Kerry Logistics appoints Claire Trench as Head of Food and Beverage

Kerry Logistics Network Limited has appointed Claire Trench as Head of Food and Beverage (F&B), based at its Glasgow, Scotland office in the United Kingdom.

Trench has over 17 years’ experience in forwarding, most recently in senior management positions working with leading brands in the beers, wines, and spirits industry.

In her new role, she will support brands looking to export to the rapidly developing F&B market in Greater China, where Kerry Logistics offers complete cold chain logistics solutions, F&B trading, and production services.

“Claire brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise – commercially and operationally – on both exports and imports,” said Emma Rowlands, Sales Director of Kerry Logistics (UK).

“We look forward to developing this division and welcome the opportunity for growth from both new and existing customers in the near future.”

Trench will collaborate closely with the F&B teams in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan, meeting customers’ requirements by providing complete cold chain solutions to ensure that all products stay at their optimum temperature along the supply chains.

Kerry Logistics’ cold chain solutions include sophisticated inventory management and multi-temperature warehousing and distribution solutions, ranging from deep frozen(25°C), frozen (-18°C) to chilled (0°C to 4°C) to air-conditioned (18°C to 22°C) and ambient (>25°C). Its professional fleet of trucks supports just-in-time delivery, continuous replenishment to restaurant and retail chains and home delivery.

“The Chinese F&B market represents a growing opportunity for Western brands, but the barriers to entry, from complex Customs regulations, to the sheer geographical diversity and size of the country mean that finding a partner with local knowledge is essential,” said Trench.

“Kerry Logistics has the local expertise and infrastructure in Greater China and the ASEAN region to offer customers end-to-end supply chain solutions for the region, from understanding regulations, to cold chain solutions and inventory management.

“I am looking forward to working with customers to help them make the most of the opportunities in the world’s largest F&B retail market”.

Kerry Logistics recently launched its own China-Europe Less than Container Load (LCL) rail service, offering 21-day journey times from Duisburg, Germany to Ningbo, China and enhancing its existing Full Container Load (FCL) and LCL services.

American Airlines Names Neisha Strambler-Butler Vice President – Benefits

American Airlines recently announced that Neisha Strambler-Butler has been named Vice President – Benefits. American is building a culture that focuses on providing industry-leading benefits to its more than 100,000 team members, and Strambler-Butler will drive the strategy and execution of these programs globally. She will report to Patrick O’Keeffe, American’s senior vice president – People.

“Our people are our greatest asset, and we wanted a leader who has equal parts passion and compassion for supporting our team and the benefits we provide,” said O’Keeffe. “Neisha brings that commitment as well as a unique perspective on how to deliver world-class benefit programs. She has a strong human resources background and leadership in the benefits and wellness space and we are excited about what we are going to accomplish together.”

In this role, Strambler-Butler will oversee all benefits programs for all American Airlines team members, including health and wellness initiatives.

Strambler-Butler joins American from Texas Instruments (TI) where she was the senior director of Global Benefits and Human Resource Programs. While at TI she led health and financial benefits globally in addition to occupational health and wellness. She also drove many of the foundational and high-impact projects in the benefits arena. Strambler-Butler graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in accounting and organizational development and received her MBA from Northeastern University.

Kerry Logistics Appoints Claire Trench to Head up its Food and Beverage Division in UK with Focus on China’s Rapidly Expanding F&B Marketplace

Abdul Khaliq Saeed joins EAG as CEO

The Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) recently confirmed Abdul Khaliq Saeed as the new Chief Executive Officer for Etihad Airways Engineering, replacing Jeff Wilkinson, who is leaving the post after 11 years with the company.

Mr. Saeed brings over 35 years of international maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry experience, and joins Etihad Airways Engineering from Abu Dhabi based, Turbine Services & Solutions (TS&S) where he has been Chief Executive Officer since 2014.

Before joining TS&S, he was President and CEO of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) until it was acquired by Etihad Airways and became Etihad Airways Engineering in 2014. He has also held senior positions within Mubadala Aerospace, Jet Airways, and Gulf Air.

Ray Gammell, Interim Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “We are very happy to have Abdul Khaliq leading the world-class team at Etihad Airways Engineering. The business enables Etihad Airways and many global airlines to keep their fleets flying. Abdul Khaliq’s MRO experience, knowledge of the regional aviation market and proven track record makes him the clear choice to operate and grow this critical part of the Etihad Aviation Group.”

Mr Gammell also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Jeff Wilkinson, whom he commended for leading the integration of ADAT to Etihad Airways Engineering, a complex change management programme that required skillful leadership. During his tenure, the company became the largest airline MRO provider in the region, the first with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval to manufacture 3D-printed aircraft cabin parts.

Abdul Khaliq Saeed said, “I am delighted to join Etihad Airways Engineering, a company at the forefront of MRO innovation in the region and worldwide. I look forward to continuing the great work by the team to build our global customer base and enable Abu Dhabi’s growth as an aviation hub.”

