12:01PM EST December 4. 2012 - "Japan's cuisine is usually associated with the delicate flavours and textures of sushi, but the national airline is opting for an altogether more robust festive meal — KFC chicken."
That's from AFP, one of several news outlets reporting on Japan Airlines' decision to feature meals from the fried-chicken fast-food chain on its flights. The "Air Kentucky" meals will be served on select JAL flights this winter in coach-class on flights between Tokyo Narita and New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego*, London, Paris and Frankfurt.
JAL began serving the meals on those routes on Saturday and says they'll be served through Feb. 28.
JAL says its Air Kentucky meals will feature "one drumstick, one boneless chicken breast fillet, a piece of complementing flatbread made especially for AIR KENTUCKY, a cup of cole slaw and lettuce leaves."
In a press release, JAL says it has teamed up with KFC to create "an exquisite packaging just for this tie-up. The design features JAL and the famous founder and mascot of KFC, Colonel Sanders on a special box and tray mat, unavailable anywhere else but onboard these JAL flights."
However, JAL customers hoping for more traditional meals need not worry. Japan Airlines' main meal service will continue to feature selections from its usual in-flight menu. The KFC meal will be the second meal served on its long intercontinental flights, according to CNBC.
Adding context, the Los Angeles Times notes that "Japan is a voracious consumer of American fast food, often with a twist. Franchisees in the Asian market have launched caviar, lobster and foie gras burgers (Wendy's) and black and pumpkin burgers (Burger King). KFCs in Japan are currently offering a special American-style Christmas menu complete with cake and champagne."