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In-Flight Catering Market

In-Flight Catering Market

In-Flight Catering Market Size by Offering Type (Main Course In-Flight Catering, Beverages In-Flight Catering, Breakfast In-Flight Catering), by Service Type, by Airline Category, by Provider & Regional Forecast 2021-2031

In-Flight Catering Market
  • Nov-2021
  • List of Tables : 128
  • List of Figures : 102
  • 170 Pages
  • Food & Beverage

In-Flight Catering Market Outlook

The global In-flight catering market exceeding a valuation of around USD 7.3 billion by 2021, and it is projected to reach USD 13.7 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period 2021-2031.

Market Size (2021) US$ 7.3 Bn
Projected Market Forecast Value by 2031 US$ 13.7 Bn
Value CAGR (2021-2031) 6.5%

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Demand Analysis of the In-Flight catering of 2016-2020 Vs Market Outlook for 2021 to 2031

As per Fact.MR – market research and competitive intelligence provider, during the historic period of 2016 to 2020, the market expanded at a CAGR of around 5%. Be it international or domestic, the increasing number of individuals preferring air travel remains a key factor influencing the growth of the market.

Moreover, different types of in-flight catering services offered in airlines are attracting new businesses across the globe which has made it compelling for in-flight catering service providers to offer high quality and timely services. To enhance the in-flight experience through the in-flight catering service, the prominent players are adopting digitally enabled services like the use of smartphones for food & beverage orders. 

Few airlines operating globally also allow passengers to place orders via in-flight entertainment systems. Moreover, some of the airlines are serving regional/ continental meals in order to satisfy the native cravings of the onboard passengers. The word-of-mouth advertising of such trends can certainly contribute to the growth of the in-flight catering market. Considering the aforementioned factors, the market for in-flight catering is projected to touch US$ 13.7 Bn by 2031.

Will Food Innovations Present Lucrative Opportunities Across Regional Markets?

Airlines use in-flight catering services to improve the in-flight experience of their passengers. Leading airlines across the globe are implementing advanced technologies in order to better their in-flight catering services while adding innovation in food products as per the cuisine preferences of consumers.

In addition, they are following a unique trend of offering regional as well as continental meal options to their passengers, which helps satisfy specific meal requests of passengers, thus increasing passenger satisfaction levels. Furthermore, the majority of airline caterers and in-flight catering service providers in the market are improving their supply chain management (SCM) in order to achieve high-quality products along with cost-effectiveness in their in-flight catering operations.

For instance, in June 2021, Newrest signed a new inflight catering contract in Atlanta with a leading American airline. Newrest’s inflight catering standards enable the teams to provide the highest food safety such as end-to-end cold chain management and HACCP tracking of food production. Passenger’s security is paramount to the success of the contract keeping implementation of COVID 19 new international requirements such as thermal cameras and air blowers and showers intact. 

That said, increasing investments by famous food brands are expected to take this trend to the next level by offering famous food products to the air passengers popular among the airline business across the globe. Moreover, the trend of implementing advanced technology in catering services offered on flights such as the use of different types of smart gadgets for ordering food on flights thus increasing the convenience quotient of passengers has significantly fuelled the growth of the in-flight catering market in recent times.

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How is the Growing Number of International and Domestic Air Passengers Boosting Momentum?

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the international and domestic air traffic across the global aviation industry has witnessed a significant surge since the past few years that has led to increased operational profits and overall net profits of airlines.

Moreover, the increasing number of individuals opting for air travel is expected to boost the demand for in-flight catering services, in turn fuelling the growth of the in-flight catering market during the period of forecast. According to the analysis of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), more than seven billion passengers are expected to opt for air travel by end of 2036, with a 3.6 percent year-on-year growth.

That said, in-flight catering service providers are focusing on providing better service quality to customers in order to attract more passengers from a business development standpoint. This factor is expected to fuel demand for various in-flight catering services, consequently driving the growth of the market during the period of assessment.

Country-Wise Analysis

How is the Market for In-Flight Catering Faring in India?

The market is projected to show a positive growth rate in India owing to the culinary habits of the people in the region. Moreover, the passengers from different regions have different culinary preferences. Furthermore, tourism in India has always been on a rise due to its diversity. India has a diverse portfolio of niche tourism products - cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural & religious tourism.

In FY20, the tourism sector in India accounted for 39 million jobs, which was 8.0% of the total employment in the country. By 2029, it is expected to account for about 53 million jobs. As per IATA, during 2019, the airlines operating in India witnessed a 5.1% YoY growth in air passenger traffic, indicating a relative slowdown from its 2018 growth statistics of 18.9% on account of several factors, including the bankruptcy of Jet Airways and weakening economic activity. 

With the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic receding, the market for inflight catering is trying to recuperate the losses incurred through measures like product diversifications, and innovations. For instance, IndiGo airlines announced the availability of a selection of food and beverage for sale onboard, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, healthy juices, lemonade, aerated beverages, a wide choice of sugar-free health bars and drinks at competitive prices. A market share worth 30% is projected by Fact.MR for the Indian market.

What Growth Opportunities are Being Offered by the U.S?

The people have varied diet preferences in the U.S. There is an inclination towards healthy food in the country. According to statistics, more than 1/4th of the US citizens, still consume fast food every day, but the percentage is dropping gradually. Considering the high obesity rate, healthy food has achieved significant traction leading to a spike in demand for low-calorie meals during flights.

In addition to this, the competition in the inflight catering business is leading to the entry of several global brands in order to deal with the high quality and safety regulations of the aviation industry. As per the analysis put forth by Fact.MR, in-flight catering in the U.S is expected to generate around 35% revenue until 2031.

How is the U.K Boosting the Overall European Market?

The United Kingdom holds the largest share in the market across Europe owing to the presence of major airlines, like British Airways and EasyJet. These airlines are working on increasing their global connectivity with the introduction of new destinations. This is leading to the introduction of new menus onboard aircraft. 

Major players in the aviation industry are investing massively in the UK and taking advantage of the opportunities available in the country. For instance, in March 2020, Alpha LSG signed an agreement with Emirates to cater six daily flights out of London-Heathrow Airport to Dubai Airport. 

The company already services the airline's regional operation in the UK from London to Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Glasgow. Such developments are expected to help the growth of revenues from the country during the forecast period, accounting for 33% revenue.

In flight catering market forecast analysis by Fact.MR

Category-Wise Insights

Why is In-Flight Catering for Main Course Foods Rising?

According to Fact.MR, In-flight catering market growth is largely pushed by the increasing demand for main courses by passengers on-board. One of the main reasons for high main course demand is the growing traffic in long-haul flights that have remained instrumental in fuelling demand for in-flight catering services on a large scale. A CAGR of 5% is anticipated for main course in-flight catering.

In long-haul flights, airlines are providing three-course meals with beverages and salads offered as complementary dishes. This factor has significantly raised the demand for main courses, given their packaged benefits. Albeit at a low revenue base as compared to main courses, beverages are expected to witness substantial demand among customers, particularly millennials and kids.

Will In-Flight Catering Services Flourish across Low-Cost Carriers?

Low-cost carriers remain highly preferred amongst frequent flyers. Irrespective of the seating class, the increasing expectation of passengers to consume hygienic food is anticipated to fuel the demand for in-flight catering. Moreover, rising health awareness across the globe is impelling global in-flight catering market players to plan and mold their strategies accordingly.

Revenues of In-flight catering market from low-cost carriers are projected to touch nearly US$ 10 Bn by the end of 2031. LCCs are widely preferred for the short-haul and medium-haul segments. Some of these LCCs are offering premium in-flight catering services to gain the regional brand share. Also, economic airlines use food and in-flight catering services as a marketing tool.

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Competitive Landscape  

The competitive landscape of the in-flight catering market is shaped by product innovation and strategic mergers & acquisitions. Frontrunners are emphasizing capacity enhancements and global footprint expansion to leverage lucrative prospects in developing economies. Some notable developments are as follows:

  • In May 2021, Emirates Flight Catering owned Foodcraft collaborated with noon Daily,’s dedicated grocery platform. The objective of this partnership was to enhance delivery outreach during the festival of Eid, for which the company released a new range of frozen ready-to-cook meals

Since November 2021, Newrest First Catering has officially begun providing catering services to United Airlines in Houston, Texas. As part of its contract, the company provided catering and logistic solutions to 427 aircrafts flying domestic and international routes. In the future, the company expects to supply 15,000 meals per day, to a maximum of 500 flights

In-Flight Catering Market Report Scope 

Report Attribute Details
Forecast Period 2021-2031
Historical Data Available for 2016-2020
Market Analysis Value (US$ Mn)
Key Regions Covered
  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Oceania
  • Middle East & Africa
Key Countries Covered
  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • GCC
  • Turkey
Key Market Segments Covered
  • Offering type
  • Airline Category
  • Service Type
  • Provider Type
  • Region
Key Companies Profiled
  • Emirates Group
  • HNA Group Co. Ltd.
  • Newrest First Catering Ltd.
  • Flying Food Group
  • Journey Group Plc.
  • Do & Co. AG
  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG
  • Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)
  • SATS Ltd
  • Universal Weather and Aviation Inc.
Pricing Available upon Request

Key Segments Covered

  • Offering Type

    • Main Course In-Flight Catering
    • Beverages In-Flight Catering
    • Breakfast In-Flight Catering
    • Starters & Platters In-Flight Catering
    • Desserts In-Flight Catering
  • Service Type

    • In-Flight Catering for Full Service Carriers
    • In-Flight Catering for Low-Cost Carriers
  • Airline Category

    • Economy Class In-Flight Catering
    • Business Class In-Flight Catering
    • First Class In-Flight Catering
  • Provider Type

    • In-Flight Culinary Only Provider
    • In-Flight Culinary & On-Board Supplies Provider
    • In-Flight Complete Solution Provider

- FAQs -

From 2021 to 2031, demand for in-flight catering is likely to surge at a CAGR of 6.5%

By 2031, in-flight catering market value is likely to reach US$ 13.7 Bn 

As of 2021, in-flight catering demand is expected to be valued at US$ 7.3 Bn

As per Fact.MR, the U.S is expected to account for 35% of global in-flight catering demand 

India is anticipated to account for 30% revenue for in-flight catering

Demand for in-flight catering in the U.K is poised to account for 33% of global market revenue

Low-cost carriers are anticipated to capture a major share of the overall market, expected to generate an opportunity worth US$ 10 Bn by 2031

In-flight catering for main course is expected to be dominant, registering a 5% value CAGR through 2031

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