Air Transport World

Food costs skyrocket: U.S. majors, nationals spent $1.8 billion to feed their passengers during the first nine months of 1990. (includes related article)

In their increasingly fierce battle to improve their market shares by upgrading the quality of their in-flight service, U.S. airlines are spending a great deal more money on passenger meals these days, data filed with the U.S. DOT indicate.

Through the first nine months of last year, the latest interval for which figures were available at this writing, the food expense of the 12 majors was up 18.7% over the 1989 period to $1.7 billion and the total for the 12 nationals had soared 43.6% to $85.9 million. The increases contrasted with growth in passenger enplanements of just 4.3% at the majors and 27.5% at the nationals.

The portion of the total operating-expense dollar allocated to food service also has grown, to 3.25% for the majors and 3.09% for the nationals.

American, which has supplanted United as the largest U.S. airline, outspent its fellow majors by a large margin in the first nine months. …

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