Late last night, we received an anonymous email which suggests British Airways is preparing to make some major improvements to its catering out of the airline’s home hub at Heathrow Airport in West London. For years, British Airways has teamed up with Swiss airline catering giant Gate Group, but if reports are to be believed, by 2020 that longstanding partnership will all come to an end.
Plans laid out by BA’s head of brand, Carolina Martinoli reveals the airline will exclusively use the upmarket airline and event catering company DO&Co for its catering needs out of Heathrow – that includes long-haul economy catering as well food and beverage services for Business and First Class cabins.
This news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise – British Airways originally brought in DO&Co to redesign it’s Club World long-haul dining concept and menu. Unfortunately, the company didn’t have large enough facilities to supply what is by far Heathrow’s largest airline so it could only initially cater on the exclusive and high-money making New York JFK route.
Since then, British Airways has seemingly kept up the collaboration – recently announcing it’s new short-haul Club Europe dining concept which includes a DO&Co developed menu. Apparently the catering firm has now sufficiently scaled its kitchens to immediately take on the British Airway’s short-haul contract from launch date (which coincidentally is today).
Dishes included at launch include shaved Herefordshire roast beef on a tartar cream with rocket, British Reared Pork sausage and mash and a celebration of British cheeses.
Presumably, the contract with Gate Group was coming up for renewal and British Airways saw an obvious benefit in switching supplier. Catering has never been BA’s strongest suit so the airline will no doubt be hoping what is likely to be a far more expensive contract will pay off in the long run.
According to an internal report, Martinoli explained:
“Our customers tell us that when they’re taking a flight, great food and beverages make a real difference to them. It’s a huge driver of customer satisfaction so we want to make sure we deliver a great experience.”
DO&Co is an Austrian upscale catering company which even has its own hotel and restaurants. The company designed dining concepts for both Austrian Airways and Turkish Airlines and also supplies premium airline food to a number of international airlines including Singapore Airways and Emirates.
Gate Group companies will reportedly continue to supply British Airways at a number of outstations, while Newrest will supply food for BA’s operation at Gatwick and various other airports around the world.