It is supported by DCAA, Dubai Airports, Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Food Point. Among the sponsors are Italian Footwear Solution, Les Grands Chais de France, Sanaye Plastic Khouzestan, Saudi Airlines Catering Company (Hajj & Umrah Catering), JiangSu Canasin Weaving Company, Henan Hengtai Aluminium Technology Company.
Among the countries which will be represented at the Expo for the first time are India, Kuwait, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malawi, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Thailand.
The launch edition brought together 43 exhibitors from 14 countries and about 1000 professionals and decision-makers from 28 countries attended. It had 13 hosted buyers from seven countries. This year's Expo will take place on 1800 square metres exhibition space with the anticipated participation of 2000 trade visitors from over 20 countries.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organizers of TCE, Airport Show and Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), said: "One of the strongest indicators of the show's importance is the large attendance from virtually every important airline in the GCC and many others across the region. Airlines are looking increasingly at Travel Catering solutions to differentiate themselves from competitors and provide a more enjoyable passenger experience."
He added: "The Expo attracts new products, ideas and technologies and regional airlines are committed to the event to meet the global and regional suppliers that can help them deliver a better passenger experience and achieve greater passenger loyalty.
The event has established itself as the most important platform in the Middle East for international travel catering suppliers to meet with regional airline, airport and catering buyers."
Ananya Narayan, Managing Director, Hunter Foods Limited FZCO, a key exhibitor of TCE, said the industry can benefit immensely from the Expo by exploring new trends in the global food sector and seeing what is on offer from suppliers in the region.
He said: "Middle Eastern airlines are trying to show their place in the global arena by redefining the meaning of luxury. They are able to redefine the travel experience to global customers by upping the game including that in the quality of food."
Key features of the Expo will be TCE Business Connect, a new dedicated programme to connect buyers and suppliers. The hosted buyers programme will see over 36 buyers and 19 authorities from 14 countries -Bahrain, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE.
The Expo will showcase Travel Catering, 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.
TCE has been designed to catering to the needs of the key segment of the aviation industry which, especially in the Middle East in general and GCC in particular, is witnessing rising volume of travellers due to enhanced air connectivity.
The Arabian Gulf region accounts for a sizeable share of the global travel catering market estimated to be worth over $17 billion, with an annual growth rate of five per cent.
The rising demand for catering for passengers has resulted in catering facilities being transformed, expanded and upgraded across the region.
According to a latest study by Global Industry Analysts (GIA), the global market for In-Flight Catering Services is projected to reach US$17.6 billion by 2020, driven by growing air passenger traffic and effervescent service innovations by airline companies.
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways alone are expected to handle over 190 million passengers on their expanding route networks by 2020, the year in which the Arabian Gulf region will handle 450 million passengers.
It noted: "Airline companies are increasingly offering a broader food menu and food customization options to customers. Growth dynamics in the global airline catering market are largely reliant on the health of the aviation sector." Key factors spurring growth in the market include expanding global aircraft fleet, growth in the number of air passengers, and mushrooming of low cost airlines. Growing customer demand for nutritious food options, even while travelling, is driving growth in the market.
Note to Editors: Now in its 2nd successful year, Travel Catering Expo (TCE) is the largest dedicated platform to discuss opportunities in the airport and airline catering business in the Middle East, North Africa and Indian Subcontinent. The event is co-located with the Airport Show and Global Airport Leaders' Forum (GALF).
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© Press Release 2015