In-Flight Catering Service Market

Global In-Flight Catering Service Market Research Report: By Aircraft Class (Economy Class, Business Class, and First Class), By Flight Type (Full-Service Carrier and Low Cost Carrier), By Food Type (Meals, Bakery & Confectionery, Beverages, and Others), and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World) Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Analysis, Competitor Analysis and Forecast 2024-2032.

Automobile & Transportation | December 2023 | Report ID: EMR00356 | Pages: 301

The global in-flight catering service market was valued at USD 16.85 billion in 2023 and is estimated to reach approximately USD 28.95 billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2024 to 2032.


By providing travelers with a wide range of convenient options and culinary treats, the in-flight catering service market is essential to improving the experience of flying. In order to guarantee that travelers have delicious meals throughout their travels, this industry provides a wide range of services, from designing custom menus to accommodating different dietary needs. In-flight caterers work collaboratively with airlines, prioritizing quality, safety, and innovation in their menu selections to cater to individual interests and enhance the overall travel experience. With the introduction of trends like luxury dining experiences, sustainable sourcing, and increased focus on health-conscious offerings, this sector has seen substantial evolution over time. Technological developments that expedite ordering procedures and boost operational effectiveness are another factor propelling the sector's expansion. The market for in-flight catering services is still a key factor in determining consumer loyalty and happiness in the aviation sector, even as air travel continues to grow internationally.





Report Attribute


Estimated Market Value (2023)

16.85 Bn

Projected Market Value (2032)

28.95 Bn

Base Year


Forecast Years

2024 - 2032

Scope of the Report

Historical and Forecast Trends, Industry Drivers and Constraints, Historical and Forecast Market Analysis by Segment- By Aircraft Class, By Flight Type, By Food Type, & Region

Segments Covered

By Aircraft Class, By Flight Type, By Food Type & Region

Forecast Units

Value (USD Billion or Million), and Volume (Units)

Quantitative Units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2024 to 2032

Regions Covered

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa, and the Rest of World

Countries Covered

U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, GCC Countries, and South Africa, among others

Report Coverage

Market growth drivers, restraints, opportunities, Porter’s five forces analysis, PEST analysis, value chain analysis, regulatory landscape, market attractiveness analysis by segments and region, company market share analysis, and COVID-19 impact analysis.

Delivery Format

Delivered as an attached PDF and Excel through email, according to the purchase option.


Global In-Flight Catering Service Market Dynamics

Menu designs and offers are heavily influenced by shifting passenger tastes and dietary needs. In order to provide a wide range of options, caterers constantly adjust to accommodate a variety of tastes, allergies, and cultural preferences. This market is also significantly impacted by safety regulations and regulatory norms. Strict criteria for food handling, storage, and transportation must be followed in order to comply with health and safety laws, which has an impact on operating operations and expenses. Additionally, airlines' judgments on catering budgets and service levels are influenced by shifting fuel prices and economic conditions, which means there's always a need for affordable alternatives that don't sacrifice quality. Innovations in technology are essential because they enable effective ordering processes, inventory control, and customized services. Caterers are using technology more and more to improve customer experience and optimize operations. Global occurrences like pandemics or shifts in geopolitics can have a substantial impact on the industry and force modifications to safety procedures and catering methods. One important factor that has emerged is sustainability. In accordance with customers' and airlines' increased environmental concern, the industry is seeing a transition towards eco-friendly practices, such as using more sustainable packaging options, minimizing food waste, and obtaining local foods. In order to survive in the constantly changing aviation industry, in-flight catering services must continue to adjust to these dynamic elements.


Global In-Flight Catering Service Market Drivers

  • Evolving Passenger Preferences

The need for customized, diversified culinary experiences is growing as tourists' preferences and dietary needs become more and more varied. This growth involves more than just standard meal selections; it also includes ethnic preferences, specialized diets, and the desire for better, healthier options. Travelers today look for experiences that align with their lifestyles, whether that means eating meals that are organic, gluten-free, vegan, or supplied responsibly. Furthermore, there's a growing interest in regional cuisines, which reflects travelers' quest for authenticity and distinctiveness when flying. This force forces in-flight food companies to continuously update their menus and include inventive selections that suit these changing tastes. Providing travelers with the option to pre-select meals or customize their dining experience, customization becomes essential. In addition to improving customer pleasure, meeting these needs helps airlines and caterers build favorable brand associations and foster customer loyalty. Because of this, the industry is driven to innovate and push the envelope in order to meet and surpass passenger expectations in the always changing world of in-flight eating.

