Thai Airways To Begin Selling Plane Food In Supermarkets

Thai Airways will begin selling some of its plane meals in supermarkets across Thailand. Meals will be available after April 15th and feature some of Thai’s signature dishes served onboard. The airline will partner with chains like 7-Eleven to sell hard-to-find meals and possibly even export some unique products in the future. Let’s find out more.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 about to complete a domestic
Thai Airways has been finding new sources of revenue as it reels from bankruptcy and negligible demand. Photo: Getty Images

Plane food

According to Coconuts Bangkok, Thai Airways has become the latest airline to jump on the trend of selling its surplus flight meals. The airline plans to begin selling meals from April 15th, right after the Thai holiday of Songkran. Plane food will be available in supermarkets and shops across the country for anyone reminiscing about traveling.

Dishes on offer will include halal chicken biryani and nam phrik long ruea (a shrimp chili paste with sweet pork and crispy-fluffy fish), according to Thai Airways catering head Warangkana Luerotewong. The decision to sell food comes as the airline sees only a fraction of passengers traveling, leaving thousands of surplus meals to deal with.

Thai Airways meal
Passengers missing Thai’s catering are in luck this month. Photo: Karl Baron via Flickr

To boost its efforts, Thai will sell difficult-to-find meals at 7-Eleven stores exclusively across the country. In addition to just plane food, the airline plans to sell tea seed oil salad dressing in major supermarkets and possibly even export it in the future!

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New revenue sources

While Thai Airways is not the first to sell its extra plane food, the carrier has been trying to find new revenue streams amid the pandemic. In September, the airline opened its first restaurant, located in the Thai Airways headquarters in Bangkok. The restaurant itself is quite impressive, complete with old aircraft seats and selling a handful of popular dishes.

Thai Airways restaurant
The restaurant provides revenue and keeps the airline’s catering staff in work through the crisis. Photo: Getty Images

However, the airline has gone much further than just selling food. In the last year, it has sold everything from cutlery to premium alcohol to office spaces at its headquarters. Aviation enthusiasts can also try out Thai’s A380 simulator for just $540, a rare opportunity. All of these sales are to shore up revenue and keep the cash-strapped airline flying through the crisis.

Rescue plan

Thailand was one of many countries to completely close its border to tourists early in the pandemic. While the move saved it from a large outbreak of cases (for most of the year), it also severely hurt the country’s tourism-reliant economy. Thai Airways is one of the most affected by the pandemic, losing $926 million in the first half of 2020 alone.

With the carrier defaulting on its financial obligations, it has had no choice but to turn to the government for aid. After months of negotiations, the carrier has submitted its rehabilitation plan to the government. The plan will see Thai reduce its workforce by half in the next four years and plans to sell dozens of aircraft.

A Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 about to land at Phuket
Thai Airways is trying to sell its older aircraft under the restructuring plan. Photo: Getty Images

However, there could be light at the end of the tunnel. With vaccines being rolled out globally, Thailand plans to partially reopen its border to vaccinated tourists later this year. The pilot project will see Phuket open to vaccinated tourists in July, boosting Thai’s passenger numbers.

Would you buy plane food from the local supermarket? Let us know in the comments below!