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Global market share of the airline catering industry, by service provider 2016

In 2016 the two clear leaders of the global airline catering business were Swiss company Gategroup and Lufthansa subsidiary LSG, who held market shares of 24 percent and 20 percent respectively. The next largest provider, Dubai-based Dnata, held a much smaller market share of six percent.

Airline catering

Airline catering, being the provision of food which is served to passengers travelling on commercial airlines, was typically handled by airlines in earlier times. Recently though, the twin demands of improving quality and cutting costs has led to many airlines outsourcing their catering, and the creation of larger catering companies that can leverage an economy of scale impossible for a single airline. This context mirrors the history of Gategroup, who were originally the catering arm of Swissair but now include catering services formerly operated by airlines such as SAS, British Airways and Qantas. Gategroup have also acquiring many other airline catering providers, to become a company generating over 4.5 billion Swiss francs in revenue from operations all over the world.

Inflight services

Catering is only one of the inflight services generally offered by airlines. Aside from food, the most widespread inflight service offered today is inflight entertainment, with most airlines providing access to movies, music, games and other media. Seatback screens are the most popular way to consume inflight entertainment, with access using passengers’ own electronic devices being a less popular alternative. Increasingly, internet access via WiFi is also being offered as inflight entertainment. A majority of passengers have indicated they would use this service if available, creating potential new revenue streams for airlines.

Global market share of the airline catering industry in 2016, by catering service provider*

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Release date

February 2017



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Post Servair acquisition (pro-forma).

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