Emirates Flight Catering to form Kosher Arabia

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Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) has signed an MOU with CCL Holdings to establish a new partnership called Kosher Arabia.

A a dedicated production facility for kosher food will established at EKFC’s premises in the UAE with production expected to begin by January 2021.

Kosher Arabia is certified by the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union (OU) which will work in partnership with the South African Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) to provide the highest level of excellence in kosher certification to Kosher Arabia.

The experienced culinary team at EKFC will handle all food production, while CCL Holdings will provide certification and production supervision including support for menu development and foodstuff procurement.

According to Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering the partnership will cover all food channels and is exploring opening restaurants across Dubai and the GCC.

Ross Kriel, founder of CCL Holdings, and President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) said: “Kosher Arabia was set up to supply kosher food to meet the growing demand in the UAE, not only from the Jewish community here but also from other consumers looking for healthy and halal-compliant options.

dnata expands Dublin catering capacity

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dnata has begun operations at its new catering unit in Dublin, following an agreement with Aer Lingus, which sees it now provide in-flight catering services to the airline at four airports in Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast

The state-of-the art facility, located in the Dublin Airport Logistics Park, covers an area of 6,300m², is equipped with the latest technologies and has a capacity of over 30,000 meals a day.

The new centre quadruples dnata’s catering capacity in the Irish capital, enabling the company to deliver 40,000 in-flight meals a day for customers.

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.”

Between its facilities in Cork and Dublin dnata currently serves six airlines.

Etihad and Lumitics join forces to fight in-flight food wastage

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Etihad Airways and Singapore food technology start-up Lumitics are trialling 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.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “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. 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.

THAI Catering extends special meals offer

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THAI Catering has extended its sale of high-quality meals prepared by its international chefs at THAI Head Office’s lobby to its restaurant.

In addition, the special meals will be available at THAI Silom and Larnluang offices around mid-September.

Throughout July and August, THAI launched “Destination Menu by THAI Catering” by five THAI Catering international chefs under “The Taste of Travel” concept to order through LINEMAN, GrabFood, and at participating Puff & Pie bakery stores.

Varangkana Luerojwong, Managing Director, THAI Catering, said that the “Destination Menu by THAI Catering” dishes were launched in response to the popularity of food delivery service

The special menu was based on THAI’s five destinations by five international chefs of THAI Catering under the concept “The Taste of Travel”, and included dishes celebrating Arabian, Chinese, French, Indian and Japanese cuisine.

On Air Dining enjoys post-lockdown revival

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Investment and an efficiency drive made during the COVID-19 lockdown is paying dividends for On Air Dining, with the company recording revenues 45% ahead of projections for July and August and trending higher than the London private aviation recovery rate.

In the face of competition, On Air Dining has also maintained 40% revenue from newly acquired customers.

Both Stansted and Farnborough facilities were streamlined for efficiency to better service last minute requests, with additional staff hired at Farnborough to meet current demand and future growth.

‘It was important to me that we remain open during lockdown to continue to support our customers and crews in their effort to get passengers and supplies safely to their destination. It was most certainly a risk, but it has paid off in customer goodwill and of course increase in market share. I’m incredibly proud of our success in such a competitive market and feel we are better positioned for growth in the post-recovery market. The Team’s dedication to safety, service, and continual improvement was key,’ commented Daniel Hulme, CEO, On Air Dining

Virgin Atlantic expands onboard offering

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To coincide with the resumption of more international services and the introduction of additional routes to its network, Virgin Atlantic is also expanding its onboard offering to increase its food and beverages service onboard.

From 1 September, a hot food service will be available in all cabins with Economy and Premium Economy customers enjoying a “Fly safe, eat well” meal box, which incorporates a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot. Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, dessert, cheese plate & crackers and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray.

An expanded alcohol service will include champagne, miniature liquors and mixers as well as beer and wine in Upper Class and a choice of beer, wine and miniature liquors & mixers in Economy and Premium.

A second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes the Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard in all cabins. In Upper Class, this is accompanied by a glass of chilled champagne. On night flights, the second service will feature a choice of hot breakfast entrees, accompanied by a seasonal fresh fruit selection and sweet pastry, and in Premium and Economy a breakfast box with yoghurt and fruit, served alongside a warm pastry. The second service is served with a hot beverage of PG Tips tea or Change Please coffee.

In Upper Class, Virgin is reintroducing a selection of sweet and savoury snacks to enjoy throughout the flight, from Corkers crisps to Olly’s olives, Sweet & Salty cloud corn to Sour watermelon candy, Walkers biscuits and much more. Premium sees the return of the much-loved Wander Wall offering a range of delicious snacks. In Economy customers can enjoy an extra snack as part of the upgraded meal box.

There will also be a choice of new special meals, including lacto-ovo vegetarian and kosher from 1 September and vegan, halal, low lactose, gluten friendly – amongst others- from 1 October.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We can’t wait to welcome our customers back onboard and flying them safely to their destinations – whilst our services may temporarily be little different and our crew will be wearing masks, they will be smiling behind them and working incredibly hard to deliver the experience we know our customers love. Initial feedback from our customers on our restart services has been overwhelmingly positive, flying safe and well, returning to the skies with confidence.”

WK Thomas steps up hygiene and personal protection offering

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With COVID-19 introducing a new dimension to both food and beverage services onboard the aircraft as well as facilities management, WK Thomas, (WKT) has unveiled its ‘Essentials Range’ offering increased hygiene and personal protection. The collection covers a core range of personal protective equipment (PPE), disposable food packaging and hygiene products.

“Hygiene and personal protection are now more important than ever and will remain so for the forseeable future,” said WK Thomas Head of Travel, David Simpson. “Alongside our popular packaging ranges from hot food boxes and containers, to plates, single wrapped cutler and sealed cutlery packs – as well as our new Quick Serve meal boxes – offering our Essentials Range timely and practical support for businesses now operating under different rules.”

Alongside its range of hygienic food packaging and wrapped cutlery WKT’s Essentials Range PPE products include face masks, powder-free vinyl gloves, aprons and hairnets. Anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitisers, touchless hand sanitiser dispenser stations and signage illustrating social distancing guidelines are also on offer.

With more than 90 years experience in the travel and catering sector, David Simpson underlines that, “We not only have the product range but are actively working alongside businesses to ensure a safe return to normal with the appropriate practices and procedures in place.”

India relaxes restrictions on onboard services

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The Government of India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has relaxed its guidance on the provision of onboard meal services and in-flight entertainment.
Taken in consideration the concerns of stakeholders, Indian airlines will now be allowed to serve pre-packaged snacks, meals and beverages, depending upon flight time.

In all classes, tray set-up, plates and cutlery will have to be completely disposable with no re-use. In all classes, all hot and cold beverages will be in disposable cans/containers/bottles/glasses. There will be no pouring service and beverages will be served in single-use disposable units.

IFE, where available, can now be switched on, subject to strict compliance including the wipedown of all individual systems, with approved cleaning agents. Cleaning and disinfection is to take place prior to boarding of passengers.

Disposable earphones or cleaned and disinfected headphones are to be provided to passengers at the start of the flight. Each seat has to have its own dedicated IFE which can only be used by the passenger occupying the seat.

All passenger touchpoints will have to be carefully cleaned and disinfected after the flight.

Chef Jérôme Ferrer joins Air Canada Culinary Panel as onboard cuisine reintroduced

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Air Canada is partnering with Montreal-based Chef Jérôme Ferrer, who will design meals for the airline’s Premium Economy and Economy Class customers on all flights departing Canada for Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and South America once these flights resume.

Chef Ferrer joins fellow Canadian Chefs David Hawksworth, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij, whose meals will be offered as more Air Canada flights resume.

Andrew Yiu, Vice-President – Product at Air Canada commented: “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. We look forward to presenting his unique, innovative creations to customers travelling in Premium Economy and Economy Class on our international flights departing Canada. We are the first North American airline to partner with a celebrated chef to curate complimentary meals in Economy Class, affirming our ongoing commitment to customer service excellence and continuous investment in all of our products and services.”

For the first time, chef-designed meals by Chef Park will also be introduced in Business Class – North America:

Chef David Hawksworth’s Canadian-themed dishes will be showcased in Signature Class on flights to Europe and Israel, as well as to Australia when those flights resume.

Chef Antonio Park’s meals will be featured in Signature Class on flights to Asia and South America, once those flights resume, and in Signature Class and Business Class within North America.

Chef Jerome Ferrer’s meals will be presented in Premium Economy and Economy Class on international flights departing Canada.

Chef Vikram Vij’s creations will be featured on flights to India when those flights are able to resume.

Limited in-flight food options in Economy Class onboard North American flights greater than two hours will be re-introduced on a pre-order basis.

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.

Menu details for all cabins and flights are available at aircanada.com and via the Air Canada App early August.

Trio join forces to promote healthy eating

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The troika of FLYWELL, IN Air Travel Experience and The Aviation Nutritionist have collaborated to develop the FLYWELL IN.bowl which combines their expertise in in-flight nutrition, wellness, relaxation and fine cuisine.

FLYWELL IN.bowl is a nourishing range of one-dish meals curated by The Aviation Nutritionist, designed to boost immunity and combat the negative effects of air travel. The ingredients are carefully selected to balance immunity and body function while ensuring passengers maintain peak physical and mental performance during and after their flight.

As part of the experience, the FLYWELL in-flight entertainment programme offers a varied menu of health-focused techniques for both the mind and body, 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.

The FLYWELL IN.bowls have been designed to be sustainable, reusable and space-efficient, and are aimed primarily at improving economy class long-haul dining experience, they are also suitable for premium cabin and ideal for pre-order.

Charlotte Dodson, FLYWELL Co-founder and Ambassador says: “By working to relax and calm the body – and providing it with the right nutrients to assist in its optimal functioning – the traveller will be able to still their mind and create better conditions for internal balance. 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”.

According to Anne De Hauw, Founder of IN Air Travel Experience and creator of the IN.bowl: “The scale of in-flight catering today is astonishing, as is its waste problem. Half-eaten meals, discarded packaging, empty plastic water bottles. The IN.bowl not only minimises cabin waste, it also reduces [catering] costs substantially.

The Aviation Nutritionist CEO Sarah Anderson adds: “Menus served at 30,000 ft should be every bit as nourishing as the meals we eat on the ground. Mouth-watering, nutritionally-tailored meals are no longer the preserve of private aviation – our aim is to serve invigorating, balanced, restaurant-quality meals to all passengers, from First to Economy.”