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’.
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.