Monday, May 20, 2013

Etihad seeking out local vendors

Etihad Airways wants to go local, as much as possible with companies in the UAE.
Officials at the airline spoke to more than 350 delegates from Abu Dhabi and UAE businesses at its first Vendor Symposium held recently. The airline greeted suppliers and commerce officials along with representatives of UAE government departments.
“Etihad Airways is an enabler of the Abu Dhabi economy and its 2030 vision, and we want to do more business with quality UAE-based suppliers,” said Etihad Airways’ Chief Financial Officer James Rigney. “Working with us is about being best-in-class, growing and keeping pace with us and our equity partners, and doing so with competitive pricing.”

Etihad Airways’ Vice President P&SM Adil Al Mulla, gave an overview of the airline’s procurement principles before outlining the spending and procurement trends in corporate services, fuel management, airline and in-flight services, supply management, and e-tools.
There was a discussion with delegates, where the airline’s management instructed potential vendors on how to register with Etihad, how to participate in tenders, selection criteria, current supplier concerns and geographic proximity.
Plans are in the offing for another event next year. Companies interested in learning about Etihad’s procurement process can go here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Aircraft seating market set to take off in 10 years

At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg there was all the evidence one needed to believe that seating will be one of the hottest demand markets in the cabin services sector in the years to come. New designs, innovations and entrants of all sizes and weights, vying for a share of the market, were in evidence everywhere.

But recently, numbers from an industry-watching group affirms that the market for seating will nearly double over the next decade, rising to more than 840,000 seats by 2022. IHS Inc., previously IMS Research released its report on the market this week.

In normal periods (if there are any) airlines will change out seating on an aircraft at anywhere between eight and 10 years. However, financially struggling carriers have slowed pace of replacements, particularly in North America. Now, IHS says, order backlogs are at approximately 9,000 aircraft, and production lines for many popular aircraft types are sold out to 2016 and beyond.

“In order to manage their large backlogs, major OEMs are expanding production facilities and stepping up production rates,” said the report. “This expansion, coupled with a gradual increase in the size—and therefore, passenger carrying abilities—of aircraft, will cause seating shipments destined for new aircraft deliveries to climb from an estimated 200,000 in 2012 to a predicted 330,000 in 2022.”

The retrofit market has even more potential, according to the report. There, shipments will increase from 230,000 in 2012 to 510,000 in 2022.

Given the rapid pace of change, seating manufacturers are under pressure to develop products that satisfy both airlines and passenger. IHS says the aim being to offer more seat rows per aircraft while preserving vital legroom.

“The expected doubling in size of the seating market over the next decade will inevitably
Heath Lockett
benefit the industry’s ‘big three’ of B/E Aerospace, Recaro and Zodiac Aerospace,” said Heath Lockett, senior analyst, automotive and transportation, at IHS. “However, the often more novel approaches we’ve seen from a range of other, smaller manufacturers—such as Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems, Optimares and Thompson Aero Seating—indicates that these companies have a sizable opportunity if they, too, can expand to meet demand.”

While the future strength of the seating market may be secure, the company says that many questions remain over the cabins of the future.

“What is certain is that airlines will continue to be required to find a balance between passengers’ space and comfort on the one hand, with making sure that corporate revenue needs are met and satisfied on the other.”

Monday, May 6, 2013

KLM marks a change in royalty

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated her throne to Prince Willem-Alexander on April 30 in an historic gathering in Amsterdam.  KLM Royal Dutch Airlines marked the event with small gift for World Business Class passengers on intercontinental flights from Amsterdam.

Each passenger received a Delftware miniature replica of the Palace on Dam Square in Amsterdam. The Palace on Dam Square was built in the 17th century and was originally intended as a city hall to house Amsterdam's entire municipal and judicial bodies. However another, larger structure was built that would become City Hall in 1655 to accommodate the bustling city and mercantile center.

Servair's man on the move

Servair Research and Development Chef
Gérard Agasse
Gérard Agasse had a busy month of April.

Shortly after posing for this picture at the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo in Hamburg, he flew to Guangzhou, China to take part in the airline’s annual culinary forum April 18 and 19 with all the managing chefs at China Southern Airlines.

Gérard discussed culinary trends at international airlines as well as new developments in French cuisine.

Of course he had to cook. During the two days he created two hors d'oeuvres, two soups, and two hot dishes while explaining the characteristics of the recipes, and the concepts that go into them.

He was named culinary counselor for China Southern approximately a year ago. 

A gathering of chefs in China