Airlines are taking on haute cuisine by hiring top chefs to give their meals altitude.

Some big airlines are offering the chance to pre-order meals, sending out lengthy menus and wine lists with tickets.

British Airways is leading the way with the help of top chefs such as Vineet Bhatia, Michel Roux, Mark Edwards and wine expert Jancis Robinson.

Now other airlines such as British Midland International, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic are among those who are following suit.

The Observer 27/10/02 page 7