Despite the best efforts of airlines in employing masterchefs to oversee their inflight menus – Qantas’ Neil Perry and Virgin Blue’s Luke Mangan both spring to mind – inflight food has never been considered much more than a food of necessity and a creation of compromise.
Yet several Asian airlines are now selling their inflight meals direct to the public.
Airline Trends reports that Bangkok Air Catering – which prepares 17,500 meals each day for Thailand’s domestic carrier Bangkok Airways along with Emirates, Qatar Airways and China Southern – sells a selection of soups, meats, canapés and baked goods through its own ‘Gourmet House’ deli in downtown Bangkok.
The meals are prepared at Bangkok Air Catering’s facility near Suvarnabhumi Airport and delivered to the delicatessen stores (where chefs apply some finishing touches) for eat-in or take-away. Bangkok Air Catering hopes to expand the Gourmet House chain with three more outlets this year.
International carrier Thai Airways already has its own ‘Puff & Pie’ bakery chain with shops in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai selling the airline’s bakery items, drinks and even the ready-made curry sauces and salad dressings used in Thai’s in-flight meals.
Japan Airlines is also bringing the inflight experience down to earth by selling its signature Sky Time citrus-flavored drink – produced exclusively for the airline and containing desalinized purified seawater, which is said to help fight stress – through vending machines across Japan as well as its own ticket sales offices.
Also on offer: fermented soybeans, soba, and ramen, pasta dishes. For your entree, choose one of three pasta dishes and tiny packs of ‘Candy de Sky’ sweets.
(Photos by Flight Global blogger Will Horton)
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.