The Korea Herald


CEO of in-flight meal supplier for Asiana found dead: report

Asiana faces passenger complaints as flights mired in delays or takeoff without meals after scouting small in-flight meal provider

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : July 3, 2018 - 10:17

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The CEO of a subcontractor of a small in-flight meal supplier for Asiana Airlines reportedly took his own life Monday morning, after criticisms mounted from angry passengers who were served no meal on Asiana flights.

He was found dead at his house, according to local media reports.

Asiana recently terminated a 15-year-old deal with LSG Sky Chefs, a subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa, and inked a contract with Gate Gourmet Korea, an in-flight catering service firm Asiana jointly set up with China’s HNA Group. Starting from July, Asiana was to receive GGK in-flight meals for the next 30 years.

An Asiana Airlines flight is shown in this file photo. (Yonhap) An Asiana Airlines flight is shown in this file photo. (Yonhap)

But after a fire hit the new GGK plant in March, Asiana scouted out a new company that reportedly has just 63 employees for a three-month contract.

People with knowledge in the airline industry say Asiana’s “in-flight meal chaos” had been foreseen, as the small firm had supplied German flights with just 3,000 meals per day, while Asiana would require 25,000 a day.

Asiana claims the new supplier had no issue in terms of its production system and supply capacity. But the logistics of transporting the prepared meals to the planes took longer than predicted, resulting in dozens of Asiana flights taking off without in-flight meals.

On Sunday, 36 Asiana flights took off without meals out of the 80 planes scheduled for the day. Due to the time spent waiting for meals to arrive, 51 flights were delayed. On Monday, out of 75 flights, 20 were delayed and 18 took off without meals. The glitches resulted in many passengers lashing out against Asiana.

As of this writing, Asiana has not yet released a formal statement about the death of the in-flight meal supplier on a short-term contract.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (