Friday, May 4, 2018

Virgin Atlantic catering practices net WTTC award

Virgin Atlantic Airways has won the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Innovation Award for its efforts to “promote inclusive growth, and work toward a greener future as a result of their proactive contributions to sustainable development and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” 

Following a five-stage judging process, which includes an onsite evaluation, winners of the 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards were announced recently at a special ceremony during the 18th WTTC Global Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Virgin Atlantic has worked in partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) to create a framework to address the many sustainability challenges of sustainable inflight catering to include: fair farming, sustainable fish and seafood, deforestation and biodiversity, animal welfare, transparency and waste. 

“Virgin Atlantic together with the Sustainable Restaurant Association have delivered a real first here,” said Fiona Jeffery, OBE, Chair, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. “Looking at the nature of their on-board food and drink supply to ensure that everything is sustainably sourced right across their supply chain setting a new benchmark within the aviation industry as well as raising employee and customer awareness of the sustainability issues within our food chain.” 

“When we started in 2012, the sheer scale of the project, spanning all our 30+ destinations seemed insurmountable,” said Craig Kreeger, CEO, Virgin Atlantic. “From defining what sustainability means for our food and drink, to working with suppliers to gain transparency, the project will continue to grow and evolve, and we hope that this award will focus the attention of other airlines on the challenges and opportunities in their food and drink supply chains. We couldn’t have done it without our partner the Sustainable Restaurant Association and we’re so grateful for their ongoing support.” 

The judging process uses experts from across the world to review the organization and to speak to a range of stakeholders including local residents, employees, customers, suppliers, government and academics.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bottega MD honored in Toronto

The owner and Managing Director of the Italian winery and distillery Bottega received the
Sandro Bottega 
the 2018 Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award, presented each year to a person of distinction for outstanding achievement and contribution to the wine making industry.

Sandro Bottega received the award from The Cambridge Food & Wine Society, on behalf of Riedel, the Austrian manufacturer renowned for designing and producing high quality glasses and decanters for wine and spirits tasting. The ceremony, held at Biagio Ristorante, in Toronto, was attended by Canadian authorities and European consuls, the Riedel family, Shauneen E. Bruder, Honorary Consul General of Luxembourg in Toronto and Leo Chan, President of the Cambridge Food & Wine Society. 

The Cambridge Awards of Excellence Series are presented each year to 15 persons and organizations of distinction in recognition of outstanding service to the community, and “are judged to best exemplify the spirit of Cambridge professionalism.” 

The Riedel® Winemaker of the Year Award went to Sandro Bottega for "having enchanted wine and gastronomic art lovers since 1977, in over 120 countries worldwide, with his artistic skills, the entrepreneurial ability and energy, and the quality and genuineness of the products."

"I feel deeply honoured and grateful, and I dedicate this prestigious recognition to my parents and to the whole company who has worked with creativity, passion and humbleness to produce wines, grappa and liqueurs, always in compliance with the corporate values: Quality (Italian taste and authenticity), Design (expression of the excellent aesthetic character of being made in Italy) and Social Responsibility towards the environment and the community,” said Bottega in today’s announcement of the award. 

In the past, the award has been given to great names of the world of wine, such as Robert Mondavi, U.S.A. (2005), Karl Kaiser and Donald Ziraldo, Canada (2006), Lamberto Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Italy (2007), Léon Beyer, France (2008), João Nicolau de Almedia, Portugal (2009), Miguel Torres, Spain (2014).

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Alpha LSG's LHR unit honored by Qatar Airways

Alpha LSGs unit at London-Heathrow has won the title of ‘Best Caterer in Europe’ in Qatar Airways’ Global Catering Awards.

Kevin Aldridge, Customer Services Manager for Alpha LSG at Heathrow, was named’ Best Global Account Manager’ – the second time he has won the award. 
Alex Forbes

Qatar Airways announced the dual award wins for Alpha LSG at last week’s World Travel Catering and Onboard Service Expo in Hamburg. 

“We are absolutely delighted, proud and excited to be recognised by such a prestigious customer as Qatar Airways for the work that we do,” said Alex Forbes CEO of Alpha LSG. “Qatar Airways has catering partners throughout Europe and for our Heathrow team to be recognized as the best, re-affirms our culinary vision to be the leading premium caterer in our market, as well as rewarding the effort that each one of our staff contributes day after day." 

“We have recently entered into a new long-term agreement with Alpha LSG and these awards are one of the reasons why,” said Aaron Claxton, Qatar Airways' Senior Vice President Catering Services at Qatar Airways. “Alpha LSG have been there every step of the way, in supporting us to achieve recognition as one of the World’s best airlines. Heathrow is one of our most important European destinations and the high standard of catering and service we receive is critical to our success.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Emirates notes decade of inflight mobile phone calling

In March of 2008, Emirates became the first airline in the world to allow passengers to make and receive calls, as well as send SMS messages from their own mobile phones.