  • Technology Integration

 Technological developments have brought about a range of benefits, from improving operating efficiency to simplifying ordering procedures. In order to enable pre-ordering meals and provide customers the opportunity to customize their dining experiences prior to boarding, caterers today make use of advanced technologies and software. These platforms allow caterers to efficiently anticipate and satisfy certain dietary needs and preferences in addition to providing ease. Technology has also revolutionized inventory management by maximizing stock levels and reducing waste. Automated systems monitor consumption trends, improving forecasting and minimizing shortages or overstocking. These developments also help with logistics, guaranteeing prompt delivery of fresh, premium ingredients to different airport sites, thereby streamlining the supply chain. Additionally, the standard and quality of meals served aboard airplanes have increased because to advancements in culinary equipment and food preparation technology. Technology improves the dining experience overall, from sophisticated cooking methods to specialized packaging solutions that preserve food quality. This force forces the sector to continuously develop, using new technology to satisfy the need for effectiveness, personalization, and excellence, eventually raising the bar for in-flight catering services.



  • Rising Operational Costs

Increased labor costs, strict adherence to safety rules, and rising food prices are some of the elements that add up to the total operational overhead. Operating expenses are significantly increased by the requirement to follow strict health and safety regulations, which necessitates large investments in infrastructure, compliance procedures, and training. Moreover, changes in fuel prices have a direct bearing on the cost of transportation for obtaining and delivering food goods across different airport locations, which introduces yet another degree of unpredictability to expenditures. Airlines frequently cut their budgets in response to economic uncertainty and competitive demands in the aviation business. This puts more pressure on catering services to maintain quality while working within limited financial constraints. In addition, the need for specialized facilities and equipment for catering, in addition to upholding strict food safety regulations, increases operating costs.

  • Limited Onboard Space and Weight Constraints

There is not much room in an aircraft cabin for storing or preparing food because the area is carefully designed for the comfort and safety of passengers. The range and number of meals that can be brought on board are directly impacted by this restriction. The quantity of food and catering supplies that may be loaded into an airplane is further limited by the stringent weight restrictions put in place by airlines for the purposes of fuel economy and flight balance. These limitations make menu planning difficult and frequently force caterers to provide light, portable meal options that don't sacrifice flavor or nutrition. In order to ensure that food stays fresh and aesthetically pleasing, packaging needs to be lightweight and space-efficient.  The catering process is further complicated by the requirement to balance a variety of menu options within these constraints while accommodating different dietary requirements and preferences. In-flight cuisine providers must use creativity and careful planning to manage these weight and space restrictions.



  • Personalization and Customization

The growing need for customized experiences has made it possible for caterers to provide custom dining alternatives that satisfy a range of dietary needs, cultural preferences, and personal preferences. Caterers can offer tourists bespoke menus that match their dietary requirements, gastronomic tastes, or even health-conscious choices by utilizing data analytics and passenger profiles. This is a chance to personalize not just the menu but the whole dining experience, from food presentation to service. In order to improve the entire experience for passengers, caterers can offer customized presentation styles or packaging. Incorporating technology also gives passengers the option to pre-order meals and receive personalized recommendations through websites or mobile apps, which promotes control and satisfaction. In addition to increasing client happiness and loyalty, in-flight catering services can stand out in a crowded market by leveraging this trend toward customization.

