World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo celebrates 10th anniversary

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The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The show, which returns to Hamburg Messe from 14 to 16 June, has a series of initiatives to mark the milestone and will focus on enabling the industry to accelerate its post-pandemic recovery and enhance the passenger travel experience.

The key themes this year include sustainability and wellness, passenger personalisation, boosting ancillary revenue and inspiring the next generation. The event will feature more than 250 suppliers of onboard products and services, including more than 75 companies making their WTCE debut this year such as GreenMouse, Cocktailmenot, Landgarten and catering specialists SATS.

WTCE has also announced that a new competition, Onboard Icons, will be launched at the event. The competition will spotlight the industry’s most influential people and recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals in the sector over the last decade.

WTCE Event Director Polly Magraw said: “We’re thrilled that we’ll be reuniting back at the Hamburg Messe for WTCE once again after a three-year break, and I’m sure the industry is equally as keen to meet old contacts and create new relationships at the event.

“We are particularly excited to celebrate WTCE’s 10th anniversary and share some of the industry’s fantastic successes from the past decade, while looking ahead to the next 10 years. Although it has been a tough couple of years for the aviation and travel industry, we’re looking forward to celebrating and supporting our visitors and exhibitors with a programme packed with opportunities to learn, discover and build sustainable businesses for the future.”

Visitors and exhibitors are invited to a free-to-attend drinks reception, sponsored by Heineken, to celebrate the 10th anniversary and to network with other attendees on Wednesday 15 June.

Ipeco introduces new SAROS Beverage Maker

Ipeco announces new beverage maker with reliable flow-through heating system

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Ipeco introduces new SAROS Beverage Maker

Aircraft crew and executive jet passenger seating supplier Ipeco has expanded its growing presence within the aircraft galley insert market with a new range of inserts for both new and retrofit installations.

Ipeco says its SAROS products combine technological innovation and robust performance, improve food and beverage service for airlines and operators worldwide across multiple platforms and allow for customisation and configuration where required.

The SAROS beverage maker showcases new and exciting technological innovations, according to Luis Ruiz, Ipeco’s senior project engineer.

He said: “Key features include the ability to brew 1.5 litres of beverages to 88⁰C in under four minutes. However, flow-through heating which facilitates non-stop brewing is the game-changer, generating instant access to hot coffee or hot water for every passenger.”

The SAROS beverage maker can perform back-to-back brewing without any pre-heat, refill or re-heating time, generating significant efficiencies for crew and improving customer satisfaction. It also autonomously maintains the temperature within the heater to ensure that there is always instant access to hot water at the faucet, ensuring the next brew cycle is ready to go immediately.

Ruiz added: “The light bar display features patented technology unique to the SAROS range. This presents a live output of the equipment’s status providing cabin crew with important information that is visible from across the galley or down the aisle, thus reducing the need for cabin crew to return to the equipment to check its readiness.”

According to Ipeco, the SAROS beverage maker is designed to reduce the effects of limescale build-up on critical control and safety components by limiting their contact with hot water. The flow-through heater design also reduces the amount of water stored within the system and therefore lowers the amount of potential limescale deposited into the hydraulics, improving reliability and maintainability.

British airways gin

British Airways introduces Aviation American Gin on board

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British airways gin

British Airways and Aviation American Gin have announced that the gin brand will be available on board the carrier’s long-haul and short-haul networks.

On long-haul flights, passengers will be offered the gin from the in-flight menu and short-haul customers will be able to buy it from the onboard Speedbird café.

British Airways says the partnership builds on the opening of the Aviation Gin bar in the airline’s Club Lounge at JFK Airport in October 2021.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “Offering our customers a premium experience throughout their journey is important to us. Partnering with Aviation American Gin is another great addition to our on-board service. We hope our customers join us in celebrating with a refreshing gin and tonic.”

Gareth Williams, International Brand Director at Aviation American Gin, said: “We’re so excited to get on board with the UK flag carrier British Airways and take Aviation American Gin to new heights – the sky! Through this partnership, we’re keen to enhance each traveller’s experience with a deliciously refreshing Aviation Gin cocktail for flyers to enjoy on journeys near and far, offering an American twist on this quintessentially British drink.”

The partnership is being launched with an alternative safety video starring Aviation American Gin co-owner Ryan Reynolds, which can be watched via @AviationGin’s social channels.

WTCE launches competition

WTCE launches new ‘Onboard Icons’ competition

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WTCE launches competition

World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is launching a new “Onboard Icons” competition to spotlight the industry’s most influential people.

WTCE, a leading global event for in-flight catering, buy onboard and passenger comfort, will take place from 14 to 16 June 2022 at the Hamburg Messe, and will see attendees from more than 70 global airlines, rail companies and international caterers reunite at its first face-to-face event since the start of the pandemic.

The Onboard Icons competition will recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals in the sector over the last decade.

