As of 2 July, Delta is to begin reintroducing adult beverage offerings after recent service adjustments made in March.
Domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ customers will be served 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 on-board.
Flight attendants will pass the cans and single-serve bottles – which are complimentary in both First Class and Delta Comfort+ – using serving trays to minimise touch points on-board. 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.
“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 normalised beverage offering while we continue to keep customer and crew safety at the center of everything we do.”
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 liquour and sommelier-selected wines for customers seated in Delta One. On-board service adjustments like individual snack bags on domestic flights and other US domestic offerings remain in place.
US-inventor Derek Lee has invented a face mask that allows individuals to drink without having to remove the mask or open it up to airborne contaminants.
Straw Mask connects to an antibacterial medical grade silicone tube which itself can connect to most commercially available water bottles with a 28 mm cap. Four water bottles at a time can be connected; enough food and drink to last for over 12 hours.
Every connecting part of the patent pending Straw Mask is sealed, from the face mask to the antibacterial silicone straw tubes to the bottles.
Launching in July, the Straw Mask is available for pre-orders from airlines. Partnership with meal replacement beverage brands are coming soon, Lee claims.
The mask and tubes are intended mostly for single use and may be conveniently disposed of.
Delta has donated 1 million pounds of food to communities around world, since temporarily adjusting services on board and in Delta Sky Clubs, and the effort is still ongoing.
Delta is donating food and beverages that would otherwise go unused and the number of donations increases each day. Delta is also donating food service items like utensils, bowls, napkins and packaging materials.
“We are so proud of our people who have seen the needs in communities around the world and acted with the resources Delta has to offer. That is what we like to call the Delta spirit,” said Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. “Especially during the ongoing pandemic, we see our people going above and beyond the call of duty to serve others.”
Delta is working with longstanding US partners including Feeding America, whose local organisations are distributing food to those in need. The airline has also developed new relationships with local organisations and chefs in communities seeing a significant need for food resources.
In the Philippines, Delta donated more than 39,000 packs of snacks, 25,000 drinks, almost 5,000 packages of coffee and 600 packages of tea to COVID-19 frontline workers and first responders. Delta has also made donations in Senegal, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, Japan, Greece, Spain, France, Netherlands and the UK.
Multi-sector catering company Newrest is to resume in-flight catering services following the strengthening of sanitary standards to protect its employees, customers and consumers throughout the network.
The company has bolstered the existing rules on food safety, personal hygiene and medical control of its staff, in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus responsible for COVID-19 or any other virus.
Measures include the introduction and use of thermographic cameras as part of hygiene and health screening of employees, subcontractors, suppliers, and anyone entering the facility; COVID-19 training for all staff; the reorganisation of workstations for physical distance; mandatory use of protective face masks; increased frequency of staff medical visits per year, and the adaption of cleaning and sanitisation measures as necessary including the vehicles fleet.
The Airline Catering Association (ACA) has adopted new safety guidelines for the catering industry.
The ACA COVID-19 Guidelines are built on four guiding principles, the 4P’s, which allow for proper risk assessment and the continuation of safe in-flight catering: People; Premises/Policies/Processes & Procedures; and Procurement.
The Guidelines provide additional controls and checklists tailored to the local risk landscape and ensure that measures such as social distancing and personal protective equipment are used in medium- to high-risk stages of the pandemic. Even in a low-risk stage, these guidelines support timely facility adaptation to changes.
Fabio Gamba, ACA Managing Director emphasises: “You can travel this summer and enjoy food on board your flight. Food is not connected to virus spread and strict food safety measures refined through decades of air travel remain in place to make sure that all food leaving our kitchens is safe. If you travel, you can continue to enjoy your meal onboard with peace of mind.”
Delta has released details of the measures its catering partners have adopted to keep customers and crew safe.
Delta’s catering partners have always followed the industry’s cleaning standards and are consistently inspected by government agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration.
Before passengers board, all inbound international catering equipment and trucks are cleaned and sanitised with a food safe disinfectant using electrostatic sprayers throughout the day. Delta teams are currently testing an expansion of this process for all flights.