New Managing Director Strategy & Sales effective 15 November 2017

Alexander Kohnen has been appointed the new Managing Director Strategy & Sales at time:matters Holding GmbH, effective 15 November 2017. The 40-year-old thereby succeeds Franz-Joseph Miller, who left the company of his own accord on 1 July 2017. Kohnen has held various management positions at Lufthansa Cargo since October 2000, most recently Senior Director Industry Development & Product Management and previously Director Nordic & Baltic Countries.

“We are delighted to have Alexander Kohnen on board. He knows the industry inside out and has everything it takes to further establish time:matters as the leading specialist for sameday delivery and emergency logistics,” said Dr Alexis von Hoensbroech, Board Member Product & Sales at Lufthansa Cargo.

Lufthansa Cargo took complete ownership of the time:matters group, which specializes in global special speed and time-critical international spare part logistics, in August 2016. The cargo airline, which spun off time:matters as a subsidiary in 2002, had held a 49 per cent share prior to that. Christian Mörtl, previously Head of Aircraft Handling at Lufthansa Cargo, was appointed Managing Director Operations & Finance at time:matters Holding GmbH on 1 August 2016.

Jarrod Paterson joins Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Jarrod Paterson has joined Virgin Atlantic Cargo as Account Manager – Melbourne to support the launch of new Melbourne services by the airline’s partner, Virgin Australia.

Virgin Atlantic is responsible for all long-haul cargo sales and management services for Virgin Australia, which since April has served Los Angeles from Melbourne with five Boeing 777-300ER flights a week. At the start of July, Virgin Australia also launched a further five Airbus A330 flights per week from the capital of Victoria to Hong Kong.

Jarrod joins Virgin Atlantic after nearly four years with GSA Australia Cargo, latterly as Station Manager Victoria. Earlier in his career, he worked for Pacific Network and World Aviation before joining ACP Worldwide at the end of 2001, holding roles including Sales Manager Western Australia. After leaving ACP in 2008, he went on to accept sales and operational posts with Toll Dnata Airport Services, Wymap Group and Air Menzies International before joining GSA Australia Cargo in 2013.

Pip Palmer, Regional Sales Manager, Australia and New Zealand for Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “Our customers in Australia are delighted to have the opportunity to book their cargo directly from Melbourne to both Los Angeles and Hong Kong, two prime air cargo destinations and also important gateways to other markets. Jarrod’s appointment in Melbourne follows Amanda Matar joining us recently as Account Manager in Sydney and means we are increasing the local support we offer customers in line with the growth of Virgin Australia’s long-haul network.”

Virgin Atlantic Cargo also markets the cargo capacity onboard Virgin Australia’s operations from Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles, where cargo can also connect with Virgin Atlantic’s global network.

Airbus appoints Luo Gang as CEO of new innovation center

Luo Gang has been appointed CEO of Airbus’ new innovation center to be set up in China. A location will be announced at a later date

With a degree in electrical engineering from Tianjin University and an MBA from the London Business School, Gang spent nearly three years establishing Uber China’s business before it was acquired by Didi Chuxing in 2016. His experience in London with UK start-up Rangespan taught him how quickly technology can transform traditional businesses.

China’s fast-paced start-up culture makes it an ideal place for Airbus to create a new innovation center. Growth has come to China from manufacturing, technology and finance nowadays.

“China is a powerhouse of innovation now and has a strong and complete ecosystem including hardware, software, artificial intelligence and etc,” says Gang. “Extending this know-how to aerospace will advance new ways of manufacturing, auto-pilot, urban mobility and in-flight experience in China-speed.”

Gang’s first mission will be to set up the innovation centre to be fully operational when it officially opens later in 2017. In his role, Gang will report to Paul Eremenko, Airbus CTO.

Innovation has always been a part of Airbus’ DNA. Using our core strengths and capabilities and an extended innovation eco-system, we focus on specific research and development areas that we believe are going to be key drivers in building the future of flight.

The new Airbus innovation centre, which is tasked with defining the future of flight by identifying the next big change to transform the aerospace sector, will serve to strengthen Airbus’ extended innovation eco-system.

GTLK Europe DAC Selects AerData STREAM to digitally manage records

Boeing, through its subsidiary AerData, recently announced that GTLK Europe DAC has chosen AerData Secure Technical Records for Electronic Asset Management (STREAM) to digitally manage records of its asset portfolio of narrow- and wide-body airplanes.

“As the GTLK Europe portfolio is growing rapidly, we need to implement and regularly improve our IT solutions to manage this growth both technically and commercially,” said Roman Lyadov, GTLK Europe DAC Chief Executive Officer. “We have performed considerable market research and came to a decision that STREAM is the best product suited to our needs.”

A secure and web-enabled system, STREAM allows for the management of records relating to the entire history of aircraft and associated assets, and it is proven to save cost over the life of an aircraft and during redelivery.

“AerData is excited to welcome our newest family member GTLK,” said Matt Bull, AerData Chief Executive Officer. “STREAM will allow GTLK to move to a paperless environment and unlock the power of our software solutions to further drive operational efficiency into their business. We look forward to a long-term partnership.”

KLM starts business account on WhatsApp

WhatsApp and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have started a unique test for a new service on WhatsApp.

KLM now offers her customers around the world booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, flight status updates and asking questions in ten different languages on WhatsApp via the official WhatsApp Business application.

