INFLIGHT CATERING

KLM brings colourful design to meals and trolleys in Economy

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

As the airline industry has always captured people’s imagination, airlines can tap into their local heritage to incorporate a bit of storytelling into the travel experience. Legacy carriers in particular can benefit from their ‘flag carrier’ status as a source of inspiration in designing the cabin experience, in order to move beyond the generic grey and blue environments.

KLM ‘Internationally Dutch’
A well-documented example is KLM’s ‘Internationally Dutch’ brand positioning, which has seen the airline collaborating with internationally well-known Dutch designers such as Victor&Rolf, Marcel Wanders and Hella Jongerius for respectively amenity kits, tableware and seat and interior design. According to KLM, customers have indicated that they appreciate KLM’s typically Dutch character, so it decided to embrace Dutch Design.

Delft Blue porcelain is also part of KLM’s Dutch heritage-inspired branding. Since the 1950s, the airline has handed out small ceramic replicas of historical Dutch houses filled with ‘genever’ (a Dutch style of gin) to passengers in Business Class, which are a popular souvenir item for many passengers.

In order to bring a contemporary style to its Business Class dining, KLM in 2011 began serving meals in Business Class on both short- and long-haul flights offered on tableware designed by Marcel Wanders. The designer (of Moooi and Droog Design fame) created porcelain, glassware, cutlery, linen and a tray for the airline in his signature shapely style.

‘Tasty Blue’ catering concept
Aiming to bring a touch of design to the dining experience in Economy on long-haul flights, KLM this fall will introduce a new catering concept which it has dubbed ‘Tasty Blue’.

According to KLM, the new service is based on the concept of a ‘set table’. Says Madeleine Braun, Product Manager Economy Class Long Haul at KLM, “With the new Tasty Blue concept, KLM will set the table for passengers in Economy. And a set table should be colourful and appealing, especially given the important role of packaging today in influencing the perception and experience of consumers.” Read full article

Jetstar lets participants in TV cooking show create its new buy-on-board meal

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This case appears in the May 2015 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

Value-based carrier Jetstar featured strongly on an April episode of the popular Australian competitive cooking show My Kitchen Rules, which presents teams of wannabe chefs squaring-off in culinary challenges that test teamwork, creativity and prowess in the kitchen.

In the episode airing April 13th, six duelling culinary teams found themselves in a hangar at Sydney Airport, gathered round a 787 Dreamliner in Jetstar’s bold black and orange livery.

The day’s challenge? To prepare an inflight meal for a plane full of hungry passengers that looked delicious, tasted great and fit into Jetstar’s signature back meal box… all in just 90 minutes. The prize? Victors would not only dodge elimination by securing passenger votes, but would also have their creation become the celebrity pre-order meal option on all Jetstar flight over 5.5 hours between April 14 and July 14 of this year.

In addition to enjoying significant brand exposure throughout the hour-long primetime reality show, Jetstar received plenty of coverage from other media outlets. The story was picked up and shared through social media by mainstream media such as the Sydney Morning Herald, advertising sources like B&T, and entertainment blogs including Sydney Confidential.

Morning talk show Sunrise even had its own correspondent and TV cameras on board to taste the different offerings.

The day after the show aired, Jetstar erected pop-up kitchens in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth that let the general public to try out its latest pre-order option. A Jetstar-produced video illustrating how the dish is prepared has been viewed nearly 1,500 times so far.

Airlines let food trucks do the promotion

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This case appears in the October 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing capaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

Food trucks are a hot phenomenon these days, evolving from chip stands into quality gourmet food on the go. As experiencing the products and services offered onboard has become an effective marketing tool for airlines to engage savvy consumers, a handful of airlines have capitalized on the food truck trend for marketing purposes.

For more on how airlines are using their onboard catering to engage the general public, see our contribution to this New York Times article “Ground-Level Tastings of the Best Food in the Sky.”

Air France, Austrian, Delta, United, Stockholm Arlanda Airport
For example, in March 2011 Air France sent their own gourmet food truck around the streets of New York City as a means of promoting their on-board catering services. The Air France truck featured dishes by Michelin Star Chef Joël Robuchon and was stationed at locations that were announced via Twitter and Facebook.

