LSG Sky Chefs

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LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG
Industry In-flight Service
Founded 1942
Headquarters Neu-Isenburg, Germany
Area served
Key people
Erdmann F. Rauer (CEO), Simone Menne (Chairwoman of the supervisory board)
Products First class meals
Services Catering, In-flight Equipment and Logistics, In-flight Management, Airport Services
Revenue 2.633 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
32,800 (2014)[1]
Parent Lufthansa Group

LSG Sky Chefs is the brand name of LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG, which is the world's largest provider of airline catering (although Gate Gourmet claims the title of world's largest "independent" provider[2][3]) and in-flight services. It is a subsidiary of Deutsche 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 Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt, Germany. Its North American headquarters is located in Irving, Texas, United States, where a part of the company was founded in 1942.


LSG Sky Chefs in Munich Airport

LSG Sky Chefs partners with more than 300 airlines worldwide across 214 airports and operates almost 210 customer service centers in 51 countries, producing around 591 million meals a year.[1]

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, Asiana Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Korean Air, Finnair, and Aeroflot. 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 operates three deep-frozen manufacturing/distribution facilities supplying to different regions of the world in:

  • Alzey (Europe, Africa, Middle East),
  • Pittsburgh (North America, Caribbean, South America)
  • Qingdao (Asia, Australia)
LSG Chef trucks on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport.

[4] with each location employing over 100 staff with capacities to manufacture 25 million meals each for its customers.

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 produces is sandwiches and salads at 7-Eleven 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’ derives from ‘Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft’, the original name of the company that acquired the Sky Chefs brand. The company plans to merge its operations in the UK with Alpha Flight Group Ltd.[5]


  • 1942 : American Airlines creates Sky Chefs Inc.
  • 1966 : LSG Lufthansa Service GmbH is founded
  • 1986 : 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
  • 1999 : LSG acquires additional 23% of Sky Chefs
  • 2001 : LSG acquires the rest of the shares in the parent company of Sky Chefs (June 30, 2001).

Sanitary standards and FDA warnings[edit]

Since 1996 LSG Sky Chefs has received multiple Warning Letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the violation of sanitation standards in the processing of food for airlines.[6][7][8]

The most recent warning by the FDA was issued on December 10, 2009, and addressed the results of inspections of the LSG 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:

employees prepared food with their bare hands or using unwashed gloves, water dripping from the ceiling on equipment and utensils, standing water in the garbage room, debris in ice pit, dairy cooler, dish machine area, and automatic cart wash area, and 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 LSG Sky Chefs 30 days to remedy the deficiencies. In case the next FDA inspection should still expose problems, the facility's status to provide food to airlines would be revoked.[9] On January 19, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration issued a follow-up letter informing LSG Sky Chefs that their Denver facility had passed the required re-inspection and had been restored immediately to "Approved" status since the company had taken action to resolve the issues cited by the FDA in their original notice dated December 10, 2009.[10]

Financial figures[edit]

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
  • 2009 : €2.1 billion[1]
  • 2010 : €2.2 billion[1]
  • 2012 : €2.5 billion[1]
  • 2014 : €2.633 billion[1]

See also[edit]

Main competitors[edit]


External links[edit]