The number of "special" meals served inflight is soaring as demand for healthier food grows, according to Cathay Pacific.
In 2012, the airline served more than 1.7 million "special meals" to its passengers network-wide. That number represents a substantial increase on the number served in 2008, it revealed.
Over that five year period, the airline saw a 14% increase in the number of vegetarian meals requested.
Demand for healthier option dishes climbed even more steeply, with fruit platter requests shooting up by 216% and those for low salt meals by more than 200%.
Low calorie options proved even more popular, with orders in 2012 up almost 300% on 2008. Low fat and low cholesterol meal requests rose 181% over the same period.
Gluten intolerance also appeared to be on the rise, with almost 23,000 gluten-free meals served last year – an increase of almost 114% since 2008.
Cathay's regional catering manager, Eric Cheng, revealed the airline has more than 20 special meals on offer on its website.
"Hong Kong is one of the world's culinary capitals and at Cathay Pacific, we are continually evaluating food trends around the world and looking for new ideas to keep in step with passengers' changing tastes," he said.
Orders for special meals must be placed at least 48 hours before departure.
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