Service above the clouds
Cathay Pacific Catering Service Ltd (CPCS) supplies its own airline as well as a large number of customer airlines with complete in-cabin provisions. These include: food production with a high variety of pre-prepared meals, cleaning of all containers, crockery and cutlery used aboard the planes, and packaging and provision of up to 1,000 articles per flight. The catering operations run all year round, 24/7.
Due to rising costs, airlines are further reducing the ground times of aircrafts. As such, accurately customised deliveries of cabin provisions have to be fully packed and provided to the airplane within a very narrow timeframe. This is achieved by optimising every single one of the varied value chain processes. io consultants was commissioned to implement a factory concept for CPCS’ flight catering plant in Hong Kong with flexible, high-performance food production and state-of-the-art logistics facilities.
The number of ramps for supplying and removing goods to and from the aircraft depends on the flight schedule, and can become a layout-determining factor for airline caterers. This alone requires dovetailing the architecture and the processes. The three-storey production building with a total floor area of around 59,000 sqm allows an optimal material flow. All major material streams are automated. Airline trolleys, for instance, are transported between processing stations with a “power & free” overhead conveyor system, to minimise manual handling and any transport-related damage. Every day, more than 1,000,000 pieces of crockery are cleaned, managed, transported and distributed with the use of integrated dishwashing technology, computer-aided management, and container conveyor technology with automatic in line buffers.