WTCE says that since its first event in 2012 the onboard catering and services industry has evolved significantly, with countless innovative trends and developments – none of which would have been possible without people in the industry driving customer experience and business growth, and the competition will celebrate their impressive determination to propel the industry forward.

People working in the onboard hospitality industry are encouraged to take part and nominate friends and colleagues between 16 February and 30 March via the WTCE website. All nominations will be open to a vote in the lead-up to the exhibition to find the top 10 most influential people.

WTCE Event Director, Polly Magraw, said: “We are not only delighted to be returning for our first live WTCE event since 2019, but it is particularly special this year as we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. The Onboard Icons competition is designed to acknowledge some of the sector’s most influential people who have helped shape the industry into what it is today. It has been inspiring to see how the show and industry has progressed over the last 10 years and now we’re excited for the very best in our industry to share their achievements too.”

Icelandair meals

Icelandair announces option to pre-purchase meals before flight

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Icelandair meals

Icelandair is offering the carrier’s passengers the option to pre-purchase meals before flight, with the airline saying the option is available during the booking process.

Economy customers travelling with Icelandair can now pre-purchase their in-flight food on flights between Iceland and Europe and between Iceland and North America.

Icelandair is also offering a wider range of meals and passengers are able to choose from a choice of a three-course menu, an open sandwich and vegan and low-carb options. Passengers who choose not to pre-purchase their meals can purchase light snacks on board.

Icelandair passengers can add meals in “My Journey” until 24 hours before departure for those pre-purchasing. The carrier says this new offering is in line with Icelandair’s sustainability goals, the objective of reducing food waste and aircraft load. Additionally, the airline has introduced new environmentally friendly food packaging on board.

KLM and Heineken announce sustainability initiative

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Heineken and KLM have announced a sustainability initiative as part of their long-term strategic partnership.

The companies revealed that Heineken and Heineken 0.0 beer, served on board KLM flights and in KLM lounges, are both now brewed with 100% green energy.

Alexander de Nerée Tot Babberich, Global Account Manager Airlines, Global Duty Free Heineken, said: “In our long-term relationship, spanning over 20 years, Heineken and KLM have partnered in many initiatives to enhance the in-flight experience for KLM passengers.  By sharing this commitment to serving Heineken brewed with green energy to KLM passengers, we contribute to the Heineken company’s sustainability commitments. We are proud to be partnering with KLM in this initiative.”

Etihad Warner Bros package

Etihad Airways and Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi launch ‘Little VIP’ package

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Etihad Warner Bros package

The UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways has partnered with the Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi theme park to launch a one-of-a-kind family-friendly experience on board its fleet.

Etihad’s new “Little VIP” campaign aims to make travelling with children as easy and enjoyable as possible. Activity packs featuring the park’s iconic animation characters such as Scooby-Doo, Sylvester and his beloved nemesis Tweety are given to guests travelling on longer flights with Etihad.

The airline says its new children’s gifts are designed for three different age ranges. Infants up to two years old will be given a soft fleece blanket decorated with the faces of Tweety, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Sylvester. Flyers aged three to eight years will get a drawstring bag that includes an activity book, crayons, memory card game and passport holder, and passengers aged nine to 13 will receive a Scooby-Doo-themed backpack featuring the Museum of Mysteries board game designed to promote Yas Island’s incredibly immersive indoor theme park, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.

In addition to the Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi’s themed in-flight gifts, Etihad is also focusing on family travel by training cabin crew and ground crew to identify and support family travel needs.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has a dedicated family check-in space which will be available for families with minimised queuing time to make family journeys as smooth as possible.

Young travellers will also get their meals first for convenience during flights, and diners will experience Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi-themed dining equipment in bright colours. The menu has been enhanced and includes traditional children’s favourites such as fusilli pasta with meatballs, waffles and pancakes.

Etihad says the new children’s packs and dining experience have been designed with product purpose and reusability in mind. The gifts can be taken away and treasured, encouraging children to feel excited about travelling with Etihad, and the use of single-use plastics is avoided.

Etihad is also offering bespoke children’s in-flight entertainment in a fun, kid-friendly format, with a wide selection of family-friendly Warner Bros movies and TV shows including Space Jam, Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny and the Flintstones.

The carrier’s selection of TV shows for older kids from the DC Universe includes Batman, Justice League and Teen Titans, and an extensive selection of kids’ music albums is offered in addition to a variety of e-games for avid gamers. The games can also be played seat-to-seat.

Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, Etihad Airways, said: “This year we will bring product innovation to the forefront and this is the first of many exciting developments to look forward to. We’re thrilled to be kicking this off with a focus on our ‘Little VIPs’ and their families.

“We understand and appreciate that it’s not always easy travelling with little ones, however, this collaboration with Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi is designed to make the travel experience an exciting one for children and an easier one for their parents.

