The inaugural edition of Travel Catering Expo (TCE), co-located with the Airport Show-2014, has generated an exceptional response from the regional aviation industry who expressed satisfaction over their participation in the three-day B2B event and the excellent response from the visitors.
Held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) from May 11 to 13, the Travel Catering Expo was participated by leading global suppliers, caterers and experts who explored this platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the aviation catering business, thus ensuring the sector mirrors the growth and success of the region’s thriving aviation industry.
Craig M Finney, Head of Sales Foodservice-UAE, IFFCO, a major supplier of food items and partner with most of the regional airlines, said it was a good opportunity to meet prospective buyers from other parts of the world, and expressed confidence that this show will become an annual event and will expand in the next edition.
“Catering side should continue to grow as it will provide opportunity to partner with other global airlines as well,” he said.
Badria Khodja, Commercial Manager of Trofina Food (ME), said that the company received encouraging response and expressed confidence that next edition will ensure even better response. “The best aspect of participating in such exhibition was the focused visitors, many of them were from major airlines. We got good leads, hope it would help us build strong relations with other airlines,” she said.
She said: “There was a need for such dedicated show to help airlines and suppliers meet and engage in serious business discussion. We are currently supplying food stuff to leading airlines like Emirates, Etihad and Bahrain airline, hope to expand the business to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sudan and other countries.”
Sameh Hakkous, Business Development Executive, CityChef, was quite enthusiastic and said the response exceeded their expectation and it may be better in next edition. “Although we are in partnership with many major airlines, this expo has helped us start negotiation with other important clients. The Hosted Buyers Lounge was a perfect place to hold meetings with prospective clients. Hope this expo will grow in future,” he said.
Mohammed Al Akbari, managing director of NaturalWay, the manufacturers of gluten-free healthy snack bars, said that there was encouraging response from visitors which will further help in consolidating their market presence.
Abul Faiz Faisal, Sales Manager of Best Food Company, said it was fruitful participation, considering the fact that this was the first expo of its kind. “It was a useful channel for companies like us to reach out to global airlines. It should be expanded further as travel catering is a big sector,” he added.
More than 40 exhibitors from UAE, Turkey, Jordan, China, Bahrain Italy, Slovakia, Spain, France, UK, USA and The Netherlands, amongst other countries participated in the inaugural exhibition to make it the most appealing and beneficial platform for professionals from this key component of the aviation industry.
Visitors had plenty of choice to explore at the expo in terms of products and technologies that come handy in managing the growing volume of catering services for air travelers.
The expo showcased Beverage, Food Warming and Refrigeration Equipment, Trolleys, Commercial Catering, Cleaning and Dishwashing Equipment, Food Packaging, Processing, Preparation and Preservation Equipment, Industrial Laundry Equipment Logistics and Transportation Services. The other segments are Tableware, Chinaware, Disposable Crockery, Cutlery, Trays, Tableware, Food and Beverage, Accessories, Linens, Toiletries and Travel Amenities.