The Eurowings Airbus A330 at Cologne Airport is a hive of activity as flight EW 170 prepares to take off for sunny Cancun in Mexico in an hour. Inside, some 300 passengers are waiting to board at the gate. And outside, preparations are busily underway. A tanker has just delivered 75 tonnes of fuel and two forklift trucks pull up at the plane’s front and rear shortly afterwards with the catering for the plane’s 12-hour flight.
Forty-two trolleys are rolled into the plane and carefully stowed in two galleys at the A330’s front and rear. There are also 40 boxes and 14 oven-racks containing food servings, an extensive drinks selection and snacks such as savoury bites, chocolate bars and much more. Items for inflight sales, napkins and provisions for the crew are also included. In fact, there’s everything you’d expect of a nice little bistro. Meals to keep passengers going during the almost 9,000km journey over the Atlantic take up the most space.
All the food is freshly prepared at an industrial kitchen belonging to Lufthansa subsidiary LSG SkyFood based in Alzey, western Germany. It is fl ash-frozen on site, then taken to its destination by articulated lorry. “Pulled beef is a big trend,” says Philipp Haversath, Eurowings Team Leader Product & Catering. This tender braised beef is currently on the menu with mashed potato and white beans in a barbecue sauce. Diners who prefer fi sh to meat will also find something to suit. Cod fillet on jasmine rice with mixed vegetables and a red-curry coconut sauce is now available. The current vegetarian options are ravioli with vegetable-ricotta filling and spinach, and potatoes in a white wine-cheese sauce. Tofu with tomato sauce, omelette with creamy cheddar, and vegetable masala complete the hot meal selection.
Philipp Haversath and his colleagues meet José Lirio Silva and his colleagues from LSG subsidiary Retail in Motion to devise the best selection for the menu, which changes every three months. The team carries out a taste test before making a fi nal decision. Sampling 50 different meals is no easy task, despite the fact that none of them needs to be eaten up completely. “We don’t want to offer our guests anything that we didn’t think was good ourselves,” says Philipp Haversath. “Generally we value fresh, regional products and a range that ideally has something to suit every taste.” As well as meeting in-house quality criteria, the food selection regularly undergoes rigorous tests by the relevant authorities in compliance with hygiene regulations.
Recently, the passengers and crew on a Miami-bound Eurowings flight became restaurant testers themselves. They enjoyed juicy burgers and tasty craft beer for an inflight survey, then delivered their verdicts afterwards. The passengers all agreed they had “never experienced anything like it above the clouds before”. They also found the idea “unusual” and “really cool”. The Eurowings Team Leader Product & Catering said, “My team and I are very proud to be able to offer our customers products like these on board, with many more to come.
”He added, “The test not only encouraged us to do something similar again but also to keep developing new catering options in dialogue with our passengers.”
A good trip with good food is the perfect start to a holiday. And the same high standards apply to return flights. Travellers can also choose their favourite meals before they fly by ordering during the booking process. This has some advantages. Passengers booking the BEST fare get a choice of food included in the ticket price. SMART fare also includes a meal. Passengers who pay in advance receive a price discount on orders placed up to 72 hours before departure. “But anyone with a special food request, perhaps due to allergies or food intolerances, should also get in touch with us in good time before travelling,” advised Haversath. The new BIZclass on selected routes offers seasonal multi-course meals served on porcelain dishes.
Just like passengers on flight EW 170, everyone will find something to their taste on Eurowings’ long-haul flights – whether they’re travelling to the Caribbean, South Africa, the USA or the Far East. Enjoy your meal!