American Airlines introduces temporary reduct..

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American Airlines is reducing flight attendant-customer interaction and maximising space between customers on aircraft as it responds further to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 To further provide for social distancing and minimal contact between flight attendants and customers, American will offer limited food and beverage options from 27 March through 30 April. The reduced service will be based on flight length and destination. Full service will resume once the COVID-19 situation has stabilised. American is exploring and expects to make bottled water and snacks available at the gate in the near future.

For all flights shorter than 2,200 miles (typically less than 4 1/2 hours), alcohol will not be available in Main Cabin, but will be available on request in first class. Beverages will be available on request and limited to water, canned beverages or juice. No snacks or food for purchase will be served and meals will not be offered in first class.

For all flights longer than 2,200 miles (typically more than 4 1/2 hours), including transcontinental and flights to Hawaii alcohol will not be served in Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra except on long-haul international flights. Alcohol will be available in first class and other Main Cabin beverages will be served as usual.

No snacks or food for purchase will be served. Main Cabin meals will be served on long-haul international flights. First and business class meals will be served on one tray versus in courses.

american will also suspend pre-departure beverage service on all flights.

“Our flight attendants spend the most time with our customers and play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of our customers,” said Jill Surdek, Senior Vice President of Flight Service. “As a result of working with our flight attendant team and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, we are taking these necessary steps today and will continue to update our policies in response to guidance from the CDC.”

ACA Fabio Gamba

ASA & ACA call for urgent action to preve..

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ACA Fabio Gamba

Fabio Gamba, Director General of ACA & ASA has written to all EU-27 Ministries of Transport/Depts of Civil Aviation and Finance urging financial support for its members to mitigate the effects COVID-19, which he called the “biggest and most challenging crisis ever faced by our industry.”

ASA and ACA represent ground handlers and airline caterers, with a workforce of around 400,000 and 150,000 employees respectively throughout the world. Some 180,000 workers are based in the EU.

Gamba stressed that, “Members won’t be able to continue their operations throughout the crisis and will very soon have to resort to extreme measures, such as mass lay-offs and unpaid leaves.”

He emphasised that, “this period of disruption is leading to a cash-flow crisis which poses a direct threat to our very survival. Our industry operates a low-margin model. We are generally paid on a per-service basis or tonnage, so where flights are grounded, our provision is cancelled, and our revenue cut off. Our main overheads are our labour force (70% of expenditure). We have already been forced to pursue aggressive headcount reduction in recent weeks and days, which we deeply regret.

“Looking forward, the more staff we lay off, the greater the challenge we will face in servicing the bounce-back and economic recovery once this crisis is over. On average we estimate it takes around three months to hire, train and badge new staff, and there is very low transferability between stations. There is therefore a strong business interest in maintaining the existing workforce. Any relief measures Governments propose to the industry are welcome. But these measures shouldn’t solely consider the airlines in isolation.”

Highlighting the interconnected nature of the industry, Gamba wrote, “It cannot be taken for granted that any support provided to airlines will necessarily trickle down to the rest of the value chain, including ourselves. In concrete terms, the support we are desperately looking for is ensuring cashflow to allow us to maintain as much of our existing workforce as possible during this period.

He asked for Ministers to:

  1. Take over the social costs incumbent to employers at least until September 2020;
  2. Defer tax payments until 2021;
  3. Provide access to an emergency fund which we can use to continue to pay salaries;
  4. Provide a guarantee to banks and financial institutions so that they maintain financing of the aviation sector, and ours in particular.

 

Emirates awards Alpha LSG Heathrow catering c..

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Alpha LSG has started catering all Emirates’ flights out of London-Heathrow after being awarded a contract that commenced on 1 March.

The agreement to cater six daily flights out of London-Heathrow to Dubai makes Emirates one of Alpha LSG’s largest customers. The company already services the airline’s regional operation in the UK from London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Richard Wood, Alpha LSG’s Sales and Marketing Director, says: “From March 1st we will oversee all of Emirates’ UK Catering requirements. This reflects the outstanding relationship we have built with the airline over recent years, thanks to the skill and expertise of our culinary and logistics teams. The addition of Emirates to our portfolio means we now cater seven of the world’s top ten airlines flying out of London-Heathrow.”

Emirates’ will be catered from Alpha LSG’s exclusive Halal Production Kitchen which is the only dedicated Halal catering facility at London-Heathrow.

Around 50,000 meals each week will be supplied to 42 flights on Emirates’ Dubai route, which is serviced by a fleet of A380s.

Montys Bakehouse

Monty’s Bakehouse joins SATS family

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Montys Bakehouse

SATS, the Asian provider of food solutions and gateway services, has acquired UK-based Monty’s Bakehouse.

Headquartered in Singapore, SATS serves a number of airlines including Singapore Airlines Group, British Airways, Qantas, Air France, KLM, Finnair and others.

By joining SATS and combining their culinary expertise with Monty’s Bakehouse product and packaging innovation the Group intends to enhance its food solutions for aviation customers and support growth into new customer segments.

Delta

Delta adds new beverage category for domestic..

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Delta

From March, customers in Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Delta Comfort+ can enjoy complimentary 12 oz. cans of premium BON & VIV.

The zero-sugar, 90-calorie, gluten-free seltzer will be available in two natural flavours – grapefruit and lemon-lime.

“We have a keen focus on listening to customer feedback and innovating our food and beverage programs to provide more choice,” said Mike Crowley, Vice President – On-Board Service Operations. “Spiked seltzer has been a fast-growing trend in the beverage industry, so we knew it was something our customers wanted.”

After a testing period earlier this year, domestic Delta Sky Clubs introduced BON & VIV to overwhelming positive feedback.

“These new beverage options are just one way we are honing our focus on the onboard beverage experience,” said Crowley. “Customers can expect to see other new products and innovations including more proprietary mixers and elevated craft cocktail presentations throughout the year.”

As another enhancement to the onboard beverage program, customers have been enjoying a Delta’s new Cocktail of the Moment while onboard domestic flights over the past several months. Featuring fresh, seasonal flavours, Delta’s upcoming Cocktail of the Moment, the Lavender Sour, will be an additional beverage that domestic Delta One and Delta Premium Select customers can look forward to sipping this summer.

British Airways Sustainability

British Airways to banish single-use plastic ..

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British Airways Sustainability

British Airways has announced aims to eliminate 700 tonnes of single-use plastic from its flights during 2020.

BA has scaled up its previous ambition of removing 90 tonnes-worth of single-use plastic by more than 700%. These items are to be swapped for more sustainable alternatives that are recyclable or reusable.

These changes will include trading plastic stirrers for bamboo alternatives, reducing plastic packaging, swapping plastic wrapping for paper where possible and opting for water bottles made of 50% recycled materials. The airline is also searching for alternatives to single-use plastic cutlery, tumblers, cups, toothpicks and some food packaging.

As a part of its eco-friendly movement, BA has been looking at the amount of water and detergent required to wash metal cutlery and how often it needs to be replaced in comparison to using alternative options. It has also had to look into the lifespan of plastic versus replacement materials.

The challenge has been the replacement products as they must offer the same hygiene levels, not exceed a certain weight whilst proving to be credibly sustainable. Weight has shown to be particularly important as an increase would resolve in more fuel used so subsequently, higher emissions and a less efficient flight. Kate Tanner, Customer Experience Manager at British Airways stated, “We must ensure we are making the right choices on all replacements.”

This movement is amongst other projects undertaken by British Airways; its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, its offsetting of carbon emissions on all UK fights since January 2020, and its investment in fuel-efficient aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels.

“Our customers have told us that they want to see these changes and we’re pleased to have made real strides in our journey to becoming more sustainable,” Tanner added.

American Eagle

American Airlines expands onboard dining opti..

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American Eagle

From 11 March, passengers in premium cabins on American Eagle flights will be able to pre-order a meal service.

“Ordering meals in advance is important to our customers, and we’re excited to bring this option to more flights,” said Raphael Girardoni, Managing Director of Food and Beverage Services at American. “The culinary experience is an important part of travel that we will continue to invest in.”

Last year, American began a partnership with the James Beard Foundation to provide unique and delicious food for customers. The James Beard Foundation’s award-winning chefs embody diversity, modernism and sustainable practices. Customers can preorder James Beard Foundation menu items created exclusively for select Flagship First and Flagship Business international and transcontinental flights.

Earlier this month, American introduced new food-for-sale menu options in collaboration with Zoës Kitchen. Flight attendants played a critical role at a menu workshop, where they joined the food & beverage team to look at new menu options and provide perspective on what customers enjoy eating. Flight attendant feedback helped inspire new menu items such as the chicken lentil salad shaker jar, chickpea Waldorf salad wrap and hummus box and raspberry chipotle turkey sandwich — as well as new breakfast and snack items.

