Meal trays with their (sometimes) tiny portions will soon be a thing of the past for economy passengers on Qantas’s international flights as part of a revamp of its food and beverage offering in the main cabin.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says replacing the humble tray with new serving plates means larger portions for passengers and quicker service.
“Our crew will be able to serve and clear meals up to 30 minutes faster giving them more time to interact and assist passengers,” Joyce said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In delivering the new service Qantas continues to invest in Australian suppliers and showcasing the best of what we have to offer to people around the world.”
Economy passengers will have a choice of three main meals, up from two currently, as well as the ability pre-select their meal choice online prior to travel.
Serving sizes were increasing by 50 per cent, Qantas said.
Qantas said a team of food and beverage experts spent 12 months researching and developing the new menu and service and customer satisfaction from trials run on some international flights “almost doubled”.
The Airline Hub Buzz website reported trayless economy meals would also reduce catering centre handling costs and allow Qantas to invest more in the actual meal.
The removal of trays mean Qantas meal carts will be able to store more food.
“The current product allows for 38 meals to be stored in the carts, whilst the new one will increase to 58 meals and up to 78 meals on trans-Tasman services,” the website said.
Highlighting how being able to fit more food into standardised carts can save money, Virgin Atlantic reported saving 53 pounds of weight on a typical flight by reducing the size of its economy class trays.
The change meant it could store 33 per cent more meals per cart. In turn, Virgin Atlantic was able to reduce the number of carts carried from four to three. Less weight means less fuel burned and money saved.
The new economy dining concept will debut on Qantas’s Melbourne-Dubai-London service from November 25, with Sydney-Dubai-London to follow the next day.
The entire international network was expected to have the new service by March 1 2015.