In-Flight Catering Market

In-Flight Catering Market By Offering Type (Main Course, Beverages, Breakfast, Starters & Platters, Desserts), By Flight Type (Full Service Carriers, Low-cost Carriers), By Airline Class (Economy, Business, First Class), By Provider & By Region - Global Market Insights 2023 to 2033

Analysis of In-Flight Catering Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

In-Flight Catering Market Outlook (2023-2033)

In 2023, demand for in-flight catering accounts for a market valuation of US$ 17.8 billion and is forecasted to reach US$ 30.2 billion by the end of 2033. The global in-flight catering market is expected to exhibit expansion at a steady 5.4% CAGR over the next ten years.

Rising number of air travellers and low airfares are expected to be primary factors that are expected to promulgate in-flight catering demand across the world over the coming years. The introduction of long non-stop flights across the world and the rising number of people travelling on these flights are also expected to favour market development throughout the forecast period.

Increasing investments to enhance the inflight travel experience by airlines across the world is also predicted to promote demand for better catering services in airlines in the future.

  • In August 2022, Emirates, a leading airline company based in Dubai, UAE announced its plans to invest over US$ 2 billion to escalate its in-flight experience which involves changes to available meal choices and the installation of new interiors for around 120 aircraft.

Rising disposable income, increasing leisure travel and corporate travel, changing customer preferences, improving standards of living, and advancements in the food service industry are other factors that are expected to benefit market growth through 2033.

In-flight catering providers are also focusing on reducing food waste to achieve sustainability goals and improve profitability by cutting waste losses. This is creating new opportunities for established as well as new in-flight catering companies in the global landscape.

  • In March 2022, Icelandair, the flag carrier of Iceland announced the introduction of pre-purchase inflight meal options. Through this, Icelandair passengers can pre-purchase meals while booking flights. The service is available for Economy class passengers on flights between Iceland and Europe and North America and Iceland. The initiative is being taken in accordance with the airline’s sustainability goals and efforts to reduce inflight food wastage.

On the contrary, stringent mandates implemented by governments and regulatory authorities to regulate food safety in airline catering are predicted to have an impeding effect on the overall market evolution in the long term.

The Asia Pacific region is anticipated to be the most opportune market for airline catering service providers and this can be ascribed to the rising number of domestic and international air travelers in this region. China and India are anticipated to emerge as highly lucrative markets in this region. Increasing medical tourism and rising per capita disposable income are two crucial aspects governing demand for catering in airlines in the aforementioned countries.

A detailed analysis of all trends, restraints, challenges, and opportunities in major and minor regions across the world affecting in-flight catering market growth has been discussed in detail in this updated study by Fact.MR, a market research and competitive intelligence provider.

Report Attributes


In-Flight Catering Market Size (2023)

US$ 17.8 Billion

Projected Market Value (2033F)

US$ 30.2 Billion

Global Market Growth Rate (2023-2033)

5.4% CAGR

Europe Market Share (2022)


United States Market Growth Rate (2023-2033)


Key Companies Profiled

  • Emirates Group
  • Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)
  • LSG Sky Chefs Inc.
  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG
  • Universal Weather and Aviation Inc.
  • Dnata
  • Newrest First Catering Ltd.
  • Flying Food Group
  • SATS Ltd.
  • HNA Group Co. Ltd.
  • Journey Group Plc.
  • Do & Co. AG

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
Complete list available upon request

Will Start-ups Have a Shot at Reforming the In-Flight Catering Industry?

“Inflight Food Waste Management: Focus of Start-up Companies”

Upcoming in-flight catering companies are focusing on providing unique solutions to manage inflight food wastage and optimize profitability and business for inflight caterers across the world.

  • In October 2022, Enexor BioEnergy, a United States-based start-up won the sustainability innovation challenge to turn waste into energy and was supposed to receive up to US$ 80,000 in funding from Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC), to pilot new solutions for Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS Ltd.) a leading in-flight catering service provider at Changi Airport, Singapore. Enexor’s proprietary “Bio-CHP” system will be used to convert organic food waste and plastic waste into renewable energy.
  • In May 2021, The Concept, a UAE-based product development organization signed a partnership with Etihad Airways to develop the NEOS Fly+, an inflight smart tray using inflight IoT (Internet of Things) technology to reduce food wastage that costs approximately US$ 3.9 billion annually on a global scale to the airlines industry.
  • In September 2020, Lumitics, a Singaporean food technology company partnered with Etihad Airways to test its system that uses machine learning and computer vision to track inflight food consumption and reduce wastage. The data from this system could also be used for meal planning and the reduction of operational costs for airline companies.

