ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba.

Industry bodies collaborate on guidance for in-flight services ‎

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ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba.

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and ‎the Airline Catering Association (ACA) have announced the development of a 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. ‎

The ACA/IFSA COVID-19 Guideline introduces several guiding principles which 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.

“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,” stated ACA Managing Director Fabio Gamba (pictured).

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.

Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest continues commitment to in-flight catering

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Newrest is using cobots in its inflight catering facilities

Newrest Toronto has begun providing in-flight catering services on board Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi.

Due to the pandemic, the mobilisation and launching phases were carried out by daily exchanges with the Abu Dhabi-based chefs, equipment managers and ground operations.

Newrest Canada operates solely in the in-flight activity with four catering production units in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. In Montreal, there are two catering production units, one for international airlines, the other for the Air Canada Hub.

Elsewhere, Newrest has begun the construction on a brand-new production unit in Israel.

The 10,000 square meter in-flight catering kitchen close to the Ben Gurion Airport of Tel-Aviv, will be operational within 20 months.

Advanced solutions will be implemented throughout the unit such as cobot assisted assembly lines, greener washing area and cleaning system as well as a digitised workflow.

Newrest spent three years researching the use of collaborative robots (cobots) to improve the productivity of its in-flight units.

The initial step was the creation of the universal robotic hand, which can grip any type of object in any type of container.

Staff work hand in hand with the cobots in a fully integrated process. The operator sets the pace, and the machine relieves him of having to do low added value tasks. This occurs from the portioning stage onwards.

The latest cobots are equipped with the latest technologies including robotic garnishing lines, technological assistance with the assembly of trolleys, preparation and dispatch of flights, automated washing up of dishes and trays, automated sorting of cutlery and automatic bagging machines.

Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Catering partners announced for Lufthansa’s new economy class on-board service

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Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Lufthansa has selected dean&david and Dallmayr, as catering partners for its new economy class food and beverage service on short- and medium-haul flights.

Munich-based dean&david, will provide healthy food made from high-quality ingredients and sustainable nutrition delivered in environmentally friendly packaging, on flights with a duration of at least 60 minutes.

Gate Gourmet, Lufthansa’s new main caterer for Europe, will prepare essential components of the assortment, such as salads, bowls, wraps and sandwiches, fresh daily according to dean&david recipes. The menu includes a salmon avocado bowl, falafel tahini salad, crunchy chicken bowl or sweet chilli chicken sandwich as well as freshly made Birchermuesli. There will also be “Best of dean&david Boxes” with a fine selection from the dean&david assortment.

The menu selection will be complemented by cake specialities and snacks from other manufacturers, such as vegetable crisps. The range of fresh products will be updated every three months.

Lufthansa will be expanding its long-standing cooperation with the traditional Munich-based company Dallmayr for hot beverages, confectionery and patisserie specialties. The product range is complemented by various organic teas, such as Alpine Herbs and First Flush Darjeeling, as well as chocolate milk. Furthermore, chocolates from the Dallmayr praline factory and a selection of cake specialities in cooperation with Gate Gourmet will also be offered.

There will also be a large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A bottle of water and a small chocolate surprise will be served free of charge.

Christina Foerster, Executive Board Lufthansa Group Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility, commented: “Our partners dean&david and Dallmayr represent 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 scheduled to be available on Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul flights starting in the course of the summer timetable 2021. Orders will be placed directly on board.

Flagship Cellars - American's new at-home wine experience

American Airlines launches at-home wine experience

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Flagship Cellars - American's new at-home wine experience

American Airlines has launched a wine delivery service.

The Flagship Cellars at-home wine experience allows anyone 21 years or older to select their wine preferences at vinesse.com/flagshipcellars.

Customers can select from curated collections of mixed wines, build their own custom box, or purchase a monthly wine subscription which includes three prestigious wines for US$99.99, including delivery.

American will hand-pick wines from its Flagship wine collection, chosen by an award-winning master sommelier exclusively for American. The curated collection features exclusive ultra-premium wines at a lower price and with AAdvantage mileage benefits.

“For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at American. “We created Flagship Cellars to provide more ways for customers to enjoy our Flagship wine even if they aren’t flying in one of our premium cabins.”

