Low-cost airline offers tasty low-cost dishes

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AIR ASIA’s new meal options

MAYBE airline food is just there to make landing even more worthy, though with new meals by AirAsia, we guess it really does make the journey matter.

According to AirAsia Philippines CEO Capt. Dexter Comendador, the Santan menu was launched in 2015 to highlight ASEAN flavors. This season, it aims to make the flight experience healthier and friendlier with a Chipotle chicken wrap and a Caesar salad, priced at P100 and P120. The new menu aims for a “farm-to-air” concept, directly sourcing ingredients from a Tagaytay farm where the vegetables harvested that morning will be served on the day itself as an in-flight meal.

The menu was launched via a lunch in Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay last week.

Fresh and new items in the Santan menu are California crab onigiri, Korean beef stew with kimchi rice, Cheesy pesto and tomato bun, Corned beef bun, and an array of sweets such as Brazo de Mercedes, Cookies and cream parfait and Butterscotch bars. These are priced from P70 to P180. Guests may order these dishes while booking tickets, or else onboard.

Karlo Sanchez, AirAsia Philippines’ Head of Ancillary Business, said that in preparing airline food they have three things in mind: “Safety, of course. We look at the passengers’ taste, and then something that, in terms of our pricing, same with our tickets: low-cost.”

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Since AirAsia does not provide meals to all passengers, the airline being a low-cost carrier, Mr. Sanchez says, “We’re trying to perfect our meals, wherein, we want everyone to try it.”

It has become an easy joke to rag on airline food, but AirAsia wants to combat the trite stereotype. “With AirAsia, we’re giving them that option: quality meals, affordable pricing: and it tastes really good,” said Mr. Sanchez. “It’s not a ‘beef or chicken’ option on our side.” — JL Garcia

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