  • Growing Health and Wellness Trends

Travelers are looking for wholesome, fresh, and nutritious meal options on flights as they place a greater focus on their health. This change in customer preferences presents a chance for caterers to refresh their menus with a variety of health-conscious selections, such as organic, low-sodium, gluten-free, or plant-based options. By following these trends, caterers can position themselves as advocates of healthy living while still satisfying passenger preferences. The attraction of meals served in airplanes can be greatly increased by incorporating sustainably and regionally sourced ingredients and placing an emphasis on nutritional content. Furthermore, giving clear information about the nutritional value and components gives passengers the power to make educated decisions, which improves their opinion of the catering service. By utilizing these health and wellness trends, caterers may set themselves apart from the competition and appeal to a growing number of tourists who are mindful of their eating habits. Accepting this chance will allow catering businesses to improve in-flight food while also meeting changing consumer demands for more conscientious, healthier travel meals.


Segment Overview

By Aircraft Class

Based on aircraft class, the global in-flight catering service market is divided into economy class, business class, and first class. The economy class category dominates the market with the largest revenue share in 2023. Travelers in economy class make up the majority of passengers on airlines. Catering for this group frequently concentrates on offering reasonably priced but filling meal alternatives. These meals are typically set in advance with the intention of satisfying a wide variety of dietary needs and tastes. Simple but healthful meals are typically given in economy class options; these are frequently packaged for efficiency. The focus is on offering sufficient nutrition throughout the flight, with dishes that are simple to prepare and eat in a small area. Travelers looking for a higher degree of comfort and service can find it in business class. Compared to economy class, in-flight catering for this group frequently offers a more upscale meal experience. The menus are longer and feature a variety of gourmet dishes made with better ingredients. These meals, which are tailored to the preferences of business travelers, may feature a range of cuisines and are frequently individualized.  When it comes to flying, first class is the height of exclusivity and luxury. This market's catering emphasizes unmatched luxury and sophistication. Meals are carefully prepared using only the best ingredients and a wide variety of gourmet meals. First class travelers frequently receive pre-flight access to private dining salons, and onboard service may be akin to that of a fine dining establishment. Personalized service, à la carte dining options, custom menus, and wine pairings selected by sommeliers define the dining experience.


By Flight Type

Based on the flight type, the global in-flight catering service market is categorized into full service carrier and low cost carrier. The full service carrier category leads the global in-flight catering service market with the largest revenue share in 2023. Extensive in-flight dining is among the many comforts and services provided by full-service carriers. Higher passenger comfort is a top priority for FSCs, and they frequently provide a wider variety of food and drinks. Free meals and drinks are usually provided for FSCs while they are in flight, and a variety of alternatives are available to suit different dietary requirements and tastes. The menus are sometimes more extensive and feature several courses, giving customers a dining experience similar to that of a restaurant. Low-cost carriers prioritize cost effectiveness and provide basic services, according to a more frugal business model. For low-cost carriers (LCCs), in-flight catering is typically limited or available as an add-on. Compared to FSCs, the menu options on LCCs are typically simpler and offer fewer alternatives. Meals are frequently offered for purchase à la carte.


By Food Type

Based on food type, the global in-flight catering service market is segmented into meals, bakery & confectionery, beverages, and others. The meals segment dominates the in-flight catering service market. Meals, which include a variety of foods given to passengers, make up a sizeable amount of in-flight catering services. These meals can be served for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks, depending on the length of the journey and the time of day. Meals are frequently created to satisfy a range of dietary requirements and preferences, including halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. The category of bakery and confectionery includes a variety of baked products, pastries, sweets, and confections that are served on airplanes. This offers a variety of decadent and snack alternatives to passengers and includes bread rolls, croissants, cakes, cookies, and chocolates. Drinks are still another crucial aspect of in-flight catering services, and they consist of the assortment of drinks that are provided to passengers. In addition to cold drinks like water, juices, sodas, and wine, beer, and spirits, this category also comprises hot drinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.


Global In-Fight Catering Service Market Overview by Region

The global in-flight catering service market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Asia-Pacific emerged as the leading region, capturing the largest market share in 2023. The growing demand for in-flight food services has been largely attributed to the quick rise in air travel and the developing aviation sector throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The region's population is becoming more inclined to travel by air, has a growing middle class, and rising disposable incomes are driving this rise. Furthermore, the Asia-Pacific market's diversity and vibrancy offer a wide range of clients with unique culinary tastes. In order to accommodate a broad range of tastes, dietary needs, and cultural preferences, airlines operating in this region must provide a rich and varied array of catering services. In September 2022, To become the largest air cargo handler, Singapore's SATS plans to purchase worldwide flight services for a sum of $1.1 billion. WFS becomes a fully-owned subsidiary of SATS as a result of the agreement.

