The Threat to Airlines from the Increase in Fuel Prices

The Threat to Airlines from the Increase in Fuel Prices

The increasing fuel prices have become a major concern for both consumers and businesses alike. Non-oil-rich countries have been hit with unprecedented fuel prices, with the war in Ukraine impacting fuel prices.

Companies that heavily rely on fuel, such as transportation companies and airlines are now facing significantly increased fuel costs.

While many businesses will have to incorporate the rising fuel into their pricing structure or their client fees, this approach could lead to a fall in business. For airlines, that are still recovering from the devasting impact of travel restrictions, increasing fares could price people out of flying.

Business travel is still significantly lower than pre-pandemic, with many businesses deciding that online meetings can replace face-to-face meetings in many situations. With low business travel numbers, airlines must focus more on their main target audience – holidaymakers.

Jet fuel has increased over 100% in comparison to last year, which even the most successful airlines will struggle to deal with. Passing on this kind of price hike to passengers will inevitably price people out of taking foreign holidays, especially families paying for 3, 4 or even more seats. Consumers are already facing high rates of inflation and rising living costs, so a holiday could be deemed an unnecessary luxury for some.

 

Minimising airline costs

Airlines must look at other ways that they can minimise the financial hit of the fuel price hikes, rather than passing the costs directly onto passengers in full. Finding alternative ways of reducing costs is going to be crucial for airlines to overcome the fuel increases.

Some airlines have been targeted for criticism for employing cheaper labour for baggage handlers and other on-ground roles. Other airlines try to boost profits by charging for services such as excess baggage or child equipment such as car booster seats. Again, these approaches often attract customer complaints and can damage the reputation of an airline.

Alternative ways to improve profitability are therefore better for the reputation of the business, so finding solutions that do not directly affect the customers can deliver better outcomes.

Reviewing the existing supply chain to identify cheaper alternatives is one option, but you also must avoid compromising the quality of service provided. Generally, cheaper services are poorer quality services, so you have to get the balance right.

 

Driving efficiencies

All of the solutions we have discussed above have pros and cons but there is another way to improve profitability that will not impact the quality of service or damage reputation. This is the option of utilising advanced software to identify efficiencies that can be achieved and reduce costs this way.

As an example, catering management can benefit from software such as Promeus, a digital catering management system. The software can simplify processes such as Galley planning and it can also deliver significant savings through reducing food wastage using intelligent, data-driven planning. The software essentially delivers smarter ways of operating to deliver cost savings.

 

Find out more about the benefits and features of Lomature software.

Which Airlines Serve the Best Snacks?

Airlines have to be able to offer better services and unique options to stay ahead of their competitors and to ensure that customers continue to use their airline for many years. One key area of impressing passengers is the in-flight service they receive, from the friendliness of the flight attendants to the quality of meals served.

Small touches like complimentary snacks can go a long way towards pleasing passengers, so having a good snack selection can help ensure passengers remember the good quality of service, leave good online reviews, recommend it to friends and also use your company in future.

These are the airlines renowned for their great snack choice:

Air France

Passengers of Air France can expect a fresh croissant or a sandwich that isn’t too far away from the quality you would find at a nice Parisian patisserie.

Swiss International Airlines

Chocoholics will love this airline’s snacks, which are one of the country’s best exports – Swiss chocolate bars.

Virgin Australia

Although the snack offering on Virgin Australia flights regularly change, they are always locally sourced artisan produce and they don’t get many complaints about their snack choice.

Turkish Airlines

This all comes down to personal choi

ce, but fans of traditional Turkish delights enjoy the sweet snacks on this airline.

Jet Blue Flight

Jet Blue

Passengers flying domestically across the US with Jet Blue are presented with a box of snacks including some of the most popular American nibbles, such as chocolate chip cookies and Cheez-Its.

Delta

Delta is one of the biggest domestic airlines in the US and the great selection of snacks has helped to build up a reputation for a great flight experience. Passengers can choose between roasted peanuts, pretzels and Biscoff cookies or for the healthier alternative yoghurt granola bars are offered.

