Planning Resources for International In-Flight Catering (Part 1)

international inflight catering

As corporate flight attendants, we are often expected to recreate a gastronomic dining experience to rival high-end restaurants from our sometimes limited aircraft galleys. These expectations can put us to the test at times. However, skilled corporate flight attendants are adept at creating seamless in-flight catering miracles!

Before we get to the ordering stage of the process, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration for planning our orders. Almost like a jigsaw puzzle, putting all the information together aids us in executing a seamless delivery of service on the day, and for us to counter any potential catering issues before they arise. It may also dictate how we should set up our aircraft and what needs to be brought with us on our outbound sectors, rather than being caught out at the last minute.

Here are some considerations for planning international catering:


Consider the in-flight catering options available at the destination. Is there an executive jet caterer of reputable high quality? If not, will a hotel or restaurant need to be utilised? Can quality catering be sourced at all? If operating to underdeveloped countries, will it be necessary to round-trip the catering and arrange for storage down route? A thorough assessment of the next destination and facilities should be considered. Ultimately, this will dictate how we prepare and load our aircraft for the trip.

Time of Departure and Length of Flight

The time of departure, time zone on landing and length of the sector will need to be considered in order to determine what will be served. Are you serving an early breakfast, dinner, lunch, snacks or canapés?  Also, give consideration to the type of foods served. Do you want your passengers to be alert or to sleep on night flights? Consider how the food we eat can affect us.

Be realistic about what can be served in the time-frame available, an overload of service and choice, especially on shorter sectors, may result in a strain on the flight attendant, which could result in the actual end service delivery being quite poor.

Executive Jet Caterers, Hotels and Restaurants

If ordering from a hotel or restaurant, give careful consideration to what is being ordered. Executive jet caterers are skilled in creating foods appropriate for our unique environment, and that will also work well under reheat. Food that comes from restaurants and hotel may not always not be suitable, always speak to the chef for advice. Additionally, some executive jet caters can facilitate catering from hotels or restaurants and ensure proper food safety and packaging procedures are utilised.

Passenger Specifics and Requests

Do the passengers have specific requests? What are they? Are they available down route? Will you need to round-trip them? Will children or infants be onboard? If so, what provision should be made for them?  If passengers are travelling with pets, will they also need to be provided for?


This is the first half of a two-part series written by Yasmin Milner. If you have any questions about this article, contact Yasmin Milner at

This is an article by guest author Yasmin Milner of Corporate Flight Training. Yasmin is based in the United Kingdom and is an industry expert in corporate aviation. Any thoughts expressed in this article are entirely Yasmin’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Air Culinaire Worldwide.

If you would like to be considered for becoming a guest author, please contact

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