Inflight Catering Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The Inflight Catering Market Report is Segmented by Food Type (Meals, Bakery and Confectionery, Beverages, and Other Food Types), Flight Type (Full-Service Carriers and Low-Cost Carriers), Aircraft Seating Class (Economy Class, Business Class, and First Class), Catering Type (Retail On Board and Classic Catering), Flight Duration (Long Haul and Short Haul), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa). The Report Offers Market Size and Forecast for all the Above Segments in Value (USD).

Inflight Catering Market Size

Global Inflight Catering Market Summary
Study Period 2019 - 2029
Market Size (2024) USD 17.15 Billion
Market Size (2029) USD 25.87 Billion
CAGR (2024 - 2029) 8.57 %
Fastest Growing Market North America
Largest Market Asia-Pacific

Major Players

Global Inflight Catering Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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Inflight Catering Market Analysis

The Inflight Catering Market size is estimated at USD 17.15 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach USD 25.87 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 8.57% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

The growth of the inflight catering market is expected to be driven by an increasing number of airline passengers. Another factor that is expected to boost the growth of the market is improving the quality of food and services offered by aircraft service providers. The food & beverage industry is witnessing increasing technological advancements in the form of tablet and mobile device-based ordering and payment for specific orders, which is an ongoing trend in the target market.

The in-flight catering service market is facing a significant challenge due to the rise in the cost of in-flight food. This increase in cost is impeding the market's efficient functioning and hindering its growth potential With the competition among the airlines growing, they are opting for certain strategies to enhance the inflight dining experience. These strategies range from the process of ordering to food serving. Such developments may have a long-term effect on the prospects of the market in focus during the forecast period.

Inflight Catering Market Trends

The Meals Category is Expected to Dominate the Food Type Segment

The advent of ready-to-eat meals for travelers and rising demand for catering services on long-distance, nonstop flights are key factors fuelling growth. The major companies that provide in-flight catering are taking initiatives to provide meals to culturally diverse passengers. The rising demand for healthy and nutritious meals among passengers and customer willingness to pay a higher price for such meals are expected to facilitate growth.

The inflight dinners for most Asian airlines include meat (most commonly chicken or beef), a salad or vegetable, a small roll, and a dessert. Cooked breakfast or lighter continental-style meals may be served during morning flights. Globally, the size of the vegan and vegetarian population is increasing rapidly due to factors such as religion, altruism, environmental concerns, etc. Growing vegetarianism has increased the demand for vegan or vegetarian meals onboard aircraft. Since September 2023, Malaysia Airlines has introduced vegetarian dishes and diabetic-friendly and gluten-free meals.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air Lines, and Qantas are major airlines that provide vegan meal options in their menus. Also, the growth of health-conscious people has resulted in the growing popularity of gluten-free meals and low-salt meals, as they are becoming the major food offerings under the special meals for airlines. To make the process of ordering food easier for passengers, airlines are providing options like meal pre-selection, meal pre-order, and mixed buy-on-board/complimentary catering to passengers. The provision of pre-ordering meals has also helped enhance the confidence of consumers in favor of inflight food services. Pre-orders are significantly on the rise, with the provision of 'free' pre-order programs for the business and premium economy classes.

Inflight Catering Market: Air Passengers Served, in Millions, Global, 2018-2022

North America is Anticipated to Witness the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period

The North American diet varies considerably with each state. The eating habits of the two major North American countries, the US and Canada, differ considerably from each other. In Canada, food intake in the Quebec region differs from the rest of the provinces. Smaller countries in the continent vary even more. So carriers have to arrange and stock up food accordingly, sufficing their routes and the region they are operating in.

The trend is, however, more toward eating healthy food, which is observed throughout the continent, particularly in the US. More than 1/4th of US citizens still consume fast food every day, but the percentage is dropping gradually. Healthy food has achieved significant traction. Foods like yogurt, poultry, sandwiches, and fresh fruits have witnessed a spike in demand in the field of inflight catering. Besides, the country is also a large market for chocolates, bakeries, and other confectioneries. The demand for low-calorie meals has resulted in a significant change in food offerings during flights.

For instance, in January 2023, Porter Airlines partnered with Canadian brands for inflight catering as it expanded across North America. The new catering menu is sustainable and includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Such developments are expected to drive the growth of the North American region during the forecast period.

Inflight Catering Market: Market CAGR (%), By Region, Global, 2023

Inflight Catering Industry Overview

The inflight catering market is semi-consolidated in nature wherein gategroup, LSG Airline Catering & Retail GmbH, Cathay Pacific Catering Services (H.K.) Ltd., The Emirates Group, and SATS Ltd. are some of the leading companies in the inflight catering market. However, when it comes to supplying small and medium-sized airports, the market is witnessing an increased presence of regional players.

Demand for food with high quality and safety was the main reason for airlines to prefer catering from major manufacturers to the regional players. Furthermore, these big players have increased their R&D spending exponentially to integrate innovation with culinary excellence. This has resulted in premium quality food for airline inflight catering.

With the competition among the airlines increasing, they are opting for certain strategies to enhance the inflight dining experience. These strategies range from the process of ordering to food serving. Additionally, airlines are using different service strategies for different classes on the same flight to comply with hybrid operational scenarios while providing service to the customers.

Inflight Catering Market Leaders

  1. gategroup

  2. Cathay Pacific Catering Services (H.K.) Ltd.

  3. The Emirates Group

  4. LSG Airline Catering & Retail GmbH

  5. SATS Ltd.

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

Inflight Catering Market Concentration
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Inflight Catering Market News

  • June 2023: dnata extended its partnership with Lufthansa and SWISS in Singapore. They will continue to provide inflight catering services to the airlines from their facility at Changi Airport. The teams will produce over 700,000 meals annually for a world-class dining experience onboard.
  • March 2022: Newrest announced that the company began providing hot meal services on two-class flights of Air Transat from various European countries, such as Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

Inflight Catering Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    5. 4.5 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.5.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.5.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    6. 4.6 PESTLE Analysis


    1. 5.1 Meals

      1. 5.1.1 Bakery and Confectionary

      2. 5.1.2 Beverages

      3. 5.1.3 Other Food Types

    2. 5.2 Flight Type

      1. 5.2.1 Full-service Carriers

      2. 5.2.2 Low-cost Carriers

      3. 5.2.3 Other Flight Types

    3. 5.3 Aircraft Seating Class

      1. 5.3.1 Economy Class

      2. 5.3.2 Business Class

      3. 5.3.3 First-class

    4. 5.4 Catering Type

      1. 5.4.1 Retail on Board

      2. 5.4.2 Classic Catering

    5. 5.5 Flight Duration

      1. 5.5.1 Long Haul

      2. 5.5.2 Short Haul

    6. 5.6 Geography

      1. 5.6.1 North America

        1. US

        2. Canada

      2. 5.6.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. Germany

        3. France

        4. Russia

        5. Italy

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.6.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. Australia

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.6.4 Latin America

        1. Mexico

        2. Brazil

        3. Rest of Latin America

      5. 5.6.5 Middle East

        1. UAE

        2. Saudi Arabia

        3. Qatar

        4. Rest of Middle East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Mergers & Acquisitions

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Flying Food Group

      2. 6.3.2 DO & CO Aktiengesellschaf

      3. 6.3.3 gategroup

      4. 6.3.4 LSG Airline Catering & Retail GmbH

      5. 6.3.5 The Emirates Group

      6. 6.3.6 Newrest Group Services SAS

      7. 6.3.7 SATS Ltd.

      8. 6.3.8 IGS Ground Services

      9. 6.3.9 KLM Catering Services

      10. 6.3.10 Cathay Pacific Catering Services Ltd.


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Inflight Catering Industry Segmentation

Inflight food is the food served to passengers onboard a commercial airliner. Specialist airline catering services prepare these meals and usually serve them to passengers using an airline service trolley.

The inflight catering market is segmented by food type, flight type, aircraft seating class, catering type, flight duration, and geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa). By food type, the market is segmented into meals, bakery and confectionery, beverages, and other food types. Other food types include jams, sauces, salt, pepper, and margarine.

By flight type, the market is segmented into full-service carriers, low-cost carriers, and other flight types. By seating class, the market is segmented into economy class, business class, and first class. By catering type, the market is segmented into retail onboard and classic catering. By flight duration, the market is segmented into long haul and short haul. The report also covers the market size and forecasts in major countries across all the regions. 

For each segment, the market size is provided in terms of value (USD).

Bakery and Confectionary
Other Food Types
Flight Type
Full-service Carriers
Low-cost Carriers
Other Flight Types
Aircraft Seating Class
Economy Class
Business Class
Catering Type
Retail on Board
Classic Catering
Flight Duration
Long Haul
Short Haul
North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America
Rest of Latin America
Middle East
Saudi Arabia
Rest of Middle East and Africa
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Inflight Catering Market Research FAQs

The Inflight Catering Market size is expected to reach USD 17.15 billion in 2024 and grow at a CAGR of 8.57% to reach USD 25.87 billion by 2029.

In 2024, the Inflight Catering Market size is expected to reach USD 17.15 billion.

gategroup, Cathay Pacific Catering Services (H.K.) Ltd., The Emirates Group, LSG Airline Catering & Retail GmbH and SATS Ltd. are the major companies operating in the Inflight Catering Market.

North America is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period (2024-2029).

In 2024, the Asia-Pacific accounts for the largest market share in Inflight Catering Market.

In 2023, the Inflight Catering Market size was estimated at USD 15.68 billion. The report covers the Inflight Catering Market historical market size for years: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the Inflight Catering Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

Key factors driving the Inflight Catering Market a) Include the rise in international travel b) Demand for premium air services c) Enhancing passenger experience through quality catering services

Inflight Catering Industry Report

The global in-flight catering services market is on an upward trajectory, fueled by a surge in airline passengers and a growing appetite for high-quality, nutritious onboard meals. As the airline catering industry adapts, the top 10 airline catering companies in the world are innovating to enhance passenger experiences with diverse, healthier food options, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices. This evolution is in response to a rising demand for premium economy services, where passengers are willing to pay extra for superior dining experiences. The Asia Pacific region is notably set for significant growth, driven by increased international travel and higher disposable incomes. To stay competitive, companies are focusing on menu innovation, digital ordering, and sustainability efforts. Mordor Intelligence™ Industry Reports highlight the inflight catering market's share, size, and revenue growth, offering insights into the market forecast and historical overview. For a deeper understanding, a free report PDF download is available, providing a comprehensive analysis of the airline catering industry's future outlook.

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Inflight Catering Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)