will be served to guests directly at their seats. It is similar to serving food on an aircraft,” added Bilal Ozturk, sales and services director, New Zealand & Pacific. “We developed the meals from local produce and with a premium dining experience in mind.”
KiwiRail’s executive general manager tourism and marketing, Ahleen Rayner, commented: “We’ve ensured that the menu allows guests to savour the tastes from the regions they pass through – for example Kaikoura crayfish on the Coastal Pacific and Canterbury lamb on the TranzAlpine.”
LSG NZ will provide a full offering, with a cold breakfast, lunch, cheese platters and farewell canapés. Additionally, the company supported KiwiRail with finding the right equipment such as trays, drawers, tableware, glassware, service ware, napkins and tray mats.
Classic afternoon tea from gategroup
September 30, 2020
Gategroup has added a Classic Afternoon Tea box to its packaged food solutions.
The box contains a fruity sultana scone, English clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon drizzle cake. It is completed with a knife, napkin and tamper seal.
dnata quadruples catering capacity in Dublin
September 23, 2020
dnata has commenced operations at its new catering unit in Dublin.
The facility quadruples dnata’s catering capacity in Ireland’s capital, enabling the company to deliver 40,000 inflight meals a day for customers.
Already serving six airlines from its existing Dublin facility, dnata’s further expansion underlines its long-term commitment to the country and the local aviation industry.
Covering an area of 6,300m², the new facility is located in the Dublin Airport Logistics Park, near its existing operation and is equipped with the latest technologies. It has a capacity to produce over 30,000 meals a day.
dnata’s expansion comes as a result of an agreement with Aer Lingus, which sees it now provide inflight catering services to the airline at four airports in Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast.
Robin Padgett, dnata’s divisional senior vice president for catering, said: “It is great to be operational at our new, ultramodern catering centre, the 65th production facility in our global network. Despite the impact of COVID-19, our team and our partners have managed to deliver a quality operation on budget, as planned.
“We look forward to serving more customers in Dublin, both in the air and on the ground, with a team of highly-experienced culinary professionals.”
dnata’s multi-million-euro investment in Ireland in 2020 has spanned construction, facility fit-out, vehicles and staff training.
In addition to its newest unit in Dublin, the company will shortly complete the fit-out of a new facility in Shannon and further enhance its operations in Cork.
ACA joins forces on virtual expo
September 23, 2020
The Airline Catering Association (ACA) has signed a partnership agreement to support the Onboard Hospitality (OBH) & International Flight Service Association (IFSA) Virtual Expo this December.
Co-located with the Future Travel Experience (FTE) & Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Virtual Expo, the large-scale fully integrated virtual trade show, which brings together OBH IFSA FTE and APEX, will provide a one-of-a-kind platform for the industry to unite together at a time when collaboration is needed more than ever before.
As a strategic partner of the event, the ACA will provide valuable input and involvement into the inflight auditorium, advising on the formats and frameworks which would best support the association.
“ACA is excited to be a strategic partner for the Onboard Hospitality Virtual Expo Tradeshow this December,” says Fabio Gamba, managing director ACA.
“This is a chance for the aviation sector to share unique insights and for the industry to discuss the future of inflight hospitality. This event is a first of its kind and will be a chance for the industry to meet this year despite the challenges of COVID-19. We are looking forward to what’s to come.”
Find out more and register now futuretravelexperience.com/fte-apex-virtual-expo
iFLYSmart and FORMIA team up for safety
September 16, 2020
FORMIA and Calego International Inc. have launched a joint initiative to develop a range of health and wellness amenity kits for airlines. The kits will be branded under Calego’s iFLYSmart brand.
“We developed our health amenity kits back in 2017, long before COVID-19 emerged, because we always believed travellers must prioritise their health”, said David Rapps, president of Calego and CEO of iFLYSmart. “We’re thrilled to partner with FORMIA because together we will provide travellers around the world a range of products that answer their health and safety concerns in the most practical way possible.”
The range of amenity kits will include antibacterial products, protective face masks and soon-to-be announced items that aim to make travel safer and more comfortable than it has traditionally been.
“As we watch the aviation community grapple with changes to travel and travellers, we believe it’s critical to be at the forefront of product innovation in the health and wellness space,” said Roland Grohmann, FORMIA’s CEO & managing partner. “It’s exciting to partner with Calego and iFLYSmartTM because they are experts in the category and have successfully built their brand during such a turbulent period in our industry.”
oneworld member airlines commit to cut carbon emissions
September 16, 2020
oneworld member airlines have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, becoming the first global airline alliance to unite behind a common target to achieve carbon neutrality.
The alliance’s 13 member airlines plan to achieve this target within the existing environmental framework previously agreed to by governments, including through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The airlines will develop their individual approaches to reach the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, through various initiatives such as efficiency measures, investments in sustainable aviation fuels and more fuel-efficient aircraft, reduction of waste and single-use plastics, and carbon offsets.
Several oneworld member airlines are already actively prioritising a range of environmental sustainability initiatives. IAG (the parent of member carriers British Airways and Iberia) was the first airline group worldwide to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Japan Airlines and Qantas have also targeted net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Finnair aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
The net zero carbon emissions target announced today is among several environment and sustainability initiatives that oneworld member airlines are collaborating on, through a working group co-led by IAG Group head of sustainability, Jonathon Counsell, and Qantas executive manager sustainability and future planet, David Young.
“Alongside our member airlines, we are proud to be the first alliance to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 and play a role in making the industry more sustainable,” said oneworld CEO Rob Gurney. “We want to thank our member carriers for their support and recognise IAG and Qantas for the leadership they have shown as we committed together to this goal.”
Etihad teams up to reduce inflight food wastage
September 16, 2020
Etihad Airways has partnered with Singapore food technology start-up Lumitics to trial the use of computer vision and machine learning in order to reduce food wastage on Etihad flights.
The partnership will see Etihad and Lumitics track unconsumed Economy class meals from Etihad’s flights, with the collated data used to highlight food consumption and wastage patterns across the network. Analysis of the results will help to reduce food waste, improve meal planning and reduce operating costs.
“Etihad Airways started the pilot with Lumitics earlier this year before global flying was impacted by COVID-19, and as the airline scales up the flight operations again, it is exciting to restart the project and continue the work that had begun,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
“Etihad remains committed to driving innovation and sustainability through all aspects of the airline’s operations, and we believe that this project will have the potential to support the drive to reduce food wastage and, at the same time, improve guest experience by enabling Etihad to plan inflight catering in a more relevant, effective and efficient way.”
Lumitics’s product Insight Lite will track unconsumed meals from a plane when it touches down at an airport. Using AI and image recognition, Insight Lite is able to differentiate and identify the types and quantity of unconsumed meals based on the design of the meal foils, without requiring manual intervention.
Lumitics co-founder and chief executive, Rayner Loi, said: “Tackling food waste is one of the largest cost saving opportunities for any business producing and serving food. Not only does it make business sense, it is also good for the environment. We are excited to be working with Etihad Airways to help achieve its goals in reducing food waste.”
deSter launches closed-loop cups
September 16, 2020
Gategroup’s deSter has launched a closed-loop recycling system for cups.
Manufactured in its production facility in Belgium, deSter distributes within a 1,000km range of its facilities. By eliminating long shipping journeys, it claims to deliver faster while reducing its carbon footprint.
Made from PP, bioPP or PET, the lifecycle of the cups is traceable with either RFID chips or laser QR codes.
The cups can also be branded using colour print or laser engraving.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SATS chef named Corporate Chef of the Year
September 16, 2020
SATS director of kitchens, Rick Stephen, has been named Corporate Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Awards 2020.
Executive sous chef Michael Lim was a finalist in the Baker of the Year category.
The World Gourmet Awards recognises the efforts of key players in the food and beverage (F&B) industry within Singapore and around the region, demonstrating exceptional service and dedication to their craft.
Orvec adapts for PPE
September 9, 2020
Textile manufac-turer Orvec has diversified and adapted its production lines to meet the UK demand for PPE.
The business has been manufacturing woven and non-woven products for airlines in high volumes for over 45 years. It established a sister brand Orvecare eight years ago, which offers a niche range of healthcare items, including recyclable patient specific ambulance packs and linens, and the Orvewrap – a passive warming medical device for use in elective surgery. As Covid-19 became prevalent in the UK at the start of the year, the company rapidly expanded its healthcare production line. Over the past three months Orvecare has manufactured over 50,000 coverall garments and gowns for frontline healthcare workers in the UK and mainland Europe.
The company is now making a strategic £250,000 investment to custom build a high-volume production line specifically to produce Type IIR Surgical Face Masks. Orvecare will be able to manufacture up to 50 million of the medical-grade masks per annum, which will be certified to the EN14683:2019 standard.
“Having quickly expanded our medical production line in Hull to manufacture PPE garments for the NHS and other frontline workers, we have been inundated with enquiries for Type IIR Surgical Face Masks,” said Will Meddings, managing director of Orvecare.
“Customer’s supplies of PPE from overseas companies have proven to be unreliable since the onset of Covid-19, both in terms of lead-time and quality. We therefore took the strategic decision to bring manufacturing into Hull and are in the process of installing an entirely new production line to enable us to manufacture millions of masks per month.”
Orvecare introduced Covid-19 safe working practices in March 2020, ensuring staff could work in a socially distant manner and wear PPE where appropriate. Other measures have included adaptations within the factory, such as the installation of Perspex work pods, staggered start, finish and break times, hand sanitising stations across the site with washing advice, a one-way system throughout the site, temperature monitoring of all staff and visitors, safety guidance signage updated regularly, and all touch points cleaned frequently have ensured that production can continue responsibly and safely.
Finavia pilots UVC technology
September 9, 2020
Finnish airport operator Finavia has announced that it will start disinfecting security control trays with UVC light technology that kills bacteria and viruses. During the pilot project, equipment based on different technologies will be tested at a number of security control lines.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we already upgraded the cleaning process of security control trays during the spring,” says Finavia’s Ulla Lettijeff, Helsinki Airport executive director. “But the aim of the pilot project is to raise hygiene standards to a new level and find the best UVC disinfection method for the airport environment. Our expectations are high for the performance of the equipment we are piloting.”
The disinfection technology tested at the airport is based on UVC light, used for the cleaning of surfaces in health care and the food industry, amongst others. UVC effectively destroys bacteria on surfaces.
“This new technology will help us intensify disinfection even further and improve cleaning standards. We will now be able to disinfect empty security control trays quickly after each use,” Lettijeff adds.
The aim of the pilot is to gain experience of the new technology by testing of a variety of different equipment in order to find the product that best suits the airport environment.
