The mile pie club! Greggs battles it out with Waitrose to supply British Airways’ in-flight meals after the airline’s deal with Marks & Spencer ended
- BA will not move to free meals on flights to try to distance itself from other firms
- It is expected to replace M&S with a ‘great British brand’ like Waitrose or Greggs
- BA started selling M&S food in 2016 after passengers slammed its in-flight meals
- It comes as BA’s parent company cut flights by 70 per cent compared to last year
Greggs is in a battle with Waitrose to supply British Airways‘ in-flight meals after the airline’s deal with Marks & Spencer ended.
Sources said the airline will not move to free food on short flights in a bid to distance itself from less exclusive carriers.
But it is expected to turn to Waitrose or Greggs as it searches for another ‘great British brand’ to replace M&S.
Greggs is in a battle with Waitrose to supply British Airways’ in-flight meals after the airline’s deal with Marks & Spencer ended (file photo)
Sources said the airline will not move to free food on short flights in a bid to distance itself from less exclusive carriers (file photo)
A source told the Sun: ‘BA pushed the boat out to get M&S on board, so it’s a big surprise to see them jettison the firm. And possibly a big risk.’
The firm started selling M&S food in 2017 after passengers slammed its in-flight meals, but the contract came to an end this year as planned.
It also axed free food in economy class on shorter journeys, opting to flog salads and sandwiches instead.
Alex Cruz, who stepped down as BA chief earlier this month, claimed the move ‘set a new standard in short-haul catering’.
A BA spokesman said: ‘We’re off on a new flight path.
‘We look forward to announcing our exciting new buy-on-board proposition with a great British brand that customers have told us they love.’
An M&S spokesman added: ‘We are proud to have been a supplier to BA’s short-haul food service since 2017.
‘Our partnership was always due to end this year and we have agreed not to renew. M&S Food continues to focus on developing its wider franchise partnerships.’
BA is expected to turn to Waitrose or Greggs as it searches for another ‘great British brand’ to replace M&S (file photo)
Meanwhile BA parent company IAG slashed flights by 70 per cent compared to last year after losing £1.2billion in three months.
The group expects its flight capacity from October to December to be no more than 30 per cent – down from previous guidance – of what it was over the same period in 2019.
IAG said the reduction is due to recent bookings being lower than expected due to ‘additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of Covid-19 infections’.
These include an increase in local lockdowns and the extension of quarantine requirements for travellers visiting a rising number of countries.
A source said: ‘BA pushed the boat out to get M&S on board, so it’s a big surprise to see them jettison the firm. And possibly a big risk’
It comes as initiatives to reduce quarantine periods and boost customer confidence to book and travel – such as pre-departure testing and air corridors – have ‘not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated’, IAG said.
The group ‘no longer expects to breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities’ between October and December.
Announcing its preliminary financial results for July-September, total revenue declined by 83 per cent year on year to £1.1billion.
The loss before exceptional items of £1.2billion between July and September is compared with a £1.3billion profit during the same period last year.
Flight capacity was down 78.6 per cent over the quarter, with passenger demand decreasing by 88.0 per cent.
The average number of seats filled on flights was 48.9 per cent, down 38.8 percentage points.