Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Emirates’ year by the numbers

Emirates marked the end of this year with a few statistics.

During 2013, the airline carried 43 million passengers far enough to circumnavigate the Earth 18,753 times with a total of 164,635 flights.

 To keep the passengers fed, the Emirates Flight Catering loaded 46 million meals. A notable day was December 20, when EKFC prepared 157,308 meals, breaking its production record reached in March of the same year, at 147,722 meals.

In 2013, the airline took delivery of 24 aircraft, which were a combination of A380s and 777s in passenger and freighter configuration. They were placed in service along with nine new routes. This year also marked the fifth year the airline has operated the A380. It has carried more than 18 million passengers on 45,000 flights. The airline now uses one of the big jets on the world’s longest flight -- Dubai to Los Angeles at 16 hours and 20 minutes.

But what the airline calls its biggest news came at the November Dubai Airshow when it placed ordered for 200 aircraft, 150 777Xs and 50 A380s at US$99 billion. Watch the airline’s role in a memorable event in Dubai here.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cabin interiors reference book to relaunch digitally

A new digital edition of Jennifer Coutts Clay’s Jetliner Cabins will be launching as an
Jennifer Coutts Clay at last
year's TravelPlus Amenity
Bag Awards presentation in
application for Android and iOS early next year.

Jetliner Cabins details the fundamentals of aircraft interiors and related programs. The book was first published in hard cover in 2003 and in paperback in 2006. The author identified trend-setting airlines and suppliers, and tracked and illustrated interior programs during the course of modern commercial aviation history.

The book will be high-tech reference material released during 110th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Jetliner Cabins will offer interactivity and features that will allow users to access content on smart phones and tablets.

The e-book will have sections covering Product Branding, Passenger Experience, Cabin Maintenance and Marketing Challenge. The author promises approximately 30% new material and 2,000 additional color photographs ranging from vintage to state-of-the-art.

“I am delighted to see the e-book development of JETLINER CABINS: Evolution & Innovation. From the reviews of the two earlier editions it was clear that the material was of interest not just to aviation enthusiasts but also to a much wider readership” said Coutts Clay. “Thanks to advances in digital publishing, we can now navigate the content according to personal preference. I hope that readers will enjoy visiting the hundreds of aircraft-interior scenarios that are portrayed in this new edition.”

Friday, December 20, 2013

Caviar takes to the air

The One caviar service from Sturia

Though it might seem so, it was not that long ago when airlines would tout caviar service in marketing materials and advertising 

Etihad Chef Fraser Brash
works the Emirates Aquatech
stand at last months ITCA/SIAL
show in Abu Dhabi
“Beluga, Godiva and Dom” was the slogan of United Airlines in the early ‘90s. First Class passengers were treated to the finest in chocolates, Champagne and, of course caviar. Much has changed, but there are signs that the salty delicacy is re-emerging and getting the attention of meal planners for the airlines.  Recently, fliers were posting pictures on the Internet of Oscietra caviar service on a Thai Airways’ flight from Bangkok to London.

At the sprawling SIAL food show in Abu Dhabi last month, chefs from Etihad Airways worked at the stand of Emirates Aquatech, a two year old company that farms sturgeon in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, producing some 35 metric tons of caviar per year from a farm of 300,000 fish picked from an original hatchery in Germany. The fish produce a roe of YASA caviar that first appeared in in Siberia.  Farm-raised sturgeon are becoming much more commonplace around the world, as stocks of wild fish are depleted.
Simon Soni, Head of Guest Experience,
Catering at Etihad (left) with Corporate
Executive Chef Thomas Ulherr

The fish farm is only two and a half years old, and the Managing Director, Ahmed Al Dhaheri works closely with Sara Morales of Garamond International, a supply chain management and brand strategy company. One of the operation’s primary customers is Etihad Airways. However, the airline doesn’t limit itself to a customary service of tiny dollops spread over crackers.  In a given month First Class passengers may have the chance to sample one of nine dishes that make use of caviar in the recipe. They are prepared under the guidance of the airline’s Corporate Executive Chef, Thomas Ulherr.

Caviar service was a winner in the recent Mercury Awards, also held in Abu Dhabi. Sturia, a French company, presented a novel way of serving caviar with crushed ice called The One. The One is not yet used yet in airlines companies, however, the company’s sales director Sébastien Bourguignon was confident of its future in the airline cabin.

“Caviar consumption in the world is increasing with more and more producers and with new enthusiasts and specialists of caviar every day,” he says. “It is interesting to compare the wine sector and the caviar market to understand why more and more people will find an interest in tasting and consuming caviars.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Enhanced mobility for the disabled at AUH

A long trek on an AUH concourse can is now easier for passengers with disabilities
Golf carts have more uses than providing a leisurely afternoon on the links.
Abu Dhabi Airports is further enhancing the facility’s accessibility by offering golf carts to passengers with who must get around by wheelchair. The golf carts are based in Terminals 1 and 3 and are ready to assist transporting passengers with reduced mobility between the departure and arrival halls, and the aircraft gates.
In 2011, Abu Dhabi Airports established a steering committee with major stakeholders at the airport, including Etihad Airways and the General Civil Aviation Authority, as well as representatives from the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, to discuss the means of accessibility for persons with reduced mobility.

The needs of disabled passengers are many and varied. At this year’s International Travel Catering Association event in Abu Dhabi, representatives from Saudi Arabian Airlines hammered home a similar theme that can be found on the PAX Website.

Friday, December 13, 2013

IFP donates to flying eye hospital group ORBIS

Tis' the season for giving, and one of the first instances to get our notice involves IFP, the content services division of Advance Inflight Alliance, AG. Both companies are subsidiaries of Global Eagle Entertainment

IFP has made a companywide donation to ORBIS International, a non-profit organization that works in developing countries to save sight.

“ORBIS does amazing work in helping cure blindness in developing countries and we’re proud to continue to support their cause," said said Walé Adepoju, COO of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG. "285 million people in the world are visually impaired, and 80 percent of the world’s visually impaired suffer from conditions that are avoidable or curable but go untreated due to lack of access to quality eye care. ORBIS, which is famous for its flying eye hospital, the world’s only airborne ophthalmic training facility. is a charity that several of our staff and companies independently support and promote." 

Since 2010 IFP has donated £16,307  which could help the group treat 65,227 children with antibiotics that fight trachoma, a painful and blinding eye condition or could buy cataract surgery kits for 2038 cataract operations.