Japan Airlines teams up with local fast-food chains for onboard catering

Besides teaming up with electronic brands such as Apple, Samsung (tablets) and Bose (noise-cancelling headphones) in order to provide passengers with a better in-flight experience, a number of airlines also partnered with well-known coffee brands to give passengers their favourite cup of coffee up in the air. Examples include Starbucks coffee served on board flights by Alaska Airlines and Porter Airlines, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee on Jetblue, and freshly brewed cup of Nespresso for passengers in First Class on SWISS’ flights. Iberia, meanwhile, has sold sandwiches from Spanish chain Fast Good (co-owned by star chef Ferran Adria) as part of its paid catering offer. Now Japan Airlines (JAL) has come up with an innovative twist for its onboard menu by teaming up with well-know Japanese fast-food chains.

Air Yoshinoya
Japan Airlines has partnered with Yoshinoya – the largest chain of beef-bowl restaurants in Japan – to bring the chain’ trademark dish to passengers on select international flights. The campaign started on March 1st, 2012 and for three months passengers on JAL flights from Tokyo Narita to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Frankfurt in every cabin class are served an ”Air Yoshinoya box” – the JAL version of the establishment’s specialty beef-bowl.

Specially designed and packaged to be served onboard, the rice and beef have been placed in separate boxes, letting passengers put their own meals together just before they eat. Considering the lower humidity in the cabin, Air Yoshinoya also comes with more sauce so that customers taste the same succulence as the beef bowl served in shops, while the beef, ginger, shichimi (seven-flavored spice) and pickles served are just as customers would find in all Yoshinoya outlets in Japan.

‘Air Yoshinoya’ is offered in economy and premium economy as a second meal and as an à la carte option in the premium cabins. According to JAL. the in-flight meals were created to give travelers a taste of Yoshinoya restaurants, saying that “With Air Yoshinoya, customers will be delighted at the familiar taste of the well-loved beef bowl at several thousand meters in the air.” JAL expects to serve 75,000 meals during the three months of the offer.


Air Mos Burger
The partnership with Yoshinoya is not JAL’s first collaboration with a Japanese fast-food chain. In 2011, the carrier teamed up with Mos Burger – Japan’s homegrown answer to McDonald’s – to offer the chain’s ‘famous’ teriyaki burger in-flight, for three months. Called “Air Mos Burger,” the teriyaki burger was offered on the same five international JAL flights as this year’s campaign with Yoshinoya.

To avoid that the bun’s texture getting ruined by contact with the meat when heated, two non-stick sheets were placed on either side of the beef patty. Assembly was up to the passengers, who could check a bilingual instruction sheet. More images here, here, and here.

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