Technology supplied includes some from Finnish company LedFuture Oy, which delivered a pioneering LED technology-based disinfection solution for testing by Finavia. According to LedFuture, the UVC-LED disinfection technology is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and quick in comparison with traditional cleaning methods, and it is based on research by the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
WestJet leads the way with zero tolerance on masks
September 2, 2020
WestJet has introduced a zero-tolerance policy in support of the requirement for all passengers, over the age of two, to wear masks and face coverings.
Non-compliant passengers will face penalties including denied boarding, return of the aircraft to the gate to offload the passenger, and the suspension of travel on any WestJet Group aircraft for up to one year.
The move comes as, coincidentally, 16 passengers on a Tui flight from Greece to the UK tested positive for COVID-19 after it was reported that mask-wearing recommendations were widely flouted. The 193 passengers and crew who were onboard the flight from Zante to Cardiff are being asked to self-isolate for a fortnight.
Ed Sims, WestJet Group president and ceo, said: “Canadian travellers and all of our WestJet Group employees are counting on us to keep them safe and it is our utmost priority to do so. Masks are mandated by our regulator and the vast majority of our guests are happy to keep themselves and each other safe by complying. This enhanced policy provides clarity on how we will enforce the regulation for those who don’t. Travellers must understand if they choose to not wear a mask, they are choosing not to fly our airlines.”
Non-compliance onboard the aircraft will be managed through a three-step process: 1) Passengers will first be asked to put the mask on in a discussion with cabin crew. 2) Passengers will be given a warning that masks are required, and compliance is necessary. 3) Passengers will receive notice that non-compliance will result in follow up notification that they will be placed on a no-fly list for 12-months.
Since April 20, 2020, it has been mandatory for travellers to wear protective face coverings throughout their travel journey, including at the airport and while in flight and at the airport. As outlined by Transport Canada, travellers requiring an exemption to the regulation for health reasons must produce a certified medical note or will be subject to the measures as outlined. Complete guidelines on non-medical masks are available here.
WestJet Group has also announced the mandatory input of all guests’ contact information at online and kiosk check-in to help the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provincial public health agencies across Canada with contact tracing in the case of infected individuals onboard. The group includes WestJet, WestJet Encore, WestJet Link and Swoop.
Virgin prepares for VFR revival
September 2, 2020
Virgin Atlantic is set to add services between the UK and Pakistan in anticipation of travel recovery coming initially from the visiting friends and relatives market.
Three new routes from Heathrow to Lahore and Heathrow to Islamabad, as well as from Manchester to Islamabad will begin in December with Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight offerings.
Pakistan has the seventh largest diaspora in the world and the new services aim to respond to the large, fast-growing demand for VFR from customers in the UK and the US, as well as capturing demand for business travel to the region as global economies gradually recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and safety measures will include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and onboard with the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant in all cabins and lavatories before every flight. Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, and mask wearing will be required throughout the journey. All customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack for their health and safety, which will contain three medical grade face masks to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel.
The airline is working with Gate Gourmet to offer a temporary, simplified hot food service in all cabins and from October, will be reintroducing special meals catering for individual dietary requirements including Halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Meals have been redesigned to limit interaction, enclosed and controlled from preparation in a Covid-safe, monitored environment to the moment it is served. Economy and Premium Economy customers will now enjoy a “Fly safe, eat well” meal box, which incorporates a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot washed down with a selection of beverages. Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese & biscuits and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray. All customers will receive a second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes the delicious Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard. They are serving a temporary limited alcohol offering in all cabins.
Viroblock hygiene solution for aviation
September 2, 2020
Plane Talking has secured the aviation licensing contract to offer Viroblock, a new hygiene system from pharmaceutical specialist HeIQ.
Described as an end-to-end solution, the Viroblock sanitiser is said to elimate coronaviruses in two minutes and to work on any surface. Its effect is long lasting – up to two months – and the formula can be infused into textiles such as blankets, headrest covers, duvets, sleep suits and tray linens.
The system can be used across the passenger journey, is formulated from natural ingredients with positive eco credentials, and can support deep cleaning of aircraft.
The product is being promoted as part of initiative to rebuild onboard passenger confidence and safety.
Newrest focuses on restarts
September 2, 2020
Newrest Travel Retail has designed a range of high quality, customisable meal box solutions for airlines looking to restart food and beverage onboard.
The concepts are designed to be overtly safe and hygienically sealed but with a certain style too. All styles can be made bespoke to reflect airline branding or styling.
The company is also working with Vueling to run and develop its onboard retail programme operating out of 19 bases. The two companies have worked on the project for a year to achieve efficient operational processes, training and programme development alongside new digital tools that will allow for enhanced passenger consumption preferences.
Ultimately more than 45 aircraft are due to be stocked daily with products to be consumed onboard, making a total of 1,300 loads throughout the month and progressing as the flight schedule increases during the summer period.
At the same time, in response to the pandemic, Newrest has reinforced all measures and procedures to guarantee a safe product onboard.
Renfe partners with Kaelis for rail PPE
August 19, 2020
Spanish rail operator, Renfe, has partnered with onboard services supplier Kaelis to offer hygienic wipes to passenger boarding all Renfe’s high-speed trains (AVE).
By providing for the total disinfection of hands and surfaces, the 70% ethanol wipes have the power to eliminate, in less than a minute, all fungi, bacteria and virus, including the SARS-CoV-2.
The wipes are part of a range of measures introduced by Renfe to get rail passengers travelling again safely and hygienically.
Kaelis has a full range PPE catalogue delivering health, hygiene and wellbeing products world wide.
The supplier is also pursuing the value of copper materials in the push for hygiene and protection from virus along the passenger journey.
Federico Heitz, Kaelis CEO, says: “On plastic surfaces, the virus can survive up to 72 hours, in which case, if anyone touches that surface, they could get infected. The stability of the virus over stainless steel decayed after 48 hours. On cardboard, no virus was found after 24 hours. On the other hand, The New England Journal Of Medicine’s Researchers have found that copper beat SARS-COV-2 after only four hours, being the best result of the study. The power of the Copper against viruses, fungi and bacteria is millennial and the scientific world has confirmed its power against this new virus once again. What if onboard products and cabin interiors could be made out of copper? Would that be the solution to rebuild onboard confidence?”
Cathay commits to sustainability
August 19, 2020
The Cathay Pacific Group has stressed its commitment to sustainable development with the launch of a new Sustainable Development Report.
Augustus Tang, Cathay Pacific chief executive officer, says: “At the time of preparing this report, a public health emergency has rocked the global economy. It feels more important than ever to foster positivity, to protect our people, to strengthen our communities and to confront the major challenges we face. We are very determined to play our part in this hugely important undertaking; one which requires us to be financially successful but in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Our commitment to developing sustainably with transparency and accountability is undiminished.”
Among highlights of the report is a new single-use plastic reduction target: to reduce the group’s single-use plastic (SUP) footprint by 50% by the end of 2022, removing nearly 200 million pieces of SUP from its operations annually. In 2019, the group removed more than 32 million pieces of SUP from its annual operations. It is exploring closed-loop opportunities and alternative materials to replace other single-use plastic items.
As part of its resource management, Cathay flights recycled nearly 2,500 tonnes of waste and donated 563 tonnes of surplus food to charities. The carpets in its aircraft are made from regenerated nylon waste materials and it also recycles or repurposes around 90% of all aircraft retired.
The airline has introduced new efficiency initiatives, adding six new, more fuel-efficient Airbus A350s to the fleet and committing to buy 1.1 million tonnes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel over 10 years. It has achieved a 27% cumulative improvement in fuel efficiency since 1998.
In 2019, a total of 33,922 tonnes of carbon emission produced by the airline’s operations were offset by a voluntary carbon offset programme, Fly Greener. Some 55,000 tonnes of carbon has been offset through this scheme.
The airline also aims to lead the way in sustainable food ingredients using OmniPork – a plant-based protein – in its inflight menu and Beyond Meat as a plant-based alternative for recipes in the lounges.
WTCE launches second PEC Virtual webinar series
August 19, 2020
Following a successful first series, WTCE has launched a second Passenger Experience Conference Virtual Series.
There will be eight more webinars on offer in the coming months including two supported by Onboard Hospitality during August.
This series aims to share ideas and innovations and will focus on positive ways to support the new normal onboard.
Speakers include representatives from Qatar Airways, Airbus, Molon Labe Seating, Panasonic Avionics, Alaska Airlines, Retail inMotion, Kaelis, and more.
Full programme and registration details here: passengerexperienceconference.com
LSG Group cuts back to push forward
August 19, 2020
The LSG Group has embarked on a programme of dramatic cost reduction and a product range revamp to combat a fall in sales revenues – down by 50% – due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The ongoing pandemic and resulting reduction in global air traffic have had a drastic impact on the LSG Group’s worldwide catering business and financial results of the first half of 2020. Sales revenues fell by 50% year-on-year to EUR 814 million. Adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) fell accordingly to EUR -195 million (previous year: EUR 33 million).
Chief financial officer Dr. Kristin Neumann says: “The corona crisis has presented us with extreme major challenges that have never been faced before in our company’s history. Thanks to our solid liquidity position and the measures we implemented on short notice to safeguard that liquidity, we were able to cushion the initial slump in sales and earnings. However, none of us knows how long this crisis will last, and it is obvious that only long-term solutions will help us reduce our costs sustainably and at the same time give the company more flexibility and a future.”
As short-term measures to limit the financial impact, the company implemented project and hiring freezes, short-time work and temporary closures at the beginning of the crisis, and is aiming to cut worldwide costs by at least 30% worldwide through a new COVID business strategy entitled: the “Levante” project
Chief executive officer Erdmann Rauer says: “The aim of the project is to optimise our company in the medium term in terms of the size of its organisation and network, and to adapt it to changing market conditions with fewer flights and lower passenger and service volumes.
“In the long term, we are also changing our product range according to the ‘new normality’ and want to actively bring about change in the airline catering industry. We see that our customers are ready for change, and we are ready to support them with our employees.”
The LSG Group’s portfolio of independent expert brands continues to include: LSG Sky Chefs (airline and train catering and lounges), Retail inMotion (in-flight sales programme development and management), SPIRIANT (in-flight service equipment design and procurement) and Evertaste (convenience food).
Headquartered in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt, the company’s 35,500 employees last year generated group sales of 3.4 billion euros and produced 684 million meals.
En Route launches post-COVID options
August 12, 2020
En Route International has launched two new product ranges specifically designed to allay post COVID-19 concerns for passengers in premium cabins.
