Another airline starts selling groceries on board outside the aircraft

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced airlines around the world to reinvent themselves to find alternative sources of income and the ideas have been the most curious and innovative you can imagine.

Image: Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Thai Airways sells snacks on board on the streets of Bangkok, Austrian Airlines has set up a sales booth for corporate items in the center of Vienna, Qantas has sold several carts that come from a B747 and are stocked with first-class items, and Singapore Airlines opened a restaurant on it Board an A380 at Changi Airport.

Now it is Finnair that offers a new option. You offer your food on board in supermarkets.

In a new commercial venture, the Finnish airline started selling ready-made meals inspired by business class services in a supermarket in the Finnish city of Vantaa.

According to CNN broadcaster, customers can now eat pre-packaged reindeer meatballs, meat in radish sauce and chanterelle risotto without getting on a Finnair plane.

Finnair Kitchen Vice President Marika Nieminen told CNN Travel that the initiative aims to meet the needs of Finns who cannot travel due to the pandemic and to appreciate the company’s in-flight service.

The measure also served to reinstate some of the staff at Finnair Kitchen, the subsidiary in charge of food preparation, who were laid off at the beginning of the crisis. Nieminen says he managed to rehearse around 10 people for the project.

Finnair first tested the concept internally and sold the food to the airline’s staff. There is only one supermarket currently selling the products, but the plan is to expand the business to all of Finland and maybe even abroad.

“The quality of the food is really something to be proud of,” Nieminen told the network. The executive said the dishes must be changed every fifteen days, just like they do on flights. More than 100 meals were purchased within a few hours of the first day of sale.

Image: Finnair Disclosure

Like almost all European companies, Finnair was badly affected by the crisis caused by the new coronavirus. The Portuguese agency PressTur learns that the Finnish airline will not significantly increase its flight offer until the end of March 2021.

Finnair announced in a statement that it plans to reduce its IATA winter operations (late October to late March) to 75 flights per day in 51 destinations in Europe and Asia, while operating around 350 flights per day over the same period in 2019 to more than 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.

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