Bob Bregman, founder of WESSCO International. Image via WESSO International

Bob Bregman, founder of WESSCO International. Image via WESSCO International

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of APEX EXPO this year, we’re looking back at APEX members’ most significant achievements. Today, we chart how WESSCO International became one of the foremost amenity kit suppliers in the commercial aviation industry.

In 1979, the same year the first WAEA conference was held in Palm Springs, California, WESSCO International was founded by Bob Bregman, securing its first order from Western Airlines for 1,500 coffee pots.

Initially, WESSCO focused on food and beverage items for domestic US airlines, but when Anita Gittelson and Sharon DeHerder joined in the mid-80s, the company shifted its focus towards providing in-flight amenities to carriers across the globe.

Gittelson was instrumental in engineering one of WESSCO’s most high-profile partnerships with L’Occitane, which first flew with Delta Air Lines in 2001. The company’s new global focus led to WESSCO moving production to Japan in 1983, followed by Taiwan and Hong Kong in 1989 and eventually mainland China in 1997.

Today, WESSCO continues to make waves with its amenity kits. The company’s most recent designs for American Airlines – which include products from This is Ground and Allies of Skin – have been chosen as a finalist for the 2020 APEX/IFSA Awards in the “IFSA Best Onboard Amenity” category. Other recent designs include a new wildlife-inspired amenity kit collection for Icelandair.

WESSCO was also one of the pioneers of branded bedding on board. In 2014, it secured a contract with Etihad Airways for COCO-MAT’s sustainably sourced sleep products in first class. In 2017, it partnered with direct-to-consumer mattress brand Casper to create a bedding range for American Airlines. Earlier this year, WESSCO announced that Etihad was introducing a range of bedding and accessories from Swedish luxury brand DUXIANA in The Residence on its A380s.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, WESSCO has teamed up with APEX Media on a special Golden Ticket giveaway at APEX EXPO: 40 winners will receive a bag packed with luxury goodies from WESSCO’s brand partnerships, including skincare, apparel and more.

See more posts from the 40 Success Stories campaign.