Thai Airways has put 34 of its 747s on sale and is divesting itself of some of its inflight equipment, including making bags from surplus lifejackets as well as selling its meals. Qantas seems to have endlessly inventive ways of monetising its spare stock.
Recently the airline partnered some of its acclaimed cellar with an excess of business pyjamas and amenity kits to create care packages that include – for AU$379 -a bottle of Qantas Taittinger Comtes Champagne, First pyjamas, amenity kits, slippers and smoked almonds as well as selling trolleys from its retired 747s stocked with wine; prices started at AU$1000.
To prevent job losses and food waste, FinnAir is selling its meals in a supermarket; dishes include reindeer meatballs, beef with teriyaki and smoked arctic char. Singapore Airlines has delivered its First Class and Business Class menus to its most valued passengers.
Now British Airways is selling off some of its spare stock too. Organised by cabin, there’s a focus on Christmas splurges for aviation fans rather than a fire sale. Says Gordon Smith, editor of Airliner World: “With British Airways continuing to burn through millions of pounds each day, this sale won’t shore up the balance sheet single handedly. What it does do rather well though is remind weary consumers of the niceties of flying and rekindling some of our pre-lockdown mile-high nostalgia, with the added bonus of clearing out the BA broom cupboard. It’s a fantastically shrewd move during these cash-strapped times.”
In the First section, the highlights are crockery by William Edwards, a classic design commissioned in 2019 for the airline’s centenary year, with silver and white enamel on bone china. A full dinner service is provided, including soup bowls, tea cups. First day blankets also available, a bargain for £9 while a set of six plates start from £50, four soup bowls £40, cups from £5) and saucers £5. Also up there in the desirability stakes is First bread baskets for £42 for a set of four.
Club Class’s oval dishes are suited to the cabin’s slightly tighter proportions. Less recently revamped, the dishes are largely whilte and oval but still branded and the stand-out item is the china casserole dish for £12.
Heading down the cabins, eight World Traveller Plus tea cups will set you back a bargain £8 and its champagne glassesare £6 for a set of six. Demand has been high; the Dartington First brandy crystal glasses have already sold out. This is understandable; they were £12 for a set of six.
And rounding it off, there are slippers and socks available, plus trays (sold in sets of five) that will allow those grounded by COVID-19 restrictions to settle back with their own non-flight entertainment systems this Christmas.
Says Caroline Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “This is an incredible one-off opportunity for people to bring the magic of flying with British Airways into their own homes. We know that these special items will fly and we are delighted to be able to offer them in time for Christmas to give people the opportunity to make it memorable during a difficult year.”