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An LSG Sky Chefs truck services an American Airlines Boeing 767 at JFK International.

LSG Sky Chefs is the brand name of LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG, which is the world's second largest provider of airline catering (after Gate Gourmet[1]) and in-flight services. It is a subsidiary of the German airline Lufthansa AG. A part of the company was formerly owned by AMR Corporation parent company of American Airlines. Its primary business function is to prepare and deliver meals, beverages and snacks to aircraft for domestic and international flights. In addition the company also provides extended services on all other aspects of in-flight service including the design and sourcing of in-flight equipment, in-flight logistics, in-flight management, onboard retail management and the management of airport lounges to name but a few.

The company's world headquarters is located in Frankfurt, Germany. Its North American headquarters is located in Irving, Texas, USA, where a part of the company was founded in 1942. All products that the company supplies are produced at three deepfrozen manufacturing/distribution facilities in:

[2] with each location employing over 100 staff with capacities to manufacture 25 million meals each for its customers. LSG Sky Chefs partners with more than 300 airlines worldwide and operates some 200 customer service centers in 49 countries, producing around 427 million airline meals a year.

The airline carriers served by LSG Sky Chefs can vary from airport to airport, but some major customers are Lufthansa, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Mexicana, SAS, Swiss International Airlines, United Airlines, Aerosvit Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. LSG Sky Chefs reports it has about 30% of the airline catering market worldwide.

An ongoing slump in the airline industry, largely attributed to rising jet fuel costs, has created many challenges for the firm. Its global revenue has been in decline since a peak of €3.1 billion in 2002.

The company also runs more than 125 food service operations in airports around the world. In addition, the company runs non-food retail operations at several airport locations and provides traditional event planning and catering. (source: company site)

An example of a non-airline product it serves is sandwiches and salads at 7-11 convenience stores in North America supplied by its Pittsburgh as well as other facilities in the US. They say Prepared by LSG Sky Chefs on the back label.

The name ‘LSG’ is from ‘Lufthansa Service GmbH’, the original name of the company that acquired the Sky Chefs brand.


Financial figures

Consolidated revenue:

  • 2000 : €1.1 billion
  • 2001 : €2.5 billion
  • 2002 : €3.1 billion
  • 2003 : €2.7 billion
  • 2004 : €2.3 billion
  • 2005 : €2.2 billion
  • 2006 : €2.3 billion (source: LSG Sky Chefs' website)
  • 2007 : €2.4 billion (source: dpa)
  • 2008 : €2.3 billion


  • 1942 : American Airlines creates Sky Chefs Inc
  • 1966 : LSG Lufthansa Service GmbH is founded
  • 1985 : Onex Corporation, purchases Sky Chefs; caterer to one single airline
  • 1985-2001 : Under the guidance of Ewout R. Heersink, C.F.O.; Onex Corporation, Sky Chefs becomes the largest inflight catering company in the world.
  • 1993 : LSG acquires 25% of Sky Chefs
  • 1995-2001 : LSG acquires the rest of the shares in the parent company of Sky Chefs.

Sanitary standards & FDA warnings

Since 1996 LGS Sky Chefs received multiple warnings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the violation of sanitation standards in the processing of food for airlines.[3][4][5]

The most recent warning by the FDA was issued on December 10, 2009, and addresses the results of inspections of the LGS Sky Chefs' facility in Denver, Colorado in September and October 2009. The FDA downgraded the facility status from Approved to Provisional. The FDA inspectors found dead and living cockroaches and other insects in many areas of the facility. In addition, they noted the following violations:

  1. employees prepared food with their bare hands or using unwashed gloves,
  2. water dripping from the ceiling on equipment and utensils,
  3. standing water in the garbage room,
  4. debris in ice pit, dairy cooler, dish machine area, and automatic cart wash area, and
  5. holes in wall surfaces creating areas for insect and vermin harborage.

The inspectors also noted improper handling and storage of cleaned utensils. Three swab sub samples collected from the floor in the hot kitchen area contained the Listeriosis causing pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The FDA gave LGS Sky Chefs 30 days to remedy the deficiencies. In case the next FDA inspection should still expose problems, the facilities status to provide food to airlines would be revoked.[6]

Main competitors


External links

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