Focus on

On a mission

November 13, 2018

Vietnam Airlines Caterers has a simple mission. To be the best in the Asia Pacific region, for Asian, in particular Vietnamese, and Western cuisine and service. Julie Baxter discovers how

It’s an easy statement to make but 25 years on from its launch – as a joint venture between Vietnam Airlines and Cathay Pacific – the team has plenty of customers who’ll confirm it regularly achieves ‘mission accomplished’.

In the past five years alone it has increased the number of meals it caters each day from 18,000 to 24,000. Its biggest client is Vietnam Airlines, for which it provides 16,000 daily meals for 150 flights out of Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City (60% of its business).

Vietnam Airlines Caterers (VAC) is particularly proud of the part it’s played in helping the airline secure its four-star status for four consecutive years in a row, working with the airline team to create what it believes is now ‘the ultimate culinary experience’.

The company also provides catering and loading services to over 36 other airlines including Emirates, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Eva Air, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and Air France VAC operates a 12,000sqm ramp-side facility at SGN, with a staff of around 1000, including around 200 chefs, and has an additional base at Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC). It has capacity to supply up to 30,000 meals and facilitates delivery with 31 hi-lift trucks and seven vans.

It has won Best Caterer recognition from Asiana Airlines in 2016, Eva Air in 2013 and All Nippon Airways in 2012 and most recently was ranked third in Southeast Asia/China (2017) by Philippine Airlines.

Last year it expanded services at PQC (45 minutes from SGN) to cater Thomas Cook from Scandinavia and positive feedback from this has brought additional customers for the coming winter season. The team plans to establish a full-scale facility here, with work beginning shortly.

Located at the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing regions, VAC is eager for growth, looking to invest strategically in its current facilities while maintaining its service standards. As the only caterer at PQC, the company is responding to tourism demand and contributing to the island destination’s development as a Special Economic Zone.

VACS’ gm, Nguyen Quang De, says: “The Asia-Pacific aviation sector is growing at its fastest pace yet. Rapid urbanisation, an increase in international travel and the rising living standards of aspirational travellers are driving growth. Demand is growing for better quality inflight food and more healthy options. Meals are becoming one of the top considerations for passengers when choosing a flight and this trend requires caterers like us to constantly innovate. •