IATA: Rising air traffic, quality food demand drive in-flight catering market growth
As per International Air Transport Association (IATA), the domestic and international air traffic witnessed significant growth in 2017. Moreover, IATA predicts the number of air travelers to double by 2035. Owing to target in-flight catering market opportunities created by ever growing air traffic, airlines are offering premium in-flight catering services to attract more customers and thereby expanding their business.
A new study envisions the In-Flight Catering Market to create opportunity of more than US$ 9.5 billion by the end of 2026. To deliver opulent in-flight experience to travelers coupled with demand of healthy in-flight meals irrespective of the travelling class is anticipated to propel the growth of in-flight catering market in near future.
Innovation in food coupled with technology integration to be prominent trends for In-flight Catering Market
To enhance the in-flight experience through in-flight catering service, the prominent players are adopting digitally enabled services like use of smart phone for food & beverage ordering. Few airlines operating globally also allow passengers to place order via in-flight entertainment systems. Moreover, some of the airlines are serving regional/ continental meal in order to satisfy the native cravings for the onboard passengers. The word of mouth advertising of such trends can certainly contribute in the growth of in-flight catering market.
In-flight Catering Market: Low Cost Carriers coupled with economic service projected to witness above average growth during the forecast period
Low cost carriers to remain highly preferred among frequent flyers. Irrespective of the seating class, the increasing expectation of passengers to consume hygienic food is anticipated to fuel the demand of in-flight catering market. Moreover, rising health awareness across the globe is impelling global in-flight catering market players to plan and mold their strategies accordingly. Airlines are majorly recognized by their food & beverage quality and the in-flight catering service delivered, differentiates them from its peers. Being a primary trend of in-flight catering market, to fulfill the passenger demands, leading airlines are providing complimentary meals to passenger in order to render rich in-flight catering experience.
Revenues of In-flight catering market from Low Cost Carriers to nearly US$ 16 billion by the end of 2026. LCCs are widely preferred for short haul and medium haul segment. However, traditional airlines launched low cost airlines owing to opening of new routes by these low cost carriers. Some of these LCCs are offering premium in-flight catering services to gain the regional brand share. Also, economic airline uses food and in-flight catering services as a marketing tool.
Strategic partnerships with airlines to create take-off opportunities for in-flight catering service providers
Majority of the players in the in-flight catering market are putting efforts to improve the in-flight experience of the travelers in order to sustain in this highly dynamic industry. Global players are focusing on geographic expansion, majorly in emerging market. To address the diversified customer preferences across the globe, airline is engaging in partnerships with the in-flight catering leading brands. To counter the continuous growing passenger expectations, the collaborations between airlines and in-flight catering brands enables offering variety of meals along with consistent quality. These collaborations ensure win-win situation i.e. helps in improving the served food quality and also reduces the cost of in-flight catering service. This trend of collaboration between airlines and in-flight catering service provider is being extensively followed in the market. This is anticipated to escalate the business of both i.e. airlines and catering players and thereby driving the growth of in-flight catering market.
Europe region to dominate the global In-flight catering market throughout the forecast period followed by North America. However, APEJ region is projected to witness significant growth in-flight catering market till 2026.