Furthermore, the region's concentration on innovation and technical breakthroughs has led to improvements in in-flight catering, wherein better ordering systems, personalized experiences, and expanded menu options are becoming increasingly important. The area is well known for improving the in-flight dining experience, and this is partly due to partnerships with well-known chefs, the implementation of environmentally responsible procedures, and focus on high-end service options.





Global In-Fight Catering Service Market Competitive Landscape

In the global in-flight catering service market, a few major players exert significant market dominance and have established a strong regional presence. These leading companies remain committed to continuous research and development endeavors and actively engage in strategic growth initiatives, including product development, launches, joint ventures, and partnerships. By pursuing these strategies, these companies aim to strengthen their market position, expand their customer base, and capture a substantial share of the market.

Some of the prominent players in the global in-flight catering service market include,

  • ANA Catering Services Co. Ltd.
  • DO & CO.
  • Emirates Flight Catering
  • Flying Food Group, LLC
  • Gate Group (Gate gourmet)
  • LSG Lufthansa Service Holdings AG
  • Newrest International Group
  • SATS Ltd.
  • Servair SA, and various others.


Global In-Fight Catering Service Market Recent Developments

  • In June 2023, Emirates Flight Catering and Gulf Marketing Group, a health and wellness company, teamed together to provide a distinctive range of grab-and-go meals. The meals are made with premium, freshly-sourced ingredients that are packaged in recyclables. There are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu to accommodate different dietary requirements.
  • In June 2023, In Singapore, Dnata, a supplier of airline and travel services, extended its long-standing cooperation with SWISS and Lufthansa. Under the terms of the new agreement, Dnata will keep offering the two airlines first-rate in-flight culinary services out of its cutting-edge Changi Airport facility.
  • In January 2023, The acquisition of EIH Flight Services Ltd. in Mauritius has been announced by Newrest, a provider of flight catering services. Through the acquisition, Newrest will be able to better service its clients in Mauritius' expanding tourism industry and increase its footprint in Africa and the Indian Ocean region.


Scope of the Global In-Fight Catering Service Market Report

In-Fight Catering Service Market Report Segmentation



By Aircraft Class

  • Economy Class
  • Business Class
  • First Class

By Flight Type

  • Full Service Carrier
  • Low Cost Carrier


By Food Type

  • Meals
  • Bakery & Confectionery
  • Beverages
  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (USA, and Canada)
  • Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America)
  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Customization Scope

  • Available upon request


  • Available upon request


Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are summarized in 5 stages. They are as mentioned below:

  • Global In-Fight Catering Service Market Size and Forecast: To identify and estimate the market size for the global in-flight catering service market segmented by aircraft class, by flight type, by food type, region and by value (in U.S. dollars). Also, to understand the consumption/ demand created by consumers of in-flight catering service between 2019 and 2032.
  • Market Landscape and Trends: To identify and infer the drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges for the global in-flight catering service market
  • Market Influencing Factors: To find out the factors which are affecting the sales of in-flight catering service among consumers
  • Impact of COVID-19: To identify and understand the various factors involved in the global in-flight catering service market affected by the pandemic
  • Company Profiling:  To provide a detailed insight into the major companies operating in the market. The profiling will include the financial health of the company's past 2-3 years with segmental and regional revenue breakup, product offering, recent developments, SWOT analysis, and key strategies.

Intended Audience

  • Airlines and Aviation Companies
  • Catering Service Providers
  • Food and Beverage Suppliers
  • Travel Industry Professionals
  • Investors and Trade Experts

Research Methodology

Our research methodology has always been the key differentiating reason which sets us apart in comparison from the competing organizations in the industry. Our organization believes in consistency along with quality and establishing a new level with every new report we generate; our methods are acclaimed and the data/information inside the report is coveted. Our research methodology involves a combination of primary and secondary research methods. Data procurement is one of the most extensive stages in our research process. Our organization helps in assisting the clients to find the opportunities by examining the market across the globe coupled with providing economic statistics for each and every region.  The reports generated and published are based on primary & secondary research. In secondary research, we gather data for global Market through white papers, case studies, blogs, reference customers, news, articles, press releases, white papers, and research studies. We also have our paid data applications which includes hoovers, Bloomberg business week, Avention, and others.

