World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo 2020: where innovation takes off

Event World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo 2021
Organiser Reed Exhibitions
Event Date 14.09.2021
Press Release Date 18.02.2020

The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) – the world’s leading event for the travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort industries – will be taking off for its most exciting year yet, as it welcomes more than 800 buyers from the world’s leading airlines and rail companies to Hamburg from 31 March – 2 April 2020.

Co-located with the industry renowned Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), WTCE will be found in Halls A1, A3 and A4 of the Hamburg Messe and is preceded by the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 30 March. Together, the three events will bring the best of the passenger experience, including the latest catering products and solutions innovating the cabin, to one of Europe’s largest aviation hubs, Hamburg in Germany.

The global travel market is continuing to thrive, with onboard services such as travel retail reporting annual growth of 12.9%, and inflight catering expected to increase at CAGR 6.4% and reach $29bn by 2025[1]. Plus, with air passenger demand set to double by 2034[2] and discerning travellers increasingly looking for onboard experiences to mirror the standards of any out of home outlet, the need to deliver something memorable has never been more important. As a result, the passenger experience sector is continuing to drive the industry forward, with many of the latest innovations and solutions being showcased at WTCE set to delight passengers.

What’s on at WTCE
Returning for its 9th edition, WTCE 2020 will feature more than 350 of the industry’s leading suppliers of onboard products and services, from a variety of sectors including food and drink, hygiene, packaging, travel retail, passenger comfort, toys and games and much more.

This year, visitors will have the opportunity to view products from the full spectrum of airline and rail suppliers – large and small – including LSG Sky Chefs, AK Services, Do & Co., Dnata. and Skysupply, as well as those from more than 25 new exhibitors.

Hall A3 will house many of the show’s first-time exhibitors, including those that have not previously launched into the industry. Among the new exhibitors are Bareun – producers of 100% natural breath care products, including edible oral freshener to give passengers that just brushed feeling anywhere – as well as For Aisha, a unique halal-certified baby food brand. August Lundh will also join the show this year, introducing its quality range of food service and transportation products to visitors, with the aim of aiding improved onboard passenger experience.

Food and drink continue to play a significant role in the passenger experience, with trends such as premiumisation and sustainability helping to steer consumption habits in a new direction for onboard catering. In recognition of this, over 104 dedicated food and drink suppliers will be showcasing at this year’s show, bringing with them a variety of new flavours and formats to help operators capitalise on passenger demand. These include Radnor Hills, supplier of natural soft drinks and waters, which will launch its range of sparkling infusion drinks, Radnor Infusions at WTCE 2020, as well as premium minipack biscuit brand, Border. Premium drinks brand, Double Dutch, will be introducing its full range of tonics and mixers including its award-winning Cucumber & Watermelon and Pomegranate & Basil flavours.

Sustainability continues to be the topic on everyone’s lips this year. And as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed, waste is a huge issue for the industry, with airline passengers generating an estimated 5.7 million tonnes of waste globally in 2016 alone. Since then, airlines and rail operators have been working hard to reduce the level of waste produced onboard, so solutions with a green angle are set to prove popular with visitors to the 2020 show.

Leaders in eco-friendly alternatives, ECOFELLA, aims to eliminate single-use plastics in the travel industry through the introduction of its range of sustainable bamboo alternatives. In addition to this, visitors can also expect to find the hottest onboard technologies and packaging solutions from Global C, which will present its compostable cutlery sets and full recyclable meal kits, designed with the balance between quality, function and value in mind.

With long-haul travel firmly in the spotlight, passenger wellbeing is also set to be a popular trend at WTCE 2020. Following the completion of the second of Qantas’ Project Sunrise flights, which flew the 17,800km distance between London, UK to Sydney, Australia in just under 20 hours towards the end of last year, visitors are likely to be on the lookout for the latest solutions to help reduce jetlag and boost passenger and crew wellbeing.

Tapping into this, passenger comfort experts, Matrix, will be impressing show-goers with its carefully developed skincare, amenity kits, headsets, blankets and pillows, including unique innovations such as its moisturising loungewear. Other wellbeing specialists exhibiting at the show include the leading provider of hand soap to airlines internationally, Freshorize and Oshibori Concept International – which will showcase its range of single-use wash cloths complete with customisable packaging in a variety of scents including green and white tea.

Learning opportunities
Alongside the raft of new product launches and solutions unveiled on the show floor, the What’s New Onboard showcase will return to WTCE this year, giving dedicated airtime to the latest products and innovations launched to market in the past 12 months or less. Among those confirmed to display new launches are Merzdorf Fine Foods, with its innovative product line of natural healthy snacks, including Chicken Breast Crisps – a nutritious snack made of cuts of carefully selected premium chicken fillet. Also on show at What’s New Onboard will be Heng Tai Metal & Wood Manufacturer Limited, which is set to reveal its fully compostable and biodegradable bamboo cutlery sets.

The Spotlight on Travel Apparel feature is also back for 2020. Located in the exhibition’s central entrance, the area will showcase the latest onboard clothing. Whether updating their brand, or on the hunt for something new, operators will find plenty of inspiration and ideas here.

Further examples of the latest uniforms, crew luggage and travel accessories can be found on the show floor, with brands such as GATE8 Luggage – specialists in cabin crew travel accessories – introducing a new range of luggage, designed to improve the operational performance and on-the-job satisfaction of airline cabin crew. Leaders in aviation footwear, Sky Sole, will also be returning to showcase its premium range of footwear, designed by crew for crew.

The highly anticipated Taste of Travel programme will once again bring visitors unrivalled inspiration for their air and rail operations. Run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine, presentations and live demonstrations – delivered by leading consultants, industry experts and award-winning chefs – will aim to educate the audience about the future of the sector, encourage them to think about current and upcoming trends and helping them to understand how they can best enhance the passenger experience.

Taking place across all three days of the show, the sessions will focus on making ‘A Greener Journey’. Speakers from across the industry, including experts in waste management, sustainable food sourcing and packaging will come together to discuss the latest innovations and solutions to help operators improve their environmental impact, while still providing passengers with a quality experience.

Bringing the industry together
At the heart of the show is hall A3, where visitors will find the popular networking drinks, led by official drinks sponsor Heineken, which will kick off the show at 5pm on Tuesday, 31 March – as well as the VIP Buyers Lounge, where VIP attendees can enjoy time away from the busy show floor.

Additionally, the highly popular Business Meeting Hub – a dedicated space for attendees to schedule on-site meetings with potential new partners – will return to the event. VIP airline and rail attendees can book a table in advance, allowing them to arrange team meetings or hold business conversations with existing or new suppliers.

Speaking about the exhibition, Polly Magraw, Event Director, said: “The global travel market is booming and as a result passenger demand is on the rise. This is fuelling growth across the onboard services industry and with so much going on, the World Travel Catering and Onboard Service Expo 2020 is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Returning to the Hamburg Messe from 31 March – 2 April and co-located with the Aircraft Interior Expo (AIX) and the Passenger Experience Conference, this year’s show will bring together around 4,000 decision makers, with the brands that are innovating the passenger experience.

“With over 350 of the industry’s leading suppliers of onboard products and services showcasing their latest products and solutions, WTCE 2020 is not to be missed. We look forward to welcoming faces old and new to Hamburg as we head into our 9th year.”

Registration for WTCE 2020 is now open. To register for your visitor badge, visit

For more information on the opportunities to exhibit at WTCE or to register your interest, visit or join the conversation online:
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