Emirates Airline has announced the success of its catering centre, which can produce 115,000 meals including desserts per day, for 120 airlines flying in and out of Dubai International Airport.
“Food accounts for 50% of our logistics. Emirates has the busiest catering centre in the world,” Duncan Davis, senior vice-president of Airport Catering Services of the Emirates Flight Catering Company, told the Bangkok Post in Dubai recently.
Established in 2007, the $120 million facility covers 50,000m2 in a four-storey building and hires 2,500 staff from 15 nationalities. The facility boasts the latest in food processing, cold chain management, hygiene, environment and energy-saving as well as a 2.55km-long monorail track, 188 hanger carriers and 1,550 transit trolleys for transporting equipment. It is capable of handling 5,500 meal cars and 10,500 standard units a day.
Most food is produced 12 hours before the flights and the centre must load two hours before departures. It changes menus four times a year.
AirAsia has invested $1 million (30 million baht) in a new airline management system.
Called Merlot.aero, the system will improve the airline’s on-time performance from the current 80%, minimise the use of aircraft to serve more routes and increase frequency, according to AirAsia COO Bo Lingam.
The system features a complete loop for airline management that includes organises, predicts, measures and reports on daily aircraft and crew utilisation. The system will start to roll out next month throughout AirAsia and AirAsia X companies, and will be fully completed by mid-2012.
Thai Airways is dedicating 48 flights for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca until November 25.
It uses Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a capacity of 295 seats per flight with halal meals on board. The flights will depart Hat Yai, Phuket, and Krabi to Jeddah instead of Medina Airport to avoid heavy air traffic during the pilgrimage. THAI expects to transport 7,080 passengers to Saudi Arabia during the season.
THAI has also announced its new “Chef Gallery by THAI” campaign to serve a 5-star menu on board prepared by five international chefs from Bangkok’s restaurants and 5-star hotels. This month, it is serving a special Indian menu by chef Vinder Balbir, the owner of Mrs Balbir’s Indian restaurant. Dishes such as fish tikka and gulab jamun are available on flights departing from Bangkok to Delhi in all classes and also on flights departing from Bangkok to Kolkata, Mumbai, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Hyderabad and Chennai.