The Benefits of Emirates’ $2 Billion Investment in Their Inflight Experience Are Felt
“While others respond to industry pressures with cost cuts, Emirates is flying against the grain.” In August 2022, the Emirates President Sir Tim Clark announced that instead of cutting costs, Emirates will be investing in their inflight customer experience to the tune of $2 billion.
A different response to COVID-19 pressures
This investment comes only two years after airlines suffered economic losses of around $168 billion in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Sir Tim Clark has explained the bold step, stating “throughout the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives […] Now we’re rolling out a series of intensive programmes to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level.”
How has customer experience been enhanced?
- An upgraded interior cabin. The airline plans to retrofit over 120 aircraft with the latest interiors. The enhanced cabin interiors will be witnessed across all classes and will include new or reupholstered seats, new panelling, new flooring, and more.
- A First Class menu designed by award-winning chefs and a world-class catering team. Food will now include roasted duck breast with orange thyme jus and Persian caviar. From September until the end October, Emirates will be serving the very rare 2003 Dom Perignon “P2” champagne.
- New business and economy menus. These will now include a new plant-based menu suitable for vegan passengers.
- A cabin crew trained through a partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (one of the world’s top hospitality management schools).
- Food produced by Bustanica, a vertical farm dedicated to sustainable supply chains. (This will only be available on flights departing from Dubai.) The airline will continue investment in sustainably supply chains, obtaining food from local suppliers wherever possible.
Some of these changes have already been seen, with the First Class inflight menu debuting back in August and the new economy menus rolling out this September. Other changes, such as the retrofitting of the interior cabins are more extensive and won’t be seen for a couple more months. The process of retrofitting the cabins will begin in November, rolling one aircraft into service every sixteen days with the first emerging on 1st December.
Sir Tim Clark envisions the investment taking their “signature inflight experiences to the next level.” The Emirates president will be speaking at this year’s World Aviation Festival in October.
Article by Jess Brownlow