easyJet appoint new Group People Director

easyJet has announced that it has appointed Jane Storm to join the airline as Group People Director in the spring.

Jane Storm

Jane will succeed Ella Bennett who has decided to leave easyJet after nearly five years at the airline.

Jane will join easyJet from Saga Group where she is currently Chief People Officer.

Prior to Saga, Jane built her career in HR and retail at Tesco where she worked in a variety of roles over a period of 19 years.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said,

I am really pleased that Jane will be joining easyJet. Jane has experience of working in international plc businesses and brings with her strong transformation skills and commercial acumen alongside a strong focus on culture, talent and succession planning.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ella for her huge contribution, commitment and passion over the past five years at easyJet.

Air France unveils the names of its seventeen partner chefs

To mark the Bocuse d’Or 2023 event of which Air France is an official partner from in January 2023, the airline has unveiled the names of the renowned chefs with whom it will be working this year.

In 2023, seventeen talented chefs promoting French excellence will take turns to sign exceptional dishes in La Première and Business and in airport lounges over the coming months.

By partnering with so many distinguished names in the world of cuisine, Air France is reasserting its role as ambassador of French fine dining around the world.

The airline plans to introduce its customers to the quality and diversity of France’s gastronomic heritage, as part of an increasingly responsible approach, by focusing on fresh, seasonal and local produce and a systematic choice of vegetarian dish in all travel cabins.

Air France designs these menus with the help of some of the most prestigious chefs with the expertise of its catering partner, Servair, a global leader in in-flight dining and its culinary Studio.

On board long-haul flights from Paris, French Michelin-starred chefs Arnaud Lallement, Régis Marcon, Anne-Sophie Pic, Emmanuel Renaut and Michel Roth will this year take turns to sign exclusive dishes for Air France on the La Première and Business cabin menus.

For the first time, Mauro Colagreco and Thierry Marx will also be contributing their unique skills to this exceptional team of chefs. With vegetarian compositions, red and white meats from France, and fish from sustainable fishing, all the chefs are committed to showcasing the local produce of their regions in France and sharing their culinary heritage and passion.

In the La Première suites, the company’s most exclusive travel cabins, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France pastry chefs Philippe Urraca and for the first time Angelo Musa will bring an elegant and sweet touch to the menus in this cabin worthy of the finest restaurants.

Air France also continues to offer menus signed by top French chefs on long-haul flights departing from airports worldwide. The company continues to work with the triple Michelin-starred chef Julien Royer in the La Première and Business cabins on departure from Singapore. Originally from Auvergne, Julien Royer is at the helm of the Odette and Claudine restaurants in Singapore.

On departure from Reunion Island, in the Business cabin, the menus are designed by chef Jofrane Dailly from Reunion Island, who works at the Diana Dea Lodge in Sainte-Anne.

In 2023, Air France will offer menus created by chef Olivier Perret on flights departing from Air France’s destinations in Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Quebec and Vancouver). He will focus on offering French gastronomy with fresh ingredients for menus in the Business cabin. Originally from Burgundy, the chef also presides at the restaurant Le Renoir at the Sofitel Montréal Le Carré Doré.

Air France intends to further develop its partnership with these exceptional signature chefs, notably on departure from the French Caribbean, USA and Japan.

On its medium-haul network, in the Business cabin, Servair corporate chef François Adamski, Meilleur Ouvrier de France and Bocuse d’Or winner, offers the lunch or dinner dishes served on board all year round.

Air France also collaborates with several chefs in its Paris airport lounges.

At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, the Alain Ducasse teams have thus created dishes for the Air France La Première lounge. And in the other lounges located in terminal 2 E (halls K, L and M), Ducasse Paris regularly unveils new dishes to be enjoyed among the entire offer. In the lounge located in terminal 2F, François Adamski teams up with talented chefs to sign innovative, seasonal menus. Following in the footsteps of Chloé Charles, Amandine Chaignot will be illustrating her talent for the company’s customers. At Paris-Orly, Guy Martin, who is used to signing the menus served on board Air France flights, will for the first time sign a dish on offer in the long-haul lounge at Orly 3. Finally, in the short-haul lounge at Orly 2, customers will be able to continue to enjoy the choux pastries signed by pastry chef Philippe Urraca.

Currently, on all its flights departing from Paris, Air France commits to offering 100% French meat, dairy produce and eggs as well as fish from sustainable fisheries in all its travel cabins and its lounges at Paris airports. The airline offers a selection of fresh, local and seasonal products. A vegetarian option is also available in all cabins and dishes are systematically labelled with Nutri-Score A or B certification in Economy and Premium Economy cabins. In addition, kids and infants’ menus are exclusively made from organically sourced products.

