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News: Onboard Newsletter

September IFSA OnBoard: EXPO Recap, 2020 APEX/IFSA Award Winners and More!

Monday, November 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Blackstock
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September 2019


Thank You For Joining Us at IFSA EXPO!

Thank you to all who joined IFSA in Los Angeles for our annual IFSA EXPO!

IFSA EXPO 2019 was a resounding success, with more than 750 IFSA delegates in attendance representing dozens of airlines internationally. IFSA attendees heard insights from CEOs representing leading global airlines, C-suite executives and other industry leaders during Monday’s Thought Leadership Conference. Following this, Tuesday and Wednesday's EXPO featured dynamic presentations and demonstrations in the Innovation Pavilion, and the IFSA EXPO show floor facilitated a robust volume of business and networking. In all, IFSA EXPO proved yet again why IFSA is the leading association for in-flight services. We look forward to seeing all of you in San Diego for IFSA EXPO 2020, 19-22 October.

For more information about IFSA EXPO 2019, click here!

A Record Number of C-Suite Keynote Speakers at EXPO

This year's Thought Leadership Conference keynote addresses, emceed by BBC World News’ Aaron Heslehurst, set the industry's priorities for the next decade in regard to the complete end-to-end passenger experience. Here are some highlights from the keynote addresses:

  • Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian discussed how Delta has made sustainability a core value, with each of their aircraft reducing their fuel footprint by 25% while enhancing customer experience.
  • JetBlue President & COO Joanna Geraghty shared the airline’s commitment and focus to elevating travel-related stress with biometric solutions for the entire traveling public.
  • Spirit Airlines CEO & President Ted Christie unveiled two new seating products: updated Big Front Seats with a 2-2 configuration and feature an ergonomically designed headrest, memory foam and new economy seats that will provide an additional two inches of passenger knee space within the existing space. In addition, Spirit’s new middle seat will benefit from an extra inch of width compared to window and aisle seats.
  • Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss announced their new fleet of Airbus A350s taking flight this week proudly with the 2020 APEX Five Star Global Airline rating at the entryway of the aircraft in addition to their focus on special touches that are reflected in their customer satisfaction.
  • JSX (formally JetSuiteX) CEO Alex Wilcox proudly shared that JSX is the fastest growing airline in North America, flying 2,400 flights per month compared to 1,000 flights per month just a year ago. In addition, he committed to over 4,000 flights per month by APEX EXPO 2020.
  • Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh focused on the potential of passenger biometric data interchange between its airlines using single token biometrics.In addition, he shared that Star Alliance is working to interchange frequent flyer information more seamlessly for a more rewarding travel experience.
  • Xiamen Airlines Chairman Zhao Dong highlighted his airline’s leadership in advancing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to drive the long-term positive development of the aviation industry. Following the Chairman’s keynote, it was announced that Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Aeroméxico, LATAM and Virgin Atlantic would be the next to collaborate with the UN on the SDGs.


2020 IFSA and APEX/IFSA Award Winners!

Clip Limited

JetBlue Mint Kits

American Airlines

Zoës Kitchen Partnership



Intelligent Bin Solution/Smart Aircraft System

Air New Zealand

Skycouch Improvements

For more information about this year's award winners, click here!


The Innovation Pavillion provided valuable content and resources about pertinent industry topics and up-and-coming trends. This showcase featured a series of sessions and interactive presentations focused on pressing and unique issues such as branded menu options, zero waste and mixology. Attendees benefited from discussion about incorporating brand characteristics into inflight menu offerings, new developments in the wine and cheese industries, making onboard products more eco-friendly and more.

For more information about the Innovation Pavilion, click here.

Government Affairs and Education Committee Update


IFSA's Government Affairs and Education Committee (GAEC) monitors global regulatory and legislative issues impacting the industry. These are the latest updates:

IFSA EXPO brings together FDA and IFSA members: The 2019 IFSA EXPO was attended by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Don Prater, Associate Commissioner for Imported Food Safety; Bruce Kummer, Interstate Travel Program Manager; and Brett Podoski, Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer and FSMA Manager, who delivered presentations ranging from compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act to FDA’s recently-announced “New Era of Food Safety” which IFSA plans to address in future activities, including participation in the related October 21 FDA public meeting. Dr. Prater’s presentation delivered at the 2019 IFSA EXPO can be found here.

IFSA leads open discussion on allergen labeling: IFSA airline and caterer members met during the EXPO in an open forum to discuss feasible options for allergen labeling and the challenges of complying with the FDA’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Based on feedback received during this forum, GAEC members and staff plan to move forward with a multifactorial approach to engage with FDA, airline passengers, and industry experts to develop feasible allergen labeling solutions to ensure that passengers receive the information they need and know how to access such information.

IFSA participates in Single-Use Plastics Consultation: On behalf of the EU Task Force, IFSA has been working to address the Single-Use Plastics Directive in the EU, which will ban products for which alternatives exist on the market, such as single-use plastic cutlery, plates, and items made of oxo-degradable plastics, by the year 2021. IFSA is working to engage with the European Commission and share IFSA’s position paper, which includes a request for clarification of the requirements for the airline catering industry.

For more information about government affairs activities and the Government Affairs and Education Committee, please contact Michelle Smolarski at For EU-related items, please contact Margaux Rundstadler at


This year, the IFSA Foundation celebrated having awarded more than 1.1 million dollars through 249 scholarships since the foundation's beginning in 2000.

This year, the IFSA Foundation supported deserving students and future airline industry leaders through 43 scholarships totalling nearly $200,000. Thank you to our donors for making this possible.

To learn more about the IFSA Foundation or to fund a scholarship, please contact Nicole Blackshear at