Virgin Atlantic wanted to explore the product and service design aspects of their Economy meal, with the drive behind the project to generate concepts that would improve passenger experience and help deliver future investment.
By serving dessert separately, tray size could be reduced and the paper liner removed, allowing for fewer trollies on the aircraft, equating to an average weight saving of 129 kg per aircraft. This yields a potential fuel saving per year of 176 tonnes per aircraft. Norwegian Economist Bharat P Bhatta suggests that reducing one kilo in weight from a plane will result in fuel savings of £1,760 a year.
Using this figure, the savings made by the new design equate to £8.6 million per year across the fleet of 38 aircraft. Coupled with this the new design has led to the number of passengers who rated the service as excellent increasing by 9% in a 20 month period.