The Asia-Pacific and Middle-East Inflight Catering Market is projected to grow with a CAGR of more than 7.5% during the forecast period.
- The growth in demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific as well as the Middle-East has led to increased emphasis on additional amenities like food onboard, a key factor of differentiation for the airlines. Due to this, the airlines in the region are increasing their investments in inflight catering.
- Introduction of new menus, as well as the introduction of new dining concepts like an onboard chef in Business class and First class of airlines to enhance the passenger experience, is anticipated to accelerate the growth of the market.
- The market is consolidated with few players dominating the majority of the share in the market. However, the partnership of airlines with local restaurants to provide exquisite taste to its passengers is making new players enter the market easily.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the revenues of the airlines, due to which the airlines might reconsider investing in inflight catering for short-haul routes as they incur additional costs for the airlines.
Key Market Trends
Full-service Carriers Held the Highest Market Share in 2019
Currently, full-service carriers are dominating the inflight catering market, and though their market growth rate is lower than that of low-cost carriers, they are expected to continue dominating the market. On account of the rising competition and the lower operating costs, due to the reduction in oil prices, full-service airlines have been rapidly upgrading their inflight catering, along with aircraft interior and services. This has freed up a lot of liquidity with the carriers. There are many FSCs in the MiddleEast and Asia-Pacific regions that are known for providing the best passenger amenities. They are Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, EVA Air, Hainan Airlines, Qantas Airways, and Thai Airways, among others. Few airlines have started providing customized menus and onboard chefs to better serve the business and first-class passengers. In addition, many airlines are preferably choosing local caterers in Asia-Pacific to provide passengers with local cuisines to enhance their brand value. The growing full-service carrier routes and new partnerships of the airlines with local restaurants in these regions are the major factors that are likely to support the growth of the segment during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Market in Terms of Market Share
The Asia-Pacific region currently dominates the market and is expected to continue its domination during the forecast period. This is mainly due to robust growth in LCCs and an increase in passenger traffic in countries like China, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand, among others. To cater to the growing passenger traffic, the airlines in the region are expanding their aircraft fleet as well as introducing new aircraft routes, which is generating demand for inflight catering market. For instance, Juneyao Airlines applied for routes between Shanghai Pudong airport, Manchester, and Athens. The company has plans to operate thrice-weekly services between Pudong and Manchester starting by the end of the first quarter of 2020. About 30 new routes were added in 2017 and 2018 from China. This increase in fleet and network of airlines is fueling the investments of airlines/inflight caterers to increase their production capacities to serve the passengers. Earlier in 2019, dnata opened a new catering facility in Canberra with an investment of about USD 4.6 million. dnata currently prepares more than 60,000 inflight meals in Canberra every month and serves commercial airlines and charter airlines. The aforementioned factors are anticipated to propel the demand for the Asia-Pacific inflight catering market during the forecast period.
The market of Asia-Pacific and Middle-East inflight catering is consolidated with five players accounting for more than 60% of the share in the market. The major players in the market are LSG Sky Chefs, Cathay Pacific Catering Services, SATS Ltd, GateGroup, and The Emirates Group. Despite the consolidated nature of the market, there are many regional players that support various airlines in the region. In China, there are over 130 inflight companies that support foreign airlines and domestic airlines. The airlines in the regions are partnering with local restaurants to provide enhanced flavors that will enrich the taste of the food provided onboard to their passengers. In addition to inflight catering providers for airlines, there are many catering providers, such as local restaurants, five-star hotels, on-board chefs, and inflight caterers for private jets. Due to increasing passenger traffic, the inflight caterers are expanding their facilities to increase production capacities. Such expansion plans and long term partnerships with the airlines are expected to help the caterers increase their market share in the region.
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