Singapore Airlines’ partnership with AeroFarms is cleared for takeoff. As of next month, the airline will offer AeroFarms leafy greens as part of the meals on its non-stop flight from NYC’s Newark airport to Singapore.
The two companies first announced the partnership in March of this year, and have been prepping for launch ever since.
AeroFarms, headquartered in New Jersey, grows different leafy greens using aeroponics that mist the roots of plants with nutrients, water, and oxygen. Like other forms of indoor farming, there is no soil or sunlight required to grow the plants. AeroFarms is considered something of a heavyweight in the vertical farming space, having been named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list in 2019. The company also just raised $100 million in fresh funding in July.
Right now, greens farmed indoors via aeroponics or hydroponics is a trendy topic in the food world, and a popular purchase item among those with some disposable income. Given that, it’s something of a no-brainer that Singapore Airlines — known for its ridiculously upscale experience — would be the first airline to start carrying these products. The NYC-to-Singapore flight is also the longest nonstop flight in the world and done with the Airbus A350-900, a massive, ultra-long-range plane built to accommodate lengthy flights that require multiple meals for passengers. Since this trip in particular is all about the premium travel experience (there’s not even an economy class), Singapore Airlines already offers passengers perks like a nutrition-focused menu designed by wellness folks at Canyon Ranch spa. Vertically grown greens fit right in.
As to whether such greens will show up on the average flight between, say Toledo and San Antonio, the answer is, probably not.
Companies are still trying to find ways to scale vertical farming operations to meet greater demand, but from both a spacial and economical perspective, that hasn’t happened yet. As well, most domestic flights have neither the time nor the money to offer full meals, let alone gourmet ones. When there’s any food on offer, it’s usually vacuum-sealed or shrink-wrapped. It was certainly not chosen by nutritionists at a spa.
So if you’re planning on splurging for a Singapore airlines flight in the near future, let us know how the greens taste with your dinner. For the rest of us, a $5 can of Pringles will have to do.