A recently published report by Fact.MR reveals that the global in-flight catering market is projected to grow at a modest CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2021-2031), reaching US$ 13.7 Bn. Demand is accelerating on the back of surging air travel across various countries and continents in recent years.
Historical performance of the market estimates that the industry registered a growth rate of 5% from 2016 to 2020. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, demand fell significantly, attributed to suspension of air traffic to prevent further infection spread. As per data published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), international passenger traffic in 2020 was 75.6% below 2019 levels, while domestic travel fell by 48.8%.
Demand for in-flight catering continues to remain concentrated in the European countries on the back of the increasing number of individuals traveling to Europe by air either for business or tourism. This factor has a dual complementing advantage as it has driven the growth of the aviation industry in Europe that in turn is influencing the use of in-flight catering, promoting the growth of the in-flight catering market in Europe.
Key Takeaways from the Market Study
- Global market for in-flight catering to be valued at US$ 7.3 Bn in 2021
- U.S to be the most opportunistic market for in-flight catering, generating 35% of global revenue
- Burgeoning tourism to encourage air travel across India, prompting in-flight catering services, expected to capture 30% of revenue
- U.K likely to contribute 1/3rd of the global revenue for in-flight catering services
- Low-cost carriers remain highly preferred among frequent flyers, projected to touch nearly US$ 10 Bn by 2031.
- In-flight catering for main course foods to accelerate at a CAGR of 5% from 2021-2031
“With low-cost airline carriers swiftly capturing a major chunk of the revenue pie, prominent in-flight catering service providers are introducing appropriate foodservices, partnering with prominent food distribution channels,” says the Fact.MR analyst.
Some of the key players in the market include Gate Gourmet, Saudi Airlines Catering, LSG Group, Dnata, and Servair, Goddard Catering Group, Newrest Catering, Royal Holdings, Journey Group PLC, DO & CO, SATS Ltd, Emirates Flight Catering, and ANA Catering Service Co. Ltd. among others.
- In May 2021, Emirates Flight Catering owned Foodcraft collaborated with noon Daily, noon.com’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