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Airlines eye on mid-air culinary delight

Monday, 26 May 2014 - 9:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

With the war in the Indian sky heating up due to impending entry of new airlines, several carriers, including the no-frills ones, are updating their inflight menus so as to keep the ever-demanding passenger's taste buds satisfied.

Spicejet on May 23 announced an all-new-and-expansive menu for its customers that includes beverages which have been blended in such a way that they taste in skies similar to the way they taste on ground.

The reason being that according to several studies carried out by food-industry experts, edibles, especially the drinks taste about 30 percent blander while onboard over 35,000 feet due to several physical and biological changes happening in human body during the flight.

Foreign airlines like British airways last year introduced similar stronger gourmet tea for its passengers, including on the routes from and to India.

"Choices on the menu will change periodically to offer passengers even more choices," said Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer of SpiceJet Ltd.

Other airlines too are revamping their food list to match the competition as earnings from food and beverages help airlines to a considerable extend to keep their balance sheet healthy while retaining the passengers' loyalty.

A senior official from the national carrier said, "As a full service carrier, we give special attention to the inflight menu. A wide range of meals, snacks and beverages are being offered."

Aviation industry analysts claim that airlines are leaving no stone unturned to remain prepared for competition once Air Asia and Tata-Singapore airlines start operations in next few months.
Updating their menus is one such step. Passengers who pre-book their meals are also being offered discounts by the airlines.

"We will be having a great in-flight menu for our passengers once we start the operation," Mittu Chandilya, CEO of Air Asia India had said recently during an interaction with dna.

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