Meal Tray Innovation Is Saving Virgin Atlantic Millions

July 22, 2014


Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson kitesurfed the English Channel, and Ernest President Tim Wilson drove a motorcycle through a ring of fire. There must be something about daredevil adventure that leads to innovation.

Most of us would love to lose a few pounds, but it’s hard to imagine hitting the gym to lose a few ounces. But in the shipping and packaging world, losing a few ounces can add up to massive savings. Virgin Atlantic recently spent $168 million to redesign its in-flight meal trays with MAP, a UK-based design consultancy. At Ernest, we’re always partnering with clients to find innovative ways to minimize your weight and save you money.

By collaborating with the right consultants, Virgin Atlantic introduced lighter and more compact in-flight meal trays that will amount to a 53-pound lighter plane. While the simple weight-loss plan might seem minuscule in comparison to the multi-ton flying machine, the airline expects to see a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and related fuel costs.

The redesigned meal trays transcend industry-adopted standards and enable Virgin Atlantic to haul fewer meal carts. This tray transformation also makes meal service easier and faster for flight attendants—moving those aisle-hogging carts out of the way sooner.

Ernest always innovates for the perfect balance of effectiveness and cost-efficiency with an emphasis on material, design and processes. We have a multi-ton of experience in reducing weight and material for either sustainable practices or cost-savings—or both. When packaging is lighter, freight is lighter. And that means saving money.

Of course, if you’re on a long international flight, you might be a little wary of any airline food — regardless of how nice of a tray it’s sitting on. If Richard Branson wants to keep his airline food fresher for longer, he should give us a call about TempEndure® to keep those meals cold on even the longest flights.

How can we help to lighten your load? Let us know today!