On a similar note, nearly a year prior to Air France’s food truck debut, Austrian’s coffee truck toured the streets of NYC as well. Austrian’s initiative was centred around its direct flights to Vienna, and the coffee service was a homage to traditional Viennese coffee and was distributed freely.

Also on the food truck and aviation roster in NYC was Delta Air Lines, who served hot cocoa, while United Airlines promoted the launch of a new route from San Francisco to Taipei this May by partnering with Taiwanese food truck Mamaliu to offer San Franciscans free lunches courtesy of United during a week.

The first airport to use a food truck to promote the restaurants and cafes present at the airport has been Stockholm Arlanda, which sent the Arlanda Food Truck around Stockholm during the fall of 2013. Read full article

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Heathrow Airport launches ‘onboard picnic’ service, offering F&B from 118 outlets

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Realizing that a segment of passengers in Economy is willing to spend a bit more money in order to have a proper meal when flying, about ten full-service carriers around the world currently offer passengers in Economy the option to upgrade their meal for a fee, mostly on long-haul routes.

Austrian Airlines’ catering partner Do&Co has even opened a last-minute ordering desk at ViennaAirport where passengers can pre-order their meal up to just one hour before the departure of their flight.

Onboard picnic
Looking to take a (small) piece of the revenues that airlines generated with their buy-on-board F&B offerings, London Heathrow Airport has introduced a buy-before-you board initiative that offers passengers an ‘on-board picnic’ dining option where they can bring a bespoke ‘hamper’ (British for a meal takeaway box) with them on their flight.

The Daily Mail reports that the move from Heathrow comes after figures reveal about 20 per cent of passengers snub plane food, bringing their own airport-bought snacks on board a flight instead. A survey by the airport also showed that 70 percent of (British) passengers want flexibility about when they eat during their flight.

Available from all restaurants at Heathrow
Introduced by Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food at Heathrow T5 a few years ago – and expanded earlier this year to some 70 restaurants – the service is now available at all of Heathrow’s 118 restaurants across its five terminals, which range from from chain cafés such as Pret a Manger and EAT, to restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionist Café and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, as well as Caviar House and The Gorgeous Kitchen. Read full article

India’s low-cost carriers get creative with their buy-on-board food packaging

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Along with basic objectives such as protection, preservation and convenience, attractive and fun packaging appeals to consumers’ emotions and brings a product alive, while clever packaging can also convince consumers to try something new just because of the way it looks.

As airlines are starting to approach the passenger experience in a more holistic way, they are also starting to pay attention to details such as the packaging of meals and drinks as an extension of their brand.

Or as Travel + Leisure magazine put it recently: “From hyper-local delicacies to iconic sweets, the best in-flight snacks deliver a sense of place, express an airline’s personality—and make a tasty souvenir.”

Adds Nikos Loukas of airline food website InflightFeed, “Airline food packaging needs to be fun and engage the customer during the meal service, it gives them something to think about but can also work as inflight entertainment.”

Two great examples of attractive and fun food packaging can be found in India, where low-cost carriers JetKonnect and IndiGo have come up with quirky buy-on-board ranges.

JetKonnect
Mumbai-based JetKonnect, the low-cost subsidiairy of Jet Airways, has hired local ad agency Grandmother to make plane food something passengers might actually want to eat, via fun packaging that features Indian touches.

Each item on the buy-on-board menu tells a different story of the ‘love’ for food. For example, the packaging of the savoury pastry samosas is the tale of ‘Sam’ meeting ‘Hosa’, while a tin of nuts features ‘Dr. Nutman.’ The cookie packet is an ode to a robber, and features the words ‘chor-police’ (robber-cop in Hindi). Stories featuring each of the characters are printed on the colorful packets.

According to Grandmother, JetKonnect approached the agency to reinvent its entire line of on-board perishable and non-perishable products. Since the packaging system involved multiple products in different materials, the agency invented a story that would tie all products into one umbrella story that would engage, educate and inform, all the while making food fun and and enjoyable.

Or as Grandmother puts it: “Value is being surprised and delighted when you least expect it. Why should packaging be static? Why can’t it be a story in itself? Can it make someone read before grabbing a bite?”
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South African LCC kulula partners with Unilever to surprise passengers with free meal

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

It is a well-known fact that the reason airplane food is often bland or boring is partly due to the pressurized airplane environment and the cool, dry cabin air, which dulls passengers’ tastebuds and leaves them with a muted perception of salty and sweet.

