SINGAPORE - When travel resumes, passengers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights might notice new choices on the food menu - Boon Tong Kee's chicken rice, Song Fa bak kut teh or Kok Kee wonton noodle, among others.
In collaboration with leading Singaporean hawker brands, SIA is featuring these hawker dishes on rotation on some of its flights from next month.
Also on the slate are Bismillah Biryani Restaurant's chicken dum biryani, Qiu Lian ban mian and Beach Road prawn noodle.
The dishes, however, will be available only for First Class and Business Class passengers on selected flights departing from Singapore.
There are plans to work with other famous local hawker brands in the coming months, SIA said on Monday (Aug 16).
Mr Yeoh Phee Teik, SIA's senior vice-president of customer experience, said: " As Singapore's national carrier, we are proud to work closely with and support several of the country's leading brands to showcase the best of Singapore to our customers.
"As travel gradually resumes, our customers from around the world can enjoy even more uniquely Singaporean experiences when they fly with Singapore Airlines."
Singapore's hawker culture was successfully inscribed to the Unesco intangible heritage list last December, and SIA said that the initiative is a celebration of that. It is part of the airline's efforts to increase the Singaporean flavour of its offerings.
In addition to hawker food, SIA has also partnered local media production and distribution companies to offer more Singaporean movies, documentaries, television series and music on its in-flight entertainment system.
SIA already offers popular local dishes like bak chor mee, laksa, mee siam and nasi lemak on its flights, but working with brands familiar to all Singaporeans will pique interest.
Mr Syed Azan Salahuddin, Bismillah Food Industry's executive chef and deputy chief executive, said Bismillah Biryani hopes to "capture the hearts and palates of all passengers" through this collaboration.
"Just as we move from pandemic to endemic, this is a timely initiative from Singapore Airlines to bring a taste of Singapore to promote our hawker food scene to the world," he said.
Boon Tong Kee director Jason Thian agreed, adding that "chicken rice is synonymous with Singapore's hawker heritage".
"Boon Tong Kee is extremely honoured to be offered this rare opportunity to have our chicken rice featured on Singapore Airlines' flights," he said.
In a further infusion, SIA has also worked with Singapore-based artisanal perfume label Scent by SIX to develop a signature scent for the airline.
SIA said the scent includes floral notes from six flowers - aquatic ginger, common dianella, seashore purslane, simpoh lak, utania nervosa and white kopsia - in the airline's new batik motif.
From October, the scent, called Batik Flora by Singapore Airlines, will be introduced at customer-facing locations such as SIA's service centre at ION Orchard. It will also go on sale in the form of reed diffusers, pillow mists and an eau de toilette fragrance.