October 1, 2019

Major Airline Advancements Unveiled Including Advancing Connectivity, Personalization, Biometrics, and Global Seating Measurement Standards

(BOSTON) – IFSA EXPO concluded after bringing representation from all fronts of the airline industry together in Boston to discuss the future of airline travel and passenger experience. Notable airline chefs from American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, along with top executives from Google and Delta convened during this year’s EXPO, co-located with APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), and AIX (Aircraft Interiors Expo) Americas, to create discourse on food and technology trends influencing the industry.

IFSA hosted series of Live Chef Demos and Technology Features showcasing the leading innovative minds in the inflight services industry. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy from American Airlines conducted a cooking demonstration of his world-famous poke, and Bravo’s Top Chef Alumni Executive Chef Lee Anne Wong from Hawaiian Airlines took the stage to showcase her modern-global fusion cuisine.

In coordination with APEX EXPO, CEOs from Aer Lingus, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American Airlines, LATAM Brasil, and Spirit Airlines headlined the event, which attracted more than 4,000 airline decision-makers, including 500+ airline delegates from more than 100 global airlines. Emceed by Aaron Heslehurst, host of Talking Business, BBC World News, the six airline CEOs leveraged EXPO, as the platform to share major announcements from their airlines including:

  • American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker announced new partnerships with Zoës Kitchen and Bang & Olufsen. 
  • Aer Lingus CEO and Executive Director Steven Kavanagh announced a major brand refresh alongside free economy class Wi-Fi and alcoholic beverages.
  • Aeroméxico CEO Dr. Andrés Conesa discussed a focus on advancing excellence and consistency; including a standardized fleet, and a new chef-driven menu.
  • LATAM Brasil CEO and LATAM Airlines Group Vice-President of Customers Claudia Sender revealed a new LATAM cabin experience and airline collaboration to expand its route network.
  • Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu shared recent announcements of new crew uniforms, enhanced, chef-driven food and beverage offerings, and a rebrand of its premium products.
  • Spirit Airlines CEO Robert Fornaro revealed the first installation of their new high-speed connectivity, and discussed the different possibilities for inflight entertainment and advancing the guest experience.

In addition to keynoting, the CEOs convened as the first APEX/IFSA Board of Governors, chaired by American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. This exclusive executive group reached a consensus on key strategic priorities for APEX/IFSA to enhance the passenger experience in 2019. These include advancing passenger biometrics globally, fulfilling the promise of inflight connectivity, providing greater personalization, and setting industry seating measurement standards for passenger comfort beyond historical pitch.

Attendees of IFSA EXPO also took part in world-class thought leadership seminars that covered topics such as food safety, labeling, data driven revenue, biometrics, personalization, and artificial intelligence.

“As the leading global event for the in-flight services industry, IFSA EXPO demonstrates the growing demand from airlines for the new product innovations offered by our members.  Beyond spotlighting the best food and beverage in the world, IFSA advances product service innovations that shape our industry,” IFSA/APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader stated. “We are proud to provide a forum for top airline industry leaders, caterers, and suppliers worldwide to convene with the common goal of advancing our global aviation industry with the best-of-the-best.”

IFSA was also proud to celebrate top airlines, caterers and suppliers who have committed to elevating the passenger experience at the IFSA Compass Awards Ceremony. The industry’s best-of-the-best received awards in the following categories:

  • Airline of The Year
  • Caterer of The Year
  • Supplier of The Year
  • Best Catering/Food Service/Galley Equipment
  • Best Inflight Beverage
  • Best Onboard Amenity
  • Best Inflight Food 

In 2019, IFSA EXPO will head to Los Angeles 9-11 September and will continue its annual tradition of co-locating with APEX EXPO and AIX Americas to combine three shows into one incredible event. It was announced that Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian will be the featured keynote speaker. Bastian will also serve as Chairman of the 2019-20 APEX/IFSA Board of Governors beginning 9 September. For more information about IFSA, please visit ifsa.aero, or follow IFSA on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.


About The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) 

The International Flight Services Association (IFSA) is a global professional association serving the needs and interests of airline and railway personnel, caterers and suppliers who provide onboard services on regularly scheduled travel routes. Under the umbrella of APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) serving every major airline in the world, ISFA is dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of the multi- billion dollar inflight and railway onboard service industry.