To some, traveling by air comes with their occupation, some depend on it for work and with many being tourists whisked away on vacation. As the distance increases, so does the time on board. Along with the roaring engines and seat belts, comes the crew and the food on airlines. Beginning with the chocolates, nuts and burgers, airways are now providing a wide variety of food available to the business class, basically the ones willing to pay more. Some airlines have been expanding their menus extensively Pan-seared scallops, artichoke sauce with white truffle, crisp polenta and sugar snap peas are items from the menu Air France began serving to select business class passengers from February this year.
Michel Roth is the latest Michelin-starred chef working with Air France to provide the highest paying passengers with quality cuisine.
He follows in the footsteps of fellow Frenchmen Joel Robuchon and Guy Martin. Top chefs like Michel Roth are the latest darlings of the airline industry. “It’s not about a gimmick or outdoing your competitors,” says Godwin Mak, marketing and communications manager, Air France and KLM. “It’s about keeping your customer satisfied”, a conversation on CNN.
David Hughes, a frequent corporate traveler, says he can’t imagine a situation where he would pick an airline based on the food.
“The main choice parameters for me are; safety, schedule, price, comfort and frequent flyer program — being treated as ‘special,’” he says.Hughes does concede that employing celebrity chefs can show the airline is “doing everything it can to treat you special, and we’re investing in you by splashing out on chefs who know what they’re talking about.”
Ekkebus says customer feedback indicates they’re enjoying the fine dining experience. The response to British Airway’s umami menus has also been extremely positive according to Tazzioli.
It’s one of the ways airlines are now trying to woo and retain their most valuable passengers.
KLM World Business Class has employed top international chef and culinary director at Michelin star Amber restaurant in Hong Kong, Richard Ekkebus.
Last year before the London Olympics, British Airways launched an in-flight menu for first and business class created by Heston Blumenthal and Michelin-star chef Simon Hulstone.