SAUDIA provides a special in-flight experience for children

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Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is keeping families happy on board with a special in-flight experience for children.

The carrier says that when the children are happy and satisfied, parents can also enjoy a relaxed time on board.

When boarding SAUDIA aircraft, children up to 12 years receive a bag printed with colourful SAUDIA cartoon characters containing a colouring book, crayons, a sleeping mask and headphones. SAUDIA says its kids’ amenity kit won the Canadian Pax magazine’s award for the best children’s offering on board.

SAUDIA’s in-flight entertainment programme offers selection of over 50 different games and various children’s channels, as well as Disney movies. The carrier’s fun, delicious and nutritious menu can be managed in advance through the online booking platform and parents travelling with small children can use baby baskets to provide a comfortable sleep for their little ones. SAUDIA’s cabin crew will assist passengers with bottle or food warming and are on hand to help with any other requests.

Established in 1945, SAUDIA has grown to become one of the Middle East’s largest airlines and has invested significantly in upgrading its aircraft and currently operates one of the youngest fleet. The airline serves an extensive global route network covering around 100 destinations across four continents, including all 28 domestic airports in Saudi Arabia.

Unveiling an exclusive dish by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa only available onboard VistaJet

VistaJet unveils an exclusive in-flight dish by Nobu Matsuhisa

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Unveiling an exclusive dish by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa only available onboard VistaJet

VistaJet released details about its redefined fine dining experience on board earlier this week that features signature seasonal menus and Michelin-starred partners. The operator also announced it has extended its longstanding partnership with Nobu and unveiled a new excusive creation by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

The dish is only available to VistaJet clients and is prepared for passengers flying on board the iconic fleet of silver and red aircraft.

VistaJet says it carefully curates the menu on every flight with each dish prepared for high-altitude dining to ensure a consistent and seamless fine dining experience. This involves considering the effects of elevation, lower humidity and increased noise and movement on tastebuds and senses.

“We have been on a journey to transform the private dining experience in the air — to make it something to savour”, said Diego Sabino, Vice President of Private Dining at VistaJet. “Simple things, big flavours and the best ingredients prepared and cooked to perfection will always travel well. We have explored the art and science of dining, so our Members can cherish time together on board, with the right taste, whatever the occasion.”

VistaJet’s members’ fleet consists of 360 aircraft. The operator says its new client membership across the U.S. is reaching the highest number in its history and it continues to innovate its service by partnering with the world’s best chefs and restaurants. Through its Private World portfolio, VistaJet Members have access to a network of hundreds of partner benefits in every continent. Clients flying from the U.S. region can enjoy the exclusive Nobu-style experience at 45,000 feet in the sky, focused on quality ingredients, exceptional service and inspired private dining.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa commented: “I’m delighted to continue our partnership with VistaJet and to introduce Nobu Steamed Salmon Dry Miso — a new and exciting dish created exclusively for their clients. Like Nobu, VistaJet is a global brand dedicated to offering their guests an unparalleled experience in world class service and I look forward to our continued partnership for many miles to come.”

Leona Qi, President Of Vistajet U.S. noted: “At VistaJet, we work to ensure our Members have the same level of quality and service in the sky as they would expect on the ground. We value our partnership with Nobu, a demonstration of our commitment to creating simple, perfectly executed and seamless experiences to be enjoyed anytime and anywhere.”

SKY express

SKY express announces collaboration with baby food company

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SKY express

Greek carrier SKY express has announced a collaboration with leading baby food company, GERBER ® organic.

SKY express says it continues to consistently offer unique services that meet the needs of the modern traveller. The airline has revealed it will offer children delicious and healthy snacks from 12 November and for a one month period, all children aged two to five years old travelling on board the carrier will get GERBER ® organic treats such as organic cereal bites, and fruits and vegetables without added sugar, salt, preservatives and dyes.

United Airlines kids' meals

United starts offering kids’ meals on board again

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United Airlines kids' meals

United Airlines is again offering kids’ meals on board its flights, just in time for holiday travel.

Among dishes offered to children are chicken tenders and grilled cheese, French toast and dessert. Both breakfast and lunch/dinner menus are offered on certain United flights where complimentary meals are served.

United customers can choose the “Children’s Special Meals” option to request a kids’ meal when booking a ticket, or they can add a request to an existing reservation using the United® mobile app.

Starting next year, United says kids’ meals will be available for pre-order to customers travelling in eligible cabins on select United flights. By pre-ordering, the children will be able to choose the kids’ meal they want to have on board before departure of any United flight eligible for pre-order.

“We’re committed to providing a great onboard experience for all of our customers, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer our youngest flyers new, kid-friendly food options on select routes,” said Aaron McMillan, United’s Managing Director of Hospitality and Planning. “We know there’s a lot to balance when travelling as a family – especially during the busy holiday season – and hope this helps to put parents’ minds at ease as they prepare for travel with us.”

United’s kids’ meals are available on flights greater than 2,000 miles, in cabins where complimentary meal service is offered, and include kid-friendly breakfast and lunch/dinner options.

British Airways is returning to its much-loved full Club World service,

British Airways brings back full Club World service

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British Airways is returning to its much-loved full Club World service,

British Airways has brought back the full Club World business class service offering brasserie-style dining.

The carrier says its return to a full service includes new enhanced standards of dining where each course is served to customers individually. This features signature hot soups such as artichoke and parmesan soup with rye croutons, and desserts like warm apple strudel with vanilla sauce.

According to British Airways, its new Club World menus will reflect its commitment to using British provenance and premium ingredients from local producers celebrating originality. Seasonal options such as the British Original Cottage Pie or chocolate fondant with crème anglaise will also be offered.

In addition, the airline is offering menus with regional variations to specific routes such as lemon and herb grilled mahi-mahi fish on its Caribbean flights, chicken dum biryani on routes from India and king prawn machbous from the Middle East.

The carrier is also reintroducing its express service on evening flights, with passengers being able to request a one tray service so they can enjoy a quick bite to eat and then sleep if they wish.

The new menus are curated by British Airways’ culinary experts and have been thoughtfully paired with beverage options from the airline’s in-flight drinks menu.

Sajida Ismail, British Airways’ Head of Onboard Experience, said: “It’s incredibly important that when we brought our full service back, it exceeded our customers’ expectations. We have taken time to ensure that we are offering a premium brasserie-style dining experience that not only tastes good, but one that our crew feel confident in delivering.

“We have had such great feedback from the recent introduction of new menus across our First, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller and Club Europe cabins and we know our new Club World menus won’t disappoint.”

TAP Air Portugal introduces new wine list

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TAP Air Portugal has introduced a new wine list. TAP says that, as a national ambassador, it works to promote Portuguese products and the best Portugal has to offer.

The new wine list was selected by a panel of top Portuguese and international wine specialists to ensure the best wine experience and most variety for each customer – and includes an exclusive selection of Portuguese wines from the country’s main producing regions.

A selection of 43 wines from eight different regions, representing 24 expertly sourced local producers will be offered. The new wine list is served to TAP customers until 2024. 

Over the two-year contract, TAP will purchase from these local producers and is expected to serve more than a million bottles of Portuguese wine on board the airline’s flights over this period.

Air Canada

Air Canada updates customer experience on board

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Air Canada

Air Canada has announced a comprehensive range of new product improvements to elevate the customer experience from upgraded Economy dining, more in-flight entertainment and connectivity options to enriched Premium offerings.

“Air Canada is committed to elevating the customer experience and offering the kind of world-class services Canadians can be proud of from their flag carrier. Accordingly, we are investing in all aspects of the journey to make travel even better for customers, including in our Economy and Premium cabins. Today’s announcements go beyond emerging from the pandemic; we’re proud to introduce many new services and options not available today in Canada,” said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products, Marketing and eCommerce at Air Canada.

“Among the improvements customers will see starting in November are new dining services in International Economy Class featuring the addition of regional appetizess and an entree created by acclaimed Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer on flights departing Canada and fresh Air Canada Bistro options on North American flights. Premium cabin customers will also find new amenities, such as Acqua di Parma amenity kits and complimentary Wi-Fi in Premium Rouge. What’s more, we’ll begin introducing additional in-flight entertainment content, including Live TV, so customers can watch sports events or stay on top of the news while in the air.”

From 1 November, Air Canada becomes the first Canadian airline to begin offering complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi on flights. Customers flying in Premium Rouge can stream their own entertainment, TV shows and movies, listen to their own music or simply remain connected.

From 2023, the carrier will expand its onboard entertainment content by more than 25%, introducing options such as Live TV to enable customers to watch sports events and news live. The carrier says it will release more details on the Live TV as well as additional new features such as Bluetooth audio connectivity and an outside camera feature soon.

Air Canada will be elevating its International Economy Class dining experience from November to reflect Canada’s culinary talent and tastes from our global network of destinations. Economy Class dining on all international flights departing Canada is being revamped to feature a hot entree created for Air Canada by renowned Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer, a member of Air Canada’s culinary panel. An appetizer reflecting destination cuisine is also being presented with all meals, and a separate dessert service will follow.

North America Economy Class Dining
In Economy Class on North America and Sun destination flights, the Air Canada Bistro menu will be refreshed and expanded to include a brioche bagel smoked salmon sandwich, vegan options such as Farro Salad or Spiced chickpea wrap, Canadian snacks such as Good To Go Blondies and Nomz energy bites, in addition to choices such as Montreal smoke meat sandwiches and fruit & cheese board.

Premium Cabin services and amenities
Air Canada is fully restoring its premium cabin services from November for both pre-departure and in-flight, offering to hang coats and jackets and providing pre-departure beverages on international flights and hot towels prior to meal services.

Air Canada is also introducing new amenity kits to premium cabin customers. The carrier says the new line of amenity kits and totes have been purposefully designed to significantly minimise single-use plastics including the elimination of plastic wrap.

Air Canada Signature Class customers on all international flights will be given Acqua di Parma amenity kits featuring stylish amenity bags containing Acqua di Parma luxury skincare products and an oversized eye mask, socks, dental products and 3M earplugs.

Customers in International Premium Economy and North America Signature Class overnight flights will receive reusable amenity totes containing an eye mask, socks and dental products.


Delta refreshes food and beverage choices on board

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Delta has announced that its customers can now enjoy new farmer-direct teas, cold-brew coffee, sparkling wine and beer, and snack on an updated selection of treats offered on board the carrier’s flights.

The new products highlight small businesses, suppliers from across the globe, and woman- and LGBTQ+-led brands, building on Delta’s recent efforts to create a people-first and values-led onboard experience.

Delta has recently partnered with businesses such as the first Black-owned distillery in the US, Du Nord Social Spirits, and Imagery Estate Winery, led by award-winning female winemaker Jamie Benziger.

Delta also introduced new premium Delta One amenity kits made by Mexican artisans in partnership with Someone Somewhere. The amenity kits won the IFSA Best Onboard Amenity award on 27 October jointly with Fiji Airways’ Our Ocean, Our Life Kids Activity Pack at the APEX/IFSA EXPO in Long Beach, California.

Just one example of the new beverage offering is tea sourced from around the globe in partnership with purpose-driven and Certified B corporation Thrive Farmers is now offered on board. English Breakfast tea is offered in all cabins, while Delta One customers may also opt for Guizhou Green, Egyptian Chamomile, Pacific Peppermint and malty Earl Grey.

Kristen Manion Taylor, SVP of In-Flight Service at Delta, said: “We’re always listening to what our customers tell us they’d like to see onboard, and we’re giving them more of what they say they’re craving while also making an impact in global communities. Our collaboration with brands like Thrive Farmers builds on our mission to partner with companies who do good in the world by enriching the lives of the people who create their products.”

Virgin Atlantic APEX/IFSA awards 2023

The 2023 APEX/IFSA Awards: winners announced

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Virgin Atlantic APEX/IFSA awards 2023

The annual APEX/IFSA Awards took place at the APEX/IFSA EXPO on 27 October in Long Beach, California, with Inflight Editor Satu Dahl as part of the judging panel.

The awards recognise specific and innovative new achievements successfully implemented in the past year. Winners of the six different categories of the 2023 APEX/IFSA Awards were revealed during the ceremony at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

APEX Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation award honours airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new in-flight innovation such as interactive connectivity on board and unique Wi-Fi features/offerings. The finalists in this category were AirFi’s LEO Connectivity Solution, Astronics’ CSC Cabin AXe Wireless Access Point and Stellar Blu’s Sidewinder Multi-modem Terminal. Astronics’ CSC Cabin AXe Wireless Access Point was announced as the winner.

