ARLINGTON, Va., March 18, 2003—Beginning tomorrow, US Airways will offer customers the option of purchasing gourmet deli-style meals onboard select flights, as part of a two-week test the airline is conducting in concert with LSG Sky Chefs‰ and Einstein Bros‰.
From March 19-31, 2003, US Airways customers traveling in Coach Class on nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., and New Orleans, will have the opportunity to purchase restaurant-quality deli meals onboard flights where meal service currently is not offered.
The In-flight Café test will feature items from Einstein Bros` quick, creative menu. The breakfast meal is comprised of a coffee crumb cake, fresh mixed fruit with a cream cheese fruit dip, raspberry Yoplait yogurt, and fruit juice, for $7. The Club Mex lunch/dinner meal is comprised of a smoked turkey sandwich with pepper jack cheese on a challah roll and a side of ancho-chili lime mayonnaise, Kettle Classic potato chips, a fresh tomato-artichoke-mozzarella salad, an Einstein signature Chocolate Truffle cookie and a bottle of water, for $10. Photographs of the meals are available online at usairways.com/inflight_cafe.
Initially, customers will be able to purchase these meals with cash only. A receipt will be provided with the meal. In-flight Café meals will be served prior to the scheduled beverage service.
“We see the industry moving in the direction of programs like In-flight Café, giving customers more choice on flights where meals are not served,” said B. Ben Baldanza, US Airways senior vice president of marketing and planning. “We look forward to our customers response to this initiative.”
“We`re delighted to participate in this evaluation of the In-flight Café program with a forward-thinking partner like US Airways,” said Stephan Egli, global senior vice president of marketing for LSG Sky Chefs. “Our research indicates that nearly three-fourths of travelers want an option if other meals are not available, and we`re confident that US Airways passengers will be pleased with the high quality and convenience of these In-flight Café meals.”
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to include several items from our quick-casual menu in this important pilot program with US Airways,” added Ed McPherson, chief marketing officer of Einstein Bros parent company New World Restaurant Group, Inc.
US Airways is the nation`s seventh-largest airline, serving nearly 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. Most of its route network is concentrated in the eastern U.S., where it is the largest air carrier east of the Mississippi. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and the US Airways Express partner carriers operate more than 3,400 flights daily. For more information on US Airways flight schedules and fares, contact US Airways online at usairways.com, or call US Airways Reservations at 1-800-428-4322.
LSG Sky Chefs pioneered the In-flight Café concept to offer coach-class passengers the option of purchasing high-end, gourmet-quality menu selections on domestic U.S. flights. The development of the program was based in part on independent, quantitative research commissioned by the company. LSG Sky Chefs is the world`s largest inflight service provider, including catering, procurement, equipment management and Total Inflight Service Management. LSG Sky Chefs caters 260 airlines from more than 200 customer service centers in 45 countries. In 2001, the companies belonging to LSG Sky Chefs Group achieved pro-rated sales of €3.1 billion.
Einstein Bros is the largest of six independent brands operated by New World Restaurant Group, Inc. (Pink Sheets: NWCI). New World, a leading company in the quick casual sandwich industry, operates locations primarily under the Einstein Bros and Noah`s New York Bagels brands and primarily franchises locations under the Manhattan Bagel and Chesapeake Bagel Bakery brands. As of Dec. 31, 2002, the company`s retail system consisted of 452 company-owned locations and 294 franchised and licensed locations in 34 states.