Emirates has developed a reputation of being one of the best airlines in the world, repeatedly winning awards for outstanding service, extremely comfortable cabins and an upscale traveler experience. How do they do it? The airline devotes both time and money to its fleet and staff. Last year, Emirates announced that it will be investing over $2 billion to enhance its in-flight customer experience, including a massive program to retrofit over 120 aircraft with the latest interiors.
Sir Tim Clark, The President of Emirates Airlines, explains, “While others respond to industry pressures with cost cuts, Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers. We’re rolling out a series of intensive programs to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level.”
Some of Emirates’ latest initiatives include elevated meal choices, a brand-new vegan menu, a “cinema in the sky” experience, cabin interior upgrades and a sustainable food chain. The food is always a highlight of flying on Emirates and the new vegan menu features healthy, plant-based choices such as pan-roasted king oyster mushrooms, jackfruit biryani and chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut, pistachio and gold leaf. And while enjoying over 5,000 channels on Emirates’ inflight entertainment system, passengers can order lobster rolls, sliders or popcorn from the “cinema snack menu.” And a large portion of the vegetables served on board arrive from a sustainable supply chain, including harvests from the world’s largest vertical farm.
Another part of the investment will go towards updating the fleet’s interiors. Cabins are being retrofitted with new or reupholstered seats, new paneling, flooring and other cabin features. Benefitting all Emirates passengers, every cabin class will be refreshed and a new Premium Economy cabin will be created.
However, the in-flight experience would not be world class if not for the terrific staff that Emirates hires and trains. Emirates has partnered with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, one of the world’s top hospitality management schools, to craft the Emirates Hospitality strategy which focuses on providing passengers with excellence, attentiveness, innovation and passion.
The Emirates crew is diverse and represents over 140 nationalities, speaking 130 languages. All new cabin crew undergo an intense 8 weeks of training in the highest standards of hospitality, safety and service delivery in Emirates’ state-of-the-art facility in Dubai. The crews also receive biennial training updates. Using replicas of Emirates’ aircraft interiors, the cabin crew learns to provide the best in-flight experience, from full fine dining service to mixing the perfect cocktail. While aviation safety has increased dramatically over the years, Emirates Cabin Crew are also fully trained to demonstrate resilience, follow safety related procedures, and use judgement in the event of a rare safety event. The crew also learn how to gain consent to assist passengers, empathize with anyone taken ill, how to remain calm and how to break difficult news, if required.
This substantial investment and continual training help explain why flying Emirates is such a pleasure.