Fiji Airways launches new pre-flight dining in Business Class

by James Wilkinson

Fiji Airways has rolled-out of a new luxury dining experience called ‘Dine on the Ground’, offering passengers a pre-flight gourmet meal to maximise rest while travelling.

The airline lunched the initiative following research from the airline which found almost a third (31%) of Australian passengers regularly skip in-flight meals in favour of some extra shut-eye and as a result, as much as 38% of food was being discarded.

As part of the new experience, Business Class and Premier guests taking either a morning or late evening flight out of Nadi will now be invited to a mouth-watering breakfast/dinner at the world-class Fiji Airways Premier Lounge shortly before boarding.

Breakfast guests can enjoy barista-made coffee, made-to-order breakfast items, a full bakery and a wide selection of fresh
fruit juices. For dinner, signature dishes designed by Fiji Airways executive in-house and guest chefs are on offer. Meals are complemented by signature cocktails, mocktails, a full service bar and the exclusive ‘Fiji Bean Cart’.

“While the inflight experience has improved dramatically over the years across all airlines, the way in which food is served hasn’t changed too much,” said Fiji Airways’ Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen.

“As an airline, Fiji Airways is all about delivering the best customer experience, so we started to analyse things like food consumption, sleep patterns, and of course feedback from passengers themselves.

“By moving the dining experience pre-flight, we’re not only able to offer a premium experience but we’re also able to reduce food waste, while maintaining our excellent in flight catering,” Viljoen said.

Onboard, guests will still have access to a light brunch or supper, such as fruit bowls, gourmet panini, fresh salads, international style tapas and soups. However, by dining pre-flight, onboard meals better reflect the time of day and allow guests more time for rest and relaxation.

Health and Wellness expert Mark Bunn believes the initiative has the potential to knock hours off jet-lag, especially for Aussie passengers traveling long-haul to places such as the US.

“Most of us find it hard enough to sleep on flights but eating large meals onboard will only make that worse due to bloating and indigestion, said Bunn. “The movement and irregular nature of travel makes it much harder to digest food properly.

“Try to eat a decent meal a good 1-2 hours before travelling. Once on the flight, eat very lightly. By dining on the ground before take-off, you’re giving your body enough time to digest the food – meaning you’ll be more comfortable and more likely to sleep.

“For medium-to long haul flights across time-zones, sleeping is the best way to reduce jet-lag. So any initiative that addresses that, is welcomed,” Bunn said.

The luxury Dine on the Ground experience is being served up across the following flights out of Nadi: Nadi-Christchurch;
Nadi-Hong Kong; Nadi-Wellington; Nadi-Sydney; Nadi-Brisbane; Nadi-Los Angeles; and Nadi-San Francisco.