The product ranges – ovenable and individually flow-wrapped bakery items, and a ‘flip and peel’ cheese platter – have been developed as part of moves to offer confidence to passengers in premium cabins as airlines transition back to normal services continues.
The flow-wrapped products include both savoury and sweet bakery items such as bread rolls and garlic bread, alongside pastry plaits, croissants and Danish pastries. They can be presented as part of En Route’s existing Baker St brand or designed with an airline’s branding on any packaging. The bakery items are sourced from premium manufacturers across the UK, Europe and the USA.
The ‘peel and flip’ cheese platter, which is an extension of the company’s existing award-winning products, is made up of three cheeses and garnishes wrapped in newly-designed packing, which is opened by the passenger.
Previously, all cheeses were opened and presented to passengers by crew on a slate or via a caterer who served it on a platter or plate. The new packaging doubles up as a high-quality cardboard platter, minimising cabin crew handling as part of the process. Cheeses are sourced from across the UK and Europe and with a focus on variety, quality and safety.
Hamish Cook, executive director at En Route, said: “As innovators in bakery and cheese, we have continued to refine our offer with passenger safety and health in mind. We are placing real emphasis on reimagining much of what already exists to see how these products can be tailored and reworked with new passenger behaviours in mind. We feel these products will enable us to instil confidence in both airlines and their passengers.”
Etihad adds MicrobeBARRIER
August 12, 2020
Etihad Airways has launched innovative new protective wear for First and Business class guests in a collaboration with Buzz.
The face covering is part of the airline’s new health and hygiene programme, Etihad Wellness, and sees premium passengers receive a snood style facemask for use throughout their journey and beyond.
The soft reusable snood has been treated with MicrobeBARRIER fabric treatment, a broad spectrum antimicrobial treatment, laboratory tested and proven to reduce the presence of germs in fabrics. With this long-lasting protective layer, the snoods are washable and reusable, adding to their environmentally-friendly credentials.
Travellers can choose to wear the snood around their neck like a scarf and when in close proximity to others, pull it up over their mouth and nose to protect themselves and those around them.
Made out of lightweight, breathable and stretchy jersey fabric, the snood is comfortable to wear and easily slipped on and off as needed.
El Al meals to order
August 12, 2020
Tamam Kitchen, which services Israel’s El Al airline, Turkish Airlines and other international carriers flying out of Tel Aviv, is offering its in-flight meals to the general public as a way to keep busy during COVID-19.
The meals are priced from just $3 a tray and are being promoted through a fun video ad on Facebook which features food trays gliding through the sky and the slogan: “Fly to order!” in Hebrew.
Local media reported the initiative, and Israeli spoon-bending illusionist Uri Geller filmed a video message online for his fans while unpacking his vegetarian and vegan trays, encouraging them to help support the company.
Tray sets on offer include fish cutlets in tomato sauce and couscous, sweet potato ravioli with green beans and black lentils, beef cutlets in mushroom sauce with rice topped with black beans, and chicken schnitzel bathed in a curry sauce. Many are in the original EL AL branded packaging.
SIA gifts miles to carers
August 12, 2020
Singapore Airlines has launched a Miles of Good campaign designed to raise 100 million KrisFlyer miles for donation to frontline and essential workers who have been tirelessly serving the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A corporate social responsibility campaign under the airline’s #SIAcares initiative, the scheme allows KrisFlyer members to nominate deserving individuals with a minimum donation of 1,000 miles. The members and their nominees must reside in the same country or territory. Eligible nominees include healthcare workers, public transport workers, supermarket employees, cleaners, as well as food delivery, courier and postal services personnel. Members can also donate their miles without making any nomination.
KrisFlyer members may submit their nominations and donate their miles via the Miles of Good campaign landing page on SingaporeAir.com.
Singapore Airlines hopes to raise 70 million KrisFlyer miles through these donations and will contribute another 30 million miles towards Miles of Good. Nominations end on 10 August 2020, although members have up to 20 November 2020 to donate their miles.The miles can then be used to book flights on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot or on other KrisFlyer partner airlines or redeemed for gift items, hotel stays, car rentals, or shopping, dining, wellness and grooming services via KrisShop, KrisFlyer vRooms, and KrisPay*.
FLYWELL, IN.bowl and The Aviation Nutritionist join forces
July 29, 2020
FLYWELL, IN Air Travel Experience’s IN.bowl and The Aviation Nutritionist have joined forced to establish a holistic approach to the cabin environment, combining their expertise in inflight nutrition, wellness, relaxation and fine cuisine.
The result of this collaboration is the FLYWELL IN.bowl, which offers a range of one-dish meals curated by The Aviation Nutritionist designed to boost immunity and combat the negative effects of air travel.
Developed by The Aviation Nutritionist experts, the ingredients have been carefully selected to balance immunity and body function while aiming to ensure passengers maintain peak physical and mental performance during and after their flight.
As part of the experience, the FLYWELL inflight entertainment programme offers a selection of health-focused techniques including breathing exercises, guided meditations, and gentle yoga sequences. It helps to educate travellers about the benefits of maintaining healthy digestive function, improving respiratory ability, balancing the immune system, and expanding lung capacity.
“Our collaboration with IN Air Travel Experience and The Aviation Nutritionist is the perfect partnership, giving travellers a one-stop, hands-on holistic wellness guide – delicious healthy food combined with selfcare video, audio and ebook content,” says Charlotte Dodson, FLYWELL co-founder and ambassador.
Anne De Hauw, founder of IN Air Travel Experience and creator of the IN.bowl and says: “The IN.bowl not only minimises cabin waste, it also reduces [catering] costs substantially. By partnering with FLYWELL, we have created a fully-sustainable and holistic game-changer that is completely tailored for the airline industry’s inflight operations”
Cathay Pacific launches Cathay Care
July 29, 2020
Cathay Pacific has launched Cathay Care, a new protocol that incorporates cleaning, protection and hygiene measures to ensure the safety of both employees and passengers, from check-in to landing.
To minimise contact upon arrival at the airport and guarantee social distancing, all passengers are now encouraged to check-in online. Hand sanitiser and protection screens have been introduced at check-in counters and all Cathay Pacific employees will now wear a mask and gloves. There are also marked lanes at check-in to help with social distancing.
The airline will carry out temperature checks on every passenger at the boarding gate and all passengers must wear a face covering during boarding and onboard the aircraft.
Disinfectants that claim to kill 99.99% of all viruses and bacteria are used to sterilise the cabin. In addition, all Cathay Pacific aircrafts have HEPA filters that filter 99.97% of the particles onboard such as viruses or bacteria, completely refreshing the cabin air every three minutes.
All the health and wellbeing measures are available at cathaypacific.com
Virgin Atlantic restarts passenger flying
July 29, 2020
After a three-month hiatus, Virgin Atlantic is beginning to welcome customers back onboard. To ensure the health and safety of customers and crew, the airline is implementing additional safety measures. These include enhanced cleaning practices, social, mandatory mask wearing, and changes to the food service onboard.
The airline will be offering a simplified hot food service in all cabins, redesigned to limit interaction, enclosed and controlled from preparation in a COVID-safe, monitored environment to the moment it is served. Economy and Premium Economy customers will now enjoy a “Fly safe, eat well” meal box, which incorporates a choice of two hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot served with a choice of wine, beer, soft drinks and bottled water.
Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese and biscuits and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray. All customers will receive a second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard.
Corneel Koster, chief customer officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: “We will always ensure that health and safety remain our number one priority, whilst keeping our signature Virgin spirit and I am proud of all our teams who have been working tirelessly to implement new measures and evolve our customer experience. We are looking forward to welcoming customers back onboard, taking them to the skies safely and in true Virgin Atlantic style.”
All customers will also be provided with a personal Health Pack for their health and safety, which will contain three medical grade face masks, surface wipes and hand gel. Customers will be given additional space onboard. Some seats will not be available, and they will be marked with special pillows.
Air Canada Partners with chef Jérôme Ferrer
July 29, 2020
Air Canada has announced a new partnership with Montreal-based chef Jérôme Ferrer.
Ferrer will design meals for the airline’s Premium Economy and Economy customers on all flights departing Canada for Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and South America once these flights resume. Chef Ferrer will join celebrated Canadian chefs David Hawksworth, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij, whose meals will be offered once more on Air Canada flights beginning later this month.
“It is an honour for us to partner with the internationally renowned and talented Chef Jérôme Ferrer,” says Andrew Yiu, vice president – product, Air Canada. “Chef Ferrer is known for his sustainable, imaginative, global yet Canadian approach to food, and he becomes the fourth member of Air Canada’s panel of distinguished Canadian culinary talent.”
“This is a very exciting moment for me!” says Chef Jérôme Ferrer. “As an international chef, it’s a great privilege to become a culinary ambassador and share my cuisine with Air Canada’s customers, but also to be part of their journey. I can’t wait to share my savoir-faire, my creativity and transport you on my culinary odyssey.”
As one of its initial responses to COVID-19, Air Canada suspended most of its onboard service in March. Beginning late July, Air Canada will resume an enhanced meal service planned by its panel of celebrated Canadian chefs in Signature Class.
All meals onboard Air Canada’s flights will be presented in a custom paper box in accordance with current service protocols streamlining interactions. Air Canada is working closely with suppliers to ensure the most environmentally friendly packaging is used whenever possible. Customers will also be offered an expanded selection of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks adapted by cabin and route.
Emirates boosts travel confidence
July 29, 2020
Emirates has announced it will now cover medical expenses of up to EUR 150,000 and quarantine costs of EUR 100 per day for 14 days, should one of their passengers be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel. This cover is provided by the airline, free of cost to its customers.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group chairman and chief executive says: “Emirates has worked hard to put in place measures at every step of the customer journey to mitigate risk of infection, and we have also revamped our booking policies to offer flexibility. We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for COVID-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel.
“It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative.”
The cover is immediately effective for passengers flying on Emirates until October 31 2020. It is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the cover even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination.
The passengers do not need to register or fill in any forms before they travel, and if diagnosed with COVID-19 simply need to contact a dedicated hotline for assistance.
The hotline number and more information are available at emirates.com/COVID19assistance
Gategroup focuses on retail tech
July 22, 2020
Gategroup has turned the spotlight onto its new generation retail solution offered through gateretail in collaboration with Black Swan Data.
The end-to-end retail solution – ePax – removes the need for printed menus and retail catalogues onboard and allows passengers to use their own hand-held devices to access a retail web service which is operational in both online and offline cabin environments. Passengers can choose from an extensive range of products including travel and destination services.
