Subscribe Free
in Flight Services & Support / Features

Mohamed's taste for expansion

Posted 30 May 2018 · Add Comment

EgyptAir In-Flight Services chairman and CEO, Hesham Abdel Hafeiz Mohamed, is hoping for expansion in the Middle East and Africa.

Hesham Abdel Hafeiz Mohamed hit the ground running when he became chairman and CEO of EgyptAir In-flight Services over a year ago, saying he is “happily on-call 24/7” to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“EgyptAir In-Flight Services is a huge company with more than 2,500 fully trained staff across its various departments, so there is a lot to oversee to make sure we run a seamless operation,” said Mohamed.
“The method of running the business has been refined and enhanced over 60 years of producing high-quality meals, services and solutions and delivering more value to our customer, which means that, in turn, we earn their respect and loyalty.”
The company recently renewed its joint venture with Lufthansa and Egyptian Aviation Services (EAS) in a company known as LSG Sky Chefs Egypt – of which EgyptAir owns 70%.
Its catering unit at Cairo International Airport can provide 30,000 meals daily and its rapidly expanding facilities at Hurghada International Airport and Sharm el-Sheikh International have production capacity of 6,000 meals daily for each.
Soon a new catering unit will be open in Burg El Arab Airport in Alexandria.
“We have bought a piece of land there and we have started to establish a new unit,” said Mohamed. “Staff are currently there but with external suppliers until the unit opens.”
Mohamed added that while the state-of-the-art kitchens can serve up to 30,000 meals a day at full capacity, it is more normal to see figures of 12-15,000 meals per day, unless it is holy holiday periods like Hajj and Umrah, where figures climb to 27,000.
He is hoping to see these figures increase substantially within the next 10 years.
“As soon as I started in my position, expansion was my plan,” he said “So we are now working on a 10-year plan to increase our catering capacity level by another 30,000 meals – to reach 60,000. We believe Egypt is already back on track seeing passenger numbers increase, and expect in 10 years it will once again be one of the world’s top destinations.”
He added: “We are also thinking to expand outside Egypt – we have already looked into extending catering units in other Arab countries and Africa. We are currently in talks with Iraq for a catering unit in Baghdad, but this is at an early stage.”
The company’s catering menus change every three months according to airline requirement.
“We make sure we keep airlines happy by providing new menus with different choices for each class. This is something, for example, EgyptAir likes,” said Mohamed.
While the company’s kitchen staff and chefs are all Egyptian, Mohamed said he is looking into finding chefs abroad that can offer expertise in various cuisines.
The company also provides services for business jet customers, as well as providing ground support equipment at Cairo, including a fleet of 47 high-loaders.
Other facilities that Mohamed oversees include a dry ice factory with a capacity of 625kg an hour, a laboratory that ensures that each product line meets food safety standards, and a huge laundry service.
“We are the only company at Cairo International Airport to provide a laundry service that consists of washing, drying, maintaining, and replenishing cabin interior products including napkins, tablecloths, pillowcases, headrest covers, trolley runners and cotton towels – basically everything you see on board,” said Mohamed.
If that wasn’t enough, the company also has its own registered brand name in cafe management – Aero Café – and a sales department for different on-board brands, including perfumes and watches.
With so much going on Mohamed said that his main challenge is maintaining and finding the ‘right balance’ between quality and price.
He added: “We provide a very high-quality product, so my challenge is how can we offer a reasonable price to customers while still making a profit. During the recent circumstances of inflation in Egypt and its political position, it is a challenge to keep business running and stable while regaining profit for high standards.
“However, in the last few years, we are keeping it all in great shape and we are seeing an increase in profit each year as tourist figures climb.”
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Abu Dhabi Airports kicks off Safety Week

Abu Dhabi Airports has kicked off this week its annual Safety Week with a series of activities designed to increase awareness of aviation safety standards and best practices among its employees and airport stakeholders.

Emirates takes delivery of its last Boeing 777-300ER aircraft

Emirates has received the final Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its order books.

Virgin Galactic completes historic first spaceflight

History was made yesterday as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, landed from her maiden spaceflight.

Why Etihad turned tail on partnerships

Etihad Airways is looking closer to home for growth as it plots a new course following major problems at some of its equity partner airlines. Alan Dron reports.

MEBAA conference covers interesting and key topics

In future, business aviation will be as ubiquitous as driving a car – according to Badr Al-Olama, Head of Aerospace, Mubadala Investment Company, who delivered a dramatic vision of the sector’s future in a keynote speech at the second day

Royal Air Maroc welcomes first GEnx-powered Boeing 787-9 Aircraft

Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has received its first GEnx-1B-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. RAM will eventually operate a fleet of nine GEnx-powered B787 Dreamliners.

Boeing SK0311018051218
See us at
ACCA19_BT2141218280219Aviation Africa BT0607280219AIME19BTA3005120219SaudiAirshowBT0711140319