China Southern Airlines has teamed up with high profile chef and restaurateur Al Brown to produce New Zealand-themed menus.
Launched today, the new inflight food and wine will be served initially on the airline's Auckland-Guangzhou services although could be extended to other routes.
Brown, who has Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar in Federal St, said he was looking forward to showcasing the best of New Zealand to the international market in his move into airline food.
He will redesign the airline's inflight menu, introducing "high quality" meal options.
The menus themselves will feature background information to tell the story behind the produce featured.
Brown will also help train chefs and cabin crew.
China Southern is one of the biggest in the world and started services to New Zealand in 2011, since steadily boosting capacity. The menu revamp has been done in association with Auckland Airport whose chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the new food offered the opportunity for Chinese travellers to start their experience of New Zealand from the moment they stepped on board.
"The collaboration provides a wonderful platform to present high quality New Zealand food and wine to a large and diverse audience," he said.
The airport company supports airlines with varying marketing initiatives.
President and chief executive of China Southern Tan Wan Geng said the food would add a unique element to inflight services.
"Although this initiative is focused in the first instance on our Auckland to Guangzhou services, in the future we hope to extend this further by bringing more international elements across our entire network."
The airline is under increased pressure this summer with Air New Zealand starting Boeing 787 Dreamliner services to Shanghai and China Eastern starting a seasonal service to Shanghai, building to daily flights.
China Southern, the fourth biggest airline in the world, is not the only with a new offer to appeal to stomachs in the hope of filling more seats.
Last week Qantas launched plans for new food in Economy throughout its international network, served up from next week.
The airline will offer its five million economy class passengers meals 50 per cent bigger than what they get now, serving Wagyu beef for those who make online choices. Food will be served more quickly and plates cleared away sooner.
Qantas says that pre-ordering prevents waste as will doing away with butter containers in favour of pre-buttered rolls. While the meals will cost more, Qantas says it is cost neutral because of the reduction in waste.
Air New Zealand has also just stepped up frequency of rotating its menu on international flights from twice to three times a year.
China Southern Airlines is increasing capacity on its Auckland to Guangzhou route over summer.
It has replaced its Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its night flight from Auckland to Guangzhou between January and March next year.
This will mean an additional 14,000 seats on this route during the peak period.
The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will operate on China Southern Airlines' night flight from Auckland to Guangzhou between January 1 and March 29. The morning flight will continue to use the Dreamliner.