Airplane food on ground, Israel’s company attempts to stay afloat during COVID-19 pandemic

The majority of flights to and from Israel may be grounded, but that does not mean one cannot enjoy an airplane meal on the ground. A company from Israel is offering its airline meals with no need to purchase a pricey air ticket.

When the Israeli government closed the skies in March in an attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Tamam Aircraft Food Industries, the largest factory of its kind which was responsible for about 60 percent of airplane meals in the country, all but shut down.

After a record breaking year for tourism and flights in 2019, most of Tamam’s 550 workers were furloughed as Israel strictly locked down.

Amir Shutzman, CEO of Tamam, was wracking his head on how to bring some of his workers back to work. Most of the employees come from low-income backgrounds, making their situation even more difficult.

Unemployment in Israel has skyrocketed since March and is now at over 20 percent.

In July, Shutzman called for people on Facebook to order Tamam’s airline meals, which are frozen and needs to be heated by the customer at home. In addition, the company also offers fruit platters and fresh salads for event at an affordable price, less than three U.S. dollars per tray.

Shutzman hoped the newly launched service could bring his workers back to the supply lines.

“It’s a good solution for children, for elderly, for people who want ready made food in their freezer,” Shutzman told Xinhua.

To his surprise, the response was amazing. They have orders from all walks of life and it has helped bring ten percent of Tamam’s workers back.

Some large hi-tech companies also made large orders as donations to organizations that provide needy people with meals.

While 90 percent of the company’s employees are still at home, Shutzman considers to further expand their business.

“They see it as hope, as a light, something they did not see before and they know that we are doing everything for them to get back to work,” he told Xinhua.

The company had hoped to provide meals for people in areas under quarantine.

“In times of crisis, we cannot break and we need to think outside of the box.”

The Israeli government is contemplating re-opening the skies and letting people travel and tourists return to Israel.