Malaysia Airlines has finally restored its full onboard food and drink offering from its Kuala Lumpur hub after it suddenly and unexpectedly dumped its longtime catering supplier on September 1, 2023.
For the last two and a half months, the Malaysian flag carrier has been offering a pared-down proposition on many of its flights following the decision to sever its longstanding partnership with ‘anchor caterer’ Brahim’s Food Service.
When Malaysia Airlines sacked Brahim’s, however, it hadn’t lined up a new catering partner, so it had to rely on pre-packaged meals consisting of ambient foods on many of its shorter flights, while a revised service had to be quickly put in place for long-haul flights.
Customers with special dietary needs, including religious restrictions, were even told to bring their own food because the airline couldn’t cater special meals during the transition.
Rather than look for a new specialist catering supplier, Malaysia Airlines has decided to bring its entire catering operation in-house, setting up a temporary distribution centre and catering warehouse.
One of the reasons why it has taken Malaysia Airlines so long to restore its full onboard service is because the carrier effectively had to set up its own catering business from scratch.
The airline recently took delivery of ten more hi-lift trucks that deliver catering supplies planeside to complement an existing fleet of 14 trucks, alongside six freezers, two chillers and two special washing machines for all the reusable catering supplies that come off a plane.
Managing director of the Malaysian Airlines Group, Datuk Captain Izham Ismail, has described the decision to ditch Brahim’s as a “much-needed transition”, although the airline hasn’t publicly confirmed why it abandoned its longstanding partner.
“As a global airline, Malaysia Airlines sets high standards for our product offerings and services onboard – being the embassy on wings for the country and the champion for Malaysian Hospitality,” Ismail noted.
“We will continue to strengthen our core proposition as a premium airline, with a commitment to elevate the onboard dining experience by providing more options, curated offerings and variety for all our guests.”
Following the transition, Malaysia Airlines says it is now preparing and handling up to 18,000 meals per day.
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.