Virgin Australia announces mammoth overhaul to in-flight dining

Virgin Australia has announced one of its biggest menu updates to date, with the airline introducing a range of new dishes just in time for winter.

The airline on Tuesday unveiled new offerings across all cabin classes – including a revamped business class menu and 12 additions to the inflight menu available for purchase in economy class, one of its biggest menu investments in five years.

Some highlights in business class include: corn fritters with goat cheese and peppers; cheese and chives with bacon, scrambled eggs and beans; pumpkin gnocchi, creamy pesto with optional chorizo, soba noodle salad with chicken and teriyaki dressing, and mango coconut cake and white chocolate macadamia cake for those with a sweet tooth.

In Economy Class, in addition to complimentary inflight tea, coffee and water service, guests can now purchase an expanded range of snacks and meals on board.

The airline has revamped its most popular snack – crackers and cheese – by introducing handmade mature cheese and crackers, and Virgin Australia reveals that more than 50,000 packs of the snacks are sold each month.

Larger items available for purchase include ham and cheese sourdough toasties, chicken and sun-dried tomato pesto wraps, and chicken sourdough salad sandwiches.

Economy Class customers on long-haul routes to and from Perth or on selected international flights will also be able to enjoy hot meals including pesto pasta and Penang chicken curry prepared by The St. Food Co.

Paul Jones, Virgin Australia’s chief customer and digital officer, said the changes would give flyers more choice on board.

“We are proud to continue to develop our food and beverage offering and today’s announcement represents one of the biggest investments in our in-flight menu in five years, a testament to our focus on making the Virgin Australia journey wonderful,” said Mr Jones.

“We’ve also made it easier than ever for guests to pay for food and beverage in-flight while seated in Economy, thanks to the introduction of digital wallets and Apple Pay, which aligns with the world’s changing banking needs and our customers’ desire to pay with technology smartphone.

“Today’s announcement follows recent investments in the customer experience, including the introduction of our industry-first baggage tracking technology, a $110 million upgrade of our entire fleet and more.”

The announcement comes just weeks after rival airline Qantas announced changes to its economy in-flight menu, ditching lighter snacks to make way for hotter food.

In May, the airline revealed it will now have gourmet brekkie burgers to Mediterranean pizza and cauliflower bites after updating its menu on domestic flights of more than two hours.

New menu items will be introduced in the coming weeks and will feature premium local ingredients from Australian producers.

Other products include Yummy Karma tomato-flavored scrambled egg brioche, Handmade Food Co. ciabatta wrap. with Portuguese chicken and mango lime jam, Sunny Queen carrot and pumpkin fritters and Simmone Logue artisan beef sausage rolls.

However, this means that popular lighter snacks such as cheese and crackers and sweet slices will no longer be served, replaced by hot options.

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