KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): National carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd aims to fully restore its full meal service by mid-November this year, after meals for certain domestic and international routes were disrupted during its transition to new catering service providers from Sept 1.
In a statement on Friday, Malaysia Airlines announced the reinstatement of hot meal services on board its domestic and international routes affected by the recent catering transition, with the arrival of 10 new high-lift trucks ahead of schedule. It had earlier expected to bring back its hot food and beverage (F&B) offerings on all its flights from the third week of September.
Malaysia Airlines said it anticipates the arrival of another 10 high lifts in the coming months, while proactively enhancing and fine-tuning its pre-packaged meal components during the interim period.
“The high-lift trucks are an essential part of the overall airline in-flight meal process in upholding food quality and safety standards. They ensure that the meal carts are uplifted at the correct temperatures, preserving the freshness of hot and ambient meals, while also maintaining stringent practices throughout the process.
“In the absence of the high lifts, Malaysia Airlines had temporarily suspended hot meal offerings to ensure that food safety was not compromised,” it added.
Since Sept 11, Malaysia Airlines said it had reintroduced simplified hot meals for Business Class passengers on the Bangkok and Denpasar routes. However, starting from Friday, Economy Class passengers travelling to Bangkok and Denpasar, as well as passengers on all cabin class on flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Manila and Hong Kong, will also be served hot meals.
“Business Class passengers heading to all South India sectors will additionally enjoy the renowned Malaysia Airlines satay. Other Asean cities will be served with hot meal in stages.”
Meanwhile, passengers travelling to other South Asian, North Asian and Australia destinations will continue to receive the simplified hot meals on board.
On Aug 30, Malaysia Airlines announced that it was ending its long-standing in-flight catering partnership with Brahim’s Food Services Sdn Bhd (BFS) after a “thorough and prolonged” negotiation period. Malaysia Airlines resorted to eight new F&B suppliers, including Pos Aviation Sdn Bhd and MAS Awana Services Sdn Bhd, to cook its in-flight meals from Sept 1.
“The long-standing catering contract between Malaysia Airlines and BFS ended on Aug 31, after extensive negotiations between the two parties since November last year did not result in an amicable agreement.
“BFS had in early June this year served Malaysia Airlines with a notice of service discontinuation effective from July 1, while discussions were still ongoing for a new contract. BFS subsequently retracted the notice and agreed to extend its service until Aug 31,” said Malaysia Airlines.
From Sept 1, Malaysia Airlines introduced revised in-flight meal offerings on routes previously served by BFS, but not without facing backlash from passengers, after serving them pre-packed food instead of freshly prepared in-flight meals. However, services on the London, Auckland, Jeddah, Madinah, Osaka and Haneda routes remained unaffected, as meal offerings on the routes were already provided by Pos Aviation.
Malaysia Airlines has also established a temporary distribution centre at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to manage the assembly of F&B items by respective suppliers, and the uplifting of meal boxes on board via high-lift trucks.
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