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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Shanghai Corporate Flight Attendant – Rita Yang

Shanghai Corporate Flight Attendant Rita Yang

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in China, and there are many reasons you may be asked to fly on a business aviation trip to the city during your career. To get an inside look at the city, and tips to help corporate flight attendants while on the ground, we interviewed Rita Yang. Read on the learn more about Rita, her business aviation knowledge and tips for visiting Shanghai.

Which aircraft have you flown on during your career?

  • B737-800
  • B747-400
  • A330-300
  • A340-400
  • Hawker 900
  • G200, G550
  • Global6000
  • F7X, F900, F2000LX

Where did you receive flight attendant training?

I’ve trained all around the world. Flight Safety International, Teterboro, New Jersey in the United States; Deer Jet in Beijing, China; and China Airlines in Taipei, Taiwan.

When was your last recurrent?

December 8, 2014

What education to you have, in addition to flight attendant training?

I have an MBA in marketing from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan and I was an exchange MBA student at Peking University in Beijing.

Which languages do you speak?

Mandarin Chinese and English.

What is your base location?

From 2004 to 2011 Taiwan Taoyuan International (TPE / RCTP), and from 2011 until now Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA / ZSSS).

How long have you been a flight attendant?

I was a commercial flight attendant for seven years and seven months before becoming a corporate flight attendant three years and nine months ago.

Which business aviation events do you attend?

I attend several conventions and air shows across the globe. When I’m not busy in a trip, you can connect with me at:ABACE (Shanghai Air Show)

  • ABACE (Shanghai Air Show)
  •  CIBAS (Beijing Air Show)
  •  Zhuhai Air Show
  • Macao Air Show
  • Rendezvous Hainan (Sanya Air Show)
  • NBAA in the United States
  • Singapore Air Show
  • Millionaire Asia Aviation Show
  • Langkawi Air Show in Malaysia
  • Avalon Air Show in Australia

What are your favorite types of cuisine?

I like Asian food in general – Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Korean food.

What are your favorite destinations?

Home! Home is definitely my favorite destination as I often travel 25 to 30 days in a row. Besides my home, I like Kyoto during the cherry blossom season and summertime in France and Anchorage, Alaska.

Throughout your travels, which restaurants around the world are your top choices?

As a corporate flight attendant, I’m always looking for new restaurants for my in-flight catering. The list is still growing, so it’s hard to say which ones are my favorite yet.

What are you favorite restaurants in Shanghai?

When I’m not flying, I always go to some independent café in the former French Concession for brunch. Coffee Tree and Mr. Willis are two of the best in this lovely neighborhood. If I feel like a sip of red wine in the afternoon, I go to Wine Connection Bar & Bistro where you can have quality food for a very reasonable price. Kota’s Kitchen is a must-try if you are a big fan for Japanese izakaya, but the best Japanese restaurants are located in GuBei where most of Japanese cuisine experts lives. Try Toriyasu, and make sure you book the table first!

What are some things to do that you would suggest for a corporate flight attendant visiting Shanghai for the first time?

There something that happens in Shanghai that I have never seen anywhere else, which is the “Wedding and Marriage Market” in People’s Square. If you stay at JW Marriott Hotel Tomorrow Square, then People’s Square is just a three-minute walk for you. The Wedding and Marriage Market is the place for Chinese parents to find the ideal spouse for their child. During the weekend, parents come to the park in People’s Square holding a small advertisement which lists basic information about their children to see if it can attract possible dates for their children. You will be impressed to see how detailed the information can be!

Any tips for a corporate flight attendant visiting Shanghai for the first time?

In general, China could be very challenging for a corporate flight attendant to prepare for his or her flight. However, Shanghai is the best among most of the Chinese cities because there are so many culinary experts living in this city.

If you need to replenish some inventory, you can go to City Shop (which has groceries and food from the United States and Europe), Ole and City Super. Most of the Marriott and SPG hotels can accommodate your catering request, just make sure you bring your own zip-close bag or tin foil and show the chef some photos when they are not able to speak English.

I often go to a retail store where they sell service items for hotels in Shanghai and every time I go I find some handy items to make my flight better. The name of the retail store is Hotel Equipment Depot on 345, Macao Road.

What are some in-flight catering challenges you have experienced?

This will be a master thesis if you don’t stop me! In China, GA is still in its infancy, which means we don’t have an FBO in 95 percent of Chinese cities. People have zero knowledge of private jet operations and, for corporate flight attendants, you have to do everything by yourself. In some places, you can’t even get wet ice from an airport caterer. Even for those airports that can offer you in-flight catering, there is the potential for communication problems. When I have two to three legs in a day, it becomes very challenging.

How do you overcome these challenges?

I always prepare my flight a few days before departure and call several hotels or restaurants to make sure I will get everything for my flight.

What made you decide to become a corporate flight attendant?

I was lucky that a headhunter found me on LinkedIn. Basically, this job found me!

What do you feel are essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant?

Being able to react quickly and remain flexible.

To contact Rita Yang, email Rita.Yang@FalconJet.com.

This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with corporate cabin crew members. If you would like to be considered for an interview, which is posted on our blog and all of our social media accounts, please contact socialmedia@airculinaire.com.

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