The inaugural phone call was made on March 20, 2008 on Emirates flight 751 from Dubai to Casablanca. Since then more than 2.8 million calls have been made, 60% of which were made from the aircraft, while more than one million calls were answered by passengers traveling on Emirates.

The longest call recorded was on a flight from Orlando to Dubai on February 5, 2018 lasting 3 hours and 50 minutes. Over the last 10 years, 87 million SMS messages have also been sent or received.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SPIRIANT dining concept wins award

The bone china in Étagère is light weight and airline friendly

SPIRIANT, the LSG Group’s inflight equipment solutions subsidiary, has won an iF Design award for their new Étagère premium dining ware concept. 

“The concept creates a holistic meal experience where visual appeal and functional requirements are perfectly combined, living up to SPIRIANT’s brand claim, “’Where inspiration meets performance,”’ said a release from SPIRIANT.

Fine bone china used in the design is thinner and more transparent than common porcelain, making it both elegant and lightweight for air travel, said the company. SPIRIANT made the design with a serving plate, a smaller plate and bowl that can be arranged in several forms and stacked. It can also be used in a lounge or at the onboard bar.

Daniel Knies and Eva Hotz on
the winning night for SPIRIANT
The awards ceremony took place on March 9 at the BMW World exhibition center in Munich. Daniel Knies, Director Design and Product at SPRIANT, and Eva Hotz, Product Manager for Premium Experience SPIRIANT, proudly attended to accept the award. 

“We are elated that the Etagère concept is receiving the recognition that we have always felt it deserved,” said Knies. “The work that we put into the design process was meticulous, in-depth and always with the premium passenger experience at the forefront of our minds.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Gate Gourmet Japan honored by Hong Kong Airlines

Gate Gourmet Japan has been named “Best Caterer 2017” by Hong Kong Airlines.

“Gate Gourmet Japan is the first-ever recipient of the Gold Award, launched by Hong Kong Airlines in 2017 to recognize the performance of in-flight caterers,” said a release from Gate Gourmet.

Gate Gourmet handles more than 20 flights per week for the airline. Gate Gourmet Hong Kong and Gate Gourmet Canada also received the “Excellent Catering Service Award” for its support of Hong Kong Airlines.

Hong Kong Airlines stated that thanks to the efforts of its catering partners, they received the highest customer satisfaction scores for onboard food and beverages to date and were able to deliver exceptional operational performance. Hong Kong Airlines recently was ranked highly among airlines in Asia by was recently recognized by the UK-based air travel intelligence company, Official Airline Guide.

gategroup President APAC Jann Fisch said, “I would like to congratulate our management and teams from Gate Group Japan, Hong Kong and Canada who were recognized for their unwavering professionalism and customer orientation. Special thanks go to our long-term partner Hong Kong Airlines for setting the highest standards for customer experience, which inspires us to innovate again and again.” 

In other news, Hong Kong Airlines this month announced it is collaborating with local chef Gabriel Choy to offer a range of Western dishes with an Asian twist to its Business Class passengers on all flights departing from Hong Kong.

Born in Hong Kong, Choy was the first Asian winner of the Gordon Ramsay Scholar competition back in 2005. He has culminated a wealth of culinary experience, having worked at some of the world’s finest restaurants including Ramsay’s own Pétrus as well as Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin starred The Fat Duck and Gaddi’s at The Peninsula Hong Kong.

The chef has designed 12 main courses, each reflecting a unique blend of ingredients that include the likes of black bean tapenade gratin chicken supreme with bacon, pumpkin gnocchi in Genovese sauce, seasonal vegetables; grilled beef tenderloin with red date demi-glaze sauce, roasted potato and seasonal vegetables; and mixed seafood cannelloni in white mornay sauce topped with jade sprouts.

Friday, February 16, 2018

APOT event planned for Perth

Not all the world is shivering through a chilly winter. 

With a new logo, a new CEO, a new group of ambassadors at the helm and a location and time for its Networking event, Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) kicked off the year with a golf outing last week in in Jakarta with time to plan for upcoming events. 

APOT will shortly be opening registration for the next APOT Networking Event to be held June 24-26 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth, Western Australia.
APOT CEO Jeremy Clark

APOT Founder Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya and Chairman Bambang Sujatmiko announced February 8 at the APOT Golf Day and general meeting in Jakarta that Jeremy Clark of JC Consulting has been invited to take the position of CEO.

