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Airline cost-cutters cast their eyes on limes in cocktails

April 9, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59In 1987, so the story goes, Bob Crandall, the firebrand former chief of American Airlines, decided to cut costs by removing an olive from each salad served to passengers.

The tiny garnish would never be missed, the reasoning went, and savings amounted to at least USD 40,000 a year.

The olives were removed from the salads but not from the martinis. MICE-Asia-Pacific-Expo

Now, however, the focus has switched to limes. High prices are forcing some airlines to drop limes from service carts, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

The problem applies only to US airlines, who source many of their limes from Mexico. Australian airlines probably use limes grown in Australia, when they use limes at all.

In the US, however, cocktails that use limes – margaritas, for instance – are very popular.

Lime growers in the Mexican state of Michoacan have slashed their supply, blaming flooding from heavy rains and unrest and intimidation by drug cartels. Drought in California has made the situation worse and prices have rocketed.

A spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines said the carrier has temporarily withdrawn limes “due to skyrocketing lime prices”.

The airline normally goes through about 900 limes a day.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both say they haven’t cut out limes but some other airlines are reported to be switching to lemons. Hopefully they haven’t resorted to dying them green.

Passengers continue to demand limes.

If they move fast, enterprising Australian farmers growing limes may stand a chance of getting rich.

Written by : Peter Needham

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