Kulula.com x Robertsons ‘SkyDine’
Combining several onboard hospitality trends – such as the growing number of airlines that organize ‘micro-events’ up in the air in order to put an original twist to the flight, the rise of brand collaborations to improve the passenger experience, and the popularity of generosity as a marketing tactic – South African LCC kulula.com and Unilever-owned Robertsons Herbs and Spices recently surprised unsuspecting kulula.com passengers on flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town with a three-course fine dining experience courtesy of Robertsons Spices.

On March 5th,  bloggers and food journalists from Cape Town and Johannesburg were invited by kulula.com to a surprise flight to Johannesburg, and on the return flight to Cape Town, South African celebrity chef and MasterChef South Africa judge Reuben Riffel introduced the surprise three-course meal which he had designed, and which was prepared by airline catering company Foodirections.

Riffel introduced his 3-course menu, emphasising that the flavours had to be stronger, due to the 35000 feet height at which the meal was eaten. The starter was a feta and leek tartlet; the main course a pistachio and black pepper crusted beef fillet; ended off with a dessert of ‘milk-a-roon mini sweet short crust pastry filled with cinnamon and mixed spice custard and Turkish delight’.

Three other kulula.com flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town surprised passengers with the same three-course meal. Read full article

Servair chefs make a weekly ‘surprise’ appearance onboard an Air France flight

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Food has become a new battleground for airlines with almost any major airline collaborating with a high-profile Michelin-star chef in order to lift the quality (and add credibility) of their inflight menus in Business and First.

Culinary theater
Besides upping the ante when it comes to the quality of food served to their premium passengers, airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Austrian (both served by DO&CO), Etihad and Gulf Air employ so-called Sky Chefs in order to provide an extra dimension to the inflight dining experience. Although the limitations of the onboard galley equipment allows onboard chefs to prepare little other than for example a fresh omelet egg for breakfast, they can customize the meals to passengers’ preferences, add a little culinary theater when serving the meals, and are more experienced in the precise handling of the galley equipment.

Micro events
Estonian Air, meanwhile, a few years ago came up with an innovative twist of the onboard chef concept. During one year, the airline each month asked a different Estonian restaurant to prepare a Business Class menu with the restriction that all participating restaurants had to stay within the same budget that Estonian Air reserves for its catering company, LSG Sky Chefs. Furthermore, each restaurant chef personally presented his or her menu to passengers onboard a monthly ‘gourmet flight’.

On a similar ‘experiential’ note, Virgin Australia in October 2013 surprised passengers on board a flight from Sydney to Perth with a traditional tiered-tray high tea service at 40,000 feet, designed and served by the airline’s resident chef, Luke Mangan.

Air France, meanwhile, had Michelin-starred French chef Michel Roth unveil his new gourmet creations to Air France Business class customers on board a Paris-Montreal flight in early 2013 (video here).

The airline has also listed Colin Peter Field, head bartender at the famous Hemingway Bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, to mix inflight cocktails for customers in La Première and Business class in November 2013 in what it called “Bar Hemingway in the Sky.” This collaboration will be continued in March of this year on an Air France flight from Paris to Tokyo, with additional destinations in 2014 to include Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Moscow, Singapore, and Seoul.
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Virgin Australia’s consulting chef Luke Mangan offers restaurant guests a sample of airline food at his ‘Test Kitchen’

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

In the past few years, Virgin Australia has transformed from a cheap and cheerful low-cost carrier to a ‘no-frills chic’ airline in order to appeal to more travellers in Australia, especially those travelling on business.

On the catering front, the airline has teamed with top Australian chef Luke Mangan as its consulting chef. The well-known restaurateur is responsible for all menus served onboard the airline and in its lounges, and came on board several years ago after he cooked for Richard Branson on Branson’s Caribbean retreat, Necker Island.

Test Kitchen
Since May of this year, Mangan is offering customers the chance to sample ideas for new Virgin Australia airline meals at his new headquarters in Sydney. Earlier this year, Mangan opened its ‘Headquarters by Luke Mangan’ in a former warehouse in trendy Dank Street in Sydney.