ANA selects new sake selection

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Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with sake sommelier, Yasuyuki Kitahara, to create a new menu for passengers. The updated menu will feature 46 premium brands and will be on offer starting March 2020.

“ANA strives to raise the standard in all aspects of the dining experience for our passengers, and we have spared no effort in curating one of the finest airline sake selections in the world,” said Executive Vice President of ANA, Hideki Kunugi.

The new menu will be available on domestic and international flights, as well as in ANA Suite Lounges. The range was selected through an in-depth tasting process led by the airline, aiming to reflect the opinions of the consumer. 319 sake breweries were evaluated and 46 were chosen to feature on the updated menu. Some of the premium sake selected included Jikon, Kamoshibito Kuheiji and Kokuryu.  

The airline said it aimed to create a menu that is compatible with the in-flight cuisines as well as seasonal palates, of all passengers. 

Kunugi added, “Like all aspects of ANA hospitality, we focused on delivering the best possible experience to our passengers throughout the selection process and believe this effort is evident in our updated menu. It is our sincere hope that passengers will gain a greater appreciation of sake and its important role in Japanese cuisine though the menu we have prepared.”

Kosher meals

United Airlines introduces new Kosher menu

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United Airlines has introduced the latest expansion of its Kosher culinary choices, on flights between the US and Tel Aviv.

The changes to the food and beverage choices reflect the airline’s aims to “exceed” customer expectations and take in the results of customer feedback. United’s VP of Catering Options, Charlean Gmunder said, “We will continue to embrace suggestions as well as seek out ways to create the best possible onboard dining experience for everyone we proudly serve.”

United is also trialling a child’s menu for their younger customers in all cabins between Tel Aviv, Newark and San Francisco. If the testing is successful, there is potential for its addition to other Tel Aviv routes.

The airline is working in partnership with companies such as Royal Wine to provide Kosher wine in the Polaris Cabin, and Illy Coffee which is upgrading its Kosher coffee to offering regular and decaf Illy Coffee. Fresh food provider, Fresko is providing flights from Newark to Tel Aviv with a new, wider menu for their passengers.

Improvements can be seen in Polaris and United Premium Plus, with the enhancements in snack choices during the flight and at the airport lounges. Also, the addition of a hot Kosher a la carte meal in the Newark Polaris lounge aims to improve the airport experience.

“All of these new menu items…are the result of our on-going efforts to exceed customer expectations,” comments Charlean Gmunder, United’s VP of Catering Options. Then added, “We will continue to embrace suggestions as well as seek out ways to create the best possible onboard dining experience for everyone we proudly serve”.

Kosher meal
Kosher snacks
Kosher meals
Kosher wine
Emirates Valentines

Emirates celebrates Valentine’s Day wit..

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Emirates Valentines

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Emirates’ will serve 40 unique Valentine’s Day themed desserts and treats on board and across its network of lounges spread over six continents.

The airline’s chefs have created Valentine’s Day desserts for most of its 41 lounges worldwide from 13-15 February. Creations include an orange-ginger panna cotta served with berries and pistachios in Hamburg; heart-shaped shortcake served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream in Cape Town; Chocolate and Raspberry petit fours in Auckland; a chocolate St Valentine’s cake in Narita; and chocolate-covered strawberries sprinkled with coconut in the lounges in the US.

The seven Emirates lounges in Dubai are also putting on a full Valentine’s spread from 13-15 February. Frequent flyers can enjoy a champagne treat with the lively and generous notes of Moet & Chandon Rosé Impérial. This will be accompanied by a selection of Valentine’s inspired cakes and desserts including a passion fruit cake with raspberry, red velvet cake and red velvet ice cream. Coffee lovers can also look for three Valentine’s Day coffee infusions by Coffee Planet – rose kissed mocha, orange crush latte or a white latte mocha.

On Valentine’s Day itself, Emirates will serve a special selection of desserts on longer flights across its network. In First and Business Class, customers will be offered a heart-shaped passion fruit cake. In the iconic A380 onboard lounge, customers can enjoy a drink while snacking on pastries as well as strawberries dipped in dark and white chocolate, while snack baskets in First Class will feature the limited edition strawberry & cream flavoured Lakrids liquorice. In Economy Class, customers will be served a white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake for dessert.