Lufthansa Group has announced plans to launch buy on board food and drink for short-haul economy next year.

This news should not come as a surprise to readers because most national airlines in Europe have already gone down this route, including British Airways in 2017.

British Airways launches Buy on Board with Marks And Spencer

The buy on board service starts in spring of 2021 and will be phased in by group members Lufthansa mainline, Austrian and Swiss.

What most media do not realise is that it was Swiss (before it was absorbed into Lufthansa Group) who instigated buy on board in Europe many years ago, while Austrian has mulled the concept in the past but without taking further action. Both carriers were dissuaded by Lufthansa itself.

In case some readers might think I am imagining things I confirm that on the day Swiss launched buy on board a courier called at the then Business Traveller office in Blackfriars with a sample luncheon menu.

Two years ago Swiss relaunched buy on board services but restricted it to its Geneva base because of competition from low-cost Easyjet, which holds the largest market share there.

Swiss to adopt buy on board at Geneva

As is the case with other airlines Lufthansa Group gives a similar reason for its introduction of a paid-for food and beverage service.

Says Christina Foerster, executive board member responsible for customers, IT and corporate responsibility:

“Our current snack offer in economy does not always meet the expectations of our guests.

“This new offer was developed on the basis of customer feedback. With the high quality offer available for purchase, our passengers will be able to decide what they want to eat and drink during their journey.”

Austrian will launch the service first, followed by Swiss and Lufthansa. Details of the new products will be revealed over the coming months.,,