The building includes a mix of a head office, warehouse, the ‘Mojo’ wine and tapas bar, a new formula called ‘Test Kitchen’, and a dining and functions space all under the same roof. The large open space is fitted with polished concrete floors, industrial furnishings, hanging light bulbs encased in cage-like structures and lofty ceilings stacked with crates of Mangan’s branded products and is inspired by a typical New York style warehouse.

As the name suggests, the Test Kitchen is an open plan test and development kitchen to develop and test new recipes for Mangan’s roster of national and international restaurants. It is here that guests will randomly be given the chance to eat airline meals and vote on them.
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Delta provides cabin crew with Nokia Lumia ‘onboard retail’ smartphones

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Equipping airline cabin crew with tablets and smartphones is the latest step in continued efforts by airlines to increase their onboard retail revenues.

Since the end of 2012, American Airlines has been equipping its 17,000 flight attendants with Samsung Galaxy Note handheld devices, saying trials revealed that crew liked the fact that they could hold the device in one hand and easily slip it into a pocket – which is not always possible with a larger tablet. Besides being a means to provide crew with the latest passenger information, American uses the devices for onboard transactions such as the purchase of food and beverages inflight.

Meanwhile in the US, low-cost carrier Allegiant has provided its cabin crew with iPads that feature the FlyDesk app from its subsidiairy Allegiant Systems, while in Europe TUI (Arkefly) has deployed MI.Airline’s Connected Crew solution using 7-inch Samsung tablets.

Delta x Nokia Lumia
The latest airline to provide its crew with a next-generation point-of-sale (POS) device is Delta Air Lines. The airline at the end of August started the roll-out of Windows Phone 8-based Nokia Lumia 820 handheld devices to flight attendants (or inflight professionals as Delta likes to call them) around the world in an effort to streamline the process for purchasing items on board and to put key flight information at their fingertips.

Under the agreement, AT&T will equip more than 19,000 Delta flight attendants with Nokia Lumia devices powered by Microsoft Dynamics mobile point-of-sale platform on Windows Phone 8, with a Delta-specific customer experience developed by Accenture-subsidiary Avanade to operate over Wi-Fi and AT&T’s 4G LTE Network.

Flight attendants began testing the Nokia smartphones during flights in June 2013 and in-flight trials have shown that the new solution is already around 10 percent faster than Delta’s previous systems.

Says Michael Griffiths, Global Managing Director, Retail and Distribution, Microsoft Dynamics, “The company decided to make the move after running into significant challenges with the limitations of its legacy point of sale devices. Yes, they could capture transactions for food, headphones and duty-free items. But they were bulky. They had to stay on the plane. They were costly in terms of maintenance. Information had to be uploaded from them manually. They did not have high-speed wireless connectivity. There simply wasn’t a lot of additional value they could drive beyond basic, transactional interactions, and even those were suboptimal.”

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IndiGo lets passengers taste and vote for their favourite buy-on-board sandwich

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

In just a few years, low-cost carrier IndiGo has become India’s largest domestic carrier by securing nearly 30 percent of the local market.

IndiGo’s popularity with Indian passengers is based on its ‘no-frills chic’ approach towards flying. According to IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh, the airline’s philosophy is “to make travel as hassle-free as possible — low-cost but high quality — and that’s why we are popular both with budget travellers and high-level corporations.”

IndiGo has worked with agency Wieden + Kennedy building a new, cool airline brand from scratch. Besides quirky advertising, everything from the design of the safety instruction card and sickness bag, to the availability of a boarding ramp instead of a staircase, to the packaging of in-flight snacks were aimed at being more engaging. For example, IndiGo’s triangular paid-for ‘Airwich’ boxes feature interesting stories and fun illustrations to offer passengers something to read when having their meal

IndiGo ‘Food Fight’
In another innovative effort to promote its buy-on-board offering, IndiGo and Wieden + Kennedy in late 2012 organized a food tasting in the sky, dubbed #IndiGoFoodFight.

Held on a single day on IndiGo flights across major routes, over 1,000 passengers were surprised with boxes of free food samples containing the contenders for the airline’s new buy-on-board menu. Passengers were asked to vote for their favourite, with the winner making it on-board as the “Passenger’s Choice.”

