Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss International Airlines on Thursday took over Zurich-based Servair Private Charter for an undisclosed amount and said it will integrate the company into a new business unit called Swiss Private Aviation. The Servair staff of eight have been transferred to Swiss, as well as an undisclosed number of aircraft management contracts.
Air Culinaire, the Arlington, Va.-based business aviation caterer, announced the January 1 opening of a facility at Dallas Love Field. Air Culinaire COO Cliff Smith said the company will take over the food service operation currently handled by Signature Flight Support and will be providing catering throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Naples, Fla., is the site for Air Chef’s 14th business aircraft catering facility in 11 metropolitan areas. The 2,500-sq-ft kitchen, said president Paul Schweitzer, is distinguished by a “collection of fine wines.” The Naples location marked the third opening of a new Air Chef catering kitchen this year. Two new facilities in Chicago were launched in June.
Business jet passengers and crews who move regularly through the Carolinas will discover a new business aviation caterer at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Flight services specialist Universal Weather & Aviation selected Air Chef as the preferred business aviation caterer for its clients at four U.S. locations: Dallas and Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and South Florida. Columbus, Ohio-based Air Chef provides training and standardized menus to approved kitchens at 15 locations nationwide and expects to add another 20 locations by the end of the year.
Among flight attendants, flight crews and schedulers and dispatchers, not to mention passengers, few subjects today are likely to elicit more heated discussion than the business aviation catering industry. The conversations generally cover the same issues: allegations of price gouging, the growing practice by FBOs of charging a handling fee for catering, worries about security and concerns over food safety.
Be aware that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has some special requirements regarding the disposal of such garbage.
According to Laura Everington at Universal Weather & Aviation, regardless of the point of entry into the U.S., federal regulations require disposal of these items in special bags and handling by USDA-approved services or individuals for subsequent incineration.
Mireille’s Inflight Catering, headquartered at Long Beach, Calif., last month opened a fully equipped business aviation catering operation at San Francisco International Airport. The 1,500-sq-ft facility is under the direction of Mireille operations manager Eric Youe and offers catering services to San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose International Airports.
Few things can make or break a flight as thoroughly as catering. Caterers know it, and passengers know it. So do the schedulers and dispatchers who order it and the flight attendants who serve it. That considered, said Brad Thomas, catering director and executive chef at Lindy’s in San Diego, “the goal of everyone is to make the passengers happy.”
In his eight-volume work, Physiology of Taste, French lawyer, magistrate, politician and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Animals feed themselves, men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating.” He wrote those words in 1825, and still they contain a certain truth, particularly in the cabin of today’s business aircraft.