Wines considered for the American Airlines wine program undergo a thorough process. Twice a year, the wine experts identify top selections based on their notes and historical data on what has been most popular with customers around the world. The team meets with its award-winning master sommelier to blind taste wines before presenting final options to a variety of American team members to solicit feedback and identify which wines are best suited for onboard and in lounges.

En Route has introduced a new cheese board for economy class passengers

En Route brings quality cheese to economy cabins

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En Route has introduced a new cheese board for economy class passengers

En Route International has extended its ‘Cheese Board’ brand, for buy-on-board, economy and premium economy cabins. The products are also available as a pre-order option.

Created by the firm’s new product development team by working closely with its clients and partners from across the globe, the two new cheese products aim to make a “quality cheese service more accessible to a wider range of passengers and airlines.”

The ‘Cheese Board Box’ consists of a small cardboard box which can hold a variety of prepacked cheeses and accompaniments such as crackers, chutneys, pickles, or a dried fruit garnish.

As a single service option, it reduces operational complexity and requires no crew intervention.

The second product, a lighter version of the ‘Cheese Board Box’, offers a chilled cheese option for carriers looking for a more cost-effective solution. The two-cavity pack includes crackers and cheese slices with a card sleeve around a sealed tray.

En Route is also working on a number of additional new products and services, due to be launched to support the recovery of the sector.

David Helm, sales director, En Route International said: “Quality cheese has long been a challenge for economy and premium economy carriers so we are delighted to be able to offer these options to them.”

Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

DO&CO secures first contract with Delta Air Lines

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Delta A330-900 aircraft in flight

As it looks to expand in the US, DO&CO has won its first contract with Delta Air Lines.

From 16 March 2021 DO&CO will be the airline’s sole Hub Caterer in Detroit (DTW) for the next 10 years. DO & CO will be responsible for the entire board service across all short and long-haul flights.

In a statement, the caterer said that its culinary expertise will “support Delta Air Lines in its vision to improve the in-flight customer experience. The Gourmet Entertainment provided by DO&CO invigorates Delta Air Lines distinctiveness and promises to enhance its reputation as a premium airline.”

The caterer will also bid for Delta Air Lines’ upcoming Hub tenders in 2021.

BA has re-signed chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

British Airways serves up pre-order gourmet food

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BA has re-signed chef Tom Kerridge to oversee its gourmet pre-order menu for Euro Traveller

As part of its focus on the short-haul experience, British Airways is partnering with British chef, Tom Kerridge for its new Speedbird Café menu in Euro Traveller.

The dishes designed by Kerridge have been created with a special focus on British provenance. These include Warm Steak & Ale Pie; Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Sandwich; Spiced Cauliflower Tortilla Wrap (Vegan), Chicken, Bacon and Celery Brioche, and Brie Ploughman’s Sandwich (Vegetarian).

British Airways will continue to offer complimentary refreshment, comprising a bottle of water and a snack, such as a breakfast bar or crisps introduced in response to the pandemic, alongside its new Speedbird Café pre-purchase menu, hosted on its in-flight retail site www.highlifeshop.com.

Speedbird Café will launch as a pre-order proposition, which will allow customers to customise their journey by purchasing food, drink and in-flight 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 airline will also be introducing another BrewDog IPA, exclusively available for British Airways’ customers. The Scottish craft brewery has developed another exciting blend for the airline called JetSteam, following on from the limited edition Speedbird 100.

Elsewhere, the airline will also be moving to the next phase of its on-board catering experience in Club Europe and on all long-haul flights from 20 January 2021, following the temporary introduction of minimum-contact meal boxes to keep customers safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline’s culinary teams have been working with caterers, DO&CO, to develop new menus in its Club Europe and all other long-haul cabins, as well as adapting the meal service to reintroduce china and glassware.

Chef Tim Boury has re-committed to designing menus for Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines and chef Tim Boury renew collaboration for 2021

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Chef Tim Boury has re-committed to designing menus for Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is to continue its culinary collaboration with Belgian chef Tim Boury to create gastronomic experiences for Business Class customers on its long-haul flights.

Following a successful first collaboration in 2020, Boury returns to create four different menus throughout 2021 for Brussels Airlines’ Business Class guests on intercontinental flights.

“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 on board of our flights,” commented Tanguy Cartuyvels, Head of Customer Experience and Product at Brussels Airlines.

Boury will work with local and seasonal produce to promote Belgian gastronomy.

For the first months of the year, Boury has 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. The meal is rounded off with a dessert of white chocolate, banana and blackcurrant.

Salmon Miso Yaki : rilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice,

JAPAN RAIL CAFÉ offers diners chance to savour JAL in-flight meals

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Salmon Miso Yaki : rilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice,

In a collaborative first, JAPAN RAIL CAFÉ, a travel-themed cafe operated by the East Japan Railway Company, and Japan Airlines (JAL) are giving diners a limited one-month opportunity to enjoy a selection of in-flight meals in the café, and opportunity to purchase exclusive JAL merchandise.

Kentaro Dobashi, Vice President and Regional Manager of Japan Airlines Singapore said: “This partnership represents the timeless synergy between two industries—air and rail—that is so instrumental to a memorable travel experience in Japan. We are delighted that our friends in Singapore will be able to relive happy moments—whether it is the anticipation of arrival while enjoying a meal onboard or purchasing a memento of your journey—through dining at JAPAN RAIL CAFE.”

Prepared by SATS, Japan Airlines’ in-flight caterer in Singapore, the meals are strictly limited in quantity, with only 600 meals available during the month-long promotion. Served on JAL trays and compartmentalised into two appetisers, a main and dessert, these two menu varieties were specifically chosen for their popularity among passengers.

Both choices come with Zaru Udon—chilled udon noodles served with wasabi and soba dipping sauce, Kobachi—a ‘small bowl’ or side dish of spinach, corn and shimeji mushrooms in a savoury broth, as well as JAL Signature Earl Grey Chiffon Cake.

The Salmon Miso Yaki Dainomono contains grilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice, while the Chicken Takiawase Tamago is a succulent chicken thigh with shiitake mushrooms, green beans, red peppers and shredded tamago on Japanese rice.

A choice of coffee (Hot Drip Coffee or Cold Brew) or tea (Hot Citrus Green Tea or Iced Citrus Green Tea) is included with the meal.

For every in-flight meal ordered, customers, who must be a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident, get a chance to enter the grand lucky draw and win one of two JR East passes.

Until 31 January, customers can choose from 19 unique items that include JAL chopstick holders, Japanese stationery, tote bags, model planes as well as JAL branded golf balls and markers. The JAL Furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) will also be available.

In addition, Japan Airlines’ Singapore-based cabin crew will be at JAPAN RAIL CAFE every Saturday and Sunday of January starting from 9 January, from 12pm to 6pm, to teach interested customers the art of wrapping gifts with furoshiki, as well as folding origami paper planes and cranes.

Customers who order the in-flight meal are also entitled to airfare discounts of up to 28%, valid or travel until 31 March 2022.

Passengers in Economy Class will be able to indulge in a festive meal of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ award-winning chefs.

Emirates unveils festive onboard menu

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Passengers in Economy Class will be able to indulge in a festive meal of roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ award-winning chefs.

Until 31 December, passengers travelling from Dubai to select routes in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, the US, Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines, can enjoy a taste of Christmas on board.

Passengers in economy class will be able to enjoy roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, green peas, baby carrots and cranberry jus lié prepared by Emirates’ chefs. For dessert, Emirates will serve chocolate mousse with a Mandarin orange compote.

Customers in first and business class can enjoy roasted turkey breast and apricot stuffing, roast potatoes with creamy brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and cranberry jus lié. For dessert, passengers will be served festive sweets such as a Santa inspired chocolate cranberry cake or a chocolate gingerbread cake.

From 23-25 December, customers travelling in first and business class can enjoy mulled wine served with garnishes like cinnamon sticks, red currants and orange slices. In premium classes, customers can also enjoy a hot chocolate with special trimmings to customise as they wish like marshmallows, white and dark chocolate, strawberries and raspberries. The hot beverage is served with fresh Christmas bakes including cranberry, pistachio & white chocolate cookies, spiced gingerbread snowflake cookies and gingerbread houses.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Emirates’ cabin crew will give away edible holiday gifts in all classes: in first class – a special holiday cupcake; business class – gingerbread Christmas tree cookie with marzipan cane; economy – chocolate truffles.

Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, ice, will also show Christmas favourites like Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Miracle, along with TV specials like the Christmas Episodes from the Big Bang Theory and Friends and Modern Family: The Last Christmas.