Or as the airline putsit more dramatically: “It’s the ultimate showdown at 35,000 feet. From the feather-weight division we have Lemon Chicken Sub vs Curried Chicken Sub vs Chicken Jhatka. And in the veggie-weights, introducing Veg Junglee vs Tomato-hummus vs Paneer-mushroom. May the best sandwich win!”

The Veg Junglee Sandwich and Curried Chicken Sub turned out to be the clear favourites among passengers and are now featured on the IndiGo menu. A video of the event can be found here and images here.

Virgin America lets passengers buy fellow flyers a cocktail via the IFE system

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) platform, known as Red, may very well be the world’s most feature-rich IFEC system. For example, the high-definition touch screens on each seatback feature live satellite television, the first ever seatback digital shopping platform, an open tab service, and interactive Google Maps with terrain view that tracks the flight’s location. Passengers can also use the system to chat with other passengers, play 3D games such as Doom, offset carbon emissions for their flight, or purchase snacks, meals, and beverages from their seats via Red. Flight attendants receive the orders via a tablet device and bring the ordered items to the seat.

Seat-to-seat delivery
The latest innovative feature Virgin America has added to the Red platform is a ‘seat-to-seat’ delivery service (images here and here), which lets passengers use their seatback touch-screen to send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler onboard their flight using a digital seat map. Similar to the ‘open tab’ function on Red (passengers only have to swipe their credit card once per flight to make purchases), this is a smart way to increase the onboard sales by adding an element of fun to the experience.

“Get Lucky”
In true Virgin style, the airline is playing the flirting card to promote its new seat-to-seat delivery service, encouraging passengers to “send an in-flight cocktail to that friendly stranger in seat 4A – and then follow up with a text message using the seat-to-seat chat function also on Red.”

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson also helped introduce the new seat-to-seat feature with a tongue in cheek video called “Sir Richard Branson’s Guide to Getting Lucky at 35,000 Feet.” Read full article

airBaltic lets passengers customize their buy-on-board meal

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By Nikos Loukas, InflightFeed                                                                                                         article updated December 2013

Latvia-based low-cost carrier airBaltic is known for churning out attention-grabbing innovations. Along with differentiating its Business Class by serving passengers a 3-course meal based on organic, seasonal products from local Latvian farmers, freshly brewed Nespresso coffee, airBaltic has come up with a host of innovative ancillary products, a taxi and bike-sharing operation, and the airline has been one of the first to launch a ‘social seating’ service.

Mix ‘n match
To help increase revenues for their buy-on-board program, airBaltic’s latest ancillary initiative is a novel food ordering system that allows customers to customize their in-flight meal when they book their seat. During the pre-order process passengers can choose from a wide range of meal options, as well as drinks and desserts, and virtually ‘drag and drop’ their preferred meal items onto a digital airline tray, with their chosen meal served to them during the flight. The service was ‘soft launched’ in May 2013 followed by a full launch in October.

Passengers using the ‘airBalticMeal’ service can choose from a variety of more than 70 pre-order meal options onto their virtual tray, including vegetable risotto, fish souvlaki, teriyaki salmon, grilled pork or chicken breast, served with one of nine salads and one of nine types of dessert, and a drink of choice. The inflight meals can be pre-ordered during the flight booking, or any other time no later than 48 hours before departure, and hot meals are priced from EUR 7 to 12 and salads from EUR 5 to 8.

And as consumers become more conscious of what they are eating, each menu items offers nutritional information allowing passengers to make an informed inflight meal decision.

AirBaltic’s customized meal ordering system is has been developed together with LSG SkyChefs, whose facility at Riga Airport produces approximately 4,500 meals a day and who guarantees each passenger will see his or her customized meal delivered on board – if ordered at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Uptake
According to Janis Vanags, airBaltic’s VP Corporate Communications, the personalized pre-order system has generated a lot of media attention from around the world, and even before the launch of the new service the Latvia-based carrier saw levels of its existing pre-order service rise three times because of the buzz surrounding its new offer.

The airBalticMeal service has seen a positive uptake since its full launch in October because the option to personalize ones meal is simply a better product than the limited choice that was available before, says Vanags.  “We thought it would be fun and interesting for passengers to select exactly what they would like to eat before their flight.”

British Airways and Twinings launch a high altitude tea

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By Debbie Pappyn, Classe Touriste

From serving real espresso and ristrettos in the sky to the new trend of enjoying tea on board that doesn’t taste like sewage water.