Data sits at the heart of the platform as it is powered by Black Swan Data’s social prediction tools which help forecast consumer preferences and traveller demands. This helps enhanced the passenger experiences and drive additional value as well as improving cabin service efficiency and cutting crew service interactions.
Federico Germani, coo at gategroup, said: “Airlines are seeking retail technology that is effective in this new operational setting. In parallel to safety and efficiency, we also want to strengthen airlines’ ancillary revenue streams, particularly by widening the portfolio of products relevant to a passenger’s journey. Until now, we have been limited by what we can stock on the trolley. Tomorrow, we are only bound by the appetite of the passenger. ePax ‘breaks open’ the trolley, delivering new options in a contactless manner through this true digital transformation.”
gateretail’s iOS eCrew solution is already in service with many of its retail carriers, supporting crew efficiency.
Learn more: gategroup.com
Flying Food Group joins the Airline Catering Association
July 22, 2020
Flying Food Group has joined the Airline Catering Association, lending its weight to initiatives to shape rules and regulations around inflight catering worldwide.
Founded in 1983, Flying Food Group provides meals and snacks for over 70 of the world’s leading airlines. It is based in the US, and serves airline customers in 50 countries and territories.
It joins the five leading caterers – Gategroup, LSG Group, Newrest, Do&Co and dnata – which were founder members of the association.
Most recently the association adopted new COVID-19 Guidelines, designed to help its members navigate operations during the pandemic. The ACA COVID-19 Guidelines are built on four guiding principles, known as the 4P’s, which allow for risk assessment and the continuation of safe inflight catering: People; Premises/Policies/Processes & Procedures; and Procurement.
Learn more: aca.catering
Malaysia launches FORMIA kits
July 22, 2020
Malaysia Airlines has launched a ‘Fly Confidently’ campaign and added complimentary onboard hygiene kits to its passenger offering.
The campaign aims to give a clear overview of what passengers can expect from a flight with Malaysia’s national carrier post-pandemic, and includes a detailed step-by-step walk through of the customer experience from checking-in safely online to the enhanced safety measures onboard.
The hygiene kits are from FORMIA’s Clean Kit range designed to provide greater peace of mind during travel, and include a disposable face mask, a gel hand sanitiser and a hand sanitising wipe, hygienically packed in a sealed zip-lock pouch for convenience.
New dates for Singapore
July 22, 2020
FTE APEX Asia Expo incorporating Onboard Hospitality’s dedicated Forum-Asia zone has been postponed from November to February 3-4, 2021.
The decision to postpone the event by three months is designed to provide delegates and exhibitors with more certainty and greater opportunity to participate.
In an exciting development, the show will become FTE APEX Asia Expo+ and will be delivered as a hybrid event, powered by in-person participation onsite in Singapore and complemented by online participation to amplify its reach.
Onboard Hospitality Forum exhibition manager, Craig McQuinn says: “Recent hosted virtual events we’ve been involved with attracted more than 4,000 registrations, many from organisations who had never been able to attend an FTE live event before, proved that there is great demand to engage online, which we are keen to build upon. So, during two live show days (February 3-4) in addition to the physical activities on site in Singapore, virtual delegates will also be able to attend live online tours and product demos streamed directly from the FTE APEX Asia Expo+ exhibition hall at the Marina Bay Sands.
Select conference sessions will also be streamed online in real time, and a networking lounge will enable all premium attendees to network via messaging and video calls. Following this, for a period of 30 days, virtual attendees will be able to access the online portal at any hour of the day to watch conference presentations and supplier pitch sessions, and revisit exhibitors virtually to learn all about the products, services and solutions that can help them overcome today’s challenges and then thrive in the post-COVID-19 world.
The evolution of the event in this way is expected to create an unrivalled audience comprising thousands of the industry’s thought leaders and decision-makers.
FORMIA’s kit gets onboard
July 15, 2020
Qatar Airways has introduced FORMIA’s new Clean Kit range as part of its enhanced safety measures.
All passengers travelling with Qatar Airways will receive a disposable face mask, large disposable powder-free gloves, and an alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel.
The bespoke Qatar Airways’ ‘Protective Kit’ has been tailored to meet the airline’s passengers’ requirements. The products are also available as own-branded or in collaboration with a choice of trusted brands in the FORMIA’s portfolio.
The full Clean Kit range has been developed with quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitiser products which comply with international safety standards and regulations to ensure passengers are protected throughout their journey. The kits have been consciously designed to offer both peace of mind and practical solutions that put the health, safety and wellbeing of Qatar Airways’ customers first.
Philipp Wendschuh, FORMIA’s chief commercial officer, said: “As we watch the world continue its recovery efforts, we at FORMIA are endeavouring to spearhead the road to change within the travel industry. We understand that the needs of airline passengers have changed, and so our focus is to deliver relevant and timely solutions that will answer those needs. We are pleased to now add Qatar Airways to the list of airline partners we are collaborating with to bring added value and quality, tailor-made solutions to passengers.”
Volaris partners local community for masks
July 15, 2020
Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has partnered with women from Sinibi Jipe social enterprise to produce face masks for its passengers.
The enterprise is part of the Raramuri community and was established in Chihuahua (an important market for the airline) to create wellness and development opportunities for women in Sierra Tarahumara, making clothing and handicrafts using traditional colours and patterns.
Holger Blankenstein, commercial and operations vp at Volaris said: “This partnership allows us to provide our customers with an essential protective item in the context of the pandemic, and also to assist in the development of a community facing tough challenges in Mexico.”
Every face mask includes the name and photo of the woman who made it. Their designs are inspired by elements important to their culture including symbols and figures inspired by nature in brilliant contrasting colours, as also used in their clothing.
As part of the alliance, Volaris will also carry the women from Chihuahua to Mexico City to watch the Mexico City. The Raramuri have a reputation as exceptional long-distance runners, having shone in some of the world’s most important marathons and ultra-marathons. To support the journey Volaris has adapted its biosecurity protocol to the Raramuri language, making it the first airline in Mexico to have their COVID-19 security measures available in an indigenous language.
COVID destination guidance from Etihad
July 15, 2020
Etihad Airways has partnered with Sitata, a Canadian travel risk management company, to launch an interactive travel map which gives passengers easy access to a comprehensive overview of the situation relating to COVID-19 at each destination in the airline’s network.
The travel map uses advanced computer algorithms to detect new travel information globally, which is swiftly updated on its portal. The system also relies on announcements and updates published on official government websites and reputable media channels. The information is vetted by Sitata’s team of editors and continuously updated as and when new information is made available.
Frank Meyer, chief digital officer, Etihad Aviation Group, commented: “With travel restrictions beginning to ease in many destinations, we are keen to provide our guests with current information on COVID-19 related guidelines from the countries they plan to travel to. The current situation is still very volatile and dynamic, and with new guidelines being implemented on a daily basis – and sometimes even more frequently – it is important for us as an airline to support our guests with as much information as possible”.
The map provides information that can impact travel arrangements including border restrictions, curfew timings, mandatory precautionary measures, quarantine rules, airport and flight operations, and the number of current active COVID-19 cases in each destination. Guests can access the travel map on etihad.com under the destination guidelines section of the website.
Niche finds its niche
July 8, 2020
A new dedicated special meals kitchen has opened in Essex in the UK fully accredited for the creation of up to 12,000 meals a day, with products to suit all dietary requirements.
The Niche Free-From Kitchen is the brain-child of chef, restauranteur and inflight caterer Marc Warde and his business partner Adrian Morgan. Featuring 5,000sqft of free-from kitchens and 20,000sqft of external frozen and ambient storage, the facility will specialise in all fresh-cooked meals prepared daily from scratch to recipes developed to support all special dietary needs, dietetic strategies, including their own flexitarian retail brand Bare Food.
The kitchen will create products for the Libero special meals range and the Bare Food retail range as well as a Niche Eat-In consumer retail range and a NOOT healthcare range already favoured by private hospitals for their nootropic health benefits.
The kitchen and high care and low care, set ups ensure no cross contamination and any special requirements and met. Vegan and plant based production is on Mondays and Tuesdays, fish recipes the focus on Wednesdays and meat meals created Thursday and Friday. No gluten, nuts or sesame products ever enter the building and a system of ozone fogging is used daily to ensure maximum hygiene. Ozone water is used for food washing to avoid any chlorine impacting flavour.
All food is removed from the site at the end of each day, with an eco-friendly transport set up which sees fruit and veg delivered and completed meals delivered and dispatched through a single transport movement.
The company was already manufacturing its products ad-hoc in the UK at a kitchen in Thailand to supply Asia, and plans a further opening in the US in October.
Delta begins a beverage revivial
July 8, 2020
Delta has reintroduced adult beverage offerings for passengers in First Class and Delta Comfort+ offering them complimentary beer and wine on all flights greater than 500 miles.
Delta teams listened to feedback from customers and consulted with health professionals before bringing single-serve red and white wine, as well as Heineken, Miller Lite, SweetWater 420 and SweetWater IPA * back onboard.
“In keeping with the Delta CareStandard, our goal is to serve all of our food and beverage offerings in the safest way possible – both for our customers and employees,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service. “We take pride in always listening to our customers, and we know beer and wine are the adult beverages our customers want most. These selections are the first step towards a normalized beverage offering while we continue to keep customer and crew safety at the center of everything we do.”
Flight attendants will pass the cans and single-serve bottles using serving trays to minimise touch points. Since beer and wine selections have fewer touch points than other adult beverage options and are individually contained, they are the first to be reintroduced on-board as Delta brings back food and beverage options.
Delta’s on-board food and beverages continue to evolve based on customer feedback and guidance from health professionals. Complimentary beer, wine and cocktails remain available to all cabins on long-haul international routes, including top-shelf liquor and sommelier-selected wines for customers seated in Delta One. On-board service adjustments like individual snack bags on domestic flights and other U.S. domestic offerings remain in place.
DB Schenker urges a logistics rethink
July 8, 2020
Logistics specialist DB Schenker has called on airlines to rethink their supply chain strategies during the COVID down time and find better, more efficient and cheaper ways to supply their inflight product requirements to flights.
Speaking during an inflight services webinar last week DB Schenker’s inflight global solutions director, Hugues de Villoutreys said: “We don’t know how long recovery will take but we do know for sure we have time and we should use that time to do things that we have never done before like revising the supply chain and adjusting it to support the recovery.”
He identified three key areas of change: transportation of inflight goods, storage of goods, and usage forecasting as key, citing case studies that have shown rethinking these can save airlines 20%, 25% and 15% respectively each year.
