Australian carrier Virgin Australia has signed a six-year partnership with global airline caterer gategroup’s Gate Gourmet for in-flight catering services.

As per the contract, Gate Gourmet will serve as a sole strategic catering supplier to Virgin Australia providing in-flight dining and handling services to passengers flying across Asia, Australia and North America.

Effective from late June of this year, Gate Gourmet will become a full service provider.

Gategroup CEO Xavier Rossinyol said: “gategroup’s ongoing relationship with Virgin Australia further strengthens its position as a leading airline caterer in Oceania region, leveraging our commercial and retail innovations.”

The new partnership will help gategroup to expand its Virgin Australia portfolio by 40%, with enhanced operational and cost benefits to both the firms.

In addition, nearly 100 jobs at gategroup will be created and based around Australia.

Virgin Australia Airlines group executive Rob Sharp said: “We are in the process of transforming the Virgin Australia food and beverage offering and today’s announcement will enable us to bring benefits to our guests more quickly.

“gategroup has been an excellent partner of ours for a number of years and we look forward to working with them more closely to provide the world’s most rewarding travel experience.”

Virgin Australia’s business class meals across domestic and international flights are currently delivered by gategroup in association with head chef Luke Mangan.

Launched in 2000, Virgin Australia operates around 400 domestic and nearly 50 international flights per day.

With 43,000 employees globally, gategroup serves more than 700 million passengers annually from more than 200 locations in 60 countries/territories across all continents.

Gate Gourmet is the airline catering brand of gategroup.