Air Transport World

Upgrades send food costs soaring again.

Majors, nationals spent nearly $1.5 billion to feed passengers in first 9 months of 1989, up 8.6% from 1988. By Danna K. Henderson.

A combination of rising costs and improvements by many carriers in their meal service sent food expense at U.S. major and national airlines skyward again in 1988 and the first nine months of 1989.

An Air Transport World analysis of Department of Transportation data shows that the 10 majors spent $1.4 billion on in-flight food in the first three quarters of last year, an increase of 8.3% over the same 1988 period. Passenger enplanements, meanwhile, were falling 2.3% to 292 million, thereby boosting cost per passenger 13.6% to $4.86. Food expense as a percentage of the major airlines' total operating cost, however, remained virtually level at 3. …

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