Dry Facts for Airlines
The Extremely Dry Cabin Air is a diminishing factor for airlines with full-service ambition. The dry air has always been a statutory condition forcing airlines to select, elaborate and innovate to create tasty dishes and to select wines and beverages that suffer less in-the-sky is a not an easy task.
Many airlines are aware of the dry air setting the border conditions for the on-board-dining. Considered to be a law of nature, something to accept, many have invested and conducted studies to increase their know-how and learn how to adapt and innovate to minimize the sacrifices. For example, Singapore Airlines has built its own low pressure test kitchen and Lufthansa Sky Chefs did extensive low pressure chamber tests in 2010. And British Airways launched “height cuisine” in 2011 utilizing umami-rich ingredients.
The perception for flavors such as lemon grass, cardamom, curry and acidity are higher in the sky. And the opposite goes for sugar and salt being lower.
The airlines Old-School Solution would be adding salt and sugar. The more innovative approach in a pre-humidification cabin is like British Airways adding umami-rich food. But none is without controversy.
The challenge is to select wines with reduced acidity, less tannin and/or more residual sugar and/or more alcohol. Most airlines cooperate with wine sommeliers to select wines.
At CTT, we think the best thing would not to add anything unhealthy as salt and sugar but just add humidity.
Based on our experience, airlines do experience a higher failure rate on electrical equipment in low-density cabins such as First Class. And it is apparent that accelerated ageing of cabin material, such fabrics and leather, hit premium cabin interior hard.