Aviation

Air New Zealand adds a touch of Kiwi to inflight menu, appoints new chief sustainability officer

Air New Zealand is switching up its inflight menu to highlight the finest local produce and show meals are anything but plane at 40,000ft.

The airline is unveiling its new business premier menu, which showcases the best of Aotearoa on a plate, including local ingredients like Southland Lamb Prosciutto, Hawke’s Bay extra virgin olive oil and mānuka smoked free-range chicken from the Waikato.

Last week, Air New Zealand customers flying to and from Rarotonga were given a first taste of the business premier menu, which will be officially launched and rolled out on all long-haul routes from October.

To welcome customers to their dining experience, the airline has also introduced a Koha from the Kitchen to be served after take-off.

The airline’s talented culinary team has put together these bite-sized morsels to hero local ingredients and as a token of gratitude to those flying with us.

“We all know how important food is when travelling and what a difference it makes to our customers to be served a tasty meal full of fresh, local produce while on their journey,” Air New Zealand general manager customer Leeanne Langridge said.

“Our inflight meals showcase the best of New Zealand produce to the world, and also give our Kiwi customers a taste of home from the moment they are welcomed onboard.

“Through customer research, we found our premium customers wanted more choice in the air, so we’ve added a build your own component to the main meal service.

“Customers can add the likes of seared Salmon from Marlborough, free-range chicken from Waikato or bacon for greater protein, or streamed green vegetables or fresh, crisp salads picked straight from orchards and fields in Gisborne, Waikato or the Manawatū.”

Air New Zealand will be refreshing its premium economy and economy offering at the same time.

The airline will also be rolling out new sustainable serviceware in all cabins, helping to reduce weight and single-use plastic on the aircraft.

The new serviceware in the premium cabins can reduce weight on an aircraft by around 20 per cent, and switching to a more sustainable serviceware option in the economy cabin could also remove some 28 million single-use plastic dishes and knives, forks and spoons from inflight every year.

In other sustainability news, the airline has appointed Kiri Hannifin to the newly created role of chief sustainability officer role, an executive position recognising the importance of sustainability across all aspects of the company’s operation.

Hannifin is the director of corporate affairs, quality, health & safety and sustainability at countdown. Since 2017 she has spearheaded the company’s programme to reduce emissions, managed the health, safety and wellbeing of the company’s 21,000 staff and led its internal and external stakeholder management activity.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said sustainability is the biggest issue facing the airline’s future and requires increased focus from a leader who will be a passionate public advocate for the changes all stakeholders need to make to deliver real change.

“As we rebuild Air New Zealand, we need to advance the extensive work already undertaken to become a truly sustainable airline. Hannifin’s experience in driving change across the supply chain, engaging customers via tangible measures such as removing plastic bags from stores and diverting food waste from landfill will help our efforts move to a new level,” said Foran.

Hannifin will join Air New Zealand on 5 December. She holds an LLB and BA in Political Science from Canterbury University.



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