Plans are underway at Air Canada to expand the selection of business class dishes that can be ordered ahead of time before a flight, according to an exclusive story in Executive Traveller.
Air Canada already allows business class and premium economy travellers on some routes to order their meals in advance, but the choice is limited to the same menu that’s already offered on board.
The new approach, which will apply to Air Canada’s international business class flights, will be a bespoke “Book The Cook”-style menu – similar to what’s offered on Singapore Airlines – where passengers will be able to select from 14 or 16 different Signature Class dishes, revealed Mark Nasr, Air Canada’s executive vice-president of marketing and digital, speaking to Executive Traveller.
“Some [flights] go to Europe, some go to Asia... so there’s an opportunity there to reflect the diversity of cuisines,” Nasr told the outlet. “Why should you only be able to order a curry on flights to India?”
“As we’re doing new menu designs we now have Korean, Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Latin flavours, plus classic dishes that have made their way onto our North American menus... so we want to fully reflect all the culinary talent that exists in Canada, which we hope to take advantage of as time goes on.”
A timeline for debuting the new menus hasn’t been revealed just yet.
Investing in premium
The update comes as Air Canada makes new investments in its premium product offering.
“The demand for premium services are higher than they’ve ever been,” Scott O’Leary, vice-president of loyalty and product at Air Canada, told PAX in an interview last week. “Our greatest challenge is making sure we can create sufficient premium capacity, and premium facilities, that still maintain their exclusive feel and function.”
O’Leary said the airline, over the next few years, will be “heavily investing” in its airport lounges and premium cabins.
One example to already surface is the recent opening of the “Aspire | Air Canada Café,” a co-branded space developed by Air Canada and Swissport, at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ).
With some 140 seats, the fresh and modern space, which PAX toured last week, is available to Air Canada customers who are connecting to a business class flight or who have elite Aeroplan status (50K or above).
The space, which is the only airline-branded lounge at Billy Bishop, is also open to Star Alliance Gold members and Aeroplan premium co-brand cardholders. (Passes can also be purchased).
It marks the 27th lounge in Air Canada’s network and the sixth Canadian location for Aspire.
Watch PAX's video report from the new Aspire | Air Canada Café at Billy Bishop airport here.