Cabin service success
This is a special feature from PAX International's December 2020 FTE APEX Virtual Expo digital edition.
Cabin service remains an essential aspect of the in-cabin experience. It must satisfy expectations for the trip to be considered a success; but passenger expectations are constantly changing as the pandemic continues, making success especially challenging. Global Inflight Products, RMT Global Partners and Sola Netherlands tell PAX what products are available to support airlines in delivering outstanding service.
“Onboard product suppliers right now need patience and to be there for their airline customers,” says Global Inflight Products (GIP) Chief Executive Officer Lisa Benzaoui. “We need to listen to our customers’ needs and be responsive.”
For the Washington State-based company, this means developing cost-effective products that suit inflight food service during and post-pandemic. Benzaoui says the most in-demand cabin service products from airline customers now are plastic disposable hot and cold cups and trolley and galley trash bags.
“The passenger experience is critical to the success of any airline. In order to deliver a high-quality inflight experience, airlines must stay abreast of trends that are important to passengers,” Benzaoui says.
GIP recently designed a disposable replacement for First and Business Class meal service products, including First Class tray table linen and a napkin pouch for cutlery that can be customized with the airline’s logo. The Green Is Possible line has sustainable and compostable products made from bioplastics, vegetable starch, bamboo, birch, wheat straw, palm leaves and sugar cane fibers.
“We are always working on new concepts or ideas we can offer our customers,” says Roland Standaert, Account Executive Europe/Middle East, RMT Global Partners. “Our sourcing team in China visits our partner factories on a regular basis to see if they have new designs, products or materials we can use for our airline customers.”
Last month, RMT Global Partners told PAX about its all-in-one tool featuring a corkscrew, bottle opener and extendible foil cutter, designed with the help of crew feedback. The core, lever and corkscrew are stamped from 420 stainless steel with a handle made of sturdy polypropylene for a smooth, comfortable hold. Its double-hinged lever can manage long corks and extendable foil cutter adjusts to a variety of bottle tops for convenience. Four circular blades remove foils safely for a professional finish.
Now, the company is developing carry bags with clear panels that allow the crew to easily identify and check service items without having to break security seals or waste sealed PPE. Standaert says the company has noticed an increase in demand for rotable or disposable items for Premium cabin service. He says customers want products that can easily be sanitized. For Economy Class, customers are looking for disposable service items.
Developed before the pandemic, Sola Netherlands has a range of super lightweight steel cutlery.
“We have adapted a solution for the extreme challenges the industry is facing, with the pandemic and as the EU ban on single-use plastics is just around the corner,” Sola Netherlands Export Manager Hans Engels tells PAX International. “Despite the restrictions, distancing and other uncertainties, service is the one thing that passengers will always want and need.”
The washable, recyclable ultralight range meets environmental restrictions and is offered in three patterns, Oasis, Palm and Manhattan, which makes it suitable for various service styles.