Etihad Airways, reputed as one of the world’s finest airlines, has named SriLankan Catering as the Best Regional Caterer in the Middle East-Africa-South Asia-Indian Subcontinent.
The Etihad Global Excellence Award 2010/11 came after Etihad evaluated its comprehensive audits of all its suppliers of on-board cuisine worldwide. The audits covered every possible factor including the level of customer service, responsiveness to needs of customer airlines, quality, presentation of meals, hygiene, overall catering operation and on-time delivery.
Nishantha Wickremesinghe, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering, said: “SriLankan Catering has once again done our nation proud, by winning an international accolade over and above intense competition from larger caterers. This proves quite decisively that there is nothing that cannot be achieved by a small team that is dedicated to providing the very best to its customers. It is indeed a special feeling to receive the recognition of our peers in the global air transport industry.”
Since its launch in 2003, Etihad has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading carriers, winning awards such as the World Travel Awards in 2009 and 2010. The National Airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad has a fleet of 57 aircraft which operate close to 1,000 flights per week, serving an international network of 67 destinations in 45 countries.Sarath Fernando, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Catering, said: “We consider this award as recognition of SriLankan Catering’s consistent level of high quality and customer service.
There was no opportunity for any caterer to impress the audit team, except through excellent performance throughout the year. We were unaware that Etihad would be presenting awards to its caterers until we were informed that we had won.” “The Middle East-Africa-South Asia region accounts for about 50% of Etihad’s global route network, which means that our service and cuisine was deemed to be superior to all of Etihad’s caterers throughout this region,” noted Sarath Fernando.
A subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering recently had its long-term contract at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) extended for another decade. It provides cuisine for all airlines that operate to Colombo with a sophisticated flight kitchen that has a capacity of 25,000 meals per day.
In addition, it is the catering supplier for all restaurants and lounges at BIA and also operates the BIA’s Serenediva Transit Hotel.
Its flight kitchen has recently won a host of environmental awards including two Mercury Awards from the International Travel Catering Association.
The company has attracted many more customer airlines in recent months with Sri Lanka increasing its position as a sought after destination among global tourists. Many existing carriers have also been increasing their capacity to Colombo. The company holds four international certifications – ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems, ISO 22000:2005 for Food Safety Management Systems, and HACCP-Codex Alimentarius for Food Safety Assurance, and ISO 14001:2004 for Best Environmental Practices.