Dépêches

Gate Gourmet Begins Catering for SAS in Scandinavia

Dépèche transmise le 4 mai 2009 par PRNewswire

STOCKHOLM, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Gate Gourmet, a member of gategroup, became the sole provider of catering and provisioning services for Scandinavian Airlines System in its three main Scandinavian hubs over the weekend in a massive logistical undertaking.

Gate Gourmet, the world's largest independent airline catering and provisioning provider, won the SAS business last fall in a competitive tender. The new five-year contract with an option for an additional four years covers the airline's hubs at Copenhagen, Stockholm/Arlanda and Oslo, as well as operations in Gothenburg and Malmoe in Sweden and Bergen in Norway.

"This major agreement is a result of gategroup's successful restructuring of our Scandinavian operations to become more cost competitive, and an energetic campaign to win the business," said gategroup CEO Guy Dubois. "SAS was already a key account for deSter, which gategroup acquired in 2007, and this new contract reflects positively on our strategy to cross-sell among gategroup's brands. We also serve the airline in Europe," he said.

The new business more than doubles Gate Gourmet's previous annual production of meals in Scandinavia to nearly 16 million and will increase the number of employees to over 1,200 in the region. Gate Gourmet is preparing and provisioning food for SAS' Business and Economy cabins on long-haul flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm; in the Business and Economy Flex cabins for European flights; and for intra-Scandinavia flights.

"We are extremely proud to have been chosen by SAS as its catering and logistics partner in its home markets," said Philippe Op de Beeck, gategroup Senior Vice President and President of the Europe & Africa region. "The size and scope of this new business makes SAS one of gategroup's top customers and we aim to continue to grow our relationship," he said.

"We have been looking forward to May 1 with high expectations, but also with a great degree of respect for a transition of this magnitude," said Margareta Vang, SAS Director In-Flight Product and Services. "Therefore we are pleased to note that the transition has gone beyond all expectations, thanks to very professional preparations and implementation by Gate Gourmet."

In the pre-dawn hours on May 1, the single-day cutover started when a Gate Gourmet high-loader truck pulled up to SAS Flight 7669, a charter to Greece, with the first delivery under the new contract.

Teams of experts from Gate Gourmet in areas such as Operations, Supply Chain, Information Technology, Finance and Human Resources have worked closely with SAS since October 2008 to accomplish the logistical feat.

"Our aim was to make this extremely complex change invisible to SAS' customers and flight crews, and it took months of preparation internally and with SAS to orchestrate," Op de Beeck said. "Our planning requirements involved three countries, three major hubs, three regional bases and the necessary facilities, equipment and trained employees to prepare meals and supplies for delivery to 400 daily flights at the flip of a switch."

The project was very complex. For example, to provision its more than 150 aircraft, SAS and Gate Gourmet had to plan for the transfer of up to 2,000 pallets of material, such as serving carts, trays, cups, cutlery and other items. David Heer, head of Gate Gourmet Scandinavia, noted that the company has specified, ordered and stocked up to 1,000 types of food and beverage goods from about 250 different suppliers. All of this adds up to 50,000 individual bills of materials in the Gate Gourmet logistics system.

"It was a big job, and the successful cutover is a testament to the team at Gate Gourmet, which has years of experience and expertise in handling large airline hub operations," said Op de Beeck.

About gategroup:

gategroup is the leading independent global provider of onboard services to companies serving people on the move. We specialize in catering and hospitality; provisioning and logistics; and onboard solutions. Our customers include top airlines, railroads and hotels around the world that rely on our expertise and solutions tailored to their guests, service offerings, and geographic regions.

Our portfolio includes the following established brands: deSter, eGate Solutions, Elan, Gate Aviation, Gate Gourmet, Gate Safe, Harmony, Performa, potmstudios, Pourshins and Supplair. Visit for more information.

CONTACT: Brigitt Trindler, Corporate Communications of gategroup,+41-43-812-5578, ; Olof Rundgren, CorporateCommunications of SAS, +46-8-797-1110, +46-70-997-1110,

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