Wednesday, September 13, 2017

illy teaches coffee fundamentals at new school in San Francisco

illy, the third-generation family-owned coffee company from Trieste, Italy, today opened its first permanent University of Coffee (Università del Caffè) in the United States adjacent to its illy caffè location at 220 Montgomery Street in San Francisco.
"For illy, San Francisco is a natural choice for a first dedicated University location in America, given the city's early embrace of high-quality coffee, its vibrant culinary scene and its well-earned reputation as a major hub for innovation and education," said Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè SpA. "We are honored to contribute to the city's rich coffee culture by sharing our knowledge and passion."

Since 1999, the University of Coffee has educated nearly 200,000 producers, hospitality professionals and coffee lovers, from 25 branches. Students learn coffee history, culture, science, preparation and tasting in a hands-on setting. There will be a regular rotation of classes and events at the San Francisco location, which is also available for private events, corporate meetings and other activities.
"University of Coffee functions as a meeting place where not only coffee and hospitality professionals can train, but also as a destination where coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs can share in their passion for coffee culture," said Mark Romano, vice president of education, quality & sustainability at illy and manager for the US branch of the University of Coffee.

University of Coffee started offering classes in North America in 2008 in conjunction with renowned culinary institutes including The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the International Culinary Center (ICC), in addition to working with illy retail and hospitality partners to offer consumer coffee classes. At its core, the program serves as a centre of excellence designed to promote, support and communicate the culture of quality coffee worldwide. 

illy also offers an inter-university Master's degree course in Coffee Economics and Science in Trieste, Italy. The Master's Degree in Coffee Economics and Science provides post-graduate students interested in careers in the coffee industry with a comprehensive education in the culture of coffee, from the plant to the cup; in the social and economic value of coffee; and in the culture of coffee producing countries.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Inmarsat finds high demand for high-quality inflight Wi-Fi

The third annual Global Inflight Connectivity Survey, released this week by Inmarsat revealed that airline passengers are placing an increased importance on the presence of inflight Wi-Fi.


Inmarsat conducted the survey with the help of market research company GfK. What the partners found was that a health majority of respondents are viewing Wi-Fi as a inflight necessity. Sixty-one percent of global passengers surveyed who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline. 

“With airlines in every market racing to install or upgrade their Wi-Fi offering, passengers will have a choice to opt for an airline that offers high-quality broadband, and will soon turn their back on airlines not offering this,” said a July 28 release from Inmarsat. “Nearly half of respondents (44%) said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption.” 

The ability to connect of personal electronic devices is a top-three desire behind ticket price (53%) and flight slots (44%) for 40% of passengers who have experienced high-quality Wi-Fi. The ability to remain online and work during a flight is greatly improving passenger experience, according to more than half (56%) of business travellers who have previously used inflight Wi-Fi. Two thirds (66%) of parents traveling with children said inflight Wi-Fi helps greatly to keep children occupied during flights

Inmarsat and GfK surveyed 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America. Inmarsat said it the largest global passenger survey of its kind.

“High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air,” said Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation. “Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”
Of passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi, Inmarsat found:
  • 61% say it is more important to them than onboard entertainment 
  • 45% would rather pay for Wi-Fi than use free onboard entertainment
  • 56% of passengers say a lack of reliable inflight Wi-Fi is a major cause of frustration with plane journeys 
  • 61% agree that inflight Wi-Fi takes the anxiety out of flying because they can stay in contact with people on the ground
  • 77% of passengers would pay for inflight connectivity on short haul leisure flights, an increase from 64% in 2016. Those happiest to pay are passengers aged 25-34, parents travelling with children and passengers travelling in Asia Pacific and the United States
  • 89% of passengers are willing to pay for inflight connectivity on long haul leisure flights
  • Passengers have the highest expectations of connectivity in the Asia Pacific region, where 91% of passengers are willing to pay for Wi-Fi on a long haul flight 
  • 52% of passengers would take advantage of the ability to purchase items during a flight and collect them upon arrival at the airport, providing huge opportunities for inflight e-commerce



Thursday, July 27, 2017

JetBlue taking food company entries for BlueBud mentoring program

JetBlue today announced the opening of the application process for its business mentoring program – BlueBud.

Last year's BlueBud recipient
was The Bronx Greenmarket
Hot Sauce

“Now in its third year, JetBlue’s BlueBud initiative offers innovative, socially responsible food and beverage brands special access to JetBlue senior leaders and the airline's unique product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights,” said a release from the airline. “BlueBud is focused on products from New York State. Applications are currently being accepted here until August 30, 2017.”


The program helps feed the airline’s pipeline with sustainable and innovative food products. Small companies learn what it takes to break into airline catering while remaining true to their social mission. PAX International featured the program in this issue

“With BlueBud we’re supporting food companies that have impactful ideas and responsible practices,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “In partnership with GrowNYC, we’re highlighting the diversity of food products grown right here in New York State. Getting products onboard an aircraft is no easy task. Brands that are conscious of their environmental impact are among our first choices to serve onboard and in our airports.”

JetBlue is partnering with GrowNYC for the selection process to connect with food and beverage businesses focused on sustainable sourcing and social responsibility. A celebration announcing the winning company will be held this fall at Project Farmhouse, GrowNYC’s state-of-the-art sustainability and education center located near Union Square in New York City. As part of the airline’s passion for ethically sourced food, JetBlue is a sponsor of Project Farmhouse which serves as a classroom for the cultivation of ideas and relationships. A broad, dynamic range of programming takes place at the Farmhouse to help plant ideas and foster healthier, environmentally-friendly decisions and actions.

