Etihad Airlines offer premium looking inflight meals with PA’s help

With the launch of the new A380, Etihad Airlines needed to investigate new packaging concepts for their inflight airline meals. Packaging Automation guided them through the process of switching to heat sealing resulting in a high class premium looking inflight meal.

One difficulty faced by airlines is that by the time meals have left the kitchen and reached the passengers they no longer look as they should due do the movement of the aircraft. A meal sealed in a tray is given some protection against this as the packaging is sturdier than other formats. The robustness of trays also aids transportation and storage reducing wastage due to damaged packs.

As the team at Etihad had no previous experience of tray sealing, PA arranged a visit to their headquarters in the UK as well as a tour of a local ready meal packing facility to demonstrate a tray sealing machine in a working production environment.

Several trials took place in Packaging Automation's sealing and test facility to check the compatibility of the tray and lidding materials as well as suitability for aircraft ovens. Special castellated profiles were supplied to provide a venting system in the pack to allow the air to escape and not balloon when cooking. Packaging Automation also worked with the lidding film supplier to specify a film that would facilitate easy opening once the meal was cooked enabling the consumer to quickly and easily open the meal without risk of spillage.

Etihad installed a number of high speed tray sealing machines giving a combined output of approximately 150 packs per minute.

Matthew Pegg Senior Manager from Etihad commented:
“We were completely new to tray sealing, PA made the process easy for us and provided excellence guidance and support with trays and film. I would highly recommend PA to anyone looking to start tray sealing”.


Packaging Automation Ltd was established in 1963 and is a leading UK manufacturer of tray sealing and pot filling and sealing machinery.
PA can offer customers a food packaging machine for a wide range of applications in the food industry including fresh produce packing such as salad, tomato, strawberry, raspberry and soft fruit packing, fish, seafood, meat and chicken packing (including vacuum packing and skin packing), ready meal sealing and packing, and pot or tub denesting, filling and sealing for puddings and sauces.

Full packing lines can be specified and installed to include tray denesting, conveyoring, tray filling, film sealing including modified atmosphere packing (MAP) facilities. Foil tray sealing as well as plastic tray sealing can be accommodated on all machines as standard.

For further information please contact:
Packaging Automation Ltd
Claire Carless
Marketing Assistant
Samantha Ashton
Commercial Director
Packaging Automation Ltd
Parkgate Industrial Park
WA16 8XW
01565 755000