The carrier becomes one of the first companies and the very first airline worldwide with a verified WhatsApp business account.

Together with a small number of businesses, WhatsApp is testing ways for businesses to communicate with customers using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp wants to create value for both customers and the businesses they connect with in their daily lives.

This pilot programme is part of that effort.

To this end, WhatsApp has created an enterprise solution that makes it possible for businesses like KLM to connect with their customers in a fast and personal way on WhatsApp.

The rollout has already started in a limited number of countries, and the service will become more widely available in the coming days and weeks.

“I am very proud that KLM is the world’s first airline with a verified WhatsApp account.

“This unique partnership with WhatsApp underlines our position as an aviation pioneer.

“We want to be where our customers are and, given the one billion users, you have to be on WhatsApp.

“With an account verified by WhatsApp, we offer our customers worldwide a reliable way to receive their flight information and ask questions 24/7.

“This truly is a major next step in our social media strategy,” said KLM president, Pieter Elbers.

Messages are secure so that they can only be read by the customer and KLM, and no one else, not even WhatsApp.

Customers can easily recognise verified businesses using the official WhatsApp business application.

This means that customers will see a green checkmark badge next to the KLM contact name on WhatsApp.

Finnair unveils its first artificially intelligent chatbot

Finnair has launched its first artificially intelligent chatbot, Finn, on Finnair’s Facebook global account.

Finn has a mission to help Finnair customers on Facebook during their Finnair journey.

Finn knows how to sell flights, knows if flights are on time, helps to calculate how much baggage can be taken on a flight, and helps to redirect the customer to the Manage My Booking page to add more services to an existing booking.

Finn also answers frequently asked questions, and if Finn cannot answer a question, the message will be delivered to a customer service agent for further actions.

Finn is constantly learning and Finnair customers have an active role in its training.

“Exploiting artificial intelligence is an integral part of our transformation strategy.

“We are growing and constantly looking for new ways to improve our customer service and developing new sales channels using New Distribution Capability technology,” said Rogier van Enk, vice president distribution, Finnair.

“We believe that fast developing digital tools will greatly benefit our customers.

“Finn understands and communicates in English, but later it will learn more languages and functionalities. Finnish and Chinese are coming this year.

“After the initial stage, Finnair is looking to find a home for Finn in other social media platforms such as WeChat in China.”

The chatbot is one example of the new distribution channels enabled by IATA’s New Distribution Capability XML-based messaging standard.

Finn is the most technologically advanced NDC-solution in the aviation sector, because it offers the possibility to book flights across the whole Finnair network.

It also brings rich product content like videos and images to instant messaging.

Finnair is a Level 3 certified airline in IATA’s NDC program.

Finnair worked with Caravelo, a solutions company for the airline industry, to develop the chatbot.

Ethiopian Airlines Signs up for Sabre Passenger Reservations Technology Solution

Ethiopian Airlines, has renewed its passenger reservations system with global travel technology provider, Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR). The airline also signed up for a suite of new technology solutions to support its continued growth as a world-class carrier.

Consistently posting record profits for the past seven years, Ethiopian Airlines has been using Sabre’s technology for its core reservations, network planning and ecommerce since 2005. Despite the daunting challenges in African aviation, Ethiopian Airlines has continued with thriving successes and has become the leading Aviation group in Africa, nine years ahead of its 15 years strategic growth roadmap, Vision 2025.

Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, said, “Our focus towards availing the latest Information Technology and travel system solution is one of the pillars in our long term growth plan, Vision 2025. Consequently, we have made huge investments in Information Technology to create a seamless passenger experience. Moreover, Sabre’s technology partnership and expertise has been invaluable, which is now further flourishing with cutting-edge technology that helps us ensure better customer experience and remain to be an airline of choice among travelers around the world.”

“Ethiopian Airlines is one of aviation’s most compelling success stories, having overcome industry challenges to drive rapid and sustained growth on a continent where profitability in aviation is extremely rare,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president, Airline Solutions, Sabre. “For more than a decade, Sabre’s technology has been helping Ethiopian Airlines maximize profits and offer a network of flights more extensive than any other African airline. As a result, it is now spearheading the African aviation industry and is a benchmark of success for other carriers on the continent and beyond.”

The next phase of development for Ethiopian Airlines is in enhancing its passenger experience. Among the new technology that Ethiopian Airlines will introduce is Sabre’s Intelligence Exchange.

Airlines currently sit on a goldmine of data, yet only use 12% of it to engage with passengers; Intelligence Exchange enables airlines to turn that remaining 88% of data into actionable insights. Armed with a 360 degree view of each passenger, airlines can then offer individual travelers services that are uniquely relevant to them – increasing sales of ancillaries.

“80% of flights to, from and within Africa are operated by non-African airlines,” continued Gelmetti.
“This move helps Ethiopian to better focus on understanding the individual needs of its passengers, while remaining to be an airline of choice among travelers. By implementing new customer-centric technology that can enhance the travel experience through contextual engagement, Ethiopian Airlines can win passengers from its rivals while experiencing up to a 10% increase in revenue generated from ancillary sales.”