Data Collection

Data collection is the process of gathering, measuring, and analyzing accurate and relevant data from a variety of sources to analyze market and forecast trends. Raw market data is obtained on a broad front. Data is continuously extracted and filtered to ensure only validated and authenticated sources are considered. Data is mined from a varied host of sources including secondary and primary sources.

Primary Research

After the secondary research process, we initiate the primary research phase in which we interact with companies operating within the market space. We interact with related industries to understand the factors that can drive or hamper a market. Exhaustive primary interviews are conducted. Various sources from both the supply and demand sides are interviewed to obtain qualitative and quantitative information for a report which includes suppliers, product providers, domain experts, CEOs, vice presidents, marketing & sales directors, Type & innovation directors, and related key executives from various key companies to ensure a holistic and unbiased picture of the market. 

Secondary Research

A secondary research process is conducted to identify and collect information useful for the extensive, technical, market-oriented, and comprehensive study of the market. Secondary sources include published market studies, competitive information, white papers, analyst reports, government agencies, industry and trade associations, media sources, chambers of commerce, newsletters, trade publications, magazines, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Factiva, D&B, annual reports, company house documents, investor presentations, articles, journals, blogs, and SEC filings of companies, newspapers, and so on. We have assigned weights to these parameters and quantified their market impacts using the weighted average analysis to derive the expected market growth rate.

Top-Down Approach & Bottom-Up Approach

In the top – down approach, the Global Batteries for Solar Energy Storage Market was further divided into various segments on the basis of the percentage share of each segment. This approach helped in arriving at the market size of each segment globally. The segments market size was further broken down in the regional market size of each segment and sub-segments. The sub-segments were further broken down to country level market. The market size arrived using this approach was then crosschecked with the market size arrived by using bottom-up approach.

In the bottom-up approach, we arrived at the country market size by identifying the revenues and market shares of the key market players. The country market sizes then were added up to arrive at regional market size of the decorated apparel, which eventually added up to arrive at global market size.

This is one of the most reliable methods as the information is directly obtained from the key players in the market and is based on the primary interviews from the key opinion leaders associated with the firms considered in the research. Furthermore, the data obtained from the company sources and the primary respondents was validated through secondary sources including government publications and Bloomberg.

Market Analysis & size Estimation

Post the data mining stage, we gather our findings and analyze them, filtering out relevant insights. These are evaluated across research teams and industry experts. All this data is collected and evaluated by our analysts. The key players in the industry or markets are identified through extensive primary and secondary research. All percentage share splits, and breakdowns have been determined using secondary sources and verified through primary sources. The market size, in terms of value and volume, is determined through primary and secondary research processes, and forecasting models including the time series model, econometric model, judgmental forecasting model, the Delphi method, among Flywheel Energy Storage. Gathered information for market analysis, competitive landscape, growth trends, product development, and pricing trends is fed into the model and analyzed simultaneously.

Quality Checking & Final Review

The analysis done by the research team is further reviewed to check for the accuracy of the data provided to ensure the clients’ requirements. This approach provides essential checks and balances which facilitate the production of quality data. This Type of revision was done in two phases for the authenticity of the data and negligible errors in the report. After quality checking, the report is reviewed to look after the presentation, Type and to recheck if all the requirements of the clients were addressed.

Frequently Asked Questions

On the basis of Geography, The in-flight catering service market is classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the world
According to in-flight catering service market research, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~6.2% over the coming years.
Europe is expected to register the highest CAGR during 2024 - 2032.
Asia-Pacific held the largest share in 2023.
The major players operating in the global in-flight catering service market include ANA Catering Services Co. Ltd.; DNATA; DO & CO.; Emirates Flight Catering; Flying Food Group, LLC; Gate Group (Gate gourmet); LSG Lufthansa Service Holdings AG; Newrest International Group; SATS Ltd.; Servair SA, and various others.

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