In a welcome taste of ‘normal’ airline news, Virgin Atlantic has developed new Spring menus for its onboard service. Following the restart of passenger flying in July 2020, the airline simplified its service onboard with Covid-safe measures to minimise interaction between customers and crew. Further developments see some of the most popular elements of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class service return, with some added extras, while still ensuring health and safety.
Guests in Upper Class are now offered a welcome drink upon boarding, bringing the start of the inflight experience more in line with the glorious pre-2020 experience. They are then offered a choice of three individually plated hot meals as part of the main meal service, accompanied by a salad and menu of three desserts, including cheese and biscuits.
The full menus are listed below.
On day flights, Upper Class customers are offered a second meal service, which includes the ‘Mile High Tea’ by famed pâtissier Eric Lanlard, and can now opt for a deli dish or a lighter option if they prefer. On night flights there is a choice of three hot breakfasts, as well as side dishes including fresh seasonal fruit, bircher muesli and pastries. All these options can be washed down with a selection of champagne, wine, liquors, soft drinks and teas and coffees. More champagne? More everything!
Travelling in Premium class receive a bespoke meal service, including a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert, all served on a tray. For the second meal service, customers receive the Mile High Tea, with a choice of a glass of prosecco or a hot drink or on night flights, followed by a breakfast including a warm pastry, seasonal fruit and yoghurt, served with PG Tips tea or Change Please coffee.
Economy class flyers also receive an updated catering offer, with a choice of two hot meals as part of the ‘Fly Safe, Eat Well’ meal box, which also includes cheese and biscuits and a dessert. The second meal service includes the Mile High Tea on day flights, or a breakfast consisting of a warm pastry, fruit and yoghurt on night flights. Customers in Premium and Economy can also choose from a selection of wines, beers, liquors and soft drinks throughout the flight.
Corneel Koster, Virgin Atlantic’s chief customer and operating officer commented, “We know our customers are missing that magical feeling you get when you step onboard an aircraft, ready to start your travels. Whilst customers may not be able to travel right now, we’re bringing back those little touches, including welcome drinks, hand-plated food and more choice of meals, so that first flight after lockdown feels even more special.
“All these additions have been made whilst continuing to uphold some of the most comprehensive health and safety measures in the industry,” he added (see below).
The new Upper Class menu:
- Welcome drinks upon boarding
- Drinks and snacks after takeoff
- Main meal
- Mozzarella and tomato salad with micro basil and cress (v)
- Ciabatta roll with butter
- Roasted chicken breast, potato purée, sautéed spinach, girolles mushrooms, Bourguignon sauce
- Artichoke tortellini (v) with wilted spinach, grilled artichokes and sage butter sauce
- Roasted salmon fillet, lemon and spring onion giant couscous, grilled baby courgettes and chervil sauce
- Coconut lemon tartlet
- Seasonal fresh fruit
- Cheddar, Brie, and Stilton with crackers
- Second meal service
Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea
- West country cheddar and carrot chutney on malted roll and Mediterranean falafel wrap
- Scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam
- Raspberry glazed éclair, salted caramel vanilla tart and cherry macaron
- Chicken terrine, spiced cauliflower and braised pineapple
- Chocolate gateau
- Asian-style glass noodle salad, seaweed and charred pineapple
- Fresh fruit salad
- Full breakfast including chicken sausage, turkey rashers, scrambled eggs, baked beans, herb potatoes, roasted tomato and mushrooms
- Vegetarian cooked Breakfast including cheddar cheese omelette, mushroom, hash brown and vine roasted cherry tomatoes
- Mini apple pancakes with creme anglaise and apple cinnamon compote
Dine in good health
“Making sure everyone flies safe and well is a non-negotiable and has been an absolute priority for us since the start of the pandemic, added Koster. “Our commitment is underpinned by robust cleaning measures both in the air and on the ground, our innovative customer experience, the introduction of Covid-19 insurance and the fact that we test our crews before every departure from the UK and our ground teams at least once a week.”
The airline’s health and safety measures include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and onboard, including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant in all cabins and lavatories before every flight. Safe physical distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, and mask wearing will be required throughout the journey. All customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack, which will contain medical-grade face masks to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel.