Wow: Air Canada Announces New Chef-Curated Long-Haul Economy Meals

In a rare bit of good news for airline passengers, Air Canada is not only restoring its in-flight meal service, but it is also upgrading that service. In a big win, long-haul economy and premium economy passengers will be able to enjoy meals designed by Montreal-based Chef Jérôme Ferrer. The airline says they will be the first North American airline to offer chef-designed meals for economy class passengers.

Air Canada is calling in a renowned chef to upgrade long-haul economy class meals. Photo: Air Canada News Room

“It is an honor for us to partner with the internationally renowned and talented Chef Jérôme Ferrer,” says Andrew Yiu, a Vice-President at Air Canada.

“We are the first North American airline to partner with a celebrated chef to curate complimentary meals in economy class, affirming our ongoing commitment to customer service excellence and continuous investment in all of our products and services.”

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From the end of July, the upgraded economy and premium economy class meals will be available on Air Canada long-haul services to Asia, Europe, South America, and Europe.

Unlucky for North America, good news for everyone else

Alas for North Americans, flights within that continent won’t make the cut. Air Canada says limited food options will be available for economy class passengers on North American flights over two hours on a pre-order basis.

This sounds like a good excuse to hop up to Montreal and take a long-haul flight. It also signifies a return to business as usual after Air Canada suspended most of its in-flight service earlier this year.

Jérôme Ferrer is joining a panel of highly regarded Canadian chefs who help put together Air Canada’s inflight menu. That panel includes David Hawksworth, Antonio Park, and Vikram Vij.

“As an international chef, it’s a great privilege to become a culinary ambassador and share my cuisine with Air Canada’s customers, but also to be part of their journey. I can’t wait to share my savoir-faire, my creativity, and transport you on my culinary odyssey,” says Jérôme Ferrer.

Jérôme Ferrer is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France and holds the title of Maître Cuisinier de France. He is the brains behind Jérôme Ferrer par Europea, one of Montreal’s best restaurants.

Will Air Canada’s dark chocolate fondant be making an appearance on economy class menus? Photo: Air Canada News Room

Air Canada calls its panel of chefs back to the flight kitchen

While Ferrer will help fill the bellies of passengers in premium economy and economy class on long-haul flights, the other chefs on Air Canada’s panel will look after passengers in other classes, or those heading to specific destinations.

David Hawksworth will be responsible for signature class meals on flights to Europe and Israel. He will also look after Australia bound flights when they resume.

Antonio Park will handle signature class meals on flights to Asia and South America when they restart. Chef Park will also look after signature and business class passengers on flights within North America. Finally, Vikram Vij will focus on flights to India once those flights resume.

Good food makes long-haul economy class flying a much nicer experience. Photo: Air Canada News Room

Air Canda shows their economy class passengers some love

However, before you get too excited, not all traces of the pared-back in-flight service will go. Meals will continue to be served in what Air Canada calls a “custom paper box” to minimize social interaction between crew and passengers. On the plus side, the airline will be offering an expanded selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

Custom paper boxes notwithstanding, kudos to Air Canada for giving economy class passengers some love.

The airline advises details of their menus and what flights they will be available on will be on Air Canada’s website by the end of July.