Pre-COVID, airlines and their suppliers were keen to attract passengers onboard with the promise of replicating their on-ground connectivity experience in the air.
With air travel still depressed and many aircraft still grounded and parked up, airlines have now begun promoting the in-flight experience on the ground and at home.
Unsurprisingly, AirAsia was one of the first to offer popular in-flight meals at home, when it launched its AirAsia Delivery service in May. Deliveries were made by AirAsia staff who received particular training in hygiene and service and booked via the LINE booking platform.
THAI Airways and Singapore Airlines have since followed suit in kind. THAI Catering launched a delivery service back in the summer and began offering in-flight meals at its head office’s restaurant. More recently, SIA has recently launched Discover Your Singapore Airlines, which includes SIA@Home, a special cabin crew concierge service that brings a selection of first class and business class meals to the home. Limited edition dining ware and amenities are also available depending on the package chosen.
Now, Finnair has joined in by trialling the sales of ready-made in-flight business class meals. However, availability is limited to a single Finnish store near Helsinki Airport.
Many may have questioned the rationale behind such meal services, but as airlines struggle to get cash flowing, this is a creative revenue stream. More importantly, as Marika Nieminen, Finnair Kitchen VP, says: “This is a new business opening for us and employs our chefs in Vantaa. As so many of Finnair Kitchen’s employees are temporarily laid off, the project enables us to create new work and employment for our people.”