Monday 26 October 2020 4:12 pm

British Airways ends in-flight food partnership with M&S

British Airways today confirmed that it is set to end its three-year partnership with M&S to provide food on short-haul trips for economy-class passengers.

A spokesperson for the airline confirmed the move: “We proudly launched our buy-on-board catering in 2017 with high street favourite, M&S.

Read more: British Airways owner IAG nosedives into €1.3bn pandemic loss and cuts flights over winter

“After a successful journey, we are headed off on a new flight path. We look forward to announcing our exciting new buy-on-board proposition with a great British brand that customers have told us they love.”

According to the Sun, Greggs and Waitrose are locked in a dogfight to become the flag carrier’s new catering partner.

But a spokesperson for the supermarket denied that it was involved in talks to replace M&S.

City A.M. has contacted Greggs for comment.

The decision to end free in-flight catering was first taken as long ago as 2009, but it was in 2016 when it was first announced that the carrier would charge for food for those in economy.

Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data

The introduction of the buy-on-board policy in January 2017 was one of former chief exec Alex Cruz’s first major moves at the carrier.

It proved deeply unpopular with some critics, who said that the carrier was turning into a low-cost outfit like Easyjet or Ryanair.

Today’s decision was first reported by the Independent.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We are proud to have been a supplier to BA’s short-haul food service since 2017. 

Read more: Alex Cruz: Five days to forget for the outbound British Airways boss

“Our partnership was always due to end this year and we have agreed not to renew. M&S Food continues to focus on developing its wider franchise partnerships.”