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Etihad Airways

The Client: Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is a national airline company of the UAE headquartered in Abu Dhabi. Founded in 2003, it operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

The Challenge: New to tray sealing

The launch of a new A380 service prompted Etihad Airways to investigate alternative packaging concepts for their inflight service, and on a recommendation, they approached PA to help guide them through the process of switching to tray sealing.

One difficulty faced by airlines is that by the time meals have left the kitchen and reached the passengers they no longer look as they should due do the movement of the aircraft. A meal sealed in a tray is given some protection against this as the packaging is sturdier than other formats. The robustness of trays also aids transportation and storage, reducing wastage due to damaged packs.

Being new to tray sealing TeamPA was happy help, arranging a tour of a local ready meal packing facility to demonstrate a tray sealing machine in a working production environment.

Several trials took place in the PA Test Kitchen to check the compatibility of the tray and lidding materials as well as suitability for aircraft ovens. Special castellated profiles were supplied to provide a venting system in the pack to allow the air to escape and not balloon when cooking. PA also worked with the lidding film supplier to specify a film that would facilitate easy opening once the meal was cooked enabling the consumer to open the meal quickly and easily without risk of spillage.

The Result: maximum efficiency and premium look product

Etihad Airways installed a number of high speed tray sealing machines giving a combined output of approximately 150 packs per minute. Maximum efficiency was achieved whist maintaining a premium look product.

Matthew Pegg from Etihad Airways commented:

“We were completely new to tray sealing; PA made the process easy for us and provided excellence guidance and support with trays and film. I would highly recommend PA to anyone looking to start tray sealing”.

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