 

 

Hawaiian Airlines

A more unusual type of snack makes sure that a Hawaiian Airlines flight experience stands out from other airlines. The furikake chips are made from look Hawaiian ingredients including sweet potato.

British Airways

To give passengers a timely energy boost ready for luggage collection,

StroopwafelsBA gives out retro sweets such as Refreshers and other chewy candy sweets.

Qantas

Passengers on board a Qantas flight have the choice between chocolate cookies and tamari almonds to fill the gap until their next meal.

United Airlines

US domestic flight operator United Airlines offers some top-notch snack options, such as Stroopwafels or ranch-flavoured snack mix.

Providing popular in-flight snacks can significantly improve the passenger experience. Lomature enables you to accurately monitor snack popularity, stock levels, costs and waste management so your airline offers the best items to its customers and always has them on board.

Find out more about how the Lomature software benefits airline catering companies.

 

 

Which Airline Do You Think Has the Best Food Quality?

After the major disruption to the travel industry in recent years due to the pandemic, airlines need to be able to offer a higher quality of service compared to their competitors, with the industry still in recovery.

When travellers are choosing between different airlines, they tend to compare costs, flight times and reputation but there has been an increase in travellers who want to enjoy a more luxurious experience on their flight. As a result, providing improved inflight dining options and quality has become a top priority for airlines.

These are the airlines with the best food quality according to customer reviews:

Emirates Airline

Emirates

Emirates has a good reputation for providing high quality food and snacks to passengers and not just in First Class, Economy passengers can enjoy a good selection of meals too. Passengers have complimentary drinks included with a tasty meal such as pizza, grilled chicken or vegetable paella.

Swiss International

 The menu on Swiss International flights includes meals such as beef tenderloin, veal and local cheeses. The First Class dining experience is likened to eating in a gourmet restaurant, with meals accompanies by regional wines.

Air France

 French cuisine is renowned around the world and the Air France catering lives up to the country’s culinary reputation. Top French chefs create the menus for the inflight meals and the presentation of the meals is of a higher standard than most competitor airlines. The menu choice from Paris flights includes the Fauchon gourmet experience, a healthy menu, a traditional menu with local French products and the Fun menu which is a favourite for children’s meals.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is famous for the luxury travel experience, with four celebrity chefs creating the prestigious menus, including Nobu Matsuhisa of the famous Nobu fine dining restaurants. The food is already waiting for passengers when they arrive at their seat, so there is no waiting around. Options such as the gourmet vegan menu provide passengers with excellent dining choices.

Etihad Airways

Etihad AirlineEtihad Airways inflight catering includes free beverages on every flight and offers a great range of menu options in Economy, Business and First Class. In Business and First Class, you have the option of what time you want to have your food and you can expect extras such as champagne to accompany your fine dining.

Providing a top dining experience helps airlines to boost their reputation and ensure that passengers want to travel with them again in the future. Lomature catering systems identify areas of the catering experience that can be improved and streamlines logistics so that airlines can focus on creating the highest quality of inflight menus.

 

How Do Airlines Make Meals for Thousands of People?

The process of sourcing ingredients and creating high-quality meals is challenging enough without all the added complications of the logistics involved in preparing meals that are to be served on aeroplanes.

Airline food delivery

There are so many different requirements that must be met, such as ensuring the food is contained in the small tray dimensions that will fit into the trolley, making sure the food arrives during the aeroplane’s turnaround and the food that is to be served hot must be able to be heated by the aircraft ovens. Then there is also the small matter that these meals must be mass-produced for thousands of people each day.

Airline catering services have all these problems to overcome, as well as many more, such as providing meal variety, working around dietary requirements and the fact that people’s taste perception changes when they are in the air. The ingredients to the meals will usually include much more salt than would be used in preparing standard meals, as research shows that around 30% of taste is lost when flying at altitude.

