TCR Americas signs contract at Rhode Island airport

TCR Americas has signed its first rental contract at T. F. Green International airport in Rhode Island.

TCR 1Under the new contract, 18 units of GSE will be dry-leased to QuickFlight Services for its new operations with Frontier Airlines. QuickFlight Services is a regional, independent ground handler in the US, whose headquarters are based in Ohio.

Of the 18 units, says TCR, part of the fleet will be brand new and part will be refurbished GSE supplied by TCR’s joint venture partner, Aeroservicios.

Ground power upgrades from AERO

AERO Specialties has just released its newest line of solid-state aircraft rectifiers and frequency converters. AERO-Powervamp_PV45_01

Through a collaboration with Powervamp, AERO says that it now has the best value frequency converters and rectifiers available in the marketplace today. This updated line of 28.5V DC and 400Hz AC solid state ground power units have set new standards for safety, precision, reliability and ease of use. The newly launched products include portable, trolley-mounted, and towable options for 28V DC rectifiers, as well as 45kVA and 90kVA AC frequency converters.

LATAM Airlines launches new onboard dining concept for long haul flights

LATAM Airlines has unveiled a unique onboard dining concept for the Economy cabins of its long-haul international flights.

On flights of seven hours or more, LATAM has replaced its traditional culinary offering, comprising several component parts, with a choice of individual gourmet dishes that are 50% bigger than the previous hot meals and come with fewer accompaniments.LATAM food

The main dishes are said to showcase Latin American, international and vegetarian cuisine. Passengers will be given a menu and able to choose from three options for lunch or dinner: a hot dish, vegetarian meal or a lighter cold option, accompanied by a drink and sweet snack. Breakfast will also include two options – all at no additional cost to passengers.

The new catering concept was developed over 16 months together with catering experts at the Gategroup Innovation Centre in Amsterdam. During this process, LATAM carried out 14 in-flight trials and found that, on average, passenger satisfaction scores for overall in-flight experience had doubled with the new dining concept, compared to previous Economy service on long-haul flights.

Over 300 new dishes have been created, which will be served to an average of 14,000 passengers on 64 flights each day. Two examples of the new dinner options include gnocchi with Parmesan sauce and slow-cooked lamb with ginger squash purée.

The new dining experience is already available onboard flights to and from Chile and will be introduced throughout the airline group’s international network by the end of 2017.

“We truly believe this innovative new dining concept is going to transform the way that passengers experience in-flight catering,” said Gategroup’s VP Customer Experience, Anne De Hauw.

“At LATAM, we are committed to offering our passengers an unrivalled travel experience and they tell us that onboard dining is one of the most important differentiators,” said Claudia Sender, Senior Vice-President Clients, LATAM Airlines Group.
“The passenger was central to every decision in the development process. We asked them what they wanted and collaborated with industry experts and our cabin crew to ensure it was deliverable on-board. Every detail was important to us – from the ingredients used to how each dish is prepared and served,” she added.

Green day at Chicago

Air BP (2)On November 8, Air BP supplied biojet to its customers at Chicago O’Hare International airport in support of the “Fly Green Day” initiative taking place at the airport – and as part of the company’s broader commitment to a lower carbon future. The occasion marks the first time that biojet has been delivered via the airport’s existing fuelling infrastructure to customers at one of the world’s busiest airports.

“This is the first time we have supplied our customers with biojet produced from alcohol, and demonstrates how we are working with multiple suppliers to build a leadership position in this area,” commented Air BP’s CEO, Jon Platt. “We anticipate that through this promotion we will inspire more of our customers to use lower-carbon fuels.”

Biojet is a blend of conventional jet fuel and renewable jet fuel, usually made from alcohol or plant and vegetable oils.

Fly Green Day is an event organised by US advanced renewable fuels company Gevo, in collaboration with Chicago O’Hare International, to help boost the commercialisation of biojet.


More unionisation at Minneapolis-Saint Paul

At Minneapolis-Saint Paul International, ramp agents working for Swissport have voted to become members of Teamsters Local 120. In all 114 service providers, who look after baggage handling at the station, have joined Swissport’s aircraft refuellers, who are already represented by the union at the airport.

“Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to fight for union representation at Swissport,” commented Tom Erickson, President of Local 120. “We’re looking forward to negotiating a fair and equitable contract.”

Wages, health care, turnover and safety were the main issues workers cited as their reasons for joining Local 120; indeed, these subjects have been aired many times over the last couple of years in a variety of sectors within the US, as lower paid employees have struggled to make their voices heard.

During the process a number of volunteer organisers from US Foods assisted the ramp agents, telling them what to expect from management after they had filed for an election.

Brazil’s catering gets a fresher look

Gate Gourmet has officially started up operations at its newly-built facility in São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport. This unit replaces the facility where the company has been operating since 1995 when it entered the Brazilian market.

The new facility will enable Gate Gourmet to back its customers’ growth following the airport’s privatisation and expansion through an on-airport facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology and with optimum layout and process flows based on gategroup’s global best practices.

The 17,000 square metre building has a 2,100 square metre production area, where around 720 employees can produce up to 36,000 meals for airline and retail customers per day.

Gategroup’s MD & President of Latin America, Edwin Garcia, comments: “As leaders of the airline catering market in the Latin America region, we are fully committed to continue growing and expanding, in order to meet our global customers’ needs and demands. Our new facility at São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport allows us to keep pace with the market while ensuring the highest global standards and delivering operational excellence.”