Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cruise shipping growth comes to Asia

About the same time as the airline industry will be gathering in Seattle and Long Beach, another segment of travel will be meeting in Singapore to discuss cruise industry growth with a renovated terminal to serve as the backdrop. 

The renovated Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore welcomed its first ship, Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, in May of this year. The terminal is notable not only for being the newest cruise terminal, but also operated by a company familiar to all in the airline catering industry. 

The boarding hall at Marina Bay
Cruise Center in Singapore. Part of
a $14 million renovation project
completed this year
SATS has teamed with Creuers Cruise Services of Barcelona to manage the operation. CEO of the consortium Melvin Vu will be one of the guest speakers at the Cruise Shipping Asia Pacific event September 17-18. In a Q and A session with the conference organizers, Vu laid out what he sees as the advantages of having private management over local government boards which are common in cruise shipping in the United States and elsewhere. 

"By contracting a third party to handle terminal operations, you are actually encouraging greater innovation, efficiency and growth of the cruise industry," Vu said in the interview. 

He added: "Through our joint strengths and expertise, we are able to introduce and execute innovative solutions that the government may find challenging, and are in a better position to take calculated risks and investments to further grow Singapore’s cruise industry. All in all, it leads to a more efficient use of resources, which benefits all stakeholders."

Vu laid out a future in Asia with larger terminals, better technology and a greater integration between cruise lines and cruise terminals. Before it took over the management contract at Marina Bay, SATS pioneered a "Cruise Fly" and "Fly Cruise" service that helped to effectively move passengers from the airport to the ship. 

A number of other industry heavyweights will be speaking at Cruise Shipping Asia Pacific. A full program can be found here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flying Food adds hybrid high-lift

Flying Food's hybrid at O'Hare

Flying Food Group added a fuel-saving hybrid high-lift refrigerated truck to its fleet at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport this summer.  

The truck is part of the company's overall move towards increased sustainability, noted FFG Executive Vice President of Airline Sales Nicolaus Rondeau. The new vehicle operates on both diesel fuel and electricity, with possible fuel savings of up to 30%.  During loading, fuel savings can reach 50% as the high lift operates solely on batteries.

This hybrid truck puts out fewer emissions during the entire flight catering process.  The truck's chassis is by International (Navistar), hybrid drive train by Eaton Corp, van body by Global and refrigeration by Carrier.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Strengthening a link

Emirates reports that one of its most notable route success stories has been its daily flight between Dubai and Glasgow.

So much so, that on June 1, the carrier launched a second daily flight and the event was kicked off with a party at the airport’s Skylounge. Visitors had the chance to taste offerings from the airline’s premium class menu with the help of caterer Alpha Flight. Among the VIPs on hand were Darren Bott, Emirates’ Regional Catering Manager and Alphas Development Chef, Des O’Connor. During the event, visitors had the chance to feast on first and business class service with a tasty menu of offerings.

Others in attendance were city leaders from Glasgow, airport management and Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ Vice President UK.

Alpha itself is on the verge of entering a new phase in the United Kingdom. With its partnership with LSG Sky Chefs Europe Holdings, an incorporated venture called Alpha LSG Ltd. will become effective October 1. A team of Ken Adamson, Managing Director of Alpha Flight UK and Axel Bilstein, a senior executive with LSG Sky Chefs will be in charge of the operation.  The 50/50 venture was formally announced in March of this year. Alpha alone will continue to cater British Airways at its dedicated operations in Ireland and at London Gatwick.

Alpha LSG Ltd. estimates combined revenue of £300 million with the joint venture which will be carried out at 16 airports across the UK