Promeus is a cloud-based system that can assist an airline to complete all these things with ease.

 

How thousands of airline meals can be made

In-flight meals are generally prepared in catering facilities that are on-site or close to the airport, to minimise delivery times and costs. There will be a large catering team with prepared ingredients and preparation instructions to adhere to, so that the process is as quick as possible.

With targets to hit a very short preparation time, another way that the process is made quicker, is by using advanced technology such as high-powered water lasers that cut meals such as cake into precise dimensions.

The meals will usually be prepared within 10 hours of the flight departure, with catering companies expected to prepare the meals as close to the scheduled flight time as they can, factoring in the logistical details. The meals must go through security checks including scanners to ensure that there are no security risks contained in the meals, which also takes up additional time.

Airline meal trayThe number of meals that are needed for the designated aircraft will be transported in refrigerated catering trucks to the airport’s loading area, with delivery staff keeping up to date with any flight delays that occur so that delivery arrangements can be changed.

Once the meals have been loaded onto the aircraft, they are placed in refrigerators prior to the hot meals being reheated in the ovens. Clear and simple instructions will be provided to flight attendants, so they do not have to spend time working out what they need to do.

Catering companies and airlines are continually looking at ways that they can improve the process, such as using new technology like Lomature’s inflight catering management system. This software solution is implemented to help plan the preparation and delivery processes and reduce costs by accurately forecasting the demand for in-flight meals. Find out more about the Lomature services.

 

In-flight Caterers

Check out the Flying Food Group, a global in-flight services caterer who works with the world’s premier airlines based in the United States. They are also using our Promeus system, which enables them to invoice the airlines for their services.

 

 

The Top Challenges: In-flight Catering Services

The last few years of operating through the pandemic have been disruptive for most industries but few have faced challenges as difficult as the aviation industry. Lockdowns and travel restrictions saw a 97% reduction in UK flights between April 2019 and April 2020.

Over two years later, this industry is still recovering, with reduced flights an ongoing problem and the financial impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, with estimates of over $370 billion lost in worldwide revenue. As the industry looks to make up for the lost revenue, there are new challenges that they now face, such as travellers’ priorities, hygiene and Covid safety procedures have become a higher priority to people over comfort when choosing an airline to fly with.

From the perspective of in-flight catering services, these are some of the key challenges companies are striving to overcome:

Restricted space run way worker

Working with restricted space is a long-term problem for airlines, due to the aircraft dimension requirements and design. Accurate consumption forecasting is vital to ensuring that storage space is not wasted and so that the limited space can be optimised for catering.

Delays

Flight delays are common and since the industry has been back up and running, we have seen an increase in flight delays due to staffing problems. A lot of people within this industry had to look for work else wear during the pandemic and so job roles such as baggage handlers saw a decline.

After many aviation workers were forced to seek other work opportunities, it takes time to recruit and train more staff and this has been one of the main causes of delays that catering services have to workaround.

Consumer expectations have grown

Over time, the expectations for in-flight food and drink provisions have grown, even on budget airlines. There is an increased demand for a wider range of products as well as the need to cater for different dietary needs.

Reduced lead timesairport queues

Many airline catering companies have experienced a change in how much lead time is provided for orders, with changes to flights happening more frequently, which they have to adapt to. Therefore, the production processes must be faster and more agile. Real-time information is crucial in effective planning, production and delivery of catering for the service to operate as efficiently as possible.

Promeus can help with all that

Airlines must be able to provide passengers with a high-quality catering service to compete with other airlines during this challenging time of industry recovery. Using innovative technology such as Promeus to manage your in-flight catering provisions.

Promeus has numerous modules that you can utilise to run a smooth ship (or should we say plane!). Our Service Planning module allows you to maximise the stock you have onboard filling each space, whilst our Flight bill module allows both cater and airline to inform the other of any last-minute changes that have been made to either the passenger count or the provisions provided.

Find out more about our cloud-based system Promeus, and find out how we can streamline your airline!