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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A proposal for improving the meal provisioning process at Canadian Airlines Morency, Vincent


Catering flights is an important part of an airline's operations. The meal service has a critical impact on customer service quality and represents significant costs. Unfortunately, due to high passenger load variability and minimum production lead-time requirements, it is difficult to get the number of meals to exactly match the passenger count on each flight. The objective of the project is to reduce meal-catering costs due to over-catering while simultaneously improving service level by reducing under-catering. The proposed solution takes the form of a meal bank system. This concept suggests that flights should be systematically under-catered with the possibility of uploading a generic meal to fill in any shortage at the last minute when the final passenger load is known. A thorough investigation of current processes was carried in order to define and recommend process change based on the meal bank approach. The project concludes with a costing analysis of recommended solutions weighing additional investments, cost savings, and service improvement against current performance. Costing analysis results for Vancouver International Airport operations showed that service level could be improved by an approximate reduction of 50 percent in revenue passenger meal shortages. Also, net costs can be reduced up to an estimated $190,000 annually.

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