Air France is also committed to recycling and eliminating 90% of single-use plastic on board its aircraft by the end or March 2023. On board its flights, the company continues to roll out plastic-free containers including paper cups, small dishes made from cellulose, serving dishes made of bagasse and Kraft paper “Bon Appétit” bags. On the ground and on board flights, the company pays particular attention to the selective sorting and recycling of catering items. In accordance with French regulations, it also provides its customers with water fountains in its lounges in France. In its fight against food waste, Air France also offers its long-haul Business customers the possibility to pre-select their hot dish prior to departure. This service combines the guarantee of customer choice and a more rational consumption.

Gatwick arrival: Greggs

London Gatwick Airport is set to welcome its first Greggs store this summer, with the leading food-on-the-go retailer landing at South Terminal arrivals.

Opening this summer, it will be the first Greggs store at a London airport, providing passengers, staff and commuters with a range of products including the chain’s famous Sausage Roll, Vegan Sausage Roll and Steak Bake.

Customers will also be able to purchase a variety of breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, sweet treats and Fairtrade coffee.

Pam McCarthy, Director of Retail, Gatwick Airport said

Greggs will be a fantastic addition to the South Terminal at Gatwick, providing arriving passengers with a great taste of Britain, or a warm ‘welcome home’.

Situated immediately opposite the arrivals gates, the store will also be ideally located for those using the newly refurbished Gatwick Airport train station to grab a coffee or quick breakfast on their way to work, and for those awaiting the return of loved ones from a trip abroad.

Greggs celebrated its 400th franchise shop opening in October 2022 and has an ambitious target to reach 3,000 shops in the UK.

Greggs Outlet shops are an initiative set up in 1972 to support socially deprived areas and to redistribute unsold food items. The 30th Greggs Outlet shop opened in London in December 2022.

Gillian Long, Retail Operations Director, Greggs said:

We’re excited to be opening a shop at Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal, bringing local jobs to the area as well as providing customers with a modern, convenient new place to experience their favourite Greggs food.

Greggs will be the first new food and beverage outlet to open at Gatwick Airport in 2023. Other food outlets available at the airport include Cafe Nero, Costa, Itsu, Nando’s, Pret a Manger, Shake Shake, Starbucks, Wagamama and many more.

Emirates to expand mainland China operations, resumes passenger services to Shanghai and Beijing

Emirates will ramp up its operations in China ahead of the New Lunar Year in response to strong travel demand, boosting connectivity to its gateways Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing as the country reopens its borders and eases its Covid-related entry restrictions.

Shanghai: service resumption from 20 January 2023 with twice weekly service, gradually increasing to daily service from 1 March

Emirates will resume passenger services to Shanghai starting with two weekly flights operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft from 20 January 2023, with EK302 departing from Dubai to Shanghai non-stop and EK303 making a short stop in Bangkok before returning to Dubai. This service will ramp up in frequency to four weekly flights operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from 02 February 2023.

Emirates will further boost its Dubai-Shanghai route from 1 March 2023 with a daily non-stop service.

Guangzhou: daily nonstop from 1 February 2023

Emirates currently operates a non-stop flight from Dubai to Guangzhou as EK362, and a return flight from Guangzhou to Dubai via Bangkok as EK363, four times a week.

Starting from 1 February 2023, the airline will increase services between Dubai and Guangzhou with EK362/EK363 operating as daily non-stop flights with the flagship Emirates A380.

Beijing: service resumption from 15 March 2023

Operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Emirates’ flight EK308/ EK307 will return to China’s capital city Beijing with a daily non-stop service from Dubai, starting from 15 March 2023.

This will bring the airline’s operations in the market up to 21 weekly flights, providing increased choice and flexibility for business travellers.

Emirates has been serving China for nearly two decades and has established its presence in the Chinese market through strategic partnerships and a continued commitment to the local community throughout the pandemic.

Emirates offers travellers increased connectivity to 24 domestic points via Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai,  as well as six regional points via Guangzhou through its partnership with China Southern Airline, while simultaneously providing its partner-airline’s customers access to six destinations within the Middle East and Africa regions.

Travellers can also benefit from Emirates’ existing interline agreements with Air China, China Eastern and Cathay Pacific to access even more domestic Chinese cities.

The Emirates A380 experience remains highly sought after by travellers offering fourteen First Class suites, 76 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 426 ergonomically designed seats in Economy Class.

The airline states that “customers travelling to and from Guangzhou can look forward to enjoying its spacious and comfortable cabins, signature products that offer travellers the best experiences in the sky like the Onboard Lounge, First Class suites and Shower Spa. Customers travelling to and from Shanghai and Beijing can benefit from Emirates’ award-winning service and industry-leading products on board the airline’s three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which offers eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class”.

London Gatwick serves 32.8 million passengers in 2022, up from 6.3 million in 2021

Annual traffic results published by VINCI Airports show that London Gatwick Airport served 32.8 million passengers in 2022, which represents 71% of 2019 numbers.  This follows the airport welcoming only 6.3 million passengers in 2021.

Gatwick Airport’s strong recovery is further evidenced by its increased long-haul connectivity, with the airport now serving 42 global routes – 68% of the number flown pre-pandemic.

The airport’s long-haul network was recently boosted by an announcement Air India will fly to four new destinations – Goa, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Kochi (Cochin).

Delta Air Lines also returns to Gatwick, flying the airport’s fourth daily flight to New York, while British Airways will operate new routes to Vancouver, Georgetown and Las Vegas this summer, in addition to their services to the Caribbean, North and Central America, the Middle East and Mauritius.

Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, London Gatwick Airport said:

Today’s figures are extremely positive and clearly show London Gatwick’s continued strong recovery. We still have some way to go but we’re looking forward to welcoming even more passengers this year, including those flying to our growing choice of long-haul destinations.

There were 213,952 total aircraft movements at London Gatwick in 2022, which is 76% of the number in 2019 (281,000).  52,000 aircraft arrived or departed the airport in 2021.

London Gatwick Airport welcomes Air India with four new long-haul routes

London Gatwick, part of VINCI Airports’ network, is set to welcome its latest new airline this summer, with Air India announcing four new routes to Goa, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Kochi (Cochin), starting from 26 March.

These new routes strengthen established, strong community links between the UK – particularly London – and India. 

The Indian flag carrier will be operating 12 flights a week between London and the four Indian destinations on 787-8 aircraft, with 256 seats across business and economy classes. These include:

  • Three flights a week to Goa, on the western coast of India, famed for its beaches and Portuguese heritage
  • Three flights a week to Ahmedabad, in western India, and the largest city in the state of Gujarat
  • Three weekly flights to Amritsar, the second largest city in the state of Punjab in north-western India
  • Three flights a week to Kochi (Cochin), a major port city on the south-western coast, known as the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala

Tickets for these new flights are now on sale.

These new services reflect VINCI Airports’ commitment to serve communities and sustain business growth by developing air connectivity. They also highlight Gatwick’s competitiveness to attract vital new routes.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said:

The arrival of Air India and its four routes to London Gatwick is fantastic news for the airport and passengers across London and the south-east.

India not only offers wonderful cities and beach destinations to explore but provides a wealth of opportunities for businesses and wider connectivity. These connections are also hugely important to our local and regional communities, with people looking to visit family and friends across India.

The first retrofitted Emirates A380 enters service

The first Emirates A380 to be completely refurbished under the airline’s $2 billion retrofit programme has been deployed today on the Dubai-London Heathrow service, operating as EK003.

Below, you can see a timelapse video of the retrofit work done on A6-EVM, the first of 120 Emirates aircraft to have completed its refurbishment.

Emirates A380 retrofit

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said:

Customers will notice the difference the moment they step onboard – the spacious A380 will look and feel even more impressive and comfortable.

With our latest interiors and products, this newly refurbished aircraft elevates our inflight experience in all classes of travel, and enables us to offer more Premium Economy seats to meet customer demand.

I’m particularly proud that this refurbishment work was designed, conducted and completed inhouse at our facilities in Dubai, to the highest standards of quality and safety. It reflects the world-class aviation capabilities and infrastructure that exists within Emirates, and here in the UAE.

Refreshed: Emirates A380 shower spa includes a hand-stencilled Prosopis cineraria – the ghaf tree – motif

The fully refreshed A380 features Emirates’ latest products and interiors across all cabins, including 56 Premium Economy class seats on the main deck, and new colour palettes evident in the carpeting and wall panels.

Comfort: Emirates A380 has a new, lighter colour palette and beautifully-refurbished, leather-clad seating

On the upper deck, First and Business Class seats sport Emirates’ latest cream-coloured leather upholstery and lighter-toned wood finishing, similar to the airline’s.

Emirates’ signature ghaf tree motif also features prominently throughout the interiors, including hand-stencilled panels in the First Class Shower Spa.

Onboard Lounge: “sometimes it’s hard to believe you’re on a plane”

The next Emirates A380 aircraft lined up for its make-over is A6-EUW, and work is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

As the program progresses, engineers will work simultaneously on two aircraft. This means that one aircraft in the fleet will be withdrawn from service every eight days and transferred to Emirates Engineering facilities. By 2024, all 67 A380s assigned for refurbishment will have returned to service. Emirates will then begin work on its 53 Boeing 777s earmarked for this project. The airline expects to complete the programme in 2025.

To deliver the largest known aircraft refurbishment program in aviation history, Emirates recruited 190 new project personnel, and is working with 48 major partners and suppliers who have also hired hundreds of skilled workers.

Teams of engineers and technicians have worked round the clock, taking apart the entire interior of the A380 and refitting the parts again in a carefully planned and tested sequence. 

British Airways unveils its new uniforms, designed by Ozwald Boateng

British Airways has unveiled a new uniform to ‘take the airline into its next chapter’.

The collection of garments, created by British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE, will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline’s colleagues from Spring 2023.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

Our uniform is an iconic representation of our brand, something that will carry us into our future, representing the very best of modern Britain and helping us deliver a great British original service for our customers. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.

The collection features a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim fit style trousers and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit – which is a British Airways first. A tunic and hijab option has also been created for the global carrier.

Boateng took great care in designing a truly original collection, taking inspiration from the airline, its people of the art of flying.  The airwave pattern that features across the entire uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque.

Boateng has been developing the collection since 2018 with painstaking care.
He shadowed a number of airport roles to understand how the uniform needed to perform for each job and ensure a modern British, stylish look with high quality, resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.

More than 1,500 British Airways employees across the airline took part in 50 workshops to help ensure the garments suitability, from design workshops to prototype feedback and garment trials, helping create an iconic collection that will stand the test of time.

To make sure that each garment is fit for purpose, the airline has been putting the uniform to the test over the last six months in secret trials.

Cabin and flight crew uniforms have been put through their paces on cargo flights across Europe while engineers have been secretly wearing the new uniforms while maintaining aircraft out of sight in Manchester and Cotswold Airports. Many of the outdoor garments have also been tested in deluge showers and freezers at -18 degrees Celsius to ensure they’re water resistant, durable and fit for extreme weather conditions.

During the trials colleagues gave feedback on the practicability of the garments, resulting in amendments ahead of the rollout. For example, engineers requested easy access tool pockets for when they’re working on aircraft, while ground handlers asked for touch-screen technology fabric in their gloves so they can use their devices in cold climates without having to take them off.

Born in London to Ghanaian parents, Ozwald Boateng’s talent for flare and design came very early. After dropping out of the computing course he was studying at the time he enrolled into Southgate College to study fashion.
Recognising that the signs for his future career had been around him all along, and working from his mother’s sewing machine, he created his first collection which he sold to menswear fashion store Sprint in London’s Covent Garden in the late 80s.

Ozwald Boateng OBE, British, Ghanaian changemaker, fashion designer and master tailor, said:

Designing this uniform was a vast and painstaking undertaking and it went far beyond clothes. It was about creating an energetic shift internally. One of my main objectives was to create something that spoke to, and for, the airline’s colleagues. Something that inspired and empowered them, encouraged them to conduct their roles with pride and most importantly to ensure that they felt seen and heard. Although the airline has a strong heritage, it was imperative to support in creating a fresh narrative of change and transcendence, while remaining timeliness.

Emma Carey, British Airways’ cabin crew, who was one of the colleagues who carried out secret trials of the uniform, said:

It’s been a real honour and responsibility to help test the new uniform and put it through its paces at 35,000ft to make sure it’s fit for purpose, with thousands of my colleagues counting on me. It was great to see that adjustments were made after our feedback. The pockets on the apron, for example, were widened after the trial so we had more room for everything we need during meal services on board. 

I can’t wait for our customers to see the new collection.

Sustainability and quality have been front and centre throughout the uniform design process. More than 90% of the garments are produced using sustainable fabric from blends of recycled polyester.

As part of British Airways’ BA Better World commitment to work with sustainable suppliers, the airline is only working with manufacturers that are members of the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton, whose mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. 

