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Thai Airways offers in-flight meals in Thailand and is a lacking airline to make money through food services

The enforcement of blockade restrictions and changes in consumer behavior after the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused more airlines to ground their fleets and let their workforce play by flagging passenger traffic, so travel and It continues to hit the tourism sector hard. As a result, underfunded airlines are entering quirky businesses to generate additional streams to keep their businesses running.

In a recent example of such a venture, Thai Airways has announced plans to sell in-flight meals at Thai retail stores. The airline has partnered with retail chains such as Seven-Eleven to sell some of the specialties that were previously only available on board. These products prove attractive to 19% of Thai consumers who say they buy high-end / premium side dishes and 17% who say they buy in bulk or more often. This initiative aims to attract revenue from the decline in passenger numbers since the start of the pandemic and offload surplus flight meals.

Thai Airways reported an unprecedented loss of BTN 141 billion ($ 4.7 billion) in 2020. Floating, airlines have begun to look for new sources of income. For example, in September 2020, the company launched its first restaurant, named “Taste of Travel,” at its headquarters in Bangkok. To give consumers the feeling of eating on board the restaurant, the restaurant utilized recycled aircraft seats. The menu was designed to showcase the skills of the chef and in-flight catering team. The restaurant said in Thailand that the ability to consume food / drinks that are difficult to reproduce at home is a factor that makes it most attractive to consume that food / drink, according to a GlobalData study. May appeal to 36% of respondents. Cooked outside the house, including the restaurant. The airline has also begun selling other products such as premium alcohol and cutlery.

Thai Airways is not the only airline to take advantage of this additional source of revenue. Due to the pandemic, retail sales of in-flight meals are on the rise worldwide. For example, in October 2020, Finnair’s flagship airline Finnair began offering premium ready-to-eat meals based on in-flight meals at retail stores such as Kesko’s in Vantaa, Finland. The sale of these meals allows Finnair Kitchen, the airline’s catering division, to hire idling workers. Similarly, Singapore Airlines has announced the Discover Your Singapore Airlines initiative, using the reused Airbus A380 aircraft as a runway restaurant serving airplane meals, offering takeaway of business and first class meal packages. Then, consumers can enjoy their meals on board while relaxing at home.

Alternative revenues like these are important for airlines to survive in the post-pandemic stage. Air travel demand is expected to take some time to recover to pre-pandemic levels as consumers become more cost-conscious due to health and economic crises. In fact, in a Global Data Q1 2021 consumer survey, 74% of Thai respondents said they were very / quite concerned about their personal financial situation.

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