“2018 marks Jeremy’s 39th year in the airline catering industry and his experiences include SAS Service Partner, Pan Am, Swissair, Alpha, Royal Brunei and many years of business consulting to both airlines and caterers around the world. Now settled in Asia we welcome him and his talents to our team,” said Happy.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to meet the most influential people in a relaxed and unstressed atmosphere,” said Jeremy. “Asia is the world’s fastest growing airline travel region and I’m looking forward to establishing APOT even further as its main representative forum.” 

2018 marks a new start for Asia Pacific Onboard Travel, which provides a relaxed and informal forum for industry professionals from the region to gather and network constructively. 

APOT has appointed Salim Hazife, Perth Inflight Catering’s General Manager and Afdal Amir, Vice President Corporate Marketing for PT Aerofood Indonesia as forum ambassadors for this year’s event. Salim is working on a range of events that will include the usual Gala Dinner and some outings focused to the rich heritage and produce of Western Australia. Afdal, with 31 years in the industry will be supporting with action on sponsorships and support.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Emirates launches Arabic Coffee Cups

Emirates Official Store has launched a limited edition Arabic coffee cup collection in collaboration with Silsal. 

The Silsal for Emirates collection of six Arabic fine porcelain coffee cups are adorned with the word ‘Al Emarat’ (which means Emirates in Arabic), written in the ancient ‘Diwani’ calligraphic script.

“The flowing Arabic letters are surrounded by bold brushstrokes, beautiful glyphs, and playful splashes of paint to give them a modern edge,” said a release from the airline. “In addition, the designs incorporate the airline’s trademark color palette of red and black.”

David Staff, Manager Merchandising for Emirates Official Store said: “Our collaboration with Silsal builds on our focus to partner with regional design houses and the local creative community to create everyday, functional items as well as innovatively designed travel products that merge traditional Arabic artisanal skills with contemporary aesthetics.”

Qahwa, or Arabic coffee, is considered a ceremonial act of generosity. Throughout the region, coffee is served during almost every occasion.The drink has even played a part in Bedouin poetry and music, which are often about the serving of coffee to visitors as a sign of welcome.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Turkish Airlines Cargo makes room for penguins and lions

Turkish Airlines Cargo recently took on some rare passengers in the form of 20 Humboldt Penguins from the Riga Zoo in Latvia to the Public Oceanic Aquarium in China to be kept under better conditions for survival of the species.
Humboldt Penguins are one of the 11 penguin species threatened with extinction and listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, affiliated with the United Nations.
Turkish Cargo also transported six lion cubs to Bangladesh and 14 adult lions to China. Accompanied by IATA’s Live Animals Regulations certificated personnel and veterinarian, all animals were transported safely and humanely.
The thriving sub-brand of the flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Turkish Cargo, not only offers live animal transportation services to 120 countries worldwide, but also contributes to wildlife survival. In November 2017, Turkish Airlines signed the "United For Wildlife (Buckingham Palace) Declaration (UFW)" for the purpose of preventing illegal wildlife trade, highlighting itscognizance of the live animal transportation processes and animal rights.

Friday, January 5, 2018

WESSCO's Sharon Conway DeHerder retires

An industry professional with 30 years of experience, and a hand in developing some of the most
Sharon Conway DeHerder, Rick DeHerder and
furry friends savor a SoCal sunset
innovative and creative designs in amenities for airlines and cruise lines, started off 2018 with an announcement that she is retiring. 

Sharon Conway DeHerder, Executive Vice President of Business and Product Development at WESSCO International has moved to sunny San Diego, to the south of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, and is living “a new urban neighborhood lifestyle” with Rick DeHerder, her husband of 20 years. 

In recent years at WESSCO, Sharon has been involved in the development of a number of award winning amenity kits including First Class kits on American Airlines bearing the designs from Ray and Charles Eames; United Airlines’ Philosophy kit; Air Canada Escents Kit; Aeromexico’s Eco Chic Korres kit; and COPA’s Mola-inspired kit.

She also worked on an exclusive program for travel retail with toymaker Mattel featuring Travel Barbie® and Hot Wheels® backpacks. The initiative was a success, and later sold duty free on 10 airlines and airport shops around the world. WESSCO was also the first in the industry to offer a doctor clinical skincare line, Dr. Murad, on United and Cathay Pacific male and female kits.

Her accomplishments at WESSCO go back much further to her start as Account Manager of Cruise Lines and Hotels. Some of the exclusive gifts, supplied by WESSCO, were delighting passengers on the on the QE2 of Cunard, as well as Windstar and Seabourn lines. She has developed products for the buy-on-board market for Virgin America and American Airlines and played a critical role in opening up the Latin American market for WESSCO. 

The WESSCO International stand hums with activity at events around the world. Sharon’s presence, always in the middle of it all, will be missed.