APEX Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation award celebrates airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new in-flight innovation that is elevating the passenger experience via GUI design, features/applications, streaming, hardware, seat integration, and so on. Finalists were ABOVE’s One-Stop-Shop Digital Platform, AERQ’s AERENA Accelerated App Integration and Burrana’s RISE Power. Burrana’s RISE Power was chosen as the winning product.

APEX Best Marketing Innovation is given for a new marketing campaign or idea and 2023 finalists were Thales Avionics and Diehl Aerospace’s ICEE, Touch, Warner Bros and LATAM’s IFE Cross-Brand and Virgin Atlantic’s See the World Differently campaign. Thales Avionics and Diehl Aerospace’s ICEE won the award. The “In Cabin Experience Enhancer” (ICEE) combines the IFE with cabin projection, offering an unprecedented passenger interaction via the IFE interface.

APEX/IFSA Best Cabin Innovation award recognises outstanding achievement in creating a thoughtful new cabin environment, including galleys, lavatories, and means to increase efficiency for crew. The finalists were Avianca’s Premium Seats Narrow Body Fleet, Finnair’s Elevated Long Haul Experience and IdeaNova Technologies’ Intouch Nearcast. Finnair took home this award for its impressive new long-haul cabin design.

Finnair team with award

Finnair team with the award.

APEX/IFSA Best Product or Service honours innovations in passenger comfort, including seats, design, lighting, temperature control, air quality and more. Sustainable entries will be given additional credit. 2023 finalists in this category were HRS: Crew & Passenger Solutions, Thales Avionics: Pulse Power and Virgin Atlantic: “The Booth”. Virgin Atlantic was announced as the winner in this category for its cleverly designed Booth social space on board.

IFSA Best Inflight Food or Beverage award recognises a food or beverage product that appeals to passengers’ taste and enhances the onboard experience. The product can be an economy class complimentary or buy on board. 2023 finalists were Air France: Sustainable Onboard Experience, Thales Avionics: JetBlue Meal + Customizable Ordering and United Airlines: Impossible Meatball Bowl. Thales Avionics’ JetBlue Meal + Customizable Ordering won this category.

IFSA Best Onboard Amenity award recognises an amenity kit that provides an enhanced onboard passenger experience. The finalists were Air Astana JSC: Business Class Amenity Kits, Delta Air Lines: Someone Somewhere Amenity Kit Partnership, Fiji Airways: Our Ocean, Our Life Kids Activity Pack and John Horsfall & Sons: Finnair BC Mattress Pad. This award was won jointly by Delta Air Lines and Fiji Airways.

Big congratulations to all the winners!

Qantas rolls out new domestic Economy Class menu

Qantas rolls out new domestic Economy Class menu

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Qantas rolls out new domestic Economy Class menu

After several months of development, Qantas has rolled out its new domestic Economy Class menu. The new menu features dishes such as ham and egg hollandaise ciabattas, spinach and ricotta wraps, roast chicken and chive on light rye sandwiches, zucchini and corn fritters, pear and ginger cakes and gluten-free and plant-based chocolate caramel slices.

Bolognese calzone, chicken and potato Mediterranean croquettes, and zucchini and caramelised onion frittata are also offered, and complimentary wine and beer is available on select domestic flights from 4pm every day, and from 9am on flights over three and half hours, according to the carrier.

Qantas says the menu will be served in multiple weekly cycles out of major Australian port and that there are six variations of the menu for each service time – breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

Phil Capps, Qantas Executive Manager of Product and Service commented: “Qantas is continuing to invest in product and service as we work to get back to our best. We have been progressively returning normal service levels and last month we fast tracked the return of vegetarian options on all flights.

“We started work on the new menu several months ago and have put a lot of effort into creating variety, drawing on premium ingredients from a wide range of local producers. We are proud to promote not just great Australian produce but also some terrific Australian small businesses like The Handmade Food Company based in Caboolture and Springhill Farm from Ballarat,” added Mr Capps.