Does the mere thought of airline food give you indigestion? Are you frustrated with over-processed, pre-packaged food that you wouldn’t serve to your cat? Fret not! Singapore Airlines has launched a new partnership that will bring fresher food to your flight.

Thanks to an agreement with AeroFarms, the leader in indoor vertical farming, Newark to Singapore passengers will enjoy the world’s freshest inflight produce. SIA’s “farm-to-plane” program launches in September 2019. Imagine fresh salads with the fresh greens harvested just hours before your departure from New Jersey!

Antony McNeil, director of food and beverage for Singapore Airlines, calls it “literally the world’s freshest airline food. The only way to get fresher greens inflight is to pick them from your own garden.”

a plant growing inside a warehouse

Singapore Airlines F&B Director Antony McNeil surveys greens with Alina Zolotareva of AeroFarms.

It all happens in an abandoned steel mill in an industrial area just five miles from Newark International Airport! There, on AeroFarms’ one-acre site, you’ll find the equivalent of 390 acres of locally grown produce for up to 30 harvests per year. And it’s all done without soil, pesticides or sunlight.

At conventional farms, salad greens are generally harvested days or even weeks before being served. During the winter months -when produce must be shipped thousands of miles from California, Florida or Mexico – it takes even longer! Compare that to AeroFarms where greens are picked within 24 hours of flight departure!

So, How Does It Work?

SIA’s AeroFarms grows its greens “aeroponically.”  Instead of using soil, seeds grow indoors on a specialty growing cloth medium under LED lights calibrated to provide the ideal spectrum for plant development. Plant roots are misted with precise amounts of water and nutrients. And it’s done under strict temperature and humidity controls. The formula and lighting can be adjusted to optimize the plant’s nutritional value and maximize flavor. Plants typically grow from seeds to fully mature produce in as little as a few days, using 95 percent less water and a fraction of the fertilizers used in conventional farming. All AeroFarms’ grows all os its produce without pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. 

What’s on the menu?

Starting in September, the super fresh food will be offered to Business Class and Premium Economy Class passengers on SQ21 flights. Sample menus may include:

  • Soy Poached Chicken – Pickled Ginger Vinaigrette, Zucchini Ribbons, with Sweet Potato Roesti, Soy Beans and AeroFarms Baby Pac Choi 
  • The Garden Green – Poached Asparagus, Broccolini, Avocado with Shaved Fennel & Flaked Hot Smoked Salmon, AeroFarms medley of Baby Ruby Streaks, Watercress and Arugula, with Lemon Vinaigrette 
  • Heirloom Tomato Ceviche – Baby Burrata, Cured Ham, Palm Hearts, AeroFarms Arugula with Spiced Tomato Dressing 

The new Farm-to-Plane program complements other health and wellness programs for SIA passengers. Passengers originating in the U.S. already enjoy a partnership with Canyon Ranch that provides an extensive range of menus and offerings to enhance comfort, relaxation and well-being on the long flights to Singapore. Later this year, travellers based in Asia will discover more meals promoting wellness and nutrition, thanks to a partnership with Singapore-based COMO Shambhala.