“Take back control of your supply chain, make your suppliers adapt to a new reality. Stop looking at historic data, instead use this time to reassess the size and location of you whole inventory, create new estimates and begin again ready to adapt efficiently and follow the forecasts as new data builds.”
The webinar was hosted by airline and catering consultant, Christian Bris. During the event an online poll of showed that 100% of viewers were prioritising their F&B budgets and forcast calculations, 50% were focused on passenger service adjustments and reorganising equipment management and networks. 100% of those polled also expected their inflight service spending to be down by at least 20% post-COVID
APEX/ IFSA San Diego cancelled
July 1, 2020
Plans for APEX/IFSA Expo have been put on hold following news that the San Diego Convention Center will not be able to host the event due to restrictions imposed on events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APEX and IFSA are working to respond to this notification and will finalise a reaction and next steps for members in the coming week including official written notifications, hotel and vendor releases, and legal review. They are seeking member feedback and APEX/IFSA Board of Directors’ approval for next steps and will update members in the week of July 13.
Joe Leader, APEX/IFSA CEO, said: “Our primary responsibility as one of the largest international airline associations in the world is to serve our members. In preparation for this possibility, we have been reviewing solutions that would allow for a virtual EXPO with APEX/IFSA members participating remotely, and we are looking at virtual conference activities that would best suit our members based on survey feedback. If implemented, the new technologies may allow for thousands of additional attendees to join EXPO remotely.”
To fully align APEX and IFSA resources during a challenging time, Lauren Costello has been promoted to APEX/IFSA Executive Director. This means that APEX and IFSA now have a common Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director with combined cost efficiencies for both associations.
The associations have been monitoring the return to air travel in the United States and report the highest forecast model predictions have been reached earlier than expected. Nearly 500,000 travellers are now going through airport checkpoints every day of the week in the US, surging to over 600,000 on peak days.
Leader adds: “That means that we are now seeing over 20% of US travellers are already back in the air. All of this continues despite COVID-19 infections in the US remaining at a high rate. Airlines have made one key difference: successfully expressing that flying is one of the safest ways to travel aside from one’s own vehicle. That focus on travel safety should be a guiding point for every APEX/IFSA airline and supplier. It will be the beacon for the return of our industry worldwide.”
UK marketplace goes virtual
July 1, 2020
Food & Beverage marketplace, Innoveat, is on mission to support alternative routes to market with the launch of its first virtual event this September.
“We’ve always aimed to make a real difference and add value to the world of food exhibitions”, says Founder Heerum Fleary, adding: “And in what is an extremely challenging time for the industry, this year we are offering a virtual solution for both buyers and suppliers.”
The virtual version of the annual exhibition will facilitate networking, 1-2-1 meetings and a longer exhibition window for suppliers.
“Our goal is always to provide new ways for buyers to connect with the best suppliers in the UK. This year is no different, and a virtual marketplace which allows buyers unlimited access to suppliers over a 26-day period is our solution. We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to meet the needs of such a brilliant industry during these unpredictable times”, she adds
The Innoveat 2020 virtual marketplace will be open from September 21–October 16, 2020. Buyers from various sectors including retail, foodservice, wholesale, trains, airlines, ferries/cruises, hotels, petrol forecourts will be attending, with opportunities to browse the suppliers, and request 1-2-1 meetings.
A dedicated online networking lounge will allow small groups of people to meet and connect using video chat. Buyers can also request more information from individual suppliers via their ‘virtual booths’.
With no access time limitations, buyers can browse for as long as they like and as many times as necessary. Booths feature a short video, product range details and offers and are live and accessible for a 26 day period.
Brands signed up are those who have just launched a product in the last few weeks/months or are about to launch.
For more information visit: innoveat.co.uk/visiting or innoveat.co.uk/exhibiting/
Finnair takes off with ANA Catering Service
July 1, 2020
ANA Catering Service has been awarded a catering service contract by Finnair, the flag carrier of Finland.
Finnair specialises in flights between Europe and Asia along the shorter northern route and is the sixth oldest airline in continuous operation.
The agreement was signed in March but due to the effects of COVID-19 flights have been cancelled. Catering Services will now begin (July 03) when Finnair recommences its flights from Narita to Helsinki and from its new slots from Haneda International Airport in Q4 of 2020. It is anticipated to be the beginning of a long term positive partnership.
Takada Hideaki, senior vice president at ANA Catering Service, stated that it is a perfect match between a respected world class airline offering high levels of service and customer satisfaction and a caterer committed to high quality inflight meals and services, hygiene and safety standards, and with a proud and motivated workforce.
ANA Catering Service was established in 1990 as the in-house caterer for All Nippon Airways（ANA) providing high-quality inflight meals at Haneda and Narita airports.
ANA is working on plans to restart flights between Japan and Vietnam to be followed by Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Domestic flights are also gradually increasing.
Eurowings moves to reassure travellers
June 10, 2020
Lufthansa Group airline, Eurowings, has launched a specially-produced film showcasing the protective health and safety measures put in place for its customers.
The video entitled: “We’ll Take Care of You” has been designed to dispel travellers’ anxiety and instil confidence in the measures Eurowings has put in place across the travel journey.
The key highlights of the video and the safety processes in place include contactless online check-in, social distancing measures at baggage, contactless boarding, implementation of compulsory facemasks, cash-free payments and practising safe distancing when leaving the aircraft.
Newrest ups its hygiene focus
June 10, 2020
Newrest has launched a new range of Self Protective Kits (SPK) hygiene kits for inflight use and stepped up its internal health and hygiene measures in readiness for a resumption of its inflight catering activities.
The new measures include the use of thermographic cameras and reinforced sanitary standards, and are designed to protect employees, airline customers and consumers throughout the network. They include strengthening the existing rules on food safety, personal hygiene and medical control of staff, in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus responsible for COVID-19 or any other virus. In addition to pre-COVID food safety measures and barrier gestures, the company is now running:
• Hygiene and health screening of employees, subcontractors and suppliers
• Covid-19 training for all staff
• Reorganisation of workstations for physical distance
• Protective face masks required for all
• Additional personal protective equipment required for exposed people
• Increased frequency of staff medical visits per year
• Adapted cleaning and sanitisation measures, including for the vehicles fleet
Monty’s Bakehouse launches ‘low-touch’ food solutions
June 10, 2020
Monty’s Bakehouse has launched a new range of product and packaging concepts to support the airline industry in creating a safe and secure passenger experience post COVID-19.
The concepts have been developed in response to insights and research by the team and input from airline clients throughout the crisis. They build on and enhance the team’s established range of innovative products and sustainable packaging and focuses heavily on minimising interaction between the crew and passengers, as well as customer hygiene.
Passengers could potentially collect their own food and beverage offering either at the departure gate, on their seat or they can be offered by the cabin crew in a single movement.
One concept includes a ‘Snack in Pack’ solution which has a handle for practicality, a window panel and a secured tear strip which gaurantees safety, reassurance and hygiene for passengers. Another includes the half-sized tray box served by crew, sealed in a tamper-proof box with the option to slide a Monty’s Bakehouse hot component through the side of the tray before handing to passengers.
The caterer has also extended its product range with a new selection entree meals that can be dropped into many of the C-19 packaging concepts minimising crew-passenger handling.
Matt Crane, ceo, Monty’s Bakehouse, said “Throughout the C-19 crisis our offices have remained open and we have been working hard to look after our clients and our colleagues. The quiet period has allowed us to focus, innovate and design concepts for the post C-19 on board food and beverage services. Hygiene and safety are understandably high on everyone’s agenda and these new products which are available now provide a variety of solutions to meet every airlines need.”
Jochen Müller resigns from LSG executive board
June 10, 2020
Jochen Müller, chief operating officer (coo) of the LSG Group, announced during today’s LSG Supervisory Board meeting that he will resign from his position on the Executive Board, effective June 30, 2020. He will go into early retirement. The decision was made in mutual agreement with his two colleagues, chief executive officer (ceo) Erdmann Rauer and chief financial officer (cfo) Dr Kristin Neumann, and parent company Lufthansa.
“It was a difficult decision for me because the LSG family has grown very close to my heart,” said Jochen Müller explaining his decision. “The dramatic effects of the corona crisis will significantly change our company in the coming years. This will require management with long-term prospects. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the company that I resign from my office at this time and go into early retirement. I am confident that Erdmann Rauer and Kristin Neumann will prepare the LSG Group for the future in the best possible way.”
Müller joined LSG Holding in June 2003 as coo for the then Europe/Middle East/Africa region, and has been a member of the Executive Board of LSG Holding AG since March 2005. In his function as chief operating officer, he had responsibility for more than 200 operations in five regions worldwide. Under his leadership, the performance of our catering operations has significantly improved, setting LSG Sky Chefs apart from the competition and making it the quality leader in the industry. Jochen Müller is also responsible for the global IT, OVC, Infrastructure and Security processes.
In the wake of Müller’s departure, the LSG Executive Board has decided to adapt and streamline the organisational structure of the LSG Group to the current market changes. As a result, the LSG executive board will be reduced from three to two members as of July, with ceo Erdmann Rauer and cfo Dr Kristin Neumann taking on more responsibilities. “Given the current market situation, we have to rethink our entire organizational setup and adapt to it,” explained Erdmann Rauer.
Time to be SUP-free
June 10, 2020
NowNewNext has launched a new service to assist brands in making their business ‘SUP-proof’ – and ready for the new Single Use Plastics (SUP) regulations.
Called SUP Solutions, the new service brings together expertise across the entire supply chain to advise on SUP policy and strategy as well as providing concrete solutions (both in 2D and 3D), and guidance on suppliers to use.
The one-stop-shop service has already worked with a Dutch aviation company, an international restaurant chain and a number of international disposables suppliers, and sees NowNewNext partner with Green Serendipity, a like-minded independent specialist in packaging and sustainability.
The two companies are focused on identifying sustainable disposables and packaging and Ariane van Mancius of NowNewNext, says: “Convenience is a major driver in the food and packaging industry, however your convenience is highly inconvenient for our planet. The European Commission has expressed extreme concerns about SUP usage and has accelerated the adoption of guidelines to reduce them. From 3 July 2021 there will be a trade ban on SUP products such as stirrers, straws, single use plates, cutlery and cups made from specific materials. SUP-proof alternatives will need to be found for all of these products. Most bioplastics also fall foul of the proposed ban unless they consist entirely of natural fibres.
