Malaysia Airlines to offer F&B alternatives amid catering fiasco

Ravin Palanisamy

Malaysia Airlines Bhd will be offering alternative food and beverages options while actively exploring a new service provider. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 3, 2023.

MALAYSIA Airlines Bhd (MAB) will be offering alternative food and beverages options while actively exploring a new service provider, after it ended a long-standing partnership with its anchor caterer, Brahim’s Food Services (BFS), earlier this week. 

Among them, the national flag carrier said it will allow passengers to bring their own meals on selected routes as it transitions to a new catering service. 

“Basically, affected passengers will receive revised meal offerings but at the same time, if passengers want, they can bring their own food onboard, and this is subject to liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) requirements,” it said. 

“LAGs must not exceed 100ml per the requirements for international passengers departing from or transiting at international airports in Malaysia.

“Self-heating meals and non-halal meals are strictly prohibited,” MAB said in an email to its ticket holders.

On Wednesday, the Malaysian Aviation Group (MAG) announced that its catering deal with BFS on selected domestic and international routes would be discontinued on August 31.

MAG, the parent company of MAB, said the partnership was ending two months after a formal discontinuation notice was given on June 30. 

In that time, MAG said it would activate its business continuity plan for in-flight meal services on selected routes under MAB, effective Friday. 

However, MAB faced a setback on the first day of its business continuity plan, when it admitted that almost 20% of flights did not take off on time due to new catering arrangement snafu. 

Besides allowing passengers to bring their own meals, MAB said affected passengers will receive revised meal offerings and pre-packed meals – depending on the class of travel and flight duration.

“Passengers who are affected by the change in meal offerings will be notified via email and SMS. We urge you to update your contact details via ‘My Booking’ on our website to ensure that you receive timely updates from us,” it said on the company’s website in the FAQ section.

MAB said pre-packed meals are primarily offered for shorter routes, consisting of ambient components such as bakery items, sweets, biscuit and drinks – depending on travel class and flight duration.

For longer flights, it said the airline will offer a revised meal structure that has been carefully designed to ensure passengers’ nourishment during the journey.

In the meantime, it also said all special meals, Chef-on-Call, meal upgrade, and pre-booked meals will be unavailable during this time on the affected routes.

MAB said it was focused and excited to introduce new in-flight meals in the upcoming months as it onboards additional partners to further enhance its onboard offerings. 

“Please be rest assured that our dedicated team is committed to upholding the highest level of quality for the in-flight meals we provide,” it said. 

MAB also said no compensation will be offered to customers for this inconvenience. – September 3, 2023.

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