In-flight catering forms a part of a business providing food services at remote sites, especially airline companies. In-flight catering services offer meals to the passengers on board as well as for the restaurants located at airport terminals. To cater to the increasing number of air passengers, modern airports have a variety of F&B outlets. Delivering dishes that invoke emotion and leave a lasting impression is the ultimate aim of in-flight catering services.
The leading market players in the global in-flight catering service market primarily include SATS, Servair, Emirates Flight Catering, dnata, Air Culinaire Worldwide, LLC., Compass Group Rus, Do & Co, Egypt Air In Flight Services, Gate Gourmet, and Goddard Catering.
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Drivers Shaping the In-Flight Catering Services
With air travel becoming more affordable, more consumers are availing flights than ever before. This has resulted in the overall growth of the in-flight catering service market. Rapid urbanization, growing disposable income, and expansion of cities have led to surging demand for air travel. Airplanes are thus expanding their airplane fleets in order to accommodate the growing demand for international as well as local flights across the globe.
The In-Flight Catering Service Market has also changed, with several airlines allowing their consumers to choose their desired meals at the time of flight booking. The rising demand for a variety of food options, coupled with the increased health consciousness among the consumers is propelling the growth of in-flight catering service. To cater to the needs of health-conscious consumers, airlines have started to offer an exclusive range of nutritional options.
The rise in international flights has resulted in increased long-haul flights. This has further led to an increased demand for nutritional in-flight catering services. Collaboration between airline companies and hotel owners are gaining importance, thus shaping in-flight catering services globally. Besides meals, beverages are likely to gain prominence among the passengers. Strategies involving the introduction of premium wines to lure first class and business passengers have exhibited positive results in the airline’s industry. This is anticipated to pump up the growth of beverages in in-flight catering services.
Industry/ Innovation/ Related News:
Since March 25th, Newrest Spain Company have been offering the services for SAS new operation, which consists in basing aircraft from Malaga.
India’s leading airline catering company, TajSATS announced its exclusive inflight catering partnership with Singapore Airlines for the new Airbus A380 operations.
Emily’s Inflight Food Services Ltd. was acquired by On Air Dining Ltd, company. It is a UK based catering company provides services for business and private aviation sector.
Hainan Airlines named Flying Food Servair ORD was nominated as ‘Outstanding Catering Company of 2015.
In-Flight Catering Service Market – Competitive Analysis
In case of supplying small-medium size airports, the market is fairly fragment with presence of regional players. Demand for food with high quality and safety were the main reasons for airlines to prefer produce from the major manufacturers than the regional players. Further, these big players have increased their R&D spending exponentially to integrate the innovation with culinary excellence. This resulted in premium quality food for airline inflight catering services.
Companies, such as IGS and JETFINITY, are trying to expand their presence beyond corporate catering, in to the global aviation catering market, by working on integrated food solutions for premium culinary experience. These companies are also providing a fast-track 2-hour order service for last-minute charter customers. IGS Catering is now offering VIP catering service to VIP guests. Major companies like dnata, Gate Gourmet, SATS are now providing tailor made catering services to low-cost carriers as well. Significant numbers of small/medium scale players are now emerging from Asia Pacific countries. Offering premium quality products at comparative prices could drive the market share of these companies in the global inflight catering services market by 2023.
Taking a Step Towards Digitalization
The airline industry is taking its first step towards digitally-enabled F&B services. Some of the airlines, like Japan Airlines, Air New Zealand, Virgin America, and FlyDubai, already allow their passengers to place orders through the in-seat IFE system. Emirates has recently applied Meal Ordering Devices to their flight attendants working in business class. Orders are taken from a hand-held device, which is reflected on a tablet. Order is then immediately prepared, which makes the service more efficient, faster, and more personal.
Airport Lounge: Benefits
An airport lounge is a facility offered by several airports to its customers. Lounges offer comfort for selected passengers like a quieter environment, comfortable seating, and better access to customer service representatives. Other accommodations comprise telephones, private meeting rooms, business services, wireless internet access, free snacks, drinks, shower, and magazines. In countries like Canada and the United States, almost all domestic lounges provide open bars for domestic beer, well liquor, and house wine. In the U.S., premium beverages like top-shelf liquor, imported beer, champagne, and high-end wine are available for purchase.
The Asia Pacific to have a Larger Share
In terms of culinary habits, Asia Pacific is considered a vast in-flight catering market, with passengers coming from different regions. Food habits from the South vary from those in the North. Such variations are enabling the catering suppliers to invest more in diversified menu types, which further leads to increased growth in the region.
With service quality becoming a centerpiece of airline companies, airlines have pushed service quality through service personalization, including onboard and ground from the viewpoint of attracting new customers as well as retaining satisfied passengers. In-flight meals and food services are considered a part of marketing strategies to attract leisure and business travelers.
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