After drastically cutting back its food and beverage services both onboard and in its Sky Clubs, Delta Air Lines has found itself with a massive surplus of food that could well go to waste. But rather than just simply disposing of its unwanted leftovers, the Atlanta-based airline has decided to donate a huge proportion of its excess food to charities and hospitals in need.
Responding to a need to cut interactions between crew and customers, as well as a massive slump in passenger demand, Delta has massively reduced its catering operations in recent weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But like many companies in the hospitality industry, the airline has found itself with a lot of leftover food that needs to be used.
Along with donating much-needed foods to struggling charities and hospitals in the Atlanta area, Delta is also working with its partners around the world to divert its unneeded food stocks to where they are needed most.
The airline has already tapped into its existing relationship with Feeding America, a non-government organisation that supports food banks in impoverished communities across the United States. But Delta is also looking for other partners and has already diverted both perishable and non-perishable goods from its catering partners around the world.
In Nice, France pre-packaged snacks have been sent to a local hospital, while fresh food has been sent to a French charity helping to feed the homeless. In New York, Delta has dispatched food donations to overrun hospitals, while in Philadelphia and Los Angeles food from Delta Sky Clubs is finding its way to local food banks.
The charitable effort from Delta follows a similar move by Air Canada in March after the Canadain flag carrier drastically cut back it’s in-flight catering with very little warning.
In recent weeks, Delta has offered free flights to healthcare professionals travelling to fight on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic, while its Delta Flight Products subsidiary has manufactured thousands of face visors – an essential piece of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.