Take for example British Airways who serves 35 million cups a year and strives to have the best traditional British “cuppa in the air”. Recently British Airways and UK tea brand Twinings are transforming tea in the air with an innovative new blend of the nation’s favourite drink, specifically designed to work at altitude. The British Airways signature blend tea will take to the skies from February 1, 2013 for customers in all cabins.

With research to prove that taste can be reduced by up to 30 per cent at 35,000 feet, the airline commissioned Twinings to come up with a teabag that would taste as good in the sky as it does on the ground.

The airline conducted tastings on the ground and in the air with a panel of 19 customers, cabin crew and experts including Twinings senior buyer Mike Wright who said: “Water on board an aircraft boils at around 89 degrees centigrade, not the ideal 100 degrees for making black tea.  The reduced air pressure and humidity affect the functioning of the tastebuds, making things taste different. In addition to this, it was important that the new blend worked well with and without milk. The new British Airways blend is perfectly balanced to create great-tasting tea at 35,000 feet.”
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Michellin-starred chef presents his gourmet creations on board an Air France flight

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By Debbie Pappyn, Classe Touriste

There is nothing new about celeb chefs inventing special dishes for airlines but recently Air France took it a step further by inviting a chef on board to present in person his new creations. In the past, Estionian Air already took famous Estonian chefs on board to enhance the culinary experience of its customers, now Air France is following.

Recently, Michelin-starred French chef Michel Roth unveiled his new gourmet creations to Air France Business class customers on board a Paris-Montreal flight. During this flight, passengers were able to taste four dishes prepared by the Michelin-starred chef and two Servair chefs Michel Quissac and Roger Passet. The three chefs then replied to passengers’ questions and shared their passion with a view to making this in-flight gourmet experience an exceptional interlude (video here).

The in-flight menu in more detail:
– Veal simmered with verbena, vegetable fricassee
– Glazed duckling with peppercorns, citrus honey, caramelized mango and pineapple, vegetable bâtonnets
– Pollock fish, mussel broth with Menton cured lemon zest, simmered vegetables
– Shrimp and squid with tarragon lobster sauce, red rice and baby spinach

Starting from 1st February 2013, Michel Roth will offer six new dishes on board long-haul flights departing from Paris. The chef’s new dishes will be served for a period of 8 months and will be one of the four main dishes on the menu. Also the creation will be renewed twice a month for the pleasure of frequent travellers.

Airline buy-on-board catering goes local

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By Nikos Loukas, InflightFeed

Airlinetrends.com has reported earlier how Canadian low-cost carrier Westjet has differentiated its buy-on-board catering offer by partnering with local, often family-owned, restaurants across Canada for its buy-on-board catering program. Unlike many pre-packaged airline snacks, WestJet’s sandwich options offer fresh, local flavors from the city of departure.

As the number of airlines – including full-service airlines – that offer buy on board (BOB) catering increases, Westjet’s local BOB initiative is part of a trend that sees carriers looking at ways to add special touches to the paid-for menus on offer. This may go down well with the growing number of passengers that are happy to pay for a quality onboard meal or snack, instead of the cut-down complimentary offer served on many full-service carriers on short-haul routes.

Here’s a look at some ‘local BOB’ catering offers from airlines around the world.

AirAsia
AirAsia’s ‘Café’ menu features options such as chicken siew bao from popular local Malaysian brand Mr Siew Bao (RM 4; USD 1.30), as well as bubble tea from Taiwanese specialist tea maker Chatime (RM8). The airline says it hopes the popular bubble tea drink will boost its in-flight sales by two percent over the next 12 months.

Transavia
Passengers traveling with Dutch low-cost airline Transavia can choose from a range of sandwiches (EUR 4.50 to 5.00) from local producer Sanday’s. Not your typical airline sandwich, this product is made by hand on the day of departure and uses organic bread and quality ingredients (video here). In fact, InflightFeed has voted the Sanday sandwich as one of the best paid-for sandwiches in the sky.

Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines, meanwhile, has teamed up with local food producers to provide passengers with tastes from Hawaii. Kona Chips, a family owned business which has been around for 50 years is on the menu, along with the Kauai Kookie company and the Punalu’u Bakeshop, which all add a local element to the in-flight catering offering.
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