May 18, 2016

IBM and gategroup Enhance Catering Operations for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair

New cloud-based catering system improves loading efficiency of meal services and amenities onto airplanes

ARMONK, N.Y., CHICAGO AND HONG KONG, 18 May 2016 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and gategroup today announced the completion of the 28-month project for the launch of Catering Planner for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair. This program is a new, flexible, cloud-based infrastructure to automate and enhance the airlines’ in-flight catering operation efficiency.

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair together serve more than 40 million in-flight meals annually. The airlines’ goal for the Catering Planner project was three-fold: to modernize their catering systems and processes; improve efficiencies and standardize catering management practices; and create operational and business alignment across both airlines. The new Catering Planner solution, implemented in a joint effort by IBM and gategroup, now automates more than 60 percent of the airlines’ catering activities, helping Cathay Pacific and Dragonair to move toward achieving their goals.

“Together with IBM and gategroup we have rolled out a new system that gives us greater flexibility, improves our communications with suppliers and will offer our passengers enhanced in-flight catering options,” said Aaron Claxton, Head of Catering, Cathay Pacific. “Commencing this year, everything from in-flight meals, wines, to various inflight amenities and equipment are being managed through our new Catering Planner solution.”

The Catering Planner solution modernized the airlines’ over 20 current systems with IFX™ and GP™, gategroup’s cloud-based catering operations, galley planning, ordering and scheduling software. The new Catering Planner will now allow the airlines to:  

  • Assign onboard menus and meal specifications tailored for each route.
  • Design galley packing plans that enable efficient use of onboard space.
  • Make real-time order and loading adjustments in response to dynamic flight operations to enable the uplifting of more accurate number of meals onboard.

“Ordering, scheduling and preparing meals and services for flights combine a series of complex and changing variables,” said Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup CEO. “The innovative approach by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair allows them to create a catering operation that addresses the needs of the modern traveler while also having complete visibility and control over the end-to-end onboard services operation. It was a pleasure to work with the airlines and in coordination with IBM to help simplify and enhance our customers’ processes.”

The airlines chose IBM for its airline-related, strategy and integration services, and selected gategroup’s cloud-based platform to enhance the catering services at both airlines. “Modernizing a legacy system using new cloud-based technology not only transforms how on-board catering services are delivered but also creates new business opportunities for both the airlines and the catering companies they work with,” said Daniel Pinto, Account Partner, IBM. “IBM has provided the expertise of its industry consultants to help Cathay Pacific and Dragonair reduce costs while providing passengers a better in-flight experience.”

With the cloud platform, the airlines will reduce IT complexity, gain more flexibility to support dynamic business changes and significantly lower costs by consolidating applications. IBM provided project management and delivery services, overseeing the installation of gategroup’s solutions to each one of the airlines’ 100+ destinations.

For more information from Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, visit and

About gategroup

gategroup is the leading independent global provider of products, services and solutions related to a passenger’s onboard experience. For more information from gategroup, visit: or 

For more information from IBM, visit:  or