The Princess Royal has officially opened the DHL International Flight Centre catering hub at Heathrow Airport in London, UK.
Princess Anne is a patron of road transport and logistics industry charity Transaid. She unveiled the new 52,000ft² centre which offers end-of-route return catering services for long haul flights.
The €10m centre will service United Airlines from the new International Flight Centre, and will offer procurement, product sourcing, beverage replenishment and food assembly services.
It will also provide 'final mile' delivery to the aircraft and a full wash up service of airline catering equipment using the latest sustainable technology.
Transaid is an international development agency founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK). It seeks to improve people's quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable.
Addressing DHL employees at the official opening, Her Royal Highness said: "DHL has added lots of value to the airline industry.
"Your relationship with Transaid is a unique partnership and I am delighted with the all of the support you are providing the charity and I look forward to hearing how this relationship makes a difference in Africa."
As the new centre is a shared user hub, it will offer high standards of service to the airlines, but with lower costs.
Transaid chief executive Gary Foster said: "Corporate partnerships are essential for Transaid and we're delighted to have such a key partner like DHL Supply Chain on board.
"We're honoured that our patron has attended today in recognition of the DHL's support and we're looking forward to broadening our involvement even further this year."
DHL noted that will continue its support for Transaid, which included vehicle donation, shipment and fundraising to help the charity's programmes in Africa last year.
DHL supply chain specialist services managing director Paul Richardson said: "Our investment in the new hub and United Airlines using our long-haul catering expertise proves that DHL is a serious contender in this marketplace.
"Our unique proposition offers airlines the opportunity to provide a great customer experience through the quality of their food while improving cost control and reducing the environmental impact of their supply chains."
DHL is a global logistics firm with expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services.
Image: HRH The Princess Royal and Paul Richardson, managing director, Specialist Services at DHL Supply Chain, in the wash area of the operation. Photo: courtesy of Transaid.