Finnair just found a way to give nostalgic land-dwellers a taste of luxury travel at home. Finland’s national airline is now offering ready-made riffs of its business class meals in one of the country’s grocery stores.
Dubbed a “Taste of Finnair,” the new initiative was designed to keep the catering staff of the state-controlled airline employed while offering the wanderlust-riddled a little slice of in-flight fare. The menu was designed by Finnair’s chefs and each meal is handmade in the airline’s Finnair Kitchen. Standout dishes include reindeer meatballs, arctic char and teriyaki beef, to name but a few.
The whole spate of plates can be purchased at K-Citymarket in the Vantaa Tammisto region of Finland and will set you back between $12 each (€10) to $15 (€13) each. Two main course options are available throughout the week from Monday to Sunday, and an additional appetizer is on sale from Friday to Sunday.
The pivot was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced almost all global airlines to curb flights. In fact, Finnair has flight traffic has dropped 91 percent compared to September last year and the airline has furloughed the majority of its roughly 7,000-person workforce.
Taste of Finnair will ideally make use of the airline’s idled resources and appeal to jet setters who are yearning to get back in the air. Ironically, it’s a rather opportune time, too. Takeaway food sales have experienced a major influx since spring after an estimated 60 percent of people started working from home, as reported by the Associated Press.
The Finnish outfit is not the only airline coming up with creative solutions to counter the coronavirus lull. Singapore Airlines has decided to turn its grounded planes into pop-up restaurants, Qantas sold 1,000 of its fully stocked bar carts from retired 747s, while Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific have also started selling in-flight meals as standalone products.
“We want to offer the opportunity for a Finnair experience and everyday luxury at home, now that travel has been restricted in many ways,” Marika Nieminen, Finnair Kitchen VP, said in a press release. “At the same time, this is a new business opening for us and employs our chefs in Vantaa. It is especially great that at a time when most of Finnair Kitchen’s employees have been laid off, we can bring work and employment to our employees through a new experiment.”
If the pilot program is successful, Finnair may increase production and start selling the meals in other grocery stores too. Fingers crossed it makes it Stateside.