“GrowNYC is pleased to once again partner with JetBlue on this important program to support local food producers,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President/CEO at GrowNYC. “Small startup food companies face countless challenges in producing and marketing their products. JetBlue’s innovative BlueBud program gives new food and beverage companies a much-needed leg up and helps them build a foundation for success.”

Previous Winners:

Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce - In 2016, Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce was selected for the program. The hot sauce is made from local serrano peppers grown in collaboration with GrowNYC and Bronx Greenup. More than 40 Bronx greenmarket farms and community gardens grow these peppers. Each bottle sold directly supports these gardens and farmers and helps to revitalize the Bronx’s budding economy, asserting the borough as the next big culinary destination for local food in New York.


Hot Bread Kitchen - The first winner of the BlueBud program, in 2015, was Hot Bread Kitchen – a social enterprise bakery based in Harlem. The bakery creates economic opportunity through careers in food, with paid on-the-job training in baking for foreign-born and immigrant women. After a year of mentorship, the bakery learned what it takes to partner with an airline, and then pitched their product to JetBlue. 

Although being part of BlueBud is no guarantee to making it onboard, JetBlue was impressed by Hot Bread Kitchen’s pitch and introduced the bakery’s challah rolls onto its Mint brunch menu. Mint is JetBlue’s unique take on premium service and is available on select routes.

BlueBud promotes innovation and helps JetBlue offer responsible food and beverage options to its customers.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

HMSHost promoting app with robot



HMSHost is bringing Pepper, a 4-foot-tall humanoid robot, on a North American airport tour to encourage travelers to download the airport dining app, Host2Coast.
The Host2Coast app


Using the app, travelers can find the nearest food and beverage locations, view operating hours and menu information. At select airport dining locations, travelers can also use the app to pre-order and pay for their meal.

“HMSHost is leveraging innovative technology from SoftBank Robotics America, bringing its out-of-the-box software solution for Pepper, called Pepper Promoter, to airports across the country this summer to promote the Host2Coast app to travelers,” said the company.

Pepper’s airport tour will start at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, then on to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and other markets in the near future.

At each location, Pepper will attract and engage travelers at various points throughout the airports. Pepper Promoter will greet travelers, inform them about the Host2Coast app, and encourage them to download the app by having them enter their phone number on her screen. The traveler will then instantly receive a text message to the phone number provided that will include a link to download the Host2Coast app, depending on their mobile devices operating system. Pepper Promoter will send travelers off with her signature air guitar dance routine, leaving them with a memorable experience before their flight.

Catch Pepper during your travels this summer? Share your sighting with @HMSHost using #Host2Coast.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Aeroflot launches English in-flight magazine

Aeroflot's new in-flight magazine will help keep its English speaking passengers informed on the country's amazing cities and include biographies of important Russians, and the vast country's protected wildlife areas and culinary traditions. 

The magazine will also include details of upcoming events such as premieres, festivals and exhibitions.

The first issue includes an interview with the artist and sculptor Mikhail Shemyakin, a guide to Moscow’s best hotels, a photo-essay of the stunning scenery of Yakutia, as well as useful information about Aeroflot. Aeroflot magazine was early this month and will be rolled out across the airline’s network in the coming months. 

The magazine will be published six times per year.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Airchair – 10 years of safe transit

The Airchair, enabling the safe and easy movement of passengers with reduced mobility (PRM’s) noted its 10th year of production this spring. 

Originally launched at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2007, the Airchair weighs in at six kilograms. It’s equipped with a folding back rest that enables the aircrew or care giver to move close to the passenger to assist a safe and smooth transfer of the passenger from one seat to another. It also has the swivel castors for maneuvering in tight spaces.

“Aircrew particularly like the fact that the Airchair is so lightweight and compact so not only is it easy to move around but it is easy to stow too”, explains Brian Richards, MD of Mercury Products and the inventor of the transit chair, in a release on the product circulated at Aircraft Interior Expo last week. “The Airchair is proving popular with both short and long haul airlines around the world because of its quality and the fact that, although it is small and compact, it is incredibly robust.”

Many of the design features focus on passenger comfort and safety. The seat and backrest are made from high quality, fire retardant leather, and waist and thigh straps, side restraints and a footrest keep the passenger safe during transit. The Airchair is available in three widths 14, 15 and 16 inches and can carry passengers up to 250 kilograms.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tray table art adorns Delta 767


Delta Air Lines and The Coca-Cola Company have teamed up to bring art to the tray table.

Twelve artists from around the world worked with Delta and Coca-Cola have created an art gallery in the sky one of the airline’s 767s.


“Each artist brought their own personal style and taste to their trays and drew inspiration from some of the airline’s most popular destinations, including: Amsterdam, Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. Each piece of art celebrates themes of optimism, travel, refreshment and happiness," said a release from Delta. 

Delta will also be displaying the original trays in Concourse A, between gates A15 and A11 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Video footage and other behind-the-scenes assets of the artists in action will be shown.

Delta, along with creative agency Wieden+Kennedy New York and Coca-Cola, developed and implemented the art gallery.

More on each artist and their specific tray table art can be found on Delta’s website.