QANTAS has removed pork from its in-flight menu on flights to and from Europe as a result of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates.
No food containing pork or pork products will be served on those flights – which now has a stopover in Dubai – because it is strictly forbidden in Islam and is considered “unholy”.
All meals offered on the route in first, business and economy classes will also be prepared without alcohol in keeping with the Islamic religion. A note on the Qantas menus on flights in and out of Dubai states that the meals do not contain pork products or alcohol. The airline has also introduced a mezze plate offering traditional Middle Eastern fare in its upper classes and has Arabic translations after in-flight announcements.
A Qantas spokesman said the decision to remove pork, ham and other related food items had had minimal impact on its menu and it was still offering the same meal choices.
“On flights to and from Hong Kong and China, our menus include regionally inspired dishes such as stir fries and to Singapore we have noodle options.”
Qantas also offers meals without pork and alcohol on flights to the Indonesian capital Jakarta, which also has a large Muslim population.
Several other airlines which fly from Australia to the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia do not serve pork either.
Virgin Australia does not serve pork on flights to and from Abu Dhabi and all meals that are prepared are halal accredited, with meat prepared in a way prescribed by Islamic law.
Qantas passengers heading to any European city now fly via Dubai instead of Singapore, as they did under the airline’s previous longstanding partnership with British Airways. The Qantas pork ban comes as other airlines – in the wake of the Qantas-Emirates merger – jostle for market share by aggressively discounting fares from Australia to Europe.
British Airways enlisted Mick Jagger’s daughter, model Georgia May Jagger, to promote its discounted fares of $1777 to the UK via Singapore.
Emirates competitor Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad has return fares to Manchester or London from $1727 including taxes. Virgin was also promoting discounted fares to London out of Sydney ($1845) and Brisbane ($1869) this week. Qantas fares to London were yesterday priced about $1900 out of most capital cities – still around $100 more than its new partner Emirates is advertising.