Singapore Airlines says it has shelved plans to serve meals in paper boxes in its Economy and Premium Economy cabins on long-haul flights despite the fact that passengers said they enjoyed the taste and selection 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 casserole dishes that are traditionally used for hot meals.
Made out of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, the boxes allowed the airline to serve up Singaporean classics on its long-haul flights, like mee siam, laksa, and congee, which had long been requested by customers but just didn’t work in the casserole dishes.
Singapore Airlines had been trialling the new service ware 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 casserole dishes but following operational and customer feedback, the airline has decided that the design of the box needs improvement.
“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 have 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. “Taking all of these into account, we have decided not to proceed with this new serviceware for now.”
Singapore Airlines first started using paper boxes for inflight meals on short-haul routes, and it was here that the carrier discovered that gravy-rich dishes worked a lot better in paper packaging. As a result, the boxes will remain on short-haul flights.
The airline also plans to reintroduce appetiser dishes for Economy Class passengers on medium and long-haul flights from June 1, making the main meal service a four-course affair with an appetizer, main course, dessert and cheese and crackers.
Bread 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 because of operational and supply chain issues.
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.