Onwards and upwards


Last week we questioned ‘Are we there yet?” in respect of a chance of a business recovery. Now we delve a little into our core business of airline catering

We are aware of the capacity for airline catering imposed by the covid pandemic but look forward to the potential increase over the next 2 quarters and onwards as the world comes to terms with living with the bug. For Hong Kong, where PRR is head-quartered, industry research indicates that under the present minimized quarantine restrictions, passenger loads should increase at least 15% over Q3 to 25% through Q4 and Q1 2023. Should quarantine restrictions totally cease, with the end of 2023 been mooted, then there is a potential for a greater increase in passenger upload, assuming airlines can ramp up their personnel capacity.

Australia, as another hub and destination, travel, domestic and inbound/ outbound were hit hard by the pandemic with a drastic decline in passenger numbers. Job losses were instituted, and Virgin even went into liquidation although now it is in the hands of new owners. 2020 saw numbers increasing to about 50% of pre-covid and to date, although August 2022 saw a decrease in international inbound and outbound travel, the overall the numbers are presently over 1 million international boarded crosses inbound and outbound. These are very good signs for the industry in Australia especially for the summer. However, vigilance is still needed and with fuel costs still high, savings must be garnered from operations, including the provision of inflight food.

So, what will be the status and dynamics in the airline catering moving forward. What does the traveling passenger require and what can airlines provide. That’s a big question. I would suggest it will be limited if not no service at all on short hauls. Food purchases from new airport enterprises will be the norm on flights. Meals will continue on mid to long haul, but the catering companies providing these will probably outsource their meal constituents with RTE and pre-prepped items. This will be driven by the bottle neck post covid, which is lack of manpower. The maths will be in reduced manpower cost against increased product cost.

Pacific Rich has been at the fore front of airline meal development with a focus on portion controlled and RTE meals. We feel we are well prepared and ready to take on the new world and the paradigm shift required. Please keep up with our news through our website and blogs.

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