“With the help of Scooby-Doo and the Looney Tunes, we promise that even the tiniest travellers will love every minute of their journey with Etihad Airways.”

Corendon Dutch Airlines to launch in-seat food and duty-free service

Corendon Dutch Airlines to launch in-seat food and duty-free service

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Corendon Dutch Airlines to launch in-seat food and duty-free service

Charter airline Corendon Dutch Airlines has announced it is giving passengers the ability to order their favourite snacks or duty-free items on board from the carrier’s “Corendon Café” digital portal and have them delivered directly to their seat.

These new in-flight features, which have been developed in partnership with the carrier’s long-term cabin technology and inflight entertainment partner AirFi, are designed to enhance the passenger experience, reduce waste and optimise ancillary revenue opportunities.

The new in-seat ordering service across Corendon Dutch Airlines, which is part of Turkish leisure airline Corendon Airlines, is launching on the carrier’s fleet of three Boeing 737-800 aircraft following a successful trial. Passengers can use the service by connecting to Corendon’s streaming IFE and shopping platform, powered by AirFi, by using their own mobile devices and the appropriate WiFi network on board.

Gert-Jan de Vries, Manager of Cabin Crew and Inflight Sales at Corendon Dutch Airlines, said: “Since COVID-19 began, passengers have been asked not to walk about the cabin, and since childhood most of us were taught not to press the flight attendant call button unless absolutely necessary. This is very courteous, but not ideal if the passenger really would like to buy some duty-free or have a refreshment.

“With AirFi’s in-seat ordering, we provide a more discreet way for our guests to request what they want, when they want it. The result is that our guests are more content during the flight and as an airline we earn additional revenue that might have otherwise been lost.”

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Job Heimerikx, AirFi’s CEO, said: “Corendon has been a partner of AirFi for many years and we’re incredibly excited to announce that they’re the first European airline to adopt our groundbreaking in-seat ordering capabilities. By offering hybrid service that begins with the traditional trolley service then switches to in-seat ordering, Corendon is truly maximising the potential of its on-board retail programme.”

Corendon serves a wide array of snacks and hot and cold drinks on board, as well as warm meals such as soup and pizza, and regional favourites such as Stroopwafels and Broodje kroket, which is a popular Dutch sandwich consisting of a deep-fried kroket inside a soft bread roll or a bun.  Crew can monitor stock levels through the staff-facing side of the new system, marking products as “out of stock” once they become unavailable.

british airways menu

British Airways improves customer experience with new menus

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british airways menu

British Airways is set to offer a range of improvements to its customers on the ground and in the air as part of the carrier’s commitment to creating a more sustainable premium experience.

The airline is introducing new plant-based menus which will initially roll out across the airline’s Heathrow lounges and, as part of its commitment to sustainability, it also continues to remove single-use plastic.

Plastic water bottles in Heathrow lounges are being replaced with glass and this will also be rolled out across the airline’s UK lounges over the next month. BA lounge customers can also continue to order food directly to their table using their mobile device.

From next month, the carrier is set to move to a service more akin to one that customers would have experienced pre-pandemic, with customers travelling in Club Europe receiving new menus. The airline says it is also working on the next phase of its long-haul catering proposition.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “We’re committed to ensuring we deliver a premium proposition for our customers throughout their journey with us – and when we do so we need to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of it.

“We want to create an even better British Airways and know that we need to keep making changes to the customer experience with things like alternative menus, reducing plastics and introducing new technology to get us to where we want to be.

“In addition to these improvements, we are also moving ahead at speed with some of the larger initiatives that we promised to our customers, such as the roll-out of our award-winning business class seat, Club Suite.”

The carrier launched its BA Better World sustainability programme last year, making a further commitment to putting sustainability at the heart of its business.

American Airlines celebrates Black History Month in the US

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American Airlines is hosting numerous events and initiatives this month to celebrate Black History Month in the US.

The carrier says that in 2022, American Airlines’ products and services in its Flagship Lounges, in-flight dining and entertainment offerings also aim to better connect with Black travellers.

Customers can now tune into the “American Black Film Festival” channel via the airline’s in-flight entertainment, with short film and documentary channel launches in February including films such as Not Just a Name, Postmate, Code Switch and Descended from the Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street. The airline will also continue to add more films throughout the year.

According to the carrier, it has sponsored the American Black Film Festival for more than 20 years. Its Black History Month in-flight entertainment channel is curated by the airline’s Black Professional Network Employee Business Resource Group that pays tribute to timeless films such as Selma, Moonlight and The Princess and the Frog.

American Airlines will also be offering a new domestic first class dining experience featuring brands rooted in diversity such as Partake. On the ground, the airline is working with top chefs such as Tiffany Derry to create menus for its Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Derry will create menu items with a high-end twist to her family’s classic southern recipes in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, an organisation with a mission to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability.