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Equipment

Catering gains a lift

09 May 2018

The airline catering business continues to evolve with new logistics and delivery systems

While the introduction of low-cost carriers has effectively meant an end to complimentary tray meals on most short-haul flights, rising long-haul passenger traffic has prompted a reassessment of how catering vehicles should be used and how food preparation facilities laid out.

New solutions are now appearing for logistics and delivery of food and drinks to aircraft. Lödige Industries, for example, which is perhaps better known for its airport cargo logistics solutions, is now trying to revolutionise the way airports organise their catering logistics applications.View from above of one of the four Lödige Industries catering logistics towers used by Gate Gourmet at Munich Airport in Germany. (Lödige Industries)View from above of one of the four Lödige Industries catering logistics towers used by Gate Gourmet at Munich Airport in Germany. (Lödige Industries)

Lödige displayed a scale model of its catering tower solution in October 2017 at inter airport Europe in Munich. Knud Segatz, product and systems planning manager, explained that catering trolleys used to be stored in confined spaces on the ground, first, or second floors of catering blocks, but this often led to a difficult and time-consuming retrieval process. Lödige decided that a 3D solution, involving two different types of hoist-equipped tower, made more sense. Smaller “bin” towers take care of bins and boxes, while the larger “trolley” towers can be used to store up to 250 catering trolleys, Segatz told Jane’s .

Vertical thinking

“At present, in traditional 2D solutions, trolleys are stored in any available space, which might also involve parts of the process chain, or the washing, food preparation, or cooking areas. We free up those areas by using our 3D approach, which makes use of currently redundant space,” he said.

Users of the new solution include Gate Gourmet, which operates four towers at Munich Airport. Eight bin towers and 48 trolley towers are in operation at Zürich, and the most recent deployment was in Hong Kong (four bin towers and four trolley towers).

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