“Brand owners who use SUP products to package and supply food and drinks need to seriously consider how to innovate SUP-proof solutions. They need to explore and act on ideas such as return systems, waste collection and disposal and to choose between reusable alternatives or creating disposables made from SUP-proof materials. All of this will need to be executed properly and rapidly. Everything has to be in place inside 12 months; there’s no time to lose.”
Visa specialist pivots to COVID-19 testing
June 10, 2020
Swiss start-up Viselio, specialists in digital travel visas, has extended its services to include COVID-19 testing and results validation for health certificates.
As borders re-open and countries demand negative COVID-19 PCR test upon entry, the company has geared up to offer a range of testing options with quick and easy results and documentation to facilitate smooth travel without quarantine.
CEO Niklas Zeller says: “We are proud to offer the first European network of COVID-19 testing specifically tailored for travellers and are thrilled to make travel accessible again in these difficult times.”
As different nations require apply different restrictions, the company include home testing, lab appointments and airport tests. All tests are FDA-cleared, classic PCR-Tests (no fast tests), which are being processed in established laboratories in the different countries. A PCR-Test takes about 3-4 hours to be processed in a lab, prices range from £169.00, depending on location and service packages.
Test options are fully embedded in the Viselio standard visa offering and can be ordered through the website, API and existing GDS integrations.
United upcycles uniforms to masks
June 3, 2020
United Airlines is working with upcycling partner, Looptworks to produce additional employee facemasks created from old uniforms.
Made from 12,284 pounds of uniforms, 7,500 face coverings have been delivered to front line employees at San Francisco International Airport and the airline’s San Francisco maintenance base.
The move follows the roll out of new Carhartt Company Gear for its 28,000 Technical Operations, Ramp Service and Catering Operations employees. United had planned to turn the surplus older garments into carpet padding and insulation fibre. The company changed course last month to align with the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) to wear face masks in public when social distancing is not possible.
Janet Lamkin, United Airlines SVP and President, California, said: “Recycling these unused uniforms into masks is a natural extension of our broader effort to overhaul our cleaning, social distancing and mitigation measures to ensure we’re doing everything possible to keep our employees and our customers safe.”
In April, United became the first major U.S.-based airline to require flight attendants to wear a face mask while on duty, and beginning in May, expanded that mandate to include all employees and customers onboard.
Etihad adds Wellness Ambassadors
June 3, 2020
In an industry first, Etihad is introducing specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, who will provide essential travel health information and care to passengers in the airport terminal and inflight as part of a new Etihad Wellness programme
Created in response to COVID-10 the Etihad Wellness programme includes an online guide, highlighting the cleanliness, health and hygiene measures being applied at every stage of the customer journey, including culinary hygiene at the airline’s catering facilities and food testing laboratory, aircraft cabin deep-cleaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, inflight experience and product, crew interaction, arrival, and ground transportation.
The Wellness Ambassadors can be contacted directly 24/7 to offer reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details of the health and sanitisation measures being implemented throughout their journey. The dedicated multi-lingual team will be available on email and web chat. All Ambassadors will undergo special training at the airline’s training facilities in Abu Dhabi, and online.
Tony Douglas, ceo Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Providing for our guests, and their wellbeing, is one of Etihad’s core values, and we have a responsibility to protect them, to keep them fully informed, and to provide even greater levels of genuine warmth and personal care. We must guarantee they can travel assured in the knowledge that we have every aspect of their journey with us covered, while still providing a top-quality travel experience. The Wellness Ambassadors will play an important role in delivering this. For us it is not simply about dealing with a new normal – this level of genuine and innovative customer care has always been part of Etihad’s DNA since our inception.”
Over the coming weeks, Etihad will also introduce Wellness Ambassadors at Abu Dhabi International Airport in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports (ADAC) to ensure the same levels of care and support are provided at every point of the customer journey.
Once travel restrictions to and from the UAE are lifted, and the airline resumes its expanded network of international flights, Etihad will introduce the ambassadors will be onboard too, complementing the roles performed by other cabin crew, and providing an enhanced level of customer care focused on health and wellness inflight.
Flying Food Group launches new kitchen at San Francisco
June 3, 2020
Flying Food Group has launched a new inflight catering kitchen at San Francisco (SFO) Airport, completing its final phase of a $100 million-plus retrofit and upgrade to its national network.
The new facility joins the network of 17 Flying Food Group kitchens, stretching from Hawaii to New York, and adds extensive production capacity designed to ensure catering best practice and workflow strategies says Nicolas Rondeau, Flying Food Group executive vice president airline sales & marketing. The 71,000-square-foot (6600 sum) kitchen includes fully-refrigerated dock and production areas, providing enhanced food safety. The building’s single-story structure adds production and work flow efficiencies.
Flying Food Group customers at San Francisco include Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA, Air France-KLM and Asiana among others. The facilities upgrade project also includes new kitchens at Los Angeles and Honolulu and an expanded, renovated kitchen at Miami.
Emirates builds hygiene confidence
May 27, 2020
Emirates has redefined it safety and hygiene standards with new hygiene kits, new boarding procedures and additional hygiene-focused crew onboard.
The new safety measures aim to inspire maximum passenger confidence. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said: “The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is already very low, but we have spared no effort in reviewing and redesigning every step, from check-in to disembarkation. Every measure implemented is an additional reduction in risk, and taken altogether, our aim is really to make flying as safe as possible.
“We are working with all the stakeholders in Dubai – including the airport, immigration, health and aviation authorities to implement such measures, and we will continue to review and consult expert advice for any development and changes. We are all aware that we have to adapt to different practices during this pandemic in our day to day activities.’
The measures include complimentary hygiene kits to be given to every passenger at check in, including masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser. Mandatory use of gloves and masks at the airport and mandatory masks onboard. Thermal scanners, social distancing measure and protective barriers have also been added at the airport and transit lounges.
Boarding is now sequenced last row to the first, and staggered in small numbers, boarding agents are dressed in PPE and boarding gates are deep cleaned and disinfected after the boarding of every flight.
Onboard, all cabin crew are fully kitted out in PPE and a new cabin service assistant (CSA) has been added to the crew complement on flights over one and a half hours. The CSAs ensure lavatories are cleaned every 45 minutes. Each lavatory has been equipped with sanitising soap and hand washing instructions.
Magazines and print material have been removed and menu and wine lists are now single use. Comfort items such as mattresses, pillows, blankets, headphones and toys are hygienically sealed.
Emirates will resume its service with hot meals, using high quality, cutlery and crockery, sterilised before each use.
United launches CleanPlus
May 27, 2020
United Airlines has launched United CleanPlus, stressing its commitment to health and hygiene, and revised its economy meal offering.
The new programme has brought together together a trusted brand in surface disinfection – Clorox – and top medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic to inform and guide the airline’s new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols.
The programme includes touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, sneeze guards and mandatory face coverings. The Cleveland Clinic is advising on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming.
“Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it’s our singular customer focus,” said United CEO, Scott Kirby. “We recognise that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers’ minds when making travel decisions, and we’re not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to better protect our customers and employees.”
Beyond disinfection, the Cleveland Clinic’s guidance covers all elements of the airline’s policies and procedures with the goal of exceeding industry standards. Medical experts are translating scientific progress around COVID-19 into practical steps for implementation when flying.
Check-in and boarding procedures have been adapted and employees have been equipped with disinfecting products and PPE. Pre-packaged food and beverage only is available at the lounge, and onboard a new “all in one” economy snack bag replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled two hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag includes a wrapped sanitiser wipe, an 8.5oz bottled water, a Stroopwafel and pack of pretzels.
Enhanced cabin sanitisation including electrostatic spraying will happen before every flight from June. Both crew and passengers are required to wear a mask or face covering, and guests are given individually-wrapped hand sanitiser wipes as they board.
Employee temperature checks before each workday have also been introduced.
Qantas adds Fly Well programme
May 27, 2020
Qantas and Jetstar are rolling out wellbeing initiatives designed to boost passenger confidence in preparation for domestic travel restrictions easing.
The ‘Fly Well’ programme builds on temporary measures already introduced and reflects best-practice medical advice and feedback from customers.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said: “Safety is absolutely core to how we operate and that applies to new challenges like managing the risk of coronavirus so people can fly with confidence. We’ll continue to work with government and monitor the rollout of these measures closely, which are designed with safety in mind and help people feel comfortable given the new norms that have emerged in response to the Coronavirus crisis.”
Rolling out from June 12, the key measures include masks provided to all passengers on each flight, enhanced cleaning of aircraft plus sanitising wipes given to all passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests themselves, if preferred, simplified service and catering to minimise touchpoints for crew and passengers, passengers asked to limit movement around cabin, once seated, sequenced boarding and disembarkation.
Pre-flight more information is being sent to all customers, so they know what to expect, contactless check-in and hand sanitising stations at departure gates have been added and adjustments made in the Qantas Lounges, including increased physical distancing, hand sanitising stations, enhanced disinfection of surfaces and adjustments to food and drink service.
Monty’s Bakehouse launches retail brand
May 20, 2020
Monty’s Bakehouse has turned its kitchen skills and charitable community initiatives into a new retail food brand – the Community Kitchen Project.
Created from inception to launch in three weeks, the goal of the brand is to ‘share goodness’ by selling meals created by the team’s chefs to the local community and gifting meals and snacks to communities in need, for every meal sold.
A spokesperson for project team explains: “For years we’ve been supplying millions of meals and snacks for airline travellers – but times have changed and we are now bringing our award winning products to the home and to the tables of the communities that need us. Through the Community Kitchen Project, we want to share goodness. We are working with local organisations to reach local communities who need support. To date we have given over 50,000 snacks to NHS workers, school children and local charities across London and the south east.”
John Horsfall entertains the kids
May 20, 2020
Family business, John Horsfall, is sharing a free Family Activity Pack online designed to be fun for the kids – and the young-at-heart – during the challenges of lockdown.
Business development manager Ellie Parkes explains: “We simply wanted to share something positive and creative, that wasn’t a sales pitch. The industry is going through such a tough time; our customers and our own staff are doing their best to juggle work, home-school, and a host of other challenges; we just wanted to do something nice for them.
“We have a great creative team here, and decided to put our skills to good use, and hopefully bring a smile to a few faces. We’ve invited people to share their children’s drawings and paper aeroplanes online, and we’ve had some lovely responses, from kids, and also some young-at-heart adults too!”
Alexandra Allen, the company’s designer made personalised packs for all the children of staff in the John Horsfall team. “They loved them” adds Parkes.
SIA opens up its library
May 20, 2020
Singapore Airlines has made the contents of its extensive e-library available to all customers, via the SingaporeAir mobile app, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This initiative allows customers to download over 150 international newspapers, magazines and other reading materials for free to their mobile devices, wherever and whenever they choose. These titles were previously only available to customers 48 hours before and up to 30 days after their flight departure.
