In Flight Chefs Set To Return To Turkish Airlines Flights Over 8 Hours

Long-haul business class travelers with Turkish Airlines can once more enjoy the carrier’s award-winning Flying Chef service. Since May 1st, the characteristic white hats can again be seen whipping up premium onboard meals on flights lasting longer than eight hours.

Turkish Airlines 777
Turkish Airlines’ long-haul business class passengers can soon enjoy the carrier’s Flying Chef service again. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

For those who have been able to travel at all over the past twelve months, flying has been a very different experience. Social distancing at airports, face masks, and a negative test certificate that is almost as indispensable as your passport have all become part and parcel of air travel. Onboard catering and meal services have mostly shrunk to a shadow of their usual self. However, more and more in-flight dining options are making their way back to a tray table near you.

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Distinguishing aspect of the airline

Turkish Airlines reinstated their onboard dining and hot meal service just last month. At the beginning of May, it took a step further towards the ways of old (meaning pre-pandemic) and brought back its Flying Chefs. The high-flying culinary service is available to business class travelers on flights lasting longer than eight hours.

“Throughout the past year, we’ve had to make many adjustments to our product and service offerings to protect the health and safety of our passengers and employees. Our award-winning dining service and Flying Chefs program is a distinguishing aspect of the airline, and we are happy to reintroduce this to our worldwide guests to make the flight experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible,” Ilker Ayci, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board, said in a statement.

Turkish Airline Flying Chef
The Flying Chefs are responsible for preparing and presenting food in business class on flights over eight hours. Photo: Getty Images

A step up from cold boxes and no coffee

Turkish Airlines, which recently became the fourth airline in the world on the COVID-19 safety ranking, has repeatedly won acclaim for its in-flight meal service. In 2019, it was ranked number five in the world by the Skytrax World Airline Awards for business class onboard catering.

The carrier first resumed hot meal service provided by DO & CO on flights over two hours and 15 minutes at the beginning of last month. During its most severe in-flight dining cutbacks, business class meals were served cold in prepackaged boxes, and there was no coffee or tea onboard.

In Flight Chefs Set To Return To Turkish Airlines Flights Over 8 Hours
The airline brought back hot food to flights early last month. Photo: Turkish Airlines

Regular IST lounge service coming back

Regular food and beverage offerings at the airline’s Istanbul Airport lounge will also be returning shortly. Opened in 2018, Istanbul’s new airport has hardly seen the number of passengers predicted for its first two years. However, it could very well still reach a potential target of accommodating 200 million passengers a year by the mid-2020s.

Have you had your meal prepared by a Turkish Airlines Flying Chef? What was your experience like? Which airline has, in your opinion, the best business class catering? Leave a comment below and let us know.