February 12 2018  |  Partnerships, Collaborations & Acquisitions

Airline Catering Association soars into business

By Rachel Debling

The Airline Catering Association (ACA), a Brussels-based non-profit created by five of the top airline catering providers (dnata, DO & CO, gategroup, LSG Group and Newrest), launched this February.

As described in a February 12 statement announcing the collaboration, the association will represent and promote the interests of the airline catering industry at large on the topics of food, health, environment, taxation and safety.The ACA will also provide support and monitor regulatory initiatives at all levels, including national, European and global. All companies with "sizeable international activities in the airline catering business" may apply for membership, the statement went on to note.

A Strategic Committee will determine the association's strategy and will be made up of a representative from each member company, either the CEO or another member of their Executive Board. To date, the ACA's Strategic Committee includes Robin Padgett, Divisional Senior Vice President - Catering of dnata; Attila Dogudan, CEO of DO & CO; Xavier Rossinyol, CEO of gategroup; Olivier Sadran, Co-President of Newrest; and Erdmann Rauer, CEO of LSG Group, who has been appointed President of the committee.

The five founding member companies have a combined manpower of nearly 130,000 employees, delivering about 4.7 million meals each day with an annual turnover of 9.9 billion euros.

“The ideas brought up and discussions that took place during our first Strategic Committee meeting clearly underlined the need for and the purpose of the ACA,” said Rauer in the February release. “Initially, we will focus our efforts on dealing with the regulatory challenges in Europe that presently require particular attention. Mid-term, however, we are targeting a global reach of our activities and initiatives in order to leverage the combined know-how of our industry in order to foster the quality, safety and reliability of our services and products for our airline customers and the passengers.”

Beginning in March 2018, Fabio Gamba will oversee the management of the Secretariat, relying on his vast experience in trade bodies and the air transport industry to help in his new role. “I am very excited about the opportunity to shape this brand new Association as its first Managing Director," Gamba commented in the statement from the ACA. "The airline caterers bring a wealth of experience and know-how in handling a central and complex part of the commercial aviation business. I see great benefits for all stakeholders in bringing this know-how together to improve regulations and standards in the industry.”

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