Beginning next month, United will offer illy’s signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company’s espresso in United Club locations at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs. Other lounge locations will offer illy in 2016, with the scuro dark roast coming to flights worldwide next summer.
Chosen after extensive testing with United customers and employees – including in-flight taste tests – illy reflects the airline’s global network as well as United’s commitment to creating an elevated, distinctive premium experience for its customers.
Based in Trieste, Italy, with more than 80 years of history in the coffee industry, illy’s distinct flavor comes from a unique blend of the top one percent of Arabica beans, purchased directly from the best growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa.
Noted for its strong commitment to sustainability, illy’s internationally certified supply chain includes farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality standards – enabling the company to offer world-class blends.
A recent Wine Spectator magazine article praised the coffee, saying it “has become a gold standard in high-end restaurants and five-star hotels around the world.”
“Our collaboration with illy is helping to make the world feel a bit smaller and making flying that much more special, simply by way of a perfect cup of coffee,” said Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs. “By serving the world’s most well-known premium coffee in our clubs and on board, we are communicating an experience to our customers and our employees with the quality and care that comes with every cup.”
“It’s truly an honor for illy to be selected as the worldwide coffee partner for United Airlines. The process and final decision to choose illy demonstrates United’s deep commitment to providing its customers the highest quality products and experiences,” said Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffe s.p.a. “Our new relationship with United Airlines is also a testament to our passion for the best and recognition that the illy brand is the world’s reference for coffee culture and excellence.”
Illy will be complimentary on every flight and when offered in United’s lounges.