Before walking through the doors of its kitchen facilities, catering employees and visitors are temperature-checked and asked to complete a health questionnaire. Catering employees follow social distancing protocols and wear personal protective gear, including face coverings and gloves, according to their work area.
Delta has also added additional cleaning staff to help with enhanced sanitising processes that focus on high traffic and high-touch areas:
All food contact surfaces are sanitised throughout the day and are verified for cleanliness before food production.
After being unloaded, food carts are taken to a cart wash area to be rinsed and sanitised, while crockery and utensils are washed and sanitised using high-heat, industrial dishwashing machines.
All catering products are sanitised before food carts are provisioned for our customers.
One provisioned with food and beverages, carts are given a second cleanse before they are loaded onto our aircraft.
In the air Delta has temporarily moved to essential food and beverage offerings on board on all US domestic and short-haul international flights. Customers in all cabins receive their own personal snack bags on domestic flights.
Customers flying on long-haul international routes are also receiving temporarily streamlined in-flight services and meal choices, along with a full selection of beverage offerings.
Southwest Airlines has donated more than US$400,000 in snacks and other in-flight provisioning items to dozens of nonprofit organisations across the US.
The carrier has also supplied snacks and other items to 15 food banks that are part of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organisation. Southwest’s donations will be distributed to food pantries, homeless shelters, senior centres, and children’s meal programs in communities where they are needed the most.
“Today and every day, we believe a strong community is more than a place, it’s at the Heart of what brings us together,” said Laurie Barnett, Southwest’s Managing Director of Communications and Outreach. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to give back to the communities we serve, especially in a time of need. These items will help make hunger less of a reality for struggling families across the country.”
Etihad Airport Services Catering (EAS Catering) has been commissioned by various government entities, business organisations and community centres, to prepare and provide meals to individuals impacted by the global spread of COVID-19.
One of the only food facilities to achieve ISO 17025 accreditation in the UAE by Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), EAS Catering ensures meals are prepared to the highest culinary hygiene standards through the laboratory testing of food, water, hands and surfaces.
Andrew Caines, General Manager, EAS Catering, said: “The capabilities of EAS Catering’s in-house food laboratory means we have direct oversight on the effectiveness of COVID-19 safety measures. We increased microbiological swabbing of surfaces and hands in order to validate disinfection and hand washing efforts, which are direct indicators of virus viability.”
Since the start of the pandemic, EAS Catering has cooked and delivered over 15,000 meals a day to people self-isolating or under quarantine, frontline medical staff, humanitarian drives and for various businesses across the capital.
EAS Catering is also delivering amenities and providing a laundry service for Etihad employees living in temporary isolation at Masdar City so as to operate essential freighter and repatriation flights. These include loadmasters, cargo agents, pilots and cabin crew.
In addition, Etihad crew living in company provided accommodation and requiring a meal delivery service are also being catered for free of charge.
As part of its COVID-19 response, EAS Catering has also introduced a holistic safety training campaign, implemented a round-the-clock dedicated disinfection team for all high touch points, restricted access of all non-essentials persons to the premises, and installed thermal imaging stations at all entrances to ensure employees, visitors and suppliers are screened prior to entry.
En Route International is partnering with a number of UK charities and organisations to support frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable people, with more than 30 Palettes of cheese, bread and other snacks donated.
The Windsor-based company has teamed up with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust to offer meals and produce to local communities and NHS staff across 15 locations which sit within the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, all based in Hampshire.
The caterer has also teamed up fellow caterers Thomas Franks and Fooditude.
En Route’s donation to Thomas Franks will be distributed via SOFEA, a national organisation who fight hunger and tackle food waste. The caterer will distribute them to children’s charities and food banks for homeless shelters such as Oxhop and Matilda House in Oxford.
The Fooditude donation will be delivered through FoodCycle, which brings together volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchens across the UK; and Bermondsey EST which is making 2,000 meals a day for self-isolating people across Southwark.
Hamish Cook, Executive Director, En Route, said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for so many communities as well as frontline healthcare services across the country.
“We are pleased to be able to support in this way and hope that our collective efforts can alleviate some of the pressures some people are facing during this period.
“We have an extensive charitable programme already in place, but understand the role that all food businesses can play in offering support to those struggling with the challenges this pandemic has created.”