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Air France Introduces Cardboard Meal Boxes in Short-Haul Business Class And The Airline Claims it’s More ‘Upmarket’

Air France Introduces Cardboard Meal Boxes in Short-Haul Business Class And The Airline Claims it’s More ‘Upmarket’

a group of sandwiches and a glass of juice

Air France is introducing cardboard boxes loaded with handheld items like sandwiches and cakes for Business Class passenges on very short domestic flights.

The Paris-based carrier introduced the new dining concept on Friday, saying it was part of its continued attempts to “move upmarket while promoting French cuisine”.

In order to promote French cuisine, the airline has decided to borrow a food item more closely associated with the gastronomically challenged British with a range of sandwiches, including for breakfast.

Designed by Chef François Adamski from Air France’s short-haul catering provider, Servair, the meal boxes will either feature breakfast items served before 10 am or a rest of the day selection.

Breakfast sandwiches will feature fillings like smoked salmon and cream cheese with dill on white bread, accompanied by a traditional French breakfast pastry, while an afternoon sandwich will have fillings like smoked paprika chicken and tarragon vegetables on granary bread.

Air France will continue to serve a full selection of drinks onboard its short-haul flights, and the airline says wine and Champagne will now be served in real glassware.

Explaining the change, Air France said the boxes would help it achieve its environmental targets, as waste can now be sorted onboard, and the boxes will be sent for mechanization.

The change is likely to prove controversial, although sister airline KLM has been serving short-haul Business Class meals in paper boxes since 2018. That being said, KLM’s meal boxes do look more substantial and normally feature filling salads and a variety of other snacks.

There was some initial confusion over the new meal concept as Air France described the culinary offering as applying across its short-haul network. The term ‘short-haul’ at Air France, however, refers to very short domestic flights, whereas intra-European flights are referred to as ‘mid-haul’ flights’.

View Comments (4)
  • How is moving to disposable items more sustainable? What a short sighted degradation of quality from a management team that was making so many other good decisions.

    Imagine going from La Premiere to a box sandwich CDG-VCE.

  • From The FlyerTalk forum this new offering only applies to domestic business class where you previously only received a drink and peanuts or similar. If this is the case it is an upgrade to AF C class for domestic routes. AF refer to intra European routes like LHR, AMS and GVA as mid-haul and I understand they will retain a full business meal tray.

  • Right, AF-KLM makes a difference between intra-France and EU flights. In EU flights, you get almost nothing in economy even on trips as long as 3 hours and you get a cold meal in business. The only time you get a real meal is when you fly international. Actually if you fly to the UK it’s also considered EU flight so you get a snack and maybe a cold dish in business. But who wants to spend 6 or 7 times economy fare to fly from CDG to London or any other EU city that can be reached in less than 80 minutes? Business is only for long haul…. The sticky point with AF is their catering service especially in premium economy. The meals have been updated lately but the breakfast box is an insult! Other airlines offer proper breakfasts and you don’t have to travel business. Qatar, Turkish, Emirates, japan Airlines, even Lufthansa and Swiss offer betetr meals than AF.

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