The e-library is designed to cater for a wide range of interests, with well-known publications covering a range of topics, including sport, leisure, technology and politics. Many of the publications are available in more than 10 international languages, including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Sheldon Hee, general manager UK and Ireland, Singapore Airlines, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption across the globe and touched pretty much every aspect of people’s daily lives. We recognise that people are not currently able to travel with Singapore Airlines, so we wanted to gift a little bit of the Singapore Airlines onboard experience to people at home. We hope that the extra reading materials can help fill any spare hours in the time before we can welcome customers back to the skies once more”.
Customers can download unlimited publications in the e-Library for free until 30 June 2020, with the content regularly refreshed to ensure that the latest editions continue to be available. After 30 June 2020, users of the SingaporeAir mobile app can continue to enjoy any publications already downloaded.
The app is available free via the Apple App Store or Google Play. A video of how to access the e-library content can be found at facebook.com/SingaporeAir
LSG Sky Chefs pivots in New Zealand
May 13, 2020
LSG Sky Chefs has joined forces with New Zealand retailers New World and PAK’nSAVE to offer a new suite of in-store ready-to-heat meals for customers.
There are six meals on offer, made fresh daily at LSG Sky Chefs facilities in South Auckland including five meat options and one vegetarian one.
“With international travel limited for the foreseeable future, vendors who supply and work with the aviation industry are experiencing a marked decrease in demand. We saw a natural opportunity to combine New World and PAK’nSAVE’s needs to deliver ad hoc convenient meals for customers, and LSG Sky Chefs expertise in curating ready-to-heat restaurant quality meals, to provide a unique meal solution that’s affordable, quick and delicious,” said Rebecca Tuhakaraina, head of delicatessen for Foodstuffs North Island.
Bilal Ozturk, sales and services director, New Zealand & Pacific, LSG Group added: “Our partnership with New World and PAK’nSAVE means we can continue to employ a small team of employees during this transitionary period for the aviation industry. The ready-to-heat meals are fresh, tasty, convenient and most importantly, affordable. Customers will love the variety of flavours the meals have, which are prepared fresh daily by our team of trained chefs who have experience preparing meals for families and individuals around the world.”
FORMIA launches new Clean Kit range
May 6, 2020
FORMIA has launched a new range of Clean Kits to support the health, safety and wellbeing of airline passengers.
The new Clean Kit range has been developed with quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitiser products which comply with international safety standards and regulations, to help ensure passengers are protected throughout their journey.
All products are available as own-branded or in collaboration with a choice of trusted brands to provide a comprehensive selection with the flexibility to be adapted to suit airlines’ requirements.
The range has been designed with individually-sealed products for added safety, and is presented in a smart, durable pouch with customisable options for airline branding.
Philipp Wendschuh, FORMIA’s chief commercial officer, said: “We understand that airline passengers’ needs are changing, and with this our focus is to deliver relevant and timely solutions to support and protect their needs. Our new Clean Kit range has been created to ensure the health and wellbeing of travellers remains the priority. We are pleased to be able to offer airline customers added value with quality, tailor-made solutions for their needs”.
deSter adds Hygiene range
May 6, 2020
Gategroup designers at deSter have added a new range of hygiene products to the company’s offer in anticipation of new standards likely to be introduced for service post COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide.
The team expects hygiene measures and social distancing to become part of the new normal and the new line is focused on personal protective solutions.
The range includes face masks, plastic gloves, hygienic wipes and antibacterial wipes and sanitising gels. There is also a hygiene pack containing a combination of the items in a single pocket-sized packs.
Travel cutlery goes to hospital
May 6, 2020
WK Thomas’s cutlery packing facility has responded to the increased requirement for pre-packed cutlery kits from the National Health Service.
Production at WKT’s UK based operation is usually reserved from making kits for the travel sector but has now pivoted its focus to answer the call from the NHS sites across the UK.
“At this time of year we would usually be producing kits for people travelling across the world for holidays. With our local supply chain and UK based production facility we have been able to quickly pull together all the necessary components and get these new packs delivered to where they are needed most.” said WK Thomas head of travel David Simpson.
Sealed packs containing a disposable knife, fork, spoon, condiments and a napkin provide a hygienic, quick service solution to the allow hospital staff, volunteers and patients to safely consume and dispose of utensils and packaging whilst reducing the amount of physical contact required during distribution and collection.
Media Carrier goes direct
May 6, 2020
Media Carrier and Lufthansa are delivering their frequent flyers eJournal directly to the passengers’ homes during the COVID-19 challenge.
To maintain connections and benefits during these difficult times, the airline’s service for digital papers and magazines, offered through Media Carrier, is providing access to Lufthansa’s eJournal.
Media Carrier provides digital content to the airline and supports this initiative by providing its technical platform and content so frequent flyers can get an access to 781 newspapers and magazines from around the world. The portfolio includes business papers, lifestyle publications, regional newspapers and international magazines, and offers daily inspiration and entertainment. All publications can easily be downloaded in pdf format to any digital device and are then available to read for an unlimited period of time.
“We are delighted to support this great initiative of bringing eJournals to peoples’ homes,” says Media Carrier md Philipp J. Jacke. “Lufthansa has been a close cooperation partner of ours for many years and we are happy to further underline our partnership in these difficult times with such an initiative – because #WeAreInThisTogether. We’d also like to extent our thanks to all the participating publishers without whom this project wouldn’t have been possible.”
Travellers willing to be screened
May 6, 2020
The vast majority of business travellers are willing to be screened and tested in order to get flying again once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, according to a survey among UK business travellers.
Most frequent travellers would also be prepared to disclose their medical history, according to the survey by Global Rescue, a specialist in travel risk and crisis response.
Global Rescue surveyed 1,300 of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) including travellers working for large companies, government agencies, and universities.
It found 91% are willing to subject themselves to screening and testing and 73% are willing to disclose medical conditions related to a compromised immune system.
Most (93%) are willing to share their past 14-day travel history and 58% are willing to have their physical location tracked and traced with data temporarily retained.
The survey also asked travellers when they expect to be travelling again and found 41% expect to make their next trip by July or earlier, while 36% are planning their initial trip sometime between August and October.
A small number (9%) believe their earliest post-pandemic trip will be in November and December and only 7% expect to make their first trip sometime between January and March 2021.
Many (75%) said they expect their first trips post lockdown will be holidays with their families or to see friends, 10% said they would be for business only, while 15% believe their initial travel plans will be for both business and pleasure.
Delta boosts PPE supplies through its manufacturer
April 28, 2020
Delta Flight Products, the airline’s wholly owned subsidiary, is collaborating with Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), a non-profit affiliate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, to manufacture face shields to protect hospital workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using materials and designs provided by GCMI, Delta Flight Products is leveraging its best-in-class manufacturing facilities, boosting production to 1,500 per day on the way to a target of 5,000. Orders have been delivered to New York and Atlanta area hospitals, with teams expecting to fill an order of 20,000 face shields for VA Medical Facilities in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.
Delta Flight Products is serving as an initial manufacturing site to test GCMI’s design and prescribed fabrication process and is exploring expanding its face shield production beyond the initial order in the coming weeks.
Face shields are essential in extending the use life of the dwindling N95 mask inventory, while protecting healthcare professionals from contamination. Each consists of a clear barrier meant to cover the user’s face, reducing the potential for any virus contacting the user’s eyes and respiratory mask.
Albéa pivots to support crisis
April 28, 2020
Albéa’s 15,000 employees around the world have come together as one team to find solutions during the COVID-19 crisis, adapting the company’s offering and manufacturing hand sanitisers and hydroalcoholic gel for healthcare workers.
Maxime Ridoux, business development & partnerships manager – Albéa Travel Designer, says: “Hand sanitisers are a new must-have everywhere in the world. Consumers expect these products to be easy-to-use outside and at-home, with reliable closure. A global leader in beauty packaging, Albéa can offer hand sanitiser packaging options from tube, foam pump and bottle, to protect gel and lotions. Our top management is fighting against the virus through its our own factory as well, producing tubes and pumps as needed.
“The global crisis has largely paralysed the travel industry, and sweeps away our certainties but invites us to reinvent ourselves by adapting to new passenger needs. We are using our knowledge of travel and passenger expectations, our purchasing power, import and design expertise to create tailor-made kit solutions. We see a light at the end of the tunnel, deconfinement is around the corner, and we must increase our efforts on personal safety and prepare for the world of tomorrow with a new customer experience.“
The company is offering kits which can include masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, wipes and hand cream among other items.
Ridoux adds: “We must fight this virus together. It has brought solidarity and collaboration; sharing values will help all of us build a sustainable future. Everyone can help and contribute, and doing so shows we are working in a great industry where people are agile, flexible and able to react quickly despite the crisis that took all airlines by storm.
“We are only at the beginning of the change, we will all have to adapt together, with the airlines. Nothing should go back to normal. Normal wasn’t working. Airlines will have to secure the confidence of their passengers again, and this is where we have a role to play.”
WK Thomas adds Essential range
April 28, 2020
WK Thomas has launched an Essentials range bringing together all the basics for back of house PPE, food preparation and hygiene needs offered in a convenient basket designed to support best practice in kitchen hygiene.
For spills and daily cleaning tasks, the range includes blue and white centrefeed rolls, a wide variety of cloths, sponges, wipes and scourers as well as mops and handles, and refuse sacks. The chemicals range provides solutions for all cleaning applications from washing up to cleaning floors and surfaces.
For personal protection, the range includes gloves, aprons and hairnets.Serviettes, film, foil and parchment rolls are also available.
Kaelis launches PPE platform
April 28, 2020
Kaelis has launched a dedicated PPE platform to help facilitate supply-chain processes.
Established in response to the worldwide shortage and limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Kaelis has dedicated all its resources and expertise to the fighting COVID-19 over the past four months, aiding purchase and delivery of products through its established supply chain.
Frederico Heitz, Kaelis CEO, says: “As a lean company focused on our commitment to innovate and continuously improve, Kaelis wanted to speed up the supply-chain process as every day counts when saving lives. For this reason, Kaelis joined forces with best-in-class partners Neurored, S4GConsulting, several Logistics Partners and Global Payment Network Veem to offer a Salesforce.com based secure and encrypted online platform to our customers.
Corporations, NGOs, healthcare and government institutions can now place, pay and track their orders online directly in the Kaelis PPE Platform. Established airline customers are also able to access the platform by requesting a login account to email@example.com
Newrest’s Dutch endeavour
April 28, 2020
Newrest Netherlands has opened a new production unit in Amsterdam.
