Singapore Airlines says it has scrapped plans to serve meals in paper boxes in its Economy and Premium Economy cabins on long-haul flights, despite passengers saying they enjoyed the taste and variety of food served in the sustainable packaging.
Along with the green credentials associated with the boxes, the airline also claims that the boxes were better at retaining both heat and moisture compared to the plastic pots traditionally used for hot meals.
Made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, the boxes allowed the airline to serve Singaporean classics on its long-haul flights, such as mee siam, laksa and congee, which had long been requested by customers but just didn’t work in the stews.
Singapore Airlines had trialled the new service item on a handful of routes, including London, San Francisco and Sydney. Regionally, the paper boxes had also been trialled on flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Mumbai since February.
A spokesperson noted that the paper boxes actually cost more than the traditional casseroles, but following operational and customer feedback, the airline has decided that the design of the box needs to be improved.
“Based on the feedback collected after these flights, a majority of our customers who tried the dishes in the new serviceware enjoyed the taste and variety of the food served,” the airline noted in a lengthy statement.
“Some of them have shared their feedback regarding the serviceware, as have members of the public. We’ve taken that on board.”
“We have also received the operational feedback on the trial and noted that we may need to improve the design of the box,” the statement continued. “With all of these in mind, we have decided not to proceed with this new serviceware for now.”
Singapore Airlines first started using paper boxes for in-flight meals on short-haul routes, and it was here that the carrier discovered that gravy-rich dishes worked much better in paper packaging. As a result, the boxes remain on short-haul flights.
The airline also plans to reintroduce appetizers for Economy Class passengers on medium- and long-haul flights from June 1, making the main meal service a four-course affair with a starter, main course, dessert and cheese and crackers.
Rolls will also make a welcome return to Economy Class meal trays on short flights between one and a half and three and a half hours in duration.
Singapore Airlines says these items were never removed due to cost-cutting measures, but due to operational and supply chain issues.
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