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Sun 7 Apr 2013 11:00 AM

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Qantas takes pork off menu after Emirates tie-up

Qantas Airways has removed food items containing pork and alcohol from its in-flight menu

Qantas takes pork off menu after Emirates tie-up
(AFP/Getty Images).

Australian airline Qantas Airways has removed food items containing pork and alcohol from its in-flight menu on routes that transit through Dubai.

The move comes following the launch of a major global alliance between Qantas and Dubai-based Emirates Airline that came into force on April 1. The tie-up will see the two carriers collaborate on ticket pricing, scheduling and frequent flyer programmes.

The alliance has seen Qantas switch its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai, a Gulf emirate which adheres to Sunni Islam and strictly controls distribution of alcohol and pork, both of which are forbidden under the religion.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Arabian Business via telephone on Sunday morning that the airline has removed all food products containing pork and alcohol on services to and from Dubai. The carrier will however continue to serve alcoholic drinks on these routes.

Qantas, which makes a loss on its international routes, said that following the announcement of the Emirates deal it had seen a sixfold increase in bookings to Europe on the joint network in the first nine weeks of sales compared to the same period last year.

The number of Emirates customers booked to travel on Qantas’ domestic network is almost seven times higher than under Qantas’ previous partnership arrangement in the same nine week period, a statement said.

Combined the two airlines will offer 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai. Qantas will continue to operate its A380 services from Sydney and Melbourne through to London.

The partnership is expected to benefit Australian tourism, with both airlines developing a global marketing campaign to promote Qantas destinations that are now part of the extended Emirates network.

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Loy 7 years ago

Thanks AB for this snip. I doubt many media outlets will carry this alarming story. Emirates is an airline I no longer use under any circumstances anyway, but Qantas was among my all time favourites, but now they have just been wiped off my home going list.
The entire world is not Islamic 'yet', but already it is extremely hard to find meat in parts of Europe including the UK that has not been halal slaughtered by default. Jews don't eat pork either, so they choose um..er.. not to choose it if menus contain it, but kick up no fuss. Many Hindus request vegetarian meals on flights, but never have I ever heard of one complaining about beef being served to others. I am Muslim, but like millions of my compatriots, I don't care what other's eat, so I assume we are once again bowing to extremism or possibly fear, just because one bigot in the group demanded this action.

This is not a decision out of respect but appeasing Political Correctness gone mad. I hope it backfires.

Red Snappa 7 years ago

It is actually discrimination, pork products for breakfast are traditional across much of the world on long-haul flights, alcohol in food as long as it's declared should be ok, you can request non-alcoholic meals in exactly the same way as you can vegetarian at the time of booking. What about all the other religions who travel on Qantas.

Sam from Canada 7 years ago

Dumb comment. Its not about Political Correctness or extremism - its pure business. If you serve a route where Muslims are likely your clients, it does no harm to offer Halal. You claim to be Muslim, but surely seem unaware of the Health benefits of Halal.

Also, factually wrong when you say that "extremely hard to find meat in parts of Europe including the UK that has not been halal slaughtered by default". The vast majority of meat today in UK/Europe is NOT Halal; since you obviously know little, Google up the scams about non-Halal meat being sold as Halal in the UK. Bottom line is businesses/people will do virtually anything for money - be it the abattoirs in UK faking Halal - or Qantas. So if you want to serve Muslim consumers, you have to deliver Halal - and more Muslims are waking up to demanding Halal everyday.

Lastly, I am sure Qantas wont miss you - and neither did Emirates. who actually did quite well without you flying them :)

Mary 7 years ago

Dumb comment - Sam from Canada which last I heard had religious freedom. Not everyone is muslim, if you want a muslim meal than pre order it like Hindu's or don't eat the pork or don't drink the alcohol. Qantas just shot themselves in the foot and this policy will really hurt their business. Why do you have to control the eating habits of everyone around you - you pmpous dictator Sam! Pipe in anytime procan.

RAH 7 years ago

Nothing to do with going politically correct. Its purely commercial, Loy.

For Qantas to appeal to the muslim population and GCC citizens to use this new service, to plug out alcohol from food and remove pork equates to us having 3 hot meals to choose from. As opposed to one choice having red wine sauce while the second choice is pork, which leaves us with just one dish to choose.

Since you dont care what others eat, then allow us to have 3 choices of meals, just like you. Is this extremism - as you say? I call it equal choice for all no matter what religion I follow.

Well done, Qantas and I, for one, would now be happy to consider flying to our of your DXB stopovers. May your good sense to appeal to all prevail for the sake of your business.

RAH 7 years ago

Very biased view.

Without alcohol and pork, you have now catered to 98% of the world population. Why enforce muslims to request a meal and we end up with just that ONE choice, when you still get to have the menu and choose between three dishes? Isn't that discrimination (which was your opening argument)?

Repeal discrimination by adopting foods that can cater to ALL three religions of the world (Islam, Christianity and Judaism). Add alcohol and pork to the mix and you have successfully limited the choice to one major religion, hence a discriminatory move on behalf of the airline.

Well done Qantas, hats off to you!

RAH 7 years ago

Mary Mary Mary. Oh Mary.. Where do I even BEGIN with your immature commentary?

Do you have any statistical analysis to back up your claim that an airline that refrains from serving alcohol-infused food and pork have "hurt their business", as you have claimed? Or are you too busy calling Sam a dictator ro actually research your claim before publishing it to all of us?

Secondly, if you want pork or alcohol in your food, why not preorder it then? What justifies you asking 2 billion muslims to order a special meal yet you would not consider that burden upon yourself? Isn't that a dictatorial way to behave yourself?

Thirdly, read the article carefully before commenting to Sam. The article states food cooked with alcohol, whereas your off comment above says "don't drink the alcohol". Where did Qantas mention their flights are turning dry? Again, read before your fingers start to type a stupid comment back to someone.

Sameer 7 years ago

This story is ridiculous. I find it hard to believe as Emirates Arlines itself serves alcohol on all its flights.

If you have noticed, the source is authors' imagination and stereotyping. And for those of you who live in Dubai, you surely know that pork and alcohol are available.

Sam from Canada 7 years ago

@Mary....if you want Hindus and Muslims to order their meals, then Christians too should order theirs - why should that come as default for ALL? Bet you can't answer this rationally.

Also, in case you have not read the article, Qantas's business has increased seven folds, so your comments really only deserve sympathy for your level of comprehension - or the lack of it to be precise.

And no one is controlling anyone's habits - I could not care less what you eat. The issue here is ITS BUSINESS, and evidently that reasoning is beyond you. Not surprising you need Procan to pitch in to help you (not that I fear his comments either...).

In conclusion, all I have to say to you is dumber than dumb...and good riddance you are in the UAE (I wonder how you can live with all the Halal there...), and not here in Canada.

Mary 7 years ago

Sam from Canada - NEWSFLASH Qantas is an Australian carrier and Australia is not a muslim country.