December 7 2020  |  Amenities & Comfort

Galileo Watermark celebrates 40 years

By Jane Hobson

This is a special feature from PAX International's December 2020 FTE APEX Virtual Expo digital edition.

Galileo Watermark introduced an rPET kit into the skies with Cathay Pacific in 2012

If 2020 has been a reminder of anything, it is the importance of focusing on success. Celebrating four decades is no small triumph for onboard product supplier Galileo Watermark. In this Industry Q&A, PAX International talks Director Kenny Harmel about the anniversary and what is next for the company.

PAX International: What does 2020 represent for Galileo Watermark?

Kenny Harmel: 2020 is significant! Not only does it mark Watermark’s 40th anniversary, but in December, we are also celebrating four years since Galileo’s acquisition of Watermark. The merger was a hugely exciting moment in the company’s history and helped re-establish ourselves as a competitive player in the industry. The newly merged team integrated Watermark’s years of experience and comprehensive portfolio and the fresh, disruptive approach of Galileo Products. From its humble beginnings, what has been achieved is incredible when you take a moment to reflect on all the changes and everything that the company has succeeded in doing.

PAX: What are some of the biggest achievements for the company throughout the years?

Harmel: We recently won a number of high-profile projects in new cabins and territories, following many months of development but sadly the launches have been placed on hold due to COVID.

That said, we still have a lot of recent successes to celebrate and notably our award- winning sustainable kit program with Virgin Atlantic is something we are incredibly proud of. It is the first time we have worked with Virgin as Galileo Watermark and it was truly inspiring to be a part of such a considered project. Whilst sustainability is undoubtedly key for us all now, it has always been important to us. We were the first company to introduce an rPET kit into the skies with Cathay Pacific in 2012 and since then have continually worked towards ensuring that we minimize our impact on the environment and are as sustainable as possible.

This is something we are committed to across all categories and our innovative service tray design for United for example offered weight savings of 800 grams contributing both to crew happiness and reduced fuel consumption. In textiles we also continued our trend for sustainable industry firsts when we introduced Tencel onboard in our collaboration with Sheridan to deliver the finest sleep experience in the sky onboard for Qantas.

Kenny Harmel, Director, Galileo Watermark

PAX: Why is it important to Galileo Watermark to celebrate its successes?

Harmel: Over the past 40 years we have had the opportunity to work with countless airlines and have seen the industry ebb and flow. COVID has undoubtedly challenged us all like never before but the airline industry is incredibly resilient having dealt with many crises in the past. Whilst it doesn’t seem like the natural time to celebrate our anniversary, we didn’t want the occasion to go unnoticed.

Working with our customers in these unprecedented times, we have further strengthened our relationships and I believe it is often in times of hardship that real connections are made. In addition, this situation has afforded us the time to evaluate our position, what has worked, what hasn’t and plan for the future. With remote working necessary in certain parts of the world we have put our systems to the test and continue to work without interruptions.

We have also found new ways of working and are currently in the midst of an exciting new design project with a leading airline to reevaluate and redesign their entire meal service concept. The project has been commissioned in this way so that we can work in partnership with the airline and truly understand their pressure points, hopes and aspirations in order to develop a fully bespoke solution. We are thrilled to be working in this collaborative way rather than the tender approach as we really are able to get to the heart of the project by working with all the relevant stakeholders. We have favored and encouraged this approach in the past and are thrilled that it is something we can replicate across other customers and categories.

PAX: What does it hope for in the next 40 years?

Harmel: Our team is also working on a new brand identity. We felt that as we look ahead to the next four decades it would be good to approach the future with a new fresh outlook. We are not through the thick of the pandemic yet and we will continue to show agility, flexibility and resilience but are confident that we will emerge stronger than before.

We very much believe that GW has shown its strength and staying power over the past 40 years and whilst we will all need to adapt; we are looking ahead with positivity and a number of innovative projects on the way!

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