Despite the global COVID-19 crisis, the Newrest group is continuing to invest in on-going improvement of its services and this new catering production unit is part of that – opening at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Newrest now has 10,000sqm of production and storage space at the airport, and plans will use the new base for inflight catering, buy-on-board and duty free services. The new unit is located 800m from the airport runway to facilitate efficient logistics.
Halal and ISO 9001-2015 certified, the Amsterdam unit has two separate production flows for the preparation of halal and non-halal food.
The unit will supply more than 10,000 meals per day to 13 main customers and has the latest technologies in automated management, security and production, including Cobots (Collaborative Robots).
Passenger pre-flight COVID testing begins
April 22, 2020
Emirates is claiming an industry first as it begins conducting on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers pre-departure.
The first passengers to be tested boarded a flight from Dubai to Tunisia last week and were tested in the check-in area of Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.
Blood tests were carried out by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates chief operating officer, said: “We are working on plans to scale-up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights. This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates. The health and safety of staff and passengers at the airport remain of paramount importance.”
Emirates has also adapted its check-in and boarding to meet social distancing requirements. Protective barriers have been installed at each check-in desk while gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all airport employees.
Passengers are also required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft, and follow social distancing guidelines. Carry-on items are now limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in and will be added to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.
Inflight social distancing plans take shape
April 22, 2020
EasyJet has confirmed plans to keep middle seats free once it resumes flying, to allow for social distancing inflight.
The airline’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said it could re-start flying with as little as two weeks’ notice and believes leaving middle seats empty would encourage more people to fly.
He said the move would be possible because flights were unlikely to be full immediately after coronavirus lock-downs are lifted. He said easyJet would liaise with authorities and listen to its customers’ views on other measures, particularly in the re-start period.
Other airlines have already taken the initiative to block middle seats on existing flights in light of guidance from authorities. Delta is keeping middle seats free for all flights until May 31 in all cabins and is boarding customers 10 at a time. It is not clear if these measures will remain in place once restrictions are lifted and full flying resumes.
Lufthansa and Eurowings are blocking neighbour seats in economy and premium economy on all flights from and within Germany. They are also avoiding the use of transit buses, or providing twice as many buses if this is not possible.
On board, the airlines have taken steps to reduce touch points between crew and passengers, including the removal of pillows and blankets, in-flight sales, and drinks, including the distribution of water bottles.
British Airways said: “We have taken several steps to greatly reduce contact on board, and this is kept under constant review.”
IATA has issued strict guidelines for flights during the pandemic, dividing flights into low, medium or high risk. Even on low risk flights, it is advising airlines to cancel serving cold dishes, cold meat or fish and edible ice cubes.
It says the last three rows of seats on international flights should be reserved as a quarantine area for handling possible inflight emergencies, and the rear lavatory on the right side should be designated for the exclusive use by those under quarantine.
Aviation-style lounges laid on for medics
April 15, 2020
Airline crew from across the industry have come together to form Project Wingman to support the wellbeing of frontline NHS staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Project Wingman began at one North London hospital and within a week rolled out to North Middlesex, Basildon, Southend and Mid-Essex, and is potentially coming to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone, Worthing, Frimley Park and York in the coming days. The project is also in the process of expanding and offering similar services to hospital staff in the US, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
The project creates the atmosphere of a small airline lounge for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals providing them with refreshments, a chance to unwind, decompress and unload or simply have a conversation with a fellow professional who is used to the pressures of working in a stressful environment.
There are currently over 1200 volunteer crew from different UK airlines including Norwegian, easyJet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Flybe, Jet2 and Loganair on hand to help NHS staff during and after their shifts throughout the day.
“We want to look after the wellbeing of all of all frontline NHS staff” says Professor Rob Bor, consultant clinical psychologist: “We immediately thought of airline staff and reached out to them to support us. Many airline crews have been grounded by the global effects of Covid-19 and we recognised that this represents a rich resource of a uniformed and disciplined workforce, used to problem-solving and providing care.”
Volunteer airline crew do not work directly with patients, they support staff in practical ways so they can do their job effectively by using their unique skills in problem solving and calming techniques learned from their training for managing stressful and pressurised situations. Above all they will be offering a listening ear, comfort and kindness when staff need it most.
For more information or for aircrew to volunteer please visit projectwingman.co.uk
Easter treats boost morale
April 15, 2020
SWISS Air Lines and Lufthansa have been distributing Easter chocolates that would have otherwise been given to passengers.
SWISS distributed more than a ton of Easter chocolate originally intended for onboard guests to a variety of health care providers as a thank-you for their great efforts during the current COVID-19 crisis.
While Lufthansa teamed up with its LSG Sky Chefs partners in Frankfurt and Munich, to donate some 300,000 chocolate easter bunnies to hospitals and welfare institutions in Germany.
These treats were also initially intended to delight passengers during the Easter holidays season, but given the demand downturn, the teams diverted the supplies to clinics in both cities, to the Munich food pantry and the Karl Hack Foundation in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Kristin Neumann, CFO LSG Group says: “In the extraordinary situation in which the LSG Group finds itself, there are two things that are our absolute priority: maintaining our liquidity and the health of our employees. We have already introduced many measures on both fronts, thus creating important prerequisites for going forward. It is simply part of the DNA of our company to stand together and support each other during difficult times. I am experiencing this right now. And from this experience I draw courage, strength and confidence.”
American airlines donates to food banks
April 15, 2020
U.S carriers have been sharing inflight catering provisions they didn’t need with food banks and hospitals around the U.S.
Delta is providing more than 200,000 pounds of both perishable and non-perishable goods after it adjusted service offerings onboard and in Delta Sky Clubs to reduce touchpoints between customers and employees. The food would have expired before it could be served to customers so employee teams are engaging organisations that can immediately use the food. Delta has long-standing relationships with organisations such as Feeding America, a non-profit network that helps us support numerous food banks and where employees help repack more than 2 million pounds of food annually. During the pandemic, local Feeding America organisations are distributing the donations to those in need.
In addition, Delta is working to help long-term food service partners including Linton Hopkins, Newrest and Sodexo with resources they need to serve their communities. Delta has also been providing free flights to medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and its aircraft interiors subsidiary, Delta Flight Products, is now being used to manufacture face shields to protect hospital workers.
American Airlines has also shared over 81,000lbs of inflight catering it didn’t need with those in need, through food banks across the U.S.
Allison Ausband, Delta svp inflight service at Delta explains the programme. Watch the video here.
SIA care ambassadors begin healthworker support
April 15, 2020
This week 20 flight stewardesses and 10 stewards from Singapore Airlines (SIA) have started caring for patients at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital instead of serving passengers inflight.
The team is being redeployed as “care ambassadors” at the public hospital in Yishun, being assigned to low-risk wards and supporting hospital basic care-giving procedures, nutritional care and patient service management.
They were given a five-day training course and taught basic medical terminology and procedures and will also be trained in safety and infection control measures. They will be equipped with masks, although they will have no direct contact with Covid-19 patients.
SIA Group has committed to providing at least 300 care ambassadors to various hospitals, depending on each hospital’s needs. Shirley Heng, chief nurse at KTPH, said: “This is also a good opportunity for our nurses to exchange knowledge and skills on service with the crew of SIA, who are top service professionals. We hope this will be a meaningful experience for them.”
She added that the collaboration with SIA will help boost manpower needs, as more healthcare staff have been reassigned to care for COVID-19-related patients.
SIA leading steward Fabien Sieh, 32, who is in the first group, said: “I hope to learn from the healthcare workers and obtain skills that can make a difference to the lives and futures of myself and those around me.”
Westjet defines its role in a crisis
April 15, 2020
Westjet last month won our 2020 Onboard Hospitality Cabin Concept of the Year Award for its transformational cabin and service offering. Here, as Canada works to flatten the COVID-19 curve, CEO Ed Sims define’s the airline’s role in a time of national crisis and insists maintaining a “stable network is the strongest platform from which to recover and rebuild.”
Easyjet and Virgin join the NHS teams
April 7, 2020
UK carriers Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are among those encouraging grounded staff to become NHS volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The airlines have asked them to consider joining the teams at the new Nightingale hospitals being rapidly built to support Covid-19 patients and in need of additional staff.
Project Nightingale is opening new temporary COVID-19 hospitals being in London’s Excel centre, plus Birmingham and Manchester and is already training volunteers to work alongside NHS staff as support workers.
Airline staff are particularly well-suited to the programme as many of them are first aiders and have already been given security clearance as part of the job.
“We have all needed the NHS at some point in our lives and so we are so proud that our crew can now help to support the NHS at this crucial time,” said Tina Milton, director of cabin services for easyJet.
Corneel Koster, chief customer officer at Virgin Atlantic, adds: “The authorities recognise the value and experience our medically trained cabin crew and trainers will bring to the incredible Nightingale Hospital initiative.”
TUI cabin crew relieve the pandemic pressure
April 7, 2020
The expertise and first aid training of TUI Airways cabin crew will be utilised across hospitals across the UK as TUI UK supports a new St John Ambulance scheme to help tackle the Coronavirus by relieving pressure on the NHS.
The St John Ambulance Covid-19 volunteering programme will place trained volunteers into essential NHS wards and departments around the UK to free up staff to fight the Covid-19 crisis on the frontline. They will support with a range of agreed tasks, from caring for the elderly to basic monitoring of patients, transporting medication and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, helping keep the NHS running as smoothly as possible during the pandemic.
Volunteers will receive two days training provided by St John Ambulance, designed to complement the cabin crew training they have already undertaken.
Jon Knight, director at St John Ambulance, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with TUI to create opportunities for first aid trained staff to volunteer for St John Ambulance to support their local communities and reduce pressure on the NHS.”
“We really need more businesses to let their trained staff volunteer in this crisis. St John Ambulance needs the support of the public, businesses and clarity from the government to let volunteers volunteer more than ever as we enter our biggest operation in our 143-year history.”
Managing director of TUI Airways, Dawn Wilson commented, “Our cabin crew are uniquely placed to support this scheme. Of course, their first aid training will be an advantage, but the most important skills are the ability to keep calm under pressure, have a real empathy for people who need support and be ready to put a patient’s welfare first. This could be a job advert for TUI cabin crew who have all these abilities in abundance”
TUI Airways flew home its final passengers last weekend and operations are now paused until travel restrictions can be relaxed. More than 2,400 cabin crew are waiting to take to the skies again and are keen to use their skills to support the NHS.