The airline’s engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniform from Spring 2023. All British Airways’ cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a switch over date from their current uniform to the new one in Summer 2023. As they pick up their new items of uniform, they’ll hand in their Julien MacDonald garments, which will be donated to charity or recycled to create toys, tablet holders and more, with a number of items gifted to the airline’s museum.

British Airways appoints full time Master of Wine

British Airways has appointed a full-time Master of Wine, Tim Jackson MW, to elevate the premium experience for its customers both on the ground and in the air.

British Airways’ Master of Wine will play a vital role in selecting and tasting potential new wines, curating menu descriptions, developing the airline’s wider drinks strategy and sourcing a diverse range of wines from across the globe for customers to enjoy. 

Tim Jackson MW is one of 415 Masters of Wine in the world today.

As well as carefully selecting fine wines and sparkling options, the Master of Wine will also lead the selection of the airline’s drinks portfolio across its lounges and on board.  This includes championing the best of British beers, promoting classic gins and rolling out innovative non-alcoholic alternatives. A large part of the role will also include a sustained focus on taking into consideration differences in flavours, as well as taste and structure changes of beverages at altitude.

Sajida Ismail, Director of Onboard Experience at British Airways, said,

We are really excited to have Tim at British Airways. His knowledge and expertise play an integral role in our efforts to continue to deliver the premium experience that our customers look for when they fly with us and offer products that our colleagues are proud to serve. Going forward, we also have lots of exciting plans that will champion new drink offerings and celebrate the global network that we fly to.

Tim Jackson, British Airways’ Master of Wine said:

I’m delighted to be the first person to take this position at British Airways. As an avid traveller, I have sampled wine from all corners of the globe, ranging from California to Chile, so I hope my love for travel, together with my experience and knowledge of beverages, will make a positive difference to the premium experience we offer our customers.

Tim has already introduced new Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines in the airline’s premium cabins, including Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc in First and Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc in Club World, both from Marlborough, New Zealand.

In First, the airline has rolled out a special Bordeaux selection for the festive season, celebrating the 2010 vintage from both sides of Bordeaux comprising Château Haut-Batailley and Clos de l’Oratoire. Customers can enjoy either of these wines in December.

From January 2023, British Airways will also be introducing a wine-selection strategy in First and Club World, showcasing different destinations across the airline’s network that produce premium wines. The airline will spotlight one destination at a time, to celebrate where the wines come from and the global network that the airline flies to. This builds on British Airways’ continued plans to bring a wide range of wines from around the world for its customers to enjoy in the comfort of their seat.

Cape Town in South Africa will be the airline’s first focus, with new wine offerings including Radford Dale’s Renaissance Chenin Blanc from old vines in Stellenbosch, as well as Andrea and Chris Mullineux’s benchmark Swartland Syrah from South Africa’s Winery of the Year.

British Airways states this appointment forms part of the airline’s wider commitment to continue to upgrade its product proposition for its customers.

British Airways implemented an improved service across its First, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller and Club Europe cabins earlier this year and recently relaunched its Club World brasserie-style dining experience, with new seasonal menus championing the best of British cuisine.

Gatwick to connect London and Frankfurt with two daily Lufthansa services

London Gatwick Airport has announced a new connection from April 2023, linking two of the world’s biggest financial hubs, as Lufthansa launches a double daily service to Frankfurt, Germany.

From 23 April 2023, the German flag carrier will operate twice daily between the UK’s capital and Germany’s financial capital, home of the European Central Bank.

Frankfurt is one of the largest global hubs of passenger and cargo traffic. It is currently the fifth busiest European airport and seventh busiest in the world for international passengers.

The new route will therefore also offer fantastic onward connectivity for passengers, including to other key financial hubs such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai, among many other destinations across North and South America, Africa and Asia.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport said: 

We are delighted to welcome Lufthansa back to Gatwick Airport next year, providing passengers across London and the south-east with a vital connection to Frankfurt.

The city is not only a hugely important financial hub, but offers excellent onward connectivity and opportunities. It’s also a great place for tourists too, with fantastic museums and architecture.


Heinrich Lange, Senior Director Sales Northern Europe, Lufthansa Group Airlines said: 

Lufthansa is happy to operate to London Gatwick next summer to connect this major airport with our hub in Frankfurt. We come closer to our customers in the south of London and will ease the access to our global network. We are glad to have Gatwick as our third London airport served in our timetable.

Frankfurt is one of a number of new routes expected to be announced by London Gatwick for the new year.