Air Canada makes airline food worth craving

A partnership with chef David Hawksworth brings a bit of luxury to in-flight dining.
Air Canada-Air Canada Partners With Celebrated Canadian Chef Dav

Airline food may be the subject of many jokes and pain points for travellers, but Air Canada is looking to bring more prestige to its food options by partnering with chef David Hawksworth, the airline’s latest improvement to its travel experience.

Hawksworth will collaborate with Air Canada’s caterers to create nine seasonal dishes that both reflect Canadian cuisine and complement the airline’s current offering of meals inspired by the routes taken on international flights. Starting on Oct. 1, the dishes will be available in-flight to travellers in international business class and in Maple Leaf Lounges in airports. The first wave of dishes include yellowfin tuna tataki, tamari roasted sablefish and dark choclate fondant, as well as a Mediterranean quinoa salad exclusive to international Maple Leaf Lounges.

Craig Landry, VP of marketing at Air Canada, said in a release that the new food options complemented the full range of “service enhancements” the airline has been investing in for travellers on its Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner fleet. These have included improved customer service through social media and apps and a new in-flight entertainment system that recently added luxury fashion-inspired content through a partnership with Holt Renfrew. Last May, Air Canada turned the focus of its advertising to the ways it contributes to the overall travel experience.

Hawksworth first opened Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver in 2011, merging techniques learned at renowned Michelin-stared restaurants like L’Escargot and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with local, Canadian-sourced ingredients. In 2013, Hawksworth established the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation, awarding $10,000 to the young chef that wins a nation-wide cooking competition. As part of the partnership, Air Canada will be the official airline sponsor of the Foundation.

Landry also pointed out Air Canada’s history of representing Canada’s culinary scene in the annual “Best New Restaurant” program run by in-flight magazine enRoute, which selected Hawksworth Restaurant as one of its top three in 2011.

Image courtesy CNW Group/Air Canada