Airline meals are getting a plant-based makeover onboard Qatar Airways flights with the launch of vegan dishes for business class passengers. Olivia Palamountain reports
Qatar Airways has introduced a range of vegan dishes to its à la carte menu for the first time. Up until now, anyone wanting a vegan or even vegetarian meal on a plane has typically had to make a special request, and the standard has not always been comparable to what other passengers receive.
Now, business class passengers on all flights from the airline’s Doha hub, Hamad International airport in Qatar, and selected flights into Doha can opt for gourmet plant-based fare, while economy class customers can continue to pre-order special vegan meals ahead of travel.
Designed with sustainability in mind, Qatar Airways’ range of vegan dishes includes smoked moutabel (an aubergine dip); spiralised courgettes with arrabbiata sauce; tofu and spinach tortellini; Asian barbecue tofu with noodles, scallions and shiitake; fried tofu with vegetable tajine; cauliflower couscous and Kalamata olive bruschetta; and chickpea flour omelette.Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, says: “We always strive to provide our customers with authentic and indulgent experiences in the skies. We are delighted to incorporate a vegan main course choice to our onboard menu, offering our passengers yet another lifestyle choice that redefines the expectations from a five-star airline.”
All food is prepared at the Qatar Aircraft Catering Company (QACC), one of the world’s largest self-contained catering facilities at 69,000 sqm, located at Hamad International.
Since the start of the Cobvid-19 crisis, business class meals have been served on covered trays instead of tables with cutlery wraps in an effort to minimise contact between crew and passengers. Qatar Airways has also introduced single-use menu cards and sealed refreshing wipes. Economy class meals and cutlery are served sealed as usual, and menu cards have been temporarily discontinued.The airline also offers a wide selection of special meals to cater to different dietary requirements. Passengers can request a special meal up to 24 hours before their flight. These include young traveller meals, vegetarian or religious meals and medical or health care meals.
Veganism is a trend that continues to rise. According to a survey by finder.com, over 2 per cent of Brits are currently vegan – about 1,100,000 people. The poll results suggest that by the end of 2020, this number is set to double, increasing the vegan population to around 2,200,000.
Veganism is now an established part of the mainstream, transforming society on multiple levels – including the travel industry.
In 2019 Hilton unveiled a vegan hotel suite at the Hilton Bankside hotel in London, while up on Scotland, the Saorsa 1875 became the first vegan hotel to open in the country. In London, The Bright Club is a co-working space that caters to vegans only.