Qantas is adding plant-based meals to its inflight menu

Every traveller, from first class to economy, will have the chance to enjoy a meat-free flight.

By David Flynn, October 28 2021
Qantas is adding plant-based meals to its inflight menu

Qantas will introduce plant-based meals to its inflight and lounge meals from November 1, reflecting a growing trend towards healthier lifestyles – especially on long overseas trips where you’re sitting for hours end.

Carnivores need not panic: this doesn’t mean the end of the business class steak sandwich or the classic economy choice of ‘chicken or beef’.

One for the carnivores: beef fillet with Paris mash, green beans and salsa verde.
One for the carnivores: beef fillet with Paris mash, green beans and salsa verde.

Sure, this is welcome news for the legion of vegans and vegetarians who too often get the short end of the celery stick when it comes to inflight meals.

But plenty of flesh-eaters are simply becoming more aware and, dare we say, more mindful of their diet – including adopting ‘meat-free Monday’ (reportedly created by Paul McCartney in 2009) to help balance out the remaining six days of the week.

Rigatoni with oyster mushrooms, roasted eschalots, rocket and almond pesto.
Rigatoni with oyster mushrooms, roasted eschalots, rocket and almond pesto.

And it takes only a glance at the supermarket shelves to note the explosion of plant-based meals and meat substitutes in recent years.

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Steph Tully tells Executive Traveller that plant-based dishes will feature in the airline’s new international in-flight menu “across all cabins”, and while it’s being “gradually rolled out, by mid-November all our (international) flights have the new menus.”

Tandoori roast carrots with spicy tomato and green bean kasundi and moong dal with roti paratha .
Tandoori roast carrots with spicy tomato and green bean kasundi and moong dal with roti paratha .

 

Adding plant-based meals is less of a challenge in Qantas’ Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges, both of which will open their doors in November and welcome all lounge-worthy passengers including business class travellers, Gold-grade frequent flyers and Qantas Club members 

After all, those lounges sport impressive restaurant-grade kitchens with an extensive range of fresh produce on tap.

Potato and celeriac gratin with roast fennel, peas, mushrooms and onion sauce.
Potato and celeriac gratin with roast fennel, peas, mushrooms and onion sauce.

In the air, Tully says, travellers wanting a meat-free flight can look forward to a potato and celeriac gratin with roast fennel, peas, mushrooms and onions sauce, and ratatouille pasta bake with herb crumb, cauliflower and green beans – both of which “will be available across all cabins on international flights.”

Definitely not plant-based: a sandwich of slow-cooked chipotle lamb with sweet onions, mint salsa and salted chilli.
Definitely not plant-based: a sandwich of slow-cooked chipotle lamb with sweet onions, mint salsa and salted chilli.

The airline is also adding its own signature cocktail, dubbed the Qantas Sky Spritz,  which will feature Australian botanicals including Davidson Plum and Finger Lime.

Kung pow king brown mushrooms with choy sum and jasmine rice.
Kung pow king brown mushrooms with choy sum and jasmine rice.

But some things don’t change – those lightweight Qantas PJs are back in business class, along with a series of amenity kits in ‘dopp bags’ themed to reflect Qantas uniforms’ throughout the decades.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 205

Hopefully its an improvement over the current Vege / Vegan "Option"

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2012

Total posts 210

I'm sure all the meat & 3 veg crowd have had any number of Indian dishes, and Italian, which have been meat-free without even realizing it!

On a long disance flight your digestive system will thank you for bypassing meat too.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 509

For Asian destinations they should hire someone who is skilled in making “mocked” meat Chinese and Taiwanese dishes like in Buddhist tradition. The flavours and texture for some meals can really be “I can’t believe this is vegetarian” 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 653

Qantas inflight catering is woeful when you travel and see the levels of Qatar or SQ J & F class dining


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