CALGARY - McDonald’s coffee can now be ordered on a plane in a move that could pave the way for air passengers to tuck into a Big Mac at 35,000 feet.
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The fast food giant has agreed a deal with Canadian airline WestJet to offer its McCafé Premium Roast on-board the carrier’s entire fleet, with the debut beverage poured last week on its Toronto to Calgary route. The roll-out to the rest of Westjet’s Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft will start next month, after which all passengers will be offered a McCafé as one of their complimentary drinks.
Adjusting to how altitude and the cabin atmosphere dulls the senses, the coffee has been specially brewed, with a darker roast of beans used as well as a slightly hotter water temperature. Cappuccino and lattes will not be available as there are no facilities on board to steam milk.
The partnership was agreed with McDonald’s Canada, who fought off Tim Hortons and Starbucks in a bid to win the contract with WestJet, which flies out of Glasgow and Gatwick in the UK.
“We’ve always believed that the sky is the limit for McCafé - and today this officially rings true,” said John Betts, president of McDonald’s Canada.
WestJet’s CEO Gregg Saretsky told the Toronto Star that the airline serves 30,000 cups of coffee a day.
“How it helps us is we’re going to be serving a better cup of coffee so it improves the great experience and just ups the game in the coffee wars in the Canadian skies,” he said.
Rival airline Porter currently serves Starbucks on-board its aircraft.
Airlines are increasingly looking to improve and modernise their in-flight offering of food and drink, with British Airways recently announcing that it was scrapping complimentary meals on short-haul flights and introducing a range of Mark & Spencers sandwiches and snacks instead.
So does this mean that McDonald’s are going to start serving quarter-pounders with cheese or boxes of McChicken nuggets on UK flights?
“There are no plans currently,” said a spokesperson for McDonald’s in the UK, though Telegraph Travel is yet to hear back from the Canadian arm of the fast-food outfit on any plans to start serving food on-board.
However, when asked of the prospect on WestJet aircraft, Mr Saretsky told the Star: “Possibly. We really want to make sure we get the coffee right first.”
SOURCE Hugh Morris, The Telegraph
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