In-Flight Catering Market forecast analysis by Fact.MR

Country-wise Insights

Why is the United States a Beneficial Market for In-Flight Catering Companies?

“Rising Demand for Healthy Inflight Meals to Provide Rewarding Business Scope”

Obesity has become a prominent issue for the citizens of the United States in recent years and this has led to high demand for healthy food products on flights and reduced consumption of fast foods. Changing diet preferences, increasing awareness about health and fitness, and a rising number of domestic and international air travelers in the U.S. are other factors that are expected to drive market development in the future.

The country is anticipated to account for more than 30% of the market share in the global airline catering services industry landscape by the end of 2033.

How Will Demand for In-Flight Catering Solution Fare in the Asian Region?

“Rising Disposable Income to Significantly Drive Market Growth Potential”

Many countries in the Asia Pacific region have been witnessing a hike in per capita disposable income which has led to an increased number of domestic as well as international air travelers, subsequently resulting in the growing demand for catering services in airlines. Japan and South Korea have been witnessing an increase in the number of travelers through airlines and this trend is expected to pick up pace over the coming years as well.

Different preferences of travelers, rising demand for continental cuisine, changing standards of living, and high demand for better inflight services are other factors that are forecasted to guide market development in Korea and Japan over the next ten years.

Which Country is the Most Lucrative Market in Europe?

“United Kingdom to be Most Prominent Market in European Region”

The presence of key airlines in the United Kingdom such as British Airways and Easyjet is a prominent factor that drives demand for in-flight catering in the country and makes it the most attractive market in the European region. Airlines in the country are focusing on improving their connectivity by launching flights to new destinations and attracting new travelers that fuel the demand for a new menu for catering services in airlines.

Moreover, investments in the U.K. aviation industry are increasing rapidly owing to its bright growth outlook over the coming years. This factor is also expected to indirectly favor demand for in-flight catering through 2033.

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Category-wise Insights

Which Airline Class is Set to Lead Revenue Generation?

“Economy Class to Account for Dominant Market Revenue Share”

Based on airline class, the market for in-flight catering is segmented into economy, business, and first class.

A high number of people flying in economy class owing to reduced airfares, rising disposable income, and increasing interest in leisure travel activities. Changing consumer preferences for high-quality inflight meals and increasing investments by airlines to provide better services for economy-class passengers are other prospects that could promote in-flight catering demand in this segment across the forecast period. The rising number of frequent flyers through low-cost carriers are also expected to fuel demand for airline catering services over the coming years.

Competitive Landscape

Prime in-flight catering suppliers are focusing on expanding their business scope through collaborations and partnerships with various airlines across the world.

  • In August 2022, Dnata, an Emirati airport services company announced the extension of its partnership with GOL Airlines, a Brazilian low-cost carrier to offer better cargo handling, catering, and baggage management services.
  • In September 2022, Saudi Airlines Catering Co. (SACC), a provider of in-flight catering, retail, and other services announced its partnership with low-cost carrier Flynas to provide inflight services for 4 years at a cost of around US$ 64 million. SACC will not only assist with catering but is also expected to assist the low-cost carrier with its logistics operations.

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
Complete list available upon request

Key Segments of In-Flight Catering Industry Research

  • By Offering Type:

    • Main Course
    • Beverages
    • Breakfast
    • Starters & Platters
    • Desserts
    • Bakery & Confectionery
  • By Flight Type:

    • Full Service Carriers
    • Low-cost Carriers
  • By Airline Class:

    • Economy
    • Business
    • First Class
  • By Provider:

    • In-Flight Culinary Only Providers
    • In-Flight Culinary & On-Board Supplies Providers
    • In-Flight Complete Solution Providers
  • By Region:

    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Europe
    • APAC
    • MEA

- FAQs -

How big is the in-flight catering market?

Demand for in-flight catering accounts for a US$ 17.8 billion valuation in 2023.

What is the projected market value for in-flight catering?

The global in-flight catering market is estimated to reach US$ 30.2 billion by 2033-end.

At what pace will in-flight catering demand rise?

In-flight catering demand is forecasted to rise at 5.4% CAGR over the next ten years.

What is the expected revenue contribution from the U.S.?

The U.S. market for in-flight catering is expected to account for more than 30% of the global revenue share by 2033.

Who are the key players in the in-flight catering market?

Emirates Group, Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines), LSG Sky Chefs Inc., Dnata, and SATS Ltd. are prime in-flight catering companies.

In-Flight Catering Market

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